USA and Canada

Grain markets go into holiday mode

After a tumultuous week of downturns and upticks, ICE Futures canola moved a little, particularly in the nearby January and March contracts. In highlighting the markets going into holiday mode, the nearby January contract stepped back $7 per tonne since Dec. 9, while the March contract gained $4.

As the holidays approach, it’s clear traders want to get out of their long positions, despite the January contract not expiring until Jan. 15. The markets are faced with back-to-back short weeks, before trading picks up in earnest after marking the new year. Then there will be positioning ahead of the next supply-and-demand estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which are bound to affect canola values. The January S&D report will be particularly important, as it will provide USDA’s final 2021-22 numbers.

The specs have built up a massive long position that poses a serious threat to canola values. The thinking has been the specs are banking on comparable oils moving higher. Obviously there are more oilseeds other than Canadian canola that are increasingly hard to come by.

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Long-term Ontario studies show value of cover crops

A series of long-term studies in southern Ontario are showing the value of cover crops and boosting soil organic matter.

When combining data across experiments and research stations, University of Guelph soil scientist Laura Van Eerd said researchers consistently saw higher corn and soybean yields correlate to higher soil organic matter.

Van Eerd spoke during a webinar hosted by the Manitoba Organic Alliance (MOA) on Nov. 9.

Why it matters: Ontario research shows that cover crops add organic matter to the soil, which helps improve yields.

They also saw less deviation in yield year to year on plots with higher soil organic matter despite drought or excessive moisture.

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grain harvest

Low crop yields, high prices for farmers in 2021

Manitoba producers are wrapping up a year that saw some of the highest grain prices in living memory, matched by record-low crop yields.

For farmers, 2021 was a difficult year for the most part, but a lucky few found success in the face of an unprecedented drought, said Keystone Agriculture Producers director Charles Fossay.

“Prices are up, in many cases at highs that none of us have ever seen, [even those who have] been farming for 40 years or longer. Pricewise, things look well for most producers.

“It’s very tight supplies and probably in many cases … because of the shortage of grain and the tight supplies, that’s why prices went up for many producers who had grain to sell.”

For most of the province, crop yields were below average, he said, and in some areas, the yields were almost at zero.

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Corn yields topping 300 bushels during drought are testaments to genetics

Even in a drought-limited year, regional state winners in the National Corn Growers Association yield contest grouped around 300-bushels per acre yields. An Extension agronomist says the contest shows possibilities in modern corn genetics and the combination of optimal weather and input management.

The National Corn Growers Association Corn Yield Contest winner again topped 600 bushels per acre.

David Hula of Charles, City, Virginia, for the second time went over that mark, this time with 602.1694 bushels per acre.

There were 27 national winners in nine production categories, with verified yields averaging more than 376.76 bushels per acre, compared to a projected average of 177 bushels per acre national commercial yield.

Read More..

CGB Industries and Minnesota Soybean Processors announce plan to build soybean plant in North Dakota

The project planned for Casselton, North Dakota, is the second in the works for North Dakota. ADM announced plans to invest $350 million in the purchase of the former Cargill Malt plant at Spiritwood, North Dakota, demolish most of that facility and construct a new soybean crushing plant. ADM has said it hopes to have the facility running by harvest 2023.

Covington, Louisiana — CGB Enterprises Inc. and Minnesota Soybean Processors on Wednesday, Dec. 22, announced that they have formed a joint venture for the construction of a state-of-the-art soybean processing plant near Casselton, North Dakota.

North Dakota Soybean Processors LLC, jointly owned by CGB and Minnesota Soybean Processors, will own and operate the new facility, which is expected to crush 42.5 million bushels of soybeans in the first year.“This is an exciting project that has been in the works since 2019,” said Steve O’Nan, Senior Vice President, CGB Soybean Processing. “This state-of-the-art soybean processing plant is a commitment to North Dakota agriculture.   Read more…

New Zealand


Sun comes out just in time for bumper berry season

A week of rain has failed to put a dampener on the Nelson region’s berry producers, with some enjoying a bumper season, right on cue for Christmas.

Wet conditions caused Tasman Bay Berries managing director Glen Holland a few moments of angst, but the sun has come out just in time, he said.

“It’s looking pretty good, when you think of the weather we have had in the last 10 days,” Holland said.

The crop had experienced a bit of mould, but his team had “picked their way through it”. With the sun now shining, and wind drying everything out, Holland could concentrate on harvesting.

Read More here…

organic farming2

Marlborough hemp farm overcomes challenges to get organic status

A rural Marlborough hemp farm has achieved an organic certified status but it hasn’t been without its challenges.

Puro, which began planting in December 2020, commercially cultivates cannabis for medical use in Kēkerengū, north of Kaikōura.

BioGro, New Zealand’s largest certifier for organic produce, granted the organic status after working with Puro for the past two years. The achievement is a first for any medical cannabis company in Australasia.

Puro quality and compliance manager Wendy Tillman said Puro’s commitment to growing organically had not been without its challenges.

“We are a very new industry here in New Zealand and one of very few organic growers worldwide,” Tillman said.

Read More here…


Beef cattle numbers increase in 2021

Beef cattle numbers increased in 2021 while the number of sheep in the country’s flocks dropped slightly, Stats NZ said.

Provisional figures from the 2021 agricultural production survey show beef cattle numbers increased to 4 million at June 2021, a 4 per cent or 142,000 increase from the previous year.

“The total number of beef cattle was at a historical low in 2016, however it’s been increasing and is now up by 492,000, or 14 per cent, since that time,” agricultural production statistics manager Ana Krpo said.

Good beef prices throughout this period contributed to this increase.

The number of sheep nationally has been steady compared with the previous year, at 26 million. The lambing rate was also consistent with the previous year.

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Union wants controversial chemical banned immediately, ahead of kiwifruit harvest

A union that represents agricultural workers is calling for an immediate ban on a controversial agrichemical ahead of the upcoming kiwifruit harvest.

First Union wants the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to disallow the use of hydrogen cyanamide, an active ingredient in sprays commonly used by kiwifruit growers to help buds form after winter.

Commonly known as Hi-Cane, the chemical has been banned in Europe and its re-registration is under review in the United States of America.

First Union strategic project co-ordinator Anita Rosentreter said hydrogen cyanamide caused skin and eye irritation.

There was also evidence of it having a carcinogenic effect on those exposed to it, Rosentreter said.

Read more here…

farming peanut

Peanut farming could bring jobs and money to Northland as trial gets under way

People in Northland could soon be working for peanuts if a Government-funded trial finds growing the legumes on a commercial scale is viable.

Nearly $700,000 is being spent on large-scale trials after a smaller one recently proved peanuts could be farmed in the north of the country.

Over the next two years, a group of farmers will grow them at seven sites across the Kaipara and Far North Districts, with an aim at finding out if the venture could sustain an industry, Northland Inc’s Vaughan Cooper said.

He hoped the experiment would provide the “conclusive evidence” investors, landowners, growers and farmers needed to have confidence to diversify into peanut growing.

Read more here…


Australia harvest

WA harvest to be a record 22.1 million tonnes says GIWA

WESTERN Australia’s bumper harvest continues to break records and is now estimated to be more than 22.1 million tonnes, worth up to an estimated $9 billion.

With records being set for individual paddock averages, crop type averages and regional totals over most parts of WA, there were no surprises when estimates for total production for all grains went up on Friday and about 17 per cent more than the previous record set in 2018.

Since the start of harvest in the north of the State, yields were mostly coming in at about 10 to 20pc above estimates and, according to the Grain Industry of Western Australia’s (GIWA) December Crop Report, it was obvious if that held true for the rest of WA, it would be a record tonnage.

As harvest moved south and grain yields continued to exceed estimates, the focus shifted from wondering if WA would hit 20mt, to asking how it was going to deal with so much grain.

Read more here


Weed control a big part of 2022 plans

WITH harvest starting to draw to a close in some locations around Western Australia, growers are turning their attention to 2022.

Many factors are on on farmers’ minds and while fertiliser prices have been the most talked about topics of conversation, growers are also turning their attention to crop rotations and summer weed control plans.

Speaking on the WeedSmart podcast, Nutrien Ag Solutions agronomist Bernie Quade, who is based in Wyalkatchem, said a lot of people were still talking about canola given where the commodity prices were.

“There is a recipe starting to develop in the central Wheatbelt to growing profitable canola,” Mr Quade said.

“That recipe involves growing tough hybrids, planting them early, giving them plenty of nitrogen and addressing any soil constraints that you’ve got.

Read more here

buyers of grain

There are plenty of buyers for your grain

THERE has been a lot of discussion recently on the significant price differences between port zones of the same quality grain.

This is on top of the fact that prices bid to Australian farmers are well below the global price of grain.

Last week we wrote that growers have more pricing power than many seem to realise.

The takeaway point was, if every grower was offering their grain for sale at stronger prices, they would very likely be receiving better values.

While growers are selling into published bids, there is no incentive for buyers to increase their bid price.

There is also no incentive for “more buyers” to start participating in purchasing grain while prices are falling lower.

Read more here

Novel methods to keep Australia ahead of biosecurity threats

THE GENERAL public, post COVID-19, is much more aware of the importance of a solid national biosecurity policy than it was two years ago.

However, there is much more to the national strategy than just stopping diseases that impact humans in.

A large part of Australia’s biosecurity budget goes on protecting the nation’s agricultural sector.

Australian food is in high demand globally because of our status as a clean and green producer.

As an island continent, we are free from many damaging diseases and pests that decimate crops elsewhere – and the biosecurity department is doing its best to keep it that way.

“There are a few things happening that are really exciting, incorporating new technology to keep our country safe,” Mr Keane said.

Read more here…

grain variety

New funding to find more resilient grain varieties

A VICTORIAN-based research facility will use cutting edge research equipment to conduct trials on which grain varieties will be better suited to Australia’s increasingly extreme and variable climate.

The Horsham SmartFarm, dedicated to grains research and funded by the Victorian government, will be the home of the Free Air Temperature Extreme (FATE) facility.

The FATE facility will allow researchers to simulate extremes of temperature and weather to see which grain varieties cope the best with tough growing season conditions.

Longer term, the data will assist the breeding sector in selecting germplasm that might be able to lead to varieties with better drought and heat tolerance.

The investment in the FATE facility is part of a Victorian state government pledge to assist grain growers to become more resilient to the threat of climate change.

Read more here…

South America

Argentine grain

Argentine grain production rebounds

This season’s winter crop harvest in Argentina is progressing well amid a dry weather forecast for most of the next two weeks and extremely positive harvest reports.

Yields in the north were well below average.

But as the harvest has moved south, yields have improved to such an extent that wheat output looks set to smash the previous production annual record.

Heavy rains last week delayed the wheat harvest in some regions.

But, according to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange (BAGE), as of December 15, farmers had reaped 65 per cent of the 6.6 million hectares planted to wheat this year.

This was an 11.6 percentage point advance on the previous week, but still sits 1.4 percentage points behind the same time last year.

Read More here


14 New Frozen Fruits From Chile Permitted To Enter China

On Dec. 13, China and Chile signed into effect a protocol granting 14 new frozen fruit items from Chile market access to China, marking another milestone in bilateral trade relations between the two countries.

The signing of the protocol was led by Chilean Minister of Agriculture María Emilia Undurraga and Chinese Ambassador to Chile Niu Qingbao.

Now, a total of 17 frozen fruit items from Chile, namely, raspberries, boysenberries, cranberries, apples, avocados, cherries, sugar apples, grapeskiwifruit, peaches, mangos, papayas, pineapples, pomegranates, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries, have received permission to enter China. Prior to the signing ceremony, only frozen blueberries, blackberries and strawberries were allowed to be imported.

In 2020, Chile exported 171,000 metric tons of frozen fruit with a total export value of $435 million, of which berries accounted for $340 million. These exports of frozen berries were dominated by blueberries (29%), strawberries (28%), raspberries (16%) and blackberries (8%).

Read more here


BitCow: Cryptocurrencies break into Argentina’s agricultural sector

Argentina, one of the world’s leading food producers, is pioneering the creation of cryptocurrencies backed by agricultural assets.

The phenomenon is possible thanks to a process called tokenisation, which is the ‘transformation’ and representation of a real object in the digital world through blockchain networks.

Blockchain is the key to each of these initiatives. The technology is designed to manage a shared online record of data that is verified, secure and unchangeable. It is a shared, immutable ledger that may revolutionise the global economy.

The use of this technology also enables other innovations in agriculture, including making the production chain more transparent and traceable.

The first step towards the issuance of cryptocurrencies in the Argentine agricultural sector was taken in 2020 by BitCow, a firm that launched its own digital currency representing heads of cattle.

Read More here…


China approves Brazil meats’ sanitary system; Beijing increases tariffs on pork imports

The reopening of the Chinese market for Brazilian beef did not stem from technical or communications issues, and the good relationship between the two countries will continue to prosper, reach the pre-pandemic level and advance further, according to Brazil’s Agriculture minister Tereza Cristina.

Even when the almost fifteen-week-long beef ban forced the Brazilian government to support medium-sized meat packing plants, and the price of live cattle has only started to reverse, the overall issue of the ban needs a more in-depth analysis from Brasilia, added minister Cristina.

“We had two atypical ”mad cow“ cases almost at the same time. And Chinese authorities wanted to check and recheck the sanitary system, thinking in their own strategies and priorities”. The return to normal trade means more opportunities for Brazilian ranchers and the protein industry, and as important “the Brazilian sanitary inspection system was validated by our main trade partner. We have given proof that Brazil is doing its homework”, underlined the minister.

Read more here

Food Updates

Menus that are majority vegetarian are key to switching meat-eaters

The research suggests that if the majority of a menu is made up of plant-based foods, then people who usually eat meat are more likely to choose plant-based option.

Researchers from the University of Westminster have found that meat eaters are significantly more likely to choose vegetarian meals when they make up the majority of food offered. A menu had to be at least 75 percent vegetarian for this choice tipping point to occur.

People who usually eat meat shifted their choice to vegetarian food only when menus were 75 percent vegetarian, but not when 50 or 25 percent of items were vegetarian. Therefore, meat eaters can change their preferences when given enough vegetarian options to choose from, yet a large proportion of these options are needed to change fixed habits for consuming meat.

This new research involving Dr Beth Parkin at the University of Westminster and Dr Sophie Attwood from the World Resources Institute suggests that the food sector can have a significant impact in promoting sustainable food choices. The researchers argue that this can be achieved by changing how the choice is presented to the consumer without the need to consciously persuade individuals of the benefits of pro-environmental diets.


The future of a successful strategy
Since the World Health Organization (WHO) published its guideline on the intake of free sugars in 2015, sugar reduction has been in the spotlight. A reduction in excess sugar consumption has become a priority of global public health recommendations for a healthy diet.Over the last few years, there has been noteworthy progress in sugar reduction in certain food categories and especially in drinks. This is largely led by increased consumer interest for healthier sugar-reduced foods. Moreover, nutrition scientists and policy experts call stakeholders to take more actions to bring down the excess intake of sugars, in line with current public health recommendations…but there is still a long way to go.There is also a public health call to food manufacturers to contribute to sugar reduction efforts by reformulating products to provide healthier options that are lower in sugar. In these efforts, low/no calorie sweeteners have been used as a main tool to help achieve products with less sugar and, consequently, fewer calories, helping to meet consumer demands.Read more here


How well do you understand chocolate?
The fruit of the cocoa tree undergoes heavy refinement and processing before being formed into the smooth and sweet chocolate that consumers recognise. From the tree, you obtain cocoa pods, inside of which are beans that comprise cotyledons (cocoa nibs). These nibs are ground into a thick paste, releasing the cocoa butter, which accounts for over half of the nib’s weight.1 Mixed with the remaining solid part of the nib (known as cocoa solids), the heat generated from the friction of grinding softens the cocoa butter. The paste then undergoes a refining process prior to conching, which reduces the particle size of the cocoa solids and includes the addition of ingredients such as sugar, milk powder and more cocoa butter. Emulsifiers are added towards the end of the conching process.2

Read more here

US authorities sound the alarm of Listeria outbreak

Health authorities in the US have warned consumers of a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes related to salad. Consumers are being urged not to eat the particular brand of salad implicated in the outbreak, while retailers and hospitality venues are similarly being told not to sell or serve it.

Frank Yiannas, Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the below statement to warn consumers of the potential dangers of the outbreak.

“The FDA, along with the CDC and our state and local partners, is working to investigate a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections. To date, a positive sample of Fresh Express Sweet Hearts salad mix has been reported to match the outbreak strain. Fresh Express has voluntarily recalled products and consumers are advised not to eat, sell or serve any recalled products. Our investigation is ongoing, and we will continue to communicate should additional products be implicated,” he said.

Read more here


New research reveals marketing secrets of McDonald’s
Fast food giant McDonald’s seems to be focusing on children in lower middle-income countries, with more Instagram posts, price promotions, and child friendly marketing than is evident for wealthier nations, reveals an analysis of the company’s social media marketing across 15 countries and published in the open access journal BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health.These tactics may worsen existing healthcare issues in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries, claim the researchers, who note the contrast with the health promotion themes the company deploys for its social media marketing in higher income countries.Social media advertising by fast food companies continues to increase globally, but although McDonald’s—the largest fast food company in the world—operates in 101 countries,  relatively little is known about its marketing techniques in different continents, the researchers say.

Read more here

More Virtual Cooking Classes

Virtual cooking classes are a blazing trend of 2021, which is partly related to the meal kit boom, as many chefs recorded short video tutorials on how to finish dishes at home, which developed into full-scale, live, paid-for cooking classes. Whether you are looking to make Japanese, Italian, Chinese or master authentic Indian food, there’s a class for every interest and level of expertise.

Chefs and cooking bloggers host scheduled or impromptu cooking classes on Instagram, a platform that allows followers to interact with the host in an informal setting. Scheduled classes generally come with a fee. In return, you can ask questions in a more intimate setting.

This looks set to continue, with the likes of Tom Aikens offering weekly online classes from his newly Michelin-starred restaurant Muse and master French baker Dominique Ansel delving into his most famous creations, including the cronut.

Online, chef-driven virtual cooking classes—with accompanying chef food boxes for their recipes—will continue to expand. Many people will keep this fun way to get together with friends and family and be entertained at home while preparing a good meal and cooking along with a chef.

1- Improve Cooking Skills

Enrolling in cooking classes will train you how to cook and will definitely improve your cooking abilities.

2- Promote Self Esteem

High self esteem is one of the key ingredients of successful people. You can do almost anything once you start to believe in yourself.

3- Start a Culinary Career

The easiest way to have a career in the culinary arts is to attend different culinary classes. This will open your mind and will help you set your expectations.

If you would like more information, please click here to see our product page!

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USA and Canada

Predicting yield is next to impossible. However, there are things you can do, using averages, that may enable you to get a better picture of what to expect next year. | File photo

Predict your yields for 2022

The western Canadian agricultural industry saw a brutal year in 2021. It was frustrating to have record prices for grain and then have Mother Nature turn on us and not provide the wherewithal to produce crops to take advantage of them.

With many crops yielding much below half of what is considered average in any area, salt was rubbed into farmers’ wounds when they had to buy out contracts they had signed at attractive prices, but were unable to deliver.

I have been asked several times this fall to describe how to accurately predict yields to try and avoid a repeat of last year’s circumstances. Because so much of the factors that go into yield are the result of Mother Nature’s graces — good and bad, predicting yield is next to impossible.  However, there are things you can do, using averages, that may enable you to get a better picture of what to expect next year.

Read More…


Dry conditions threaten U.S. winter wheat crop

The U.S. winter wheat crop is heading into dormancy in the second worst condition of this century.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that 23 percent of the crop was in poor to very poor shape as of the end of November.

It is the lowest rating for that period since 2012.

“Across portions of the Great Plains and Northwest, establishment of the wheat crop has been hampered by lack of topsoil moisture,” the USDA said in its last crop condition report for the calendar year.

DTN ag meteorologist emeritus Bryce Anderson said seasonal forecasts suggest some improvement for the Northwest in 2022 with above-normal precipitation forecast for the winter and early spring.

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corn soybean

The Race for Organic

Once a small piece of the food pie, organic foods are going mainstream and jumping into more row crop fields. Organic products are now available in nearly 20,000 natural food stores and nearly 3 out of 4 conventional grocery stores, according to USDA.

From 2008 to 2019, harvested acreage of organic corn increased 124% while acreage for organic soybeans rose 73%, according to USDA. Despite the upward trend, the organic share of total domestic corn and soybean acreage accounted for less than 1% of total harvested acres for each crop in 2019.

This growth is not surprising to David Ross, sales and operations manager for Great Harvest Organics, a division of Beck’s Hybrids. He has seen demand for organic corn and soybean seed grow as farmers look to diversify their row crop lineup or reduce their use of synthetic chemicals or fertilizers.

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Outlook Series-Illustration-Corn

2022 Outlook: Why Corn’s Sweet Spot May Be Below $6 in the New Year

Corn prices have been on a volatile ride in 2021. Since the beginning of January to today, the December 2021 corn contract rose 34.5%. With a high of $6.36 ½ set on May 7, prices have continued to bounce across the board in a range of more than $1.

As analysts turn their attention to next year, which is creating more of a bullish outlook: corn or soybeans? The answer is mixed, but even with a tapered expectation of corn exports in the New Year, analysts are more optimistic when it comes to the price picture for corn.

“I’m a little bit softer on export demand. China has a lot of corn on the books, but they’re not taking shipment of it. That’s a concern until they start to do so that can always be rolled into the next year,” says Arlan Suderman of StoneX Group.

Despite the concern over the current status of corn exports, AgriTalk Host Chip Flory says corn seems to be finding true demand. He says total corn demand this year was estimated up slightly from last year in USDA’s November Supply and Demand Report.

Read More..

South American weather and strong exports push soybeans ahead

AgweekTV’s Michelle Rook and Randy Martinson of Martinson Ag Risk Management discuss a big week for soybeans and an expected slow down in trade heading into the holidays.

After news of some “nuisance rains over recent weeks,” South America is looking at some warm, dry conditions, Randy Martinson of Martinson Ag Risk Management says. That, combined with some recent export purchases, pushed soybeans ahead in the U.S. on Friday.

“We did see China come in and make some purchases,” he said on this week’s Agweek Market Wrap with AgweekTV’s Michelle Rook. India also made some soybean oil purchases, he noted.

Soybean meal has been the big leader of the soybean sector as of late, Rook pointed out.

“That really has captured the market as of late,” Martinson said. “It’s the leader of the products.”

Read more…

New Zealand


Food and Fibre exports forecast to exceed $50b to hit a new record, MPI says

Food and fibre sector exports are expected to exceed $50 billion in annual revenue for the first time as demand for the country’s primary products pushes up prices.

The export value is expected to rise 6 per cent to $50.8b in the year to June 30 2022, according to the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries report released on Wednesday.

That’s an improvement from the year to the end of June 2021 when primary sector exports slipped 1 per cent to $47.7b as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted markets.

Read More here…

meat NZ

Value of meat exports surges

The value of New Zealand’s red meat sector exports reached $693 million during October, a 27 per cent increase year-on-year, the Meat Industry Association (MIA) says.

The major sheep meat markets by value were China, up 25 per cent to $131m, the United States, up 54 per cent to $46m, and the Netherlands, up 94 per cent to $29m.

Overall, the value of China’s imports of New Zealand red meat was up 34 per cent to $262m, the United States by 47 per cent to $138m, Japan by 29 per cent to $31m and the Netherlands by 76 per cent to $30m.

Sirma Karapeeva, chief executive of the association, said that strong global demand for protein and strong global prices, especially from China, as it addressed the increased demand due to African Swine Fever, contributed to the increase in export value.

Read More here…


Farmer confidence unchanged from last quarter with an even split expecting expecting improvement and worsening, but dairy farmers much more positive, others more pessimistic

New Zealand farmer confidence continues to ‘hang in the balance’ as 2021 concludes, with an even split of farmers expecting the performance of the agricultural economy to improve in the year ahead and those expecting it to worsen.

The fourth and final Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey of the year — completed late last month — found net farmer confidence relatively unchanged from last quarter, inching fractionally higher to + one per cent, up from the net zero reading recorded in September.

The survey found the number of farmers expecting conditions in the agricultural economy to improve in the coming 12 months had risen to 28 per cent (up from 23 per cent last quarter) while there were also more farmers expecting conditions to worsen (27 per cent from 23 per cent previously). The number of farmers expecting the performance of the agricultural economy to stay the same fell to 43 per cent (from 52 per cent previously).

Read More here


Allan Barber assesses the financial health of the red meat sector by running his rule over a declining set of public annual reports. Alliance Group is the latest one, and it shows an improving trend

The Alliance Group posted a significantly better result for the 2021 year, achieving a 53% improvement on the previous year at the pre-tax and provisions level. The latest result incurred a much reduced provision for historical employee entitlements, enabling the company to report a post-tax profit of $23.8 million after distributing $8.5m to shareholders compared with $7m after tax in 2020 with no distribution.

Total revenue was only marginally up, but key differences were an improved operating margin between revenue and cost of sales, partly offset by an increase in administrative expenses, and an improvement of nearly $10m in equity accounted earnings. This last item suggests a massive performance improvement by the North American Lamb Company associates which will also show up in joint shareholders Silver Fern Farms’ and ANZCO’s annual results. This category also includes other partly owned businesses such as pet food ingredient supplier Meateor.

Read more here…


Three cheers as cherry harvest kicks off in Tasman orchard

A local cherry orchard has kicked off their summer harvest, with owners saying they had the strongest start they’ve ever had.

Ruby Bay Cherries owners Neil and Wanessa Hoggarth started their harvest season on Monday.

And while other cherry orchards in the top of the south were having a difficult summer, Neil said Ruby Bay Cherries had the best first day of the season they had ever had.

The crop was lighter, Neil said, but the fruit was bigger, and was delicious.

This year, the orchard was doing an initiative where for each 2kg box of cherries that was purchased using a school discount code, Ruby Bay Cherries would donate $5 back to the school.

This was the first year they had done this, Neil said.

“$5 back from each box goes straight to local schools.”

Read more here…


prices of fertiliser

World awash with grain

The global wheat outlook for 2021-22 is for higher supplies, greater consumption, increased trade and higher ending stocks in the 2021-22 marketing year, according to the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE).

On the whole, this month’s report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided very little fodder for the wheat bulls, and the futures market was sold down accordingly.

Last Thursday’s Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) session saw the benchmark December 2021 futures contract close down 17.75 cents per bushel (c/bu) at 773.5c/bu, which was equivalent to $396/tonne.

The contract did recover almost half of that loss in Friday’s trade, going into the weekend at 782c/bu, or almost $401/t, after the dust quickly settled on the WASDE report.

Read more here


Summer croppers hope rain positives outweigh negatives

FLOODS have damaged summer crops in northern NSW and southern Queensland but there is some cautious optimism the damage may not be as severe as first thought.

“We’ve definitely seen some bad losses on irrigated cotton on the Macintyre and Dumaresq Rivers where they just couldn’t keep the water out of the paddocks,” said grains section president of AgForce, Queensland’s peak farmer group, Brendan Taylor.

“However there are also patches where farmers are getting back out and finding that plants are still alive, both in cotton and sorghum,” he said.

“We’ve had a run of nice warm weather and sunny days and things have dried out, so if the crops weren’t flooded out they’ve got plenty of moisture to access and yield potential is actually really good.

“It’s the old saying with floods, there is some really severe damage for some but the moisture often is a real positive for others.”

Read more here

grain harvest

Grain prices ease back but still at harvest records

GRAIN prices have continued to drop over the past week as a combination of local harvest pressure and international data supportive of a fall in values take the edge of the market.

All up ASX APW wheat futures have now fallen a substantial $57 a tonne from their end of November highs to sit at around $377/t for the January 2022 contract.

Cash prices have moved in a similar direction, with APW cash prices delivered port this week sitting at around $380/t east coast and SA and $370/t WA.

Canola has well and truly come back from its time above $1000/t to be around $850/t port in most regions.

After spending some time looking relatively globally expensive, Australian wheat in most port zones is once again strong competitive against rival origins.

Read more here

GrainCorp records busiest week of harvest in weekly update

A BREAK in wet conditions has paved the way for GrainCorp to record its busiest week of harvest across the eastern states this year.

More than one million tonnes of grain made its way into receivals across NSW, Victoria and Queensland this past week, taking the overall total to more than eight million tonnes for the season.

NSW accounted for the majority of this week’s deliveries with 1,083,380 tonnes reaching GrainCorp sites across the state, taking NSW’s overall total to 4,591,230 tonnes.

Dubbo, Wyalong and Griffith were among NSW’s busiest sites during the past week.

Harvest operations in Victoria are progressing as sites across the state recorded a bump in activity during the past week, especially across the north east of the state and the Wimmera regions, including very strong canola deliveries.

Read more here…

grain trade

Growers have grain pricing power

THE reality is Australian growers have likely never before had this much pricing power in global grain markets.

Yet prices bid to growers have never been this far discounted when compared to global values.

That’s the market scenario in which we find ourselves.

The world needs Australian grain because they can’t get it readily from elsewhere in the world, due to production issues over the past year.

This is not likely to change until the northern hemisphere crops become available which for the majority is the middle of next year.

This means Australian grain is setting the global price.

Read more here…

South America


China lifts ban on Brazilian beef, but UK and EU retailers will stop purchases because of deforestation

Good and bad news for Brazil’s beef exports. China finally lifted the ban on Brazilian beef and allowed the resumption of shipments to the great Asian market. But several of the main retailers in Britain and the European Union have announced the banning of Brazilian beef in their shelves because meat processors are using cattle linked to the Amazon and Pantanal deforestation.

China’s ban lifted on Wednesday lasted since 4 September when two atypical cases of mad cow disease were reported in the states of Minas Gerais and Matto Grosso. Chinese Customs informed the Brazilian government that shipments of boneless beef products from cattle under 30 months of age, are again allowed in the market.

The secretary of Commerce and International Relations from the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Orlando Ribeiro, stated that the resumption is “total” and “without additional conditions”. Ribeiro added that “everything certified after December 15th will be accepted”

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Argentina exchange says dry summer poses ‘big challenge’ for soybeans, corn

BUENOS AIRES, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Argentina’s weather outlook poses a “big challenge” for soybean and corn production, with lower-than-normal rainfall due to the La Niña climate pattern expected during the region’s summer, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said.

Argentina is the world’s leading exporter of processed soybeans and the second-largest exporter of corn. Farmers are currently sowing soy and corn for the 2021/22 season.

“We are facing a climatic scenario … that poses strong challenges to production,” the exchange said in its monthly climate report posted late on Monday, adding that “the return of the rains could be delayed until mid-March”.

“One of the most damaging effects caused by ‘La Niña’ in the Pampeana Region (the central farming area) and adjacent areas, is to extend the seasonal drought, which normally takes place during January,” it said.

Read more here

Argentina grain

Argentina limits grain exports in fight against food inflation

Argentina is putting a ceiling on exports of corn and wheat in a fresh bid by the Peronist government to quell food inflation at home.

The government will first decide how much of the grains are needed in Argentina, and then proceed to stop exporters from registering shipments that’d jeopardise those domestic supplies, according to a resolution published on its website Friday.

“It’s a resolution that the food industry considers necessary to provide predictability,” Agriculture Minister Julián Domínguez said in a statement. “And to safeguard what Argentines need for their own consumption.”

Argentina is the world’s third-biggest corn exporter and a top supplier of wheat, so any change to exports may have broader implications for global agriculture markets when supply chain snags have disrupted transport and food prices around the world have soared.

Read More here…

cherry crop

Season’s First Sea Shipment of Chilean Cherries Arrives in Hong Kong

After 23 days at sea, the “Cherry Express” freighter Cochrane reached Hong Kong in the early hours of Dec. 12 as anticipated.

The ship’s cargo was the first seaborne shipment of Chilean cherries to arrive in Hong Kong this season and comprised a total of 54 containers of cherries, of which the main varieties were Santina (28 containers) and Royal Dawn (19.8 containers). In addition, the shipment also contained smaller quantities of other varieties, including Royal Hazel, Royal Lynn, Frisco and Bing. The shipment included cherries of sizes XL, J, 2J and 3J. According to the cherry export quality guide published by the Chilean Cherry Committee of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), as of Dec. 1, 2021, the smallest size that can now be exported to China is XL, meaning that cherries of size L and below will no longer be sent to the China market.

On the same evening that the new shipment arrived, Guangzhou’s Jiangnan Fruit and Vegetable Wholesale Market was buzzing in anticipation, with everyone eagerly awaiting the opening of the first container of cherries.

Read more here

Food Updates

What you eat affects taste preference, according to new study

A new study from scientists in California has suggested that a diet high in protein increases preference for carbohydrates, and vice versa.

What you eat influences your taste for what you might want to eat next. That’s according to a University of California, Riverside study performed on fruit flies.

The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, offers a better understanding of neurophysiological plasticity of the taste system in flies.

To maintain ideal health, animals require a balanced diet with optimum amounts of different nutrients. Macronutrients like carbohydrates and proteins are essential; indeed, an unbalanced intake of these nutrients can be detrimental to health.

blue berry

New study finds blueberries could be good for your heart
New research has suggested that adding blueberries to your diet could be beneficial for your heart, as the fruit could reduce insulin and glucose levels after a large meal.A new research study published in Clinical Nutrition finds that the equivalent of one cup of fresh blueberries, consumed as 26 g of freeze-dried blueberries, may reduce the acute cardiometabolic burden of energy-dense meals. Put simply, blueberries may benefit heart health.This emerging study finds that adding anthocyanin-rich blueberries (364 mg anthocyanin and 879 mg phenolics) to a high calorie, high-fat/high-sugar meal (969 kcal, 64.5g fat, 84 g carbohydrate) results in reduced insulin and glucose levels, lower total cholesterol, and improved good cholesterol (HDL-C) and its related lipoproteins (fractions of HDL-P and Apo-A1) in the 24 hours following the meal. These findings are noteworthy because elevated post-meal glucose and impaired glucose tolerance are associated with increased heart disease risk, which is already elevated in people with metabolic syndrome, and given the high rate of consumption of energy-dense, high-fat/high-sugar meals.Read more here

lab grown meat

Lab-grown meat’s commercial future
New Food interviews the CEO of Matrix Meats to find out why Singapore is so ahead in the lab-grown meat game and how long it will take others to catch up…Last year, Singapore made headlines as it became the first country in the world to commercially approve lab-grown meat.The company behind the approved cultured chicken, Eat Just, says it demonstrated the safety of its manufacturing process by running more than 20 production runs in 1,200-liter bioreactors. The company added that no antibiotics are used in this proprietary process and safety and quality validations demonstrated that harvested cultured chicken met the standards of poultry meat, with extremely low and significantly cleaner microbiological content than conventional chicken.We sat down with another US-based company, Matrix Meats, a food-tech company that specialises in designing and manufacturing scaffolds for cell-based meat in an interview with its CEO to find out more.

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New-age agriculture

With the global population on course to be 9.9 billion by 2050 and the ever-more intense race to reach Net Zero, our methods of food production need a drastic rethink. Will technology be our saviour?

Old Macdonald had a farm E.I.E.I.O, and on his farm he had an autonomous tractor which maps the entire field and collects data…Not as catchy as the original, I’ll admit, but certainly a more accurate depiction of what the future farm may look like.

As the population grows and we struggle with harsher climates and pesticide-resistant plants, growers have had to take a step back to jump several forward. Artificial intelligence (AI), automation, gene editing (GE) and indoor farming – concepts that were once the tales of science fiction – now hold the future of our food system in their hands.

Fifty percent of global topsoil has been lost by intensive farming.1

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Young woman wearing disposable medical mask shopping in supermarket during coronavirus pneumonia outbreak. Protection and prevent measures while epidemic time.

What’s in store for food in 2022?
As 2021 draws to a close, Professor Chris Elliott gives his expert opinion into the challenges to come for the food and drink sector next year.This is the time of year where all sorts of predictions appear. I’ve written a few of these previously and, thankfully, by the end of that year no-one has bothered to look back to tell me how wrong I was! Anyway, here I go again with some thoughts of what might be on the horizon for 2022. Read on for Elliott’s top six predictions.

Prediction one

It doesn’t take much reading to understand the price pressures on food will continue through much of next year. The impacts of Brexit and Covid will take most of the blame, but the ongoing and worsening climate crisis will increasingly impact food prices and food availability too. We will see more evidence of the negative impacts of droughts, floods, wildfires and heatwaves. This in turn will require greater focus on the additional use of legal and illegal pesticides, which may well occur as many farmers worldwide struggle to deal with increased attacks from pests due to climate change.

Read more here

USA and Canada

Rows of Soybeans in the morning light of farm in Missouri. Converted from RAW file with 16 bit processing.

New soybean varieties for 2022

Western Canadian Prairie farmers who want to try a new soybean variety in 2022 will have lots to choose from with 31 soybean options being rolled out for the coming growing season. Here’s a look at what’s on tap from Dekalb, Corteva, Croplan, Maizex, NorthStar Genetics, Proven Seed, SeCan, Sevita International, Syngenta and Thunder Seed. Keep in mind, this list only includes brand new soybean offerings for 2022.

Corteva: Brevant

B0012RX is a Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybean with a relative maturity of 00.1 or 2300 CHU that maintains a medium plant height across variable environments. A consistent performer in fields with heavy soil texture, this variety matures slightly later than B0011RX but yields 4.6 bushels more per acre. B0012RX has Rps6 and Rps1k genes for protection against phytophthora root rot (PRR) along with an above-average rating for iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) tolerance.

Read More…

sunflowers-north Manitoba

Manitoba crops down across the board: StatCan

Manitoba farmers reported a decrease in production of spring wheat, canola, soybeans, corn for grain, oats, barley, dry beans and sunflower seeds.

The 2021 estimates come from a StatCan survey of 3,133 Manitoba farmers conducted from October 8 to November 12.

Spring wheat

Total spring wheat production fell 29.2 per cent to 3.7 million tonnes in 2021. Farmers reported a decline in harvested area, down 9.2 per cent to 2.8 million acres, while average yield decreased 22.1 per cent to 47.9 bushels per acre.

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Steep Prices Trim U.S. Grain, Oilseed Exports Despite Healthy Demand

Global agriculture demand has been respectable even as shrinking supplies have pushed prices to multiyear or even record highs, but the recent shortfalls in some key U.S. exports are a prime example of how U.S. products have been frequently priced out of the market when costs soar.

U.S. farm exports recently hit new highs in terms of value, but wheat, soybean oil and cotton volumes in particular have lagged. Current U.S. government export estimates largely capture these weaknesses for now, but improvements may be less likely the longer high prices stick around.

Read More


Hot, dry or both?Crop physiology under stress

What exactly happens to an individual plant in your field when Mother Nature turns up the thermostat and the dehumidifier at the same time?

It kills. In fact, it is a long and painful death for the plant, and there’s nothing we can do except hope for rain. That was the theme of Rosalind Buekert’s on-line presentation at the 2021 Saskatchewan Agronomy update. The presentation was titled “Dry, Hot, or Both? Crop Physiology Under Stress.”

Buekert, a plant physiologist at the University of Saskatchewan, said that to understand the intensity of heat and drought, it’s first necessary to know how hot and for how long.

Read More..

fertiliser cost

How to Balance Agronomic Decisions Against High Fertilizer Costs

The high cost of fall fertilizer is likely to have a long tail on U.S. corn production. Issues with natural gas availability globally is stoking concerns about a shortage of nitrogen (N) fertilizer. Plus, fertilizer prices continue to spike in the last few months of the year.


Despite higher grain prices, farmers will likely pull back on N applications in 2022, says Gary Schnitkey, agricultural economist at the University of Illinois.

Most decision aids will indicate farmers should drop N rates due to higher fertilizer prices, he says. In mid-November, he ran the “Maximum Return to Nitrogen” tool developed by Midwest land- grant universities for $5 corn.

Read more…

New Zealand


Fonterra’s Hurrell says New Zealand milk is the most valuable in the world 

New Zealand’s grass-fed farming model makes the country’s milk the most valuable in the world, Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell told farmers at the co-operative’s annual meeting in Invercargill.

Since taking over from Theo Spierings, Hurrell has moved Fonterra away from expanding its milk pools overseas, and brought the focus back to getting more value from the “white gold” produced by New Zealand farmers. His shift in strategy comes at a time when consumers are wanting to know more about where their food comes from and the environmental impact it leaves.

Read More here…


Dairy prices hit 7-year high on Global Dairy Trade auction as tight milk supply underpins demand

Dairy prices rose at the global auction overnight, surpassing their March peak to touch a fresh seven-year high, as tight milk supply underpins demand for New Zealand’s biggest export commodity.

The Global Dairy Trade price index increased 1.4 per cent at the latest auction, to touch its highest level since March 2014. The index has been on a march higher since August.

Global dairy prices have been supported this season by weaker milk production in New Zealand and overseas due to poor weather and higher feed costs. Fonterra’s New Zealand milk supply is down about 3 per cent on the same time last season and is expected to end the season down 0.9 per cent. That’s prompted the co-operative to forecast a record farmgate milk price for its suppliers this season.

Read More here…


Shipping delays and staff shortages bite the meat industry

Farmers are starting to struggle to get stock killed because staff shortages and shipping woes are causing major issues in the meat industry.

Ben Dooley, a farmer from Mimihau in Southland, said he had 200 ewes booked in with Alliance Group next week, but he was worried about finding more space for stock in the coming months.

“It’s definitely concerning. If this shipping container issue doesn’t get sorted out then we’re going to have some big problems in the next few months.”

The Alliance Group and Silver Fern Farms both say chronic labour shortages and global supply chain issues were causing problems.

SFF general manager supply chain Dan Boulton said the company was about 550 people short across its network.

Read More here


The pandemic has changed the world, but livestock farming not so much. But there has been preparation, innovation, and adoption of different ways to do farming business

COVID continues to cause problems including in New Zealand. Supply chains continue to be disrupted, tourism is a dead duck and since the pandemic first closed our borders, 90,000 jobs have been lost in the tourism sector and many billions of dollars in revenue.

Aside from supply chain issues, by in large farmers lives have not changed a huge amount; they are out there getting the job done supplying food. But what happens if COVID makes it’s way inside the farmgate?

They key is to create a plan. Talk to staff, family and anyone else who could be impacted, including contractors and neighbours. How will stock be managed and cared for should key people contract COVID and become ill. These are all things you should be planning, discussing and documenting should the worst happen.

Read more here…

covid agriculture

Covid-19: More border exemptions for crucial agricultural workers

Relief could be in sight for agricultural contractors with up to 200 heavy machinery operators able to enter New Zealand under a border class exemption.

On Sunday, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor​ said the exemption would support key autumn harvest requirements and relieve workforce pressures created by Covid-19.

Pre-pandemic, more than 1000 skilled machinery operators, trained to drive specialised heavy agricultural machinery, came to New Zealand every year to meet seasonal demand.

However, most of those had been shut out since the borders closed early last year, leaving contractors severely short-staffed.

Read more here…


prices of fertiliser

Rising prices could dictate nitrogen use

WITH fertiliser prices still sky high, growers are weighing up whether they will use less nitrogen in 2022, even though it would likely reduce yield potential.

High fertiliser prices are front of mind for growers right now and need to be managed properly, however many are holding out and hoping for prices to drop.

WAFarmers grains section president Mic Fels said he hadn’t priced his urea yet and was hoping the market would settle down before he has to.

“The issue is going to be whether the market corrects itself in time for when we need our urea next year,” Mr Fels said.

Read more here

grain price

Grain prices steady as farmers assess rain damage to crops

East coast Australian grain prices steadied last week as farmers and buyers assess impacts of the recent flooding rains across NSW.

Fortunately, Queensland grain farmers had finished most winter crop harvesting when eastern Australia was inundated by 75 millimetres to more than 150mm of rain in less than 48-hours.

NSW farmers at the epicentre of the torrential rain event are assessing quality losses as they gradually get machinery into paddocks. It will be weeks before farmers will be able to access lower lying country, were in some cases crops were completely submerged.

Initial indications have revealed significant and widespread downgrading of grain quality.

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partnership of soil constrains

Partnership to overcome soil constraints

A PARTNERSHIP between one of the world’s leading silicon fertiliser companies, Agripower, and the Australian government-backed Co-operative Research Centre for High Performance Soils (Soil CRC) was announced last week.

The agreement will see the organisations focus on increasing farming productivity, sustainability and profitability was also announced.

In partnership, the companies will undertake tests, trials and product development to deliver solutions to overcome consequential constraints the agriculture industry is facing.

More than 60 per cent of the 20 million hectares of cropping soils in Australia have subsoil constraints, including acidity, salinity and sodicity.

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Downgrading issues lead to calls for better stocks info

THE RECENT rain and associated downgrading of unharvested grain has reignited calls from the grain production sector for a more equitable system of stocks reporting.

Grain Producers Australia director and long-time advocate for stocks information reporting Andrew Weidemann said grain growers were currently flying blind when making their marketing decisions.

“Everyone is trying to get a handle on how much grain is downgraded, but only the bulk handlers have access to that information at a meaningful level,” Mr Weidemann said.

Read more here…

dairy australia

Plant-based products should not be allowed to misuse and leverage dairy terms, senate hearing told

The Australian Dairy Industry Council also called for the government to stop plant-based products misrepresenting dairy nutrition.

“The issue of plant-based products falsely leveraging the dairy industry is a long-standing problem in this country,” ADIC chair Rick Gladigau said.

At a public hearing for the Senate inquiry into the definitions of meat and other animal products, ADIC representatives called on government to support measures to address this market failure.

Mr Gladigau said the Australian dairy industry had extremely strict standards of identity to be able to call a product milk, cheese or yoghurt.

Read more here…

South America


Brazil’s FOB soybean oil basis lower than Argentina’s on biodiesel cut

Brazilian FOB soybean oil port differentials had an unusual start for December, lower than Argentinian levels, amid a cut in the mandatory mixture of biodiesel into diesel for 2022.

From Nov. 30 to Dec. 7, the Brazilian FOB Paranagua soybean oil premium for January loading was assessed as lower as 30 points compared to Argentina’s FOB Up River, according to S&P Global Platts. By this time last year, in contrast, Brazilian FOB Paranagua basis was as higher as 100 points than the reported in Argentina.

The Brazilian FOB Paranagua basis for January shipment was assessed Dec. 7 at plus 480 points to CBOT, from plus 640 points by this time in 2020.

Read More here

chile cherry

ASOEX Remains Bullish on China as Cherry Season Picks Up Steam

The Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) remains optimistic about the long-term prospects for exports of Chilean fresh fruit to China and expects to continue significant annual investments to develop the China market and solidify Chile’s position as a top supplier of fruit to China, according to recent remarks by an ASOEX representative during the Chile Week in China event series held in Beijing and Shanghai from Nov. 25 to Dec. 3 and organized by Chile’s export promotion bureau, ProChile.

On Dec. 2, Patrick Xiao, ASOEX’s marketing manager for China, took to the stage in Shanghai as part of the Chile Week in China Innovation and Food Safety Seminar to discuss “Opportunities and Challenges for Exporting to the Chinese Market.” In 2020, China imported over 6.3 million tons of fresh fruit from around the world with a total value in excess of $10 billion.

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Brazil’s Soybean Planting Hits 94%, But Southern States Face Drought Risk

Sao Paulo, BR (Reuters) — The planting of Brazil’s 2021/22 soybean crop had reached 94% of the estimated area as of Thursday (Dec. 2) and is progressing well in most of the country, although a recent lack of rains has put farmers on alert in some southern states, agribusiness consultancy AgRural said today (Dec. 6).

According to AgRural, national planting was up 4 percentage points from the previous week and remains ahead of the 90% that was planted at the same juncture in 2020/21.

Fieldwork in southern states, such as Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, however, is being affected by drought, it said, adding that the states of Mato Grosso do Sul and Sao Paulo face the risk of potential losses due to the drier weather.

Read more here

Food Updates

Nutrition is an economic issue as much as a health issue

Too often, nutrition is seen only to be a health issue affecting individuals alone. But by the time the signs of malnutrition emerge, significant – and sometimes irreversible – damage is already done, costing wider society an estimated $3.5 trillion a year.

By stunting their growth, poor diets have set back the physical and cognitive development of as many as 150 million pre-school children around the world, while the 40 million overweight are already at greater risk of non-communicable diseases.

These impairments also impact the economy at large. Companies lose up to $38 billion every year in reduced productivity because workers are underweight, while obesity dents productivity to the tune of an estimated $27 billion.


Cargill commits to removing iFTAs from its edible oils
Global ingredients manufacturer Cargill has committed to removing iFTAs to comply with a World Health Organization initiative to reduce the amount of iFTAs in the global food supply chain.As food manufacturers seek ways to help improve consumer diets, Cargill has committed to removing industrially produced trans-fatty acids (iTFAs) from its entire global edible oils portfolio. Cargill says this will help both it and its customers comply with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended standard of a maximum two grams of iTFA per 100 grams fats/oils by the end of 2023.

The WHO’s REPLACE initiative provides a guide for governments and industry to implement a best practice on iTFA in the global food supply chain to address related health concerns. Cargill claims it is the first edible oils supplier to make this commitment, joining many of the world’s largest food companies and members of the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA) who have committed to the WHO goal.

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Will consumers accept insect-fed chicken?
Despite shifts towards vegan and vegetarian diets in Western cultures, the demand for animal protein persists. It’s clear that at least some adoption of alternative feedstuffs will be required to nourish the growing world population without compromising on sustainability, but how will consumers respond to insect-fed chicken for example?Researchers at the University of Göttingen and the University of Alberta, Canada. Specifically, the researchers looked at the effect of information regarding algae and insects in the food chain, with the results published in the journal Food Policy.

The researchers photographed chicken breasts from animals fed with spirulina (a type of algae) or insect meal and rendered the photos to imitate market-ready products. The chicken breast products were labelled with health or sustainability claims to further understand preference motivation for alternative feedstuffs.

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Binge drinking increases among older US men

New research has found that binge drinking increased among older men but not older women, with separation and divorce often associated with a higher risk of binge drinking among older men.

Binge drinking has increased in recent years among older US men but not among older women, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The study included 18,794 adults aged 65 years and older who participated in the 2015–2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Binge drinking was defined as consuming five or more drinks on the same occasion for men and four or more drinks for women.

Binge drinking among older men increased from 12.8 percent in 2015 to 15.7 percent in 2019 but remained stable among older women (7.6 to 7.3 percent).

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Increasing the global rice bowl without harming the planet
The new research has released that there is till scope to increase yields in some of the world’s most important rice-growing areas without causing significant damage to the environment.Rice is the main food staple for more than half of the global population, and as the population grows, demand for rice is expected to grow, too.

But increasing global rice production is not a simple prospect.

“Global rice production is challenged now due to the negative environmental impact, water scarcity, labour shortage and slowing yield increases in many parts of the world,” said Shen Yuan, a postdoctoral research associate at Huazhong Agricultural University in China who spent two years as a visiting scholar at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

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USA and Canada

Drought conditions, like the ones that injured yields in this wheat crop near Flaxcombe, Sask., left large amounts of unused nutrients in prairie fields this year. | Michael Robin photo

Last season’s drought could cause unpredictable soil N

A good portion of the plant nutrients applied last spring still sits in prairie soils.

Some agronomists have even found granular pellets of fertilizer still intact when taking soil tests this fall.

In most areas, there was enough moisture to dissolve fertilizer applied in the spring. However, drought conditions prevented crops from using these inputs across wide swaths of the Prairies last summer.

With fertilizer prices shooting for the moon, many producers will be eager to include high levels of residual nutrients when penciling in their fertility program.

This is especially the case with nitrogen that’s approximately double the price now compared to a year ago.

Read More…

Occasional tillage remains one tool to manage weeds that have developed resistance to glyphosate and other popular broad-spectrum herbicides. | File photo

 Integrated approach helps manage herbicide resistance

 New research from Pennsylvania State University has shown that no-till production can reduce herbicide use and maintain crop yields by implementing integrated weed-management methods.

Traditionally, no-till farmers rely more heavily on herbicides to control weed growth. To test whether herbicide applications could be reduced in no-till production, lessen environmental impact and control selection pressure by weeds for herbicide resistance, researchers at Penn State’s Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center in Rock Springs conducted a nine-year experiment using herbicide-reduction practices in a dairy crop rotation.

With more than 65 percent of agronomic crops under no-till production in Pennsylvania, weeds are spreading and becoming more difficult to control, reducing crop yields.

Read More…


Prairies canola crop pegged at 12.6 million tonnes

A Manitoba oilseed expert has pegged prairie canola production at 12.6 million tonnes.

If that’s correct, it would be the lowest tonnage since 2010 and a 36-37 percent reduction from 2020, when Canada produced 19.5 million tonnes of canola.

Dane Froese, oilseed specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, presented production estimates for the 2021 crop during a Canola Council of Canada meeting Nov. 30.

In a table summarizing production in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, Froese said Saskatchewan had the largest drop in canola yields, by far.

The average yield across the Prairies was 27.5 bushels per acre, 34 percent below the five-year average.

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Canad Crop

Canada’s crop production plummeted in 2021, says StatCan

It wasn’t a good year to be a crop farmer and Statistics Canada has the numbers to prove it.

Production of several major field crops, except for corn, fell across the country.

Manitoba saw wheat production decrease by 28.9 per cent to 3.8 million tonnes while yields fell by 21.9 per cent to 47.9 bushels per acre, according to StatCan.

Wheat yields across Canada fell by 38.5 per cent to 21.7 million tonnes with Saskatchewan taking the brunt of crop losses, seeing their yields plummet by 43.4 per cent to 26 bushels an acre.

It was hardly a banner year for canola, which fell to the lowest levels since 2007 with a 35.4 per cent drop in production.

Read More..


U.S. soy achieves record export volume

This year, U.S. soy set a new record for exporting more product in more international markets than ever before.

The United Soybean Board, U.S. Soybean Export Council, and American Soybean Association announced that the 20/21 market year set a record of 61.65 million metric tons of whole soybeans shipped to markets across the globe. That is a value of over $28 billion in revenue for the U.S. Soy industry!

“This record is a result of efforts to enhance access and usage of U.S. soy across the food, feed and livestock industries and across international markets by the U.S. soy farmers and industry, our customers, and governments around the world,” said Jim Sutter, CEO of U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC). “Setting the new aggregate volume record demonstrates the value of the investment of U.S. soy farmers to create positive impact for our customers around the world to contribute to improved nutrition and food security, environmental sustainability, and livelihoods globally.”

Read more…

New Zealand


Boosting the quality of our dairy herd is vital for sector’s future

When the country’s largest milk processor declared milk supply in New Zealand was “likely to decline” and remain “flat at best”, it’s fair to say it was a reality check for our nation’s dairy farmers.

I know it was for me. As a fourth-generation dairy farmer this was the call-to-action moment I’d been waiting for, having contemplated the reality for some time.

As a sector we’ve accepted and become familiar with the term “peak cow”, but “peak milk” is uncharted territory being navigated by Fonterra’s new strategy and capital structure proposal.


Read More here…


NZ agriculture is starting to see value in celebrating its provenance

Much of New Zealand’s agricultural produce is sold as unbranded commodities on global markets. But that’s starting to change as companies discover there is value in heralding their Kiwi provenance.

“New Zealand has got a really strong story and that’s something that we haven’t really told in the past,” says Lincoln University agribusiness and food marketing programme director Dr Nic Lees. “We are making progress. I think we have started on that journey.”

Fonterra, the country’s largest dairy company, has been vocal about its shift in focus under new chief executive Miles Hurrell. Where his predecessor Theo Spierings envisaged the co-operative becoming another big global conglomerate like Danone or Nestle, Hurrell has sold off overseas assets and pulled back to New Zealand to focus on getting more value from the “white gold” produced by local farmers.

Read More here…

NZ tree

One of the country’s oldest pear trees now bearing fruit of a different kind

Under the watchful gaze of Taupiri Maunga, across the Waikato River, a lone pear tree stands in a paddock with its roots firmly embedded in New Zealand history.

The fruit tree was one of many planted by Reverend Benjamin Yate Ashwell near the Anglican mission school he established at Kāitōtehe about 20km north of Hamilton.

Ashwell made his way into the Waikato region in 1839 where he was given permission by Pōtatau Te Wherowhero, the first Kīngi Māori, to set up the mission on the edges of Kāitōtehe Pā, close to the Waikato River.

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Fonterra lifts farmgate milk price to record level; sees $13.2b economic boost

Fonterra has lifted its milk payment to farmers for this season to the highest level since it was founded 20 years ago, which it expects will contribute more than $13.2 billion to the economy.

The co-operative on Friday lifted and narrowed its forecast for the 2021/22 season a second time, and is now expecting to pay its farmer suppliers between $8.40 and $9 per kilogram of milk solids. That’s up from its forecast in late October of between $7.90 and $8.90 per kgMS.

The midpoint of the range, which farmers are paid off, increased to $8.70 per kgMS from $8.40 per kgMS, and would be the highest level since Fonterra was formed in 2001. The co-operative paid farmers $7.54 per kgMS last season, and its previous record was $8.40 per kgMS in the 2013/14 season.

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Plant based food NZ

Snail farming, cricket flour, algae and lab-grown fish; Welcome to the brave new world of alternative protein

Innovators of meat and dairy substitutes and new plant-based foods are tapping consumer demand for alternatives to animal-based production and New Zealand is not immune.

The country is delving into plant protein ingredients, lab-based animal proteins, new plant-based consumer brands, and hybrid models where agricultural producers include plant ingredients alongside their animal proteins.

With about 40 per cent of New Zealand goods exports coming from the meat and dairy sectors, the rise of alternative proteins is an area the Ministry for Primary Industries is keeping tabs on. While an expanding global population is expected to continue to stoke demand for animal proteins, a growing desire for more sustainable and healthier lifestyles is driving uptake of alternatives.

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australian wheat

Australian wheat crop upgraded to a bin bursting record of 34.429 million tonnes

In most parts of the country, milling wheat prices have continued to tick along near their recent highs, including back to record levels in South Australia.

However, there have been a couple of hurdles thrown up on the supply side, firstly with the upgrade of the Australian crop to a bin bursting record of 34.429 million tonnes, an increase of 1.8 million tonnes from the September projections.

We have now also seen the Canadians increase the size of their bread wheat crop by 700,000 tonnes, to 16 million tonnes, when a reduction to below 15 million tonnes had been expected.

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Barley field trial sets 8t/ha benchmark

A BARLEY field trial attempting to raise the yield bar for the high rainfall zones in Western Australia, particularly on ameliorated soils, has achieved the aspirational goal of eight tonnes per hectare this season.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) high rainfall zone farming systems project is led by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), with the cereals component managed by Field Applied Research (FAR) Australia.

The experiments focused on developing new yield benchmarks on ameliorated soils comparing genetic, environmental and management factors that have the potential to drive yield and push productivity.

The small plot scale trial, run on the Whiting family’s farm at Gibson alongside large replicated farm trials, evaluated the impact of management such as defoliation (grazing), increased nitrogen applications and more intensive fungicide strategies, as well as the effect of the actual variety.

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grain Australia

Big spreads emerge as farmers count cost of grain downgrades

THE SPREADS between milling and feed wheat are opening up to near record levels as the grain trade tries desperately to get hold of quality wheat to export in light of the massive crop downgrades in NSW.

The good news for growers with downgraded grain is that the feed wheat price is remaining solid and the milling grades are rising off that level rather than the spread emerging due to a fall in the feed value.

It is not just the prices of high protein grades of milling wheat, where a premium has existed for some time, that are soaring, APW, the nation’s standard wheat, has risen markedly over the past fortnight to sit at $120 a tonne over general purpose wheat and $140/t over feed wheat in most east coast port zones.

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wheat price

Wheat prices surge as rain swamps NSW crops

Australian wheat prices surged higher last week after torrential rain in NSW swamped wheat fields waiting to be harvested.

Wide expanses of NSW cropping areas are under flood waters after cropping areas recorded 75 millimetres to more than 100mm late last week.

Flood levels rose rapidly in the worst affected areas around the Namoi and Lachlan rivers where paddocks were already saturated and dams were full.

Worst case scenarios are being factored in by farmers.

Harvest was advanced in northern NSW but was just starting in the central west and south.

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plant based food Australia

‘We’re part of Australia’s meat industry’: v2foods

PROMINENT plant-based protein supplier v2foods says it is part of the meat industry and is working on sustainably feeding the planet, just like Australia’s red meat producers.

Appearing at the senate inquiry into definitions of meat, v2foods founder and chief executive officer Nick Hazell said plant-based protein companies were ‘certainly not about closing down the livestock sector or cannibalising its market.’

He emphatically declared his industry did not attempt to ‘drag down others’ and then proceeded to do precisely that.

“The red meat sector doesn’t want to call our product meat because that would allow consumers to directly compare our version with theirs,” he told senators.

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South America

Argentina Grain

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA — The Buenos Aires grains exchange has increased its forecast for corn plantings for 2021-22 to 7.3 million hectares from 7.1 million hectares, Reuters reported.

It maintained the record harvest figure at 55 million tonnes. Crops, including corn and soybeans, are in good condition, helped by recent rainfall.

Farmers have planted 31.1% of the expected corn area and 46.3% of the estimated soybean area. The soybean harvest is estimated at 44 million tonnes.

Wheat harvest is nearly half complete, with production estimated at a record 20.3 million tonnes.

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Rio grande

Labour strife in port of Montevideo; increasing export volumes shipped from Rio Grande in Brazil

Recurrent labour strife in the port of Montevideo is not only frustrating but is also seriously limiting activities, and only this week did the Union of Uruguayan exporters make public a release regretting the fact that several vessels abandoned the port given what is known as pearled stoppages.

These actions impeded the loading of hundreds of containers ready for export, and at the same time the unloading of others, already delayed, with merchandise for Christmas and inputs for different industries.

This also further complicates the current global situation with insufficient containers, scarce hold capacity and vessels, plus exorbitant freight rates, pointed out in the release.

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cherry Argentina

Argentinian Cherry Crop Forecast To Fall 14% This Year

Data recently released by Argentina’s Rural Development Institute (Instituto de Desarrollo Rural) indicate that the Argentinian cherry crop will fall by 14% to 4,100 metric tons this year owing to frosts and droughts.

In terms of cultivars, the production volume of Bing cherries is forecast to decrease by 21% to 1,728 metric tons in 2021, while the output of Lapins cherries is expected to reach 684 metric tons, corresponding to a year-on-year increase of 48%.

Argentina’s annual cherry output has fluctuated considerably in recent years. In 2015, the production volume was only 2,035 metric tons. This soared to 5,901 metric tons in 2017 and then plummeted by 60% to 2,346 metric tons in 2018.

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Food Updates

Would a switch to a Mediterranean diet be kinder on the environment?

Researchers from Germany and Austria have found that a switch to a vegan or Mediterranean diet would benefit the environment, though both diets do come with their drawbacks.

It’s no secret that what we eat has consequences for our health and animal welfare. So when comparing diets, these aspects as a whole should be taken into account.

Experts refer to the optimal health of humans, animals and the environment as the “One Health” perspective. “Studies that apply this perspective to nutrition issues are still rare, however,” explained Juliana Paris of the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn (Germany).


Mythbreakers: Is coffee bad for your heart?
Is coffee bad for your heart? Dr Langer of the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee takes this popular myth to task and offers some hope for the coffee-lovers around the world.More than 95 million people in the UK regularly consume coffee and these consumers are increasingly curious about the health effects of their preferred beverage. Some of the more common questions are linked to coffee’s effect on the heart. British Heart Foundation statistics show there are around 7.6 million people living with cardiovascular disease in the UK. Public health awareness days, such as the recent World Heart Day, help promote messages on healthy living and the role of diet. Consequently, it’s no surprise that many want to know whether coffee will help them look after their heart – and if so, how?Read more here

bird flue

Bird flu outbreaks continue in UK

Concerns are mounting over cases of Bird Flu in the UK, as more cases of Avian flu are identified among birds in North Yorkshire and Wales.Further cases of bird flu have been detected across the UK as nationwide housing orders come into force.The Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, Christianne Glossop has confirmed the presence of avian influenza H5N1 on a mixed poultry premises near Crickhowell, Brecon and Radnorshire, Powys. Meanwhile, eight possible outbreaks have also been identified in North Yorkshire since November.The Welsh authorities have enforced a 3km Protection Zone in Crickhowell, a 10km Surveillance Zone and a 10km Restricted Zone have been declared around the infected premises, to limit the risk of disease spread.

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Emerging risks from emerging proteins

Professor Chris Elliott raises concern over the potential for mass food recalls and allergic reactions, as we see an increase demand in alternatives proteins, including plant-based and insects.

My last article for New Food on alternative proteins and the potential for another melamine-like scandal raised quite a few eyebrows and drew a lot of attention; I was subsequently contacted by a number of businesses and trade associations to discuss this in more detail.

I never set out to be an alarmist, but I do believe that potential, future crises must be highlighted so that discussions between and within companies can be had. It also allows regulators to consider how they can help mitigate against possible, serious public health risks.

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FDA and CDC investigating multistate E. Coli outbreak
The FDA and CDC are investigating an outbreak of E.Coli In multiple US states which is thought to have been caused by organic spinach.Public health authorities in the US are warning consumers not to consume a certain brand or organic spinach after multiple cases of E.coli were detected in several different states.The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with state and local partners, are investigating the outbreak. According to the CDC, as of November 15, 2021, 14 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from nine states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 13 to October 27, 2021. 10 people in this outbreak report eating spinach in the week before becoming sick and six people reported Josie’s Organics brand.

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