Scouting the Competition
Colorado State University Department of Animal Science
Have you ever wondered what leaders of other protein-producing industries are accomplishing? A recent article in Poultry USA provides the perspective of the chief executive officer (CEO) of a major poultry producer from the eastern seaboard. His predictions for the future include the following:
- The poultry industry will experience additional consolidation.
- Poultry product development will focus on enhancing convenience of preparation.
- Per capita consumption increases will plateau.
- Production improvement will continue but at a slower pace.
- The major issues for the poultry industry will be animal welfare, food safety, energy costs and the environment.
The CEO also provided an excellent historic view of the changes in the industry. For example, in the past decade the average weight of a market broiler has increased by 1 lb. (a 21% increase), percent yield has increased to nearly 79% and calories per pound of meat have declined by 4%. Almost 40% of poultry is sold in boneless form today as compared to 17% a decade ago. Almost 18% of poultry production in the U.S. is exported as compared to 7% in the mid-1990s.
Poultry managers are focused on biosecurity, environmental impact, animal welfare and lowering the cost of production. They are seeking ways to increase the value of dark meat, exploring means to improve their production practices and investing in promising new technologies. The vast majority of poultry companies are conducting internal animal welfare audits or using third-party audit systems.
Why should beef producers care? The broiler and turkey industries are going to become more competitive in the future. Market share superiority requires the development of clearly thought out strategies coupled with disciplined implementation. Studying the competition is one means of motivating organizations and industries to attain new levels of excellence. The beef industry must improve genetic merit, enhance product attributes and effectively align itself with societal expectations to assure a profitable future — just ask the competition.
Bovigen Develops Genetic Progeny Differences
Bovigen has announced the development of Genetic Progeny Differences (GPDs), which describe the actual genetic makeup of animals and the effect of each allele, or combination of alleles.
GPDs will be used to describe all traits currently evaluated by DNA companies, and are designed to accommodate an infinite number of genetic combinations, interactions and genes yet to be discovered.
Bovigen urges breeders to utilize GPDs in conjunction with breed association expected progeny differences (EPDs) for a complete picture of all known genetic merit.
To learn about the formulas used in GPD calculations, contact Bovigen staff at (877) BEEF-DNA.
U.S. Opportunities for Export to Canada Growing
All classes of U.S. cattle and beef — including those for breeding purposes after 1999 and beef from cattle more than 30 months of age — are now eligible for import under prescribed certification requirements, as announced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the American Meat Institute (AMI).
Remaining prohibitions on certain items, such as specified risk materials, will continue in order to provide protection of human and animal health.
Statement Regarding the Resumption of Beef Trade with China
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns
June 30, 2006
“While we appreciate China’s efforts since April to resume market access for U.S. beef, we are disappointed with China’s announcement today of a limited market opening that only includes U.S. boneless beef under 30 months of age. At the April meeting of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade in Washington, China agreed to reopen its market to U.S. beef by June 30 following the development of a science-based trading protocol, consistent with World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines.
“We have fully described the numerous safeguards in our system, answered many questions and delivered an abundance of factual, science-based assurances that U.S. beef is safe.
“It’s time for China to open its market to all U.S. beef products, in accordance with the international standards established by the OIE. We will not be satisfied until a full range of U.S. beef products are once again accepted into the Chinese market. These are the very same products that Americans and many consumers in nations across the globe safely enjoy every day. We stand ready to continue our technical discussions with China to finalize a protocol based on international scientific guidelines, which we hope will result in a significant market opening in the coming weeks.”
BSE Confirmed in Manitoba Cow
Final test results have confirmed bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a mature crossbred beef cow from Manitoba.
Officials have confirmed the animal was purchased by the owner as part of an assembled group of cattle in 1992. This means that the animal was at least 15 years of age and would have been born well before the 1997 introduction of Canada’s feed ban.
Investigators are attempting to locate the birth farm, which will provide the basis needed to identify the animal’s herdmates and feed to which it may have been exposed at a young age. Given the animal’s age, investigative efforts may be constrained by few surviving animals and limited sources of information, such as detailed records. A calf born to the affected animal in 2004 is also being traced.
Red Meat Production Reaches Record High
The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has announced that commercial red meat production reached a record high in May 2006. U.S. production totaled 4.05 billion lb., up 9% from the 3.71 billion lb. produced in May 2005.
Beef production, at 2.3 billion lb., was 11% above the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 3.04 million head, up 9% from May 2005. The average live weight was up 19 lb. from the previous year, at 1,241 lb.
Veal production totaled 13.1 million lb., 1% below May a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 57,000 head, down 3% from May 2005. The average live weight was 2 lb. above last year, at 378 lb.
U.S. Presses To Keep Ambition High In Doha Round
On July 1, U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns pledged continued U.S. commitment at the conclusion of the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings in Geneva. The meetings, aimed at breaking the current deadlock, concluded without a breakthrough.
“We remain fully committed to an ambitious, robust round that opens new markets for the world’s farmers, manufacturers and service providers,” says Schwab. “This is the only way to deliver on the Doha promise as a development round. We have no intention of giving up hope.”
For more information, visit the USDA Web site. To learn more about the Doha development agenda, visit the WTO Web site.
Johanns says, “The meetings this week were important — our big task was to agree on how to deliver on the Doha mandate to ‘substantially improve’ market access in agriculture through programs of fundamental reform and by reducing barriers to industrial goods. We don’t have all the answers yet, but the central question of market access is squarely on the table. We also had a long overdue discussion on the balance that we all need to achieve for the Round to succeed.”