USA and Canada

Market shrugs off poor U.S. wheat start

The wheat market is shrugging off one of the worst starts to the U.S. winter wheat crop in decades.

An estimated 34 percent of the crop was rated good-to-excellent as of Nov. 29, which was the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s last weekly Crop Progress report for 2022.

It is the second worst score dating back to 1987 for that time of year.

Following the release of that report, a “devastating” freeze hit Kansas and Texas during the second last week of December. Kansas wheat futures had a ho-hum response to all the bad news coming out of the southern U.S. Plains.

“Normally you would see a major reaction,” said Jim Roemer, meteorologist and commodity adviser with Best Weather Inc.

“This is really the worst wheat crop in the Plains in at least 20 years and now you have a freeze on top of that.”

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Futurologists wax eloquently about the potential gains from artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, 3D printing and virtual reality. Surely, we must be able to figure out some way to load grain in the rain. | File photo

Vancouver’s grain-in-the-rain problem must be solved

Sinclair Harrison used to be astounded when he’d hear about how grain loading in the Port of Vancouver would be halted by rain.

The idea that millions of tonnes of farmers’ grain could be stalled from getting onto ships due to rainy weather stunned the pragmatically minded Saskatchewan farm leader. After all, doesn’t it rain quite often in Vancouver?

“Get some Saskatchewan farmers out there with some tarps and they’d solve that problem pretty fast,” was his typical exasperated response to the “it rained” excuse for bad crop movement through the system. Back in the 1990s and 2000s that used to drive him crazy.

Alas, the solution isn’t so simple, it seems. In fact, things have gotten trickier since 2007, when arbitrators found that longshore workers had legitimate safety concerns about working around open hatches on cargo ships in wet and slippery weather. More than just tarps to keep the grain dry, terminal operators now must ensure the workers are safe by having them erect rails and barriers to ensure nobody ends up plummeting into the hold.

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Brian Neufeld takes samples of canola while unloading his truck west of Perdue. | William DeKay photo

Ag Canada expects higher canola stocks

Latest carryout estimate made despite smaller crop because exports and domestic use are also expected to be down

Canadian canola ending stocks for 2022-23 were revised higher by Agriculture Canada in its latest supply-demand estimates released Dec. 16.

The larger carryout projection came despite a downward revision to production, as both exports and domestic use were down from the November report.

The department now sees canola carryout of 800,000 tonnes for the current marketing year, which would be up from the November forecast of 500,000 tonnes and in line with the 2021-22 ending stocks of 875,000 tonnes.

Updated production estimates from Statistics Canada included in the latest Agriculture Canada report lowered canola production to 18.2 million tonnes from an earlier estimate of 19.1 million tonnes.

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Hybrid wheat hitting U.S. fields as war, climate threaten global food supplies

CHICAGO, Dec 21 (Reuters) — Global seed maker Syngenta will release a new type of wheat developed with complex cross-breeding techniques in the United States next year, beating out rival companies that are also trying to develop higher yielding wheat at a time of diminishing global grain supplies.

The hybrid wheat, which combines positive traits from two parent plants, arrives after severe weather slashed grain harvests and the Ukraine war disrupted shipments to hungry importers, sending prices to record highs this spring.

Syngenta, which began working on hybrid wheat in 2010, told Reuters enough seeds will be on the market next year for U.S. farmers to plant about 5,000 to 7,000 acres.

Though a tiny fraction of the nation’s plantings, the previously unreported total represents the company’s biggest ever release of hybrid wheat. It could open the door for larger seedings in 2024 and beyond, as war and climate change make the world’s food supplies increasingly vulnerable.

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From high protein to sustainability, food trends drive demand for niche crops

Consumers’ appetite for certain foods has opened the door to more markets for northern Plains farmers to sell their commodities.

Demand has boosted prices for the crops, which include field peas, oats and canola, grown in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota on varying numbers of acres.

Paul and Diane Overby operate Lee Farms, near Wolford, North Dakota, where they farm 1,300 acres that include those three crops and sunflowers, flax, hard red spring wheat and soybeans. Instead of planting large fields of two or three different crops, they produce seven or eight grain and row crops.

The Overbys produce the crops on fields that average 70 acres, which is at least half the size of the fields on which many farmers raise conventional crops such as corn. The smaller fields are necessary because the couple produces more than half a dozen crops on their 1,300 acres of tillable land.

Over the years, the Overbys have tried a variety of crops. A few, like faba beans, they no longer grow, but most have become permanent parts of their rotations.

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New Zealand


Mood of farmers subdued, but public support holds strong

People need hope that there will be an end to the fight, that life will improve, that there will be answers. Whatever the scenario, it is hope – and support in that hope – that gets us through.

The mood at the National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek this year was marginal.

It appeared that after almost three years of grind due to short-staffing and increased paperwork, farmers were wondering about the point of their efforts and rural professionals were feeling overwhelmed by the pressures on farmers.

Politicians were present in force to gauge the mood of the country and were taking all opportunities to hear different perspectives.

Many of the people attending were also focussed on talking with others to check what they were experiencing, and ground truth their own feelings.

Read More here...

NZ farm

Farm debt and mortgages pushing up cost to grow food

Mortgage rates, inflation and overdraft costs are pushing up the cost of producing food and eroding farm profits, farmers say.

A November survey by Federated Farmers, answered by about 1200 farming businesses, showed the average farm mortgage interest rate had increased to 6.29%, up from 4.59% in May this year.

It was up from 3.95% in November last year.

Federated Farmers president Andrew Hoggard said many farms carried high debt.

Since May, the average farm mortgage value had increased from $4.07 million to $4.19m, while the median increased from $2.25m to $2.5m, Hoggard said.

The average overdraft limit lifted $46,000 to $328,800, with an average interest rate of 8.59%, he said.

Read More here…

nz farm2

Tesco’s warning to New Zealand farmers

British supermarket chain Tesco wants to be assured that all fresh produce, meat and dairy it sells is sustainable, including that which comes from New Zealand farmers.

Sustainable agriculture manager at Tesco Alice Ritchie said the supermarket chain was the biggest buyer of New Zealand products in Britain.

She said the business wanted to get to net zero across its whole supply chain by 2050. “For us it’s important what happens in New Zealand and how it feeds into our wider reduction plans.

“Around 2025 to 2030 we want to make sure that 100% of what we source in terms of fresh produce, meat and dairy is environmentally accredited. What that means for our New Zealand farmers we are not sure yet.”

In the year to September 30, New Zealand exported 36,340 tonnes of sheep meat to the UK, with a value of over $521 million.

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NZ farm policy

Ardern and O’Connor promise low initial methane price, cheap nitrogen price and inclusion of riparian planting in ETS

The Labour Government has softened a plan to levy farmers for their methane and nitrous oxide emissions after a farmer revolt, promising “relatively low” prices for at least five years, ample handouts to farmers to offset the levies and the inclusion of ‘riparian planting’ trees next to waterways in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

The concessions follow a rejection by farmers of a set of ‘He waka eke noa’ proposals from the Government in early October that were forecast to substantially reduce sheep and beef farm numbers and that excluded riparian planting from the ETS. The schism between farmers and the Government came after a two-year collaborative process designed to bring farmers ‘into the tent’ to price climate emissions that make up more than half of New Zealand’s overall emissions.

The Government has also put off the hardest decisions about actual price levels until early next year and it now appears unlikely legislation to enforce the prices will be passed before the election. The Opposition has previously pledged to repeal the levies if elected.

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harvest record

Shortfalls in Australia’s food pesticide residue monitoring raised almost a decade ago

Serious shortfalls in Australia’s monitoring of pesticide residues in food, particularly food destined for the domestic market, were identified by the federal agriculture department nearly a decade ago, documents obtained by Guardian Australia reveal.

Bureaucrats in the department expressed concern about Australia’s food monitoring as early as 2014, the documents, obtained under freedom of information laws, show.

A $25m five-year pilot program for a national produce monitoring system was set up in 2013, but scrapped when the Coalition came to power and Barnaby Joyce became minister. The results have never been released.

Testing of food sold in Australia is largely left to the fresh food markets under a self-regulatory system. In general, growers are required to submit samples once a year. There is no routine screening by state or federal health authorities or by Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

Read more here

crops Australia

GrainCorp receivals pass 7.6Mt

THE GrainCorp network has recorded its biggest day of receivals for the season, with more than 300,000 tonnes of grain delivered on December 18, GrainCorp said in its last weekly Harvest Update for 2022 released today.

The eastern-states bulk handler said winter-crop harvest activity was now mostly complete in Queensland, and slowing around the Burren Junction, Moree and Narrabri regions in northern NSW, as growers turn their attention to summer-cropping opportunities.

Clear and drier weather conditions saw strong harvest activity continue throughout NSW and Victoria, particularly in the Junee, Temora and Wyalong regions in southern NSW, and in the Wimmera, Mallee, Swan Hill and north-east regions of Victoria.

Harvest in NSW and Victoria harvest will continue into January 2023, and a large outload program has continued across the GrainCorp network to create capacity for more receivals, with up to 240,000t of grain outloaded each week.

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Australian wheat

Viterra receivals pass 5.1Mt

VITERRA has now received 5.1 million tonnes (Mt) of grain into its system from the current harvest following deliveries in the week to Sunday of 1,275,341t, it said in its final weekly receivals report for the year.

At its network across South Australia and in western Victoria, the bulk handler had its busiest day for receivals this harvest on Sunday when growers delivered around 230,000t to its sites, surpassing its previous busiest day of December 2 when 226,000t was delivered.

Viterra Central region operations manager Jack Tansley said all sites in the region are now receiving.

“Our Jamestown site welcomed its first delivery for the season last week, meaning all 16 sites in the region are now receiving grain,” Mr Tansley said.

“Growers are delivering all commodities into sites in our region, with wheat now the major commodity.

Read mpore here…

“All the genes that went into the Big Five gene stack came from nature. Some of them were already present in common wheat. We used wheat, rye, and Sharon goat-grass,” said Diana Horvath, president of the 2Blades Foundation and a molecular biologist and biochemist. | File photo

Commodities 2023: Australia’s record wheat crop to dominate Asia demand in H1

Australia is likely to start the new year with a record wheat crop harvest and dominate short-term Asian demand, while supplies from Argentina and Ukraine are uncertain. Logistical challenges and wheat quality concerns though may compromise Australian exports.

The continent is currently harvesting wheat and on track to receive its largest crop in history. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences estimated output at 36.6 million mt, 300,000 mt more than the previous 2021-22 season’s (October-September) 36.3 million mt.

Yet the third straight La Nina that brought wet conditions and boosted 2022 yields are causing havoc for producers at harvest time. Losses in some acreages are expected due to flooding, farm equipment has sustained damages, and some roads washed away in flash floods.

Read more here…

South America


Brazil planning to become world’s largest cotton exporter, ahead of US

Brazil could become the world’s largest cotton exporter in 2023, because of an increase in the planted area helping it to surpass the United States, which could reduce sowing by 30% to make way for competing crops such as corn, soy, and wheat.

Brazilian cotton producers see the sector ready to move forward with next year’s crop, despite higher costs, in order to protect progress in Asian markets, particularly China.

While Brazilians started planting for the 2022/23 season (to be harvested the following year), Americans are still finishing harvesting the current season’s crop and making preparations for 2023/24, with harvest expected to occur in the calendar year 2023.

“We will soon be the world’s largest exporters, maybe already next year,” said Julio Cezar Busato before handing over the presidency of the Brazilian Association of Cotton Producers (Abrapa) to Alexandre Pedro Schenkel, who will direct the group between 2023-24.

Read more here…

Field of soybean on a bright sunny day

Soybeans rise, improved Argentina weather limits gains

SINGAPORE — Chicago soybean futures ticked higher on Friday, but the market was set to end the week marginally lower as forecasts of rains in drought-hit Argentina’s farm belt eased supply concerns.

Wheat firmed, with the market on track for a positive finish this week as extremely cold weather across the U.S. grain belt threatens to curb winter crop production.

“Talk of rains this weekend for Argentina plus a shift to more bearish outside market forces helped to pressure the market,” the Hightower said in a report.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) added 0.1% to $14.74 a bushel, as of 0334 GMT, wheat rose 0.5% to $7.65-3/4 a bushel and corn gained 0.1% at $6.61-1/4 a bushel.

For the week, soybeans are down around 0.5%, while wheat has added 1.6% and corn is up 1.3%.

Read more here…

chillian cherry

Chilean Cherries in Hot Demand During Double 12 Festival

The “Double 12” shopping holiday that takes place annually on Dec. 12 is one of the busiest shopping days of the year in China. This year, the Double 12 holiday coincided with the arrival of this season’s first sea shipment of Chilean cherries. All of China’s leading e-commerce portals, including, Tmall and Pinduoduo, chose to join hands with the Chilean Cherry Committee of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) to make fresh cherries one of their most popular online items.

During this period, the strong trading performance of Chilean cherries on various e-commerce platforms attracted special attention. Notably, sales of the product tripled on Pinduoduo compared with the same time frame of last year.

On Dec. 9, the first “Cherry Express” ship of the season arrived in Hong Kong after a 23-day sea voyage. and representatives of the Chilean cherry industry held a joint press conference in Shanghai to celebrate the arrival. That evening, the Sinar Mas Plaza near the Bund was illuminated with slogans encouraging people to purchase Chilean cherries on The red lights on the skyscraper shone over a festive atmosphere full of warmth and good fortune.

Read more here

brazil flag soybeans

Brazil crop production outlook

Brazil’s CONAB made some minor adjustments to their December crop report. They increased soybean area by 400,000 acres to 107.2 million acres. This was mostly offset by reducing projected soybeans yield by 0.2 bushels from 52.7 bushels per acre to 52.5 bpa.

We have pointed out in recent reports that 52.7 bpa would be a new yield record and seems unlikely. Even 52.5 bpa would beat the current yield record set by the 2020-21 crop at 52.4 bpa.

We remain skeptical regarding Brazil’s ability to reach new yield records when they are expanding soybean acres sharply by 4.6% while reducing fertilizer investments. However, as someone told me once, “rain covers up a lot of mistakes,” and it has been raining very well for the majority of Brazil’s growing areas.

CONAB made similar adjustments to the corn, also reducing yield estimates by nearly 0.5 bpa to 89.5 bpa overall for the three crops. This reduced Brazil corn yield prospects by nearly 600,000 tons to 125.8 MMT overall.

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Food Updates


“Walnuts are the new brain food”, study claims

A study carried out by the University of South Australia has released the findings of a clinical trial of undergraduates students.

The research revealed that there were positive effects of eating walnuts on self-reported measures of mental health and biomarkers of general health.

What’s more the study suggests that walnuts may counteract the effects of academic stress on the gut microbiota during periods of stress, especially in females.

The lead researchers, PhD student Mauritz Herselman and Associate Professor Larisa Bobrovskaya, have said that the results of this investigation add to a “growing body” of evidence” that links walnuts with improved brain and gut health.

“Students experience academic stress throughout their studies, which has a negative effect on their mental health, and they are particularly vulnerable during exam periods,” said Herselman.

Read more here

sstainable food

Sustainability: Is it now or never?
Sustainability is of course a key term in the food and beverage industry. Many companies across the UK are making sustainable changes, both to achieve their self-made goals and to satisfy consumer desire for more climate-friendly food systems – but is now really the right time when there are various other pertinent food concerns?Speaking to New Food, Freddie Lintell, CEO and Founder of Reewild, claimed that there has been a recent shift towards “sustainable purchasing power”, meaning that many consumers are now making the conscious decision to purchase sustainably sourced food.However, with food inflation to contend with, has sustainability fallen off British consumers’ shopping list and been replaced with affordable basics? Lintell doesn’t seem to think so.

According to Sustain Web, there is no legal definition of ‘sustainable food,’ though other terms such as ‘organic’ and ‘Fairtrade’ are clearly defined.

Read more here…


Sensory seekers: altering the eating experience

Earlier this year I spoke on New Food’s Trend Watch panel, held in the iconic grounds of Twickenham Stadium, London. During this roundtable, my focus centred on the importance of sensory elements within food and drink. Here, I recap the key takeaways, including how suppliers can meet the growing desires of ‘sensory seekers’.

What does the sensory experience include?

The past few years have transformed consumer habits when it comes to food. How we evaluate our purchases, the times of day we eat and our perceptions of meal occasions have been altered by shifting political landscapes, a global pandemic, and a cost-of-living crisis.

The result is that consumers in 2023 will put more emphasis on the full sensory experience; from discovery, to purchase and prep and, of course, eating it! The challenge for brands and suppliers is to cater to this changing sensibility. And I believe that an understanding of the sensory experience at every touchpoint, will be vital.

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Supermarket responses to the consumer recession

Clive Black of Shore Capital examines the way retailers in the UK are adapting to a changed consumer-landscape, as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite.

succession of pressure points has meant that the supply chain to British supermarkets has had to absorb quite considerable increases in their cost bases, from raw materials and energy, both further spiked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the wider labour process, reflecting an amalgam of cumulative skills development failures in the UK, the benefits system, Brexit and the pandemic.

Indeed, suppliers are on their sixth or seventh wave of inflation since 2020, resulting in record-breaking food inflation levels. In isolation, such food inflation would be a bad enough squeeze on British shoppers, especially those on low incomes given the regressive nature of essentials inflation. However, that food inflation rests alongside a stepped adjustment in home energy costs and still elevated motor fuel prices. There is, therefore, a real squeeze on British household budgets

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USA and Canada

Alarm sounded on canola exports

Canada’s canola exports will fall way short of Agriculture Canada’s forecast and that means increased carryout and pressure on prices, says an analyst.

Agriculture Canada is forecasting 9.3 million tonnes of exports in 2022-23.

That is not the number that PI Financial Corp. canola analyst Ken Ball is hearing when he speaks to commercial traders.

“Some of them are as low as six (million tonnes), some are seven to 7.5,” he said.

The reason for their pessimism is Australia’s monster crop. Farmers Down Under harvested a record 7.3 million tonnes of the oilseed, according to the Australian government’s latest estimate published on Dec. 6.

“Australian exports could hit six million tonnes this year,” said Ball.

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Most analysts believe wheat prices head into 2023 with a firm basis. | File photo

Crop prices an exception in commodity slump

Commodity markets are facing a bearish 2023, according to most analysts, but bull markets should remain in a number of agricultural commodities.

Unfortunately for farmers, that gleaming outlook is tarnished by the outlook for fertilizers, which are predicted to remain strong and will continue to suck away much of the potential profitability of crop production.

But still, if you’re going to be a commodity producer in 2023, growing crops seems like the best place to be.

As ING notes about wheat in its 2023 Commodities Outlook, “global wheat markets are likely to tighten over the 2022-23 season. Meanwhile, there are already several supply risks building for the next marketing year, which should support prices through 2023.”The report, subtitled Stormy Seas Ahead, doesn’t find the same strength beneath the price outlook for most other commodities.

That’s a bearish outlook shared by most analytical shops, which have been trotting out their 2023 outlooks in the run-up to the new year.

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Models have shown that when Manitoba growers moved heavily into soybean production, the province’s nitrous oxide emissions stabilized. | File photo

Pulse sector faces acre turbulence

There is mounting trepidation about the threat the thriving oilseed sector poses to North America’s pulse industry.

“Most pulse industry people should be concerned,” says Jeff Van Pevenage, president of Columbia Grain International, a grain company headquartered in Portland, Oregon, that handles pulses and other crops.

He thinks 30 percent of the dry bean acres in North Dakota and an equal portion of the green pea acres in Washington and Idaho could eventually succumb to pressure from rapidly expanding soybean and canola acres in those states.

Oilseed crops will be in high demand when all the new crush facilities come online to fuel the renewable diesel plants springing up across the United States.

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Markets again are looking for direction

The first week of December wrapped up with the grains closing mixed with all three wheat exchanges ending lower, corn steady, and soybeans higher. The lack of demand and expectations that the U.S. Department of Agriculture would lower wheat and corn demand in the December Crop Production report added pressure to those markets while soybeans were supported by recent announced exports sales as well as from South American weather concerns.

Soybean exports picked up the first 10 days of December, with China buying 382,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans while an unknown destination bought 958,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans. Japan and Taiwan were buying wheat but no export sales of corn were reported. On the plus side, Mexico has agreed to continue to buy U.S. GMO corn and has even pushed back the implementation date for banning GMO corn for human consumption until 2025.

Soybean and corn advisor Dr. Michael Cordonnier continues to paint a concerning picture for Argentina but not so for Brazil. For the third week in a row, he has lowered Argentina’s corn and soybean production 1 million metric ton each. This has soybean production at 47 million metric tons and corn production at 47 million metric tons.

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Plan on 2023 being best crop ever, Minnesota scientist says looking at yields despite drought

When thinking about which varieties to plant in 2023, Tom Hoverstad of the University of Minnesota Extension Service, says not to worry too much about the dry late summer of 2022.

“I wouldn’t change any management practices,” said Hoverstad, scientist at the Southern Research and Outreach Center at Waseca. “I would plan on the next crop being the best you ever grew.”

The University of Minnesota recently released results of 2022 variety trials and Hoverstad said the thing that jumped out to him was 200 bushel corn at Lamberton in southwest Minnesota despite a lack of late season rain that has pushed a swath of the state into D3, or extreme drought.

Hoverstad said the strong yields are a testament to the water holding capacity of the soils in the region.

“Here in Minnesota, we are, for the most part, blessed with some soils that can hold a lot of water and that becomes useful later in the season,” Hoverstad said.

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New Zealand


Why mussels might just be the next new superfood

It could be as simple as ‘a market push’ to make mussels the next superfood, just like blueberries or mānuka honey, said Marine Farming Association general manager Ned Wells.

Wells said having greenshell mussels dubbed as a superfood was one of Marlborough’s Smart and Connected Aquaculture group priorities to help unlock growth in the sector and hit the Government’s $3 billion goal.

“We think that our mussels are fantastic, and we know that they’ve got a lot of properties that are really good for health.

“We think that more people should be eating our greenshell mussels, whether it’s in a food format or a nutraceutical format, and one way to improve uptake would be to have people thinking of them as a superfood.”

Read More here...

city dwelling

‘The city-dwellers do not understand the mental and physical strength it takes’ 

On Clovalley Farms, the cost of feed, fuel, fertiliser and electricity has gone up by about 20% this year, and dairy farmers Sophie Cookson and Donovan Croot have had to make major adjustments to keep the business going.

“We have had to look to other sources of income,” Croot said.

Cookson is employed part-time with Cow Manager, a herd management system, and Croot is a tutor for Dairy Training, which provided further education for the dairy sector.

The pair had also diversified their business and now raised some bull calves and sold them in the meat trade, he said.

Read More here…


Beef farmers are looking for efficiencies to deal with both the cost and climate change pressures. Pat Crawshaw discusses how the INZB program is helping that search

This week farmer Pat Crawshaw discusses the Informing New Zealand Beef program. This program focuses on breeding objectives and traits, important to New Zealand farmers. It will also develop a New Zealand-based genetic evaluation for comparing bulls of different breeds, which will ultimately result in more efficient beef animals, that aim to generate less greenhouse gases and to return higher profits.

So what are the areas of focus for the program? Genetics would have to be a significant part in this program so asked Crawshaw about the genetic objectives and targeted outcomes.

Informing New Zealand Beef is a seven year program to provide local beef farmers with the ability to breed animals better suited to this country. It will develop tools for our unique farm systems, in particular a NZ-specific genetic evaluation.

Read More here…


Farmer confidence has fallen dramatically since last quarter and is now at the lowest level recorded in the 20-year history of the Rabobank survey. Government policy and rising farm input costs were the major concerns

Despite the rural sector having performed strongly through a number of recent challenges, New Zealand farmer confidence – which was already at low levels overall – has plummeted further and now sits at an historical low, the latest Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey has found.

The fourth and final survey of 2022 — completed late last month — found farmer confidence was significantly down on the previous (September) quarter, with the net confidence reading slumping to -71 per cent, from -31 per cent previously.

The latest net confidence reading is the lowest in the 20-year history of the survey and far exceeds the previous low of -45 per cent recorded amid the dairy downturn in 2015. The latest survey found the number of farmers expecting conditions in the agricultural economy to improve in the coming 12 months had fallen to four per cent (from 12 per cent in the previous quarter) while the percentage expecting conditions to worsen rose to 75 per cent (up from 43 per cent). A total of 19 per cent were anticipating the agricultural economy to remain stable (down from 44 per cent previously).

Read More here…


harvest record

Harvest records set to be broken in WA: GIWA

EXCEPTIONAL yields are making it a certainty that Western Australian growers will see another record season for 2022-23, according to the Grain Industry of Western Australia’s (GIWA) December Crop Report released today.

In the December wrap-up, GIWA is estimating a total crop production of 24.747 million tonnes (Mt), far above the 2021-22 record of 24Mt.

This result is making it a year to remember across all WA grain growing regions, mostly for the yields achieved, but also for those in the southern regions with the unseasonal weather leading up to and during harvest.

Grain yields are in some cases “the best ever”, and in most cases, growers average paddock yields are higher than in 2021, which drove the record tonnage for the state by a fair margin.

Read more here


October canola exports plunge to 42,997t

AUSTRALIA exported 42,997 tonnes of canola in October, 75pc below the September total of 170,970t,  according to the latest export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

October is typically the low month for Australian canola exports, with the October 2021 figure totalling 14,418t, down from 102,597t shipped in September 2021.

In October 2022, Japan on 27,831t appeared to be the only bulk customer.

Australia’s 2022-23 (Oct-Sep) canola crop was forecast by ABARES at a record 7.3 million tonnes.

The flow of new-crop cargoes to Europe and other destinations has already started, and while consecutive rain events have limited New South Wales production, other states are on track for bumper years.

Read more here

Australian wheat

Feedgrain Focus: North firms, south sags

SURPRISINGLY high quality from the Queensland harvest has tightened availability of nearby feedgrain in the northern market, while in the south, prices have eased.

A run of ideal harvesting weather has seen big tonnages of wheat and barley of variable quality hit the southern market.

While southern stockfeed millers know plenty of grain is available, short weeks and shutdowns over the Christmas and New Year period have quashed nearby demand.

Northern barley jumps

The northern feed barley market has risen $15/t in the past week to reflect the limited availability of F1 barley as preferred by many feedlots.

One trader said the rally has come about because barley has either exceeded expectations by making malt specifications, or come in at below the F1 minimum test weight of 62kg per hectolitre.

Read mpore here…


Pulse Update: Sluggish harvest, quality concerns limit trade

A SLOW start to the southern harvest and variable quality to date is keeping traded volume to a minimum, while in the north, attention is turning towards planting of new-crop mungbeans.

Overall quality of lentils appears to be improving as harvest gathers pace, while the reverse could well be the case in faba beans.

Trade sources say economic uncertainty is impacting a number of counterparties spread from Egypt to Bangladesh as inflationary pressure and currency risk limit appetite for business on both sides.

New-crop trade in chickpeas is unusually thin for this time of year, with widespread downgrading of peas prevalent in most areas.

All prices quotes in Australian dollars.

Read more here…

South America

agro dollar

“Soybean dollar 2” working as planned for Argentine authorities

Argentina’s new version of the “Export Increase Program” (PIE) has resulted in US$ 1.824 billion worth of soybeans sold abroad, which nearly meets the government’s target, it was reported Friday in Buenos Aires.

The new PIE, also referred to as ”soybean dollar 2″ recognizes a parity of AR$ 230 for each US dollar, which in addition to a short supply amid growing global demand, has yielded positive results for the economic team headed by Superminister Sergio Massa.

On the first working day after the new soybean dollar, the price of the oilseed was quoted at AR$ 80,000 per ton which eventually became AR$ 100,000 per ton.

Soybeans on December 1 were trading at US$371 per ton, which with a dollar at AR$ 230 meant AR$ 85,330 per ton. One week later the value rose to US$430 and its peso equivalent with the PIE reached $98,900. A more than substantial improvement of US$ 59 per ton.

Read more here…

Field of soybean on a bright sunny day

Fears of a record breaking global soybean harvest, and insufficient demand

Brazil is on track for a record-high Brazilian soybean harvest in the marketing year 2022-23 (January-December 2023), based on forecasts from commodity consultancies and government-owned institutions. The likely estimate means a looming oversupply expected to remain until at least mid-2023.

The average of estimates by the various organizations has the world’s top soy supplier producing a record 152 million tons of soybeans in MY 2022-23, up 20% year on year.

S&P Global Commodity Insights projects the Brazilian MY 2022-23 soybean crop at 150 million tons.

Substantial back-to-back supplies from the world’s top two soybean exporters (Brazil and US) are a recipe for a bearish 2023, they said. The US soybean new crop has been estimated at an average 118 million tons, and if Brazil’s record harvest projections are included, an oversupply seems likely.

The US Department of Agriculture has estimated the MY 2022-23 US soybean harvest at 118.3 million tons, close to its 5-year average of 118.4 million tons. Brazil and the US together account for 70% of global soybean production.

Read more here…

argentinian beef

Argentine beef exports down for three months running, with prices dropping 20% since April

During October 2022, beef exports from Argentina fell for the third month running, dropping 3% in volume month-on-month, with sales revenue down 10.4%, according to Argentina’s Chamber of Meat Industry and Commerce (CICCRA).

So far exported volume dropped by 11.6% from the ceiling hit in July, whereas the price fell by 20% from the highest point in April.

In the tenth month of the year, the average price paid for each ton of beef sold by exporters was US$ 5,031 a ton, 10.4% below September values. On the other hand, China paid an average of US$ 4,252 per ton, down 8.7% less than in the previous month and 17.7% below May.

A similar scenario was experienced in Europe, which paid an average price 29% lower between April and October. On sales to US and Chile, since February prices dropped 31.4% and 15.0%, respectively.

Read more here

table grapes2

2022/23 Chilean Table Grape Export Forecast: Over Half From New Varieties

The Chilean Table Grape Committee of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) recently released its third forecast for the export volume of Chilean table grapes during the 2022/23 season. According to the report, Chile will export 66,920,661 boxes (8.2kg/box) of table grapes in the 2022/23 season, declining by 10% from the previous season. New varieties are expected to account for at least half of the total exports—a significant milestone for the Chilean table grape industry and a highlight of the season.

Speaking about the projected decrease in shipments ASOEX chairman Iván Marambio explained that it is an unavoidable consequence of the varietal replacement effort initiated a decade ago and indicates that the Chilean table grape industry is undergoing a profound transformation.

Exports of new varieties are forecasted to total 36,251,172 boxes, while exports of traditional varieties and the Red Globe variety are forecasted at 19,513,322 boxes and 11,156,167 boxes, respectively. Notably, the share of Red Globe grapes will wane further this season.

Read more here

Food Updates

food safety

The latest innovation helping to create a net zero food system

EIT Food’s Andy Zynga highlights the latest exciting innovation happening across the European food and beverage sector which is helping to shift the dial on the climate crisis.

With the inclusion of the first ever Food Systems Pavilion, the recent UN climate conference COP27 gave us both cause to celebrate and the momentum to push even harder to accelerate the transformation of our food system. There is an urgent need to halt global warming, and while the food system is a significant contributor to emissions, it also holds many of the solutions needed to tackle the climate crisis. Only by leveraging a diverse range of innovations will we be able to achieve a net zero food system which can sustainably feed our growing population for decades to come.

While we have known for several years that our global food system is responsible for at least one-third of greenhouse gas emissions, a study published in 2021 revealed that between one-fifth and one-quarter of anthropogenic emissions are generated by on-farm production and related land-use change.1

Read more here

food sustainibility

Food manufacturers struggle to prioritise sustainability
Research has revealed that 93 percent food manufacturers, directors and business owners admit that sustainability is no longer a priority in the current economic climate.According to new research, sustainability has fallen off the agenda for many UK food manufacturers amid the current socio-economic climate.

Research carried out by Tetra Pak has revealed that, across the UK and Ireland, 93 percent of the surveyed food producers and manufactures have admitted that “sustainability is no longer a priority”.

Although 36 percent of respondents said that they considered the pursuit of sustainable practises to be important, a further 36 percent claimed that other factors will take the lead in the next 12-24 months.

However, as a form of self-reflection, 70 percent said that they believed their organisation should be doing more to address sustainability issues.

Read more here…


Have researchers found a way to make cultured meat cheaper?

Cultured meat is expensive to produce, but researchers claim they might have found a way to make its production more cost-effective.

Cultured meat has taken vast strides towards widespread consumption in recent weeks, especially with the FDA’s “No Questions” letter being received by UPSIDE Foods in November 2022.

Yet significant barriers, most obviously relating to production costs, still remain in place before cultured meat gets onto supermarket shelves around the world.

But now, researchers from Singapore and China have found a way to use food waste for culturing meat, which could reduce production costs and perhaps make cultured meat a viable option for feeding the world’s population.

To produce cultured meat, animal muscle stem cells are grown on a scaffold which improves the environment for the cells by enabling the transport of nutrients and allows the generation of texture and structure. Without it, the meat is more likely to resemble lumpy mashed potatoes.

Read more here

robotics agriculture

UK agriculture and robotics receive £12.5 million funding

DEFRA has committed to further funding for agriculture and horticulture automation and robotics to improve productivity.

Ahead of its January launch, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published guidance for the third round of the Farming Futures Research and Development Fund competition which focuses on agriculture and robotics.

In order to boost productivity and sustainable farming practises via the development of automation and robotic technologies on farms, DEFRA will be match-funding projects in partnership with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

“This is an exciting opportunity for farmers and growers to come together with businesses and researchers to invent ingenious solutions to the problems our agriculture and horticulture sectors face,” said Mark Spencer, Farming Minister for DEFRA.

Read more here

USA and Canada

Heavy selling creates downturn in corn, wheat markets

The transition from November to December was a rough one for wheat and corn while soybeans handled the flip of the calendar page a little better. The last few days of November had the grains trading in a back-and-forth fashion and not really going anywhere. That all changed in December when heavy fund selling hit wheat and corn, pushing both markets through support lines.

What started the major selloff and is it a signal that the party is over? Well, most of the selling was tied to money flow. The funds, who have been aggressive buyers of all the grains through the planting and growing season, have turned to be heavy sellers. The biggest task the funds are trying to accomplish by year end is getting flat in the grains without causing too much market movement. Guess that plan did not work out so well.

The other factor leading up to the mass exodus out of wheat and corn is demand concerns. Wheat exports continue to lag behind last year’s pace and at this point, with half of wheat’s marketing year behind us, it doesn’t appear that the U.S. wheat export pace will meet USDA’s already disappointing projection. This has led most traders to expect USDA will lower wheat exports in either the December or January Crop Production report.

Read More…


Canola’s biofuel link to raise volatility

Volatile canola markets will get even more turbulent in the years ahead as the biofuel sector consumes an increasing amount of the oilseed, says an analyst.

The Canadian Oilseed Processors Association (COPA) is forecasting that the biofuel industry will be buying 6.5 million tonnes of the crop per year by 2030, up from 1.8 million tonnes in 2020.

Canola production is expected to rise to 29 million tonnes, up from 20 million tonnes over that same timeframe.

That means the biofuel sector will be accounting for 23 percent of total demand for the crop by 2030, up from nine percent in 2020, according to COPA.

Ken Ball, canola analyst with PI Financial Corp., said the rapidly growing demand from the biofuel sector should make for an interesting ride in the years to come.

“It’s going to add a lot of volatility to the marketplace for sure,” he said.

Read More…

The export pace fluctuates through the year and the amount moved at this fairly early point is not necessarily how things will wind up by Week 52, but it is worth looking at. | Getty Images

Canadian grain export pace on target, but U.S. corn sales lag

The slow pace of American corn exports was a drag on grain markets last week, but Canadian canola and wheat exports look on target.

I’ll talk about the American export situation later, but let’s first look at the Canadian position.

We have export data from the Canadian Grain Commission’s weekly report for Week 17 to Nov. 21. Seventeen weeks is roughly one-third of the crop year.

We can get an idea of whether exports are booming or lagging by looking at the amount moved so far compared to the forecasted amount of full-year exports in Agriculture Canada’s monthly Outlook for Principal Field Crops.

The export pace fluctuates through the year and the amount moved at this fairly early point is not necessarily how things will wind up by Week 52, but it is worth looking at.

Read More

U.S. Department of Agriculture lowers forecast for world wheat harvest due to situations in Argentina and Canada

The U.S. Agriculture Department left most of its crop production and usage estimates unchanged in its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates released Friday.

The corn outlook did call for lower exports and increased ending stocks 75 million bushels, while soybean supply and use were unchanged for the month.

USDA projected corn exports higher for Ukraine but lowered corn export estimates for the United States, Russia and the EU. The report lowed corn exports by 75 million bushels as the agency noted competition from exporters and relatively high U.S. prices have resulted in slow sales and shipments through early December. With no other use changes, USDA raised corn ending stocks 75 million bushels.

Next month’s January report will provide another opportunity to gauge the ongoing impact of the stronger U.S. dollar and its impact on American corn exports.

Read more…

New Zealand

New Zealand cow

Farmers get premium for live export cows as ban approaches

Farmers and exporters are being paid premium prices for live cow exports before a ban takes effect in April.

Responding to a parliamentary question this week, Minister for Agriculture Damien O’Connor said an estimated $406 million worth of animals would be exported this year.

The value of livestock exported in 2021 was approximately $340m, up from $261m in 2020, O’Connor said.

Chair of Livestock Export NZ Mark Willis said the organisation experienced an increase of more than 20% in the value of animals exported, compared to previous price highs.

The demand for breeding stock from New Zealand increased because Chinese importers and farmers wanted to secure stock before the ban, he said.

Read More here...

cherry orchard

Fully electric cherry farm the result of ‘going geeky’

Mike Casey’s story is a simple one, which became complicated fast.

He wanted to plant a 9,300 cherry tree orchard, on Mt Pisa, near Queenstown. Simple.

He worked out that the trees would sequester 3.8 tonnes of carbon every year, and as he’d always wanted to do something in the climate space, he found this to be particularly cool.

However, it became a bit more complicated when he discovered that if the orchard was run with existing technology, it would emit about 60 tonnes of carbon every year.

As a software engineer, he went all geeky and technical on the challenge and started a journey to be the first fully electrical and fossil-fuel-free orchard in New Zealand.

Casey had to make decisions around key technologies the farm relied on.

Read More here…


The 2022 meat season was a good one for the whole industry with farmer suppliers receiving substantial loyalty rewards. But 2023 will bring fewer opportunities for meat marketing, which means suppliers won’t receive as much for their livestock

It is tempting to think the recently ended season’s performance means the meat industry has resolved all its historical issues and will only go from strength to strength from here. The alternative, probably more realistic, view suggests 2022 was one out of the box, unlikely to be repeated any time soon. In spite of all the positives, it could have been even better, although I suspect most processors and exporters will settle happily for their end of year results.

The overriding reason for the successful year was the strength of all markets and consumer demand for products which New Zealand was mostly able to fulfil in spite of labour shortages, shipping delays and cost increases brought about by continuing pandemic issues and the war in Ukraine. There is no reason to believe any of these issues will go away in the next 12 months, although labour and logistics challenges show signs of easing. But the big difference will be reduced consumer demand which has already affected the returns for sheep meat, especially mutton, and will almost certainly flow through to beef prices.

Read More here…


Guy Trafford looks at what is driving dairy prices, at the risks of using PKE, and what lies ahead in 2023

The latest GDT auction has been, with very little to report except it seems to be a ‘business as usual’ auction. Overall prices increased by +0.6% with the individual products below.

  • Butter index down -1.9%, average price US$4,725/MT
  • Cheddar index up +1.8%, average price US$4,826/MT
  • SMP index up +1.7%, average price US$3,102/MT
  • WMP index up +0.1%, average price US$3,400/MT

The only really major concern is the continued fall of butter. With just the odd sign of resurgence, butter has been on a steady decline since February when it hit the heady heights of $US$7,086/MT. The biggest looser here will be Yili/Westland with their role as a dominant player in that field.

Westpac have mentioned that the result is perhaps the due the weakening of the US$ and therefore product being a little cheaper in US$ terms.

Read More here…


Australian cotton

NSW growers battle through cotton planting

NEW SOUTH Wales cotton growers are nearing the end of a turbulent planting window with mixed results across the valleys.

Northern NSW growers are expected to plant almost all of the estimated area, with some dryland cotton yet to go in the ground.

This is an improvement on expectations for last, when the region was expected to take a significant hit from rainfall, flooding and ground preparation delays.

In southern NSW, many growers could not plant any cotton due to prolonged flooding and cool temperatures.

Short window narrows options

Growers in the Macquarie Valley and southern NSW and northern Victoria also have to contend with the shortest traditional planting window of all regions, running from about mid-October to mid-November.

Read more here


Australian chickpea, lentil exports dip in Oct

AUSTRALIA exported 65,259 tonnes of chickpeas and 61,796t of lentils in October, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The chickpea figure is down 8pc from the September total of 68,252t, while the lentil figure is down 7pc from 66,176t shipped in September.

Pakistan on 42,409t was the biggest chickpea destination by far, taking 68pc, of the total, with the United Arab Emirates on 9497t the next biggest and Nepal on 3847t in third place.

Trade sources said rain delays to Queensland’s chickpea harvest meant October shipments were old-crop rather than new-crop, which can sometimes make its way to port for what is officially the opening month of the Australian shipping year.

On lentils, India on 33,662t followed by Sri Lanka on 11,020t and Nepal on 5190t were the three biggest-volume destinations.

Read more here

Australian wheat

Australia’s Oct wheat exports jump 14pc to 2Mt

AUSTRALIA exported 2,042,497 tonnes of wheat in October, up 14pc from 1,785,830t in September, according to the latest export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The month is the first for the Australian marketing year, and saw inflows of new-crop wheat in zones around Australia’s northernmost bulk grain ports, namely Geraldton in Western Australia, and Gladstone and Mackay in Queensland.

Indonesia has continued its trend of recent months in being the biggest market for Australian bulk wheat, with 438,282t shipped in October, just ahead of China on 419,204t.

In third place for bulk buying in October was South Korea on 299,307t and The Philippines on 215,075t.

In containerised exports, Vietnam on 79,736t, Taiwan on 34,731t and Thailand on 31,194t were the biggest markets.

Read mpore here…


ABARES forecasts reduced summer-crop area

COTTON production in New South Wales is forecast to decline by 40pc in 2022-23, as well above-average rainfall and flooding across major production regions throughout spring have impeded the ability of many growers to access fields for soil preparation and planting.

The prediction came in ABARES quarterly Australian Crop Report released today.

Even as conditions improved towards the end of spring, yield penalties due to late planting has discouraged growers.

ABARES said planting of summer crops in 2022-23 is forecast to be well above average, supported by high soil moisture and significant areas of land left fallow during winter.

Total summer-crop planting in 2022-23 is forecast at 1.4 million hectares (Mha), down 9pc from the 2021-22 area, due largely to the impact of waterlogging in NSW.

Read more here…

South America


Argentine government says 74.2% of 2021-22 soybean crop sold so far

BUENOS AIRES, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Argentina soybean sales surged last week to 74.2% of the current harvest, helped by a preferential exchange rate, though sales trailed the totals seen at the same point last year, the government said Wednesday.

Producers sold 556,000 metric tons in the week of Nov. 24-30, the highest weekly figure in months, the agricultural secretariat said, though the season’s sales so far still lag the 76.9% of last season’s crop sold at the same point a year ago.

Argentina is the world’s top exporter of processed soy, and the grain is a critical source of foreign currency for the government.

Last week, sales spiked after officials reinstated a temporary preferential exchange rate for producers, the so-called “soy dollar” foreign exchange rate.

The secretariat also reported Wednesday, on Dec. 7, that the country had sold 72.8% of its 59-million-metric tons 2021-22 corn crop, down from the 75.3% seen in the same period the previous cycle.

Read more here…

Field of soybean on a bright sunny day

Soybeans rise on strong Chinese demand, Argentine drought

SINGAPORE — Chicago soybean futures gained more ground on Wednesday, buoyed by strong demand as China eases COVID-19 curbs and dry weather in Argentina supports the market.

Wheat prices are facing headwinds from ample supplies with the market trading near last session’s 13-month low.

“Without a major shift in the weather pattern in Argentina, buyers are likely to remain active as the market builds a weather premium,” Hightower said in a report.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) rose 0.2% to $14.58-1/4 a bushel, as of 0403 GMT. Wheat was down 0.3% at $7.27 a bushel, after dropping to its lowest since Oct. 2021 on Tuesday at $7.23-1/2 a bushel and corn lost 0.2% to $6.36-1/4 a bushel.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that U.S. exporters sold 264,000 tonnes of soybeans for delivery China, as well as 240,000 tonnes to unknown destinations, both during the 2022/2023 marketing year.

Read more here…


PHL asks Brazil to cut tariffs on coco products

Manila is urging Brasilia to reduce the hefty tariff it slaps on local coconut products to boost the Philippines’s “competitiveness” in the Brazilian market.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) said its high-ranking officials met with Brazilian diplomats to discuss agricultural cooperation between the Philippines and Brazil. The discussions included Manila’s request to lower Brazil’s 55 percent tariff on Philippine coconut and coconut-related products.

“Desiccated coconuts, coconut water and concentrates, virgin coconut oil, and fractions of unrefined coconut oil are among the top ten Philippine export products to Brazil,” the DA said in a recent statement.

The value of the Philippines’s total exports of coconut products to Brazil last year declined by 30 percent year-on-year to $5.041 million.

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Chile peach

Agronometrics in Charts: Rising nectarine yields continue to outpace peach production in Chile

It is anticipated that Chilean nectarine and peach output would increase to roughly 180,000 tons in the 2022/23 season due to optimal growing conditions and higher rainfall following years of unrelenting drought. Rising nectarine output continues to outpace peach production as growers expand nectarine acreage in response to higher nectarine returns.

For MY (Marketing Year) 2022/23, Chilean fresh peach and nectarine output will total 178,500 MT, a 5.3 percent increase over MY 2021/22, according to the Stone Fruit Annual Report released by the USDA.

Owing to higher yields and growth in areas planted with nectarines, the collective exports for peaches and nectarines will climb by 5.8% to 118,000 MT. The majority of the country’s nectarines are grown in central Chile, more notably in the Metropolitana and O’Higgins areas; the fruit is mostly available from December to March.

Read more here

Food Updates


Sugars and sugar substitutes testing

Changing consumer preference, the introduction of sugar taxes and competitive pressures are some of the drivers of innovation in the beverage industry. Innovation can include reformulation of existing products as well as the development of new ones. Alternative products to carbonated soft drinks continue to reach our supermarket shelves, including product categories such as energy drinks, sports drinks, enhanced waters and functional dairy products.

Consumer preference and sugar taxes have also led to a focus on reducing sugar in beverages through reformulation of existing products or the introduction of new low or no sugar products. To enable the reduction or replacement of sugar in beverages, sugar substitutes are used to sweeten the products. These sugar substitutes, where approved for use, can include:

  • High intensity sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose and acesulfame potassium)
  • Sugar alcohols (erythritol, xylitol and sorbitol)
  • Natural sweeteners (allulose, steviol glycosides and monk fruit).

Read more here


Small fish could help to combat malnutrition, study finds
Researchers at Cornell University find that small fish species could help to close nutritional gaps for undernourished people, particularly young children in sub-Saharan Africa.According to a study, inexpensive, small fish species caught in seas and lakes in developing countries could help in closing nutritional gaps for undernourished people, especially children. 


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Could alternative proteins solve antimicrobial resistance?

With global concerns regarding antimicrobial resistance, find out why Martina Helmlinger thinks alternative proteins could provide a solution.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an ongoing global concern. But with the recent discovery of superbugs and antibiotic residues UK rivers near livestock farms, now might be a good time to for the food industry to put its foot on the accelerator to find a solution.

New Food has recently reported on an investigation in the US that linked beef raised with antibiotics to fast food giant McDonald’s, but these concerns aren’t exclusive to North America. Anxiety surrounding AMR exists worldwide and is something that the National Library of Medicine has labelled a “global multifaceted phenomenon”.

But where there is a problem there is often a solution and, according to the Good Food Institute Europe, the transition to sustainable proteins such as cultivated and plant-based meat could be pivotal in the fight against AMR.

Read more here

Food waste

Food Waste: Is it time to go back to the chalkboard?

New Food’s Joshua Minchin brings you analysis from Kerry’s case study at Food Ingredients Europe in Paris, where education is the message of the day.

You all know the stats. Food waste would be the third largest emitter if it were a country, 30-40 percent of food in the US is wasted, so on and so forth. That’s not the lesson that Kerry wants to teach you (or indeed consumers). In their case study at Food Ingredients Europe 2022 in Paris’ stunning (albeit humongous) Porte de Versailles, Emma Cahill (Global Marketing Director) and Dr Sabina Cairoli (Business Development Manager), spoke about the gains Kerry have made when it comes to food waste through innovative solutions. Perhaps more importantly, they explained why consumer education is where food waste reduction starts and ends.

Technology gets you far

Some food waste is easy to identify – the family member scraping uneaten vegetables from a dinner plate into the bin (this bears no resemblance to any personal experiences of this writer). However, other types are hidden behind factory walls and complex supply chains.

Read more here

USA and Canada


U.S.-Mexico corn fight could hurt barley growers

A brewing corn trade war between Mexico and the United States could have dire consequences for Canadian barley growers, says an analyst.

Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador issued a presidential decree on Dec. 31, 2020, that would ban the import of genetically modified corn starting in 2024 and phase out the use of glyphosate.

On Nov. 28, 2022, the United States threatened legal action against Mexico if it proceeds with that plan.

“The president’s phase-out decree has the potential to substantially disrupt trade, harm farmers on both sides of the border and significantly increase costs for Mexican farmers,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in a tweet after meeting with Lopez Obrador.

Read More…

“All the genes that went into the Big Five gene stack came from nature. Some of them were already present in common wheat. We used wheat, rye, and Sharon goat-grass,” said Diana Horvath, president of the 2Blades Foundation and a molecular biologist and biochemist. | File photo

U.S. winter wheat crop in trouble

The U.S. winter wheat crop is in terrible shape as 2022 draws to a close, but that is not necessarily a precursor of what’s to come in 2023, says an analyst.

An estimated 34 percent of the crop was rated good-to-excellent as of Nov. 29, down from 44 percent the same time one year ago.

It is the second worst score dating back to 1987 for this time of year.

The poor rating stems from that fact that there is still extreme to exceptional drought in much of the central and southern Plains regions of the U.S.

Aaron Harries, vice-president of research and operations with Kansas Wheat, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s poor crop ratings are accurate.

“If anything, the conditions are going downhill,” he said.

Read More…

U.S. farm incomes seen soaring to new highs on global food, feed demand

CHICAGO, Dec 1 (Reuters) – Soaring grain and livestock prices are expected to push U.S. farm incomes to a historic high this year, as producers benefit from strong global grain and oilseed demand amid tight supplies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported on Thursday.

Net farm income — which is a broad measure of profits in the agricultural economy, according to the agency — is forecast to increase to $160.5 billion in 2022 from $19.5 billion a year earlier.

Much of the growth in the crop sector came from sales of corn, soybeans and wheat, the agency said, noting that livestock cash sales receipts were also expected to jump nearly 31% to $256.0 billion.

In inflation-adjusted 2022 dollars, net farm income would be at its highest level since 1973 and net cash farm income at its highest level on record, the agency said.

Read More

Canadian wheat, canola harvests turn out smaller than expected due to dryness

Canada’s wheat and canola harvests turned out smaller than expected due to dry conditions in parts of the Prairies, but were still bigger than last year’s, a government report showed on Friday.

War in Ukraine has tightened global supplies of wheat and vegetable oil, of which Canada is a major producer. Dry conditions in Argentina have further inflamed food security concerns.

Canada, however, produced its third-biggest wheat crop ever, bouncing back from last year’s severe drought.

Statistics Canada estimated all-wheat production at 33.8 million tonnes, down from its September estimate of 34.7 million but still 52 per cent higher than last year.

Read more…

New Zealand

growers NZ

Growers building accommodation, bumping up wages in bid for workers in Eastern Bay of Plenty

Growers desperate for workers are building their own accommodation, bumping up wages, and trying to recruit backpackers before they arrive in the country.

A handful of Eastern Bay of Plenty primary industry employers turned out to meet with National party immigration spokeswoman Erica Stanford at a Te Rahu Road kiwifruit orchard in late November.

Stanford was there to hear about some of the issues facing orchardists and farmers due to worker shortages in New Zealand, particularly RSE (Recognised Seasonal Employer) workers and working holiday makers.

“We’re working on an immigration policy at the moment so I’m talking to people and making sure that we are on the right track, hearing their stories.”

Read More here...

NZ beef

Lincoln University releases information about the way climate change may affect farming locations and type of production, and how farmers can respond, in a Westpac-supported report

Westpac NZ and Lincoln University have released research that finds agile farm management will be critical in reducing emissions and adapting to climate change.

Authored by Lincoln University’s Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit on behalf of Westpac, The Westpac NZ Agribusiness Climate Change Report assesses the risks and opportunities presented by climate change, as well as the sector’s vulnerabilities and potential responses.

Westpac NZ Head of Agribusiness Tim Henshaw says the report and a series of factsheets were designed to provide Westpac customers and other farmers and growers with impartial information about the way climate change may affect their location and type of production, and how they can respond.

Read More here…


Kiwifruit orchard ‘set back three years’ after vines cut

Police in the Eastern Bay of Plenty town of Te Teko have appealed for information from the public after a kiwifruit orchard was targeted and vines were cut.

The damage saw 150 gold kiwifruit vines cut sometime between November 24-26.

The authorities suggested it would be three years before the vines could be harvested once more.

“This is a mindless act,” said Te Teko rural liaison officer, constable Wayne Lawrence.

“It has not only caused the victim a financial loss, but also a considerable amount of emotional harm.”

Constable Lawrence added that the damage caused to the vines has set the orchard back three years.

“The financial cost through loss of income and ongoing cost to repair the vines is also extremely high, to the point where the victim may never recoup what has been lost,” he said.

Read More here…

NZ meat

Exorbitant tariffs, import barriers and protectionism: what’s holding back our trade in Asia

Walking around the Indian capital of New Delhi as part of a recent business delegation, Sirma Karapeeva was astounded to see how many people were dining out at high-end restaurants.

As the head of the Meat Industry Association in New Zealand, representing the country’s second-largest commodity export, Karapeeva just wishes they had more of our meat on their menus.

“They were out and about eating in top-notch restaurants and spending up, so clearly there’s a lot of opportunity there, but it’s an area that we haven’t been able to crack,” she says. “It is very much in our scope and very much in our line of sight as a priority market.”

India is Asia’s third-largest economy after China and Japan, but only 19th in New Zealand’s list of most valuable meat export markets in Asia, taking just $1.6 million of the country’s meat, mostly sheep, in the year to the end of August compared with China’s $3.85 billion and Japan’s $531m.

Read More here…


grain crop

GrainCorp harvest intake rockets to 4.6Mt

EASTERN Australian bulk handler GrainCorp has received 4.6 million tonnes (Mt) in the harvest to today following a 1.57Mt intake in the past week, it said in its latest Harvest Update.

The update said harvest has finished in Central Queensland, with many growers enjoying record yields in the biggest harvest they have seen in more than a decade.

The focus is now on southern Queensland, with the majority of receivals coming from the Goondiwindi region.

Northern New South Wales sites are well into harvest now, with the majority of receivals coming from Moree, Dubbo and Burren Junction regions.

Canola deliveries have been strong, with the cool, wet spring bringing in good yields and oil levels.

Read more here


Wet harvest sees malt premiums counter China’s absence

THE PREMIUM for malting barley over feed has surged to reflect the wet end to the growing season in south-eastern Australia, and pull the market out of the doldrums seen since China imposed a trade-halting tariff on the Australian grain in 2019.

Speaking at the Australian Export Grain Innovation Centre (AEGIC) webinar on Thursday, it was one of the key messages to come through from three leading barley growers, and also from Ag Scientia analyst Lloyd George.

The webinar was the latest event hosted by AEGIC to keep Chinese maltsters and brewers in touch with Australia, which exported up to 3.5 million tonnes (Mt) per annum of malting barley to China prior to tariff introductions in 2019.

Entitled Quality of Australian malting barley: From producer to consumer, the webinar was held in the wake of what appears to be some diplomatic headway being made between the Chinese and Australian governments after a troubled few years.

Read more here

feed grain

Feedgrain Focus: Southern prices feel harvest pressure

A CHARGE on harvest in New South Wales under mostly clear skies has seen a flurry of selling activity in the past week that has enabled most consumers to get covered into the New Year.

The Victorian harvest has also cranked up, and to everyone’s delight, rainfall recorded for both states in growing areas in the week to today has been minimal at most.

In the north, feed barley is in demand, and an unusually high proportion of malting has tightened supply in the near term.

Queensland rain welcome

Queensland’s growing areas have had significant rain which is good news for summer crops in the ground, or area about to be planted, now that the winter-crop harvest is just about finished.

In the 24 hours to 9am today, registrations include: Clermont 17 millimetres; Dalby 15mm; Emerald and Springsure 48mm; Miles 40mm; Roma 20mm, and Surat 43mm.

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australian team

Records fall as CBH receives 3.4Mt for week

WESTERN Australian bulk handler CBH Group received 3.4 million tonnes (Mt) of grain in the week to today to bring its 2022-23 intake for the harvest to date to 10.35Mt, the co-operative said in its latest Harvest Report.

CBH Group chief operations officer Mick Daw said the past week had been extremely busy across the network, with several sites breaking receival records.

“With growers finally experiencing decent harvesting conditions combined with exceptional yields, we have seen 22 sites break daily receival records.”

“On Thursday 1 December 2022, we broke the daily receival record with 587,974 tonnes received across the network, marginally surpassing the previous record of 587,738t which was set on the same day last year,” Mr Daw aid.

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South America


Argentine exchange says early soy in core farm belt hit by drought

BUENOS AIRES — Prolonged drought has left over a third of early planted soybeans in Argentina’s core farming region in regular to poor condition, the Rosario grains exchange said, adding more dry and hot weather was expected in the days ahead.

Argentina is the world’s leading exporter of processed soybean oil and meal, but an ongoing drought in the Pampas plains is causing challenges for the start of the 2022/23 soybean season, with planting ongoing.

Drought has already caused significant losses in wheat crops in the same cycle and caused major delays to soybean planting.

The Rosario exchange added that for the first week of December, above normal temperatures and a continued lack of rainfall are expected, bad news for the early planted soy that’s already suffering.

“A lack of water and high temperatures in recent weeks left numerous soybean fields in critical condition. Most of these fields are located in the east and southwest,” said the exchange, which noted that 4.1 million hectares of early soybeans have been planted so far in the area.

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Chile targets Brazil to promote and expand exports

Chile is renewing its strategy to increase and diversify exports to the largest economy and market in South America. Spearheaded by ProChile, an arm of the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the plan is to expand its network in Brazil with new offices in Brasília and Belo Horizonte.

The strategy includes strengthening digital avenues to increase trade and market events to promote an export basket that ranges from olive oil to pork, onion, garlic and the classic wines item.

However the goal of diversifying exports will not make ProChile lose track of the country’s flagship in Brazil. Salmon and trout sales, which currently lead the list, generated US$ 673 million between January and October, up 12.4% from the same period last year.

In terms of agribusiness exports, Brazil is Chile’s third-largest export destination. The US leads with US$ 5.4 billion in the first ten months of this year, representing a growth of 29.9%, according to data from ProChile.

Wines, another Chilean export to Brazil, sales increased 4,5% to US$ 159 million in the first ten months of the year, with a jump in purchases of sparkling wines, a modest demand until this year.

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Argentine farmers sold 299 thousand tons of Soy on Monday, the highest volume of the last two months, thanks to the exchange that the government established for the rest of the year to try to speed up the inflow of foreign currency into the country, informed this Tuesday the Rosario Stock Exchange (BCR).

Argentina, the world’s largest exporter of soybean oil and meal, has been selling its soybeans since Monday at an exchange rate of 230 pesos per dollar38% higher than the interbank rate that governed the market on Tuesday, which encouraged operations.

Soy complex exports are the main source of foreign exchange for the South American country, whose central bank is trying to bolster its foreign currency holdings, which have fallen sharply on uncertainty over the local currency amid high inflation and financial adversity.

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chile fruit

Chile Launches 2022/23 Fresh Fruit Export Season Despite Delays

On Nov. 22, Chile’s 2022/23 fresh fruit export season was launched at the Port of Valparaíso, one of the most important export ports in Chile and Pacific South America. Attendees including Esteban Valenzuela, Minister of Agriculture, Iván Marambio, chairman of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), and Andrea Collao, national director of Chile’s Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG), among other distinguished public and industry officials, placed great emphasis on improvements made this season to avoid the logistical challenges of a year ago.

Based on a recently launched collaborative logistics plan, government and industry have implemented a series of measures to improve the logistics chain and retain fruit condition and quality. Among these measures are new departure ports closer to production areas such as the ports of Coronel and Ventanas, optimization of the logistics chain from ports to the rest of the country, and improvements to the key ports of Valparaíso and San Antonio.

In particular, the Port of Valparaíso has increased its electrical infrastructure, implemented an export cargo scheduling platform, expanded cargo loading and reception and, from January to April 2023, extended sanitary inspection services.

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Food Updates

food complience

FSA pilots School Food Standards compliance

A total of 18 local authorities across England are participating in the School Food Standards compliance pilot created by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Department for Education (DfE).

This pilot has been set up to understand whether schools across England are adhering to the School Food Standards that exist to make sure children are being nutritiously fed during school hours.

“We all want to ensure that the food served in schools meets the standards that have been set,” said Professor Susan Jebb, FSA Chair.

“This project will give insight into what’s happening in schools today and identify whether additional support is needed to help them to do the very best they can for children and drive positive change in the school food system.”

“This project will give insight into what’s happening in schools today and identify whether additional support is needed to help them to do the very best they can for children and drive positive change in the school food system.”

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Sports beverages: “Finding your niche”
Nowadays, functional beverages take many different forms, but with the energy and sports drink market being valued at $3.98 billion in 2022, many companies may be keen to innovate within this in-demand sector.But with the likes of Gatorade and Lucozade being household names, is there space for sports beverage start-ups? According to Maria Pavlidou, Partner & Senior Strategy Consultant at the Healthy Marketing Team (HMT), for them to succeed, it’s all about “finding your niche”.

What are functional beverages?

Functional beverages are non-alcoholic drinks that serve a purpose. According to an academic study, they typically contain ingredients such as minerals, vitamins, amino acids, dietary fibres, probiotics and added raw fruits.

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Brexit has cost UK households £5.8 billion in higher food bills

According to research, leaving the European Union (EU) added an average of £210 to household food bills over the two years leading up to the end of 2021, with Brexit ultimately costing UK consumers a total of £5.8 billion.

The study titled ‘Non-tariff barriers and consumer prices: Evidence from Brexit’ was carried out by the London School of Economics’ (LSE) Centre for Economic Performance (CEP).

According to the CEP, overall food prices increased by six percent, however it also revealed that the these increases had a “proportionately greater impact on the poorest people”. Researchers noted that this is because low-income households spend a greater share of their income on food than richer families.

Specifically, the poorest households were affected by a Brexit-induced 1.1 percent rise in the overall cost-of-living whereas the top 10 percent of households were reportedly only subject to a 0.7 percent price rise.

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food inflation

“Christmas cheer will be dampened” by food inflation

The BRC has forecasted an “increasingly bleak” winter with food inflation increasing to 12.4 percent in November.

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), food inflation is on the rise again as in November 2022 it soared to 12.4 percent compared to October’s 11.6 percent.

According to Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the BRC, the prices of meat, eggs and dairy have been “hit by rocketing energy costs, and the rising costs of animal feed and transport”.

Additionally, Dickinson noted: “Coffee prices also shot up on last month as high input costs filtered through to price tags.”

Shop price annual inflation reportedly accelerated to 7.4 percent in November (up by 1.2 percent from 6.6 percent in October 2022). According to the BRC, this marks another record for shop price inflation since the index started in 2005.

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