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. corn imports affect barley price

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read More…


Good value available on old, new crop canola: analyst

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read More


Farmers shouldn’t expect major spring wheat rally

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

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

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

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

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

He thinks a repeat of 2007-08 is improbable.

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

Read More


Tractor, combine unit sales finish 2021 with major gains

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

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

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

New Zealand


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

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

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

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

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

Read More here…


Grape growers hoping rain holds off

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

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

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

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

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

Read More here…


Farmers say more dams needed in hotter climate

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

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

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

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

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

Read More here


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

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

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

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

Read more here…

Tractor spraying pesticides on vegetable field with sprayer at spring

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here…



Genetic solution in the works to maintain high barley yields

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

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

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

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

Read more here


Spotlight shines on three new wheat varieties

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

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

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

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

Read more here


Big tonnages received at bulk handlers

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here

GrainCorp’s weekly update records continued deliveries

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

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

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

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

Read more here…


Technology sheds light on root distribution

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

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

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

Read more here…

South America

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

Argentina’s soybean crop at a crossroads

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read More

The heat is on in South America

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read More here


Paraguay lowers expectations on soy due to drought

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

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

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

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

Read more here


Meat consumption in Argentina fell despite cap on exports

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

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

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

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

Read more here


Lucky Red Moments Abound With Cherries From Chile Super Lucky Draw

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

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

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

Read more here

Food Updates


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

Read more here


Research suggests link between sweeteners and infant obesity risk

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

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

Read more here

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here


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

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

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

Read more here


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

Read more here

USA and Canada

Grain markets go into holiday mode

After a tumultuous week of downturns and upticks, ICE Futures canola moved a little, particularly in the nearby January and March contracts. In highlighting the markets going into holiday mode, the nearby January contract stepped back $7 per tonne since Dec. 9, while the March contract gained $4.

As the holidays approach, it’s clear traders want to get out of their long positions, despite the January contract not expiring until Jan. 15. The markets are faced with back-to-back short weeks, before trading picks up in earnest after marking the new year. Then there will be positioning ahead of the next supply-and-demand estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which are bound to affect canola values. The January S&D report will be particularly important, as it will provide USDA’s final 2021-22 numbers.

The specs have built up a massive long position that poses a serious threat to canola values. The thinking has been the specs are banking on comparable oils moving higher. Obviously there are more oilseeds other than Canadian canola that are increasingly hard to come by.

Read More…


Long-term Ontario studies show value of cover crops

A series of long-term studies in southern Ontario are showing the value of cover crops and boosting soil organic matter.

When combining data across experiments and research stations, University of Guelph soil scientist Laura Van Eerd said researchers consistently saw higher corn and soybean yields correlate to higher soil organic matter.

Van Eerd spoke during a webinar hosted by the Manitoba Organic Alliance (MOA) on Nov. 9.

Why it matters: Ontario research shows that cover crops add organic matter to the soil, which helps improve yields.

They also saw less deviation in yield year to year on plots with higher soil organic matter despite drought or excessive moisture.

Read More

grain harvest

Low crop yields, high prices for farmers in 2021

Manitoba producers are wrapping up a year that saw some of the highest grain prices in living memory, matched by record-low crop yields.

For farmers, 2021 was a difficult year for the most part, but a lucky few found success in the face of an unprecedented drought, said Keystone Agriculture Producers director Charles Fossay.

“Prices are up, in many cases at highs that none of us have ever seen, [even those who have] been farming for 40 years or longer. Pricewise, things look well for most producers.

“It’s very tight supplies and probably in many cases … because of the shortage of grain and the tight supplies, that’s why prices went up for many producers who had grain to sell.”

For most of the province, crop yields were below average, he said, and in some areas, the yields were almost at zero.

Read More


Corn yields topping 300 bushels during drought are testaments to genetics

Even in a drought-limited year, regional state winners in the National Corn Growers Association yield contest grouped around 300-bushels per acre yields. An Extension agronomist says the contest shows possibilities in modern corn genetics and the combination of optimal weather and input management.

The National Corn Growers Association Corn Yield Contest winner again topped 600 bushels per acre.

David Hula of Charles, City, Virginia, for the second time went over that mark, this time with 602.1694 bushels per acre.

There were 27 national winners in nine production categories, with verified yields averaging more than 376.76 bushels per acre, compared to a projected average of 177 bushels per acre national commercial yield.

Read More..

CGB Industries and Minnesota Soybean Processors announce plan to build soybean plant in North Dakota

The project planned for Casselton, North Dakota, is the second in the works for North Dakota. ADM announced plans to invest $350 million in the purchase of the former Cargill Malt plant at Spiritwood, North Dakota, demolish most of that facility and construct a new soybean crushing plant. ADM has said it hopes to have the facility running by harvest 2023.

Covington, Louisiana — CGB Enterprises Inc. and Minnesota Soybean Processors on Wednesday, Dec. 22, announced that they have formed a joint venture for the construction of a state-of-the-art soybean processing plant near Casselton, North Dakota.

North Dakota Soybean Processors LLC, jointly owned by CGB and Minnesota Soybean Processors, will own and operate the new facility, which is expected to crush 42.5 million bushels of soybeans in the first year.“This is an exciting project that has been in the works since 2019,” said Steve O’Nan, Senior Vice President, CGB Soybean Processing. “This state-of-the-art soybean processing plant is a commitment to North Dakota agriculture.   Read more…

New Zealand


Sun comes out just in time for bumper berry season

A week of rain has failed to put a dampener on the Nelson region’s berry producers, with some enjoying a bumper season, right on cue for Christmas.

Wet conditions caused Tasman Bay Berries managing director Glen Holland a few moments of angst, but the sun has come out just in time, he said.

“It’s looking pretty good, when you think of the weather we have had in the last 10 days,” Holland said.

The crop had experienced a bit of mould, but his team had “picked their way through it”. With the sun now shining, and wind drying everything out, Holland could concentrate on harvesting.

Read More here…

organic farming2

Marlborough hemp farm overcomes challenges to get organic status

A rural Marlborough hemp farm has achieved an organic certified status but it hasn’t been without its challenges.

Puro, which began planting in December 2020, commercially cultivates cannabis for medical use in Kēkerengū, north of Kaikōura.

BioGro, New Zealand’s largest certifier for organic produce, granted the organic status after working with Puro for the past two years. The achievement is a first for any medical cannabis company in Australasia.

Puro quality and compliance manager Wendy Tillman said Puro’s commitment to growing organically had not been without its challenges.

“We are a very new industry here in New Zealand and one of very few organic growers worldwide,” Tillman said.

Read More here…


Beef cattle numbers increase in 2021

Beef cattle numbers increased in 2021 while the number of sheep in the country’s flocks dropped slightly, Stats NZ said.

Provisional figures from the 2021 agricultural production survey show beef cattle numbers increased to 4 million at June 2021, a 4 per cent or 142,000 increase from the previous year.

“The total number of beef cattle was at a historical low in 2016, however it’s been increasing and is now up by 492,000, or 14 per cent, since that time,” agricultural production statistics manager Ana Krpo said.

Good beef prices throughout this period contributed to this increase.

The number of sheep nationally has been steady compared with the previous year, at 26 million. The lambing rate was also consistent with the previous year.

Read More here


Union wants controversial chemical banned immediately, ahead of kiwifruit harvest

A union that represents agricultural workers is calling for an immediate ban on a controversial agrichemical ahead of the upcoming kiwifruit harvest.

First Union wants the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to disallow the use of hydrogen cyanamide, an active ingredient in sprays commonly used by kiwifruit growers to help buds form after winter.

Commonly known as Hi-Cane, the chemical has been banned in Europe and its re-registration is under review in the United States of America.

First Union strategic project co-ordinator Anita Rosentreter said hydrogen cyanamide caused skin and eye irritation.

There was also evidence of it having a carcinogenic effect on those exposed to it, Rosentreter said.

Read more here…

farming peanut

Peanut farming could bring jobs and money to Northland as trial gets under way

People in Northland could soon be working for peanuts if a Government-funded trial finds growing the legumes on a commercial scale is viable.

Nearly $700,000 is being spent on large-scale trials after a smaller one recently proved peanuts could be farmed in the north of the country.

Over the next two years, a group of farmers will grow them at seven sites across the Kaipara and Far North Districts, with an aim at finding out if the venture could sustain an industry, Northland Inc’s Vaughan Cooper said.

He hoped the experiment would provide the “conclusive evidence” investors, landowners, growers and farmers needed to have confidence to diversify into peanut growing.

Read more here…


Australia harvest

WA harvest to be a record 22.1 million tonnes says GIWA

WESTERN Australia’s bumper harvest continues to break records and is now estimated to be more than 22.1 million tonnes, worth up to an estimated $9 billion.

With records being set for individual paddock averages, crop type averages and regional totals over most parts of WA, there were no surprises when estimates for total production for all grains went up on Friday and about 17 per cent more than the previous record set in 2018.

Since the start of harvest in the north of the State, yields were mostly coming in at about 10 to 20pc above estimates and, according to the Grain Industry of Western Australia’s (GIWA) December Crop Report, it was obvious if that held true for the rest of WA, it would be a record tonnage.

As harvest moved south and grain yields continued to exceed estimates, the focus shifted from wondering if WA would hit 20mt, to asking how it was going to deal with so much grain.

Read more here


Weed control a big part of 2022 plans

WITH harvest starting to draw to a close in some locations around Western Australia, growers are turning their attention to 2022.

Many factors are on on farmers’ minds and while fertiliser prices have been the most talked about topics of conversation, growers are also turning their attention to crop rotations and summer weed control plans.

Speaking on the WeedSmart podcast, Nutrien Ag Solutions agronomist Bernie Quade, who is based in Wyalkatchem, said a lot of people were still talking about canola given where the commodity prices were.

“There is a recipe starting to develop in the central Wheatbelt to growing profitable canola,” Mr Quade said.

“That recipe involves growing tough hybrids, planting them early, giving them plenty of nitrogen and addressing any soil constraints that you’ve got.

Read more here

buyers of grain

There are plenty of buyers for your grain

THERE has been a lot of discussion recently on the significant price differences between port zones of the same quality grain.

This is on top of the fact that prices bid to Australian farmers are well below the global price of grain.

Last week we wrote that growers have more pricing power than many seem to realise.

The takeaway point was, if every grower was offering their grain for sale at stronger prices, they would very likely be receiving better values.

While growers are selling into published bids, there is no incentive for buyers to increase their bid price.

There is also no incentive for “more buyers” to start participating in purchasing grain while prices are falling lower.

Read more here

Novel methods to keep Australia ahead of biosecurity threats

THE GENERAL public, post COVID-19, is much more aware of the importance of a solid national biosecurity policy than it was two years ago.

However, there is much more to the national strategy than just stopping diseases that impact humans in.

A large part of Australia’s biosecurity budget goes on protecting the nation’s agricultural sector.

Australian food is in high demand globally because of our status as a clean and green producer.

As an island continent, we are free from many damaging diseases and pests that decimate crops elsewhere – and the biosecurity department is doing its best to keep it that way.

“There are a few things happening that are really exciting, incorporating new technology to keep our country safe,” Mr Keane said.

Read more here…

grain variety

New funding to find more resilient grain varieties

A VICTORIAN-based research facility will use cutting edge research equipment to conduct trials on which grain varieties will be better suited to Australia’s increasingly extreme and variable climate.

The Horsham SmartFarm, dedicated to grains research and funded by the Victorian government, will be the home of the Free Air Temperature Extreme (FATE) facility.

The FATE facility will allow researchers to simulate extremes of temperature and weather to see which grain varieties cope the best with tough growing season conditions.

Longer term, the data will assist the breeding sector in selecting germplasm that might be able to lead to varieties with better drought and heat tolerance.

The investment in the FATE facility is part of a Victorian state government pledge to assist grain growers to become more resilient to the threat of climate change.

Read more here…

South America

Argentine grain

Argentine grain production rebounds

This season’s winter crop harvest in Argentina is progressing well amid a dry weather forecast for most of the next two weeks and extremely positive harvest reports.

Yields in the north were well below average.

But as the harvest has moved south, yields have improved to such an extent that wheat output looks set to smash the previous production annual record.

Heavy rains last week delayed the wheat harvest in some regions.

But, according to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange (BAGE), as of December 15, farmers had reaped 65 per cent of the 6.6 million hectares planted to wheat this year.

This was an 11.6 percentage point advance on the previous week, but still sits 1.4 percentage points behind the same time last year.

Read More here


14 New Frozen Fruits From Chile Permitted To Enter China

On Dec. 13, China and Chile signed into effect a protocol granting 14 new frozen fruit items from Chile market access to China, marking another milestone in bilateral trade relations between the two countries.

The signing of the protocol was led by Chilean Minister of Agriculture María Emilia Undurraga and Chinese Ambassador to Chile Niu Qingbao.

Now, a total of 17 frozen fruit items from Chile, namely, raspberries, boysenberries, cranberries, apples, avocados, cherries, sugar apples, grapeskiwifruit, peaches, mangos, papayas, pineapples, pomegranates, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries, have received permission to enter China. Prior to the signing ceremony, only frozen blueberries, blackberries and strawberries were allowed to be imported.

In 2020, Chile exported 171,000 metric tons of frozen fruit with a total export value of $435 million, of which berries accounted for $340 million. These exports of frozen berries were dominated by blueberries (29%), strawberries (28%), raspberries (16%) and blackberries (8%).

Read more here


BitCow: Cryptocurrencies break into Argentina’s agricultural sector

Argentina, one of the world’s leading food producers, is pioneering the creation of cryptocurrencies backed by agricultural assets.

The phenomenon is possible thanks to a process called tokenisation, which is the ‘transformation’ and representation of a real object in the digital world through blockchain networks.

Blockchain is the key to each of these initiatives. The technology is designed to manage a shared online record of data that is verified, secure and unchangeable. It is a shared, immutable ledger that may revolutionise the global economy.

The use of this technology also enables other innovations in agriculture, including making the production chain more transparent and traceable.

The first step towards the issuance of cryptocurrencies in the Argentine agricultural sector was taken in 2020 by BitCow, a firm that launched its own digital currency representing heads of cattle.

Read More here…


China approves Brazil meats’ sanitary system; Beijing increases tariffs on pork imports

The reopening of the Chinese market for Brazilian beef did not stem from technical or communications issues, and the good relationship between the two countries will continue to prosper, reach the pre-pandemic level and advance further, according to Brazil’s Agriculture minister Tereza Cristina.

Even when the almost fifteen-week-long beef ban forced the Brazilian government to support medium-sized meat packing plants, and the price of live cattle has only started to reverse, the overall issue of the ban needs a more in-depth analysis from Brasilia, added minister Cristina.

“We had two atypical ”mad cow“ cases almost at the same time. And Chinese authorities wanted to check and recheck the sanitary system, thinking in their own strategies and priorities”. The return to normal trade means more opportunities for Brazilian ranchers and the protein industry, and as important “the Brazilian sanitary inspection system was validated by our main trade partner. We have given proof that Brazil is doing its homework”, underlined the minister.

Read more here

Food Updates

Menus that are majority vegetarian are key to switching meat-eaters

The research suggests that if the majority of a menu is made up of plant-based foods, then people who usually eat meat are more likely to choose plant-based option.

Researchers from the University of Westminster have found that meat eaters are significantly more likely to choose vegetarian meals when they make up the majority of food offered. A menu had to be at least 75 percent vegetarian for this choice tipping point to occur.

People who usually eat meat shifted their choice to vegetarian food only when menus were 75 percent vegetarian, but not when 50 or 25 percent of items were vegetarian. Therefore, meat eaters can change their preferences when given enough vegetarian options to choose from, yet a large proportion of these options are needed to change fixed habits for consuming meat.

This new research involving Dr Beth Parkin at the University of Westminster and Dr Sophie Attwood from the World Resources Institute suggests that the food sector can have a significant impact in promoting sustainable food choices. The researchers argue that this can be achieved by changing how the choice is presented to the consumer without the need to consciously persuade individuals of the benefits of pro-environmental diets.


The future of a successful strategy
Since the World Health Organization (WHO) published its guideline on the intake of free sugars in 2015, sugar reduction has been in the spotlight. A reduction in excess sugar consumption has become a priority of global public health recommendations for a healthy diet.Over the last few years, there has been noteworthy progress in sugar reduction in certain food categories and especially in drinks. This is largely led by increased consumer interest for healthier sugar-reduced foods. Moreover, nutrition scientists and policy experts call stakeholders to take more actions to bring down the excess intake of sugars, in line with current public health recommendations…but there is still a long way to go.There is also a public health call to food manufacturers to contribute to sugar reduction efforts by reformulating products to provide healthier options that are lower in sugar. In these efforts, low/no calorie sweeteners have been used as a main tool to help achieve products with less sugar and, consequently, fewer calories, helping to meet consumer demands.Read more here


How well do you understand chocolate?
The fruit of the cocoa tree undergoes heavy refinement and processing before being formed into the smooth and sweet chocolate that consumers recognise. From the tree, you obtain cocoa pods, inside of which are beans that comprise cotyledons (cocoa nibs). These nibs are ground into a thick paste, releasing the cocoa butter, which accounts for over half of the nib’s weight.1 Mixed with the remaining solid part of the nib (known as cocoa solids), the heat generated from the friction of grinding softens the cocoa butter. The paste then undergoes a refining process prior to conching, which reduces the particle size of the cocoa solids and includes the addition of ingredients such as sugar, milk powder and more cocoa butter. Emulsifiers are added towards the end of the conching process.2

Read more here

US authorities sound the alarm of Listeria outbreak

Health authorities in the US have warned consumers of a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes related to salad. Consumers are being urged not to eat the particular brand of salad implicated in the outbreak, while retailers and hospitality venues are similarly being told not to sell or serve it.

Frank Yiannas, Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the below statement to warn consumers of the potential dangers of the outbreak.

“The FDA, along with the CDC and our state and local partners, is working to investigate a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections. To date, a positive sample of Fresh Express Sweet Hearts salad mix has been reported to match the outbreak strain. Fresh Express has voluntarily recalled products and consumers are advised not to eat, sell or serve any recalled products. Our investigation is ongoing, and we will continue to communicate should additional products be implicated,” he said.

Read more here


New research reveals marketing secrets of McDonald’s
Fast food giant McDonald’s seems to be focusing on children in lower middle-income countries, with more Instagram posts, price promotions, and child friendly marketing than is evident for wealthier nations, reveals an analysis of the company’s social media marketing across 15 countries and published in the open access journal BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health.These tactics may worsen existing healthcare issues in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries, claim the researchers, who note the contrast with the health promotion themes the company deploys for its social media marketing in higher income countries.Social media advertising by fast food companies continues to increase globally, but although McDonald’s—the largest fast food company in the world—operates in 101 countries,  relatively little is known about its marketing techniques in different continents, the researchers say.

Read more here