USA and Canada

U.S. increases dry bean exports

Demand for American dry beans is exceptionally strong despite the small crop, says an industry official.

Growers in the United States harvested 1.03 million tonnes of beans last year, down 30 percent from the previous year.

Mexico is the biggest market for U.S. beans and they were very active buyers in 2020-21 due to a small domestic crop. That same situation appears to be playing out again in 2021-22.

“It looks like a pretty bad year for Mexico,” Rebecca Bratter, executive director of the U.S. Dry Bean Council, said during the Northarvest Bean Day webinar.

The council is forecasting 650,000 tonnes of Mexican bean production, which would be similar to last year’s 682,000 tonnes but well below the historic average of 838,000 tonnes.

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While higher prices are better than lower prices, historically, there has been a consequence to them. | File photo

Doubt cast on expectations for drop in canola acreage

Analysts are questioning Agriculture Canada’s call for a reduction in canola plantings this year.

It is forecasting 21.7 million acres of the oilseed, a three percent drop from last year’s levels, caused by farmers shifting into growing more cereal crops.

MarketsFarm analyst Bruce Burnett can’t see that happening.

“New crop cash pricing around that $18 to $19 per bushel mark is attractive,” he said.

He agrees that acres may drop in the drought-stricken regions of the southern Prairies, but they will be up in the more traditional northern canola growing areas.

Burnett is forecasting a three to five percent increase in overall plantings.

But a lot will depend on the spring weather. If it is extremely hot and dry, the Agriculture Canada forecast could come to fruition.

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Canada joins international sustainable agriculture production and food systems coalition

Canadian farmers and producers are key drivers for advancing innovation and sustainability for our country’s agricultural and agri-food sector. As part of the Government of Canada’s approach to working in collaboration with international partners to mitigate the risks of climate change and create conditions for industry to remain competitive globally, Canada has joined the Sustainable Productivity Growth for Food Security and Resource Conservation coalition (SPG).

As an outcome of the United Nations Food Systems Summit, which took place in September 2021, Canada has joined more than 15 countries, as well as dozens of academic organizations, foundations and private sector associations, in becoming signatories of the SPG, led by the United States.

Collaboration with coalition partners will provide Canada with an international platform to advocate for research, advance innovations and technologies, and facilitate productivity growth in our own agriculture and agri-food sector.

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Innovation technology for smart farm system, Agriculture management, Hand holding smartphone with smart technology concept. asian male farmer working in Sugarcane farm To collect data to study.

U.S. crop insurance payouts rise sharply as climate change worsens droughts, floods

Insurance payments to U.S. farmers for crops lost to droughts and flooding have risen more than threefold over the past 25 years, according to an analysis of federal data by the Environmental Working Group released on Thursday.

The report reinforces concerns that insuring the nation’s crops will get more expensive for insurance companies, farmers and taxpayers as climate change drives more erratic weather events that disrupt agriculture.

The federal government pays about 60% of the nation’s crop insurance premiums through taxpayer subsidies, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and those premiums tend to rise as insurance payouts grow.

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Alberta farmers tout new digital technologies to save costs, time

Willie and Nick Banack help operate a 2,800-hectare (7,000 acre) grain farm in the Camrose area. They spoke at a panel discussion Thursday with farmers from across Canada about their adoption of new agricultural technologies, from light bar GPS guidance for machinery to auto-steering technology and more sophisticated apps that collect and analyze data from the field.

“This technology is easier to use than it ever has been,” said Willie Banack, who said the digital age has produced profound changes for his industry since he started farming in the early 1990s.

“Our farm has expanded almost three-fold in that time frame,” he said, adding digital tools have allowed operators to work longer with less fatigue, and end up with less overlap or miss in the field, especially when spraying herbicides or pesticides.

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New Zealand


Farmers offering to pay $137m for their greenhouse pollution. Is that fair?

The farming industry-government partnership has a proposal to pay for agricultural emissions. But the Climate Change Minister remains unimpressed at the example rates. Stuff breaks down the debate.

The agriculture sector has presented its preferred options to address the greenhouse gas it produces: systems that would cost between $27 and $53 million to operate yet by the end of the decade, emissions could fall by less than one percent.

That’s because the system will begin with low prices for each tonne of emissions. But collectively, the cash might add up: the sector could pay out as much as $137m in 2025. Minus admin costs, the funds could be recycled into greenhouse-cutting research and development and approved technologies.

Read More here…


A2 Milk shares jump on media report it could be a takeover target

Shares in The a2 Milk Company were the top gainer on the sharemarket on Tuesday after a speculative media report that the specialist milk marketer could be a takeover target.

A2 Milk shares were up 6.6 per cent to $5.81 in mid-afternoon trading on the NZX, valuing the company at $4.3 billion. The Australian newspaper speculated in its Dataroom column that Canadian dairy company Saputo could be eyeing up the acquisition of Jalna Dairy Foods or a2 Milk.

A2 Milk’s shares have lost almost half their value over the past year after a run of earnings downgrades dented investor confidence. A2’s success in the large infant formula market in China hit the skids after the Covid-19 pandemic closed international borders, shutting a key route to market, and it faced increased rivalry and weaker demand.

“The share price of a2 has taken a bit of a jump today on takeover speculation and I guess time will tell as to whether that’s true,” said Hamilton Hindin Greene investment adviser Grant Davies. “It definitely falls into the speculative side of rumours.

Read More here…

vegetable prices

Expect pricier veges in February, growers and suppliers warn

Shoppers are being told to expect more expensive fruit and vegetables in February, and less of them.

Jerry Prendergast, president of industry group United Fresh, said three weeks of heavy rain at the end of November and early December meant the usual planting cycle was interrupted, and this gap would be noticed soon in shops.

A Countdown supermarket spokeswoman confirmed that supply was already down on what it was usually.

Prendergast said the two main North Island vegetable growing regions of Horowhenua and Pukekohe were badly affected by the late spring drenching.

Director of Levin’s Woodhaven Gardens Jay Clarke​ said he could not have tractors on the fields after the rain because they would rip up the paddocks or get stuck.

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Northland farmer doubles dairy herd with mentor

Moving from milking 120 dairy cows to 300 was a big leap Lachie McLean says was made successful by three years of free mentoring and business support he received through a Northland farming initiative.

Before expanding five years ago, McLean had worked on the Waipu family farm for 45 years, but he was in the milk shed eight hours a day, which he says was not ideal.

Heading into his 60s his energy was waning and the prospect of more hours in the shed was not inviting.

”I was starting to struggle at my age,” McLean said.

Dairy NZ regional chair Chris Neill approached him and said, how about we lend a hand?

Read more here…



Safflower an oil alternative?

A NEW break crop suited to some of the most hostile soils in Western Australia and which can be used to make high-end machinery oil has been trialled across the grainbelt, with the initial results exceeding expectations.

Super high oleic (SHO) safflower was initially developed about 20 years ago as part of a joint venture between CSIRO and the Grain Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), with the oil profile modified to be more than 90 per cent oleic, which is the high quality portion.

While there are other crop species that have been modified in that way, such as soybeans and sunflowers, they are about 60-70pc, whereas the safflower’s very high oleic levels means that when it is refined and extracted, it produces a higher oleic oil concentration.

Since the original creation, it has been further developed and marketed by GO Resources which holds the rights to the SHO trait that produces an oil used in top-end machinery, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, cooking, plastics, polymers, resins and biofuel.

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Downs farmers begin bumper sorghum harvest

Darling Downs farmers have started harvesting what’s expected to be one of the largest sorghum crops in several years.

Early yields have been strong with crops coming in at 5-6 tonnes a hectare and this pattern is expected to continue. Timely planting rains and above average summer rainfall has set the platform for above average yields.

Large plantings and good yields are expected to see Southern Queensland produce upwards of 1 million tonnes of sorghum for the season. Sorghum planting is under way in Central Queensland where most farmers are anxious for more rain to top up soil moisture levels.

Domestic buyers are showing limited interest in sorghum at current prices as they take advantage of the large feed wheat supplies after the wet winter crop harvest. This should see most of the Queensland sorghum crop move into export markets, as it did last year.

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new factory

Cottoning on to a brand new crop in the north

Construction of the Northern Territory’s controversial first cotton gin is well advanced.

The gin is on track to process this year’s harvest from an increasing number of enthusiastic fans cropping former cattle country.

But opponents of this new industry fear the impact of irrigation on iconic Top End waterways although growers say the bulk of their cotton is grown using wet season rains.

Environmentalists also predict there will be large scale clearing of station lease country necessary to grow broadacre crops like cotton.

Groups like Territory Rivers and Environment Centre NT have been monitoring progress of the gin’s construction using satellite pictures.

Read more here

new tech for harvest

New tech speeds up harvest receivals

EFFECTIVE and sensible technology was trialled in the Esperance port zone this harvest, with license plate recognition (LPR) used to capture and identify computer-readable images of license plates on trucks at unmanned weighbridges.

The technology enabled drivers to pull their truck onto an unmanned weighbridge, have their number plate and weight registered through the CDF App, which they then accepted and drove on, all within a matter of seconds.

CBH acting chief operations officer Mick Daw said the technology was trialled this harvest in an attempt to improve the efficiency at sites with unmanned weighbridges and sample-first sites.

“CBH has previously tested other technology at our unmanned weighbridges, however we have been looking for more accurate technology to improve the number plate recognition and speed up the weighing process,” Mr Daw said.

Read more here…

Harvesting knowledge to transform ag industry

SUPPORTING onfarm experimentation networks and activities globally to better connect farmers and researchers could help transform the agricultural industry and solve some of its toughest challenges, an international study led by Curtin University, in partnership with Murdoch University and CSIRO, has found.

Onfarm experimentation (OFE) refers to farmer-centric and data-driven approaches to agricultural innovation where farmers conduct their own experiments in their fields in collaboration with scientists and other industry professionals.

It is a way for farmers to test technologies and practices by varying management, observing and measuring changes, and analysing results – all in real farm conditions, with a focus on what matters to each farm and field.

Read more here…

South America



Soybeans were sharply higher on commercial and technical buying, notching new contract highs and building on the week’s earlier gains. Recent rainfall has stabilized soybeans somewhat in Argentina, but coverage in southern Brazil and Paraguay was relatively spotty. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange says 38% of Argentina’s crop is in good to excellent condition, up 8% on the week, while 19% is called poor to very poor, down 8%. Several private and governmental agencies have lowered production estimates for Brazil, with the most recent guess from ABIOVE at 135.8 million tons, 4.2 million under the USDA’s most recent outlook. Friday morning, unknown destinations bought 251,500 tons of U.S. soybeans and Mexico picked up 141,514 tons, both for 2021/22 delivery, while China purchased 264,000 tons of new crop U.S. beans. The bump in U.S. soybean sales might be linked to the recent reductions in South American production projections. Soybean meal and oil were supported by commercial demand.

Corn was higher on commercial and technical buying, cementing a solidly higher weekly finish. Corn is also watching conditions in South America, with hot, dry weather in the forecast for the coming week. It’s roughly the equivalent of late July or early August for those key South American growing areas.

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chillian blueberry

Chilean Blueberry Exports Pick Up in New Year

The 2021/22 Chilean blueberry season is now halfway through, and exports of this product have been picking up since Jan. 1. In an effort to expand the market share of Chilean blueberries in China, a series of online and offline promotional activities are being conducted.

In January, initiated by the Chilean Blueberry Committee of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), over 1,000 offline marketing activities were launched at 60 chain stores of seven key retailers throughout China, namely, Sam’s Club, Hema Fresh, Walmart, AEON, Ole’, Century Mart and 7Fresh.

The run-up to the Chinese New Year festival is one of the peak periods for fruit sales in China, and sales of Chilean blueberries have been steadily climbing owing to the sweet refreshing flavor and nutritional benefits of this fruit.

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Brazilian soybean prospects dwindle

With the recent events, agencies and experts have reduced the expectations for this year’s harvest in Brazil. USDA reported a decrease of around 330 million bushels of soybeans in the projection of Brazilian production.

This year’s production is projected to be lower than last year, despite a 3.59% in crop area.

The seeding process this year started out smoothly and with optimism, with most of the soybean planted within the window planned. However, the extreme weather, with severe droughts in the South and intense rain showers in the Midwest, the perspectives of another record season have lowered.

There has been a shift in the pacific winds, leaving rains concentrated in Argentina. This change is deviating the cold fronts from Brazil, maintaining the heat waves. Expect an increase in temperatures in the coming weeks, especially in southern Brazil.

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2021 was record year for Argentine wine exports, says Foreign Ministry

rgentina’s bottled wine exports hit a historic high in 2021 worth US$817 million, the Foreign Ministry reported Saturday.

The previous high was the US$786 million in foreign wine sales marked in 2012.

Leading export destinations were the United States, Britain, Brazil, Canada and the Netherlands, according to the report, based on a study by the Laboratorio Estadístico del Instituto Nacional de Vitivinicultura (“Statistical Laboratory of the National Viticulture Institute,” INV).

Comparing 2021 with international sales in 2020, there were also increases in shipments to Mexico, China, France, Switzerland and Paraguay.

The Argentine global trade exchange in 2021 showed one of the largest surpluses of the last decade with almost US$15 billion.

Read more here

Food Updates


Five key food and beverage industry trends for 2022

Last year I predicted seven key trends and challenges for the food industry in 2021 – and I feel a pat on the back is in order. Listeners of the New Food podcast Food to Go will know that I am no stranger to making predictions (based on varying degrees of expertise), but this time there is genuine cause for (quiet) satisfaction. I have rather graciously given myself seven out of seven in terms of correct predictions, but it’s never a good idea to mark your own homework, so do be sure to have a read and moderate my results.

So here’s my next lot; five things the food industry can expect in 2022 – and I’ll see you next year for another victory dance.

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Some sliced meats saltier than seawater, claims new research
Research by Action on Salt, based at Queen Mary University of London, has revealed that two thirds of all chilled sliced meats including sliced ham, chicken, corned beef and salami, sold by leading grocery retailers, are “dangerously high” in salt with one in three failing to meet the national salt reduction targets.Action on Salt is now calling for mandated salt reduction targets for all products containing added salt to be enforced and reviewed regularly by the Government. This is not the first time this group has called for changes to be made in the food industry – it has been campaigning for healthier salt portions in food for many years now.Action on Salt claims that manufacturers of sliced meats in particular are lagging behind, with only one in three (37 percent) of their chilled sliced meat products achieving their respective salt targets, compared to two in three (69 percent) of retailer’s own label products. Tesco is leads the way in compliance with the targets compared to Waitrose which is falling far behind (97 percent vs seven percent respectively).

Read more here

Coffee-growing regions under threat from climate change, research warns

A new report predicts that, as climate change progresses, the most suitable regions for growing arabica coffee, cashews, and avocados will decline in some of the main countries that produce these crops.

Leading the study, Dr. Roman Grüter and his colleagues at Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland, present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS.

The researchers combined climate change projections and soil factors to model how suitable various regions will be for growing crops in 2050. They used projections from 14 global climate models under three different future emission scenarios and incorporated land and soil requirements for the crops, such as pH, texture, and slope.

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How can manufacturers ease the allergen burden?
For the 32 million Americans managing food allergies and their families, food allergen labelling is critical to their health, safety, and well-being. There is no cure for food allergies, so strict avoidance of the allergen is the only way to prevent a reaction. The importance of transparent and accurate food allergen labelling cannot be overstated.A food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a certain food as harmful and reacts by causing symptoms. This is an allergic reaction.  Allergic reactions can involve the skin, mouth, eyes, lungs, heart, gut and brain. A severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis can be life-threatening.Food allergies have been on the rise in the United States for the past three decades. While researchers don’t know definitively what caused this rise, there is consensus that infant feeding guidelines played a role. Twenty years ago, the guidelines recommended that parents wait until children were three years old before introducing peanuts or other common food allergens into their diet if their family had a risk for developing allergies. Parents then adopted these guidelines and the food allergy rates increased.

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global food

Food Sustainability Index ranks countries on food waste
Produced by Economist Impact with the support of the Barilla Foundation, the Food Sustainability Index (FSI) 2021 assesses the food-system sustainability of 78 countries according to three pillars: food loss and waste, sustainable agriculture, and nutritional challenges. The 2021 edition is the fourth edition of the FSI, and it places Sweden, Japan, Canada, Finland and Austria at the top, as having the most sustainable food systems in the world.Despite food waste being a global issue, just 28 percent of countries in the entire FSI have a dedicated food waste strategy. According to the FSI, within the food loss and waste pillar, the top five performing countries include Canada, Italy, Germany, Japan and the Netherlands.According to Economist Impact, there continues to be major gaps in policy to build sustainable agricultural systems in countries around the world. Less than 50 percent of all countries in the FSI are mainstreaming climate change into their agricultural policies and only 36 percent are prioritising agriculture in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The FSI shows that countries performing best in the sustainable agriculture pillar include Finland, Estonia, Austria, Tanzania and Sweden.

Read more here

More Virtual Cooking Classes

Plant-based ‘fish’

Plant-based burgers are old news now, but next on the horizon are plant-based ‘fish’ options. These vegan alternatives do their best to mimic the taste, texture and nutritional value of popular fish such as salmon and tuna; look out for Good Catch’s vegan ‘tuna’, which is widely available in the US and now in the UK, plus new Swedish start-up Hooked, which recently raised $600,000 (£424,000) to launch its flaked Toona and Salmoon in 2021.

Alt seafood to surge in growth Report showed that the global plant-based fish market is projected to surge at an impressive CAGR of around 28% from 2021 to 2031, to top a valuation of US$ 1.3 billion by 2031. Interestingly, the report found that plant-based shrimp is to emerge as the most consumed type.

It explored the biggest trends in alternative proteins and explores the opportunities and challenges for manufacturers today and for future market development. Consumer interest in plant-based fish alternatives is growing and is poised for a rapid rise like other alternative protein products.

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

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Bacteriophages to the future
Food scientist, Maria Costa, outlines why bacteriophages are a promising future solution to improving food safety and reducing wastage.In the food industry, processing is very important, and ensuring food safety across the food chain is imperative. Even with the strict regulations around the world regarding food safety to ensure food is safe for consumption, every year there are outbreaks related to food bacterial contaminations leading to numerous deaths and foodborne diseases, contributing to severe economic losses related to health costs and food losses.1,2Read more here

USA and Canada

Getting the most out of a soybean crop

Conventional wisdom says that the nitrogen-fixing capability of soybeans leaves substantial nutrients behind for subsequent corn crops.

While true to a degree, Fred Below, University of Illinois plant physiology professor, believes many soybean growers do not realize how much nutrient is being removed by the crop and many could get more from their soybeans if more effort was devoted to fertility programs.

Why it matters: Soybeans might remove more nutrients from the soil than farmers realize. Small changes to fertility management could have significant impact for soybeans and subsequent crops.

Below said most grain growers in the United States see soybeans as a rotational crop before the real money maker, corn. A wide gap between potential yield and actual yield is the result, since many do not apply enough fertilizer, if any.

The problem is compounded by the amount of nutrient that soybeans remove from the soil.

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Downy brome, Bromus tectorum, is the latest Canadian weed to show glyphosate resistance.  |  Mike Raine photo

Glyphosate-resistant grass found on Alberta farmland

Glyphosate-resistant downy brome has been found in Alberta.

“This is actually a pretty significant discovery because it’s the first glyphosate-resistant grass weed confirmation in all of Canada,” said Charles Geddes, Agriculture Canada weed scientist in Lethbridge.

Geddes provided an update on weeds and herbicide resistance during the Alberta Agronomy Update on Jan. 12, where he described how the glyphosate-resistant downy brome was identified.

He said his team was approached by a diligent agronomist from southern Alberta who discovered a population of downy brome that didn’t seem to be bothered by multiple glyphosate applications.

“We took the seeds from the population back to our research facility, and this fall indeed we did document that the population is glyphosate resistant exhibiting between 10- and 12-fold resistance to glyphosate, which is fairly significant,” Geddes said.

He said the downy brome population is certainly glyphosate resistant.

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High Organic Growth Quotient To Dictate The Growth Of The Dehydrated Vegetables Market

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, January 24, 2022 / — Growing preference for processed and ready-to-eat food products on the coattails of changing lifestyles habits in major cities has been influencing the adoption of dehydrated form of vegetables such as beans, potatoes, onions, broccoli and others.

The global dehydrated vegetables market is estimated to be valued over US$ 56 billion in 2018, expanding at a promising CAGR of 4.8% over the assessment period of 2018-2028, which is expected to exceed a value of US$ 90 billion by 2028-end.

Dehydrated Vegetables Market to Gain Traction with Advancements in Food Technology

Air and vacuum drying techniques are projected to become more mainstream in the global dehydrated vegetables market by technology.

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Tractor spraying young corn with pesticides

Will North Dakota corn wet milling plant give the region’s farm economy a boost?

GRAND FORKS, North Dakota — The Fufeng Group Ltd. wet corn milling plant proposed in Grand Forks has potential to benefit the region’s agricultural industry, but whether that happens depends on the answers to an abundance of yet-unanswered questions.

In November 2021, Fufeng Group Ltd., a Chinese-based bio-fermentation company, chose Grand Forks from among four U.S. locations that were finalist for locations to build a wet milling corn plant that would initially have capacity to process 25 millions bushels of corn annually.

The wet corn milling processing plant, which is proposed to be located on a 370-acre site in northwest Grand Forks, primarily would manufacture food additives, animal feed and other products, according to Keith Lund, Grand Forks Region Economic Development president and CEO. The plant’s finished products would be the amino acids lysine and threonine, which are an essential ingredient in animal nutrition formulas.

Read more…

Canada’s common wheat exports fall 29% on week, durum wheat shipments rise

Canadian common wheat exports fell 29% week on week to 187,100 mt in the week ended Jan. 9, Canadian Grain Commission data released Jan. 16 showed.

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Exports of the food grain fell in the week to Jan. 9 as wheat prices globally declined and demand for crops from other origins increased. Export prices of Canadian wheat have also seen some volatility amid choppy trade in the past two weeks, traders said.

However, exports of durum wheat rose to 19,600 mt in the week to Jan. 9 from 13,100 mt the week before, the data showed.

Durum wheat exports over Aug. 1-Jan. 9 totaled 1.2 million mt, down more than 52% from the same period of of MY 2020-21.

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New Zealand


Global dairy prices hit 8-year high as supply tightens; milk payments to farmers tipped to increase

Dairy prices jumped 4.6 per cent at the global auction overnight to hit an eight-year-high, as tight milk supply stokes demand for New Zealand’s biggest export commodity.

The Global Dairy Trade price index rose to 1397, its highest level since March 2014.

The average price for whole milk powder, which has the most impact on what farmers are paid, posted the biggest gain, up 5.6 per cent to US$4082 (NZ$6041) a tonne, and is sitting 21 per cent higher than at the same time last year.

Global dairy prices have been supported this season by weaker milk production in New Zealand and overseas, hindered by poor weather and higher feed costs. Last week, Fonterra lowered its forecast for the amount of milk it expects to collect this season by 1.6 per cent to 1.5 billion kilograms of milk solids due to challenging pasture growing conditions.

Read More here…


Final picking season for Noho Blueberry Farm in path of future highway

Antony Young campaigned for a highway. Now his farm is in its path and he is preparing for a final pick.

The popular Noho Blueberry Farm is one of many properties on land designated for the Ōtaki to north of Levin expressway project.

Young, who owns the orchard with his wife Nancy, said this summer would be their sixth and final picking season.

The farm itself had been around longer. Some of the 1000 blueberry bushes, on about a hectare of land, had been in the ground about 40 years.

They were in the process of negotiating the sale of their property with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

Read More here…

organic farm

Agriculture tech make the difference to lives, not organic production

Organic production systems are back in the news. They’ve been promoted as a way to cut the footprint of food, an answer to avoiding the increased costs of fertiliser, and the route to achieving premium prices. They are often presented as though they are more natural and better for the environment than modern day systems, and the way to avoid chemical residues in the diet.

The concept is that without synthetic chemicals, the planet will be better off, and humans will be healthier.

Organics appeals to the imagination, aligning with a simpler time when life was more enjoyable.

Approaches change because the gains and advantages are perceived to be greater than the losses and disadvantages.

Organic production systems are what the world had in 1900. At that stage the global population was approximately 2 billion people.

Read More here


New Year livestock prices have eased back somewhat, but with warmer temperatures and reasonable rainfall, some regions are not as water-stressed as usual. New Zealand is faring better than many other global agricultural areas

Livestock schedules

Not surprisingly prices have softened over the Christmas period and beyond. Lambs have taken an -$5 to -$8 drop with all other classes similarly affected percentage wise with one notable exception.

Venison has gone in the other direction with a +20c per kg increase. This has taken the national average over $7.00 per kg for the first time in nearly 2 years and a welcome reversal for deer farmers.

Sale yard prices have held up well for lamb prices although North Island cattle prices have taken a bit of a knock.

Read more here…



Safe sorghum planting while controlling weeds

GRASS weeds can flourish in sorghum crops over summer if left untreated, but an old herbicide is standing the test of time.

The pre-emergent herbicides, metolacholor and S-metolachlor, have been used in Australia primarily to control grass weeds for more than 40 years.

To date, no instances of resistance to the active ingredient have been documented in Australia and even internationally the few cases of resistance are in broadleaf weeds only.

Syngenta field biology manager Rob Battaglia said some recent changes to the label use patterns and the launch of a new seed safener product would further expand the usefulness of S-metolachlor products, such as Dual Gold and Primextra Gold, in summer crops while protecting sorghum seedlings from herbicide damage.

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Long-season varieties tested in the north

RECENT trial results have shown planting a long season, slow maturity wheat in the northern agricultural region could be done, if there was early rain before the traditional break.

The 2021 trial, which was an InterGrain project but independently managed by Crop Circle Consulting, compared various long-season wheat varieties over two sites – Tenindewa and Yuna – which were sown on April 15 and 21 respectively.

It was initiated off the back of ex-Tropical Cyclone Seroja last year, which provided the opportunity to investigate what performance could be achieved and how profitable it could be to sow longer-season wheat varieties much earlier than the normal wheat planting window in the north.

It featured big demonstration sites with plots 36 metres long and replicated twice.

Crop Circle Consulting agronomist Grant Thompson said planting early didn’t suit shorter-season varieties, which were more common in the north, because they would potentially run up too quickly.

Read more here

sorghum 1

Australia’s biggest sorghum crop in 7 years: Here’s what’s happening on Qld, NSW farms

Sorghum growers have started harvesting what is potentially the biggest crop in seven years.

ABARES’ latest forecast has the national crop pegged at 1.97 million tonnes from 586,000 hectares sown.

Average to above average rainfall across Queensland in October and November supported the establishment of early sown sorghum, as well as encouraging further planting across the state.

Although record high November rainfall in NSW likely damaged some early sown crops and may have limited some planting, later planted sorghum will benefit from further rainfall.

Read more here

GrainCorp’s final weekly update of harvest records 140,510 tonnes of grain delivered in the past week

GROWERS across the eastern states have reached the final stages of an at times, difficult harvest season.

The past week featured a significant drop in deliveries to GrainCorp receivals across the eastern states as just 140,510 tonnes was delivered across NSW, Queensland and Victorian sites.

Victoria accounted for more than 65,000 tonnes in this week’s report, thanks in part to mostly high-quality wheat deliveries from the state’s Wimmera and Central districts.

The strong delivery numbers brought GrainCorp’s Victorian tally to 3,575,420 tonnes for the season.

Read more here…

Summer rain assures soil moisture for 2022 winter crop plantings

Although the last of the harvesting from the current winter grain harvest is yet to finish, eastern Australia’s wet summer is setting the platform for big planting in 2022.

The wet summer has soaked cropping areas stretching from Queensland, NSW and through to north-eastern and central Victoria.

Unsettled, stormy weather dropped more rain across eastern Australia in the past week. This included patchy falls of up to 50mm in the Darling Downs, 20-50mm across parts of the NSW central west and Riverina as well as 50-60mm in cropping areas in northeastern Victoria.

Wetter than normal weather patterns are expected to persist into autumn. Parts of northern Australia and the east coast cropping areas are expected to see above average rainfall from February through to March, the Bureau of Meteorology said in its latest climate outlook statement.

Read more here…

South America

wheat 2

Argentina ends 2021-22 wheat harvest at record 21.8 mil mt on robust yields

Argentina has harvested a record 21.8 million mt of wheat in marketing year 2021-22 (December-November), the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said, which was up 28% on MY 2020-21.

The exchange had projected the harvest at 21.5 million mt in a Dec. 23 report. The previous record was 19 million mt in MY 2018-19.

Farmers had sown over an area of 6.6 million hectares and saw an average national yield of 3.4 mt/hectare, according to BAGE, which said that despite the ongoing La Nina event, output rose to record levels due to adequate distribution of showers spatially.

Of the total wheat crop, 87% was in excellent-to-good condition while 13% was in a fair condition.In the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report Jan. 9, the US Department of Agriculture increased Argentina’s wheat output forecast to 20.5 million mt, from 20 million mt in its December report.

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drought agriculture

Drought could trim a third of Argentina’s economic growth this year

Dryness that’s parching soybeans and corn across Argentina’s Pampas crop belt will shave US$4.8 billion off the nation’s gross domestic product this year, according to one of the first analyses of the economic impact of the drought.

The estimate, made by the Rosario Board of Trade, means that Argentina is poised to lose out on one percent of GDP as less revenue for farmers results in “less freight, less financial and intermediation services, and less consumption.” A December survey of economists by the Central Bank, carried out before the drought had fully gripped the Pampas, saw the economy growing 2.9 percent in 2022.

The hit to growth comes as Argentina is negotiating a new programme with the International Monetary Fund to reschedule US$40 billion of payments owed to the lender. Economic growth, and the pace of narrowing the fiscal deficit, have emerged as key disagreements between the IMF and Argentina.

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Soybeans were sharply higher on commercial and technical buying. Most forecasts have a return to hot, dry weather in Argentina and southern Brazil next week. That’s expected to further lower yield potential for both of those key producers. Several private and governmental entities have issued reduced production projections for South America over the past few weeks. Harvest is just getting underway in portions of northern and central Brazil. The USDA’s next set of global production projections is out February 9th, while CONAB will update its outlook for Brazil on February 10th. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange says 30% of Argentina’s soybean crop is rated good to excellent, 1% lower than the last report, with 95% of the crop planted. Soybean oil was up sharply on the strength in global vegetable oils, which has been supported by supply and demand fundamentals, while meal was mixed on bull spreading. China’s General Administration of Customs says China bought 58.15 million tons of soybeans from Brazil in 2021, down 9.5% from 2020, with purchases from the U.S. at 32.3 million tons, up 25%.

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soy plantation with sky on the horizon and macro details

Brazil Soy Farmers Impacted by Rains

Brazil’s harvesting of the 2022 soybean crop reached 1.7% of the estimated area amid delays in the center and north of the country caused by heavy rainfall, agribusiness consultancy Patria Agronegocios said on Monday. Still, the pace is ahead of last year when the oilseed was planted later due to lack of soil moisture in the ideal sowing window. In 2021, only 0.22% of Brazil’s estimated soybean area had been harvested at this point. The five-year average is 1.49%, Patria Agronegocios said.

Reuters reports an expected drop in precipitation levels and the prospect of open skies will help Brazil’s soybean harvesting to evolve more quickly from next week, especially in center-western states, it added.

The government estimates Brazil sowed a 40.3-million-hectare (99.58 million acres) soy area this season.
In a separate statement, AgRural, another agribusiness forecaster, estimated 1.2% of the soybean area has been harvested so far, vs. 0.4% in 2021.

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Cherries Become ‘Red’ Hot Topic Among Chinese Influencers

The 2021/22 season market in China for Chilean cherries is continuing to heat up through the active promotion of the Chilean Cherry Committee of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX). Starting from the end of December, the Chilean Cherry Committee has launched a large-scale online promotional campaign aimed at boosting the consumption of cherries throughout the holiday season and into the leadup to Chinese New Year. This year’s social media and digital advertising campaign is once again running under the tagline of “Enjoy Red Moments,” with an additional core message this season of “Happiness is Here and Now.”

The social media push started after Christmas when Cherries from Chile launched a TikTok brand-building drive. Users shot and uploaded videos under the hashtag “Happiness is Here and Now” (#幸福就在此时此刻) and decorated the clips with special cherry-themed stickers to symbolize good fortune and prosperity. Within four days of going live, the topic had attracted more than 100 million mentions and 270 million views. In total, more than 55,000 users joined the activity, among which 3,000 Douyin e-commerce vendors posted videos. The activity ended up garnering 19 million likes and 1.35 million comments. Accompanying live-broadcast selling events grossed more than 3.2 million Chinese yuan ($504,000) in sales.

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Food Updates


US study suggests oral immunotherapy might halt peanut allergies
clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health in the US has found that giving peanut oral immunotherapy to highly peanut-allergic children ages one to three safely desensitised most of them to peanut and induced remission in many.Oral immunotherapy is a type of allergy treatment that gradually exposes the patient to the source of the allergy to build a tolerance. This treatment is a type of desensitising therapy that uses small doses of the allergen to reduce the degree of a severe allergic reaction. The immunotherapy in this study consisted of a daily oral dose of peanut flour for two and a half years.

Remission was defined as being able to eat five grams of peanut protein without having an allergic reaction six months after completing immunotherapy. The results of the trial, called IMPACT, were published in The Lancet.

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Study suggests protein in products is a major incentive for consumers

New global research from Kerry has uncovered that most protein consumers in Asia Pacific (APAC) are motivated by health and wellness, with 52 percent associating protein with a ‘healthy diet’, and 48 percent regarding protein as ‘generally healthy’. APAC consumers also see protein as boosting skin health and beauty, as well as immunity.

The study details how consumers around the world increasingly perceive protein content and quality as fundamental drivers of their food and beverage purchase choices. The report also found that consumers are willing to pay a premium for protein fortification, with 84 percent in APAC willing to pay a higher price and more than half open to paying at least 10 percent more.

When it comes to purchase considerations for protein-rich food and beverages, the research revealed that quality of protein is the top purchase driver for 60 percent of APAC consumers, significantly above the global average, followed by taste. The amount of protein per serving ranked third at 55 percent, also above the global average.

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Plant Based Power: Restaurants Embrace Veganuary

For many years, vegans have had to settle for salad or chips when eating out, but now most popular restaurants, in the UK and across the world, have vegan dishes available, with some even having dedicated vegan menus.

“The image of veganism is undergoing the most radical change in its history, while shedding some tired, old stereotypes. It’s no longer portrayed as an unusual lifestyle, it’s easy and accessible”, explains Francine Jordan, Media and PR Officer at The Vegan Society.

“A 2021 report by Bloomberg predicted that the global plant-based alternatives market could grow to $162 billion in the next decade, from $29.4 billion in 2020 (7.7 percent of the global market). It makes sense for businesses to embrace the vegan trend!”

In the US, Cold Stone Creamery was one of the many companies to launch new vegan options, whilst in the UK, a number of popular fast-food chains and restaurants have done the same.

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Giving into your caffeine craving could be good for your gut
The review, published in Nutrients and supported by The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC), finds that coffee has a stimulating effect on some digestive processes, and a possible protective effect against common digestive issues such as gallstones and certain liver diseases.The review of 194 research publications suggests that moderate coffee consumption (defined by the European Food Safety Authority as three to five cups per day) was not found to generate harmful effects on the various organs of the digestive tract.

Two areas of particular interest emerging from the research are the association between coffee and a reduced risk of gallstones and the evidence linking coffee consumption with a reduced risk of pancreatitis, although more research is still needed.

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Enset banana could feed millions
Ensete ventricosum, commonly known as enset or ensete, is often referred to as ‘false banana’ and ‘pseudo-banana’. While the actual fruit is inedible, the starchy stems and roots can be eaten on their own or made into a meal. The pulp of the fruit is commonly used in Ethiopia to make porridge and bread – but could it be used more widely to help alleviate hunger?A new study has suggested that around 20 million people in Ethiopia currently rely on enset for food. The fruit grows all year round and is resilient in climate change, which researchers say makes it the perfect option to feed those who live in countries that are often faced with droughts and similar climate issues.

“This is a crop that can play a really important role in addressing food security and sustainable development,” Dr Wendawek Abebe of Hawassa University in Awasa, Ethiopia, told the BBC.

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USA and Canada

U.S. corn imports affect barley price

Growers might want to delay pricing their 2022 barley crop, says an analyst.

“With corn pushing higher, we don’t think there’s a major rush on the new crop pricing,” Marlene Boersch, managing partner of Mercantile Consulting Venture, told farmers attending the Saskatchewan Crop Organizations 2022 conference.

“We would like to see around $6.50 (per bushel) before we start doing that.”

Her advice on old crop is decidedly different, with prices hovering around $9 per bu.

“Be sold on all your current crop before we get anywhere close to new crop,” she said.

Canadian barley exports have been strong in 2021-22. Year-to-date exports are 989,000 tonnes, up from 746,000 tonnes the previous year.

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Good value available on old, new crop canola: analyst

Growers should seriously consider selling old crop canola and locking up some new crop production at today’s values, says an analyst.

Marlene Boersch, managing partner of Mercantile Consulting Venture, said $23.50 to $24 f.o.b. the farm for old crop canola and $17.50 to $18 for new crop are good values depending on location.

“These are some very, very reasonable targets,” she told growers attending the Saskatchewan Crop Organizations 2022 conference.

Boersch encouraged farmers to book some new crop production at today’s values but keep some to play with too because it is dry heading into 2022 spring planting.

Canola supplies are expected to remain tight into summer due to the good pace of crush.

She is forecasting a paltry 426,200 tonnes of carryout for the 2021-22 crop based on nine million tonnes of crush and 4.76 million tonnes of exports.

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Farmers shouldn’t expect major spring wheat rally

Growers who are holding their breath for US$24 spring wheat futures need to exhale, says an analyst.

“Not a chance,” said Chuck Penner, owner of LeftField Commodity Research.

That is the level that futures values achieved in 2007-08 but the circumstances were far different back then.

The Canadian Wheat Board was a major player at that time and it found itself short wheat.

That is what drove the market to sky-high levels, Penner told delegates attending the Saskatchewan Crop Organizations AGMs & Market Outlook Sessions conference.

He thinks a repeat of 2007-08 is improbable.

“From a futures perspective, I would say the odds of a sharp rally aren’t great,” said Penner.

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Tractor, combine unit sales finish 2021 with major gains

Nearly 360,000 total tractors and combines left dealer lots in 2021 in North America. The latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers shows U.S. and Canadian unit sales of ag tractors and combines finished 2021 with gains of more than 10% in nearly every segment in both countries.

U.S. total farm tractor sales gained 0.3% for the month of December compared to 2020, while U.S. self-propelled combine sales for the month saw a gain of 25.3%. Those gains contributed to a total gain for the year of 10.3% for tractors, and 24.7% for combine harvesters. For the year, the only segment in either the U.S. or Canada that gained less than 10% was sub-40hp tractors in the U.S., growing 8.9%. The overall growth leader for tractors in the U.S. were 100+hp 2WD tractors, growing 24.1%, followed by articulated 4WD tractors, up 18.3%. A total of 317,897 tractors and 6,272 combine harvesters found new homes in the U.S. in 2021.

In Canada, sales of tractors for the month of December grew 10.5%, while combines fell 17.6% year-over-year.   Read more…

New Zealand


Growers weary as harvest ‘crunch time’ nears amidst ongoing labour shortage

The humble livestock truck is driving into the modern era armed with cloud computing technology and mobile apps, as accessible technology makes transport faster and more efficient.

Sam and Sara Orsborn would have been the last people to guess the computer program they developed seven years ago to streamline the family’s Wairarapa feed pellet business would grow into MyTrucking.

It is now a recognised software company servicing 450 transport companies in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Traditionally trucking companies were reliant on paper, clipboards and a glovebox filing system to keep logbooks, dockets and schedules under control, and that’s just the truck. The office would have a big thick diary, multiple bottles of Twink and a pile of different coloured pens.

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Grape growers hoping rain holds off

Grape growers are hoping the rain stays away, to ensure a good harvest this year.

Downfalls late November and early December, combined with warm weather, caused disease control issues for Marlborough vineyards Giesen Wines​ company viticulturist Craig Vanstone​ said.

Vanstone said late November/early December downpours brought more than 10 millimetres of rain over a few days, which meant extra work for vineyard staff.

“We had our scouts out checking for disease and dealing with it, but had this rain kept coming downy mildew would’ve been a bigger problem,” he said.

“The vineyard managers in the Marlborough region just don’t have the labour force this season to manage the extra work right now but the team we had monitored closely for disease.”

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Farmers say more dams needed in hotter climate

NIWA says 2021 was the warmest year since records began 112 years ago and farmers say they now need more ground water sources and have to buy more stock feed to compensate.

The NIWA Annual Climate Summary 2021 shows the nationwide average temperature for 2021 was 13.56C, which was nearly 1 per cent above the 1981-2010 average.

The summary shows 55 per cent of the days monitored had above average or well above average temperatures and the easterly winds contributed to dry and warm soils.

Autumn was warmer than usual but had outbursts of heavy rainfall, but farmers say this combination was not good for renewing pasture growth.

Northland experienced drought in the first few months of the year and like Hawke’s Bay this continued for another a couple of months into autumn, Northland Federated Farmers president Colin Hannah​ said.

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Although demand from all red meat markets seems to be firing at the same time, supply chain logistics and pandemic risks are taking the shine off this demand, and unsettling the prospects for 2022

Asking the meat companies when the present inflated level of market demand and high prices will fall off a cliff won’t provoke any confident predictions of impending disaster. But there is a degree of nervousness, partly because high prices from importing countries never last for ever, but more because a combination of factors beyond exporters’ control threaten to disrupt the party.

None of these factors has yet had a serious impact, but inevitably one or all of them will arise during the first half of 2022 which every farmer will know is the peak of the season.

The first, probably most immediate, issue is the livestock supply pattern which will remain low in the lead up to Christmas because of the cold spring before surging just when the plants have a series of short weeks. If it dries out in January, slaughter space will be very tight which explains why all processors are trying to encourage suppliers to get in early.

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Tractor spraying pesticides on vegetable field with sprayer at spring

Tractor sales have a strong year in 2021 as wheels kept turning in essential industries, but supply remains an issue

New tractor sales went from strength to strength throughout 2021, NZTA data shows.

During November 2021, 294 units were registered and the number had been steadily climbing since January when 175 were sold.

These numbers only include tractors registered for use on the road, so the actual figures are higher by about a third, said Kyle Baxter, president of the Tractor and Machinery Association of New Zealand (TAMA).

“Our members recorded 421 units sold to customers in November.”

He said the best guide for analysing the sector each unit is destined for is by horsepower: under 50hp will be for lifestyle use and those will never be registered for road use.

Read more here…



Genetic solution in the works to maintain high barley yields

A CHANGING climate has made heat stress an inevitable risk to barley yields for Australian growers, but there’s optimism a genetic solution could be at hand to preserve productivity.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation’s (GRDC) capacity building investment has supported the work of Camilla Hill, who is investigating the practical application of genetics to plant breeding.

Dr Hill is working on a GRDC investment, in conjunction with Murdoch University’s Western Crop Genetics Alliance, which aims to identify genes that infer heat tolerance in barley varieties to deliver new genetic resources to Australian barley breeders.

“The information we’ve collected will allow the identification of new markers to breed barley varieties with enhanced spikelet fertility under heat stress,” Dr Hill said.

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Spotlight shines on three new wheat varieties

WITH three new wheat varieties released last year alone, there is no denying that varieties are being released quicker than ever and are increasingly hitting the market with only one year of National Variety Trial (NVT) data behind them.

Due to that, some of those new varieties may not have early sown or other data required to test them in their applicable sowing window.

While there is a potential advantage in bringing beneficial varieties to market sooner, it can be difficult for growers, agronomists and researchers alike to know what the risks and opportunities of those new varieties are.

Speaking at the recent Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) Grain Industry Day, held at Optus Stadium in Perth, research scientist Dion Nickol presented an overview of the three new wheat varieties and what limited information was known about how they might fit in the farming system.

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Big tonnages received at bulk handlers

AUSTRALIA’S major bulk handlers have received over 38 million tonnes of grain for the 2021-22 season with more still coming in.

The massive figure has been underpinned by a record year in Western Australia.

CBH reported last week it had received over 20 million tonnes into its network for the first time, passing the milestone on December 29, with 20.4m tonnes in its network as of January 3.

The bulk of the harvest is over in WA, but CBH acting chief operations officer Mick Daw said there were still some substantial tonnages to be delivered into the system in the southern Albany port zone.

A feature of the harvest has been its evenness, with distribution per port zone varying between 4.9m tonnes, in the Kwinana North zone, to 3.4m tonnes in the Esperance zone.

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GrainCorp’s weekly update records continued deliveries

AS a prolonged harvest season begins to wind down, deliveries continue to flow into GrainCorp sites across the eastern states.

More than 297,000 tonnes were delivered to receivals in the past week, despite wet weather slowing down growers across NSW and in northern Victoria.

NSW accounted for the majority of deliveries, with 230,920 tonnes recorded in the past week, taking the state’s total for the season to more than 7.4 million tonnes.

Victoria’s Wimmera and North East region’s accounted for the majority of the state’s deliveries in the past week, overcoming wet weather to deliver 57,910 tonnes, bringing the state’s tally to more than 3.5 million tonnes for the season.

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Technology sheds light on root distribution

ACCESS to the best scientific infrastructure Australia has to offer has boosted the work of three young gun researchers aiming to improve the country’s crop management practices and profitability.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), in partnership with the University of South Australia and the University of Queensland, is supporting a unique collaboration project between scientists Casey Doolette, Helen Hou and Han Weng to better understand factors that limit root growth within soil.

The trio has been given access to the Australian Synchrotron, one of the country’s most significant pieces of scientific infrastructure.

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South America

argentina-soybean-drought-RTX5TZUJ-4col (1)

Argentina’s soybean crop at a crossroads

Argentina’s soybean crop is stressed and amid a stretch of extreme hot and dry weather.

“We’re at a very important crossroads right now,” said Drew Lerner, president of World Weather Inc.

There is no rain in the forecast until Jan. 17th and daytime highs will remain in the 34 to 43 C range until then.

“There’s a portion of Argentina’s crop that is already in dire straits and being reduced as each day goes by,” he said.

“Argentina should definitely be on everybody’s radar with losses absolutely likely. They’re underway now.”

Topsoil and subsoil moisture has been severely depleted in most of the country except for an important crop-producing region from San Luis and southern Cordoba into central Buenos Aires where there is “marginally adequate” subsoil moisture.

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The heat is on in South America

Summer crop production forecasts are tumbling in South America as drought conditions continue to build soil moisture deficits and crop stress in Southern Brazil and much of Argentina.

The La Nina weather pattern threatens to scuttle the production potential of large tracts of this season’s corn and soybean plantings, further tightening global balance sheets.

Ironically, it is a tale of two woes for Brazil – it is too dry in the south and too wet in parts of the north.

Harvest has started about 20 days earlier than last year on the earliest planted crops.

But frequent rains in the northern states have resulted in harvest delays and quality downgrades.

While not an issue at this early point in the season, the rains are also delaying planting of the second corn crop into the recently harvested fields.

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Paraguay lowers expectations on soy due to drought

Paraguay’s Agriculture Ministry has announced between 6 and 7 million tons of soybeans were to be harvested this season against the original projections of 10 million due to the unprecedented weather conditions.

The current drought had led Paraguayan authorities to recalculate their projections, which has resulted in a 40% drop when compared to previous estimates. Paraguay is the world’s fourth largest exporter of soybeans, which may affect the international price of the product, it was reported.

Agriculture Minister Moisés Bertoni explained that “the calculation of 10 million tons of soybeans was made based on an average of 2,840 kilograms per hectare,“ which the Government now knows cannot be achieved. ”It could reach 6 or 7 million depending on the probability of rain we have,” Bertoni added.

In some Paraguayan towns, such as Santa Fe del Paraná, some producers have reported losses of 70% to 100% in some batches.

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Meat consumption in Argentina fell despite cap on exports

Argentina has recorded a 4.8% decline in meat consumption per inhabitant despite caps on exports imposed by the administration of President Alberto Fernández, which allegedly sought to prioritize the domestic market.

According to a report by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Meats and Derivatives of the Argentine Republic (CICCRA), consumption of beef per inhabitant in 2021 was 47.6 kg / year (or -2.4kg / inhab / year).

According to Argentina’s previous standards, December should have yielded a result around 52.4 kg / inhabitant / year, CICCRA said.

Under the Government’s new measures, beef production went down 6.1% in 2021, 194.1 thousand tons below 2020 figures.

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Lucky Red Moments Abound With Cherries From Chile Super Lucky Draw

The Chinese New Year on Feb. 1 is fast approaching, which means that Chilean cherries are entering the market with full force in China. Red and plump and bursting with flavorful juice, Chilean cherries are viewed as a symbol of good fortune and blessedness during China’s most important holiday celebration.

In order to get the market in the holiday mood and stir up even greater interest in cherries, the Chilean Cherry Committee of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) is now launching its 2022 Cherries from Chile Million Super Lucky Draw. The 2022 Lucky Draw follows up the promotion’s success last season in its inaugural edition, which attracted more than 37,000 consumers to purchase cherries and participate. The draw featured thousands of prizes collectively worth 1.8 million Chinese yuan ($283,000), including the grand prize of a three-year lease on a brand new Tesla electric car.

The entry period for the 2022 edition of the Million Super Lucky Draw will run from Jan. 16 to Feb. 15. Any consumer who buys Chilean cherries in mainland China from any online or offline channel can register via a Cherries from Chile official social media account using a digital version of their proof of purchase, thus getting a chance for an extra cherry-red dose of luck in the form of a fabulous prize.

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Food Updates


Switching to olive oil could reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
Consuming more than seven grams (>0.5 tablespoon) of olive oil per day is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality, cancer mortality, neurodegenerative disease mortality and respiratory disease mortality, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The study found that replacing about 10 grams/day of margarine, butter, mayonnaise and dairy fat with the equivalent amount of olive oil is associated with lower risk of mortality as well.“Our findings support current dietary recommendations to increase the intake of olive oil and other unsaturated vegetable oils,” said Marta Guasch-Ferré, PhD, a senior research scientist at the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the study’s lead author.“Clinicians should be counselling patients to replace certain fats, such as margarine and butter, with olive oil to improve their health. Our study helps make more specific recommendations that will be easier for patients to understand and hopefully implement into their diets.”

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Research suggests link between sweeteners and infant obesity risk

Could artificial sweeteners increase the obesity risk of your unborn child and even change the bacterial populations in their gut? This question is at the heart of a new study in Frontiers in Nutrition, which finds that when rat mothers consumed sweeteners during pregnancy, their offspring tended to have a higher body fat percentage. The rat pups also showed changes in gut microbial communities, with increases in propionate- and butyrate-producing microbes and reductions in lactose-fermenting species, which could explain the weight gains. The results suggest that maternal diet during pregnancy can affect obesity risk in children.

Many people use low-calorie sweeteners as a healthier alternative to sugar, but they may have some unexpected effects in pregnancy. While they are largely non-toxic in adults, previous research suggests that prenatal consumption by mothers can affect obesity risk and the microbiome in infants. However, no-one had examined this in detail to understand the specific changes in microbial populations and their potential link to obesity.

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Dry January is here to stay, but what about the other 11 months?

The Dry January challenge has been popular in the UK for many years now, but research shows that this is not just a passing fad.

The move was started by Alcohol Change UK and has been adapted in other parts of the world. The organisation states that 70 percent of people sleep better, 86 percent of people save money and 65 percent of people notice improved general health after a month of no alcohol.

A study from Atopia – a low-alcohol spirit brand – shows that not only is Dry January participation up from last year, but nearly half of drinkers choose to moderate their alcohol intake all year round.

Last year, 20 percent of UK drinkers intended to take part in Dry January. This year, Atopia’s research showed that this has increased to 26 percent; an equivalent of 1.95 million more Brits.

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Research links large industrial farming to biodiversity loss
Large industrial farming causes a decline in bird diversity, a new study led by the University of British Columbia has suggested.“Wildlife is a good indicator of a healthy agroecosystem and one thing we wanted to understand was the link between farm size and biodiversity in surrounding areas,” said Frederik Noack, Assistant Professor in the Food and Resource Economics Group, part of UBC’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems.To understand this relationship, the researchers studied how different farming indicators impact the diversity of local birds in the farmland bordering the former East/West border in Germany.

Researchers found that increased farm sizes resulted in a 15 per cent decline in bird diversity.

Although the former inner German border has lost its political implications after the German reunification, researchers found that farms are still five times larger on the eastern side of the border compared to the western side as a legacy of the former farm collectivisation in East Germany.

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Morrisons aim to end waste by removing expiry dates on milk
Instead of having use by dates on 90 percent of its own brand milk, Morrisons will have a best before date – indicating when the milk will taste its best – alongside a ‘sniff it’ sticker. The retailer hopes this will stop people throwing out milk that is safe to drink, and instead encourage them to judge whether their milk has gone off the old-fashioned way: by smelling it.According to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) charity, milk is the third most wasted food and drink product in the UK, after potatoes and bread, with around 490 million pints being wasted each year. This means that around seven percent of the total UK production of milk is wasted. It also estimates 85 million pints of milk waste may be due to customers following ‘use by’ labels, despite research showing it can be used several days after the date.Speaking to the BBC, Ian Goode, Morrison’s senior milk buyer, stated that they are taking a “bold step” but it is needed because “wasted milk means wasted effort by our farmers and unnecessary carbon being released into the atmosphere”.

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USA and Canada

Organics face headwinds in coming year

When organic flax is selling for $65 to $70 per bushel and organic wheat is around $25, it should be a good time to be an organic farmer.

But some producers on the Prairies stopped farming organically last year, partly because of high prices for oats, canola and other conventional crops.

There’s a risk that more farmers could shift away from organic and repeat what happened in the late 2000s and early 2010s, following a boom in commodity prices.

“Farming is in cycles…. I don’t see necessarily an indication that we’ll have a dramatic a drop as we did in that eight, nine and 10 period (2008-2010), (but) anecdotally … the numbers and acres will have dropped some,” said Marla Carlson, executive director of Sask Organics.

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Farming for the climate: Off-season ‘cover’ crops expand as U.S. growers eye low-carbon future

CHICAGO, Jan 4 (Reuters) – Illinois farmer Jack McCormick planted 350 acres of barley and radishes last fall as part of an off-season crop that he does not intend to harvest. Instead, the crops will be killed off with a weed killer next spring before McCormick plants soybeans in the same dirt.

The barley and radishes will not be used for food, but Bayer AG will pay McCormick for planting them as the so-called cover crops will generate carbon offset credits for the seeds and chemicals maker.

The purpose of cover crops is to restore soil, reduce erosion and to pull climate-warming carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. The carbon trapped in roots and other plant matter left in the soil is measured to create carbon credits that companies can use to offset other pollution.

The practice shows how the agriculture industry is adapting as a result of climate change. Farmers no longer make money merely by selling crops for food and livestock feed – they may also be paid for the role crops can play in limiting planet-warming emissions.Read More
Ontario farming

Ontario cover crop survey garners most respondents ever

The recently released 2020 Ontario Cover Crop Feedback report has delivered insight into the benefits of cover cropping and the barriers that limit adoption.

The main benefits identified include better soil health, increased soil organic matter and reduced erosion, while the challenges include lack of equipment, costs and a short growing season.

The report stems from Canada’s largest cover crop survey conducted by Yvonne Lawley, a University of Manitoba assistant professor, and her graduate student Callum Morrison. They have expertise in cover crop surveys and reporting, having done a similar project for the prairie provinces.

The work was supported by the Ontario Cover Crop Strategy Group (OCCSG), Grain Farmers of Ontario and a record 731 respondents.

Why it matters: Cover crops can improve soil health and sequester carbon but their adoption rate is slow. Surveys help researchers understand the reasons so they can better guide farmers.

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wheat 2

40% of Farmers Struggle to Purchase Crop Inputs

The Ag Economy Barometer rose a modest 9 points in December. The upward shift marks only the second positive move in overall sentiment since last May.

Producers’ improved perspective on their financial position appeared to be the primary driver of the sentiment improvement, according to Jim Mintert, Purdue professor of agricultural economics and manager of the Barometer.

“People felt better about where their farms were headed towards the end of 2021,” he told Chip Flory, host of AgriTalk, on Tuesday.

“Many had some good, tail-end prices in December and felt very good about their financial performance. Their responses reflected an increase or improvement in people’s income statements and, perhaps, in their balance sheets as well.”

However, looking forward, Mintert says farmers are very concerned about 2022 and the many unknowns they face regarding crop production.

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sustainable agriculture part 1

Canada looks good in an international assessment of agriculture sustainability

Ottawa—Canada is among the leaders in agriculture sustainability and food waste reduction among G20 countries, says an assessment report by the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition.

The two partners, which developed the international Food Sustainability Index (FSI), took a special look at the G20 members because they are in a position to drive change in reducing food loss and waste, sustainable agriculture, and nutritional challenges.

“With less than a decade to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of eradicating hunger, reducing malnutrition and accelerating climate action, making our food systems more sustainable requires leadership and bold action. The G20 group of large and advanced economies has a crucial role to play,” the report card said.

Read more…

New Zealand


The humble livestock truck is driving into the modern era

The humble livestock truck is driving into the modern era armed with cloud computing technology and mobile apps, as accessible technology makes transport faster and more efficient.

Sam and Sara Orsborn would have been the last people to guess the computer program they developed seven years ago to streamline the family’s Wairarapa feed pellet business would grow into MyTrucking.

It is now a recognised software company servicing 450 transport companies in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Traditionally trucking companies were reliant on paper, clipboards and a glovebox filing system to keep logbooks, dockets and schedules under control, and that’s just the truck. The office would have a big thick diary, multiple bottles of Twink and a pile of different coloured pens.

Read More here…


What’s going on with the price of tomatoes?

If you’re buying tomatoes for your summer salads, be prepared to pay a little extra.

While tomatoes were, on average, $3.99 a kilogram in November 2020, last year they were $6.16 and this week they were selling for $6.49 per kilogram at Countdown and $7.59 at New World.

Countdown spokeswoman Kiri Hannifin said tomato prices were “generally higher” this year.

“This is being driven by less availability this year. Currently a disease called Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV) is impacting New Zealand growers, this affects how quickly tomatoes grow and the yield in which the plants produce. Due, in part, to the impact of this disease, New Zealand growers have generally planted less tomatoes due to their inability to export.

“At the same time last year growers had a lot more tomatoes available, but were unable to export them. This led to the New Zealand market having an abundance of tomatoes.”

Read More here…


Govt to invest $200,000 in drought forecasting tech

The Government has announced a $200,000 investment in the development of weather forecasting technology to help farmers and growers prepare for dry weather.

The development will be a joint venture between the Ministry for Primary Industries and National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research and is expected to be available by 2023.

The forecasting tool will provide daily drought forecasts out to 35 days, and aim to explore drought predictions up to six months ahead.

NIWA technology can already provide seasonal climate outlooks up to three months ahead, but these are not drought specific.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor​ said the new technology would put the latest climate science in the hands of the people who used it.

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fresh water

Southland’s freshwater objectives call for a big drop in contaminants

New freshwater goals to reduce contaminants in Southland waterways in the next 25 years may be just too tough for farmers to achieve.

The objectives, which have been discussed with some catchment groups, have surprised Southland Federated Farmers president Chris Dillon, who said there were huge implications for businesses and councils, as well as farmers.

To reach the outcomes, nitrogen and phosphorus would both would have to decrease by an estimated 70 per cent, and E. Coli by an estimated 90 per cent. To reach visual clarity goals, sediment loads would have to reduce by 32 per cent on average across the whole study area.

The outcomes were developed by Environment Southland and Te Ao Marama, who worked together to identify the things that are important to people about water in Southland, and then combined the findings into one set of draft environmental outcomes for the whole region.

Read more here…

milk production

Mataura Valley Milk recruiting farmer suppliers for a2 production

Mataura Valley Milk is trying to attract more farmer shareholders to chase its goal of increasing milk supply by up to 40 million litres during the next two years.

But a dairy industry leader says the company may have trouble recruiting the farmers it needs, despite it paying more than other dairy co-operatives.

Mataura Valley Milk chief executive Bernard May said the company was seeking to increase its milk supply by up to 40 million litres during the next two years, and most of the increase was likely to occur in the coming season.

“The target reflects our capacity for increased production and the commitments we have with customers who value the quality of our a1 protein free milk and nutritional products.”

The company is building an a1 protein free milk supply to help its growth as a dairy based nutritional facility. a2 milk comes from cows that naturally produce only a2 protein in their milk, and not a1 protein, he said.

Read more here…


grain price

Australia’s big crop yield weighs on price returns

Benchmark CBOT wheat futures tumbled 5 per cent in the final week of 2021 as traders banked profits from the rally in the lead-up to Christmas.

Expectations that both Australia and Argentina will harvest record large wheat crops also weighed on global markets. Local cash markets slipped in response to the global sell-off, although the reality is that most people responsible for setting daily prices were still away enjoying the last of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

ASX wheat futures slipped $9 to $364 a tonne in the past week. This is sharply lower than the $400 plus levels at the start of December as exporters were forced to exit milling grade wheat commitments after rain downgraded a significant proportion of the east coast crop.

Harvest deliveries came in better than expected despite the unwanted harvest rains.

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Biofuel powered grain shipment to depart WA

IN an Australian-first, a grain vessel due to set sail from the CBH Group Albany Grain Terminal on Sunday will be powered by biofuel.

CBH has partnered with leading dry bulk operator Oldendorff Carriers to ship 30,000 tonnes of sustainably certified malting barley to Vietnam aboard a vessel which will be bunkered with a biofuel blend, supplied by integrated energy company bp.

That blend is estimated to produce about 15 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions for this journey than conventional fossil fuels.

CBH chief marketing and trading officer Jason Craig said the co-operative was proud to be pioneering efforts, alongside two of its global partners, to explore ways to reduce its carbon footprint along the supply chain.

“Customers across the world are increasingly seeking to source sustainable products, including sustainable grain,” Mr Craig said.

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grain growers

20mt down and we’re not done yet

IT feels like there has been a new story of broken harvest records every week this season for Western Australian growers and the start of 2022 was no different.

Last week, the State’s graingrowers officially delivered more than 20 million tonnes of grain into the CBH Group network for the first time, with total receivals for this harvest sitting at 20.4mt as of Monday morning.

According to the Grain Industry Association of WA’s (GIWA) latest crop report, released last month, WA farmers were expected to produce more than 22.1mt of grain in the 2021/22 season.

It’s a forecast which seems very achievable, especially given the massive amount of grain stored onfarm, which still needs to be cleared and added into the tally.

WAFarmers grains section president Mic Fels said surpassing 20mt was a testament to the resilience of the grains industry given the pressures it had faced.

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cost of production

Cost of production huge concern for 2022

IN SPITE of grain prices hovering at near record levels and many Australian grain growers having a big 2021 crop, the production sector is entering 2022 apprehensively.

Sky-rocketing input costs, including fuel, but more pressingly pesticides and fertiliser, have meant the cost of production is set to soar, ringing alarm bells among growers.

“You’ve got the high input costs and then even if the high grain prices stay in play, it is high risk, high reward,” said Grain Producers Australia chairman Barry Large.

“We’ve seen fuel go up about 20 per cent, that’s something we don’t like to see but we can absorb, but when you start to see what is happening in the fertiliser and pesticide space it gets a little scary,” Mr Large said.

Read more here…


Report finds diversification in grain port providers, exporter numbers down

AN AUSTRALIAN Competition and Consumer Commission report has found the Australian grain export supply chain is more diverse than ever before in terms of port providers but that there are less companies exporting grain.

The Bulk Grains Monitoring Report found new grain export ports achieved their highest market share of Australian grain exports, reducing the market share of long established incumbent ports, the majority held by Australia’s ‘Big Three’ exporters, GrainCorp, Viterra and CBH.

The trend was most noticeable on the east coast, where GrainCorp has its network and SA, where Viterra is the dominant player.

In WA, CBH’s market share remains largely intact.

However, ACCC deputy chair Mick Keogh said the fact it was a record in terms of bulk grain exports meant it was hard to say whether the switch to alternative port exporters would be a permanent shift or something caused by a lack of slots in the established ports.

Read more here…

South America


Cannabis developers eye Paraguay to further expand their business

As cannabis gradually transitions from a cultural drug to just an agricultural product like any other, Paraguay’s unique conditions make it a destination of choice for those trying to develop the newly-legalized business, according to a report carried by the Buenos Aires daily Perfil.

Paraguay’s unexpensive utilities in addition to the country’s comparable low wages coupled with an already established pharmaceutical industry make it suitable to compete with marijuana-friendly countries such as Colombia and Uruguay.

According to Perfil, medical cannabis exporter CPlant Switzerland expects to buy over a licensed producer in Paraguay in early 2022 to grow high-THC flowers and derivatives for the company’s Swiss laboratory, CEO Lucas Crivilone said.

If cannabis prices continue to fall, CPlant could move most of its cultivation from Uruguay to Paraguay, where operating costs are 50% lower, he added. In Paraguay, medical cannabis is legal since 2017.

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Lack of rain in southern states will reduce the Brazilian 2021/22 soybean harvest

The hydric deficit and above-average temperatures in southern Brazil and southern Mato Grosso do Sul, prevailing since November have significantly damaged the 2021/22 soybean crop. Brazil’s estimated harvest has been lowered by 11.3 million tons to 133.4 million tons, according to a new survey released this week by AgRural.

The figure is lower than the previous harvest record of 137.3 million tons, and represents a reduction of 12 million tons compared to the 145.4 million tons estimated in early November. The 133.4 million tons production are based on a 40.6 million hectare area (unchanged from December) and an average yield of 54.8 bags per hectare, which is the lowest since the 2015/16 harvest.

Paraná is the state that has been hit the hardest so far. After losses began in the west of the state (which is currently the hardest hit), the crop’s potential was reduced in other parts of the state as the drought and heat worsened throughout December. The loss would be even greater if it weren’t for the more consistent rainfall in the eastern half of the state.

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Agriculture ETFs Surge Amid Corn and Soybean News

Commodities have been moving higher to start the new year, with significant movement in the metals, energies, and even agricultural markets.

While most people are familiar with the energy and metals markets, as crude oil and gold have often been the subject of headline news stories, agricultural products are less publicized. However, they can be explosive once investor interest is piqued, offering a potential place in an investor’s portfolio.

Chicago soybean futures jumped on Monday, bolstered by concerns that hot and dry weather could spell disaster for South American crops as they approach harvest time.

While wheat fell on Monday, dragged lower by a stronger U.S. dollar, most of the major agricultural commodities are getting a boost on Tuesday, with soybeans and corn leading the way.

Read More here…


Argentina extends export ban on popular beef cuts to tame local prices

Argentina extended an export ban on seven beef cuts until the end of 2023, doubling down on its unconventional approach to taming meat prices for local consumers.

The government also prohibited exporters from shipping full cattle carcasses and half carcasses, among other categories, for the next two years.

Argentine beef is part of the national identity, producing mostly top-quality meat from grass-fed cattle. The government is worried that the recent surge in prices has made the staple unaffordable for poorer families.

The move is the latest in a series of anti-market measures that have created a tense relationship with the private sector. President Alberto Fernández temporarily banned all meat exports last May, gradually easing some restrictions over time.

So far, the strategy to ban some beef exports, coupled with price controls, has failed in its main goal. Beef prices are up 48 percent annually in the Greater Buenos Aires area. In November, prices on some cuts rose by double-digits on a monthly basis, according to government data.

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Food Updates

Not enough focus on nutrition when constructing a diet, claims research

A new survey conducted by YouGov for Arla Foods of more than 8,000 consumers in the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Germany, has revealed that two thirds (66 percent) do not see nutrition as part of sustainable diets. Becoming ‘nutrition blind’ can have unintended consequences for our health, says public health nutritionist.

While the majority of the consumers in the four countries say that they try to make sustainable choices wherever they can, the research suggests their attention is mostly on carbon footprint, biodiversity, packaging and animal welfare.

The nutritional value of the food product is to a much lesser extent being considered when choosing a sustainable diet. Only one in three (34 percent) consumers say that they associate nutrition with sustainable diets.


Cellular agriculture could provide key to more sustainable egg white protein

Research by the Future Sustainable Food Systems research group at the University of Helsinki together with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland might have found a way to reduce the impact egg white production has on the planet through cellular agriculture.The research claims that fungus-produced ovalbumin could have the potential to mitigate part of the environmental burden associated with chicken egg white powder. This is especially true when using low carbon energy sources in the production.

Chicken egg white powder is a commonly used ingredient in the food industry due to the high-quality protein it contains. The yearly consumption of egg proteins runs into millions of tons and the market is expected to expand further in the coming years.



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spicy dish

A spicy dish a day may keep Alzheimer’s awa

It was previously  thought that spicy food might have been a contributing factor to cognitive illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease.1 However, new research has indicated the opposite; that consuming such foodstuff could in fact help keep this illness at bay.

According to a study published in Chinese Medical Journal, scientists from Third Military Medical University, Qingdao University and Fudan University have identified a link between the consumption of spicy food and the levels of biomarkers associated with Alzheimer’s.The team performed two parallel studies – one case-control study with equal numbers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and individuals who were ‘cognitively normal’, and another cohort study with double the number of individuals without the disease. They assessed spicy food consumption using a ‘Food Frequency Questionnaire’ (FFQ) that highlighted the consumption frequency of a fixed number of spicy food items by these individuals, during the period of assessment.

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Cold Stone Creamery launches plant-based flavours in US

With plant-based diets, trends like Veganuary, and even health conditions such as lactose intolerance on the rise, consumers are seeking vegan alternatives for their favourite treats.

As a result, American ice cream franchise Cold Stone Creamery has added a range of vegan options to their menu across all stores nationwide. The new ice creams include ‘Silk Chocolate Almondmilk Frozen Dessert’, ‘Cold Stone Creation’ and ‘Don’t Cry Over Spilled Silk’; all of which are vegan and non-GMO. Previously, the only vegan-friendly desserts available at Cold Stone Creamery were its sorbets.

“We’re absolutely delighted that Cold Stone Creamery chose to partner with Danone North America and the Silk brand to bring the ice cream parlour’s first-ever plant-based frozen dessert to Cold Stone customers…and a delicious plant-based dessert collaboration to frozen treat lovers across the country,” said Derek Neeley, Vice President, Silk, Marketing Danone North America.

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plant based chocolate

Plant-based chocolate popularity continues to rise
New global research on plant-based indulgence across confectionery, bakery, pastry and ice-cream commissioned by Barry Callebaut, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-quality chocolate and cocoa, shows that three out of four (74 percent) respondents aged 18 to 44 claim to eat plant-based chocolate occasionally.According to the research, Millennials and Gen Z (aged 18 to 44) are more likely to actively look for a plant-based diet, with six out of ten (60 percent) expecting food brands to offer a plant-based option versus four out of 10 (43 percent) for Gen X and Baby Boomers (aged 45 to 75). The research also shows that one third (34 percent) of global consumers are prepared to pay more for a plant-based option.

On average, four in ten global consumers say they have been consuming more plant-based products over the last 12 months. When asked to think about the future, almost half (44 percent) of global consumers expect to increase their consumption of plant-based products. That figure rises to three out of four (72 percent) for flexitarians.

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USA and Canada

Carbon tax refund for grain drying urgently needed: GFO

Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) is urging the federal government to create an exemption on the Carbon Tax that it is currently levying on Ontario grain producers immediately, and to issue a rebate of taxes paid to date.

On Dec. 14 a tax credit was announced in the federal government‘s Fall Economic Statement that still does not provide Ontario grain farmers with relief from carbon tax paid on fuel to dry grain. The Federal Carbon Tax levied on farmers is an expense that cannot be borne by farmers growing food, the GFO said in a release. “In Ontario grain drying is a necessary part of producing high quality, healthy, viable grains – you can‘t make bread from spoiled grain,” the GFO said.

It said Ontario farmers cannot compete with U.S. farmers who don‘t have to pay the carbon tax to grow their grain.

Read More…

Wild oats don't compete well with other plants, but given the chance for some sunlight and resources they will rapidly become a problem and develop resistances to chemistry. | Mike Raine photo

Resistance to resistance – future control today

Herbicide-resistant weeds cost Canadian farmers more than half a billion dollars annually and the price tag is growing. The next generations of producers might not be any better able to control the problem than we are today.

There are wild oat populations displaying resistance to Groups 1, 2, 8, 14, and 15 herbicides, kochia populations showing resistance to Group 2, 4 and 9 herbicides, and Palmer amaranth has reared its ugly head in a Manitoba field. In the United States, Palmer has shown resistance to Group 2, 3, 5, 9, 14 and 27 herbicides.

The Canadian experience fits the global trend. The International Survey of Herbicide Resistant.

Weeds keeps a running tally of weed species with multiple resistance.

To the end of 2020, the survey documented 60 weed species around the globe with resistance to two modes of action, 21 resistant to three modes of action, 13 resistant to four modes of action, six resistant to five modes of action, and one weed species resistant to six modes of action.

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grain harvest

New technology may soon be unaffordable for mid-sized farms

Near-future farmers might have to finance farm equipment as if they want to keep it forever.

With fewer mid-sized farmers looking to buy used from larger operators, there might soon be no market for gently used farm equipment.

Considering that resale values are key to how much farmers can invest in innovative technologies, that could be a problem.

“I don’t know who’s stepping up to buy some of this used equipment,” said Al Mussell of Agri Food Economic Systems, an economic analysis firm.

“Some of this stuff, there’s no way it’s going to sell three or four times.”

It’s part of a problem Mussell and Douglas Hedley focused on in recent research. They found a big gap developing between the biggest and the smallest farms, with the traditional bulge of medium-sized farms between the two disappearing over recent decades.

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wheat 2

Looking back at 2021: Drought, markets and more

With one of the more severe droughts on record in the region striking in 2021, weather conditions hit livestock producers, crop producers, markets and more. And though drought certainly was tied to some of the other big stories of the year, it certainly wasn’t the only story. Here are a few others that caught attention in 2021.

With one of the more severe droughts on record in the region striking in 2021, weather conditions hit livestock producers, crop producers, markets and more. And though drought certainly was tied to some of the other big stories of the year, it certainly wasn’t the only story.

At the beginning of 2021, wheat was a mere side note to the acreage battle between soybeans and corn. Soybeans were flying high, with corn coming along for the ride to maintain acres while questions about ethanol demand remained.

Wheat, though? “I see wheat as being a follower,” DuWayne Bosse with Bolt Marketing said in Agweek’s first market outlook of 2021.

Read More..
grain facility

Weekly Grain Movement: Wheat exports soar

Wheat export shipments for the week ending December 23 saw a bullish bump from the previous week, thanks in large part to a competitive global export market. Wheat shipments to international customers from U.S. terminals rose 76% on the week to 12.3 million bushels – a four-week high for weekly wheat exports.

Weekly wheat export loading paces have been particularly lackluster over the past 10 weeks, averaging a mere 8.5 million bushels per week. So today’s report was a welcome reminder that there are potential trade opportunities available for U.S. wheat exporters, especially as top exporter Russia weights an export quota during the first half of next year and continues to increase its wheat export tax multiplier.

Lower freight costs on shipments to close-by distances continue to be a deciding factor in global grain purchasing decisions. Last week’s wheat shipments were primarily destined for Japan (3.3M bu.), Colombia (1.7M bu.), and Mexico (1.6M bu.).

Read more…

New Zealand


What farmers are hoping for in 2022

If New Zealand beef and lamb farmers were asked what they hoped for in 2022, the answers would be quick: two inches of rain, a slowing of rising land prices, reliable supply chain, consistent kill cycle, good product prices, the ability to manage political change and good staff.

There are more than 44,000 people employed in New Zealand’s meat and wool sector, and the scarcity of seasonal and specialist workers is an ongoing challenge. The one thing farmers can do is to keep the staff they have and grow the next generation of farmers.

Wairarapa farmer Derek Daniell says teamwork is what farming is all about. He knows of farms that have had the same staff for 30 or 40 years, even if the ownership has changed.

“It is about working together as a team and enjoying each other,” he said.

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

Conditions deliver a great season in WA

THE combination of a wet season and good prices for the majority of commodities set most growers in Western Australia up for what should be their best ever year.

That was the key message behind a review of the 2021 season provided by research scientist Dion Nickol and climatologist Ian Foster, at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) Grain Industry Day, held at Optus Stadium earlier this month.

There was undeniably a lot of rain around this year and the signs were positive from the start about what was going to be the potential set-up for a good season.

Most of the State, including the north eastern areas, had abundant summer and autumn rainfall which created ample soil moisture and early sowing opportunities.

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Falling numbers vary with each variety

WHEN it comes to the management of pre-harvest sprouting and falling numbers, growers should ensure they’re making an appropriate variety choice and matching it with an appropriate sowing time.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) research scientist Jeremy Curry made this recommendation at a recent Grain Industry Day in Perth.

The falling numbers test provides an indicative measure of alpha-amylase, the enzyme that breaks down starch into sugars, in the grain and is conducted at receival sites where suspected pre-harvest sprouting damage has occurred, determined by detection of visually sprouted grains.

With alpha-amylase being negatively attributed with baking quality, excessive levels in grain results in downgrades and a minimum falling number of 300 is required for delivery into most receival grades.

The likelihood of a crop exhibiting low falling numbers is the result of complex interactions between the genetics of the variety, the environmental conditions it is exposed to, and at what growth stages these environmental conditions occur.

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grain price

Looking back at 2021 grain market influences

AS we come to the end of 2021, we look back at what influenced grain markets throughout the year.

A record Australian winter crop, poor production in Canada/United States and Russian export duties are a few factors we will review.

Australian winter crop

Coming off a reasonably large cropping season in 2020, it was a nice surprise to get another bumper year in 2021.

Above average rainfall across most of the country helped to boost root zone soil moisture and aid crop development.

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grain farmer

2021 tops all comers for grain prices

A FAVOURABLE supply and demand equation has seen grain prices hit records at an international level throughout much of 2021.

Fortunately for many Australian farmers, unlike many years of high grain prices, they have enjoyed average or better crops meaning they are able to cash in on the boom.

Long-time grains industry analyst Malcolm Bartholomaeus, Bartholomaeus Consulting, said while there had occasionally been prices challenging current levels it had not happened in years of good production.

“We have seen regional drought premiums kick prices to high levels but this is the best year overall,” Mr Bartholomaeus said.

Read more here…

grain variety

Innovation critical to boosting ag revenue

INNOVATION will play a critical role in boosting Australian agricultural revenue according to the managing director of farm innovation accelerator Farmers 2 Founders.

Christine Pitts said she was upbeat about the prospects of agriculture in coming years, but said to unlock its full potential those on each side of the agri problem solving equation needed to know how to link up with each other.

She gave the incredible stat that individual producers could increase their returns by 250 per cent during the current ag boom, but qualified this by saying only by closing the massive gap between those with problems, solutions and commercialisation capacity would this be possible.

Dr Pitt said a key part of F2F’s charter was better linking in farmers and those who can help boost productivity, such as researchers and corporates with R&D capacity, and frontline agriculture.

Read more here…

South America

Argentine grain

 Report gives Argentina wheat forecast boost

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA — Citing better-than-expected yields, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange has upped its 2021-22 wheat crop estimate for Argentina to 21.5 million tonnes from its previous 21 million tonne forecast, according to a Reuters report.

Soybean and corn crops also will get a boost from better rains in January, weather experts said.

In its Dec. 23 report, Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said the Argentine wheat harvest is 78.3% completed and expected to end in January.

“The national average yield has reached 3.28 tonnes per hectare over the last seven days,” the exchange said. “Sustained improvement in harvested yields allows us to raise our production projection to a new record.”

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soybean, wheat and corn seeds in Brazil


Soybeans closed mixed after trading lower for most of the day Wednesday, finding a market correction following a nearly 10-day streak of closing higher, which ended Tuesday. January beans closed two and three quarters cents lower at $13.56 and the deferred May contract closed two and a quarter cents higher at $13.77. Soybean meal demand seems to be limiting some of the bearish action but, ultimately, the January contract closed 50 cents lower at $415.40. A strong soybean basis is creating strong soybean meal demand, but that strength could be limited on extended feed stock demand. Soybean oil bounced higher, up 15 points at $56.70. Export sales are down for both corn and beans with soy exports down nearly 25 percent compared to this time last year. Meanwhile, Brazil is projected to have a sharp increase in soy exports. South American weather remains a key focus with continued drought conditions in most parts of Argentina and Brazil, rain in the extended forecast could reverse the bullish weather pressure in the market.

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Argentina grain

Brazilian Grain Harvest Could Break Records

The 2021/2022 grain harvest in Brazil could reach 291 million tonnes due to the sector’s confidence in prices and the superb performance of national agriculture.

The assessment was made by the minister of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food Supply, Tereza Cristina, interviewed last week on the Brazilian national radio show ‘A Voz do Brasil.’

“Several aspects have contributed to the increasing rural production. We expect and estimate a record harvest with a growth in the cultivated area and an increase in production and productivity. This is an excellent estimate,” said Tereza Cristina.

She says the numbers may fluctuate a little more or less, depending on the rainfall in the country.


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dry corn field

Brazilian corn fields hurt by poor weather

Not long ago, during the last season of corn, there was a break in the Brazilian production that reached more than 50% in some regions. Farmers are fearing that the same thing will happen this season. La Niña has struck hard, especially in the south region, affecting the production with severe dry spells.

According to NOAA, the expectations are that the phenomena will last until October of 2022 in the southern hemisphere, with its peak happening right now and in January. The effects will be felt by farmers all the way until May (fall season in Brazil) with cold fronts arriving earlier, increasing the risks of early frosts in the south.

In Rio Grande do Sul, the lack of rains might continue for the next months, and in Paraná and Santa Catarina, the drought period is expected to give a truce in January – but it won’t last long. The dry weather is expected to come back already in February. Either way, all 3 states will have a low average of rains during the Brazilian summer season. Meanwhile, the northern states, like Mato Grosso and Goiás, will have rains above average and this excess can harm the field work, besides being a risk to the summer harvest.

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Food Updates

What trends can the food and beverage industry expect in 2022?

Paul Baker, founder of St Pierre Groupe, comments on what 2022 might look like for the food and drink industry in general, and the bakery sector specifically.

I recall compiling my trends forecast last year and giving a wry smile at how any forecasts for 2020 had probably long-been proven wrong and that the idea of trying to predict 2021 seemed laughable.

This time round, and with new restrictions being announced, the impact and aftermath of the pandemic will be felt for a long time to come. A good portion of 2021 has also been spent in and out of lockdown with various pandemic restrictions – and so the habits that we saw emerge in 2020/2021 will be around for a good while yet. Ever the optimist though, these new habits create opportunity and that is particularly true for the food and drink industry.

Bacteriophage virus particle on bacteria surface. 3D illustration

Bacteriophages to the future
Food scientist, Maria Costa, outlines why bacteriophages are a promising future solution to improving food safety and reducing wastage.In the food industry, processing is very important, and ensuring food safety across the food chain is imperative. Even with the strict regulations around the world regarding food safety to ensure food is safe for consumption, every year there are outbreaks related to food bacterial contaminations leading to numerous deaths and foodborne diseases, contributing to severe economic losses related to health costs and food losses.1,2Read more here


Improving the reliability of microbiological testing
Following Food Integrity’s 2021 panel around improving the reliability of microbiological testing, the experts come together again to recap the highlights.Earlier this year, New Food brought Food Integrity 2021 to your screens. As part of this five-day virtual conference, we (Benjamin Diep from Nestlé, Benjamin Junge from BIOTECON Diagnostics, Andy Muirhead from ALS, and François Bourdichon on behalf of the IDF, as moderator) discussed how we can improve the reliability of microbiological testing.

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Nutrients put to test for canola yield

A PROJECT looking at optimising high rainfall zone cropping for profit has found that while canola was highly responsive to nitrogen, the majority of other macro and micro nutrients did not have an impact on yield.

The results of the trial, which ran over 2020 and 2021 in Esperance, were shared at the recent Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) Grain Industry Day in Perth.

The project, which was a collaboration between DPIRD, CSIRO and FAR Australia, made possible by investment from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), started in 2019 with a series of workshops at Dandaragan, Esperance and Albany.

One of the key questions that came out of those workshops was the idea of nutrition – if growers have addressed subsoil constraints, are using hybrid cultivars and sowing early, then does the nutritional package have to change as they start to achieve yields of 3-4 tonnes a hectare?

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Big breakthroughs on canola pod shatter
AUSTRALIAN canola producers have once again been frustrated by losses at harvest caused by pod shatter.When the plant ripens the pods can get brittle and shatter, sending the valuable seed onto the ground, at times causing significant yield loss.However, Chinese research has found a canola variety with strong resistance to pod shatter, which may help unlock germplasm for breeders to develop new commercial varieties with markedly lower pod shatter.The variety, OR88, is currently being studied to find why it is so resistant to pod shatter.

Qiong Hu, of the Chinese Academy of Ag Sciences, said researchers had identified a gene they believed was responsible for the pod shattering resistance.

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