Coordinated ICE Raids Apprehend 700 Presumably Illegal Food-Plant Workers


On Wednesday August 7th Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) mounted raids in Canton, Pelahatchie, Morton, Bay Springs, Walnut Grove and Carthage, MS.  Food processing and chicken plants were targeted in these areas.  Among the facilities raided were a Koch Foods plant in Morton and three Peco Foods plants (Canton, Sebastopol and Bay Springs) in addition to Pearl River Foods and PH Foods.

Obviously the Department of Homeland Security has every right to raid plants following court-issued warrants and take action against illegal workers in accordance with U.S. laws.  It is understood that as many as half of the detainees processed were subsequently released on compassionate grounds subject to their subsequent appearance in court for official hearings.


The action by ICE that must have required considerable planning to simultaneously deploy over 650 agents in six locations together with their logistics and transport illustrates the extent of illegal employment of aliens, if in fact, it is proven that they were working in U.S.-owned facilities without appropriate documentation.


If the problem in the chicken and food industries is as extensive as denoted by the raids, there is obvious concern regarding the disparity between available jobs and the willingness of our domestic workforce to fill vacancies.  Why do we have millions unemployed in both rural and urban areas drawing government support while employers have to resort to both documented and undocumented aliens?  Why is it that economically and socially disadvantaged nationals of Central America and even our neighbor to the south are willing to travel to the U.S. and take jobs which U.S. citizens are unwilling to consider?


Peco Foods apparently had 125 employees apprehended from a plant probably employing as many as 1,000.  This is a high proportion of their workforce, especially given that the plant probably operates on a two-shift basis and that an early raid would have involved only half the labor complement.  In a statement provided to station WAPT, Peco Foods noted “We adhere strongly to all local, state and federal laws including utilizing the government-based E-Verify program which screens new hires through the Social Security Administration as well as the Department of Homeland Security for compliance.”  Problems relating to verification of eligibility for employment are outlined in a letter to the President from the NCC, reproduced in this edition of CHICK-NEWS.


So if Peco Foods and Koch Foods were adhering to the E-Verify program why were so many of their employees considered by ICE to be “illegal” and subject to arrest?  Deficiencies in the E-Verify system are outlined in a letter from the NCC to the President. It is possible that at the time of the raid employees were not in possession of their documents or ICE personnel erred in apprehending legal workers. It is unlikely that major broiler integrators negligently or knowingly employ ineligible workers.


The scope of the raid and its focus on the chicken processing and food industries in central Mississippi was probably intended as a message to other segments of the agricultural and manufacturing economies that employ large numbers of minimum-wage workers.  Obviously small-scale sweat-shops will deviate from the law but in the case of major chicken processors with employees numbered in the thousands, it would be expected that their human resources departments should be capable of navigating the E-Verify system and remain in compliance  despite obvious problems with confirming eligibility based on a review of documentation.


It is expected that the ICE raids will be repeated since they appear popular with a segment of the electorate. It is also possible that the Department of Justice may initiate proceedings against flagrant violators based on numbers of illegal aliens employed and evident non-compliance with the E-Verify system.  The Mississippi raids raise profound questions relating to the willingness of able-bodied U.S. citizens to draw government support and be content for aliens to fill available jobs in agriculture, food plants and the manufacturing sector. The raids also highlight the need for an adequate number of H-2A visas and the deficiencies of the E-Verify System.



Poultry Industry News

NCC appeals to President over inconsistencies in employee verification


The National Chicken council addressed a letter to the President on Thursday 8th outlining problems with current verification of eligibility of applicants for employment. The NCC letter requests “Safe Harbor” status for companies using E-Verify Self Check, absolving the prospective employer of liability when acting in good faith. The letter is reproduced to place in perspective the challenges facing employers of a demographic including a high proportion of aliens.



Dear President Trump,

The National Chicken Council (NCC) writes to you regarding the recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) actions in Mississippi on August 7, 2019. As these recent events have shown, the U.S. chicken industry is heavily affected by our nation’s immigration policy. We are not in a position to comment on any specific incident and do not presume to do so, but we do wish to express serious concern about the ability of employers to ensure that they do not inadvertently hire an individual who is not eligible for employment. The U.S. chicken industry uses every tool available to verify the identity and legal immigration status of all prospective employees. Unfortunately, the government does not provide employers with a reliable verification method to prevent identity fraud and document falsification and confirm with confidence that new hires are legally authorized to work in the United States.

Currently, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) maintains three different categories of documents that prospective employees must submit before being verified eligible for employment in the U.S., delineated as List A, B and C.

• List A documents prove both identity and employment authorization.
• List B documents prove just identity, such as a driver’s license or school ID card.
• List C documents prove just employment authorization.

Current law provides applicants the choice of submitting one document from List A or one document each from Lists B and C. Many prospective employees choose to provide List B and C documents, which are easily falsifiable and lack biometric identification. Currently, multiple people can earn wages on the same Social Security Number (SSN) or use the SSN of a deceased individual. E-Verify alone does not flag if the SSN presented is a duplicate or belongs to a deceased individual. The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides little cooperation or resources to employers trying to combat identity fraud.

In a situation when an applicant submits documents on List B and C, NCC believes employers should be allowed to require the use of E-Verify Self Check before hiring the individual. E-Verify Self Check is an online service that combines the use of E-Verify with an automated “Connect the Dots” program that pulls data from publicly available records and requires prospective employees to take a test on that data. Unfortunately, industry currently may not require the use of Self Check under any circumstance, before or after hiring an individual.

Of course, not all applicants will be able to successfully complete the Self Check, as they may have inadequate information in public databases. When this occurs, programs must be in place to ensure that eligible employees are able to appeal the results or address the issue with the appropriate government agency in a timely fashion. DHS should provide employers with an automatic and expeditious appeals process for these employees. Having this system in place will ensure that only applicants who are legally permitted to work in the country even apply.

The SSA must be required to verify that SSNs are not being used in duplicate locations or are not matched to deceased individuals. The Social Security Number Verification System (SSNVS) can verify via Internet that employee SSN information matches Social Security’s records; however, they can currently only be used for tax and wage reporting (Form W-2) purposes. The system is also limited to matching information that is easily acquired by an individual committing identity fraud (Name, SSN, DOB, Gender). Providing employers with the additional information of duplicate SSNs or SSNs of deceased individuals can help stop identity fraud by unauthorized applicants while also alerting authorized employees that they may be the victim of identity theft. Employers who discover employees with duplicate SSNs or SSNs of deceased people should use the same DHS automatic referral process previously described.

A safe harbor should be provided for employers that voluntarily utilize the E-Verify Self Check and follow the automatic referral process. This safe harbor should insulate an employer from liability unless the government can show beyond a reasonable doubt that the employer knowingly failed to use these tools in good faith. This trade-off is only fair. An employer that does everything possible to avoid hiring unauthorized employees should not be exposed to further liability. It is the responsibility of employers to help ensure that the law is followed but it is the obligation of the government – not U.S. employers – to provide a secure worker verification system.

The U.S. chicken industry uses every tool available but as recent events have shown, these tools have significant flaws. As a businessman yourself you understand the difficulty in securing a legal workforce and the disruptions to commerce that arise when the tools provided are inadequate. We look forward to working with you immediately on this issue.

Addressing the obvious deficiencies in the current system of verification will be a long-term process, hostage to Congressional inaction and delays in enacting comprehensive immigration reform. In the interim raids on facilities employing alien workers will continue as they are politically expedient. Allocation of an adequate quantity of H-2A agricultural visas under the authority of the USDA would alleviate problems in the short term.


U.S. Broiler and Turkey Exports for January-June 2019


Export data for the first half of 2019 indicates a moderate increase in export of broiler parts in comparison to the corresponding period in 2018. The overwhelming impression from this and previous comparisons is the consistent erosion in unit price. This is attributed to the fact that leg quarters comprise over 90 percent of exports. This product represents a low-value commodity lacking in pricing power. Exporters of commodities are subjected to competition from domestic production in importing nations. Leg quarters are vulnerable to trade disputes and embargos based on real or contrived disease restrictions.

Total broiler exports for the period attained 1,562,922 metric tons, 1.0 percent more than the corresponding period in 2018 (1,458,159 metric tons). Total value of exports declined by 4.6 percent to $1,529 million ($1,603 million).

During January-June 2019 the National Chicken Council (NCC), citing USDA-FAS data, documented exports of 1,678,408 metric tons of chicken parts and other forms (whole and prepared) valued at $1,701 million with a weighted average unit value of $1,013 per metric ton, 6.7 percent lower in value compared to the first six months of 2018 ($1,086 per metric ton).

The NCC breakdown of chicken exports during January-June by proportion and unit price for each broiler category for 2019 compared with 2018 (with the unit price in parentheses) comprised:-

  • Chicken parts 96.2%; Unit value $944 per metric ton ($1,014)

  • Prepared chicken 2.6%; Unit value $3,550 per metric ton ($3,535)

  • Whole chicken 1.2%; Unit value $1,038 per metric ton ($1,065)

    The following table prepared from USDA data circulated by the USAPEEC, compares values for poultry meat exports in January-June 2019 with corresponding figures for 2018:-






Broiler Meat


Volume (metric tons)



+14,763 (+1.0%)

Value ($ millions)



-74 (-4.6%)

Unit value ($/m. ton)



-57 (-5.5%)

Turkey Meat


Volume (metric tons)



+5,723 (+4.2%)

Value ($ millions)



+7 (+2.3%)

Unit value ($/m. ton)



-75 (-3.4%)

Chicken Paws


Volume (metric tons)



+4,742 (+5.8%)

Value ($ millions)



-22 (-16.9%)

Unit value ($/m. ton)



-344 (-21.5%)




Total broiler parts exports during the first half of 2019 compared with the corresponding period in 2018 increased by 1.0 percent in volume but declined 4.6 percent in value. Unit value decreased 5.5 percent from $1,035 per metric ton to $978 per metric ton.

The U.S. broiler industry sells mostly leg quarters, an undifferentiated commodity, in a relatively static and price-sensitive market against competition from other exporters and the domestic production in importing nations. The gain in value of the U.S. Dollar relative to the currencies of Brazil, Argentina and Thailand adversely impacts competitiveness.

The top five importers of broiler meat represented 45.5 percent of shipments during the first six months of 2019. The top ten importers contributed 63.8 percent of the total volume.

Mexico was the largest importer of broiler meat from the U.S. during the six-month period with a volume of 328,505 metric tons representing 21.0 percent of volume and 19.0 percent of total value at a unit price of $885 per metric ton. Unit value during June 2019 rose 23.1 percent to $1,002 per m. ton compared with June 2018. Despite a 0.3 percent lower volume total value increased by 23.5 percent.

Taiwan was the 2nd ranked broiler meat importer receiving 118,647 metric tons representing 7.6 percent of volume and 6.5 percent of value with a unit price of $840 per ton. Taiwan decreased purchases by 19.8 percent in June 2019 compared to 2018 resulting in Taiwan falling to 5 th rank among importers during the month.

Cuba continued as the 3rd ranked importer during Jan.-June 2019 with 7.5 percent of volume (118,647 metric tons) but 6.0 percent of value ($91.5 million) attributed to the product mix with a unit price of $780 per metric ton. Cuba reduced imports by 6.5 percent in June 2019 (21,401 metric tons) compared to Ju

Turkey Week


Weekly Turkey Production and Prices

Poult Production and Placement:

The July 15th edition of the USDA Turkey Hatchery Report, issued monthly, documented 29.0 million eggs in incubators on July 1st 2018 (27.9 million eggs on June 1st 2019) and up 1.5 percent (0.4 million eggs) from July 1 st 2018.

A total of 22.9 million poults were hatched during June 2019 (23.6 million in May 2019) and a decrease of 1.8 percent from June 2018.

A total of 21.5 million poults were placed on farms in the U.S. in June 2019, (22.0 million in May 2019), amounting to 5.0 percent less than in June 2018. This suggests disposal of 1.4 million poults during the month. Assuming all tom poults were placed, 12.4 percent of June-hatched hen poults or 6.2 percent of all June-hatched poults in 2019 were not placed.

For the twelve-month period July 2018 through June 2019 inclusive, 288.7 million poults were hatched and 261.4 million were placed. This suggests disposal of 27.4 million poults. Assuming all tom poults were placed 18.8 percent of hen poults or 9.4 percent of all poults hatched during the period were not placed.


Broiler Week


Weekly Broiler Production and Prices

Chick Placements.

The Broiler Hatchery Report released on August 7th confirmed that a total of 232.1 million eggs were set during the week ending August 3rd, up one percent compared to the corresponding week in 2018. A total of 180.0 million day-old chicks were placed among the 19 major broiler-producing states during the week ending August 3 rd. This was two percent more than in the corresponding week in 2018. Total chick placements for the U.S. amounted to 187.3 million. Claimed average hatchability was 82.4 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier. Broiler chick placements for 2019 through July 27th amounted to 5.78 billion, one percent more than YTD 2018.


USDA-WASDE FORECAST #591 August 12th 2019



The August 12th 2019 USDA WASDE projections for the 2019 corn and soybean harvests are based on historical yield and harvest data with progressive updating as the season has advanced. The corn acreage to be harvested was determined from planting completed in June at 90.0 million acres (81.8 million in 2018) down 1.9 percent from the July WASDE. In 2019 soybeans will be harvested from 75.9 million acres, down 4.3 percent from the July estimate (88.3 million acres in 2018)

The USDA projected corn yield was raised to 169.5 bushels per acre, (178.9 bushels in 2018) despite late planting and delayed development. Soybean yield was unchanged from July at 48.5 bushels per acre (52.1 bushels in 2018). Yield values presume suitable growing conditions until harvest.

The July USDA projection of ending stock for corn was increased by 8.6 percent from the July WASDE to 2,101 million bushels. Ending stock for soybeans will be 5.0 percent lower than the July estimate at 755 million bushels. Ending stocks for both corn and soybeans have influenced recent CME price quotations. It is presumed that projections are based on the presumption that there will be no settlement of the trade dispute with China in 2019. China failed to commit to purchases following the June meeting between President Trump and Premier Xi at the G-20 Meeting in Osaka and banned all agricultural imports from the U.S. following the announcement of a 10 percent tariff, effective September 1st on imports from China valued at $300 billion in 2019 and not already subject to duty.


The corn harvest for 2019 documented in the July WASDE Report is projected to be 13,901 million bushels consistent with acreage planted, crop progress and estimated yield. The projection for 2019 can be compared to the 2018 harvest of 14,420 million bushels and is down 8.2 percent from the 2016 record harvest of 15,148 million bushels. The "Ethanol and Byproducts" category was lowered from July to 5,475 m. bushels despite the prospect of year-round use of E-15. Exports were lowered to 2,050 million bushels based on competition from Brazil and Argentine and increased World domestic coarse grain production relative to demand. The "Feed and Residual" category was retained at 5,175 million bushels. Ending stocks increased by 8.5 percent to 2,181 m. bushels. The projected USDA farm price was estimated at 360 cents per bushel down 10 cents from the July WASDE projection. At 13H00 on August 12th after release of the WASDE the CME quotations for September 2019 and December 2019 corn were 385 cents and 393 cents per bushel respectively.


Harvest Area

82.0 m acres

(90.0 m. acres planned, corresponding to 91.1% of are harvested)


169.5 bushels per acre

(was 175.4 bushels per acre in 2017, 178.9 bushels per acre 2018)

Beginning Stocks

2,360 m. bushels



13,901 m. bushels



50 m. bushels


Total Supply

16.311 m. bushels

Proportion of Supply

Feed & Residual

5,175 m. bushels


Food & Seed

1,430 m bushels


Ethanol & Byproducts

5,475 m. bushels


Domestic Use

12,080 m. bushels



2,050 m. bushels


Ending Stocks

2,181 m. bushels


Stock-to-domestic use proportion


(Was 16.6% in the July 2019 WASDE Report)

Average Farm Price: $3.60 per bushel. (Down 10 cents per bushel compared to the July 2019 WASDE Report)


USDA projected the 2019 soybean crop to be 3,684 million bushels, 7.3 percent lower than the July estimate, based on a yield of 48.5 bushels per acre from a 4.3 percent lower area to be harvested. Use parameters were essentially unchanged from the July 2019 WASDE Report with crushings at 2,115 m. tons. Projected exports were lowered to 1,775 million bushels, presumably without anticipating resolution of the trade conflict with China in 2019. The export projection appears speculative given that negotiations have ceased and that China has imposed a complete ban on importation of U.S. agricultural products. This nation is usually responsible for imports equivalent to 25 percent of U.S. production.

Ending stocks were adjusted down 5.0 percent to 755 million bushels from 795 million bushels. The USDA projection of the ex-farm price for soybeans for the 2019 harvest is 840 cents per bushel, unchanged from the July WASDE estimate. At 13H00 on August 12th CME quotations for soybeans for August 2019 and September 2019 delivery were 862 cents and 868 cents per bushel respectively.

Projected output of soybean meal was unchanged from the July 2019 WASDE at 49.7 million tons. Domestic use was reduced to 36.5 million tons. Exports were increased to 13.7 million tons despite an uncertain trade environment. The USDA retained the price of soybean meal at $300 per ton from the July WASDE Report. At 13H00 on August 12th CME quotations for August and September 2019 deliveries of soybean meal were both $293 and $294 respectively.



Status of 2019 Corn and Soybean Crops


The USDA Crop Progress Report released August 12th documented progress in both corn and soybeans after a slow start to planting that is expected to negatively impact yields as documented in the August WASDE Report in this edition. Current crop condition for both soybeans and corn are inferior to the 2018 harvest as tabulated below. High topsoil moisture levels are evident in comparison with the corresponding week in 2018. Long-range forecasts call for dry weather in the Eastern corn-belt in late August.

CHICK-NEWS and EGG-NEWS will report on the progress of the two major crops as monitored by the USDA through the end of the 2019 harvest in October.



August 4th

August 11th

5-Year Average

Corn Silking %

Corn Dough %

Corn Dented











Soybeans Blooming %

Soybeans Setting pods %








Crop Condition

V. Poor





Corn 2019

Corn 2018











Soybeans 2019

Soybeans 2018













V. Short




Topsoil moisture: Past Week





Past Year





Subsoil moisture: Past Week





Past Year








Price of corn down 5.2 percent at close of CME trading following release of the August WASDE. Soybeans up 1.4 percent.

Corn responded to the mid-session release of the August WASDE on Monday 12 th with a 5.2 downward turn by close of trading. The WASDE documented higher yield and an 8.6 percent increase in ending stocks of corn. Soybeans gained 1.4 percent on 5.0 percent lower ending stocks. The market was indifferent to the August 8th announcement concerning imposition of a 10 percent tariff on the remaining $300 billion in annual imports from China not subject to previous tariffs.

The absence of any substantial news regarding the latest round of talks in Shanghai and a resumption scheduled only for September in Washington suggests intractability by both the U.S. and China. Current consensus is that there will be no resolution of the trade dispute before the end of 2019. In the interim China has retaliated by banning all imports of agricultural products from the U.S.

The continuous stream of conflicting statements by White House spokespersons over the months since the dispute began is disconcerting to the commodities market and has contributed to price fluctuation.

The following quotations were posted by the CME at close of trading on Monday 12th August compared with values for Thursday 8 th August (in parentheses).



Corn (cents per bushel)

Sept. 385 (406)

Dec. 393 (415)

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

Aug. 862 (850)

Sept. 866 (854)

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

Aug. 293 (293)

Sept. 293 (296)

Changes in the price of corn, soybeans and soybean meal this past week were:-


Corn: Sept. quotation down 21 cents per Bu     (-5.2 percent)

Soybeans: Aug. quotation up 12 cents per Bu   (+1.4 percent)

Soybean Meal: Aug. quotation unchanged.        ( - )

  • For each 10 cent per bushel change in corn:-

The cost of egg production would change by 0.45 cent per dozen

The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight

  • For each $10 per ton change in the price of soybean meal:-


Subscribers are referred to the weekly USDA Crop Progress Report and the August 12th WASDE posted in this edition.

In June some concessions were promised by China to reduce coercive trade practices and clarify dispute resolution. Subsequently U.S. negotiators claim that China has backtracked on structural issues hence the threat of more stringent tariffs and embargos on trade with tech. companies in China.

Prices will be determined by the trend in levels of ending stocks as influenced by the 2019 harvest, exports and domestic use.

For comparison the values below are commodity prices posted by the Dalian Mercantile Exchange in $US per short ton* at market open on August 13 th 2019 (local time) with comparable August 12th closing CME values in parentheses:-

Corn $244 ($140)

Soybeans $410 ($287)

Soybean meal $365 ($293)

*(conversion Rmb7.14=$US1 prevailing August 12th)

The August 12th 2019 WASDE Report #591, projected that 82.0 million acres of corn would be harvested in 2019 to produce 13.90 Billion bushels. The WASDE projected a harvest of 3.68 Billion bushels of soybeans from 75.9 million acres. The levels of production and ending stocks for the two commodities are based on completion of planting in June, projections of harvest area and yield. The WASDE to be published in mid-September will confirm the projected yields and ending stocks of corn and soybeans respectively.

Unless shipments of corn and especially soybeans to China resume in volume, which is highly unlikely, the financial future for row-crop farmers in 2019 appears bleak despite the release of two tranches of support funding in 2018 amounting to $8 billion as "short-term" compensation for disruption in trade. On July 25th the USDA announced a $16 million package to support agriculture with Market Facilitation funds to be distributed in three tranches. The first will take place in August through the Farm Services Agency under authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation. Payments will be based on the higher of 50 percent of the Producer's calculated payment or $15 per acre provided a cover crop is planted.

The magnitude of the second (November 2019) and third (January 2020) payments will be decided on according to prevailing conditions. Regulations framed in terms of the Additional Supplementation Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 enacted in June will determine eligibility.


Welcome to Orffa as a Co-Sponsor of CHICK-NEWS


Orffa was established in Belgium in the 1960’s and acquired by a Dutch agribusiness conglomerate in late 1980’s, relocating its current headquarters to The Netherlands.  Following a management buyout in 2011 Orffa grew rapidly on the international scale.  In 2017 Orffa accepted an equity participation by Marubeni a conglomerate in Japan to further accelerate their global strategy.


Orffa generated revenue of $300 million in 2018 from the sale of 160,000 metric tons of feed additives distributed in 80 nations to over 800 customers. Orffa has a significant market penetration in the EU, Latin America and Asia and will be expanding operations in the area of monogastric nutrition in the U.S. leveraging their expertise in swine and poultry.  Information on Orffa is provided in a sponsored article accessed below and here as a Sponsored Article


Packing Plant Owner Sentenced to Federal Prison


James Brantley formerly the owner of a ramshackle packing plant in Bean Station, TN was sentenced to 18 months in prison and 3 years probation following release.  The case arises from an ICE raid that resulted in the arrest of 100 undocumented workers.  Brantley a scofflaw pleaded guilty to tax evasion, wire fraud and other Federal offenses.  In August 2018, the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration audited the Bean Station plant trading as Southeastern Provisions LLC and cited the company with 27 violations relating to inadequate safety training, exposure to hazardous chemicals and lack of eye and face protection for workers.


IFT Presents Critical Insights on Consumer Perception


The Institute of Food Technologist has prepared three programs available to members made possible by the support of Ingredion, a Platinum Content Sponsor of IFT and NEXT. 


The programs comprise:


  • Overcoming clean label challenges in the new trust economy
  • Food production, consumer perceptions and social media trends
  • 20/20 vision: Science communication challenges for the new decade

The three programs can be downloaded from info.ift.org/criticalexperiences


Phibro Animal Health Corporation Selected as Weekly IPPE Exhibitor by USPOULTRY


The USPOULTRY Wire selected Phibro Animal Health as the IPPE Exhibitor in the Spotlight on Monday August 5th.


Phibro provides a full range of health-related products for the poultry industry including medicated feed additives, live and autogenous vaccines, and nutritional specialties for organic and conventional production.


Zoetis Reports on Q2 of FY 2019


In a press release dated August 6th Zoetis Inc. announced results for the 2nd Quarter of Fiscal 2019 ending June 30 th.

The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as $ x 1,000 except EPS)




2nd Quarter Ending June 30th



Difference (%)





Gross profit:




Operating income:




Pre-tax Income

Net Income







Diluted earnings per share:




Gross Margin (%)




Operating Margin (%)




Profit Margin (%)




Long-term Debt:




12 Months Trailing:


Return on Assets (%)



Return on Equity (%)



Operating Margin (%)



Profit Margin (%)



Total Assets




Market Capitalization



52-Week Range in Share Price: $78.90 to $ 125.86

Market Close Tuesday 6th $112.66 . Post-release close Wednesday 7th $121.11

Forward P/E 32.0 Beta 0.7

Of $1,547 million in sales the Companion Animals segment represented 51 percent compared to Livestock at 48 percent.

U.S. sales represented 50 percent of sales with livestock 36 percent of U.S sales.

Poultry products including Inovoject™ revenue, vaccines, diagnostics and medication represented 20 percent of global livestock sales.

In commenting on results Juan Ramón Alaix, CEO stated "we continued our strong performance through the first half of the year, with 14% operational revenue growth in the second quarter," He added. "our companion animal portfolio is continuing its positive momentum, with 22% operational revenue growth, based on diagnostic sales from the Abaxis acquisition, strong sales of our key dermatology products, and parasiticides. Livestock product sales returned to growth in the second quarter at 3% operationally, with increases across all species."

He concluded "we remain confident that our latest innovations combined with our core business will spur future growth and profitability, and I am pleased to report that we have increased our full-year guidance for 2019," said Alaix.

The Quarterly Report indicated projected 2019 revenue of $6,175 million to $6,275 million and an EPS range of $2.93 to $3.04.


FDA Authorizes Leghemoglobin from Soybeans as an Additive


Soy Leghemoglobin has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for addition to ground beef substitutes derived from vegetable ingredients. Leghemoglobin is used by Impossible Burger to produce a color resembling ground beef.

Impossible Foods filed the color additive petition in early November 2018 and after review of data, the FDA concluded that “there is a reasonable certainty of no harm from this use of so leghemoglobin as a color additive”.

The decision by FDA is subject to a 30-day period for objections to be filed.

If Impossible Burger is allowed to add leghemoglobin to their products, they will be able to market vegetable-based meat substitutes at retail to complement their penetration of the QSR market for substitute beef burgers.


Wayne Farms Extends Ladybird™ Brand


Wayne Farms announced that Ladybird™ Premium Chicken will be available at retail following acceptance in the food service segment. The Ladybird™ range is derived from female broilers allowing for consistent sizing and portion control. Chicken is aged on the bone before processing.

Fresh product will be available as fat-free super-trim chicken breast fillets, boneless skinless breast fillets with breast meat, tenderloins and whole and split wings. All Wayne Farms chicken is raised in compliance with high welfare standards and is minimally processed without artificial ingredients.

Wayne Farms is a subsidiary of Continental Grain Company with a production of 2.6 million pounds in 2018 from 11 complexes and further-processed plants.


Broiler Integrators Receive Subpoenas from DOJ


Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., Sanderson Farms and other integrators have received subpoenas from the Department of Justice requesting documentation and information related to the chicken industry. The request arises from the ongoing investigation on alleged indirect collusion. A concurrent civil suit claims that major integrators reduced placement of breeding stock to limit the availability of broiler meat. Plaintiffs in the civil suit and apparently now the Department of Justice will review whether an independent response to data distributed by Agristats® represented an anti-competitive and hence illegal activity. A second issue is the veracity of sales and price data submitted to the Georgia Department of Agriculture used to compile the Georgia dock price on which some contracts were based.

The Department of Justice requested that a Federal judge in Illinois hearing the civil action suspend collection of evidence including depositions to be used in the trial, pending the Grand Jury investigation.


Perdue AgriBusiness Purchases Hart AgStrong


In an August 6th press release, Perdue AgriBusiness LLC announced the purchase of the assets of AgStrong LLC which operates oil seed crushing facilities. The company processes organic and non-GMO soybeans, canola and high oleic sunflower seed in Bowersville, GA and Trenton, KY. Organic and non-GMO oils produced by the plants will be used by Perdue Foods plants in Perry, GA. and Bridgewater, VA.

Dick Willey, president of Perdue AgriBusiness stated “The AgStrong facilities offer an ideal complement to Perdue AgriBusiness’ existing specialty crops and oils capabilities”. He added “We look forward to continuing to work with Kentucky and Georgia farmers and others in the Southeast with our “you grow it, we’ll buy it” philosophy.

Perdue AgriBusiness operates 75 elevator locations with more than 75 million bushels of storage, a deep-water port, trans-load facilities, oil seed crushing, and edible oil refinery and protein blend mills. For further information access www.perdueagribusiness.com.


Marfrig and ADM to Produce Vegetable Protein Products


According to a Reuters release on August 6th, Marfrig Global Foods SA of Brazil has entered into a strategic partnership with Archer Daniels Midland company (ADM) to produce and market vegetable-based protein products in Brazil.

Eduardo Miron, CEO of Marfrig stated “Together Marfrig and ADM will produce a 100 percent vegetable burger with a meat-like flavor and texture. We want to give consumers the power of choice. It’s up to them”.

Previously CHICK-NEWS reported that Seara a subsidiary of JBS SA will also enter plant-based burgers complementing developments in the U.S. with the introduction of Impossible Burger, Beyond Meat Products, Tyson Foods and other large manufacturers currently establishing production facilities and entering the market.


Elanco Reports on Q2 FY 2019


In a press release dated August 13th Elanco Animal Health Inc. (ELAN) announced results for the 2nd Quarter of Fiscal 2019 ending June 30th.

The following table summarizes the results for the period compared with the values for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year (Values expressed as $ x 1,000 except EPS)



2nd Quarter Ending June 30th



Difference (%)





Gross profit:




Operating income:




Pre-tax Income

Net Income







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Long-term Debt: December 31st 2018.




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Total Assets Dec. 31st 2018/2017.




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In comparing Q2 2019 with Q2 2018 the following differences are pertinent:-

  • Write-downs for intangibles were respectively $49.3 million and $49.4 million
  • Asset impairment charges were $31.3 million and $68.0 million
  • Q2 2019 incurred $20 million in interest

52-Week Range in Share Price: $28.00 to $37.61

Market Open August 13th $29.69

ELAN revenue in Q2 2019 was derived 39 percent from companion animal products, 57% from food animal products. (Q2 2018 values 37 and 61 percent respectively)

In commenting on Q2 results Jeff Simmons, CEO stated "we continue to be pleased with the delivery of our productivity agenda driving the significant increase in adjusted gross margin as a percent of sales. We are encouraged by the 9 percent constant currency growth in our targeted growth categories and continue to make strategic investments that advance all three pillars of our strategy. He added " while discrete external events provide headwinds to our global business, we continue to leverage our portfolio approach to respond and deliver to our expectations."



Orffa provides feed solutions.


Orffa innovates, sources, produces and distributes a range of feed additives for ruminant and monogastric nutrition. The company was established during the 1960's in Belgium and is now management owned with equity participation by Marubeni of Japan. Orffa has a turnover in excess of $300 million annually from the sale of 160,000 metric tons of additives.

Orffa has offices and representation in the U.S. and Mexico and in four nations in Latin America. The Orffa presence in Asia includes India, Middle East, South Africa, Thailand, China, the Philippines, and Japan in addition to Australia. Manufacturing facilities are located in the EU and Asia.

Orffa has 800 customers in 80 nations and has extensive contact with feed industry organizations, universities and research institutes worldwide.

Orffa maintains high standards of quality with products subject to three levels of quality control:

  • All products have EU quality-standard approval.
  • All batches are analyzed to ensure that active ingredients are at specified levels and are free of contaminants including dioxins and heavy metals.
  • All products are subjected to risk assessment to determine the extent of analyses required to ensure efficacy and safety. The company conducts random analyses based on risk assessment.

Orffa operates according to five ethical principles:

  • Competency of personnel - In addition to research, marketing and administrative specialists, Orffa has appointed 120 technical experts to assist customers. The company maintains an ongoing program of training to ensure that personnel are familiar with technical developments.
  • Orffa continues to expand internationally with the intent of supplying specific markets in Africa and Asia that are currently under supplied.
  • Orffa believes in close association with stakeholders including suppliers of ingredients, universities and research institutes and customers. Orffa maintains policies of transparency and communication to maintain goodwill.
  • Orffa distributes branded products under the Elovital™ and Excentials™ ranges. The former comprises vitamins, minerals and amino acids conforming to EU standards. The Excentials™ range includes advanced feed additives supported by comprehensive documentation on safety and efficiency.
  • Orffa research and development capability provides a least one novel marketable product or innovative concept each year.
  • To maintain customer goodwill and expand market penetration, Orffa operates a comprehensive service component to support product introduction and marketing.

Orffa USA will now expand the Excentials™ presence into monogastric nutrition with an emphasis on poultry. Major products will include:

  • Beta-Key® a non-hygroscopic betaine which helps to minimize water loss in cells and improve methyl efficiency
  • Energy Plus® a nutritional emulsifier contributing to enhanced fat utilization and feed efficiency
  • Excential Selenium 4000® providing superior levels of metabolically available Selenomethionine to promote essential metabolic function in addition to optimizing immunity and antioxidant status.

For additional information click on to the Orffa logo on the right side of the WELCOME page



Shane Commentary

Hamlet Protein Evaluates AviStart®


AviStart® is a proprietary enzyme-treated soy protein produced by Hamlet Protein A/S both in the EU and the U.S. The manufacturing process reduces trypsin inhibitor, oligosaccharides and antigens including beta-conglycinin compared to conventional solvent-extracted soybean meal. Assays for anti-nutritional factors in 180 samples of U.S. soybean meal showed a range of 1.4 to 5.5 mg/g dry matter for trypsin inhibitor, 4.3 to 8.3 percent stachyose and 0.6 to 1.9 percent raffinose with up to 8 percent oligosaccharides.


At the 2019 Poultry Science Association Meeting Hamlet Protein presented results of applied research demonstrating the value of including AviStart® in broiler diets*.  Assays showed that conventional soybean meal used in the study contained 2.2 mg/g of trypsin inhibitor and 9.3 percent oligosaccharides compared to AviStart® at 1.5 mg/g. Inclusion of 5 percent AviStart® in the basal diet reduced trypsin inhibitor by 7 percent and both beta-conglycin and oligosaccharides by 16 percent.


In the replicate pen trial, conducted by Southern Poultry Feed and Research, AviStart® was included in the starter diet for 14 days at a level of 5 percent.  The possible interaction of AviStart® with superimposition of Clostridium perfringens infection was evaluated together with including BMD in diets at 55 ppm throughout the growing period. The trial was designed to determine the effect of BMD alone and in combination with AviStart®.  The replicate pen trial comprised eight treatments each with eight pens of 25 male broilers vaccinated at day-old against coccidiosis.  For treatments challenged with C. perfringens, the pathogen was mixed in feed to attain a dose level of 1.0 x 108.5 CFU per chicken and fed during days 19 through 21.


At the termination of the 42-day trial, control broilers weighed 2.306 kg with a feed conversion of 1.790. Challenge with C. perfringens resulting in clinical necrotic enteritis (4.8 percent mortality) reduced body weight by 9.4 percent to 2.089 kg., significantly different from the control. Feed conversion was significantly elevated by 3.8 percent to 1.858 kg.  Inclusion of AviStart® at 5 percent in starter diets restored body weight numerically to 2.295 kg, with a feed conversion of 1.803, but these parameters were not statistically significantly different from respective controls.


Inclusion of BMD at 55 ppm did not significantly increase body weight over controls or the treatment receiving both BMD and AviStart® although feed conversion ratio was significantly lower compared to controls.  As expected, BMD was effective in reducing the impact of necrotic enteritis on weight gain and feed conversion.  With respect to the uninfected treatments, weight gain through 42 days was unaffected by inclusion of AviStart® or BMD or their combination.  In contrast AviStart® and BMD significantly decreased feed conversion ratio and their combination was significantly superior to treatments receiving either of the additives individually in diets. 


With respect to the treatment infected with Clostridium perfringens, AviStart® restored body weight to that of the uninfected controls as did BMD and the combination of BMD and AviStart®.  The major impact of including of AviStart® in diets through 14 days was to restore feed conversion ratio to that of the controls in the treatments challenged with Clostridium perfringens.


The trial demonstrated that AviStart® was equivalent to BMD both in addition cost and in improving weight gain and reducing the feed conversion ratio in broiler chicks through 42 days of growth.  AviStart® was equivalent to BMD in improving both commercial parameters of growth and feed conversion.


Based on the results of the trial, AviStart® would be expected to provide an approximately 7 to 1 benefit to cost ratio from flocks impacted by clinical necrotic enteritis, depending on cost of feed, severity of challenge and prevailing unit revenue. It is reasonable to anticipate a benefit to cost return ranging from 3 to 5 depending on financial and biological variables from inclusion of Avistart® in broiler feed for a post-placement of 14 days. Production benefits are attributed to removal of anti-nutritional factors inherent to enzymatic treatment during processing of soybean meal.


In commenting on the results of the sponsored trial Erik Visser CEO stated “Hamlet Protein has a long track record in manufacturing soy-based specialty proteins. Avistart® represents a new product for the poultry industry and is generating positive reports from field application”. Visser added “The introduction of Avistar® in Latin America, the E.U. and Asia is based on independent scientific research and is supported by specialized Hamlet Protein technical teams”


*Rasmussen, S. H. et al. Effect of an enzyme-treated soy protein on the performance of broiler chickens infected or uninfected with Clostridium perfringens. Proc. 2019 Poultry Science Association Meeting.





Regional Sales Manager, Floor Systems, U.S. & Canada

General Overview of Responsibilities:

  • Promote Big Dutchman products and services in the area of floor equipment (broilers, breeders, and turkeys).

  • Support and develop distribution within the designated territory.

  • Provide market intelligence in general, including feedback on price competitiveness in the field.

  • Identify product opportunities and deficiencies.

  • Implement sales programs to increase sales, product mix, and market penetration.

  • Work cooperatively with floor customer service and other BD departments.

  • Assist in collection.

    General Overview of Qualifications:

  • Minimum of 5 years sales experience or a combination of background and personal skills strong and convincing enough to wave this requirement.

  • Familiar with broiler and/or turkey industry.

  • Solid basic computer skills.

  • Good written and oral communication skills.

  • College degree preferred, but not required.


Reply to Beth Velderman <bvelderman@bigdutchmanusa.com>


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