Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Turkey board, processors resume talks

The Ontario Association of Turkey Processors and the Turkey Farmers of Ontario marketing board have resumed negotiations.

They were scheduled to participate in an Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal hearing this week, but at the last minute it was adjourned so negotiations could continue.


No more details have been made available – eg. If the appeal is over prices or production volumes.

Mexico bans Smithfield pork

Mexico has banned pork from Smithfield’s plant at Tar Heel, North Carolina, the largest hog-slaughtering plant in the world.

Pork exports to Mexico have increased by 58 per cent this year, more than offsetting a decline in United States exports to China.


Mexico cited concerns with skins on the hogs from Smithfield.


Smithfield is owned by WH Group of China.

Trade talks open with Indonesia

Canada and Indonesia have agreed to open trade talks.

Canadian beef Halal-standard meat packers hope to gain better access and Cereals Canada said a deal could expand on existing sales.


Canadians “expressed a high level of support for a possible Canada-Indonesia CEPA” during public consultations earlier this year, the government said in a news release.


Supply-managed sectors expressed support for a deal, so long as the federal Liberals uphold a commitment to not provide any more market-access to supply managed goods.


Across the board, there is broad support for Canada to pursue a bilateral deal with Indonesia at the same time it seeks a broader pact with the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which is headquartered in Indonesia.


Canada and the ASEAN group held two rounds of exploratory talks, in 2018 and 2019, toward a possible trade pact. Four ASEAN nations — Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei — are already parties to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade pact with Canada.


By itself, Indonesia is “one of the top destinations for Canadian cereal crops and a gateway into the rapidly growing Asia Pacific region,” said Dean Dias, CEO of Cereals Canada.


Indonesia, he said, “is a major market and source of growth, especially for Canadian wheat exports. Consumers there buy 11 per cent of Canada’s wheat exports to the world, bringing over $600 million in value on average to Canadian farmers and exporters each year.”


Cereals Canada, he said, expects the CEPA negotiations to “strengthen 
the stability of market access over the long-term.”

CFIA lays charges against Ryding-Regency


Ryding-Regency, its related companies and executives are to appear in court in Toronto on Aug. 10 to face three charges laid by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.


The CFIA said on its website today that:


“As a result of an investigation by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), charges were laid on June 10, 2021 against Ryding-Regency Meat Packers Ltd., Beef Boutique Ltd., Canadian Select Meat Inc., and Anthony Petronaci, Ellen Cosman, and Chuck Oulton of Toronto, Ontario for the following alleged offences:


1.   Section 15 of the Safe Food for Canadians Act: provided to an Inspector of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency false or misleading information and/or statements.

2.   Section 82(2) of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: failure by the operator to immediately notify the Minister and take immediate action to mitigate the risk after establishing that food presents a risk of injury to human health.

3.   Section 4(1)(a) of the Food and Drugs Act: selling an article of food that had in or on it any poisonous or harmful substance.”

Ryding-Regency remained closed after the CFIA suspended its licence in 2019, leaving Ontario’s beef industry short of slaughter capacity. 


In March, beef farmer Eugene Burgin, of Eusi Farms at Forest, took over the plant and renamed it TruHarvest Meats. 


 

Potato board regs amended


The Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission has approved changes to the Ontario Potato Board regulations to:


·       change the name of the "soups and stews" negotiating agency to the "frozen products" negotiating agency;


·       provide processing potato negotiating agencies with the ability to decide whether to appoint an observer to witness negotiation, and to


·       remove outdated references to the Farm Products Grades and Sales Act and the Canada Agricultural Products Act (Canada).


 

Monday, June 21, 2021

Chicken farmers honour frontline workers

Chicken Farmers of Ontario is inviting its members and federal, provincial and municipal elected officials to nominate frontline heroes from their communities.


The winner will be drawn at random and will get a free chicken dinner and the opportunity to direct a donation to a foodbank or charity from the marketing board’s CFO Cares Program.


Nominations will close on July 23, 2021. Winners will be selected by random draw in late July.

                           

 

CNH buys Raven

CNH Industrial is buying Raven, a technology company it has used for years.

A Canadian company, Omnipower (formerly DOT) is in Raven’s portfolio.


Raven Industries has three divisions called Applied Technology for precision agriculture, Engineered Films for high-performance specialty films an Aerostar for aerospace.


Last year its sales were $348 million US.


Omnipower enables farmers to remotely operate field machinery, such as combines, sprayers and fertilizer spreaders.


CNH Industrial makes Case IH, New Holland and Steyr farm equipment and industrial equipment.

New Roundup lawsuit filed

Legal firm Grant & Eisenhofer has filed a lawsuit in California against Bayer’s Roundup herbicide, claiming its client Michael Langford of the Sacramento area developed cancer after using Roundup.

The lawsuit follows the collapse in court of an offer Bayer made to compensate clients who claim illnesses arising from exposure to Roundup.


The latest G&E action, filed in partnership with the Moore Law Group of Louisville, Ky., alleges negligence, design defect, failure to warn, and negligent misrepresentation and/or fraud, among other claims, against Monsanto which Bayer bought in 2018.


In addition to Monsanto/Bayer, Mr. Langford’s lawsuit names San Francisco-based agricultural products firm Wilbur-Ellis, a longtime seller and distributor of Roundup and other herbicides throughout California. Mr. Langford purchased Roundup at a hardware store near his home supplied by Wilbur-Ellis.

Chobani making sugar-free Greek yogourt

Chobani is making sugar-free Greek yogourt, the first company in North American tapping into that market with nation-wide distribution. It will not be sold in Canada until sometime later.


When it launched from a plant in upper New York State in 2005, its Greek yogourt had 15 grams of sugar compared with competitors at 30 to 40 grams. Its products took off like a rocket.


Hamdi Ulukaya bought a plant Kraft Foods was closing at Edmeston, New York. By 2012 Chobani was the world’s leading producer of Greek yogourt and it opened a plant at Twin Falls, Idaho, after its plans to build near Kingston were thwarted by marketing board politics.


The company said each serving of Chobani Zero Sugar has 60 calories, uses only natural ingredients, is lactose-free and contains six live and active cultures including probiotics.


“This was a gap in our portfolio. It’s a segment we weren’t competing in directly,” Niel Sandfort, chief innovation officer at Chobani, said of the more than $1 billion diet and reduced sugar yogurt category. 


“We have very high hopes that it’s going to not just take share, not just premiumize and trade up the consumer, but bring in new consumers who may have walked away from the yogurt set because of sugar.”


Sandfort said Chobani’s no-sugar offering was a “very challenging product” to develop and was subjected to the most amount of testing in the company’s history for a new launch. 


He said competitors use artificial sweeteners to reduce sugar content, but there are “off-putting flavours” that Chobani avoids by using only natural ingredients.


The processing it developed starts by filtering milk and then fermentation.

                           

 

 

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Lisa Thompson becomes agriculture minister

Lisa Thompson of Huron-Bruce is the new Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

She replaces Ernie Hardeman who served as agriculture minister under two premiers.


Premier Doug Ford made more than a dozen cabinet changes late Friday, the most notable being the return of former Finance Minister Rod Phillips who resigned after taking an overseas vacation during the COVID-19 lockdown and ban on international travel.


Phillips takes over from Merilee Fullerton at the ministry in charge of long-term care homes where hundreds died in horrific conditions during the pandemic.


Fullerton has been moved to children and family services.


Thompson was first elected in 2011 and was opposition critic for environment, for energy and then small business and red tape and then indigenous affairs and international trade.


When Ford won in 2017, she became education minister, then Minister of Government and Consumer Services.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Fumonisin can be neutered

Scientists working at the federal agriculture research station have found a way to eliminate the poisonous aspects of fumonosin which plagues wheat, corn and other cereals.

Sometimes it can be deadly, but usually it’s bothersome because it hampers ethanol production and can make livestock or people sick.


It’s more of a problem in the Southern United States, but sometimes contaminates Ontario grain harvests.


What’s more interesting for Canadians is the possibility that the same research approach might work to detoxify DON which is a much bigger problem with harvests of wheat and corn.


The research team at London learned that nitrogen is necessary in the toxicity of fumonosin and they learned how they can eliminate the nitrogen.


That converts toxic fumonosin into a safe substance.


Dr. Mark Sumarah, a mycotoxin and fungal expert at the London Research and Development Centre, was working on corhotoxin A of grapes and looking into th role of Aspergillus fungi in generating that problem.


That’s when he learned that Aspergillus also produces fumonosin, but this fumonosin did not have a nitrogen molecule.


“This made us very curious,” said Sumarah, referring to his partner Dr. Justin Renaud.


Then enzyme specialist Dr. Chris Garnham identified the enzyme that produces nitrogen and began working with Lallemand Inc. through a Canadian Agricultural Partnership project to commercially develop the enzyme for the detoxification of fumonisins. 


Quebec-based Lallemand has applied for a patent on the enzyme.

Jeanie Theoharis appointed

Jeanie Theoharis of Mississauga has been appointed associate chair of the Animal Care Review Board.

It is a full-time, two-year appointment.


She is a lawyer who has Theoharis has extensive adjudicative and dispute resolution experience, including serving as vice chair and associate chair of various tribunals.


The Animal Care Review Board acts as a tribunal to hear cases where farmers or others object to the seizure of animals or orders issued under the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act passed two years ago.


Just what we need: more city lawyers deciding what farmers can or can't do.

JBS adds another meat company

JBS SA of Brazil, already the largest meat packer in the world, has bought another company: Kerry Consumer Foods of Ireland.

It used Pilgrim’s Pride of Colorado to make the $952-million US purchase.


The deal gives Pilgrim's a significant value-added protein and prepared foods business with a portfolio of strong brands, the company said. Kerry Meats is a manufacturer of branded and private label meats, meat snacks and food-to-go products in the United Kingdom and Ireland. 

Kerry Meals is an ethnic chilled and frozen meals business in the UK. Kerry has also launched branded meat-free products.


JBS’s biggest business in Canada is the former XL Beef plant at Brooks, Alta., Canada’s second-largest beef packer.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Exceldor strike dooms one million chickens

Chcken producers euthanized about one million chickens because of a strike at the Exceldor poultry processing plant owned by Olymel, reports the Montreal Gazette.

Quebec Labor Minister Jean Boulet urged both sides to accept arbitration to settle the strike that began May 24.


Olymel accepted; the union did not.


There are about 500 employees at the facility which is one of the largest in Quebec.


A strike by pork-plant workers also continues against Olymel, forcing thousands of hogs into the United States to be slaughtered.

Purdue settles wage-fixing lawsuit


 Recently the news has been about settlements of price-fixing lawsuits in the United States poultry industry.


Now comes a settlement in a lawsuit alleging poultry companies conspired to set wages.

Pilgrim’s Pride said in a filing with the U.S. District Court of Maryland that the agreement settles all claims against Pilgrim’s.

Originally filed in August 2019, the lawsuit alleges that Pilgrim’s, Perdue Farms, Tyson Foods, Koch Foods and others engaged in a decade-long conspiracy to fix the wages for hundreds of thousands of workers. 

The lawsuit asserts the defendants formed, implemented, monitored and enforced the conspiracy by holding “off the books” in-person meetings where they agreed to fix wages.

It further alleges they exchanged detailed wage and benefit information via Agri Stats, and that plant managers engaged in bilateral and regional exchanges of wage information.

Though Judge Stephanie Gallagher tentatively tossed the case in 2020, she ruled in March of this year that the case could be expanded to include turkey plant employees and employees on salary. 

Pilgrim’s settlement comes in the same week Tyson Foods agreed to settle a class action antitrust lawsuit brought by chicken growers in Oklahoma.

No financial details of the wage=case settlement have yet been released.


 

Ukraine wheat crop looking great

It must be 30 years ago that I listened to the late Herb Heimbecker telling a meeting of farmers that the Ukraine has tremendous potential to become a major grain-industry competitor.

Heimbecker was the Elmira-born half of Parrish and Heimbecker and he had just returned from a trip through Ukraine where one of the things he saw was huge flocks of crows feeding on wheat that was being blown off of untarpted trucks hauling from fields to elevators.

 

Today I read this report which I have edited to make it shorter:

 

Ukraine will be a fierce competitor in grain markets this year and for years to come, according to a senior agriculture official from that country.


Nikolay Gorbachov, president of the Ukrainian Grain Association, is forecasting a bumper crop in 2021-22.


The association’s official estimate calls for 97.3 million tonnes of grains, oilseeds and pulses.


But after a recent road trip from Odessa to Kiev, he believes the harvest will be more than 100 million tonnes, topping the previous record of 98.3 million tonnes set in 2019-20.


“What I can tell you about Ukraine is the conditions are just perfect,” Gorbachov told delegates attending the International Grains Council’s Grains Conference 2021, adding that abundant rain reminds him of Scotland.


“All the fields are green,” he said.


Gorbachov believes farmers will produce more than 30 million tonnes of wheat. The current record is 28 million tonnes.


“A group of traders think the wheat crop could be up to 35 million tonnes,” said Gorbachov. “In that case we can export 25 to 27 million tonnes.”


For now, the association is sticking with its forecast of 21 million tonnes of wheat exports because there are still a few weeks before harvest and a lot can happen between now and then.


The Ukrainian Grains Association estimates production will reach 113 million tonnes by 2026.


That forecast is based primarily on improved yields due to increased irrigation. Ukraine has 25 percent of the world’s most fertile black soil and there are many lakes and rivers.


A crop of 113 million tonnes would result in 79 million tonnes of exports.

Gorbachov said there used to be legitimate concerns about Ukraine’s ability to move that much grain to overseas markets but the logistical issues have been addressed.


China accounted for 25 percent of Ukraine’s grain exports last year. The other key markets are the European Union, the Middle East and North Africa.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Chicken agency hikes allocation

Chicken demand is increasing again, prompting the national supply management agency to increase its allocation for production late this summer.

The original plan agreed to on May 4 was to increase allocation by three per cent above base.


Now it’s going to be 4.5 per cent above base.


For Ontario the increase will be 4.95 per cent.


The hatching egg industry said it can meet the increased demand.

Bill Van Heeswyk, executive director of the Ontario Broiler and Hatching Egg Chick Commission, e-mailed that "the domestic hatching egg supply is stable and adequate and U.S. supply is stable. OBHECC continues to work with hatcheries and hatching egg producers to achieve the best outcome for CFO farmer-members. 

"Accordingly, the anticipated chick supply volumes for A-171 are forecasted to be at levels to meet the sector requirements." 


The Chicken Farmers of Ontario marketing board said it will soon be notifying processors of how much change they can each expect.


The marketing board had to adjust as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted markets, closing restaurants and cafeterias, but increasing demand in supermarkets.


It also had to cope with a brief closure of the Cargill plant in London.

The board said it has developed contacts along the supply chain so it’s prepared to adjust production, this time to increase supply.

Feds back Foodgrains Bank

The federal government is giving $10 million to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank which will use it to help African partner organizations deliver aid to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “It has made a bad situation worse,” said program manager Stefan Epp-Koop.


“Many of these countries have conflict or political instability, high levels of displacement — people being forced to leave their homes — environmental disasters or economic collapse,” he said in an interview with the Manitoba Co-operator newspaper. 


The Humanitarian, Early Recovery and Development program will serve about 89,000 people in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and South Sudan.


In the emergency response phase of the program, Foodgrains Bank partners will bring households emergency food, cash or vouchers they can redeem at local markets.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Australia signs post-Brexit trade deal

Britain and Australia announced a free trade deal on Tuesday which the British government hailed as an important step in building new trade relationships following its departure from the European Union.

Britain said cars, Scotch whisky and confectionery would be cheaper to sell in Australia because of the agreement, which removes tariffs and reduces red tape. Australia said it was a "great win" for Australian agriculture.


Not surprising, British farmers oppose the deal.


Canadians will be watching closely as Britain negotiates a new deal with Canada, including efforts to increase cheese exports to Canada.


The New Democratic Party has proposed legislation to bar Canadian negotiators from granting any more dairy-industry trade concessions.

Britain has also applied to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership.


The deal with Australia is the first bilateral trade accord Britain has negotiated from scratch since leaving the EU last year.


"I think this is important economically, there's no question about that ... but I think it's more important politically and symbolically," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. 


"We're opening up to each other and this is the prelude to a general campaign of opening up around the world."

New PRRS is worse

The Swine Health Information Center is warning hog producers and swine veterinarians that there is a second wave of a new PRRS virus, strain 144, threatening herds.


Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg said this strain is especially virulent and has caused a lot of problems in the U.S. Midwest and upper Midwest.

It causes very severe disease in all phases of production so that's something that is notable, he said.

It's PRRS but it's in all phases of production and does cause disease. 

                          

 

Meat labelling changes proposed

Across the United States there are new debates about the information put on meat labels.

The Cattlemens Beef Association wants the United States Department of Agriculture to change the “product of U.S.A.” label to “processed in the U.S.A.”


It says consumers are misled into believing that products that use imported cattle and carcasses are entirely U.S. products when they can actually be only lightly processed in the U.S.


In Michigan, politicians are debating a bill that would require products to say what they contain, including mixtures of different species, such as beef and pork in sausages.


But the main aim is to inform consumers about plant protein and cell-cultured products.


Wisconsin is debating a bill that would limit meat labels to products made from “the edible part of flesh from an animal”.


Plant proteins could be labelled “meat alternative”.


Politicians in LouisianaMarylandMissouriOklahoma and Texas, have passed legislation aimed at plant-based proteins and they are now face court challenges from the plant-protein producers.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Grain farmers support research with $200,000

Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) has promised to give $200,000 to the new Crop Research and Innovation Centre that the University of Guelph is building at its Ridgetown campus.


GFO president Brendan Byrne said “our farmer-members have always recognized the importance of understanding new innovation and evolving best practices based on science and experience.


“We look forward to continued collaboration with the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus and we thank them for their commitment to grain excellence.”

Meatworkers union blasts Biden administration

The United States Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said soon after President Joe Biden took office that all workplaces would face more stringent COVID-19 protocols.

Now it turns out that OSHA is only applying that to the health care industry.


In a statement, international president Marc Perrone of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union said “today’s new COVID workplace safety standard from OSHA represents a broken promise to the millions of American workers in grocery stores and meatpacking plants who have gotten sick and died on the front lines of this pandemic.


“Vaccinations are helping us take control of this pandemic, but the danger for these essential workers is far from over. Thousands of frontline food workers are still at risk of infection,” he said in a union-issued statement.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Ontario and Canada support 4-H

The Canadian and Ontario governments are giving 4-H Ontario $1.4 million to encourage youth to consider careers in agriculture.

The money will be split between two fiscal years.


Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Ontario Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman expressed their support for the work 4-H volunteer leaders provide.

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“4-H Ontario is exceptionally proud of our continued relationship with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs,” 

said Cheryl Sullivan, President of 4-H Ontario. 


“The generous funding means that we can ensure the next generation of youth in Ontario have access to programs, training and opportunities that promote excellence and leadership in agriculture and far beyond.” 

Thursday, June 10, 2021

My wife, Barb, congratulated me

This award happened this morning, presented by our local alderman, Dave Schnider.  

It was awarded for all of Jim’s volunteer hours for Habitat for Humanity, picking up the trash on his jogging route every day for 12 years, and our volunteer work with newcomers to Canada.  

He received a certificate from the mayor, a Kitchener gift bag and a lovely goodies gift bag from Vincenzos’ market. What a nice honour for many hours of volunteer work in our community!!

Ontario potatoes flunk

My wife is fed up with Ontario potatoes, especially since the recent purchase of President's Choice brand high-priced potatoes from our local Zehrs Markets supermarket.

There are cuts and bruises and that means a high percentage of waste.

But this is merely the most recent chapter in a sage of disappointments with Ontario-grown potatoes.

Why is it that potatoes from Idaho are consistently so much better quality? Is there some magic that Ontario growers are unable to duplicate?

Why are potatoes from Prince Edward Island usually - but not always - better quality than Ontario-grown potatoes?

No, my wife does not shop for the lowest-priced potatoes, but she will choose the best she can find.

Sometimes she even buys packaged processed potatoes from Idaho.

The Ontario growers could at least save money by going as far as the packaging regulations allow to mask their origin. And don't waste a penny developing advertising campaigns and logos. It's probably counter-productive if other shoppers have learned what we have experienced.

There is one glaring exception:we were delighted and totally satisfied when we picked up a bag of Streef Produce Ltd. potatoes at a Kitchener supermarket in April.

Researchers discover how root hairs develop

Researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey have discovered a symbiotic bacteria that colonize root cells may be managed to produce hardier crops that need less fertilizer.

The study appeared in the journal Microorganisms.


Bacteria stimulate root hair growth in all plants that form root hairs, so the researchers examined the chemical interactions between bacteria inside root cells.


They found that bacteria are carried in seeds and absorbed from soils, then taken into root cells where they produce ethylene, a plant growth hormone that makes root cells grow root hairs. 


When the root hair grows, it ejects some of the bacteria back into the soil. Then the remaining bacteria in the root hairs replicate and trigger a growth spurt every 15 minutes until the hairs are fully developed.


“This matters because it shows that the microbiome of plants is important for plant cell development, particularly root cell development, and nutrient supply,” said study co-author James White, a professor in the Department of Plant Biology in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University.


“Use of bacteria in plants may enable us to grow better developed and stress-resistant crops that require less fertilizers, and thus will reduce environmental damage due to excess fertilizer applications with consequent runoff,” he said.

Natural gas links coming for farmers

EPCOR Ontario Utilities Inc. is investing $20.3 million to extend natural gas delivery systems to Brockton.


It’s part of a larger investment to serve Neustadt, Brunner, Elmwood, Vesta, Solway, Cargill, Pinkerton, Bradley, Glammis, Chepstow, Greenock and Riversdale, plus areas in between.


“We are extremely pleased that the Province of Ontario has approved this important project for Brockton, and we thank our local MPPs Lisa Thompson and Bill Walker for their hard work and commitment to seeing this through,” said Brockton Mayor Chris Peabody. 


“This will enable our agribusinesses, developers and smaller businesses in our rural hamlets and villages to remain competitive, and will offer rural residents equal access to this clean and affordable source of energy. We have an excellent partnership with EPCOR that we look forward to continuing.”


In Grey County, 219 homes and businesses in Neustadt will be able to connect to natural gas for the first time. Ontario is allocating $5,128,997 to support the new connections.


And in Perth East, Ontario’s Natural Gas Expansion Program will soon extend service to Brunner. with approximately 44 homes and businesses in the area to have the option. Ontario is allocating $814,850 to that project.


All of the money is part of Phase 2 of Ontario’s Natural Gas Expansion Program.

                           

 

JBS paid $11 million ransom


JBS USA said it paid $11 million in ransom in response to the May 30 criminal hack that began in Australia and spread to its operations in the United States and Canada.


When it paid the ransom, most of its operations were ongoing, the company said, but it paid to keep the hackers from stealing data. 


It said preliminary investigation indicates that no company, supplier or customers information has been compromised.


“This was a very difficult decision to make for our company and for me personally,” JBS USA CEO Andre Nogueira said in the statement. “However, we felt this decision had to be made to prevent any potential risk for our customers.”


JBS said its ability to quickly resolve the issues resulting from the attack was due to its cybersecurity protocols, redundant systems and encrypted backup servers. 


The company said it spends more than $200 million annually on IT and employs more than 850 IT professionals globally.


The company said it maintained constant communication with government officials throughout the incident.


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States has identified REvil, a criminal organization the agency said is likely based in Russia, as the group behind the cyberattack on JBS. 

                      

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

California sow crate ban challenged

The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) is intensifying its call for the United States. Supreme Court to review California’s Proposition 12, which bans sow crates and chicken cages.

NAMI said in a brief challenging the bill that according to the state's own proposed rule, the law would offer no benefit to consumers and would increase breeding sow mortality.

NAMI's brief also said the decision by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold California’s "unconstitutional and costly Proposition 12" directly conflicts with legal precedent in other circuits and from the Supreme Court itself, making it the appropriate vehicle to consider the issue of a state's power beyond its territorial borders.

“The recently proposed rule by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) admits there are no benefits to Californians as a result of Prop 12. 

“CDFA admits deaths of breeding sows will increase. Both are unintentional consequences of a costly and unconstitutional law,” Julie Anna Potts, NAMI president and chief executive officer, said in a press release.

 “Our petition to challenge the law has the support of more than 20 states and we think it should be reviewed by the Supreme Court.”

Animal activists protest chicken images

The Animal Legal Defense Fund has filed a lawsuit against the United States Department of Agriculture for allowing poultry companies to use labels depicting chickens and turkeys roaming free.

They say the labels are misleading because poultry are “factory farmed” in housing quite different from the pastoral imagery.


That fails to protect consumers from deceptive product labeling as required by the Poultry Products Inspection Act, the Animal Legal Defense Fund said.


The lawsuit specifically cited Perdue Farms’ Fresh Line labels which showschickens and turkeys grazing outdoors in green grass under a bright sun.


“The USDA has a legal responsibility to ensure animal product sellers are labeling their products accurately,” Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells said in a press release Tuesday.


Oh my. Where does political correctness take us?

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Transport Genie testing fifth-generation sensors

Transport Genie of Guelph has impressed a swine-industry researcher with its fifth-generation sensors for keeping track of conditions in transports.

Dr. Terry Fonstad, the associate dean of research with the University of Saskatchewan's College of Engineering, said the sensors need to stand up to a lot of challenges.


For example, pigs are curious and will start nibbling at sensors if they can reach them.


And the sensors need to survive pressure washing, including chemicals, vibrations, rain and sleet and snow and temperatures from plus or minus 40.


They must be able to measure and report temperature and humnidity on a real-time basis.


Fonstad said the fifth generation sensors have really got some good promise and there's probably going to be continuous development on it. 


It's the same common problem that we have in automated mining and automated agriculture, is that's sensing, communications, analytics and controls, he said.