FSIS salmonella testing procedures: The Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) has published a request for comments regarding changes to its procedures for the salmonella verification sampling program of raw beef products. FSIS said for all raw beef samples it collects for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) analysis — including raw ground beef, beef manufacturing trimmings, bench trim and other raw ground beef components — it also will begin analyzing them for salmonella. The agency will discontinue current salmonella sampling set procedures in ground beef products, except in establishments whose most recently completed sample set results exceed the salmonella standard. To be consistent with the STEC analytic sample portions, FSIS laboratories will increase the raw ground beef analytic sample portion for salmonella analysis from 25 g to 325 g. FSIS asserted that it intends to use the results from its verification sampling program to develop new salmonella performance standards for ground beef and to estimate salmonella prevalence in raw ground beef and beef manufacturing trimming products. Comments on the proposed rule are due by Sept. 27. More information is in the Federal Register notice at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-28/pdf/2013-20995.pdf.
AB Vista forms Ukraine partnership: AB Vista has announced a new distribution partnership with Brenntag Ukraine through which the company will establish a foothold in the Ukraine, which is rapidly becoming known as the "granary of Central Europe." AB Vista Ukraine business manager Adrian Kaszuba said, "The Ukraine has been through a significant economic transformation in recent years. Now producing more than 9 million metric tons of compound feed annually, the country is rapidly establishing itself as a major player on the world feed market. Working with an established global company like Brenntag is an important step towards achieving our long-term goal of a strong market presence in the Central European region."
DSM announces vitamin E shutdown: Starting in late September, DSM will temporarily stop manufacturing vitamin E at its facility in Switzerland for six weeks for plant maintenance. DSM said it will work with its customers during this time to avoid any supply disruptions and will honor all confirmed orders.
Bunge completes sale to Yara: Bunge Ltd. announced that it has completed the sale of its Brazilian fertilizer operations, including blending facilities, brands and warehouses, to Yara International ASA for $750 million, subject to certain post-closing adjustments. Through a long-term supply agreement with Yara, Bunge will continue to supply fertilizer to farmers in Brazil as part of its grain origination activities. The company will also continue to operate its fertilizer terminal in the Port of Santos, Brazil.
USDA issues climate report: On Aug. 27, the Climate Change Program Office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of the Chief Economist released and requested public comments on the report "Science-Based Methods for Entity-Scale Quantification of Greenhouse Gas Sources & Sinks from Agriculture & Forestry Practices." The 564-page report is the work of 38 scientists from academia, USDA and the federal government who are experts in greenhouse gas (GHG) estimation in the cropland, grazing land, livestock and forest management sectors. The report underwent technical review by an additional 29 scientists. The report outlines a set of consensus methods for quantifying GHG emissions and carbon storage at the local farm, ranch or forest scale, USDA said, adding that it is important that the methods exhibit scientific rigor, transparency, completeness, accuracy and cost effectiveness, as well as consistency and comparability with other USDA GHG inventory efforts. The report can be downloaded at www.usda.gov/oce/climate_change/index.htm. A Federal Register notice provides instructions for submitting comments.
Super-weeds: Scientists on Bayer CropSciences' weed resistance panel made it clear that herbicide resistance is not solely a U.S. phenomenon. Speaking at the Farm Progress Show last week in Decatur, Ill., Steven Powles with the University of Western Australia noted that the super-weed problem is a global threat. Looking at the top grain-exporting countries — the U.S., Brazil, Canada, Australia and Argentina (in that order) — all are facing herbicide-resistance issues. Weed specialists noted that growers shouldn't expect any new herbicide chemistries in the near future because development is costly and can take a minimum of 10 years to bring a product to market.
Ethanol interest: On Aug. 1, 2013, Marathon Petroleum Corp. acquired interests in three ethanol companies from Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.) Inc. for $75 million in cash. Under the agreement, Marathon acquired an additional 24% interest in The Andersons Clymers Ethanol LLC, a 34% interest in The Andersons Ethanol Investment LLC and a 40% interest in The Andersons Albion Ethanol LLC. Ascendant Financial Partners LLC served as Mitsui's financial adviser for these transactions.
Equine treatment: Aurora Pharmaceutical announced the Food & Drug Administration approval of EQUISUL-SDT (sulfadiazine/trimethoprim) suspension for the treatment of lower respiratory tract infections in horses caused by susceptible strains of Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus. EQUISUL-SDT is approved for oral administration at the dosage of 24 mg combined active ingredients per kilogram of bodyweight twice daily for 10 days, the announcement said. The product is available in 900 mL and 135 mL bottles.
Feeding behavior: Animart Inc. has added the Feed-O-Meter to its Track a Cow electronic heat detection system. Feed-O-Meter creates a 10-day behavior history measuring feeding behavior, including visits to and total amount of time spent at the feed bunk, Animart said. Deviation from the 10-day average can indicate health problems and animals that may need additional care. This system can also help identify mis-grouped animals on an operation. Reports are sent immediately to producers' device of choice for analysis.
Niacin confirmed: Lonza announced that the European Commission published Regulation EC No. 642/2013 in July that confirmed the authorization of niacin and niacinamide as feed additives. Lonza said it submitted its dossier for niacin and niacinamide in 2010. It has been reviewed by the European Food Safety Authority, and niacin and niacinamide have now been reconfirmed to be authorized as feed additives for all animal species.