Twelve major agricultural organizations including the National Chicken Council have urged the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) to improve its regulatory structure to foster a more competitive rail environment.

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The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has granted a 60-day extension for the comment period on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) action plan for combating antibiotic resistance.

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The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) made available this week an advance copy of the final rule for interstate shipments of state-inspected meat and poultry products.

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USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve another three-year extension for its collection of information regarding specific poultry imports from Mexico.

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Taiwan and the Philippines have joined Japan and Mexico in imposing bans on poultry products from Missouri after an outbreak of H7N3 low-pathogenic avian influenza was found on a turkey farm in Polk County.

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NCC has dismissed as a “scare tactic” a study conducted by a law firm showing that raw chicken can test positive for the presence of a bacterium–Staphylococcus–that is also commonly found in humans.

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Less than 24 hours after Iowa Governor Terry Branstad (R) signed off on Iowa’s redistricting plan, Christie Vilsack, spouse of Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, announced that she would be considering a challenge in the redrawn 4th district of Iowa that would set up a campaign with conservative five-term Republican Steve King.

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Exports of broiler parts in February 2011 totaled 248,061 metric tons valued at $264.22 million compared with 222,876 tons valued at $232.11 million in February 2010, an 11.3-percent increase in tonnage and a 13.8-percent increase in value.

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World broiler production this year in major countries is estimated to be 78,283,000 metric tons, 3.0 percent higher than the 75,991,000 tons in 2010, according to the Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade report issued by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) last week.

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Broiler chicks hatched in the United States in 2010 totaled 9,227,075,000, 1.2 percent more than the 9,116,802,000 chicks hatched in 2009, according to the Hatchery Production 2010 Summary report issued by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) late last week.

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Progress Energy, an electric utility based in Raleigh, North Carolina, has signed a contract to purchase the energy output from a 36-megawatt generating plant fired by poultry litter.

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Dr. Phillip W. Stahlman has been selected as the incoming President-Elect for the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), the organization announced this week.

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