Monitoring animal health

Researchers are using remote sensing technologies to increase the health and efficiency of livestock production. One of the studies involved tracking chickens to get a sense of the basics for potential cage-free production. How many feeders to provide a cage-
free flock is one of the many production questions that need answering, says Hongwei Xin, director of [Continue Reading…]

ABE grads win at Animal Welfare Judging and Assessment Contest

Three agricultural and biosystems engineering graduate students attended the 2016 Intercollegiate Animal Welfare Judging and Assessment Contest, held at Ohio State University on November 12 and 13. The Iowa State University graduate team, comprised of Suzanne Leonard, Kai Liu and Jofran Oliveira, placed first in the Team Live Assessment scenario and third place Overall Team. Suzanne Leonard [Continue Reading…]

World Food Day: Protecting natural resources through nutrient planning around the world

First established on Oct. 16, 1979, World Food Day recognizes the day in 1945 when 42 countries assembled in Quebec, Canada to create the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to free humanity from hunger and malnutrition, effectively managing the global food system.

ISU faculty, staff and students win big at ASABE in Orlando

Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering faculty, staff and students were once again a strong presence at the annual American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) conference. More winners will be announced in upcoming Inside magazines (ASABE publication): 2016 ASABE Major Award Winners: Carl Bern: Sukup Global Food Security Award Mark Hanna: SMV Technologies Ergonomics, Safety [Continue Reading…]

Xin: Opportunities and challenges of going cage-free

By Dr. Hongwei Xin Special to Poultry Times AMES, Iowa — The number of food service retailers, grocers, chain restaurants and tourism companies that have pledged to source only cage-free eggs by year 2025 translates to more than 160 million laying hens needed to meet the demand. This quantity exceeds half of the current U.S. [Continue Reading…]

Xin: Lowest egg prices in a decade

Hongwei Xin, director of the Egg Industry Center, says the layer population here has rebounded, “As of today, we have about 48 million laying hens and we lost about 25 million during the AI outbreak. So, at the high point, our state had about 59 million and so we’re about 10 to 11 million birds [Continue Reading…]

Xin: The cage-free hen movement has reached a tipping point in consumer preferences

Hongwei Xin, said he hoped consumers always will be able to choose between conventionally produced eggs and cage-free eggs, each of which has its pros and cons. Most of the corporate commitments to cage-free eggs have 2020 or 2025 deadlines, he said, because it can take years to complete the transition. Cage-free eggs cost more to produce [Continue Reading…]

Awards bestowed by Iowa State University Agricultural Honor Society

The Iowa Chapter of the Honor Society of Agriculture, known as Gamma Sigma Delta, presented awards April 21 to Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences alumni, faculty and students. Two individuals’ accomplishments were recognized with the 2016 Distinguished Achievement in Agriculture Award: Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Thomas Loynachan, professor [Continue Reading…]

Xin: Egg prices forecast to fall as industry recovers from bird flu

Hongwei Xin, director of the Egg Industry Center at Iowa State University, said the state is making good progress in recovering from bird flu. Iowa had 46.5 million egg-laying hens as of mid-March compared with 58.3 million before the outbreak. Producers are adding about 3 million birds each month, but that pace is expected to slow [Continue Reading…]

ISU test results provide six-year snapshot of egg safety

Six years of Iowa State University testing show a dramatic decrease in the number of environmental samples taken from egg facilities that test positive for the Salmonella enteritidis bacterium causing human food poisoning. “The test data also show that the likelihood of a positive environmental test translating into contaminated eggs is extremely low,” said Hongwei Xin, [Continue Reading…]

Xin: Egg industry sprinting to keep up with cage-free demand

The move to cage-free isn’t cheap. Egg producers spend $30 to $60 per chicken to make the switch from conventional cages to a cage-free, or “aviary,” system, according to the Egg Industry Center at Iowa State University. Most large operations house a million or more birds, so the costs can add up quickly to reach upwards [Continue Reading…]

CALS outstanding faculty and staff awards announced

The Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences announced its faculty and staff award winners for 2015. The Dean’s Citation for Extraordinary Contributions Award was awarded to the Egg Industry Center. Staff members include Hongwei Xin, director and C.F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in both the department of agricultural and biosystems engineering and animal [Continue Reading…]