USA and Canada

Ag lender predicts profitable crop year

Canada’s leading farm lender is forecasting another good year for farmers in 2023.

Farm cash receipts are expected to increase by 4.6 percent to $98.8 billion, according to Farm Credit Canada. The rate of growth will be down from last year’s 14.1 percent, but is still a healthy increase.

Saskatchewan will lead the way with a 7.6 percent hike, followed by British Columbia at 5.9 per cent and Manitoba at 4.9 percent.

Receipts for grains, oilseeds and pulses are expected to grow by 9.4 percent in 2023, compared to 18.3 percent last year.

That is because part of the rebound in production in 2022 will be marketed in 2023 and crop prices remain above the five-year average due to tight global supplies of many crops.

FCC predicts canola revenues will set the pace, growing by 14.2 percent, followed by peas at 12.7 percent and lentils at 10.8 percent.

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seeding system

New seeding systems introduced to Canada

Equalizer is a South African company specializing in no-till seeding technology. The company’s wide range of planters, seeders and drills are sold mainly to Australia.

But that’s about to change.

Lemken wanted to expand its seeding technology product line, with a focus on minimal ground disturbance and no-till farming. Rather than invent a new wheel, Lemken bought Equalizer, which has a focus on large, broad-acre equipment.

According to Mathieu Vallières, managing director for Lemken in Canada, the full line of seeding equipment will give Canadian farmers new options.

Vallieres says, “at this point, the first production units are scheduled to be available for the 2024 spring season. Equalizer products will undoubtedly be offered across the Prairies once available.”

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Canadian growers harvested an estimated 5.4 million tonnes of durum last fall, which was less than the average pre-drought production of six million tonnes. | File photo

Tight supplies support durum

Durum growers in Saskatchewan and Alberta will probably benefit from relatively strong market conditions in the months ahead, says a market analyst.

On-farm inventories across the West are still relatively tight and producers in other major durum-producing countries such as the United States and Morocco are also facing drought-related production challenges, said Chuck Penner, market analyst with LeftField Commodity Research.

However, the severe supply shortages that fuelled record durum values last year likely won’t be repeated in 2023.

“We’re not in a 2021-22 situation anymore,” said Penner, who spoke to farmers at CropWeek in Saskatoon earlier this month.

“Do I think there’s room for upside in durum prices? Yes. Do I think they’ll scream higher? No.”

Penner offered a generally favourable market prognosis for western Canadian durum producers.

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Ukraine’s cereals role is falling off for 2023/24. Palau flagged bulker MKK1, carrying grain under UN’s Black Sea grain initiative, is towed free after running aground in Istanbul’s Bosphorus, Turkey January 16. | Reuters/Mehmet Emin Caliskan photo

Speculators distort wheat markets, suppressing prices

The stubbornly bearish wheat market is overdue for a correction, says an analyst.

Speculators are keeping prices depressed with their short positions, but they should pay attention to what the commercials are doing, which is going long, says DTN lead analyst Todd Hultman.

The United States Department of Agriculture reported 1.28 billion bushels of U.S. wheat on hand as of Dec. 1, which is the lowest total in 15 years.

Yet cash wheat prices for soft red wheat and hard red wheat are well below the USDA’s estimated cost of production of $9.03 per bu.

The reason markets are out-of-whack with the fundamentals is that speculators were net short 12,155 contracts of Kansas City wheat and 39,716 contracts of Chicago wheat as of Jan. 12.

Those two commitments in theory obligate speculators to provide the market with 259 million bu. of wheat, which of course is not practical.

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New Zealand

NZ tomato

Tomato growers not getting rich from price increase – industry leader

Marlies Clemens keeps her tomatoes at the same price all year, but she had to up it in 2022.

Tomato prices have shot up 136.9% in three years, according to Stats NZ, with labour shortages, Covid challenges and higher costs for farmers among the reasons.

But growers aren’t getting rich out of it, Tomatoes NZ says, and some are giving it up or switching crops.

Cambridge grower Clemens runs a family-owned 1000sqm tomato glasshouse Rivendell Gardens and sells direct to consumers. The family also grows chilli peppers, cucumbers, courgettes and beans.

She’s noticed unusually high supermarket prices for tomatoes this season.

Her fixed price was $10 per kilo for years before increasing it to $12 last year, due to significant cost increases.

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Kiwifruit payment cut ‘a shock’ for growers as fruit quality issues bite

Kiwifruit growers are missing out on expected cash after a shock announcement from Zespri.

Growers of green and green organic kiwifruit won’t be getting February progress payments from Zespri because fruit quality issues created extra costs in the 2022 season, an industry update on Friday said.

Fruit loss was estimated at almost 20% for the last quarter of the year, compared to an earlier 7% forecast, the Whakatāne Beacon reported.

And there are questions around grower payments in future months, with Zespri chief executive Dan Mathieson saying the impact will be assessed “once we have completed the February forecast”.

The news was a shock for Seeka chief executive Michael Franks, who told the Whakatāne Beacon Zespri’s December update had looked good and this was a huge blow.

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NZ farming2

Guy Trafford laments the lack of pathways for young aspiring farmers to acquire a place of their own, a problem that seems to have fallen off the radar. Societal ambivalence to food production isn’t helping either

I was fortunate enough to be around when the then Government had a focus on getting young people into farming.

This was driven by the broad understanding by both Government and the wider community that farming was underpinning the economy. Hence the use of subsidies and other incentives to try and ‘crank-up’ the agricultural sector to bail out the economy.

Hindsight has shown us that many of these steps had unintended consequences which did all sorts of harm to both the farming sector and the economy.

Anyway among the programs were schemes designed to help new farmers onto the land. Finance was provided by the government-owned Rural Bank which lent monies at a subsidised 7.5% rate, and we also had the Department of Lands and Survey which developed farm land from Crown owned land and other abandoned farms etc.

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3d vector realistic illustration for commercial product advertising design

Two major bank economists have lowered their milk price forecasts as dairy prices hover near two-year lows

Fonterra may soon be forced to revise down again its forecast milk price for the current season if dairy prices don’t start to revive.

Prices again dipped slightly in the most recent GlobalDairyTrade auction and are now sitting at around two year-lows in US dollar prices.

Fonterra last updated its forecast price for the 2022-23 season in early December and currently has a (wide) range of $8.50-$9.50, giving and ‘implied’, mid-point, price of $9 per kilogram of milk solids.

But major bank economists are now seeing downside in the face of continued declines in global prices. It’s all a far cry from not so long ago when there were thoughts entertained of a bonanza $10 milk price – which would have been another record, beating the record of $9.30 in the 2021-22 season.

ASB economist Nat Keall said he had revised his Fonterra farmgate milk price for this season “to a still-strong $8.65 per kgMS”.

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Gloomy chickpea market prompts rotation rethink

CHICKPEA area in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland could fall even further this year as lacklustre export prices deter growers from the pulse, which in the past decade has become the preferred crop to grow in rotation with wheat.

At roughly $500 per tonne delivered packer, and lower because of rain-related downgrading in the past two harvests, chickpea prices are down from $900/t and more in 2016-17, prior to India’s imposition of a tariff.

ABARES data indicate Queensland’s chickpea crop fell from a record 1.15 million tonnes (Mt) from 550,000ha in 2016-17 to 350,000t from 205,000ha in the 2022-23 harvest.

NSW harvested 192,000t from 160,000ha in 2022-23, down from the record 792,000t from 480,000t in 2016-17.

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GRDC Updates present strategies to manage disease pressure

MANAGING inevitably high disease pressure will be all about controlling the controllable, says and NSW Department of Primary Industries senior plant pathologist and disease export Dr Steven Simpfendorfer.

He will be presenting on cereal disease risk and management at this year’s Northern Update Series running from February 14 to March 2 and hosted by the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

Dr Simpfendorfer said disease has been a major concern for growers coming out of last year’s extremely conducive conditions, which saw high levels of stripe rust pressure in wheat crops and the widespread occurrence of white grain disorder or Fusarium Head Blight infection

“We’re going into the season this year with a high potential for carryover of cereal pathogens,” Dr Simpfendorfer said.

“There’s a lot of grain on the ground, which unless it dries up dramatically, will support a significant green bridge for early stripe rust infections in 2023 wheat crops.

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Grain Crop australia

GrainCorp harvest intake taps out 10.98Mt

EASTERN Australian bulk handler GrainCorp has received 10.98 million tonnes (Mt) of grain in the 2022-23, it said in its final Harvest Update for the season released today.

“The New South Wales harvest is mostly complete, with some southern growers still delivering across the Wyalong, Temora and Cunningar regions,” GrainCorp said in the update.

“Victorian growers are still delivering grain into sites across the Wimmera, Geelong and Western District regions of the state, which are expected to remain active into February.”

The large outload program continues across the GrainCorp network with 280,000t of grain outloaded over the past week.

“With harvest complete in Queensland, growers are looking ahead to summer-cropping opportunities.

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feed grain Australia

Feedgrain Focus: South softens, northern barley firms

WHEAT and barley prices have softened in the southern market this week, while barley rates in the north have firmed to reflect limited supply.

Some sell-side pressure on wheat is being seen in the northern market as growers make room for corn and sorghum soon to be harvested, and supply-side pressure in the south appears to be coming from the trade and not the grower.

Harvest is fast coming to a close in all states bar Tasmania, where the headers have gotten going in the past week or two.

Northern wheat sags

Patchy rain has boosted yield prospects for sorghum and corn crops in parts of northern New South Wales and southern Queensland in the past week.

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cotton AU


Jan 26 (Reuters) – Following are selected highlights from a report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) post in Canberra:

“Australia is set for a third consecutive record grain crop, and strong exports. Wheat production is estimated to have reached a record 37 million metric tons (MMT) in marketing year (MY) 2022/23, while barley is estimated to achieve 13.5 MMT of production, the fourth largest on record. The wheat and barley results were strongly supported by near ideal conditions in Western Australia and South Australia, but this was partially offset by excessive rains in much of the grain-growing regions of New South Wales and Victoria in September and October 2022.

Wheat exports in MY 2022/23 are forecast to reach a record 28 MMT. For the summer crops, sorghum production in MY 2022/23 is estimated to achieve 2.9 MMT and, if realized, would be the third largest on record.

The rice production forecast has been severely impacted by excessive rains in the lead up to planting, resulting in only around half of the area planted from what was previously expected.”

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South America

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

Soybeans face pressure on Argentine rains, wheat falls after rally

SINGAPORE — Chicago soybean futures declined on Thursday, as rains across Argentina’s farm belt boosted crop prospects, easing concerns about supply disruptions resulting from a severe drought.

Wheat lost ground after two days of gains, as snowfall in U.S. Plains improved prospects for the winter crop.

“Most of Argentina will get rain at one time or another in the next 10 days, though the precipitation will be most frequent and significant in west-central and northwestern crop areas,” said Terry Reilly, a senior analyst at Futures International.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) slid 0.1% to $15.01-3/4 a bushel, as of 0325 GMT. Wheat gave up 0.3% to $7.39 a bushel and corn lost 0.1% to $6.73-3/4 a bushel.

Rains across Argentina’s drought-hit soybean-growing areas in recent days have eased fears of crop losses.

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Could Brazil surpass U.S. as world’s top corn exporter?

Competition in world markets is expected to intensify as Brazil is projected to produce record corn and soybean crops for 2022-23.

Joana Colussi, postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois who serves on the farmdoc team there, reported crop production in her home country of Brazil could increase to record levels of 5.6 billion bushels of beans and 4.9 billion bushels of corn.

If realized, Brazilian corn output for 2022-23 would be up 12% from the previous year, with a portion of the additional bushels likely headed to the export market.

“The weather situation so far has been favorable conditions for most regions,” Colussi said at the Illinois Farm Economics Summit in Peoria. “There’s been moderate to severe drought in the south, but expectations so far are for good yields.”

In 2022, Brazil exported a record amount of corn, 44 million metric tons (mmt) or 1.73 billion bushels. And those sales could swell to 50 mmt (or 1.96 billion bushels) this year.

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A commodity broker says uncertainty about South American soybean production could add more volatility to the markets.

Jeff Peterson with Heartland Farm Partners tells Brownfield analysts will raise Brazil’s production estimates by 1 to 3 million tons. “About 15 percent of Brazil has areas of moisture has been lower that has been hurting yield. There’s about 40 percent that I would say is about trendline.  There’s about 45 percent of Brazil as you move further north that is above the trendline.”

He says even with lower production in Argentina due to drought, the South American crop will create more competition for US producers. “Wetter conditions, which helped the crop, is also keeping them from being able to get as much harvested.  February offers coming out of Brazil, there aren’t a lot of those, and that is opening up the door for a few more exports. Going forward, when they produce a big crop, once that hits the marketplace that is going to be priced much cheaper than us.”

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chillian cherry

Chilean Blueberry Committee Visits Key Chinese Wholesale Markets

The leadup to Chinese New Year is always one of the peak periods for fruit sales in China. With this year’s Spring Festival holiday beginning on Jan. 21, demand for various types of premium fruit has been surging since early January, and Chilean blueberries, which are now in season, are enjoying good performance on the Chinese market.

To extend their support for wholesalers and distributors throughout China, representatives from the Chilean Blueberry Committee of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) have visited Guangzhou’s Jiangnonghui Fruit Wholesale Market, Shanghai’s Huizhan Fruit Market and the Xinfadi Fruit Wholesale Market in Hebei province near Beijing since the beginning of January. The representatives held face-to-face meetings with fruit dealers to obtain first-hand information regarding market demand and trends, as well as providing tasting samples and promotional posters to retailers.

In recent years, the Chilean blueberry industry has been focusing on cultivar development, encouraging growers to plant new varieties to adapt to the rapidly evolving market demand. With these novel blueberry varieties, Charif Christian Carvajal, ASOEX’s marketing director for Europe and Asia, held a seminar on Jan. 3 at Guangzhou’s Jiangnonghui Fruit Wholesale Market. The event was also broadcast online by Produce Report to over 1,000 listeners.

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Food Updates


Veganuary: A trend here to stay?

Veganuary was a challenge started by a UK non-profit organisation in 2014 that asked people to remove all animal products from their diet in the month of January.

Since its start date, its popularity reportedly grew slowly, with 170,000 people taking part in the challenge in 2018 and 250,000 in 2019.

However, stating that there was a turning point for the popularity challenge, The Goodness Project claims that Veganuary saw a “boom” in 2020, a year when Google searches for the term increased after the Golden Globes announced that it would be offering its first ever all vegan menu on (in association with the Veganuary challenge).

A trend or a lifestyle?

According to Google Trends, there has been a global increase in the number of searches containing the word “veganism” between 2004 and 2022. In fact, the word was most searched in Australia, Israel, the UK, New Zealand and Austria.

Read more here


Beans in toast could revolutionise British diets

Scientists are aiming to transform British diets by adding more UK-grown faba beans into the nation’s daily bread.

Researchers and chefs at the University of Reading are aiming to encourage British consumers and food producers to switch to bread containing faba beans (commonly known as broad beans), making it healthier and less damaging to the environment.

Five teams of researchers within the University of Reading, along with members of the public, farmers, industry, and policy makers, are now working together to bring about one of the biggest changes to UK food in generations.

The aim is to increase pulses in the UK diet, particularly faba beans, due to their favourable growing conditions in the UK and the sustainable nutritional enhancement they provide.

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Do insects have the consumer seal of approval?

A study has revealed that most people view insects as an alternative and sustainable source of food for the future.

According to a study, 58 percent of people believe that insects could become an “alternative and sustainable source of protein in the future”, thus suggesting that they could feature consumer diets in the future.

Carried out by the Universitat Oberta De Catalunya’s (UOC) Food Lab, the study aimed to identify the parameters that contribute to improving the acceptance of insect consumption so that they can be introduced as a source of sustainable protein in future diets.

Insect consumption throughout history

According to National Geographic, ten thousand years ago hunters and gatherers ate bugs to survive. Fast forward in time to present day, insects remain a traditional food in many cultures across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

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Are milk cartons detracting from freshness?

Paperboard milk cartons, ubiquitous in almost every American school, do not preserve milk freshness as well as other packaging options, research has found.

Milk packaging has not changed a great deal over the past few decades. After moving from glass bottles to plastic, some milk is also packaged in paperboard cartons. As the saying goes, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

Not according to a new study in the Journal of Dairy Science, published by Elsevier, which claims that packaging affects taste—and paperboard cartons do not preserve milk freshness as well as glass and plastic containers.

Lead investigator MaryAnne Drake, PhD, of the North Carolina State University Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, explained that “milk is more susceptible to packaging-related off-flavours than many other beverages because of its mild, delicate taste.” Besides light oxidation, “milk’s taste can be impacted by the exchange of the packaging’s compounds into the milk and by the packaging absorbing food flavours and aromas from the surrounding refrigeration environment.”

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Could seafood lower the risk of kidney disease?

Researchers found that omega 3 fatty acids in seafood is linked to lower risk of chronic kidney disease.

Higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids found in seafood are associated with a moderately lower risk of chronic kidney disease and a slower decline in kidney function, finds a study published by The BMJ.

These correlations, however, were not found with higher levels of plant-derived omega 3 fatty acids.

Although the size of the correlations was modest, the findings support current clinical guidelines that recommend adequate consumption of seafood and oily fish as part of healthy dietary patterns, say the researchers.

According to a study published in The LancetChronic kidney disease (CKD) affects about 700 million people worldwide and can lead to kidney failure and death, so there is a need to identify factors that might prevent its onset and progression.

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USA and Canada

USDA reports supportive to grains

The grains finished the second week of January with gains due to support from USDA’s friendly data dump on Thursday. The grains started the week posting losses in the first two sessions but posted strong gains the last three sessions of the week. By the end of the week Minneapolis wheat was up over 10 cents; Chicago wheat steady; Kansas City wheat up 12 cents; corn up 20 cents; and soybeans up 35 cents.

The second week of January started off on the negative side with most of the early week activity focused on index fund repositioning. As is usually the case, index funds evened up positions ahead of the holiday season and looked to reposition during the first full week of trading. That drove the market early in the week as the only other news in the grains was old news.

Hot dry conditions continue to be in the forecast for Argentina and southern Brazil. There is a chance of rain around mid-January, but at this point there is little confidence in that forecast. Longer term forecasts are calling for the weather pattern to completely change by February, returning to a more normal weather pattern. That forecast has not gained much traction at all.

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Agriculture Canada has pegged national oat acres at 3.4 million this year, down from 3.8 million in 2020. | FILE PHOTO

Oats take a hit in first 2023-24 crop estimate

Agriculture Canada released its first crop projections for 2023-24, forecasting a very notable drop in oats.

In the department’s January supply and demand estimates, released today, it cut oat production by almost 31 percent at 3.611 million tonnes when compared to 2022-23. The department chopped the carryout for oats by nearly 48 percent at 600,000 tonnes.

For all wheat, Agriculture Canada projected production to bump up 1.5 percent at 34.327 million tonnes. It raised canola by 1.8 percent at 18.50 million tonnes, and soybeans 3.5 percent at 6.770 million tonnes. Corn was lowered 4.8 percent at 13.845 million tonnes, while durum, barley and flax remained relatively steady.

As for ending stocks, those for all wheat, durum, barley, canola, flax, and soybeans were raised.

January estimates for Canadian major crops supply and demand are in million tonnes.

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Canada left out of Syngenta’s hybrid wheat variety plans

Hybrid wheat is finally arriving in North America, but it won’t be making an appearance in Canada anytime soon.

Seed growers in the United States are expected to plant 5,000 to 7,000 acres of Syngenta’s hybrid wheat this year in preparation for a full commercial launch in 2024.

The company has been developing the crop since 2010, so it has been a long time coming. Hybrid corn has been on the market since the 1930s by comparison.

Syngenta Canada said there are no plans to advance hybrid wheat in Canada at this time.

Dan Wright, head of seeds for Syngenta Canada, said the company put its Canadian hybrid wheat breeding program on hold in 2018 and has not resuscitated it.

At the same time, the company stopped working on its first generation of hybrid wheat in the U.S. and started focusing on its more promising early-stage, second generation material.

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Researchers at the John Innes Centre at Norwich, United Kingdom, have discovered a new height-reducing gene named Rht13 that will allow seeds to be planted deeper in the soil with better access to moisture and with no adverse effect on each seedling’s early growth stages. | File photo

Researchers discover semi-dwarf wheat gene

Semi-dwarf wheat varieties have been used for decades, but they have limitations. The dwarfing aspect affects all stages of growth including the restricted growth of a seedling and the emergence of the first leaf and stem that will transport the young plant from its embryo stage to the soil surface, a process known as coleoptile.

To overcome these restrictions, researchers at the John Innes Centre at Norwich, United Kingdom, have discovered a new height-reducing gene named Rht13 that will allow seeds to be planted deeper in the soil with better access to moisture and with no adverse effect on each seedling’s early growth stages.

The potential is that varieties of wheat with the Rht13 gene could be efficiently bred with other wheat varieties to expand the production of reduced-height, climate resilient wheat varieties in regions with drier soil conditions.

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USDA’s Reports Had an Even Bigger Surprise Than the 1.6 Million Acre Drop In Corn, and It Deals with Demand

USDA’s January reports last week sent some supply shocks to the market. The agency penciled in a 1.6 million-acre-drop to U.S. unharvested corn acres. The adjustment took the market by surprise as to where those acres went.

Basse admits the 1.6-million-acre drop was a surprise to him, but the bigger question for Basse is on the demand side. “The demand side of the equation is not good,” says Basse. “But we got a supply side now that’s at least going to underpin the breaks until we get some better weather in Argentina,” says Basse.

USDA’s demand changes include:

  • Lowered corn demand by another 150 million bushels
  • USDA’s cut corn exports 55 mb
  • Feed and Residual cut by 25 mb
  • A cut to soybean export demand by 55 mb
  • Trimmed soybean residual use by 4 mb

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New Zealand


Kiwifruit marketer Zespri to focus on fruit quality concerns over the next five years

Zespri will follow a conservative five-year growth plan as the kiwifruit marketing cooperative still faces fruit quality concerns and many other unknowns.

Chief grower at Zespri, Carol Ward, said the cooperative allowed only 350 hectares of new SunGold kiwifruit orchard to be planted this year to meet growing demand for fruit.

It had previously considered up to 700ha, Ward said.

The conservative move was an attempt to focus on meeting consumer quality demands, Ward said.

Last year the industry faced fruit quality issues that Zespri chairman, Bruce Cameron, warned could become a $500 million problem if not fixed.

Read More here...

plum harvest

‘Three plum harvest’ marks soggy summer for grower

When you have just three plums on 7000 trees, you know you’re staring down the barrel of a terrible harvest.

Yummy Fruit Company general manager Paul Paynter​ says it has beenthe most difficult seasons he has ever experienced, marred by low yields and disease pressures.

Five months of above average rainfall and lack of heat was playing havoc with the pollination and quality of the fruit, the Hawke’s Bay orchardist says.

Stonefruit including plums, apricots and nectarines were among the worst affected.

“We have got a block of 7000 trees of plums, and we have got, at last count, three plums on them.”

Several blockswouldn’t produce a crop of any commercial value, Paynter said.

Read More here…


Are backyard chickens the answer to the egg crisis?

Considering getting a few chooks to cope with the egg shortage? Here’s what you need to know before you do.

In a suburban West Auckland backyard, a pecking order has been established. Despite being the smallest chicken, Ivy, a Brown Shaver, gets the first pick of food scraps, and has the run of the coop.

If there’s a fight looming, Poppy and Rosie, both Barred Plymouth Rocksknow to get out of Ivy’s way. “If scraps are thrown over, Ivy’s like, ‘Nup, I’m getting those,’” says their owner, Keryn. “She’s always first.”

There’s a hierarchy, but companionship is important for chickens. So is the right amount of water, food, grass, fresh air, shade and plenty of love. Keryn’s family of five has been providing their three home chickens with all that for the past five years, domesticating them so much they don’t mind being carried around by her kids. “They live a life of luxury in our backyard,” she says.

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NZ farming

Pill dramatically reduces cattle’s planet-heating burps, says start-up

By 2025, capsules delivering a methane-inhibiting substance into the stomachs of livestock could significantly reduce the country’s greenhouse footprint.

That’s the goal of Waikato-based Ruminant BioTech. Repurposing the slow-release pills used to deliver medicines to livestock, the start-up created a proprietary capsule that it says reduced cattle-made methane by 90% for months.

Although the trials are at an early stage and haven’t been published, the start-up said its goal now was to deliver a commercially viable product that can cut methane by 70% over six months.

Cows, sheep, goats and deer all burp up planet-heating methane, a by-product of their digestion.

With the help of a $7.8 million government grant, Ruminant BioTech aims to get its capsules fully tested and approved for the market by 2025 – the date when farmers will pay emissions levies on their greenhouse gases and receive discounts if they reduce their footprints.

Read More here…



Patchy rain makes for mixed sorghum outlook

SORGHUM growers across New South Wales and southern Queensland are on the lookout for rain to shore up crop quality and yield as paddocks dry up sooner than expected from last year’s flooding events.

Early planted sorghum in some regions is faring well and is predicted to produce above-verage yields, with harvest to commence in coming weeks.

Most late November to early January planted crops are struggling from the lack of decent rainfall and will need a top-up well before harvest around May-June.

Darling Downs grower Stuart McIntyre has 1000ha of sorghum planted at his property near Jondaryan, said there was a clear difference between his early and late-planted crop, and plants that were under a shower and those which missed out.

“This season set itself up to be a really good with all the rain and regular rain up until the middle of December and then the tap turned off,” Mr McIntyre said.

Read more here


Australian canola exports skyrocket in Nov

AUSTRALIA exported 829,745 tonnes of canola in November, more than 20 times the 39,964t shipped in October, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The surge reflects the arrival of new-crop canola at shipping terminals, and the oilseed being in high demand from European biodiesel manufacturers.

The November 2022 figure is up 72pc on the November 2021 revised shipment figure of 482,654t.

For November 2022, Germany on 257,644t was the biggest market, followed by France on 185,570t and Belgium on 125,649t.

Canola appears to have taken precedence in new-crop shipping stems out of South Australia and Western Australia, with the wet and slow start to the New South Wales harvest delaying movement of canola to its terminals.

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New wheat varieties offer Southern growers genetic diversity

WHEAT growers in south-eastern Australia have some exciting new genetics to help combat rising leaf-disease issues contributed to by high inoculum levels after years of limited variety diversity in the landscape.

Available to growers for the first time this season, the BASF varieties Reilly and Kingston both have AH accreditation for the Southern region, and are also adapted to southern NSW, where AH classification is pending.

Bred by BASF Wheat Breeding Australia, Reilly features enhanced genetic diversity which comes from a synthetic wheat parent.

“That’s given Reilly an MRMS rating to all stripe rust strains in 2022, and resulted in very promising trial and demonstration observations and results across sites in South Australia, Victoria and southern NSW,” territory sales manager Stuart Ockerby said.

Read more here…


Aus Nov barley exports surge, sorghum dives

AUSTRALIA exported 104,492 tonnes of malting barley, 471,347t of feed barley and 120,306t of sorghum in November, according to the latest export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

On malting, Mexico and Vietnam held the top two spots with 30,000t and 29,743t respectively, followed by Peru on 17,153t, and the monthly total was up 24pc from the October figure of 84,655t.

November feed barley exports were almost triple the October figure of 162,034t, with Saudi Arabia on 253,606t accounting for 46pc of the total; Qatar on 65,125t and Jordan on 62,788t were the second and third biggest customers.

China on 113,370t accounted for 94pc of November’s sorghum exports, with Taiwan on 5219t and The Philippines on 1318t the second and third-biggest markets.

Flexi Grain pool manager Sam Roache said malting barley has had another strong month, with Mexican and South American demand underpinning the program.

Read more here…

cotton AU

NT cotton area heads for record amid criticism

THE NORTHERN Territory cotton industry is optimistic about the current season with the expected 2023-24 cotton area tipped to be a record at more than 10,000 hectares ahead of the anticipated July opening of its game-changing gin.

However, the New Year hasn’t been all smooth sailing for the burgeoning industry, with new controversy involving allegations of illegal land clearing, and the release of an Australian Institute report questioning the economic benefits of the crop in the NT.

Three NT stations were the subject of an ABC 7.30 report into alleged illegal land clearing for cotton crops, with the properties currently under investigation by the NT Government.

Following the ABC broadcast, the Federal Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) announced it would investigate the allegations.

Read more here…

South America


Brazilian rice exports jumped 85% during 2022 compared to 2021

As Brazil continues to expand its agriculture frontiers and farming techniques, two cereals of which the country has been historically an importer are becoming increasingly self-sufficient. This is particularly true for wheat and rice, with most crops in the southern states of the country.

In effect Brazilian exports of rice in 2022 totaled 2.11 million tons, with an 85% increase over the volume exported in 2021, according to the Brazilian Association of the Rice Industry (Abiarroz), which released a market update with data from the Ministry of Development, Industry, Commerce, and Services (MDIC).

In December 2022, shipments of rice reached 291,500 tons, with revenues equivalent to US$ 89.6 million. In December 2021, exports reached 161.700 tons and revenue was US$ 42.7 million.

According to the industry association, the increase in sales abroad was caused by the return to normalcy in global trade after overcoming the obstacles caused by the covid-19 pandemic, as well as promotional actions promoted by rice producers in strategic markets through the Brazilian Rice project, which was developed in collaboration with ApexBrasil.

Read more here…


Soybeans at 1-1/2-week low on forecasts of rains in Argentina

SINGAPORE: Chicago soybean futures slid for a fourth consecutive session on Monday, to their lowest in more than one week as expectations of rains in Argentina’s parched growing areas eased concerns over supplies.

Corn fell to a one-week low, while wheat slid after closing higher on Friday.

“(Argentina’s) central crop areas received some rain over the weekend. And weather forecasters expect more of the same through this week,” said Tobin Gorey, director of agricultural strategy at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

“The moisture in those regions will arrest declines in crop conditions, stalling any further cuts to crop forecasts.”

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) gave up 0.7% to $14.96 a bushel as of 0315 GMT, after hitting its lowest since Jan. 12 at $14.95 earlier in the session.

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agriculture Canada

Brazilian 2022 agribusiness exports totaled US$ 160bn, up 32% from previous year

Brazilian agribusiness exports totaled almost US$ 160 billion in 2022, up 32% over the previous year, influenced by the performance of international prices, according to the Secretariat of Trade and International Relations (SCRI) from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock

The price index of products exported by agribusiness increased by 22.1% compared to 2021, and the volume shipped grew by 8.1%. With these increases, export agribusiness sales accounted for 47.6% of total exports in Brazil in 2022.

The growth in export volumes of agricultural products was reinforced by the increase in the 2021/2022 grain harvest, which reached 271.4 million tons. Corn and soybeans were the crops that grew the most, with almost 113 million tons and 126 million tons, respectively.

The export sectors that stood out between January and December 2022 were: the soy complex (US$ 60.95 billion, 38.3% of the total); meats (US$ 25.67 billion, 16.1% of the total); forest products (US$ 16.49 billion, 10.4% of the total); cereals, flours and preparations (US$ 14.46 billion, 9.1% of the total) and sugar and alcohol complex (US$ 12.79 billion, 8% of the total).

Read more here…


Evolution of the 2022/23 Chilean Cherry Season

On Jan. 16, Claudia Soler, executive director of the Chilean Cherry Committee of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), delivered a WeChat lecture to over 1,000 listeners of Produce Report, sharing the latest export statistics for Chilean cherries. Although a newcomer to the committee, Soler has over 20 years of experience in international trade.

Soler began the lecture by introducing the production of Chilean cherries. The total cherry planting area in Chile has now reached 67,570 hectares, of which only 49% are currently under production, thus suggesting enormous growth potential in the future.

As the topic proceeded to exports, Soler focused on Asian markets and especially the Chinese market. She said that 92% and 88% of Chile’s cherry exports during the 2021/22 season had gone to Asia and China, respectively. As one of the world’s major cherry producers and exporters, Chile accounted for 96% of the cherry exports originating from the Southern Hemisphere in 2021. From 2018 to 2021, exports of Chilean cherries increased by an average of 19% each year.

Read more here…

Food Updates


Could genetically modified rice tackle food shortages?

Researchers from the University of Sheffield have said that genetically modified rice could be key in tackling food shortages caused by climate change.

They have said that by genetically engineering rice to have better salt tolerance, crops could be grown in places that would otherwise fail.

With sea levels rising as a result of climate change, the researchers note that “more and more places around the world are struggling with seawater inundation”. This is where salt water from the sea is flooding further inland and destroying crops which can’t cope with the increased salinity.

Claiming that rice is the most important carbohydrate on earth and that it is relied on by 3.5 billion people every day, the researchers highlighted that in countries like Vietnam “it is becoming harder and harder to grow due to increasing seawater interference”.

However, findings from the University of Sheffield’s Institute for Sustainable Food have claimed that genetically modifying rice to reduce the number of stomata is has (tiny openings used for water loss) makes it more salt-resistant.

Read more here

food inflation

Food inflation rises for 17th month in a row

According to the latest report released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), UK food and non-alcoholic beverage prices rose from 16.5 percent in November 2022 to 16.9 percent in December.

The report has revealed that the annual rate of inflation for this category has been on the rise for 17 consecutive months, with inflation standing at 0.6 percent in July 2021.

In fact, the ONS has claimed that estimates suggest that the rate of food and non-alcoholic beverage inflation would have last been higher in September 1977, a time where it was estimated to be 17.6 percent.

Milk, eggs and cheese

Stating that the increase in the annual rate for food and non-alcoholic beverages was “driven by price movements from four of the 11 detailed classes”, ONS has revealed that the largest upwards effect from November to December came from milk, cheese and eggs where the prices rose by a total of 4.1 percent.

sea food

Could microalgae be the future sustainable superfood?

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have claimed that microalgae “could be the future sustainable superfood in a rapidly changing world”.

Stating that it has environmental and nutritional advantages, the researchers say that microalgae is high in protein and has a high nutrition content.

The study, published in Frontiers in Nutrition, highlights current technologies used for commercially developing and growing microalgae, as well as the scientific and economic challenges to scaling production.

Although microalgae has previously been a studied in relation to biofuel (thanks to its high lipid content), algae are now attracting the interest of researchers because of the potential for it to be aa efficient food source.

Read more here


Study links freshwater fish with ‘forever chemicals’

A study has claimed a single serving of freshwater fish per year could be equal to a month of drinking water laced with the ‘forever chemical’ PFOS.

Scientists at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) have claimed that eating a single serving of freshwater fish per year could be equal to a month of drink water containing PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid) which, at high levels, can be harmful.

The researchers have determined that that eating one fish in a year equated to ingesting water with PFOS at 48 parts per trillion (ppt) for one month.

Suggesting that the findings are a particular issue for communities with environmental justice concerns (whose survival often depends on eating freshwater fish they’ve caught), EWG found the median amounts of PFAS in freshwater fish to be 280 times greater than forever chemicals detected in some commercially caught and sold fish

Read more here

food advancement

Inflation stifles one in six food and drink companies tech advances

16 percent of food and drink businesses have said inflation has stifled their business growth regarding tech advancements.


According to a study, inflation has impacted food and drink businesses by being a “key factor” preventing them from implementing digitisation projects and marketing functions.In fact, one in six (16 percent) of the companies surveyed agreed that inflation had stifled their business growth, keeping them behind “tech-savvy competitors”.The survey (representative of a sample of 500 business leaders) was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Software as a Service (SaaS) firm Adventoris.

Commenting on the findings, James Clarkson, CEO of Adventoris, said: “As 2023 gets underway, these findings lay bare the impact the current economic climate is having on firms in the food and drink industry and it is disheartening to see the toll inflation and rising energy costs are taking.


Read more here

USA and Canada

Demand for U.S. crops weakens in January

The markets in the first week of January changed course from how the grains left 2022.

Wheat was hit the hardest as all three exchanges flirted with recent contract lows with Kansas City trading to a new contract low before the week was over. The issue in wheat continues to be demand as the U.S. is not competitive in the wheat export game.

And with what seems like a new crop of wheat being harvested every month, it makes it hard for the U.S. to become competitive. With that being said, U.S. wheat stocks are expected to drop to their lowest levels since 2007. That combined with production concerns in Argentina and the U.S., quality issues in Australia, and now shipping concerns in the Black Sea region, one would expect wheat to perform better.

November and December’s Drought Monitor maps showed improvement as drought conditions are encompassing less of the winter wheat region.

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wheat corn

Growers warned of wheat price dip

Brennan Turner has a bearish short-term outlook for wheat.

“It is more likely that wheat prices are going to come down than rally significantly into the spring and summer,” said the founder of the Combyne Ag crop marketing hub.

He noted that fall new crop hard red spring wheat futures at the close of 2022 were nearly identical to what they were a year ago.

Prices have been high for a year and a half, and growers need to be reminded that markets are cyclical.

Turner worries that if farmers wait until spring, the prices might not be as high as they are now.

“If you’re looking to price out new crop, the time to do it is probably in the next two to five weeks,” he said. Turner is basing his advice on an historical analysis of price charts showing that they tend to dip lower the closer farmers get to seeding time

Read More…

durum market

Durum market adjusts from last year’s Canadian drought

Countries in North Africa, major customers for durum wheat, are experiencing a dry start to their growing season.

Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia together are usually in the top ranks of buyers of Canadian durum wheat, used to make the staple dish of couscous.

Farmers in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia this month are wrapping up seeding their winter wheat that will be harvested in May and June.

Clearly there is lots of time for rain yet, but producers are on edge about the dry start. Moroccan farmers are particularly worried about a repeat of last year’s disappointing yields caused by drought. The U.S. Department of Agriculture weekly weather and crop bulletin for the week ending Dec. 31 said drought intensified during the week in Algeria and Tunisia under sunny skies and temperatures up to 7 C degrees warmer than normal. Read More
canada ag

Ag Canada research shifts away from production

Agriculture Canada scientists have, historically, spent their time on things like improving yields, crop diseases and livestock feed efficiency. Mostly ag production and risks to production.

Now, their top priorities should be sustainable agriculture and climate change, said Agriculture Canada’s Strategic Plan for Science, a document released last fall. “In an increasingly complex and intertwined world, we must be deliberate in our actions to address the needs of producers, the industry, Canadians, and citizens around the globe. Everything we do is interconnected,” it said.

“Now more than ever, sustainability is — and will remain — a key driver of innovation in the face of mounting environmental challenges.With the climate crisis looming, research on incremental productivity gains will not protect the industry from the volatility of a changing environment. An effective response will require a paradigm shift.”

Read more…

U.S. reduces corn, soybean harvest views

CHICAGO, Jan 12 (Reuters) – U.S. corn and soybean harvests in 2022 were smaller than previously estimated as crops struggled late in their development after a promising start to the growing season, the U.S. government said on Thursday, Jan. 12.

Dry conditions also caused the U.S. Agriculture Department to cut its forecasts for corn and soybean production in key global supplier Argentina as the crops being grown there are wilting in a drought.

The reduction in the corn and soybean production estimates adds to worries about tightening global supplies of grains and resulting high food prices. U.S. corn production was at a three-year low and the soy crop was the smallest in two years.

“USDA made drastic cuts to the size of last years corn and soybean crops,” said Joe Vaclavik, president of Standard Grain. “That’s the big surprise today.”

USDA does not normally make such sizable cuts to crops that were harvested months ago.

Read more…

New Zealand

NZ Cow

The Whole Truth: Are New Zealand farms the world’s greenest?
What’s the issue?

When the Government announced a plan to price farming emissions, National Party leader Christopher Luxon said the policy “failed to recognise New Zealand farmers are already the most carbon-efficient in the world”.

Luxon echoed a claim made frequently by agricultural lobby groups. Groundswell, for example, vehemently opposes the policy because it says Kiwi farmers “are already the most sustainable food producers in the world, as verified by independent research”.

What we found

These claims lack strong proof, considering the sheer number of food and fibre types and farming regions.

They are based on taking the results of research on a couple of food types and assuming the same is true for all farming.

Read More here...

canadian food

Summit throws spotlight on food and fibre

The hunt is on for the latest crop of innovators who have helped lift New Zealand’s reputation for producing high quality foods and fibres to even greater heights.

The fifth annual Primary Industries New Zealand Awards will be held in Wellington on July 3, a highlight of the two-day PINZ Summit.

“The hard graft and long hours that our farmers, growers and processors put in is the core reason food and fibre make up more than 80% of the nation’s merchandise exports,” Federated Farmers chief executive Terry Copeland says.

“But giving us that edge in highly competitive international markets, and helping us meet environmental, biosecurity and other challenges are those researchers, technologists, cross-sector collaborations and producers who find better ways of doing things.

Read More here…


Recall on frozen berries

Anyone who bought Pams frozen Mixed Berries from four specific stores in the South Island is urged to check whether they are part of a recalled batch, says New Zealand Food Safety (NZFS).

The recall was triggered due to a possible risk of hepatitis A associated with frozen berries sourced from Serbia.

NZFS says it supports Foodstuffs South Island in the decision to recall a specific batch of Pams brand Mixed Berries with a best before date of 14/08/2024.

The product was only available in the following stores on Saturday, 14 January 2023:

  • New World Ashburton
  • Three Parks New World in Wanaka
  • Pak’nSave Hornby
  • Pak’nSave Wainoni in Christchurch.

Read More here…

west gold

Westgold butter sued in US over packaging

Premium New Zealand butter brand Westgold could lose a lawsuit in the United States challenging the similarities of its packaging to Irish butter brand Kerrygold, says a commercial law expert.

Irish butter producer Ornua claimed Westgold’s butter packaging in the US was too similar to the packaging of Kerrygold butter.

Westgold is owned by the Westland Dairy Company. Its chief executive Richard Wyeth said legal notice from Ornua had been received.

“While we would prefer that consumer taste be the ultimate judge, we will vigorously defend the claims made,” he said.

Westgold’s distinctive packaging was linked to its West Coast heritage, Wyeth said.

But commercial law professor at the University of Auckland, Alex Sims, said Westland could lose the case.

Read More here…



Chickpea exports rise, lentils plummet in Nov

AUSTRALIA exported 62,526 tonnes of chickpeas and 26,900t of lentils in November, according to the latest export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Compared with the October shipment figures, the chickpea total is up 12pc from 55,906t, while the lentil figure has plunged 54pc from 58,355t.

Pakistan on 42,832t accounted for 69pc of Australia’s chickpea exports in November, with Bangladesh on 7586t and Nepal on 4023t the second and third-biggest markets.

On lentils, Egypt on 9387t followed by Sri Lanka on 7363t and India on 5013t were the three biggest markets.

The jump in chickpea volume shipped in November reflects new-crop availability out of Central Queensland.

Read more here


AOF forecasts record Australian canola crop at 7.6Mt

DESPITE one of the most challenging canola harvests  eastern Australia has ever seen, the national canola crop this year will year deliver another record, potentially exceeding 7.5 million tonnes (Mt).

The estimate was released on December 20 by the Australian Oilseeds Federation and factors in figures from ABARES and the Grain Industry Association of Western Australia.

The AOF national total sits above ABARES most recent estimate of 7.3Mt released in its December 6 Australian Crop Report.

AOF chief executive officer Nick Goddard said WA alone will deliver what would have been regarded as a strong national crop a few years ago, of more than 4.2Mt.

“Exceptional conditions in WA and South Australia this year have delivered strong yields, on the back of a significant lift in area of 7pc and 25pc respectively, while in NSW and Victoria the harvest has been much better than expected,” Mr Goddard said.

Read more here


Durum surprises in drawn-out southern harvest

DURUM crops have posted some bumper yields and delivered better-than-expected quality for growers in south-eastern Australia after one of the wettest springs on record.

While durum grown in South Australia and Victoria primarily supplies domestic pasta manufacturing, durum tonnes surplus to local needs are likely to go to export.

The market has softened considerably in the past fortnight as exporters ingest the impact of a bigger and better crop than earlier expected from the extremely late harvest, and options for selling it along with the tonnage available out of northern NSW and southern Queensland.

The three durum grades are: DR1 for minimum 13pc protein; DR2 for 11.5-12.9pc protein, and DR3 of minimum 10pc protein, and most deliveries in NSW, Victoria and SA are understood to have made at least DR3 specs.

Read more here…

Wooden spoon with porridge, cereals, lentils, peas and beans isolated on white background. Collection.

Grains Genebank launches online seed catalogue

THE LAUNCH of a new online seed catalogue by the Australian Grains Genebank in Horsham is making the seeds that underpin the development of new crop varieties more accessible.

Agriculture Victoria researcher and leader of the AGG Sally Norton said the genebank, which opened in 2014, is dedicated to preserving and making available plant genetic resources of grain crops that are valuable to Australia’s research and breeding industries.

“The catalogue will enhance the existing services of the genebank and give registered users all the expected benefits of a searchable database,” Dr Norton said.

“It gives people online shopping cart functionality, allowing them to search seed lines and request samples with a few simple mouse clicks.”

Dr Norton said the seed catalogue is a Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) database system, which is a common software system used to manage information about seeds and plant tissue globally.

Read more here…

AU grain

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…

South America


Argentina may resume beef exports to Mexico

Argentina’s Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries announced Friday that 22 beef processing plants had been approved for shipments to Mexico after a 20-year hiatus.

The South American authorities confirmed having received a note from Mexico’s Sanitary Agency (Senasica) specifying the conditions under which the opening of the market to deboned and matured beef from Argentina became operative.

It took eight years of negotiations to reach this stage. Mexico had previously reopened its doors to Argentine corn, it was also explained.
According to Argentine Foreign Ministry sources quoted by BAE Negocios, these negotiations had been “strongly promoted by Presidents Alberto Fernández and Andrés Manuel López Obrador” (AMLO).

“This is an achievement of great relevance for Argentina and a new extremely important market that opens for our beef exports,” the sources went on while insisting that Argentina already has the export channels open to the European Union, the United States, China, Chile, and Israel, among other buyers.

Read more here…

Brazilizn poultry

Brazilian poultry export record in 2022

Brazilian broiler exports might reach a new record of 4.85 million tonnes in 2022, according to ABPA (Brazilian Association for Animal Protein). This would be 5% more than in 2021 when the country exported 4.6 million tonnes.

The entity presented these numbers in December, forecasting 14.6 million tonnes of production in 2022, or 1.5% more than the previous year.

According to a report by Rabobank, even with the 18% drop in Brazilian shipments to China (the largest destination for Brazilian exports, accounting for around 12% of the total), chicken meat exports continue to rise.

In October 2022, for example, protein exports increased by 5% in volume and 29% in value. Higher feed costs are being absorbed by the foreign market, which has also increased the competitiveness of Brazilian broilers on the international scene.

Read more here…

soy bean

Poorer harvests heralded due to bad weather would mean fewer dollars for Argentina

Argentina’s Agriculture exports are expected to drop by US$ 14,000 million due to the recent drought, according to projections from the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange released this week in Buenos Aires. The new figures might have an impact on the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of between 1.1% and 1.8%.

“The fall in grain production implies a reduction in exports, in tax collection linked to the sector, and in its contribution to GDP,” the report on the 2022/2023 harvest made by the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange read. Due to the prolonged drought, smaller corn, soybean, and wheat harvests are forecast.

These figures mean a blow to the President Alberto Fernández administration which hoped to collect additional foreign currency to bolster the country’s meager coffers to meet targets agreed upon with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding a fiscal deficit reduction.

September’s projections have been largely affected by recent adverse weather consisting of droughts and frosts. Even the most optimistic scenario now entails significant losses and lower revenues from agroindustrial exports.

Read more here…


Chilean Cherry Exports Expected To Reach Record 80 Million Boxes

According to a new estimate by the Chilean Cherry Committee of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), fresh cherry exports from Chile to global markets in the 2022/23 season are expected to top 80 million boxes, or around 400,000 metric tons. Although this is lower than last October’s estimate of 89 million boxes, if realized, this would still set a new record for Chilean cherry exports.

As the primary destination for Chilean cherry exports, the China market is of central importance to Chile’s producers and exporters. On Jan. 11, Iván Marambio, president of ASOEX, and Claudia Soler, manager of the Chilean Cherry Committee, attended a launch ceremony organized by Liaoning Port Group to celebrate the opening of a new “Cherry Express” sea shipping route to the northern port city of Dalian.

Marambio underlined the importance of this development in a speech delivered at the Port of Dalian. “Despite the many challenges that we have faced, China is and will continue to be our main export partner in the Asian region and, for many species, the world.

Read more here

Food Updates


Why new GM techniques must be strictly regulated

Those in the food business, both retailers and producers, will likely be aware that there has been movement in the world of genetic engineering, in both the UK and the EU, where, until now, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been strictly regulated. Due to risk assessment, as well as traceability and labelling requirements for GMOs, business operators and consumers can rely on high food safety and transparency standards. But these key achievements are under threat. In England, the Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill – currently going through the parliamentary process – proposes to exclude new GMOs (those that have been made with techniques like CRISPR/Cas) from any regulation. In the EU the European Commission has announced a proposal on deregulation of new genomic techniques in its work plan for 2023, to be tabled in the second quarter of this year.

So, what kind of GMOs are we talking about?

It could be said that GMOs have a bad reputation in Europe. This could explain why the UK Government, when discussing new GMOs, echoes the term used by big biotech of ‘breeding’, referencing the language of nature and traditional farming. It could also account for why the EU Commission is talking about “new genomic techniques” instead of the term GMOs – as confirmed by the European Court of Justice in its landmark ruling in 2018.

Read more here

Are Europeans altering their food shopping habits?

With the inflation rate for food in the European Union (EU) reaching a high in October 2022 of 17.26 percent, how are consumers in Europe altering their shopping habits to cope with price increases?According to a study, 53 percent of European consumers are “strongly worried” about food shortages and have altered their spending to cope with food inflation.

Some of the key changes observed in the study include shoppers buying less or switching brands and making more mindful choices when it comes to food.

“The ongoing Russian war against Ukraine has brought into sharp focus just how fragile our food system can be,” said Dr Andy Zynga, CEO of EIT Food.

“We urgently need to scale and support innovation to address supply chain issues and ensure that we are producing enough affordable, nutritious food for all; however, we must do so sustainably, fairly and efficiently.”

Read more here…


Do Japanese consumers favour sustainable meat?

According to a recent study carried out by the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Shinshu University, Japanese consumers favour sustainably produced meat and meat substitutes.

With livestock production accounting for 14.5 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity, some consumers may take climate concerns into account when food shopping, altering their purchases with sustainability in mind.

Aiming to understand consumer preferences and attitudes towards alternative protein sources, the researchers conducted a survey comprised of 4,421 beef consumers and shoppers in Japan.

“To the best of our knowledge, this report is the first to explore and give insights on beef and meat substitutes in Japan, where there have been fewer reports than in other markets,” said Takumi Ohashi Associate Professor from Tokyo Tech.

The results of the study revealed that most of the respondents preferred domestic beef however their choice of production methods and preference for meat substitutes were reportedly influenced by a wide range of factors such as cost, familiarity, and various sociodemographic characteristics.

Read more here

organic milk

Califia Farms innovates new organic dairy-free milk

Califia Farms has launched two new products including Organic Oatmilk and Almondmilk following them receiving approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The two innovations are reportedly made from three ingredients: purified water, sea salt and oats/almonds. The brand claims that their new editions do not contain oils or gums.

Hoping to “meet the needs of consumers seeking products and fewer ingredients, yet an accessible price point”, Califia Farms has highlighted that their oat and almond milk products will be available at Kroger Co., Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market and other retailers across the US.

“I can’t think of a better way for Califia to kick off the new year than with the launch of our deliciously simple Organic Oatmilk and Almondmilk,” said Suzanne Ginestro, Chief Marketing Officer at Califia Farms.

Read more here


One in six Canadians consider themselves a flexitarian

According to research carried out by Chefs Plate, one in six Canadians consider themselves a flexitarian and also claim that, after carnivores, a flexitarian diet is the most common eating habit in Canada, with almost 15 percent of all Canadians opting for this diet.

What does flexitarian mean?

The word flexitarian comes from the combination of the words ‘flexible’ and ‘vegetarian’. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the diet is a cross between full vegan and vegetarian “with the ability to enjoy animal products every so often”.

Euromonitor’s Health and Nutrition Survey for 2020 stated that flexitarians make up 42 percent of the market. Suggesting some motivations for making the switch to a flexitarian diet World Animal Protection states that it “can benefit your health, animals and the environment”.

Read more here

USA and Canada

Pork Exports Gain Momentum; Beef Export Value Sets Annual Record

November exports of U.S. pork reached a 2022 high in both volume and value, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Even though November beef exports were below the large year-ago totals, 2022 export value has already set a full-year record of nearly $11 billion.


Pork exports reached 245,663 metric tons (mt) in November, up 3% from a year ago, USMEF reports, while export value climbed 10% to $725.1 million. In both volume and value, exports were the highest since May 2021. For January through November, pork exports were 10% below the previous year at 2.43 million mt, valued at just under $7 billion (down 7%).

Thanks to Mexico and the Dominican Republic, pork exports were record-large in November, with shipments to Mexico topping $200 million for the second consecutive month, USMEF notes. In addition, exports also trended higher year-over-year to China/Hong Kong, South Korea and the Philippines.

Read More…

Boots In The Field Report

Ferrie: You Can Reduce Fertilizer and Still Harvest Big Corn Yields, But Some Parameters Apply

While winter weather conditions are in full tilt in some parts of the country, Ken Ferrie and his team are actively working with farmers to finalize their agronomic plans for the 2023 cropping season.

As part of their efforts, Ferrie and team are offering a virtual Corn and Soybean College this Thursday, January 5. The day-long, live event features agronomic sessions led by Ferrie, Isaac Ferrie and Matt Duesterhaus.

“There will be live question and answer segments throughout the event, and we welcome your questions during the program,” says Ferrie, Farm Journal Field Agronomist.

You can learn more about the program at Look for “Virtual Winter College” at the top of the home page.

Read More…


Grain production likely to jump in Europe, Canadian farmers needn’t worry

Although a European agriculture group is predicting grain production to rise this year, Manitoba farmers shouldn’t be concerned, says the National Farmers Union.

Grain industry lobby group Coceral, a European association representing trade in cereals, rice, feedstuffs, oilseeds, olive oil and other oils and fats, based out of Brussels, Belgium, said grain production in both the European Union and the United Kingdom is expected to rebound this year after suffering from crop damage due to dry and hot weather last growing season.

Although European grain markets are still feeling the effects of the war in Ukraine through supply-chain uncertainty, Coceral has predicted that soft wheat production in the EU and UK will come in at 143.2 million tonnes this year, up 2.5 million tonnes from last year’s 140.7 million.

France, which is the EU’s biggest producer of wheat, is projected to harvest 34.1 million tonnes in 2023, compared to the 33.6 million tonnes harvested last year.

Read More

Canadian agrifood infrastructure needs shock proofing

Ottawa—The country’s food supply chain has been designated as critical infrastructure but little has been done by governments to shockproof it from external pressures, says Kathleen Sullivan, CEO of Food and Beverage Canada.

A lack of policy coordination among governments, the global nature of agriculture and food supply chains and the dominance of private companies in the business means there are few measures are in place to insulate Canada’s food system from economic shocks, Sullivan told the Commons agriculture committee.

The result is that “maintaining Canada’s food infrastructure and supply chains falls largely to industry itself, a challenge that is complicated by the size and scope of industry,” she said. The recommendations of the National Supply Chain report should be implemented by the federal government to ensure a consistent and coordinated approach to support supply chain resilience for Canada’s food system.

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Fruit and vegetable growers are not driving prices increases at the market

Inflation, particularly the rising cost of food, has been one of the top issues facing Canadians in 2022. And food inflation continues to make headlines across the country as people coast to coast grapple with already tight holiday budgets.

With little relief in immediate sight, the Competition Bureau recently announced that it is going to be investigating the practices of Canada’s major grocers.

This announcement comes on the heels of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food preparing to hold hearings on high food prices and Parliament passing a unanimous motion calling for an end to grocer-driven “greedflation.”

The numbers are clear. Even though Canada’s overall inflation rate has started to decline over the last few months, food inflation is still unacceptably high, leaving many Canadians facing stark choices about how to put food on the table, particularly around the holiday season where food plays such a significant role in celebrations nationwide.

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New Zealand


Tomato crop destroyed after plant disease detected

Biosecurity officials are monitoring for any further signs of a plant disease found in a commercial crop in the top of the South Island, which can damage tomatoes and potatoes.

The Ministry of Primary Industries said the virus, potato spindle tuber viroid (PTSVd), was detected on tomato plants in glasshouses near Nelson before Christmas. The crop was destroyed.

Biosecurity New Zealand director of readiness and response John Walsh confirmed testing in mid-November identified a mild form of PTSVd on the plants at a commercial operation in Tasman district.

Plants from three glasshouses were removed and buried, he said.

It infects a wide range of other plants including capsicums, dahlias and chrysanthemums, but is not a concern for human or animal health.

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Alliance Group recruiting 200 migrant workers; still needs local labour in Southland

A Southland meatworks company is recruiting about 200 migrant workers from the Philippines and Indonesia in a bid to make up for its staffing shortfall.

Alliance Group manufacturing general manager Willie Wiese said staff absenteeism due to Covid-19 and ongoing labour shortages meant the co-operative was continuing to face processing constraints at its plants.​

“We are doing everything we can to ramp up capacity, however like all meat companies, there are some delays for farmers,” Wiese said.​

“We have recruitment plans under way to help make up the [staffing] shortfall, including about 200 migrant workers arriving in the country over January and February, with the first workers already arriving from the Philippines.”​

Read More here…


Cherry growers look to bounce back after a couple of tough years

Cherry growers are hoping to put a couple of tough years behind them as they eye a more positive growing and export season.

Grower Murray Little said the past two years had been challenging for various reasons.

It included a struggle for staff – with the borders closed – weather conditions, and limited export demand as lockdowns took a toll.

“That first year of Covid is what we’d call a perfect storm. We had rain, we had soft fruit, we had employment problems, not enough staff, you couldn’t have planned a worst-case scenario,” Little said.

“We exported stuff and there was no market for it. It was when China shut everything up.”

“The last two years have been tough, probably for most fruit growers.”

Read More here…

NZ farm

Latest Global Dairy Trade auction drop ‘uncomfortable’ for farmers

A Southland dairy farmer expects the latest Global Dairy Trade auction price drop will make those in the sector a little uncomfortable given it comes when inflationary pressures were also hitting.

The first Global Dairy Trade auction [GDT] for 2023 was held in the early hours of Wednesday morning [NZ time].

Dairy farmers woke to the news that overall prices had dropped by an average of 2.8 percent from the last auction where it fell 3.8 percent.

Bart Luijten and his wife Martina farm 440 cows in Winton. Luijten is also Southland Federated Farmers’ dairy chairperson.

He said the latest GDT price drop was disappointing, although not surprising.

“It’s probably more uncomfortable at the moment, I wouldn’t say there is a massive concern.

Read More here…



CBH confirms this crop biggest ever for WA

WESTERN Australian bulk handler on Thursday broke its standing receival record of 21.3 million tonnes set last harvest, the co-operative announced in its latest weekly Harvest Report released today.

“With many growers still harvesting, especially in the Albany and Esperance zones, the final harvest total for CBH is expected to be higher still,” CBH Group chief operations officer Mick Daw said.

“I would especially like to thank everyone – from the frontline employees to the ports and offices across WA – for the part you’ve played in us being able to reach this record,”

“I know that individuals and teams have gone to extraordinary efforts to keep grain moving and deliver tonnes to our customers throughout the year.

Mr Daw extended his congratulations to the transporters, contractors and regional communities that support the grain growers of WA.

Read more here


Harvest deliveries to GrainCorp near 10Mt

DELIVERIES continued strongly throughout New South Wales and Victoria over the festive season, with more than 2 million tonnes (Mt) of grain received since the last Harvest Update issued on December 19.

Primary areas of receival activity have been the Junee, Temora, Wyalong and Cunningar regions in southern NSW and the Wimmera, southern Mallee, Central and North East regions in Victoria.

Drier and warmer conditions also helped growers in northern NSW harvest their remaining crops.

The receival activity in this area is beginning to wrap up, with growers looking ahead to summer-cropping opportunities.

A large outload program continued across the GrainCorp network during the festive period to create capacity for more receivals.

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Australian wheat

Viterra receivals hit 6.93Mt on New Year’s Day

THE festive season proved to be a bumper delivery period for growers with 1.79 million tonnes (Mt) delivered into the Viterra network between December 19 and January 1.

Viterra is South Australia’s largest bulk handler by far and also operates sites in western Victoria.

Its total receivals for the 2022-23 harvest to January 1 were 6.93Mt.

Despite deliveries slowing at some sites as growers wrapped up harvest, Viterra general manager operations Gavin Cavanagh said it had been a busy fortnight across the network.

“Our highest receival day was on Monday 19 December with 260,000t received into our network,” Mr Cavanagh said.

“This was our largest day this harvest and also since the 2017-18 season.

Read mpore here…


CBH sets new December shipping, rail records

WESTERN Australia’s CBH Group has set two new logistical records, shipping more than 2 million tonnes (Mt) of grain and moving more than 1Mt by rail in a monthly period.

In December 2022, CBH shipped a total of 2.18Mt in total from its Geraldton, Kwinana, Albany and Esperance ports to surpass the previous record of 1.89Mt set in January 2017 by 15pc.

This harvest, CBH has shipped a total of 4.9Mt between October and December 2022, a 57pc increase on last year’s harvest shipping, which saw 3.12Mt shipped during the same period in 2021.

On an individual port basis, the Kwinana Grain Terminal achieved a new all-time monthly record, exporting 914,264t in December, beating the previous record of 769,303t set in January 2019.

The Geraldton Grain Terminal also achieved a new all-time monthly record, exporting 483,530t in December, beating the previous record of 422,280t set in the previous month.

Read more here…


GrainCorp receivals pass 10.4Mt

DELIVERIES to up-country sites from the winter-crop harvest to date have passed 10.4 million tonnes (Mt), according to GrainCorp’s latest weekly Harvest Report released today.

The eastern states’ bulk handler said harvest activity was now mostly complete in northern New South Wales as growers turn their attention to summer cropping in the Burren Junction, Moree, Narrabri and Werris Creek regions.

“Harvest activity (is) beginning to slow in southern NSW, though receivals (are) expected to continue for another few weeks, particularly around the Wyalong, Junee and Cunningar areas,” the report said.

Volume receivals are being seen across Victoria, particularly in the Wimmera, southern Mallee, central and north-east regions of the state.

Significant grain outload program continued across the GrainCorp network to create capacity for more receivals, with 300,000t of grain outloaded last week.

Read more here…

South America


Uruguayan organic beef, processed in Brazil successfully shipped to US

The Brazilian food processing corporation Marfrig announced that it started to process organic meat at its unit located in Hulha Negra, in Rio Grande do Sul, (Southern Brazil) with raw material coming from the company’s plant in Uruguay.

The organic meat comes from animals fed exclusively on pasture, free of synthetic fertilizers, anabolic hormones, and growth stimulants, Marfrig said in a statement.

The product also has a lower level of intramuscular fat and cholesterol, which, according to the company, leads to a healthier diet.

The first shipment of organic meat arrived at Hulha Negra in August 2022. After processing at the Rio Grande do Sul plant, the protein is redirected to the international market. In September 2022, and to full satisfaction, the company made the first shipment of this product to the United States, one of the largest consumers in the world.

Read more here…


Brazil provides 20% of the world’s cotton supply, and is second global exporter

Brazil provides 20% of the world’s cotton supply, making it the second largest cotton exporter in the world. Cotton represents Brazil’s seventh-largest export product in terms of value: in the market year 2021/2022 alone, 1.68 thousand tons were exported, generating more than USD 3.2 billion in cash. The stats were supplied by the industry association Abrapa.

Abrapa said the Asian market imports 99% of the output of the world’s second-largest cotton exporter, with China (27%), Vietnam (16%), Turkey (13%), and Bangladesh (12%) being the main costumers, followed by Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, India, and Thailand.

“Through research, technology, genetics, field management, and precise laboratory verification equipment, we have improved the quality of our products every year. Today we can say that we are on the same level as the best kinds of cotton in the world, with large-scale production”, explains the Director of International Relations at ABRAPA, Marcelo Duarte.

Read more here…

Field of soybean on a bright sunny day

Soybeans rise for second session on Argentina drought, wheat firms

SINGAPORE — Chicago soybeans gained more ground on Monday, as prices were supported by dry weather in key supplier Argentina and expectations of higher demand in China, amid easing COVID restrictions.

Wheat edged higher, recouping last session’s losses, although record supplies from the Black Sea region curbed gains.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) rose 0.2% to $14.94 a bushel, as of 0302 GMT, wheat gained 0.2% at $7.45-1/4 a bushel and corn was unchanged at $6.54 a bushel.

Adverse crop weather in Argentina is underpinning the soybean market.

“Argentina forecast is still too dry, and stressful conditions continue to a high percentage of Argentina and southern Brazil crops,” the Hightower said in a report.

Read more here…

Overall, the continent will likely produce more soybeans than it did in 2021-22, which was a disastrous year, but will fail to reach the monster crop predicted in autumn. | Reuters photo

Drought stalks Argentine crops; Brazil may escape danger

South America’s crop will move into the critical season in January and if current weather trends hold steady Brazil’s production hopes might be met, but Argentina’s farmers will likely be disappointed.

Overall, the continent will likely produce more soybeans than it did in 2021-22, which was a disastrous year, but will fail to reach the monster crop predicted in autumn.

Argentina’s woes were one factor in the rally that soybeans and canola futures enjoyed over the holiday week.

Forecasted rain over the Christmas weekend turned out underwhelming and missed large areas of the parched region. Soy farmers in the driest areas have been holding back on seeding and the national planted acreage on Dec. 28 was, at 72 percent, nine percentage points behind the pace last year.

Read more here

cherry Chillian

Chilean Cherry Committee Launches This Season’s Lucky Draw in China

This winter, everyone who purchases Chilean cherries in China will once again be able to participate in the Chilean Cherry Committee’s “Million Super Lucky Draw” promotion to gain the opportunity to win a variety of prizes.

The lucky draw, one of the most eye-catching activities of each Chilean cherry season in China, has been started early this year. Entry in the lucky draw is open to all consumers who purchase Chilean cherries in China through either online or offline channels from Dec. 25, 2022, to the middle of February 2023, a period covering the Christmas, New Year’s Day, Chinese Spring Festival and Valentine’s Day holidays. To participate in the promotion, customers are simply required to upload their proof of purchase.

This season’s prizes include Apple MacBook Pro computers, iPhone 14 devices, Apple Watches, Dyson V11 Fluffy vacuum cleaners, Dyson air purifiers, Dyson hair dryers and, naturally, fresh Chilean cherries worth 400,000 Chinese yuan ($58,000).

Read more here

Food Updates


Food solutions for a sustainable tomorrow

With multiple forces acting against global food security, researchers in Singapore have been innovating. Read their solutions that help combat food waste and obesity, while improving health and sustainable food production.

The global food crisis marches closer. Droughts and floods caused by climate change are threatening our ability to produce enough food for a growing global population. According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates, crop yields could fall by up to 25 percent by 2050.

Aside from this impact, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted supply chains which has also impacted food security. This has led to shortages in all manner of foodstuff from poultry to palm oil, as well as escalating food prices.

Geopolitical tensions and conflicts add to this growing food insecurity by limiting access to energy, creating rising inflation and debt.

Read more here


App developed to help people eat their five a day
Academics at Bournemouth University have developed an app that helps people eat the recommended five portions of fruits and vegetables per day.A novel app has been developed so that users can reach the recommended target of eating five portions of fruits and vegetables a day.Developed by academics at Bournemouth University, England, the app tells users whether they are eating the right portion sizes, as well as the right foods, to meet the recommended guidelines from health authorities in the UK.

Previous studies from Bournemouth University found that whilse most adults in the UK are aware of the 5 a day message, their understanding of how to get to it is low.

“Almost everyone knows they should eat five a day,” said Katherine Appleton, Professor of Psychology at Bournemouth University, who led the studies and the development of the new app.

Read more here…


Hershey sued over “harmful” metals in chocolate

US confectionery giant Hershey’s has been sued following claims that the company is selling products containing “harmful” levels of metal.

The lawsuit was instigated by Christopher Lazazzaro, who claimed that The Hershey Company was “failing to disclose the quantities of lead and cadmium” in three different types of its chocolate bars. These include Hershey’s Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate and two Lily’s bars: Lily’s Extra Dark Chocolate 70 percent Cocoa and Lily’s Extreme Dark Chocolate bars (both owned by The Hershey’s Company).

Filed on 28 December 2022 in a federal court in New York, the lawsuit has the objective of “seek[ing] to remedy the deceptive and misleading business practices of The Hershey Company”.

According to Statista, the US is the leading world market for confectionery of any kind, however the US cocoa and chocolate market alone is estimated to be worth $9.67 billion dollars.

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FDA adds sesame to the list of major food allergens

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has enforced that, as of 1 January 2023, foods containing sesame will be subject to specific food allergen regulatory requirements, including labelling and manufacturing requirements.

Sesame will be added to the list of major food allergens defined in the law as the result of the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act, joining eight other major food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) more than 50 million people in the US experience various types of allergies each year and allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the US.

Looking specifically at sesame allergies, has claimed that approximately 0.23 percent of US children and adults are allergic to sesame, with reactions ranging from hives to anaphylaxis.

Read more here

food trends

Five food trends to look out for in 2023

2022 has been and gone and we have now entered another year. With a new year comes resolutions, a different number to remember when writing the date, and, of course, new food trends. But what will they be?

Last January, New Food’s Editor Joshua Minchin predicted various food trends for 2022. These included: indulgence continuing, home cooking remaining popular after the pandemic, few changes being made to CBD regulations, functional foods and personalised nutrition being in demand and, finally, that the low and no alcohol upwards trend would continue.

With overwhelmingly accurate predictions, our Editor must have looked into a crystal ball and foreseen home-cooking companies such as HelloFresh expanding globally and functional beverages appealing to consumers looking for sports enhancement and beauty remedies.

However, turning to the next 12 months, here are five predictions for the upcoming food and beverage trends that are so close you can almost taste them.

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USA and Canada

U.S. Soybean Processing Industry Explodes: Push for Low Carbon Fuels Drives Expansion and Profits for Farmers

It’s one of the fastest growing industries in ag, soybean processing, with several companies announcing plans to build facilities in the coming years.  The latest ones we told you about earlier this month.  Bunge has plans for a $550 million dollar plant in Morristown, Indiana, and Epitome Energy is also building a $400-million facility in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Plans are in the works for 18 new soybean processing plants and there are more on the drawing board.  With the push for low carb fuels like renewable diesel and Sustainable Aviation Fuel the industry has exploded and it’s a long term positive for farmers.

The soybean processing industry is entering a new era, driven by the demand for low carbon fuels like Renewable diesel which can be made from feedstocks like soybean or other veg oils.  John Jansen, vice president of strategic partnerships for the United Soybean Board says, “It sequesters and eliminates a significant amount of greenhouse gas and carbon as compared to fossil fuels.”

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hybrid wheat

How hybrid wheat could lead to more food without GMO fears

U.S. farmers are gaining access to a new type of wheat developed by agrichemical giant Syngenta without genetic engineering, as the world’s biggest seedmakers seek to boost yields amid dwindling supplies of grain.

Chinese-owned Syngenta is releasing hybrid wheat on 5,000 to 7,000 acres next year, a small fraction of total U.S. plantings, while BASF SE and Bayer AG are planning their own launches of hybrid wheat by the end of the decade.

How is hybrid wheat grown?

Crop breeders develop hybrid wheat by taking away the natural ability of plants to pollinate themselves. Instead, female wheat plants in a field are pollinated by male plants of a different line, with the goal of producing seeds that carry stronger yield potential and adaptability to adverse environments than either parent. The fertilized female plant produces new, unique offspring called a hybrid.

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grain export

Grain exports from Port of Duluth-Superior on pace for lowest or second-lowest year since 1890

Grain shipments through the Port of Duluth-Superior are lagging.

Through November, 510,547 metric tons of grain had moved through the port on ships so far this season, setting it up to be the lowest or second-lowest season since 1890, according to historical tonnage figures dating back more than 150 years.

Exports of grain by ship have declined for decades, down from a high of 9.2 million metric tons in 1978. Soybeans now go by rail to the West Coast, for example, and the geographic area where grains were harvested before being sent to the port for transport has shrunk, among other factors.

But a unique set of circumstances have caused the 2022 decline.

Daniel Rust, associate professor of transportation and logistics management at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, said fewer ocean-going ships, or “salties,” coming into the port means less grain leaving the port.

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Farmers are losing the ‘arms race’ against weeds

Intensive farming is creating new super weeds that are nearly impossible to kill with herbicides. Already infamous for their impact on everything from water quality to biodiversity, the intensive approach to agriculture is making it even harder for farmers to protect their crops — and bottom lines — from tsunamis of harmful weeds, a new study suggests.

Researchers compared genetic material from old samples of the common weed waterhemp to its modern-day genome and found the weed evolved at lightning speed to survive nearly all chemical herbicides. The mutations that make it almost impossible to kill have also helped the plant native to the southeastern U.S. spread far beyond its historic range.

The widespread use of powerful herbicides puts a “super strong selective pressure” on weeds, killing off all but the most resilient, explained lead author Julia Kreiner, a professor at the University of British Columbia. Those that survive can then pass on their resilience to their offspring. After several generations, only plants with the most resilient traits will be left to pass on their genes.

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Farm workers who hand-harvest crops get rate increase Jan. 1

CANADA, December 29 – Farm workers and producers are reminded that the minimum wage for agricultural piece rates will increase by 2.8% on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023.

The increase applies to 15 agricultural crops that are harvested by hand, as specified in the employment standards regulation, including peaches, apricots, Brussels sprouts, daffodils, mushrooms, apples, beans, blueberries, cherries, grapes, pears, peas, prune plums, raspberries and strawberries.

The increase is based on B.C.’s average annual inflation rate in 2021 and is consistent with the 2.8% increase to the minimum hourly wage that came into effect on June 1, 2022.

Quick Facts:

  • Piece rate farm workers harvest crops, such as blueberries and mushrooms, by hand.
  • Each of the 15 crops has its own minimum pay rate.
  • Farm worker piece rates in B.C. were previously increased by 11.5% in January 2019.
  • B.C.’s farm worker minimum piece rate system has been in place for more than 40 years, established in 1981.

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New Zealand

NZ farming

Nothing dry about sheep milk powder’s potential

More nutrients, less impact on the planet, and easy to digest – it’s no surprise sheep milk is becoming a strong option in the New Zealand dairy industry.

But what some farmers may not know is there’s even more value to be gained from processing sheep milk into powder. The New Zealand Government sees its potential – in June 2022 a funding boost was announced for the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures Fund, to support New Zealand’s dairy sheep sector.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor stated that globally the premium alternative dairy category is growing by about 20% a year and the potential industry in New Zealand could be worth more than $750 million in annual export receipts by 2035.

The reason behind sheep milk powder’s export demand is due in part to its excellent nutritional offering. It is easy to digest due to the fat and protein components and is rich in nutrients including vitamins A, B and E, potassium, magnesium, folic acid, and zinc.

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Meat delivers more of the essential protein building blocks compared to a plant-based alternative

That’s the findings from a human clinical trial done for the Pasture Raised Advantage research programme to explore the health and wellbeing benefits of eating pasture-raised beef and lamb as part of a balanced diet, compared to grain-finished beef or a plant-based alternative.

The project, which involved researchers at AgResearch, the University of Auckland, Massey University and the Riddet Institute, shows that red meat is probably a better source of protein for the body than highly processed plant-based products promoted as meat alternatives.

In this first of two clinical trials, 30 participants aged 20-34 years were fed breakfast on four different days and their blood, digestive symptoms and mood were monitored for four hours immediately following the meal.

Breakfast was a burrito that contained a single serving of a different protein each day; pasture-raised beef, grainfinished beef, lamb and a plant-based alternative – served in random order to each participant across the four days.

Read More here…


Empty shelves and egg shortages are signs that better days are coming

OPINION: It’s a funny old world when empty supermarket shelves are a sign things are getting better.

New Zealand’s current egg shortage is the result of a ban on “standard” battery cages, those things piled high and stuffed full of suffering in windowless sheds around the country.

It’s in these overcrowded cages that hens are given space less than the size of an A4 piece of paper to spend miserable lives, unable to stretch their wings, and all in the name of money.

Finally, though, the cage-egg industry has been forced to adapt or die; ironically, much the same behaviour it’s demanded of the countless animals it’s abused.

But for the empty shelves and limits on eggs, the ban’s implementation might have slipped by most people unnoticed, that is until they get a look at the cost of the alternatives.

While there’s no doubt this move will hit consumers already struggling to buy food, if more money means less cruelty it’s a justifiable price to pay.

Read More here…


More sweet wines and fewer pinot noirs? What climate change could mean for wine lovers

Sweeter wines, with higher alcohol content? For some this might sounds like the makings of a great night out, albeit with a much less pleasant morning after.

But for Aotearoa’s winemakers it is the impact climate change may yet have on the quality and flavour profiles of the wines which make up New Zealand’s $2 billion industry.

The effects of climate change are already being felt by growers and makers contending with less predictable weather cycles at crucial points in the production process.

Ali Lowrey​, a wine scientist at University of Auckland, first noticed the effects of climate change while working a vintage season in Hawke’s Bay in 2017 where tropical cyclones led to grapes contracting botrytis.

Read More here…


Australian milk

Australian milk price’s rapid rise

RABOBANK says in a new report that consumers are seeing significant price increases across dairy products – based on the national Consumer Price Index (CPI) data – with milk prices having risen at the fastest rate since records began.

In its Global Dairy Quarterly Q4 2022 – Walking the Tightrope into 2023, Rabobank says while the Australian consumer has shown resilience in the face of cost-of-living pressures, signs of dairy demand weakness are emerging as a willingness and ability to spend on discretionary items softens.

“Households are trading down to private label offerings, with volume declines in grocery and foodservice channels being more evident – it looks set to be a tough year ahead for Australian consumers,” report co-author Michael Harvey, senior analyst for Dairy and Consumer Foods at Rabobank, said.

“For Australia’s dairy producers, farmgate margins remain positive and are supported by the record milk prices,” Mr Harvey said.

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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.

Read more here

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

A crop of hard red spring wheat seeded to achieve a 34 plant stand, near Milestone, Sask. | Michael Raine photo

Argentine wheat crop, one of the least productive in recent history

The Argentine wheat crop, 2022/23 is again suffering the consequences of a prolonged drought and lack of sufficient rain, which means that the overall estimate volume has again been reduced by 300,000 tons to a total of 11,5 million tons, according to the Rosario Grains Exchange.

This is half the 2021/22 crop, which was a record, and the contraction this season was not greater because the province of Entre Rios surprised with some extraordinary yields.

The Rosario Grains Exchange also pointed out that the main losses happened in the rich fields of the provinces of Cordoba, Buenos Aires and Santa Fe, where in only a month estimates were down 300,000 tons. With domestic consumption of some nine million tons, surplus for exports has been considerably reduced.

“We had an average yield fo 2,300 kilos per hectare, the lowest recorded since 2010”, pointed out the Rosario Grains Exchange. But in Entre Rios yields were excellent and helped the overall average. Temperature played a crucial role, 15 Celsius during the maturing period with abundant humidity. And this despite a month of November with insufficient humidity and consecutive frosts, but Entre Rios prevailed and had a production of 3,900 kilos per hectare“.

Read more here…


Pork exports growing in Paraguay

Paraguayan pork exports are looking at a brighter future for 2023, according to various positive developments on various fronts over the past few months, it was reported in Asunción.

National Animal Health and Quality Service (Senacsa) President José Carlos Martín Camperchioli highlighted the resumption of pork shipments to Russia in November after almost three years, despite some nuisances.

“We have to be a little frank and communicate that we continue to have many problems, Russia continues to have many problems at a general level and there is a lot of uncertainty about what may happen, although some conversations were resumed to export pork to Russia, it is positive news,” he said. “Now only one logistics company reaches Russia, the cost of transportation increased almost 400% to reach Russia with a chilled frozen container,” he added while stressing Russia’s importance for Paraguayan animal protein.

The official also pointed out that the meat sold to Russia is boneless and consists mainly of three cuts: bondiola, boneless pork leg, and offal.

Read more here…

Argentionan crop

Argentina wheat exports at their lowest, but record year for fertilizer consumption

Bad and good news from Argentina. Wheat exports are expected to hit their lowest point in eight years because of climate effects, especially La Niña ravaging the country’s crops for the third consecutive reason, points out the Rosario Grains Exchange (BCR)

Argentina’s foreign sales declarations (DJVE), which account for the volumes already committed to exports, are close to 8.9 million tons. However, the government allowed part of this volume to be exported in the next season since there were not enough stocks available this season.

Season-ending stocks are forecast at 1.72m tons, the lowest in five seasons. In 2017/18, there were 1.2 million tons in stock. Production in the current season is forecast at 11.5 million tons, half of last year’s 23 million. This is the lowest crop since 10.9 million in 2014/15. Productivity, at 2.3 tons per hectare, is the weakest since 2008/09, when 2.11 tons per hectare were harvested.

Finally, Argentine wheat prices reported by industry regulators, measured in dollars per ton and converted at the official exchange rate, show values much higher than the market average and are the highest since 2012/13.

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More Uruguayan exporters greenlighted for frozen bone sales to China

Chinese authorities authorized 27 Uruguayan companies to export frozen bone meat cuts in what Montevideo dubbed an “achievement” that “strengthens” the relationship between the two countries.

According to the Uruguayan Exporters Union (UEU), China positioned itself again in 2022 as the main destination for Uruguayan exports, in which meat is the most sold product.

Uruguay’s Foreign Ministry also explained that the new 27 beneficiaries are added to the over 30 already existing.

The announcement came amid friction between Mercosur members who do not approve of Uruguay’s unilateral deals with other countries or blocs, claiming that such undertakings are against the rules of the South American common market’s founding Treaty of Asunción.

Uruguay’s negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China are a part of President Luis Lacalle Pou’s “flexibilization” and “modernization” approach.

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Brazil agribusiness exports US$ 160 billion in ’22, but inputs have soared and ’23 could see a return of protectionism

Brazilian agribusiness exports should reach a record US$ 160 billion this year, which represents an increase of 32% compared to 2021, and a number that also was surprisingly high last year. But on the other hand input imports have never been so costly because of the international prices with inputs reaching almost US$ 50 billion, up 51% year to year.

The surprising export revenue began with the effects of the pandemic when countries increased their food stocks in anticipation of a disruption in the food supply. Likewise given the significance of both Russia and Ukraine in the supply of grains to the international market, the fact they are involved in an exhausting war means further supply disruptions and again commodity prices’ increases.

The pandemic and the war, while benefiting Brazilian farmers and exporters with higher prices, boosted spending. Russia, an important supplier of fertilizers, reduced the supply, and prices skyrocketed.

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Food Updates

food safety

CO2 laser processing: a technology to improve food safety

Technological innovation in processing is one of the fundamental pillars on which the improvement of the efficiency and profitability of the food industry hinges. Among the technologies studied in recent years, the CO2 laser has remarkable capacity to transform the food production of the future.

Temporal and spatial precision of lasers make it possible to concentrate the laser energy in a tiny spot and follow complex patterns, without overly impacting nearby food material.

This is particularly of interest in several mechanical and thermal processes. For instance, it has been proposed to inactivate microorganisms on food contact surfaces. It can also be used for non-contact cutting, avoiding the physical, chemical and microbiological cross-contamination problems of other systems such as blades or water jet; or for food marking, replacing paper/plastic labels and inks.

CO2 laser: main properties and effects on foods

A laser (an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) consists of an energy supply system that energises the molecules of a gain medium to an excited state, producing light.

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The Collective’s journey: building a brand with purpose
The Collective was founded on a mission to shake up the world of dairy and ‘fight the good food fight’, and this is central to everything we do. We make delicious yoghurts that are not only good for people, being healthy and tasty, but also good for the planet.

Our journey began when the company was initially founded by two entrepreneurial chefs in New Zealand. Since then, we have seen significant growth and positive transformation as we look to bring great tasting dairy to more and more people, and pioneer future innovation in the dairy and dairy-free categories.

Core to achieving this is our inclusive, collaborative, honest and agile culture. We recognise the importance of putting culture first, and this has been a key focus since I took on leadership of our UK and Europe team in March 2020, having run the New Zealand business previously.

Becoming a B Corp

One of our biggest milestones at The Collective was becoming B Corp certified in 2021, and we are committed to continuously striving to do better across our three Ps: people, planet, and products.

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A sweet assist: why sugar testing is so important

In the rolling farmlands of the northern Great Plains, from Michigan to Oregon, an unlikely remedy to Americans’ collective sweet tooth can be found in the form of a humble root vegetable: the sugar beet.

According to the USDA, more than half of all domestically produced sugar – around 55 to 60 percent – comes from sugar beets. The unassuming tuber must be processed to extract and purify the sucrose, separating the desired sugar from the rest of the vegetable matter.

But sugar comes in many shades and the differences are sometimes too subtle for the naked eye to see. So, as the refinement process advances, quality checks must be implemented regularly, most often in the form of colour testing.

A spectrophotometer can generate quantitative colour values more precisely than other analytical options. With its rapid response and ease of use, the spectrophotometer provides immediate feedback that allows for real-time adjustment to the refinement process, potentially saving a sugar production facility time and money.

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Protecting supply chains and consumers in today’s world

When one of the UK’s major fertiliser plants announced it would be halting production this summer, the immediate concern raised by the food and drink industry was its impact on carbon dioxide supply – used widely in meat production, food packaging and carbonated drinks.

To manage this, manufacturers have had to establish new lines of supply and, as disruption persists and prices increase due to outweighed demand, many are searching for the most cost‑effective sources.

Three months on, we are now hearing calls for food manufacturers to prioritise quality checks when choosing new carbon dioxide suppliers to minimise the food fraud risk of carcinogens entering the food supply chain.

These recent carbon dioxide shortages demonstrate the knock-on effect of one isolated change in the supply chain – impacting manufacturers and customers for months, even years. The need to rethink supply networks in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has been well reported, however, with this comes the need to preserve food safety and remain vigilant to food fraud.

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