USA and Canada

Durum has potential to make gains

Canadian durum prices have likely already peaked for the 2022-23 marketing year but there are plenty of factors that could drive durum markets higher in 2023-24, says a market analyst.

Locking in a portion of the 2023 harvest might not be a bad option for some Canadian producers, added Marlene Boersch, owner of Mercantile Consulting Venture Inc.

But growers probably shouldn’t be in a panic to lock in new crop prices just yet.

“I know some people who fixed this week at $11.50 a bushel and there were some $12 bids earlier,” Boersch said during a sideline interview at Durum Summit 2023, an industry event held Feb. 1 in Swift Current, Sask.

“Personally, I find it a bit premature for that simply because we don’t quite know the acreage levels yet and we still have some concerns about soil moisture….

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Whether it’s fertilizer use in crops or crude oil production, forcing producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the board with no concern for productivity will simply move production of those commodities elsewhere. | File photo

It’s time to drop emissions caps and re-embrace intensity

The federal government got smart on the firearms law. It’s time it got smart on the fertilizer emissions target as well as its oil emissions reduction targets. It’s time to back away from caps that ignore the role of Canada as a global leader in responsible commodity production.

Canada needs to champion low-emissions commodity production in a world that desperately needs safe, secure and regulated production.

We don’t need less production from Canada. We need more. The world needs what we produce.The firearms amendments, which would have banned assault weapons but also appeared to catch many legitimate hunting guns in its net, caused much bad political blood to be spilled across the country, became yet another poisonous culture war divide, distracted the government and the opposition parties from productive issues, and created a scorching disincentive for the government to implement focused and worthwhile gun control regulations.

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corn 2

U.S. Agricultural Industry Hopes U.S. and Mexico are Close to a Solution on a Possible GMO Corn Ban

A diplomatic solution may be close that will end Mexico’s plan to ban imports of GMO corn by 2024.  Mexico’s Secretary of Economy Raquel Buenrostro now states that if the Federal Commission for Protection against Sanitary Risks determines U.S. GMO corn is not a threat to human health, it will have no problem entering Mexico.  The new decree coming in the next few days will address U.S. concerns and should eliminate the possibility of the U.S. starting a dispute settlement process against Mexico under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

The U.S. ag industry is hopeful this will resolve the trade dispute because it could impact U.S. agricultural exports of not just corn, but a host of other products including beef and pork.  This would be devastating with Mexico the top customer for U.S. pork this last year by volume and a big export destination for U.S. beef and cattle as well.

Officials with the U.S. Meat Export Federation say they are keeping their eyes on the outcome and have considered it a possible threat to meat exports.

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Weather flip flop brings mixed results for grain market

The grains closed mixed to end the last week of trading of January and the first few days for February. Wheat started the week with gains but lost ground toward the end of the week. Corn opened the week and closed the week with gains but posted losses in the middle of the week. Soybeans started the week on fire and posted solid gains toward the end of the week to lock in a solid weekly gain. But in the end, the grains continued to trade as they have since the start of the year, in a tight trading range.

The week started with soybeans posting sharp gains due to reports of hot dry conditions returning to Argentina. Weather forecasts were calling for a chance for rain, but the rain events continued to fizzle out and get pushed further down the road. In addition, rain continues to plague northern Brazil, slowing down harvest and the planting of the second corn crop.Corn was able to see gains from reports of two export sales of corn to Japan, one for 112,000 metric tons and the second for 111,800 metric tons. Mexico was also in and bought 200,000 metric tons of U.S. corn split equally between old and new crop.

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New Zealand


NZ Hops launches new hop variety for craft beer fans

A New Zealand hops company has released its brand-new hop variety that has been in the works for more than 10 years.

Called Superdelic, the variety was developed by NZ Hops at Plant and Food Research and general manager Blair Stewart said its release was expected to “create a frenzy”.

“This exceptional hop is a playful number, with red fruit, candy, citrus and tropical fruit characteristics, offering brewers something totally different to use in their craft.”

More than 85% of New Zealand-grown hops are exported, with a turnover of around $40 million, and with the newly released Superdelic following closely behind Nectaron in the growing NZ Hops Ltd brand there are expectations it will also be successful.

“Demand for Nectaron grows every year, and we expect the same with Superdelic,” Stewart said in an emailed statement.

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Research finds plantain use can reduce nitrogen leaching and may help health of waterways

New research has found feeding cows the leafy herb plantain can reduce nitrogen leaching from dairy farms by up to 60% and may help improve the quality of the country’s waterways.

The Dairy NZ-led plantain potency and practice programme has just announced the research results which show using ecotain, an environmental plantain from Agricom, in pasture can significantly reduce nitrogen entering waterways.

The research has been done for the past four years at Massey University in Palmerston North and more recently at Lincoln University, putting dairy cows in pasture with varying levels of plantain and measuring the nitrogen levels going into the soil from the animals’ urine.

Ecotain reduces nitrogen leaching by increasing cows’ urine volume, diluting the nitrogen in urine and reducing the total amount of nitrogen excreted in urine. It also retains nitrogen in the soil, preventing it entering waterways.

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Farmers’ survey finds many struggling mentally due to economic conditions

A survey has shown farmers are struggling due to economic conditions with 70.3% saying their mental health and wellbeing has been affected.

For the first time, Federated Farmers asked farmers how they were coping mentally to include the findings in their January confidence survey.

A total of 1103 farmers across the country responded, 70.3% said they were being impacted, only 18.2% said they were not; 11.5% were unsure.

Dairy farmers comprised the biggest percentage saying yes – 73.2% with the regions headed by Otago-Southland (75.8%), West Coast Tasman Marlborough (74.5%) and Auckland Northland (63.2%).

Most survey respondents came from dairy (547) followed by meat and wool (443).

Golden Bay dairy farmer Wayne Langford, of Takaka, a mental health advocate for farmers, said there was a lot of uncertainty for farmers.

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Northland avocado growers ‘absolutely hammered’ by Cyclone Gabrielle

Next season’s avocado crop has already been extensively damaged by Cyclone Gabrielle, say Northland growers.

Maungatapere avocado grower Mike Eagles said next year’s avocado harvest was “already hopeless” because of the damage the fruit and trees had sustained from rain and wind.

His ten-hectare orchard was already “absolutely hammered” by Monday morning, with rain gauges overflowing a day before the worst of the cyclone was expected, Eagles said.

He found branches torn from trees, small trees uprooted and fruit that would have been harvested in August for next season’s crop scattered on the ground, he said.

That amount of fruit loss would have a significant impact on the income from the orchard, Eagles said.

Fruit would be downgraded to lower quality grades, he said.

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Dec feed barley exports surge, malting, sorghum drop

AUSTRALIA exported 1,061,321 tonnes of feed barley, 21,979t of malting barley and 47,791t of sorghum in December, according to the latest export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The feed barley figure is more than double the amount shipped in November, with Saudi Arabia the biggest customer by far on 534,716t, followed by Japan on 178,339t and Iran on 64,305t.

Malting shipments fell 89pc from the November total to reflect the rundown of stocks ahead of new crop, and South Africa on 15,000t followed by Singapore on 4883t, The Philippines on 1660t and Vietnam on 436t were the only customers for December-shipped malting.

Sorghum exports also tumbled to 47,791t in December, down 55pc from the November figure of 106,769t to reflect a rundown on stocks.

Buoyant demand from China, the destination for 45,708t, covered 96pc of shipments for December.

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Rain, firming prices buoy outlook for CQ mungbeans

RECENT rain in Central Queensland has the region’s growers in the box seat to take advantage of a firming world market for mungbeans.

Based largely on Chinese demand, prices have risen since December by around $50 per tonne to roughly $1300/t for No. 1 grade, May-June delivered packer, $1250/t for processing and $1200/t for manufacturing.

Australian Mungbean Association president and Australian Choice Exports managing director James Hunt said the industry was hoping CQ growers would produce up to 80,000t of mungbeans to fill the deficit left by a sharp seasonal turnaround on the Darling Downs and in New South Wales.

“There’s less crop in the south, first due to wet weather and then dry weather, so there’s a very good opportunity for CQ growers to cash in on good prices and high soil moisture,” Mr Hunt said.

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pulse Australia

Pulse slows on fractionation plant progress

MAJOR developments towards increasing the production of plant-protein ingredients made from pulses in Australia have slowed with proposed fractionation facilities in South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia yet to start manufacturing at a commercial scale.

This comes as the demand from local manufacturers to buy Australian-grown and processed products continues to expand.

In Australia, there is currently only one operational pulse fractionation plant capable of producing materials which can be manufactured into plant-based foods, such as patties, mince, strips and dairy alternatives.

This facility, located at Horsham and owned via a joint venture of Australian Plant Proteins and Bunge, currently produces protein isolates from faba beans, lentils, mungbeans, yellow peas and chickpeas.

Several Australian manufacturers, such as v2food and Harvest B, use an extrusion process to produce ingredients from soy and wheat.

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Aus Dec lentil exports skyrocket, chickpeas up 22pc

AUSTRALIA exported 70,133 tonnes of chickpeas and 166,268t of lentils in December, according to the latest export data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The chickpea figure is up 22pc from the 57,474t shipped in November, while the lentil figure is up a massive 562pc from 25,130t.

Jumps in figures for both pulses reflect new-crop availability and compressed early shipment demand created by a harvest which was slow to start and rain-delayed.

Bangladesh on 36,716t, Pakistan on 20,544t and Nepal on 3856t were the three biggest markets for December-shipped chickpeas.

India on 87,127t was the biggest lentil market by far for the month, followed by Bangladesh on 35,995t and the United Arab Emirates on 23,590t.

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South America


Argentina’s soy harvest set for 14-year low amid punishing drought

The prolonged drought ravaging Argentina as a result of the El Niño weather phenomenon will slash the production of soy, the country’s leading export product, to its lowest volume in 14 years.

The stark warning, issued by the Rosario Stock Exchange, will send alarm bells ringing among government officials. Agricultural exports are a major contributor to Argentina’s gross domestic product and a key source of foreign currency.

Its latest estimate of the next soy harvest, which is exported in grain and oil form mainly to China and India, the Rosario-based forecaster pegs back output a further 2.5 million tons, from 37 to 34.5 million tons. It also lowered its forecast for the maize harvest by 7.5 million tons, from 50 to 42.5 million tons.

In mid-January the body had already estimated losses superior to US$10 billion for the local farming sector, calculating a 23 percent fall in production for the soy, wheat and maize harvests or a total of 28.5 million tons.

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soy corn

Corn, soybean usage cuts overshadow smaller Argentine crops

USDA made sweeping cuts to 2022/23 Argentine corn and soybean production that caused global ending stocks for both crops to tighten in today’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. USDA’s downward revisions were higher than the market had been anticipating, but any potential bullish price action was largely offset by cuts to U.S. corn and soybean usage for ethanol and crush processing, respectively.

Wheat crops in Australia, Brazil and Russia were revised higher, but a surge in international purchases from top buyers in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and China helped keep bullish price prospects alive in the wheat complex.

“Argentina’s corn (and soybean) production was the key focus of today’s reports,” according to Farm Futures grain market analyst Jacqueline Holland.

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cherries with dumplings

Chilean Cherries Extend Strong China Presence to Lantern Festival

Eating rice dumplings during the Lantern Festival is a traditional Chinese custom passed down from one generation to the next. However, the food for this year’s festival was not just rice dumplings — Chilean cherries established a strong presence during the holiday by joining hands with instant food giant Wanchai Ferry. The company, belonging to U.S. multinational food manufacturer General Mills, sells a wide range of products including rice dumplings, wontons and steamed buns.

Rice dumplings and fresh cherries have many interesting features in common. Both are round in shape and sweet in taste, which symbolizes family reunions and happiness. Rice dumplings are a traditional festive snack, while fresh cherries also enjoy great popularity on various festivals and holidays in China. By pairing with Wanchai Ferry dumplings, the peak sales season for Chilean cherries has been successfully extended from the Chinese New Year holiday all the way to the Lantern Festival.

Wanchai Ferry began warming up for the cooperation even before Chinese New Year by encouraging netizens to guess who the company would pair up with.

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Brazil soybean

Brazil farmers harvest 9pc of area planted with soya bean

At the same time last year, 16% of the Brazilian soy fields had been reaped, said AgRural, citing rains as disrupting field work in the world’s largest supplier of the oilseed.

Brazil is expected to reap 152.9 million tonnes of soybeans this season, according to a January estimate by AgRural. If confirmed, that would be a record.

Soy harvesting delays are pushing back Brazil’s second corn planting, according to AgRural data, which shows only 12% of the second corn area planted in the center-south region, half the 24% seen at this time one year ago.

Despite being late, Mato Grosso state’s second corn planting remains the most advanced among all other states, followed by Goias and Parana, AgRural said.

Read more here…

Food Updates

food diet

What changes are US consumers making to their diets?

According to a recent survey, US consumers have cited eating more fruits and vegetables and less sugar as highly ranking potential changes to eating behaviours relating to New Year’s resolutions.

The January Consumer Food Insights Report was put together by Purdue University’s Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability with the aim of assessing food spending, consumer satisfaction and values, support of agricultural and food policies and trust in information sources.

Looking at responses from 1,200 consumers across the US, Jayson Lusk, the Head and Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue, observed: “People are generally knowledgeable about the actions needed to improve health and want to pursue them such as increasing fruits and vegetables and exercising more.

“However, they don’t necessarily want to give up on taste and indulgences. For example, eating less meat or drinking less alcohol is low on the list of priorities of most Americans.”

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“Eating its own capital”: Investing in a planet-friendly food system

The Food Foundation’s “Putting Money On The Menu” event opened up a wealth of discussion regarding the impact investors could make to a global food system that arguably needs changes.

Currently, 2.5 billion tonnes of food is wasted each year. That’s the equivalent of 40 percent of all food. If this figure wasn’t startling enough, one of the speakers at the event put it into perspective with a metaphor: “you couldn’t invest in a car business that scraps four of every 10 cars.”

But what can be done to encourage investors to put their money where their mouth in when it comes to supporting the food industry? Well, according to numerous speakers at the event, it’s important to provide them with data and ask them to question companies about exactly what is going on in each step of their supply chain.

Investing in longevity

Branding the world’s current food system as “very fragile”, Tim Benton, Research Director of Emerging Risks at Chatham House, explained that there is an ongoing “cheaper food paradigm”.

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Developing recyclable, compostable and sustainable food packaging

Rearchers have found shellac-based coating makes pulp materials suitable for food without using petroleum-based polymers or metals.


Researchers at the Mae Fah Luang University, Thailand, and Queen Mary University of London, UK, have developed a shellac-based coating to improve the gas barrier properties of a recyclable, compostable and sustainably sourced packaging material to make it suitable for instant, dehydrated, frozen and chilled foods.Moulded pulp, made from renewable materials such as eucalyptus wood or sugarcane bagasse, is widely used as a sustainable packaging material to protect products in shipping, for food serving trays, containers and beverage carriers. According to the paper, published in Polymer Internationalits production volume represents more than 30 percent of all paper-based packaging materials, and in addition to its renewable feedstocks, it is also suitable for recycling and composting.However, the materials’ poor gas barrier properties and limited resistance to water and oil make moulded pulps unsuitable for maintaining shelf-life and quality of many products.


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Fish genome has potential to improve food security

Researchers at the  the Earlham Institute, the Roslin Institute, and WorldFish have claimed to have discovered the first full, high-quality reference genome for a genetically improved tilapia strain that they say has the potential to improve food security around the world.

Hoping that the findings will be used as a resource for fish breeders, the researchers have said that their discovery can develop strains that “grow bigger, grow quickly, and have improved resilience to the environmental challenges of a warming planet”.

Additionally, the Earlham Institute has said that the findings reveal a “substantial and unique” genetic variation in farmed strains of tilapia and has said that there is a need to use this strain-specific resource to inform future breeding programmes.

According to The World Counts, nearly 80 percent of the world’s fisheries are already fully exploited, over-exploited, depleted, or in a state of collapse.

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Carbon emissions from fertilisers could reduce by 80 percent by 2050

By calculating the carbon footprint for the full life cycle of fertilisers, researchers at the University of Cambridge have claimed that carbon emissions could be reduced by as much as 80 percent by 2050.

The researchers highlighted that two thirds of emissions from fertilisers take place after they are spread on fields, and went on to say that one third of emissions come from production processes.

“Carbon emissions from fertilisers need to be urgently reduced”, says the researchers. “However, this must be balanced against the need for global food security”.

The use of nitrogen-based fertilisers is “already known to be a major source of greenhouse gas emissions” however the researchers have that this this study is the first time that their overall contribution, “from production to deployment”, has been fully quantified.

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USA and Canada

North American Grain and Oilseed Review: Canola turns around for strong finish

WINNIPEG – Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) canola futures closed higher on Friday, after overcoming earlier losses.

That’s despite hefty pressure from significant losses in global crude oil that put pressure on vegetable oils , as well as those in Chicago soyoil. Slight losses in Chicago soybeans added more pressure, while support came from upticks in soymeal, Malaysian palm oil and European rapeseed.

The market has projected good increases in stocks of canola, wheat and other grains when Statistics Canada releases its stocks report on Tuesday. The gains are to reflect the Prairies overcoming the drought in 2021.

The Canadian dollar was weaker at mid-afternoon Friday as the United States dollar surged upward. The loonie fell back to 74.70 U.S. cents, compared to Thursday’s close of 75.12.

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grain market

Canadian grain marketing expands its options with apps

A couple of Fortune 500 companies are expanding their Canadian crop marketing services.

StoneX Financial (Canada) Inc., a subsidiary of StoneX Group Inc., has launched its Farm Advantage mobile app, which provides growers with market data and intelligence.

Meanwhile, Bayer CropScience has bought Combyne Ag, another Canadian crop marketing management app formerly known as FarmLead.

The StoneX app is free and provides growers with market quotes, futures pricing, option premiums and historical futures charts.

It contains market analysis from StoneX analysts around the globe and commentary from the likes of fertilizer analyst Josh Linville and chief commodities economist Arlan Suderman.

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pulse planting

Pulse planting acreage trends down

Canada’s pulse acres are expected to fall slightly in 2023, according to Agriculture Canada’s Market Analysis Group.

Pea plantings are forecast at 3.21 million acres, a 4.6 percent decline. Lentils are projected at 4.27 million acres, a more modest 0.5 percent drop.

LeftField Commodity Research analyst Chuck Penner thinks the pea reduction will be more pronounced. He is forecasting three million acres of the pulse, a 10 percent reduction from last year.

“That’s a bit of a worrying trend, frankly,” he told delegates attending a market outlook session at the annual general meetings of Saskatchewan’s crop organizations in early January.

It would be the fourth year in a row of declining plantings, after peaking at 4.33 million acres in 2019.

“Really, it’s not the fault of peas,” said Penner. “Pea bids are historically pretty decent, but you have strong canola prices, you have strong red spring wheat prices.”

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Canola goes up, organic goes down

A chart comparing organic acres in Western Canada to the price of canola would be simple: when canola falls, organic acres go up. When canola hits $20 per bushel, organic acres plunge off a cliff.

The organic sector doesn’t have official data for acres on the Prairies for 2021 or 2022, but there’s anecdotal evidence of a decline.

“What I’ve seen over the last three years is where they (farmers) totally quit organic and went 100 percent conventional,” said Alan McKenzie, who operates a 4,000 acre organic cattle and grain farm near Nesbitt, Man.

McKenzie was one of about 40 people who attended an organic conference at Manitoba Ag Days, a trade show held in Brandon.

He said the price gap between organic and conventional grains has narrowed in Canada.

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New Zealand

oat market

Oat milk trade-off: Fewer greenhouse gases, but less profit, study shows

Oat milk has a much lower greenhouse gas footprint than cow milk for every litre produced, a new study shows, but farmers make less money from it.

The study, commissioned by Boring Oat Milk and Agmardt, showed oat farming released only 7% of the greenhouse gases that were emitted by dairy farming on a per-litre-of-milk basis.

Oats also used 70% less land than dairy to produce a litre of milk.

The debate around the nutritional and environmental benefits of oat and cow milk continues, with Riddet Institute research last year showing plant-based milk alternatives contained only a fraction of the nutrition of cows’ milk.

Boring Oat Milk founder Morgan Maw said the latest research was commissioned to get data on the impact of oat farming in the New Zealand context, because most data used was from international studies.

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Wet weather’s impacts on stock feed could bump up farmer and consumer costs

Waikato farmers and contractors are worried ongoing wet weather could hit stock feed supplies, with shortages potentially adding to farmer and consumer costs.

Grass cover on Waikato dairy farms is said to be good at the moment because of rain in recent months but maize production is down.

It’s feared the wet weather’s ongoing impacts on producing maize and other supplements could cause feed shortages later in summer, push up costs and lead to animal welfare problems.

The situation could be “as big as the labour shortage” for farmers.

Rural Contractors NZ president Helen Slattery, of Matamata-based Slattery Contracting, said if wet weather continued to affect maize growth – and the ability to harvest it – this could raise farmer costs and consumer prices.

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NZ farming2

The trend of rural demographics concerns Guy Trafford, and those concerns aren’t eased by data supplied by Stats NZ

In the process of trying of looking at what the average age of farmers in New Zealand was I came across an article which, while a couple of year since being first published, added to the vague uneasiness about the state of New Zealand farming.

It was a Stats NZ publication which mentioned that between 2002 and 2019 New Zealand has lost over 2 million hectares (13%) of productive farmland. Over this period while the average farm size increased the number of individual farms decreased by nearly 20,000 from just under 70,000 farms to just under 50,000.

The average size has increased from 224 ha in 2002 to 274 ha by 2019. Seeing a reduction in farmed area is not always a bad thing as during the late 1970’s farmland expanded with the government incentives into areas which hindsight has shown to be unsustainable to be farmed (i.e. steeper ’scrubland’ etc.) when the subsidies were removed. Some of this land has now returned to native shrubs.

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Natural fibres are all the rage so why not wool?

Wool is sustainable, has properties that cannot be replicated by plastic, and is better for the planet than synthetic alternatives, so why is it almost worthless for farmers?

Campaign for Wool general manager Tom O’Sullivan blames a lack of innovation, limited local processing capacity, and poor industry collaboration as reasons why there is low demand and price for strong wool.

O’Sullivan said a big problem was that strong wool was sold at auction to overseas buyers, but the industry lost track of where and how it was used after that.

Treating it like a bulk commodity was part of the problem, he said.

In 2010 the O’Sullivan’s family farm wool brought in $80,000 a year, but it now cost the farm about $25,000 a year.

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Feedgrain Focus: North softens, south steady

PRICES for feedgrain in the northern region are under some supply-side pressure as the sorghum harvest gets off to a slow start, while the southern market is trading mostly sideways.

Some bearish news has hit the market today with Viterra Australia forecasting the national wheat crop now in the final stages of harvest will weigh in at 41 million tonnes.

This compares with ABARES estimate of 36.6Mt, also a record.

Estimates for the 2021-22 crop sit at 36.3Mt from ABARES and 38Mt from Viterra.

Australia’s three biggest bulk handlers – CBH Group in Western Australia, Viterra based in South Australia, and GrainCorp in eastern states – have now ended their weekly reports from the 2022-23 harvest.

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Fertiliser sales surge as growers swoop on lower prices

THE annual surge in fertiliser sales is off to a delayed start as growers decide they have waited as long as they can to see further price falls ahead of winter-crop planting.

Soil testing is also under way to determine what type of fertiliser is needed to get the 2023-24 crop off to a good start following what for most was a bumper harvest.

While fertiliser prices have fallen around 25pc from their peak last year, they are still well above the long-term average, but with grain prices holding up, sources expect growers will not limit their inputs based on cost.

WA supply chain ready

In Western Australia, CSBP Fertilisers general manager Mark Scatena said despatches of seeding fertilisers have been slower than previous seasons.

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cotton spray

Growers unite to target spray drift amid damage reports

TWO of Australia’s peak agricultural bodies have approached government regulators and enforcement agencies about the potential for tougher laws and expanded enforcement activity amid an increase in the number of spray drift incidents, estimated to have caused millions of dollars in damage.

Farmers have voiced their concerns following a number of moderate to severe spray-drift incidents.

These have occurred on the Darling Downs, St George, and Dirranbandi districts in Queensland, in the Mungindi district on the Queensland-New South Wales border, and in the Gwydir, Lower Namoi, Walgett and Macquarie Valley regions of NSW.

Cotton Australia (CA) general manager Michael Murray said cotton crops had been impacted but so too have other crops, and it was unclear in each location which chemicals were responsible.

“Media reports have suggested 2,4-D spray drift is responsible in some locations and while the damage is consistent with phenoxy herbicides, there is currently no definitive scientific evidence in the form of residues analysis to confirm that,” Mr Murray said.

Read more here…

upply chain

CBH sets more supply-chain records

WESTERN Australian bulk handler CBH Group has reported its best rail performance for January on record, with rail and shipping performance continuing above the past five-year average figures.

CBH railed 989,000 tonnes to all four ports and the Metro Grain Centre (MGC) in January 2023, setting a record and surpassing the previous one of 971,000t set in January 2019.

This achievement also marks the seventh consecutive month of record rail performance starting in July 2022.

From a road movement perspective, 864,000t was moved by road to port and MGC, inclusive of depot moves.

Road outloading also continues to perform strongly, well above the previous five-year January average of 800,000t.

Read more here…

South America


Southern Brazil pork and poultry farmers concerned with Chinese demand for “overpriced” corn

Expectations of large Brazilian corn exports to China in 2023 are worrying Brazil’s meat companies, according to a statement from Santa Catarina’s meat processors lobby Sindicarne this week. The group said competition from Chinese buyers is already reducing local supplies and making corn used to feed poultry and pork an “overpriced” commodity.

“Even with the sector being more prepared for negotiations and more attentive to its stocks and purchases, there is always competition from the international market,” Sindicarne said. “For 2023 the signs are worrying.”

Brazilian corn exports to China were cleared late last year after both nations updated trade protocols. Since then, several vessels have been booked by companies like Cofco CNCOF.UL.

At Brazil’s southern port of Paranagua, for example, corn exports jumped to almost 570,000 tons through Jan. 29 driven by China. This corresponds to a 161% rise in volume compared with the whole of January 2022, the port authority said.

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Uruguay cattle breeders fear ‘monopoly conditions’ as Brazilian companies control most of the beef industry

Brazil’s protein producer giant Minerva Foods issued a note to the market communicating the purchase of state-of-the-art Breeders and Packers Uruguay (BPU Meat) abattoir and processing plant for USD 40 million. The conclusion of the deal is still pending approval by the Uruguayan authorities.

BPU is a subsidiary of the NH Foods Group, based near the city of Durazno, in central Uruguay, and is one of the most modern meatpacking plants in Uruguay and South America.

The unit bought by Minerva has a slaughtering capacity of 1,200 cattle per day thanks to its cutting-edge technology, ensuring the highest quality and safety standards for the meat produced and exported in Uruguay.

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Argentina’s Grain Exports Plunge

Argentina anticipates exporting 5.7 million tonnes of soybeans in 2022–2023, a significant drop from its peak of 10 million tonnes a few years ago. To make matters worse, Agricultural export revenue is declining at a time when Argentina’s economy is experiencing a severe recession.

The Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture reported this. Wheat production this year is estimated to be 12.5 million tonnes, far below the record crop of 22.1 million tonnes in 2021–2022. Exports are expected to be 7.5 million tonnes, less than half of the record total.

Argentina’s agricultural sector has been adversely affected by a prolonged drought, according to the Centro de Exportadores de Cereales (CIARA-CEC). This resulted in a 61% decrease in grain and oilseed export revenue in January compared to the same month in 2022. Moreover, exports in January totaled $928.37 million, a 75% drop from December.

According to Reuters the lack of rainfall in Argentina has also delayed planting of the local soybean and corn crops, while cutting wheat output by nearly half.

Read more here…


Argentina soybean crop struggling

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The Argentinean soybean crop is suffering due to drought conditions.

Indiana Soybean Alliance board members and staff saw the damage up close during a recent trip to the country.

“The crop is late, and we’re seeing varying stages of development,” said Mark Legan, a farmer from Coatesville.

“They’re in a multiyear drought, this year more so than others. The winter wheat crop was basically a failure. A lot of it didn’t even get harvested.”

Soybean development ranges from just planted to emerging to blooming, with some starting to develop pods.

“This is basically the end of July, Indiana time,” Legan explained. “They should be setting a lot of pods on soybean plants.

Read more here…

Food Updates


Soy sits at the centre of a more circular economy

Farmers drive advances in sustainability every single day as they seek to protect and preserve both precious farmland and the overall environment when producing the food, feed, fuel and other products that we all depend on.

Today, the positive impacts of agriculture and agricultural products stretch far beyond farm to fork. While supporting a safe and sustainable food supply remains a primary focus, every day we’re finding new ways to support more circular and sustainable systems in industries beyond the food supply chain.

These practices start on the farm, where  efforts to grow more using fewer resources are contributing to global endeavours to reduce carbon in the atmosphere and lessen the impact of climate change. Additional benefits to sustainable farming practices and emerging opportunities like carbon capture programmes include new ways for farmers to realise benefits, not only for their own operations, but throughout the global economy.

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food innovation

Food innovation trends in 2023 – what’s on the horizon?

We are faced by a variety of urgent challenges that need to be addressed with innovation from the agrifood community. So, when predicting trends in food innovation, we’d have a lot to cover, however the top three trends that stand out for me for 2023 are cultivated meat, regenerative agriculture and the role of data.

The cultivated meat boom

We’ve all heard of the plant-based boom, but as demand shifts from meat ‘alternatives’ to ‘real life’ meat that is easy on the environment and animal welfare, cultivated meat could play a huge role in the future of our food system.

We already know that traditional animal-based food products generally carry a heavier carbon footprint compared to meat alternatives, but where are we now with cultivated meat innovation?

The origin of cultivated meat is up for debate, with some arguing that French biologist Alexis Carrel was the first in the game after he kept a piece of chick heart muscle alive in a petri dish in the early 1900s

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Could a cup of coffee with milk have an anti-inflammatory effect in humans?

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, have found that adding milk to a cup of coffee combines proteins and antioxidants which doubles the anti-inflammatory properties in immune cells.

Antioxidants known as polyphenols are found in humans, plants, fruits and vegetables. This group of antioxidants is also used by the food industry to slow the oxidation and deterioration of food quality and thereby avoid off flavours and rancidity. Polyphenols are also known to be healthy for humans, as they help reduce oxidative stress in the body that gives rise to inflammation. Indeed, coffee beans are filled with polyphenols, while milk is rich in proteins.

But much remains unknown about polyphenols. Relatively few studies have investigated what happens when polyphenols react with other molecules, such as proteins mixed into foods that we then consume.

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cultivated steak

Scientists produce world’s first cultivated steak

A team of scientists at 3D Bio-Tissues (3DBT) have announced that they have produced the world’s first 100 percent cultivated steak.

The steak fillet, reportedly made entirely from pork cells, measured nine cm in width, four cm in length and one cm in height, making it the same shape and size as a small fillet of traditional pork meat. The scientists have also said that the fillet replicates pork’s flavour and texture.

Produced using a cell booster that is reportedly serum-free and animal-free, 3DBT claim that the fillet is 100 percent meat and, with the help of City-mixTM (a patented media supplement which eliminates the requirement of conventional plant-based scaffolds, blends or fillers), 3DBT has said that it believes that “this is the world’s first 100 percent cultivated pork steak to be produced and tasted”.

Labelling this as a “milestone”, 3DBT are now planning to produce a showcase product. This will take the shape of a full-scale fillet of cultivated pork that is set to be presented, cooked and eaten at a public event in the coming months.

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Research shows impact of ‘hyper-palatable’ foods across four diets

First described by Associate Professor Tera Fazzino from the University of Kansas (KU), US, in 2019, “hyper-palatable foods” have specific combinations of fat, sugar sodium and carbohydrates that make them artificially rewarding to eat and harder to stop consuming.

Using previous study data, researchers from KU and the US National Institute of Health sought to determine what characteristics of meals were important for determining how many calories were eaten. They found that three meal characteristics consistently led to increased calorie intake across four different dietary patterns: meal energy density (calories per gram of food), the amount of hyper-palatable foods and how quickly the meals were eaten. Protein content of the meals also contributed to calorie intake, but its effect was more variable.

“We wanted to know how hyper-palatable characteristics of foods, in combination with other factors, influenced how many calories a person consumed in a meal,” said Fazzino.

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