Business & Policy
From the Editor: June 2011
By Kristy Nudds
After a very long winter and wondering if spring would ever come, it’s nice finally to be cresting the summer season!
Hopefully many of you were able to attend the annual meeting of your marketing board(s) this winter. Of those I attended, it was great to see so many familiar faces, meet new people, and talk with producers and industry representatives. The mood and energy were very good, indicating that 2010 was a positive year for most people involved in the poultry industry. Canadian Poultry associate editor Jim Knisley tells us just how good the year has been – check out his column on page 42.
In late April, the annual Poultry Industry Conference and Exhibition (known as the London Poultry Show) was held at the Western Fairgrounds. With the date change and a few hiccups regarding late mailing of exhibitor packages and lack of name badges, the show was a successful one. As Tim Nelson of the Poultry Industry Council points out (page 24), the show did not appear all that different from last year, because advances in technology often take more than just one year to be really obvious.
However, comfort can be found in the fact that the show has the same “look” from year to year. Companies involved in the industry continue to be prosperous, and as always the show provided an opportunity for producers locally and across the country to meet with these companies face to face. There was also ample opportunity for them to talk with fellow producers about important issues and about what’s happening in the industry.
Trends at the show were similar to last year’s – energy-saving technologies and new cage systems for layers. These trends will continue for the next several years as energy prices continue to skyrocket and the uncertainty around conventional cage systems remains.
According to a report from the Rabobank Group (see page 8), poultry is set to overtake pork as the most popular meat in the world by 2030. This is great news for our industry and something we’ve been working toward for some time; however, with rising energy and feed costs, our industry and the poultry industries throughout the world must continue to strive to maintain efficient production using fewer resources. Given these challenges, along with a late start for seeding across the country and a smaller than expected grain crop in North America last year, sustainability is the latest buzzword in agriculture. But it’s more than just a trend – competition for resources among livestock and energy industries is certain to be the biggest challenge we will face in the next five to 10 years.
It requires creative solutions, and not necessarily big investments. Often a “tweaking” of one’s own production system and a little ingenuity goes a long way. Our cover story (page 16) is an example of such creativity. Ontario turkey producer Dirk Heeg solved some of his natural ventilation control issues in a creative, yet relatively simple, way. He shares his story with us, and I thank him and other producers who let us know what they’ve been doing on their farms to increase efficiency. I encourage anyone else to do the same: let us know if you have implemented any changes on your farm that have increased your productivity or saved you time and money. We can all learn from one another, and this exchange of ideas will help us to meet the challenges we are facing as an industry.