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November 5, 2013


Cargill Conference on EMS


On November 12 and 13, 2013, Cargill Animal Nutrition, a global feed and nutrition company, will host a two-day workshop in Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, to explore strategies to help customers deal with early mortality syndrome (EMS), a new bacterial disease that’s causing mass mortalities at shrimp farms in northwestern Mexico.


EMS has caused large-scale die-offs of farm-raised shrimp in several Asia countries, and in August 2013, it was confirmed at shrimp farms in the Mexican states of Sonora, Sinaloa and Nayarit.  Due to the outbreak, shrimp farming associations in those states project a 65 percent drop in shrimp production in 2013, compared to 2011.


“We hope that a partnership between researchers, industry and government can help develop some holistic solutions to this destructive disease,” said John Peppel, a senior vice president at Cargill, who serves on the Board of Directors of the Global Aquaculture Alliance.  “Cargill Animal Nutrition has more than 25 years of experience in aquaculture nutrition and management solutions.  We’re committed to using that global knowledge and experience to help shrimp producers in Mexico respond to this threat.”


At the workshop, The University of Arizona’s Dr. Donald Lightner will give a presentation on how to diagnose EMS, and health committee representatives from shrimp farming associations will describe the epidemiology of the disease, including information on mortality rates and how the problem moved from one area to another.  In addition, researchers from Mexican universities will present their latest findings on how to identify the bacteria using molecular tools.


“The workshop’s main goals are to understand how EMS is triggered, identify available diagnostic tools for the disease and identify methods to stop the bacteria from spreading any further,” says Gerardo Quintero, managing director, Cargill Animal Nutrition, a leading supplier of aquaculture feed in Mexico through the company’s Purina® and Provimi® brands.


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reports that in China in 2011, farms in Hainan, Guangdong, Fujian and Guangxi provinces had almost 80 percent losses from EMS.  In Thailand, shrimp production for 2013 is predicted to be down 30 percent from 2012 due to EMS.  With the spread of the disease to Mexico in 2013, shrimp farming associations are projecting mortality rates of nearly 60 percent at the country’s 625 shrimp farms, nearly a 40 percent drop in survivability compared to 2011.


About Cargill: Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world.  Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, it helps people thrive.  It has 142,000 employees in 67 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where they operate.


Information: In the United States, Lynda Michielutti (phone 952-984-8254, email; in Mexico Valeria Olson (phone 52-551105-7906,


Source: PR Newswire  Fighting EMS Shrimp Disease in Mexico—Cargill Workshop to Draw Together Academic Researchers and Industry.  November 4, 2013.

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