The 12 poultry companies fighting a lawsuit filed by Oklahoma District Attorney Drew Edmondson suffered a setback when U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell ruled that poultry litter may be considered a solid waste if it is applied in excessive amounts on fields as fertilizer. The state of Oklahoma has claimed that the litter is a solid waste, meaning that it is subject to federal law barring illegal disposal. The poultry companies have denied that it should be considered solid waste.

"Today's ruling is important in that it demonstrates that the defendants can be held responsible for the over-application runoff and leaching that endangers human health and the environment," Charlie Price, a spokesman for Attorney General Drew Edmondson, said in an e-mail to the Tulsa World.

The poultry companies also lost a bid to revoke a settlement between the state and Willow Brook Foods Inc., which had been in the original lawsuit but paid $120,000 to settle claims made by the state. The other companies objected to the settlement when it was announced in May.

Source: The Tulsa World

Canada to spend $75 million to reduce hog production

The Canadian government has announced it will pay some hog farmers to stop raising hogs and offer loans to help other restructure. The government will ask farmers to bid for funding to stop hog production for at least three years. The country will spend $75 million Canadian ($68 million U.S.) on the program.
Banks will offer long-term loans at market rates backed by government credit to allos some hog farms to restructure, according to Forbes reports. Short-term loans will also be available for operating costs, like feed and payroll.

"We know Canadian hog producers can become profitable again, but we have to face tough realities to make our pork industry lean and competitive," said Gerry Ritz, agriculture minister.

Nick Giordano, vice president of the National Pork Producers Council, said that he is concerned by the government loans. "Producers can't get bank loans, so the Canadian government is stepping in. That's clearly a subsidy," said Giordano. "Money is flowing to producers that wouldn't otherwise. That's a concern to U.S. producers." The NPPC is calling for the U.S. government to purchase surplus pork products to support prices, but it is not asking for loans.

Source: Forbes, Reuters

Meat exports show mixed results, forecasts

The U.S. Meat Export Federation announced that beef and pork experts were behind 2008's numbers, with June being a particularly rough month for beef and pork. Through the first half of 2009, pork exports were down 9 percent in volume and 7 percent in volume when compared to 2008, reports theOhio Farmer. Pork variety meat exports are up 27 percent in volume and 29 percent in value, but June export numbers for pork and variety meat exports were down 31 percent in June.

Beef exports are down 2 percent in volume and 6 percent in value from 2008, but the numbers in June showed a 13 percent decrease in volume and a 16 percent decrease in value. The lamb export market continues to prosper, with export volumes up 59 percent and value up 22 percent.

Bloomberg reports that pork exports are heading for the first annual decline since 1990. Experts are predicting an 11 percent overall decline, thanks to the scare of the H1N1 flu and the global recession. Glenn Grimes, a livestock economist for the University of Missouri in Columbia, said that producers may not be profitable until next May. He added that the breeding herd needs to shrink by about 10 percent, which could mean as many as 5,000 producers would have to exit the industry.

Sources: The Ohio Farmer, Bloomberg

Poultry Science Association elects new officers

The Poultry Science Association (PSA) held its 98th Annual Meeting on July 20 – 23 in Raleigh, NC. Hosted by North Carolina State University , the four-day meeting was the setting for several major symposia, the presentation and discussion of hundreds of scientific papers, and the announcement of more than 20 research and industry-related awards. PSA also announced its new slate of officers and directors for the upcoming 12 months.

A total of 776 people attended this year’s annual meeting – an increase of almost 7 percent from PSA’s 2008 Centennial Meeting in Niagara Falls. Excluding staff members and several students attending only one of the symposia, the attendees hailed from 40 states (including the District of Columbia) and 34 countries, with international participants accounting for 27 percent of the total. The overarching theme for the 2009 meeting was “The University and Industry Connection: Building Bridges for our Future.”

PSA’s outgoing president, Mike Lacy, Ph.D., noted: “This year’s meeting was a powerful example of the strength and vibrancy of poultry science in the U.S. and Canada . As the theme of the meeting suggested, solving the increasingly complex challenges of the future – in areas as diverse as food safety, the environmental impact of poultry production, and animal welfare issues – will require even stronger collaboration between poultry researchers and the poultry industry. As PSA’s new president, Dr. Sally Noll, takes the reins, I have every confidence that PSA’s members will, as always, rise to the occasion.”

The PSA's new officers are as follows:  
·         President: Sally Noll, Ph.D., Dept. of Animal Science, Univ. of Minnesota
·         First Vice President: Michael S. Lilburn, Ph.D., The Ohio State University
·         Second Vice President: Michael Wineland, Ph.D., North Carolina State University
·         Secretary-Treasurer: R. Michael Hulet, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
·         Past President: Michael P. Lacy, Ph.D., Dept. of Poultry Science, Univ. of Georgia
·         Director: Fred Silversides, Ph.D., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
·         Director: David Caldwell, Ph.D., Texas A&M
·         Student Representative: Robert C. Van Wyhe (2010), Virginia Tech
·         Student Representative: Jessica C. Butler (2011), Auburn University
The newly elected Fellows of the Poultry Science Association are: John A. Cherry, Ph.D. (University of Georgia); Patricia Y. (“Scotti”) Hester, Ph.D. (Purdue University); Susan J. Lamont, Ph.D. (Iowa State University); Edwin T. Moran, Jr., Ph.D. (Auburn University); and David A. Roland, Sr., Ph.D. (Auburn University)

Source: Poultry Science Association

Sterling Pacific Meat recalls ground beef (correction)

Sterling Pacific Meat Co., a City of Commerce, Calif., establishment, is recalling approximately 3,516 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced. The products subject to recall include packages of Fatburger and Cattleman's Choice brand ground beef patties. Stock Yards brand products, originally listed in the recall notice, are not affected by this recall.

Source: FSIS