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Recent avian influenza outbreaks in Europe, the Middle East and Africa have caused dramatic swings in poultry consumption, increased trade bans and sharp price declines, the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports. FAO expects poultry consumption shocks this year in many countries
in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa that have been hit by avian influenza. As unfounded fears of disease transmission reduce consumption and imports, lower domestic prices are forecast to limit production growth.
"A steady erosion of previously expected gains in per capita poultry consumption will likely push down global poultry consumption in 2006, currently estimated at 81.8 million tons, nearly 3 million tons lower than the previous 2006 estimate of 84.6 million tons," said FAO commodity specialist Nancy Morgan.
One area that was particularly hard hit is Romania where flu outbreaks and concerns led to a 10 percent to 25 percent decrease in production numbers in the poultry and feed industries. Despite avian flu concerns, Transavia, one of the top poultry companies in Romania, will invest $12 million in a new project that aims to double its production and processing capacities.

Peter Nicklin is named head of the Animal Health Division at Bayer HealthCare AG (BHC). He succeeds Dr. Gunnar Riemann who is named head of BHC's Pharmaceuticals Division. Nicklin, of British nationality, was born in Malaysia and graduated from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom with an honors degree in finance and law. He worked at Price Waterhouse from 1985-1988 as a chartered accountant.

The U.S. Animal Identification Organization (USAIO), ViaTrace LLC and Microsoft Corp. announces the launch of an industry-led, multispecies animal tracking database to record movements of livestock from point of origin to processing.
This database, developed by ViaTrace and operated on a Microsoft platform, will give federal and state animal health authorities access to vital information in the event of a disease outbreak or animal health-related incident.

CropLife America reports that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to double its organic product selection over the next couple of weeks. The move comes as Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, is bringing in more so-called "upscale merchandise" in the hope of getting shoppers to buy more than just the basics.

Doug Durand is named AGCO's director of corporate marketing and brand communications worldwide. He will be re-sponsible for providing marketing communication strategies and execution worldwide for the AGCO corporate brand and all product brands.
Durand joined AGCO in 2000 serving first as manager, marketing communications. He most recently was manager Challenger brand marketing.

Louis Dreyfus Agriculture Industries, LLC, announces it is planning to build the world's largest biodiesel plant in Indiana. The combined 50-million bushel per year soybean processing plant and biodiesel production facility will be located near Claypool, Indiana in Kosciusko County.
Upon completion, the facility will be one of the world's first biodiesel production plants to be fully integrated with a soybean processing plant. About 260,000 metric tons of soybean oil from the plant will be used each year for biodiesel production. In addition, 1 million tons of protein-rich soybean meal produced each year will be used by the livestock and poultry industry. The biodiesel plant will produce up to 250,000 gallons of biodiesel per day, or more than 80 million gallons per year.

Merial and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. announce a partnership between the MERIAL SUREHEALTH Calf Preconditioning Program and IMI Global, an industry leader in technology solutions. IMI's program, USVerified SupplyVerified, is available as a data management system for producers looking to source- and age-verify cattle enrolled in the SUREHEALTH Calf Preconditioning Program.
Dr. Van Ricketts, director of MERIAL SUREHEALTH and corporate accounts, says this addition to the SUREHEALTH Calf Preconditioning Program gives cattle producers another marketing advantage. "By partnering with IMI, we hope to help producers prepare their cattle for a global marketplace," Ricketts says. "Source and age verification is the next step for progressive cow-calf producers who already see the benefit of adding value to their cattle by using a quality calf preconditioning program such as SUREHEALTH."

Syngenta opens a technology center and broke ground for an additional production plant at its Gramoxone facility in Nantong, province of Jiangsu, China. The new technology center in China has been established to provide technical support for additional local production and global sourcing.
The Syngenta Nantong site was established in 1998 and is one of the largest agrochemical facilities in China. Since its opening in 2001, the site was granted numerous awards for safety, environmental performance and technology.

Monsanto and the Regents of the University of California (UC) an-nounce they have signed an agreement which mutually resolves issues between them regarding possible infringement and validity of patent rights relating to the production of bovine somatotropin. Monsanto sells bovine somatotropin under the brand name POSILAC; it is used to enhance milk production and serves as an important tool to help dairy producers improve the efficiency of their operations.
Under the agreement, Monsanto is granted an exclusive commercial license under the University's patent estate, UC and Monsanto will dismiss all claims under the patent infringement, and Monsanto will pay the University a $100 million upfront royalty and an ongoing royalty of 15 cents per dose of POSILAC sold to dairy producers with a minimum annual royalty of $5 million through the 2023 expiration of the University's patent estate.

U.S. exports of agricultural-related machinery recorded a 15 percent gain in 2005, totaling $6.6 billion. The gain is led by strong sales to the European marketplace, according to data released by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), which produces a quarterly "global markets" report consolidating U.S. Commerce Department data.
This is the fourth consecutive year of gains in exports of farm equipment, although the rate of growth is down slightly compared to the previous year.
Exports of U.S.-made farm equipment to Europe totaled $2.3 billion in 2005, a 37 percent increase compared to 2004. Exports to Canada increased 17 percent to total $1.9 billion. Asia recorded a 10 percent gain as it
took delivery of $535 million worth of American-made agricultural machinery.
Exports were flat to South America, with its purchases of $400 million a 1 percent increase compared to the previous year. Exports to Central America dropped 4 percent to total $615 million.
Australia/Oceania took delivery of $640 million worth of American-made farm machinery, a 5 percent decline, and exports also dropped
to Africa, $167 million for 2005, a 7 percent decrease.

Pioneer Hi-Bred Int'l, announces plans to open a new Research Center near Brookings, SD. The Research Center will open this spring
The new Pioneer Research Center will play a vital role in developing and commercializing new technologies like Pioneer brand corn hybrids with Herculex XTRA insect protection traits. The traits protect corn from European corn borer and corn rootworm, both significant pests in the region.

DuPont announces David G. Bills is named VP/Genl Mgr- DuPont Global Biotechnology. He will be responsible for accelerating the introduction of DuPont biotechnology into key global markets.

T-L Irrigation Co., Hastings, NE, has named Dan Glenn of Danvers, IL, as their District Sales Manager "Top Performer" for 2005 in the U.S. market.
He manages the T-L dealer force encompassing eight states and Ontario, CA.

Monsanto Canada has been awarded the 2006 Habitat Conservation Award by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) for its dedicated leadership in conservation and continued support for Ducks Unlimited Canada.
The award was presented by DUC President Peter Carton to Monsanto Canada's public affairs lead, Trish Jordan, and director of National Accounts, Don Pincock, at the 10th Annual Minister's Fundraising Dinner for the Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre held in Winnipeg last month.

Ken Morris, Esq. announces the establishment of Kenneth Morris Esq., L.L.C., an independent legal consulting firm serving the agrichemical, specialty products, pharmaceutical and technology industries.
The suburban Philadelphia-based firm offers expert counsel in litigation and regulatory matters, intellectual property issues, environmental compliance and dispute resolution, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, and the establishment of corporate compliance policies and training programs.
Previously, Morris served as corporate counsel to Bayer CropScience and its predecessor companies.

Valent U.S.A. Corporation, Walnut Creek, CA, names Joseph Short as brand manager where he will oversee Prism and Select herbicides and Valent's newest product: Select Max with Inside Technology. His efforts will be focused on various markets including soybean, cotton, oilseeds, legumes, peanuts and vegetables. AM

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