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Overview of This Week‘s Poultry News

15 March 2012, at 11:17pm

ANALYSIS – Ever more red tape is tying up the poultry industry in the US and the European Union, writes senior editor, Jackie Linden. Also in the news: a new report says that measures that were introduced to support the EU poultry meat and egg industries at the height of the bird flu crisis in 2006 were too little and too late, and delegates to the Commodity Classic event in the US recently were warned that the current economic instability is likely to bring greater volatility to the maize and soybean markets in the coming months.

Over–regulation may be limiting US food production. Cutting red-tape and reducing regulatory burdens are common themes that producers are eager to see put into practice. However, in reality, the industry is ever more tied down by red tape. A new report from the United Soybean Board suggests that over–regulation is becoming a threat to US livestock production.

Laws and regulations imposed by federal, state and local governments can make domestic farmers and ranchers uncompetitive with overseas competitors and drive them out of business, says the report.

It adds that the regulatory areas most likely to generate increased costs for US producers in the near term are animal housing, environmental regulations, the use of antimicrobials and other drugs, livestock trading and labour regulations.

The red tape issue is not confined to the US. At a high-level debate on the future CAP held by European Parliament, the EU farmers’ association, Copa-Cogeca, warned of excessive red-tape governing the EU Commission proposals on the CAP post-2013. The group stressed this will hinder competitiveness and threaten the economic viability of farmers, cooperatives and small businesses.

Staying with the EU, measures that were introduced by the European Commission to support the poultry and egg industries at the height of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) crisis in 2006 were too little and too late, according to a new report for the European Commission.

US and European market volatility is going to have major impacts on agriculture in the short term, warned one of the speakers at a Commodity Classic education seminar in the US earlier this month.

If you think maize and soybean prices and markets have been volatile, you have not seen anything yet, said Jim Wiesemeyer, senior vice president of Informa Economics.

He said: “After the November 6th elections, Washington better have a leader from both the House and Senate, and definitely the White House. Because if we don’t, we’re going to be on a rocky road. What’s happening in Europe will happen here, and that will translate into a Farm Bill. If they don’t get the Farm Bill done this year, it’s not going to get any better short term.”

Mr Wiesemeyer explained there is no confidence in the US or in Europe that the leaders are getting their act together, which is causing the uncertainty in the world. The US is all deficits and debt, he said, noting that all debt is the annual accumulations of deficits. Both political parties have overspent, and it is getting worse, not better.

And finally, turning to bird flu news, reports of new outbreaks in poultry in the last week have come from Nepal, Taiwan, South Korea and Israel.