College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

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

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 “ISU test results provide six-year snapshot of egg safety”

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

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 “CALS outstanding faculty and staff awards announced”

Housing hens ruffles some feathers in the egg industry

ISU ag and biosystems engineering professor Hongwei Xin has compared three housing systems—traditional cages, cage-free barns and a sort of compromise system called enriched colonies, which some California producers have adopted. In those, hens live in groups of about 60 birds together. In his research, Xin has found the most hens die in a cage-free setting.

Rising egg prices bedevil restaurants, grocers and consumers

It’s not entirely clear how the virus transferred from wild birds, which are carriers of the H5N2 virus, to poultry packed in enclosed facilities. Conventional wisdom says the virus is transferred through physical contact such as bird droppings. But Hongwei Xin, director of the Egg Industry Center and professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at …Continue reading “Rising egg prices bedevil restaurants, grocers and consumers”

Canadian gift will help fund avian influenza research

Egg Farmers of Canada has committed $500,000 for avian influenza research to be awarded to and administered by the Egg Industry Center (EIC) at Iowa State University. Egg Farmers of Canada is the national not-for-profit organization that represents Canada’s more than 1,000 egg farms. Given the significant impact that highly pathogenic avian influenza is having …Continue reading “Canadian gift will help fund avian influenza research”

Xin discusses Avian Flu on Iowa Press

Fighting flu. Fearing consequences. Avian flu sending disease specialists, market managers, law enforcement and political leaders scrambling. Insight from three leaders in the fight on this edition of Iowa Press.

Egg production study explores environmental impact of industry

Iowa State University researchers played a key role in a recently completed comprehensive study of egg production systems that details the tradeoffs producers may face among considerations such as animal health, efficiency and environmental impact. Hongwei Xin, a Distinguished Professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering and director of the Egg Industry Center at Iowa State, …Continue reading “Egg production study explores environmental impact of industry”

Xin weighs in on egg price spike in California

Starting 2015, the California egg law passed six years prior finally went into effect, making it so no eggs can be sold in the state unless the laying hens had 116 square inches per bird. Even though the law is in California, any state wanting to sell there must comply. It essentially doubles the amount …Continue reading “Xin weighs in on egg price spike in California”

Change Agent: Hongwei Xin

His father told him years ago on a farm in rural China that science has no borders, and it was a lesson Hongwei Xin took to heart. Decades later and half a world away, Xin has dedicated his career to applying science to agriculture, making operations a little more efficient and life a little easier …Continue reading “Change Agent: Hongwei Xin”

College of Engineering faculty and staff recognized with university’s most distinguished awards

Eleven College of Engineering faculty and staff were among those honored during Iowa State’s University Awards Ceremony, held Sept. 22, 2014. Mufit Akinc, professor of materials science and engineering: Regents Faculty Excellence Award, Margaret Ellen White Graduate Faculty Award Tonia McCarley, assistant director of Center for Biorenewable Chemicals: Regents Award for Staff Excellence Vikram Dalal, …Continue reading “College of Engineering faculty and staff recognized with university’s most distinguished awards”

Keeping pigs comfortable during high heat and humidity

As the temperature and humidity level rise outside, producer need to address animal comfort indoors. Iowa Pork Industry Center interim director Jay Harmon said it’s the combination of air movement and wetting that help pigs. Wetting pigs is imperative because pigs don’t truly sweat like humans so. Wetting pigs is like giving them some artificial …Continue reading “Keeping pigs comfortable during high heat and humidity”

Selected current ISU livestock odor and air quality research and extension

Air Management Practices Assessment Tool Evaluation of polymer to reduce emissions from swine finishing facilities Estimating methane emissions Anaerobic digestion’s impact on odor, ammonia Diets that reduce ammonia emissions from hen houses Environmental assessment of laying-hen housing systems Quantifying emissions from swine facilities Community assessment model (CAM) for odor dispersion Biofilters conference and educational modules …Continue reading “Selected current ISU livestock odor and air quality research and extension”

Xin demonstrates egg industry’s improved efficiency, environmental impact

The U.S. egg industry is operating at much greater efficiency while leaving a smaller environmental footprint than it did 50 years ago, according to a first-of-its-kind study conducted by researchers at Iowa State University. Improved genetics, disease prevention, nutrition and production methods allow the egg industry to feed more people while producing less waste and …Continue reading “Xin demonstrates egg industry’s improved efficiency, environmental impact”

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