BEEF bits

Sep 16, 2011

ADT rule comments

The current proposed ADT rule was published in the Federal Register August 11 with a 90-day comment period, ending November 9. Within weeks of the proposed ADT rule, the CIDG met to begin discussions on the proposal. Initial discussions brought up numerous repercussions, connotations, and consequences of the many different aspects of the proposed rule. It is also apparent from discussions that more information may need to be studied, such as cost to industry stakeholders in complying with the ADT rule, particularly once all cattle are required to be identified. In addition, numerous questions are being raised about various elements of the proposal that will need clarification by USDA staff.

Beef, pork still lead export pack

July was another strong month for U.S. beef and pork exports, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). The organization noted that both are on pace to set new export value records in 2011 and to eclipse the $5 billion mark for the first time ever. Beef exports set a new value record in July of $513.1 million, on a volume of 120,424 metric tons. For the first seven months of the year, exports totaled 741,275 metric tons valued at nearly $3.1 billion—an increase of 26 percent in volume and 40 percent in value over last year’s pace. July pork exports totaled 169,547 metric tons valued at $480.06 million—an increase of 16 percent in volume and 24 percent in value. This pushed the year to date total to 1.25 million metric tons valued at $3.3 billion—increases of 14 percent and 20 percent, respectively, over last year.

Smithfield profit up on packaged meat

Smithfield said net income rose to $82.1 million, or 49 cents per share, in the first quarter ended July 31, from $76.3 million, or 46 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding special items, earnings were 69 cents a share. Analysts on average had expected 67 cents, according to Thomson Reuters. First-quarter sales rose 7 percent to $3.09 billion, below the average Wall Street forecast of $3.15 billion. Record packaged meats profit in the quarter on a 6 percent rise in sales for the segment boosted results despite higher raw material costs, Smithfield said. Smithfield expects sales volume to grow 3 percent in its packaged meats business for the current fiscal year and expects fresh pork and hog production industry trends to continue.

Cargill recalls more turkey

Cargill Meat Solutions in Springdale, AR, is recalling approximately 185,000 pounds of ground turkey products that may be contaminated with a strain of Salmonella Heidelberg, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced last Sunday. The strain of Salmonella Heidelberg in question is identical to that of an outbreak of Salmonellosis that resulted in an August 3, 2011 recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey products. Although a sample tested positive for the outbreak related strain of Salmonella, including the identical XbaI and BlnI PFGE patterns matching the August 3 outbreak strain, at this time, neither FSIS nor the plant is aware of any illnesses associated with product from the above dates. An FSIS incident investigation team collected samples at the establishment following the previous recall. Sunday’s recall occurred after a product sample collected on August 24 tested positive for the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg. The firm is recalling product from August 30 based on pending positive match samples. The products subject to recall are derived from bone-in parts.

USDA buys $36 million in poultry

USDA announced it bought about 62,130,000 pounds of broiler chicken parts at an approximate cost of $35,902,400 for domestic food nutrition assistance programs. Awards were made to six of the 10 companies that submitted proposals, including Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, Perdue Farms, Peco Foods, OK Foods and Case Farms. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service announced in August it would purchase $40 million worth of poultry, in part, to support the poultry industry. The balance of the money will be used to pay for transportation costs.

Advisory committee members named

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced appointments to the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) and six Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees (ATACs), including one on animals and animal products. Congress established the advisory committee system in 1974 to ensure a private-sector voice in establishing U.S. agricultural trade policy objectives to reflect U.S. commercial and economic interests. Meat industry representatives on the APAC committee include National Cattlemen’s Beef Association CEO Forrest Roberts, U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Philip Seng and USA Poultry & Egg Export Council President James Sumner.