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….

Read More…

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.

Read More…

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.

Read More

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.

Read more…

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.

Read More here...


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.

Read More here…


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.

Read More here…


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.

Read More here…



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.

Read more here


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.

Read more here

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.

Read more here…


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.

Read more here…

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.

Read more here…

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.

Read more here

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.

Read more here…

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.”

Read more here


“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”.

Read more here


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.


Read more here


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.

Read more here…


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.

Read more here

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.

Read More…

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.

Read More…

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.”

Read More


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.

Read more…

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.

Read More here...


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.

Read More here…

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.

Read More here…


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.

Read More here…



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.

Read more here


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.

Read more here

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.

Read more here…


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.

Read more here


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.

Read more here

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

Read more here


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.

Read more here

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.

Read more here…


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.

Read more here

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.

Read More…

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.”

Read More…

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.

Read More

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.

Read more…

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.

Read More here...


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.

Read More here…

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.

Read More here…

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”.

Read More here…



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.

Read more here


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.

Read more here

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.

Read more here…

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.

Read more here…

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.”

Read more here…

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.

Read more here…


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.

Read more here



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.”

Read more here…

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.

Read more here…

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.

Read more here…


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.

Read more here


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.”

Read more here


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.

Read more here

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.

Read More…

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.

Read More…


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.

Read More
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.

Read more…

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

Read more…

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.

Read More here…

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.

Read more here


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.

Read more here

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.

Read More…

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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.

Read More here...


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.

Read more here

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.

Read more here


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.

Read more here

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.”

Read More…

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.

Read More…

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.

Read More

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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.

Read More here...


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.

Read more here


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.

Read more here…


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.

Read more here


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.

Read more here

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.

Read more here


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.

Read more here…


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.

Read more here


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.

Read more here

USA and Canada

Market shrugs off poor U.S. wheat start

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read More…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read More…

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

Ag Canada expects higher canola stocks

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

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

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

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

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

Read More

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

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

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

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

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

Read more…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more…

New Zealand


Mood of farmers subdued, but public support holds strong

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

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

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

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

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

Read More here...

NZ farm

Farm debt and mortgages pushing up cost to grow food

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

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

It was up from 3.95% in November last year.

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

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

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

Read More here…

nz farm2

Tesco’s warning to New Zealand farmers

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

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

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

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

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

Read More here…

NZ farm policy

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

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

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

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

Read More here…


harvest record

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here

crops Australia

GrainCorp receivals pass 7.6Mt

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Read more here…

Field of soybean on a bright sunny day

Soybeans rise, improved Argentina weather limits gains

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here…

chillian cherry

Chilean Cherries in Hot Demand During Double 12 Festival

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

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

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

Read more here

brazil flag soybeans

Brazil crop production outlook

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

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

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

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

Read more here

Food Updates


“Walnuts are the new brain food”, study claims

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here

sstainable food

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

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

Read more here…


Sensory seekers: altering the eating experience

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

What does the sensory experience include?

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

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

Read more here


Supermarket responses to the consumer recession

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

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

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

Read more here

USA and Canada

Alarm sounded on canola exports

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read More…

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

Crop prices an exception in commodity slump

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

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

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

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

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

Read More…

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

Pulse sector faces acre turbulence

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

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

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

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

Read More

Markets again are looking for direction

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

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

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

Read more…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more…

New Zealand


Why mussels might just be the next new superfood

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

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

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

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

Read More here...

city dwelling

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

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

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

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

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

Read More here…


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

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

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

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

Read More here…


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

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

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

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

Read More here…


harvest record

Harvest records set to be broken in WA: GIWA

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

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

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

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

Read more here


October canola exports plunge to 42,997t

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here

Australian wheat

Feedgrain Focus: North firms, south sags

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

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

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

Northern barley jumps

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

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

Read mpore here…


Pulse Update: Sluggish harvest, quality concerns limit trade

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

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

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

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

All prices quotes in Australian dollars.

Read more here…

South America

agro dollar

“Soybean dollar 2” working as planned for Argentine authorities

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

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

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

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

Read more here…

Field of soybean on a bright sunny day

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here…

argentinian beef

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here

table grapes2

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

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

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

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

Read more here

Food Updates

food safety

The latest innovation helping to create a net zero food system

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

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

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

Read more here

food sustainibility

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

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

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

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

Read more here…


Have researchers found a way to make cultured meat cheaper?

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here

robotics agriculture

UK agriculture and robotics receive £12.5 million funding

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

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

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

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

Read more here

USA and Canada

Heavy selling creates downturn in corn, wheat markets

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

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

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

Read More…


Canola’s biofuel link to raise volatility

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read More…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read More

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

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

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

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

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

Read more…

New Zealand

New Zealand cow

Farmers get premium for live export cows as ban approaches

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

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

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

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

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

Read More here...

cherry orchard

Fully electric cherry farm the result of ‘going geeky’

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read More here…


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

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

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

Read More here…


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

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

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

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

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

Read More here…


Australian cotton

NSW growers battle through cotton planting

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

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

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

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

Short window narrows options

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

Read more here


Australian chickpea, lentil exports dip in Oct

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here

Australian wheat

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read mpore here…


ABARES forecasts reduced summer-crop area

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here…

South America


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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here…

Field of soybean on a bright sunny day

Soybeans rise on strong Chinese demand, Argentine drought

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here…


PHL asks Brazil to cut tariffs on coco products

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

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

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

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

Read more here

Chile peach

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

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

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

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

Read more here

Food Updates


Sugars and sugar substitutes testing

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

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

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

Read more here


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


Read more here…


Could alternative proteins solve antimicrobial resistance?

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

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

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

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

Read more here

Food waste

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

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

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

Technology gets you far

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

Read more here