poultry

creative commons

The Somerset County Planning and Zoning Commission indicated yesterday it may be included to toughening up the regulations on chicken houses.

Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald said that this was not just a Somerset County problem but an industry problem.

Supporters of tighter regulations wore stickers at the public hearing that said “Factory Farms make me sick,” while opponents had their own which read, ”If you eat food, thank a farmer.”

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the commissioners indicated they would consider making large projects get their approval.

unior libby / creative commons

GUMBORO, Del. (AP) - Fire investigators say a fire in a Gumboro poultry house has killed 21,000 6-week-old chickens.

The Delaware State Fire Marshal's office says the fire broke out Wednesday evening in the poultry house on Jones Church Road.

Assistant State Fire Marshal Michael Chionchio says investigators determined that the blaze in the 500-foot-long building was accidental. He says the fire started with an electrical malfunction at an outlet at one end of the building and spread, killing 21,000 chickens and destroying the building.

Don Rush

Maryland state leaders could be close to a compromise on Governor Larry Hogan’s proposal to reduce the runoff of phosphorus from farms into the Chesapeake Bay.

WBOC reports that the regulations would divide farms into three tiers based on the amount of phosphorus in the soil.

There would be a 20 member advisory board that could weigh in on whether the farmers are making enough progress or need more time.

The panel would include environmentalists like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as well as agricultural advocates such as the Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc.

creative commons

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Members of Delaware's congressional delegation are applauding the Obama administration's challenge to Indonesia's restrictions on agricultural imports.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has asked the World Trade Organization to establish a dispute settlement panel to examine Indonesia's import restrictions on a wide range of agricultural products, including poultry.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is set to head to Cuba later this year as part of an economic development and trade mission.

McAuliffe made the announcement on Tuesday at the Governor's Conference on Agricultural Trade in Richmond following remarks by Cuba's top diplomat in the U.S.

Media outlets report that the governor has five other economic development trips planned by the end of the year. He's looking to head to Cuba by the middle of the year, possibly in late spring.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers are targeting phosphorous pollution of the Chesapeake Bay.

A Senate subcommittee heard testimony Tuesday for a bill sponsored by Sen. Paul Pinsky, D-Prince George's County, that addresses pollution caused by excess fertilizer on Eastern Shore poultry farms.

The bill contains recommendations similar to those proposed by former Gov. Martin O'Malley, which aim to address high levels of phosphorous by requiring farmers to test and monitor their soil nutrient levels and manage excess fertilizer.

governor's office (file phot0)

Governor Larry Hogan has laid out a new phosphorus initiative.

Billed as an enhanced phosphorus management tool the Maryland Governor would give more time for farmers to cut their use of phosphorus and would immediately stop the state’s greatest offenders.

Most farmers would have until 2022 to fully comply with the new regulations.

Hogan’s spokeswoman Erin Montgomery said that 21 percent of farmers on the Lower Shore would feel the immediate impact of the change.

Don Rush

Governor Larry Hogan has pulled the controversial phosphorus regulations on farmers.

They will not appear in the next issue of the Maryland Register essentially freezing any attempt to impose the new standards that found strong opposition from the poultry and agricultural industries on the Eastern Shore.

Erin Montgomery, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office, said that Hogan has ordered all agencies to begin a comprehensive review of all pending regulations.

creative commons

The battle over reports on the new Maryland phosphorus regulations is not over.

The Environmental Integrity Project says they do not go far enough.

The group studied 62 Eastern Shore chicken farms that used poultry manure on their crops from Caroline,  Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties.

And it says the study found that farmers had spread three times more phosphorus in chicken manure on their fields than their crops needed in 2012.

creative commons

Before the Somerset County Zoning and Planning Commission yesterday was a battle over chickens.

Dozens of residents and environmental activists showed up to urge the panel to deny any new proposals for large-scale poultry operations.

Dr. Sacoby Wilson from the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health told the panel that there were serious health risks to the local water supply from chicken farms including pathogens, E. Coli and Salmonella.

creative commons

Three U.S. Senators are pushing a new pathogen monitoring standard for poultry products.

The effort comes after a report by the Government Accountability Office that recommended the US Department of Agriculture develop additional performance measures to deal with Salmonella and another pathogen.

The effort to tighten up the standards is being led by Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Dianne Feinstein of California and Dick Durbin of Illinois.

Gillibrand and Feinstein said the report shows that the current standards are ineffective and outdated.

creative commons

A ruling by the World Trade Organization could open up a growing market for U.S. agriculture that has been blocked for more than seven years.

The WTO has declared that India’s ban on various U.S. products such as poultry meat, eggs and live pigs that was based on bird-flu fears is not backed by scientific evidence.

The Decision has been long sought by Delaware lawmakers and the Mid-Atlantic region.

It is considered a big win for the poultry industry which has been hit by India’s restrictions.

creative commons

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is overhauling poultry plant inspections for the first time in more than 50 years,

It’s hoped to reduce the number of food borne illness each year by at least  5,000.

Final rules would cut the number of government poultry inspectors.

But those who remain will focus more on food safety than on quality, requiring them to pull more birds off the line for closer inspections and encouraging more testing for pathogens.

More inspectors would check the facilities to make sure they are clean.

creative commons

FARMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Plans for two enormous chicken farms in southern Delaware are testing the region's long-held faith in the poultry industry.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that at peak production, the two farms would produce almost 1.5 million chickens a year. That's more than there are people in Delaware.

The separately owned operations would be jammed into just over one square mile of southern Kent County, near Farmington.

official photo

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - Members of Delaware's congressional delegation are joining in an annual celebration of the Delmarva region's poultry industry.

U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons both planned to attend the 58th annual Delmarva Poultry Industry banquet in Salisbury, Md. on Wednesday.

The event, sponsored by Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc., honors the region's chicken farmers and other members of the poultry industry.

Maryland comptroller general Peter Franchot also was expected to attend the evening event at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center.

official photo

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - Members of Delaware's congressional delegation are joining in an annual celebration of the Delmarva region's poultry industry.

U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons both planned to attend the 58th annual Delmarva Poultry Industry banquet in Salisbury, Md. on Wednesday.

The event, sponsored by Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc., honors the region's chicken farmers and other members of the poultry industry.

Maryland comptroller general Peter Franchot also was expected to attend the evening event at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center.

official

Representative Andy Harris says if the state does not implement the new phosphorous regulations for the agriculture industry properly he will take action on the federal level.

During a meeting with the Eastern Shore delegation in Annapolis last week the Salisbury Daily Times reports that the Republican congressman said if the new regulations hurt farmers then he will consider with holding money from the state of Maryland.

The phosphorous management tool would alter the way the amount of phosphorous is applied by farmers.

mountaire farms website

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Poultry processing company Mountaire Farms of Delaware is seeking more than $200,000 in taxpayer grants to expand its business.

Mountaire is asking for a state Strategic Fund Performance grant of up to $87,759 and a state Strategic Fund Capital Expenditure grant of up to $129,000.

The company plans to use the funds to expand its processing plant in Millsboro.

Mountaire's request for state funds was one of several to be considered by the Delaware Council on Development Finance at its meeting Monday in Dover.

Don Rush

The Delaware congressional delegation praised the decision by the World Trade Organization decision that Chinese poultry barriers are unfair.

American poultry farmers complained that China’s decision to impose higher duties on chicken broiler products was unjustified under international trade laws.

The imposition of the duties was followed by an 80 percent drop in American exports to China.

Don Rush

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - A University of Delaware-led study has found that decades-old federal standards overestimate current poultry industry contributions to water pollution.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports that researchers found that nitrogen levels in poultry house manure are 55 percent lower than the Environmental Protection Agency's standards. Efforts to eliminate waterway dead zones and algal blooms nationwide have focused on pollution from manure.

Allen Harim Foods, website

Negotiations are underway for Allen Harim Foods to buy a processing plant near Millsboro owned by Pinnacle Foods Vlasic.

The company Chief Executive Officer Gary Gladys says that this would allow for an expansion of the firm’s processing capacity and introduce new products.

The former pickle plant is expected to employ an estimated 700 people.

Currently, Pinnacle Foods Vlasic employs around 200 people.

Allen Harim Foods operates a number of processing facilities in Delaware.

 

The effects of the Hudson case involving an effort to tie Perdue Farms to alleged water pollution by one of its growers are still being felt.

That’s despite the fact that the Waterkeeper Alliance and others lost the argument in Federal Court last month.

Worcester County Commissioner Virgil Shockley a chicken grower himself told the Salisbury Daily Times that he runs into a lot of farmers who put their lives on hold while the case was decided.

carper official website

Delaware Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons voted yesterday for a bill establishing permanent normal trade relations with Russia.

And that’s good news for the poultry industry on the peninsula, for whom, Russia is a major market.

In 1974 the provision was imposed on the former Soviet Union over emigration of Jews and other Soviet minorities.

The measure cleared the House last month and now goes to President Obama for his signature.

 

Senator Ben Cardin says he does not believe it is in the national interest to continue the Mandate on corn ethanol.

The recent drought has hit the corn crop hard driving up grain prices.

And that has had a dramatic impact on the poultry industry.

The Maryland Democrat told the Salisbury Daily Times that he really is worried about its future…and called for a way to ensure that the drop in corn output doesn’t harm poultry farmers.            

National poultry organizations are asking the Environmental Protection Agency and Congress to ease up on the requirement that 40 percent of the corn crop go to ethanol production.

The request comes amidst a drought that has – in some cases – virtually wiped out the corn harvest for many farmers including those on Delmarva.

On Monday, the National Chicken Council handed EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson a petition asking for a waiver from the Renewable Fuel Standards regulations for the next year.  

There’s a break in the heat wave with temperatures dropping from as high as 100 or more during the day down to the mid-80’s this week.

And there is a forecast of rain in the coming days.

That should be good news for Delmarva’s 17-hundred poultry farmers…who have been struggling to keep their birds cool during the hot spell.

Jack Lavelle in Accomac told the Salisbury Daily Times that he expects to spend more than $3-thousand this month on electricity to run his three broiler houses with a capacity of 50-thousand birds.

 

The Delaware’s poultry industry is fighting high grain prices and lagging sales with federal figures finding that production in the state fell last year by 7.3 percent.

In addition, state and industry officials note that Delaware was also hit by the bankruptcy of Allen Family Foods.

The company was taken over by the South Korea-based Harim and has revived production.

 

          Despite a tough year for profits and a major environmental lawsuit more than 600 farmers and supporters of the poultry industry gathered in Salisbury this week.

         Governor Martin O’Malley headlined the Delmarva Poultry Industry’s 56th annual Booster Banquet..

         The organization’s executive director Bill Satterfield noted that grain prices have leveled off and profits have been inching upward.

During a poultry summit on the campus of Salisbury University, Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot said he would consider supporting a two year moratorium on new regulations. Looking ahead to his political future, the Maryland Democrat also said he would consider a run for the Governorship with an eye towards fiscal discipline during these recessionary times.