Grain & ingredient cash market comparisons, 5/25/16

Major feed ingredients

May 25

May 18

6 mos. ago

Year ago

Corn No. 2, Chicago, bu.





Processor bid*





Terminal bid*





Milo, Kansas City, cwt.





Soybeans, Chicago, bu., processor bid





Soybean Meal, 48% Decatur Bid





Cottonseed Meal, Memphis, ton





Canola meal, Minneapolis, ton





Linseed Meal, Solvent, Minneapolis





Meat and Bone Meal, Chicago, ton





Fish Meal, Menhaden, Atlanta, ton





Corn Gluten Meal, 60%, Chicago, ton





Distillers Dried Grains, Chicago, ton





17% Dehy. Alfalfa Pellets, KC, ton





Millfeeds, Midds, Minneapolis, ton





Molasses, Cane, Houston, ton





Dried Citrus Pulp, Atlanta, ton





Whey, Whole, Chicago, cwt.





Rolled Oats, Minneapolis, ton





Barley, Los Angeles, cwt.





Feeding Wheat, Kansas City, bu.





*Chicago corn and soybean prices for latest and previous week are the middle of the range of to-arrive bids; soybean meal prices are midrange of processor quotes. Chicago corn and soybean prices provided by USDA Market News. Six months, year ago comparisons are all spot cash. Based on prices reported by Feedstuffs' market reporters.

A: average

N/A: not available

Triclosan flows through streams, crops

Most U.S. homes are full of familiar household products with an ingredient that fights bacteria: triclosan. Triclosan is in antibacterial soaps, detergents, carpets, paints, toys and toothpaste.

While these products may be comforting to germ-wary consumers, they are only slightly better at removing bacteria than regular soap and water. Also, in antibacterial soaps, triclosan may not add any benefit to removing bacteria compared to regular soap and water.

The problem with triclosan is that it kills both good and bad bacteria. Studies also show that it contributes to medically necessary antibiotics becoming less effective. Triclosan is also toxic to algae and disrupts hormones in animals. This can hamper normal animal development. The Food & Drug Administration is currently investigating its impact on people.

Most of the triclosan is removed in wastewater treatment plants. However, a U.S. Geological Survey found the antibacterial in nearly 58% of freshwater streams.

“What you use has an impact, even though you’re probably not thinking about it,” said Monica Mendez, an associate professor in the department of biology and chemistry at Texas A&M International University. She is interested in triclosan-contaminated streams and rivers, which often serve as a water source for crops.

Mendez wondered, “If a river happens to be a source of irrigation, could triclosan possibly get into our food?”

Mendez and her colleagues wanted to understand what happens to soils and plants watered with triclosan-contaminated water. They intentionally watered onions, tomatoes and bare soils with triclosan-contaminated water in a long-term study. After months of monitoring, they found triclosan in all edible portions of the tomato and onion plants. Fortunately, the amount they detected was safe for human consumption.

They also discovered that although the triclosan degraded quickly in the soil, it never completely disappeared. This contributes to a second problem. As triclosan breaks down, it can turn into other compounds that may be even more harmful. The breakdown of triclosan produces more effective hormone disruptors.

“It’s not just triclosan that we’re interested in,” Mendez said. “We also want to understand the possible products as degradation occurs. There’s still a lot of research that needs to be done."

Mendez is concerned about how triclosan affects the bacteria that support plant growth in the soil. Triclosan targets all bacteria, not just disease-causing bacteria. Soils with healthy and diverse bacteria tend to be better for plants. However, triclosan can harm these microbial communities.

“We know that triclosan decreases the diversity of bacterial communities, but we still need to figure out which good bacteria we are losing,” Mendez said.

Mendez’s study was the first to measure the long-term, repeated effects of triclosan on soil and plant communities. She hopes that further studies will track its impact on microbial communities.

“Because we’re all concerned about disease-causing bacteria, we generally ignore what happens below ground,” Mendez said. “Water and soil come together. We need to look at the quality of both, because food is important.”

Read more about Mendez’s research in Journal of Environmental Quality.

FDA issues final food defense regulation

The Food & Drug Administration has finalized a new food safety rule under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that will help prevent wide-scale harm to public health by requiring companies in the U.S. and abroad to take steps to prevent intentional adulteration of the food supply. While such acts are unlikely to occur, the new rule advances mitigation strategies to further protect the food supply.

Under the new rule, both domestic and foreign food facilities, for the first time, are required to complete and maintain a written food defense plan that assesses their potential vulnerabilities to deliberate contamination where the intent is to cause wide-scale public health harm. Facilities now have to identify and implement mitigation strategies to address these vulnerabilities, establish food defense monitoring procedures and corrective actions, verify that the system is working, ensure that personnel assigned to the vulnerable areas receive appropriate training and maintain certain records.

“Today’s final rule on intentional adulteration will further strengthen the safety of an increasingly global and complex food supply,” said Dr. Stephen Ostroff, incoming deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at FDA. “The rule will work in concert with other components of FSMA by preventing food safety problems before they occur.”

The rule was proposed in December 2013 and takes into consideration more than 200 comments submitted by the food industry, government regulatory partners, consumer advocates and others.

FDA said it is committed to working with both industry and state, local and tribal partners to ensure effective implementation of this new rule; implementation of the Intentional Adulteration rule and all FSMA final rules will require partnership, education and training. To make compliance with the final rules easier, FDA and others will provide the industry with valuable tools, such as guidances, training courses and a technical assistance center.

Food manufacturers are required to comply with the new regulation within three to five years after publication of the final rule, depending on the size of the business.

FDA has now finalized all seven major rules that implement the core of FSMA.

A webinar is planned for June 21, 2016, to present key pieces of the final rule.

Gastric ulcers in slaughter pigs in focus

Gastric ulcers may cause increased mortality rates and reduced growth in slaughter pigs and also constitute economic and animal welfare production problems.

Since 1998, the department of animal science at Aarhus University in Denmark has contributed to research efforts — such as in cooperation with the Danish Pig Research Centre — relating to the effect of feed grinding and processing, feed composition and feed supplementation on gastric health and the prevalence of ulcers.

Based on this research, it has been shown that gastric ulcers may be prevented by feeding pigs coarsely ground feed instead of finely ground or pelletized feed; however, this may reduce feed utilization and increase feed costs significantly, Aarhus said in a recent announcement.

In addition to the effect of feed structure, the research demonstrated that a permanent allocation of straw may reduce the prevalence of gastric ulcers, but it may be difficult for the farmer to manage that amount of straw, Aarhus noted.

New prevention strategy

A recently finished research project — financed by the Pig Levy Fund and carried out by Aarhus University, the Danish Pig Research Centre and Nording A/S, a private company — had the aim of procuring an application-oriented strategy to help swine producers identify gastric ulcers in the herd and also to alleviate the problem by using a cultivated hemp in a crop rotation.

The pig model established in the project demonstrated a significant association between endoscopy examinations performed on a live pig and the clinical examination of the pig’s gastric health after removing the gut.

In addition, the examination showed a marginal effect on the prevention of gastric ulcers when adding hemp shells to pelletized feed, Aarhus said, noting that supplementing 4% hemp cakes to pelletized feed did not prevent the occurrence of gastric ulcers compared to feeding pelletized feed alone.

Saliva tests

Based on a metabolomics analysis using saliva samples extracted the day before slaughter, Aarhus reported that it was possible to distinguish pigs diagnosed with severe gastric ulcers from pigs that did not have ulcers.

Analyses of the tissue close to the ulcer showed increased inflammation discomfort in pigs with severe ulcers; however, inflammation markers in manure samples collected before slaughter did not distinguish between pigs with severe ulcers and pigs without ulcers, Aarhus said.

The results will be presented later this year at the European Federation of Animal Sciences conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

In order to strengthen the efforts to prevent and heal gastric ulcers without compromising feed utilization, further knowledge on the pathogenesis of gastric ulcers in needed, including the importance of risk factors and an understanding of the mechanisms involved.

The main conclusion of the research efforts in this area so far is that meal feed seems to be the best strategy for preventing gastric ulcers in pigs. However, further knowledge of the pathogenesis of gastric ulcers in pigs is expected to contribute to the development of new strategies.

Undercover video targets Maschhoffs facility

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) released May 25 undercover footage obtained at a pig breeding facility in Nebraska owned and operated by The Maschhoffs LLC that depicts animal neglect and violations of laws protecting both consumers and animals.

The Maschhoffs is the third-largest pig producer in the U.S., and according to company reports, one of its largest customers is Hormel Foods.

According to ALDF, the footage shows long-term neglect and lack of appropriate veterinary care.

In response, The Maschhoffs said its animal welfare policy is straightforward: "We have a zero tolerance for any abuse or mistreatment of our pigs, and this instance is no exception."

Maschhoffs president Bradley Wolter said, "As a family-owned, long-standing hog production company, we recognize our ethical obligation to provide for the well-being and humane care of our animals, as do our customers. To that end, we are investigating these allegations and will take immediate and swift corrective actions to address them, including fully cooperating with authorities in any criminal investigation.”

Also, Hormel Foods noted that it has a strict supplier code of conduct and policies relating to animal care and will not tolerate any violation of these policies.

As such, Hormel has issued a suspension of all of Maschhoffs' Nebraska sow operations while a thorough investigation is completed. Hormel has dispatched certified third-party auditors to these Nebraska farms and to additional Maschhoffs sites to verify that they are adhering to animal care requirements.

The Maschhoffs, headquartered in Carlyle, Ill., is a hog production company with about 218,000 sows and associated market hog production in 10 states.

Focus on return, not feed ingredient cost

Focus on return, not feed ingredient cost

When milk prices drop, it’s natural for dairy farmers to want to reduce expenses. The focus is often placed on input costs, like an ingredient in the ration. However, looking at the cost alone could be detrimental to a dairy herd, especially during tough economic times.

A better strategy is to formulate a ration with ingredients designed to maximize milk production while improving health, allowing an operation to capitalize the return on investment (ROI) for the ration year-round, according to Purina Animal Nutrition.

“Cutting blindly to save pennies up front can cost dollars in the long run,” said Dr. Stu Rymph, a dairy nutritionist with Purina Animal Nutrition. “Instead, it’s important for you and your nutritionist to work together to identify your herd’s goals and priorities, evaluate the ration and be practical with the budget.”

Every ingredient has a monetary cost as well as a "missed opportunity" cost. Evaluating impacts to milk production, milk quality and animal health can be a better way to gauge an ingredient’s value in the ration rather than focusing only on the direct per-cow expense.

“Remember, anything added over time was added for a reason and should have provided a positive return,” Rymph emphasized. “However, situations change over time. Not every product provides the same return on investment as market conditions change, so it is important to evaluate their impact.”

Although it can be difficult to quantify some benefits, like animal health, looking at milk production and its relation to income over feed cost can help measure the ROI of different feed ingredients, Rymph said.

Using a simple chart to monitor the performance of a ration can make it easier to see a potential bump in milk production from a new additive or ration change. Alternatively, it may also track the potential negative impact on production or components when removing or replacing an ingredient with a less-expensive alternative.

Rymph reminded producers to include all quality and component premiums in the milk price column to give full credit for changes there. “It is also good to monitor treatment costs, inclusive of labor and medications, as well as vet bills to catch any health-related costs or benefits,” Rymph said.

“What you feed your herd ultimately fuels their milk production and impacts health," he added. "Take the time to review the ROI of your ration, and work with your nutritionist to make smart feed decisions benefiting your bottom line.”

Phage 'fishing' yields new weapon against antibiotic resistance

Researchers at Yale University were fishing for a new weapon against antibiotic resistance and found one floating in a Connecticut pond, according to a May 26 report in the journal Scientific Reports.

They found a virus called a bacteriophage in Dodge Pond in East Lyme, Conn., that attacks Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a common, multi-drug-resistant bacterial pathogen.

In an evolutionary trick, the virus attaches to the cell membrane where bacteria pump out antibiotics — a system that had originally evolved to resist antibiotics. The presence of the virus, in turn, leads to evolutionary changes in the bacterial membrane that makes the pumping mechanism less efficient. This makes bacteria susceptible to existing antibiotics once again.

"We have been looking for natural products that are useful in combating important pathogens," said Paul Turner, professor and chair of the Yale department of ecology and evolutionary biology. "What's neat about this virus is it binds to something the organism needs to become pathogenic and backs it into an evolutionary corner such that it becomes more sensitive to currently failing antibiotics."

The virus should help preserve the limited antibiotic arsenal for combating deadly bacteria, he said.

This "phage" therapy could be used in conjunction with antibiotics to treat dangerous P. aeruginosa infections that afflict patients with severe burns, surgical wounds, cystic fibrosis and other conditions that compromise the immune system.

Turner also noted that other phages hold promise to combat bacterial pathogens that cause economic losses in plant and animal agriculture and those that contaminate pipes and equipment, such as bioreactors, in food manufacturing.

WEEKLY EXPORT REPORT: Corn, soybean sales slip

Export sales of old-crop corn and soybeans slipped in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest weekly export report, with corn topping trade forecasts in a Reuters poll, while new-crop corn sales matched forecasts and new-crop soybeans missed the mark.

China was in the market for both old-crop and new-crop soybeans, with some of its business previously reported via USDA's daily reporting for large purchases.

Old-crop wheat sales had a net reduction as cancellations ahead of the upcoming new crop year exceeded sales. New-crop sales of 13 million bu. were down from the prior week's sales of 21.5 million bu.

Old-crop corn sales of 54.4 million bu. were down 6% from a week ago but easily topped the pace needed to meet USDA's annual forecast. Japan, South Korea and Colombia were the leading buyers. New-crop sales of 9.7 million bu. were led by Mexico, unknown destinations and Colombia.

In daily reporting on Thursday, USDA said Taiwan bought 5.12 million bu. of corn, and unknown destinations bought 4.83 million bu. Half of Taiwan's corn purchase will be from the 2015 harvest and the other half from 2016. All of the corn sold to unknown destinations will be from the 2015 harvest.

Old-crop soybean sales of 16.8 million bu. were down 18% from the prior week — led by unknown destinations, China and Indonesia — while new-crop sales of 5.5 million bu. also were down, led by China, unknown destinations and Taiwan.

Old-crop wheat had a net reduction of about 364,000 bu. as buyers may have switched deals to new-crop grain, with the wheat crop year ending May 31. Sales to Japan, Guatemala, Mexico and others were offset by cancellations by unknown destinations and Peru. New-crop business of 13 million bu. matched forecasts and were led by unknown destinations, the Philippines and Japan.

Chicago, Ill., corn, soybean and wheat futures showed little reaction to the export numbers, and the three markets closed higher in the overnight session. July and September corn both closed 3.5 cents/bu. higher. July soybeans were up 8 cents/bu., and August beans were up 6.75 cents. July soft red winter wheat was up 6.75 cents/bu., and September was up 6.5 cents. Kansas City, Mo., hard red winter wheat for July was up 7.75 cents/bu., and Minneapolis, Minn., spring wheat for July was up 7 cents/bu.

Soybean meal export sales of 169,500 metric tons were down from a week ago, with Thailand, the Philippines and Ecuador as the top buyers. New-crop sales of 17,600 mt were led by the Philippines, Mexico and Bangladesh.

Sorghum sales of 4.45 million bu. were led by China, Japan and Mexico.

Central Life Sciences introduces ClariFly Larvicide 267

Central Life Sciences introduced ClariFly Larvicide 267, the newest addition to its product lineup of fly-control solutions for livestock. ClariFly Larvicide 267 provides control of house flies for swine operations.

“We’re excited to announce the release of ClariFly Larvicide 267, a great addition to our feed-through fly-control solutions,” said Mark Taylor, vice president of sales and marketing, Agricultural Products division of Central Life Sciences. “It’s extremely important for all livestock operations to control nuisance flies because of the significant threat they pose to animal productivity and profitability by spreading disease and interfering with animal comfort and performance. By developing and releasing ClariFly Larvicide 267, we have addressed the request for a new fly-control tool for swine.”

ClariFly Larvicide 267 is a feed supplement whose active ingredient (diflubenzuron) prevents nuisance flies from developing in and emerging from the manure of treated swine. It is specially formulated for use in swine feeds, and is approved for use in supplements, complete feeds, concentrates and premixes. Furthermore, ClariFly Larvicide 267 is designed for operations with state-of-the-art micro ingredient mixing systems at their feed manufacturing facilities.

ClariFly Larvicide 267 has an inclusion level of less than 1 lb. per ton for all phases of swine production, and when fed at the labeled rate to a pig from 12 lb. to 280 lb., it costs less than a penny a day per animal. Swine producers need to check with their suppliers for actual inclusions and costs.

Unlike conventional insecticides that attack the nervous system of insects through direct toxicity, ClariFly Larvicide 267 instead works by interrupting the fly’s life cycle. When mixed into swine feed, it passes though the pig’s digestive system and disrupts the normal molting process of fly larvae, preventing the emergence of adult flies.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, diflubenzuron poses a low risk to human health and the environment, and has low potential for groundwater contamination.

JFC, Cargill to build poultry processing facility

Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC), the largest Asian foodservice company, and Cargill Philippines Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cargill Inc., announced an agreement to build and operate a poultry processing plant in Santo Tomas, Batangas, in the Philippines.

Cargill and JFC will have a 70% and a 30% stake, respectively, in the joint venture, which will be called Cargill Joy Poultry Meats Production Inc. Cargill will oversee the setup, management and operations of this facility.

"Cargill is making additional investments in the Philippines to participate in the robust growth of its consumer sector. Cargill can contribute in further enhancing the quality of products of JFC brands for its customers at very competitive costs and raise the assurance of its chicken supply,” Cargill Joy Poultry Meats Production Inc. managing director Paul Fullbright said.

Fullbright added that Cargill can also contribute by improving the system of hygiene, food safety and quality, by operating a world-class facility and by setting high level of partnership ‎with the poultry growers and farmers.

The partnership will create an estimated 1,000 new full-time jobs and develop new opportunities in the farming community in the Batangas and nearby provinces as local poultry farmers are contracted to grow chicken for the processing plant.

“We partnered with Cargill to deliver high-quality chicken products through Cargill's technology and quality standards,” JFC chief executive officer Ernesto Tanmantiong said. “The facility will provide JFC with dressed and marinated chicken to augment the chicken supply requirements of the growing needs of JFC brands. This partnership will meaningfully benefit our customers, our operations as well as the overall Philippine food industry. We will continue to maintain our strong relationship with key chicken suppliers in the country and look forward to sustained long term supply arrangements with them as our businesses grow together.”

JFC will invest approximately $52.4 million for its 30% stake in Cargill Joy Poultry Meats Production. JFC will also invest approximately $32.5 million for 30% of Cargill Joy Poultry Realty Inc., from which Cargill Joy Poultry Meats Production will lease the land on which the plant will be located.

The JFC Group of Companies is one of the largest buyers of chicken in the Philippines. ‎Its Jollibee, Mang Inasal, Chowking, Greenwich and Burger King franchise brands sell significant volumes of chicken products. JFC has a broad system of product supply chain that includes 13 commissaries in the Philippines. The company also operates the largest foodservice network in the Philippines. As of April 30, 2016, it operated 2,506 restaurant outlets in the country.

JFC also has a 50% interest in joint ventures for the following stores: Highlands Coffee in Vietnam and the Philippines, Pho in Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Korea and Australia and Hotpot in China and other locations; it has a 40% interest in Smashburger, which has 364 outlets, mostly in the U.S. These joint ventures had a total of 541 stores worldwide.