Organic farmer fears impacts of proposed animal welfare rule

An organic poultry farmer says USDA’s proposed animal welfare standards are extreme. “The proposed rule would drastically reduce our flock capacities and basically render our tens of millions of dollars of investments obsolete.” Third-generation Western Michigan egg farmer Greg Herbruck tells Brownfield some of the requirements in the proposed standard could compromise hen health and… Read more »

Egg production practices in Canada about to change

Canadian egg farms will transition away from conventional housing. Roger Pelissero, an egg producer and 1st Vice Chair of Egg Farmers of Canada says the industry-wide agreement establishes a time-line for moving to other production methods. “So the timeline is that there will be no new installation of conventional cages and that within 20 years,… Read more »

Biosecurity continues to remain high on poultry farms

The Michigan Allied Poultry Industry says biosecurity continues to the number one method to reduce avian influenza outbreaks. Executive Director Val Vail-Shirey tells Brownfield with the recent outbreak at an Indiana turkey farm, poultry farmers are on high alert. She says standard biosecurity protocols include everything from employees showering in and out of barns, requiring… Read more »

Costco commits to cage-free eggs

Grocery retailer Costco says it plans to offer only cage-free eggs in the future, becoming the first major grocery chain to make that commitment. But the company stopped short of setting a definite timeline for reaching that goal. In a statement, Costco says the transition will take some time because over 90 percent of the… Read more »

Nebraska sees egg expansion opportunities

Expansion of Nebraska’s livestock industry is a top priority of Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and his director of agriculture Greg Ibach. Ibach tells Brownfield that egg production is one potential area of growth. He says the rapid spread of avian influenza in Iowa and other states earlier this year may cause some egg producers to… Read more »

Poultry producers can meet consumer demand

A poultry industry official says producers can and will adapt to just about any consumer demand. Paul Brennan with the Indiana State Poultry Association says the consumer reigns supreme and if they want it – and they are willing to pay for it, producers will meet the demand for the product.  He says agriculture is… Read more »

Iowa firm receives go-ahead to make avian flu vaccine

The USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has awarded contracts to two companies to manufacture doses of avian influenza vaccine. They are Ames, Iowa-based Harrisvaccines and Ceva, which has its headquarters in France. In making the announcement, APHIS stressed that the action was taken to develop the agency’s vaccine stockpile and does not… Read more »

Egg industry supports ‘choice’ in egg production

Egg industry spokespersons say they support McDonald’s move to 100 percent cage-free eggs as a matter of “choice”. Chad Gregory, CEO of United Egg Producers (UEP), says his organization supports “customer and consumer choice” in the types of eggs they buy. “Recognizing that customers place value on having choices in the type of eggs they… Read more »

Egg industry exec says vaccine is needed

The president of one of the nation’s largest egg producers, Rembrandt Foods, says the egg industry is eager to use a new avian influenza vaccine. Speaking at a news conference during the Iowa State Fair, Dave Rettig said he hopes USDA approves use of the vaccine. “We would like to be allowed to use it. We need… Read more »

Michigan poultry laser-focused on biosecurity

Increased biosecurity efforts are protecting against avian influenza outbreaks in Michigan. While Michigan is the nation’s 7th largest producer of eggs and 15th largest turkey producer, the industry has yet to be hit by avian influenza. Rob Knecht, a third generation egg farmer from Southwest Michigan, is vice president of operations with egg producer Konos,… Read more »