In this file:


·         Bird flu sickens shares in chicken producers

·         Legal Issues On Chicken Pricing Pluck Buy Rating Away From Tyson Foods

·         3rd case of bird flu detected in Tennessee


·         Contract poultry farmers subject of new documentary



Bird flu sickens shares in chicken producers


Jennifer Bissell, Financial Times

Mar 16, 2017


Shares in chicken producers were down on their cluck after a second case of the bird flu was confirmed in Tennessee.


The chicken farms, which are affiliated with Tyson Foods, are located less than two miles away apart and have begun euthanizing its chickens to prevent a the potential spread of the disease.


Shares in the company fell 2.5 per cent on Wednesday, prompting a slide rival chicken producers. Sanderson Farms fell 2.1 per cent, Pilgrim’s Pride lost 1.2 per cent and Hormel Foods, which makes processed chicken food products, retreated 1.2 per cent…





Legal Issues On Chicken Pricing Pluck Buy Rating Away From Tyson Foods


Jayson Derrick, Benzinga

March 16, 2017


Analysts at Argus downgraded Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN) to Hold from Buy with no assigned price target.


The analysts, led by John Staszak, noted the downgrade was justified despite the company's strong fiscal first quarter results. In fact, the downgrade is directly a result of an ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission investigation involving Tyson and other poultry producers for alleged manipulation of chicken prices.


Specifically, Tyson received a subpoena from the SEC in late January that the company and some of its peers allegedly conspired to manipulate chicken prices. The subpoena came after U.S. poultry buyers filed a class-action suit, which alleges Tyson and its peers made use of manufacturing efficiency data to restrict supply and keep the prices of chicken higher than it should be.


Analyst Take


Staszak stated Tyson could argue chicken production has risen almost every year for the past 15 years. In addition, more than a quarter of all U.S. chicken producers filed for bankruptcy during or after the 2008/2009 recession.


Regardless of validity of the suit, the analyst believes the SEC investigation will likely "weigh on the shares going forward."


Staszak also cited a few other factors for his downgrade, including:


more, including links



3rd case of bird flu detected in Tennessee


The Associated Press

via The Charlotte Observer - March 16, 2017




A third commercial poultry breeding operation in Tennessee has tested positive for avian flu.


State agricultural officials on Thursday said the latest chicken breeding facility to be infected is in Lincoln County, close to a farm that was diagnosed with bird flu less than two weeks ago. Officials say the chickens at both facilities have the same strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza.


Lincoln County lies south of Nashville close to the Alabama state line. Another chicken breeding facility has been diagnosed with infected birds is in neighboring Giles County.


State officials said the chickens at all three facilities have been killed...





Contract poultry farmers subject of new documentary


Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan, The Herald-Sun

Mar 16, 2017


DURHAM -- Farmer Genell Pridgen described contract chicken farming with lyrics from the song “16 Tons,” popularized by Tennessee Ernie Ford:


“You load 16 tons and what do you get, another day older and deeper in debt ... I owe my soul to the company store.”


“He was talking about mining, but that’s what it is,” Pridgen said. She is a former contract chicken grower for the poultry industry, and one of the farmers interviewed in a new documentary called “Under Contract: Farmers and the Fine Print.” Most of the film was screened and then discussed during at workshop at the Come to the Table Conference held at the Durham Convention Center on Thursday.


Come to the Table convenes food, faith and farm advocates and this convention was called “Bridging Divides: Cultivating Food & Faith Connections.” The keynote speaker ws Jason Brown, the former NFL player turned farmer. Come to the Table is a project of Rural Advancement Foundation International, known as RAFI, and the North Carolina Council of Churches. It has funding from the Duke Endowment.


“Under Contract” co-director Sally Lee also spoke at the workshop, called “Fairness in Contract Poultry Production.” “Under Contract” is a RAFI film. It premiered in New York in February, she said, and the first North Carolina full screening will be on April 7 at Chatham Mills in Pittsboro, where RAFI is also based. The screening at Come to the Table was shortened for time. The full version also includes a segment about poultry contract farming in India. The film is free for farmers and farmworkers to view via streaming or a download from RAFI.


The contract farming model of production in agriculture is expanding out of the chicken sector, Lee said in an interview before the workshop Thursday. It doesn’t really benefit the farmer, she said. Lee narrates the film as former contract poultry farmers are interviewed in multiple states. People’s eyes glaze over when you start talking about contracts, but it’s an essential shift in how we produce food, she said.


“The contracts are incredibly one-sided,” Lee said, and shifts the risk of farming to the farmers. There are several little things that can balance that contract between farmers and companies, she said.


“The big thing is we have to regulate the relationship between companies and farmers,” Lee said. “We need common sense regulations between one party that’s powerful and one that does not have that same kind of power.”


“Under Contract” features farmers in Arkansas, West Virginia, Mississippi and North Carolina who are former contract chicken growers for Tyson Foods, Perdue and Pilgrim’s Pride...