December 22, 2010

A Review of Sustainable Agriculture






ISBN: 978-90-481-2665-1

Sustainable agriculture is a collection of review articles that look at current agricultural issues and knowledge and then make proposals for alternative solutions. This publication was released in 2009, and was edited by E. Lichtfuse, M. Navarrete, P. Debaeke, S. Veronique and C. Alberola.

This publication is split into seven sections with each reviewing a specific subject.

Chapter one, looks at climate change, and reviews soils and sustainable agriculture, also food sufficiency and soils.  Other subjects covered in section one are denitrification at sub zero temperatures in arable soils, re-thinking the conservations of carbon, water and soil. The influence of land use on carbon and erosion in Mexico.

Chapter two reviews articles on genetically modified organisms, pharmaceutical crops in California also the benefits and risks. Coexistence of genetically modified, (GM) and non-GM crops in the European Union (EU). The agro-environmental effects due to altered cultivation practices with GM crops mainly herbicide tolerant oilseed rape.

Chapter three reviews biodiversity: ecology and diversity of Bdellovibrio and similar organisms, also their dynamics in predator-prey interactions. Description of a strategy based on population and model strain studies, progress in mechanisms of mutual effect between plants and the environment. Biodiversity function and assessment in agricultural regions, mixing plant species in cropping systems.

 Chapter four reviews alternative controls for weed management and sustainable pest management. It also looks at the role of nutrients in controlling the plant disease in sustainable agriculture. Another area it reviews was to do with crop protection, managing habitats with integrated farming methods and the use of grass strips to limit surface water mixing with pesticides.

Chapter five and six deal with alternative fertilisation, using recycled bio-solids and new farming systems to help develop agriculture in developing countries. Looking at different models of sustainability.

Chapter seven reviews the pollutants in agro-systems, from cadmium in soils and cereal grains after the application of sewage-sludge, and the storage of pollutants in soils. It also covers the results of the EU project Aqua: Terra. Looking at the effects of metal toxicity on plant growth and metabolism.
 
While reviewing this publication, I found it to be a well-presented and well-written document with a lot more information contained than I had expected. I believe it would be a great source of material for scientists, professors, farmers and politicians as well as the decision makers within the agricultural environment.


This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Agriculture income up in Europe by 12.3 percent

EU27 real agricultural income per worker has increased by 12.3 percent in 2010, following a decrease of 10.7 percent in 2009, according to first estimates issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. This increase results from a rise in real agricultural income (+9.9 percent), together with a fall in agricultural labour input (-2.2 percent).

These estimates for the EU27 are based on data supplied by the national authorities in the member states. Between 2005 and 2010, EU27 real agricultural income per worker is estimated to have increased by 10.0 percent, while agricultural labour input has fallen by 12.7 percent. The increase in EU27 real agricultural income in 2010 is mainly the result of a rise in the value of agricultural output at producer prices in real terms (+4.3 percent), while input costs in real terms grew (+0.8 percent).

The fall in the real value of subsidies net of taxes (-1.2 percent) and the slight rise in depreciation in real terms (+0.4 percent) have a marginal impact. Real agricultural income per worker in 2010 is estimated to have risen in 21 member states and to have fallen in six. The highest rises are expected in Denmark (+54.8 percent), Estonia (+48.8 percent), Ireland (+39.1 percent), the Netherlands (+32.0 percent), France (+31.4 percent), Latvia (+25.5 percent), Belgium (+24.1 percent), Bulgaria (+23.0 percent) and Germany (+22.8 percent), and the largest falls in Romania and the United Kingdom (both -8.2 percent), Greece (-4.3 percent) and Italy(-3.3 percent). Read more...


This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.












Enhanced by Zemanta

Fertilizer prices on the rise

If you didn't get around to nailing down your fertilizer needs for the 2011 crop, or if you've changed your mind on your plantings for next year, get ready for a little sticker shock. Between static global inventories for some fertilizer types, increased demand for more acres worldwide and higher crop and input prices across the board, fertilizer prices are headed one direction right now, according to University of Nebraska Extension soils specialist Gary Hergert.

Nitrogen as urea ranges between US$400 and US$520 per ton, according to Hergert, with some projections pointing to that market moving as high as US$580/ton by spring. That's "approaching prices paid a couple of years ago," Hergert adds. Ammonia prices, which are topping out around US$750/ton right now, will likely move to as high as US$780/ton by spring. "World demand for fertilizer has recovered from the recession," Hergert says. "Shut-downs of ammonia plants in Trinidad, Venezuela and Russia recently tightened ammonia supply and kept prices increasing."

Dry phosphorous, right now ranging from US$640 to US $710/ton, could top out at US$760/ton in the spring, while liquid phosphorous (10-34-0) could pass the US$650-per-ton mark in a few months. The highest potash prices in the Corn Belt right now are around US$600/ton, but could be as high as US$730/ton by spring, Hergert says. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Research report on China's grain industry - 2010-2012

In China, grain generally refers to 4 crops, namely rice, wheat, corn and soybean. The three major types of grain in China are rice, wheat and corn.

In 2009, the yield of grain in China was about 520-530 million tons, increasing slightly over 2008. In recent years, the grain yield in China has been steady while the price has been inclined to rise. At the beginning of 2009, northern production areas of wheat suffered serious drought and the stricken areas went beyond 23 million acres. In 2010, such natural disasters as drought reduced the yield of grain in parts of China. It is predicted that in 2010 the yield of grain in China will decrease over 2009, and the grain prices in China will continue rising in 2011-2012.

The policies of cancelling agricultural taxes issued by the Chinese government and dispensing subvention in recent years are favourable to the grain production. However, the shift of rural workforce to cities and high prices of chemical fertilizers and pesticides which made peasants felt that farming was unprofitable, kept China's grain production from a rapid increase. There are at least 5,000 local grain processing enterprises in China. Meanwhile, many international grain processing tycoons, including ABCD (i.e. the top 4 tycoons), have entered Chinese market. As a result, the competition of China's grain market has been increasingly fierce. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

Enhanced by Zemanta

December 21, 2010

Global organic farming study launched in Denmark

Denmark's Aarhus University has embarked on an extensive research project to determine whether organic farming is sustainable in developing countries and in a world that is increasingly urbanized. The overall aim of the project is to clarify to what extent and under which conditions organic farming can reduce local and global negative environmental effects and concurrently improve the standard of living for small farmers.

The leader of the project is John Hermansen from the Department of Agroecology and Environment at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences. The project is being carried out in collaboration with University of Copenhagen and the Danish Institute for International Studies.

Organic farming has positive environmental and health effects, but it is more expensive than industrial farming and may not be applicable in all societies. The study aims to clarify many of these issues, such as land use, financing and production quantities. In recent years Egypt, Brazil and China have witnessed considerable urban growth, and with it has come an explosion of need for locally produced organic products.

This has favoured large volume and chain operations to the detriment of individual farmers who have limited resources and produce fewer products. Brazil gives wide support to organic farming, including support for research and development, while China has focused more on ways to quickly feed the earth's largest national population and export grains and other products. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Organic Farming Research Foundation Calls for Action To Limit GE Contamination Risk

The Organic Farming Research Foundation Board of Directors today called for strong federal policies to prevent genetically engineered (GE) crops from contaminating organic foods. The foundation said the widespread planting of GE crops increases contamination risks, which threatens the livelihood of organic and other farmers who choose not to use GE technologies.

Organic regulations prohibit the use of GE material in crops and processed foods certified as organic. "It is a matter of fairness," said OFRF Board President Deirdre Birmingham. "The uncontrolled spread of GE pollen and seed is unfairly threatening to put American organic farmers out of production. Organic family farmers demand the right to farm free from GE contamination and loss of their organic markets due to GE contamination."

The foundation issued a nine-point statement of principles  urging the federal government to take firm, clear, and preventative steps to ensure the viability and continued growth of organic agriculture.  Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.
Enhanced by Zemanta

No-till, rotation can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farm fields

Using no-till and corn-soybean rotation practices in farm fields can significantly reduce field emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide, according to a Purdue University study. Tony Vyn, a professor of agronomy, found that no-till reduces nitrous oxide emissions by 57 percent over chisel tilling, which mixes crop residue into surface soil, and 40 percent over moldboard tilling, which completely inverts soil as well as the majority of surface residue. Chisel plowing is the most widely used form of tilling before planting corn in Indiana, he said.

"There was a dramatic reduction simply because of the no-till," said Vyn, whose findings were published in the Soil Science Society of America Journal. "We think the soil disturbance and residue placement impacts of chisel plowing and moldboard plowing modify the soil physical and microbial environments such that more nitrous oxide is created and released." During early season nitrogen fertilizer applications on corn, no-till may actually reduce nitrous oxide emissions from other forms of nitrogen present in, or resulting from, that fertilizer.

During early season nitrogen fertilizer applications on corn, no-till may actually reduce nitrous oxide emissions from other forms of nitrogen present in, or resulting from, that fertilizer. Nitrous oxide is the third-most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere but, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has about 310 times more heat-trapping power than carbon dioxide in part because of its 120-year lifespan. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.




Major snow in the US northern Corn Belt

What an incredibly snowy winter it has been for much of southern Minnesota...and today marks the beginning of the official winter! Another six inches of snow at Rochester yesterday gave that location nearly 38 inches so far this month, making it the most snowfall December ever and also their snow month ever recorded. That snow was part of a swatch of snow stretching from northwestern North Dakota (where nearly a foot of snow was recorded at Williston) southeast into northern parts of Illinois and northwestern Indiana (a lot of 2 to 4 inch amounts recorded in northern Illinois).

Of course, most everyone has some travel plans for later this week heading up to the Christmas holiday on Saturday, but be aware that it will be a rough go of it in a large part of the Midwest for later Thursday and into Friday. There are still some big model differences on the track of the storm, but my thoughts right now is that especially central and southern parts of the Midwest will see significant snow (at least four inches) in that period and some places may get close to a foot. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

December 20, 2010

Biotech leading to higher-yielding hybrid rice

BASF Plant Science and Bayer CropScience announced a long-term collaboration agreement to improve rice productivity through plant biotechnology. The companies aim to develop and commercialize hybrid rice seeds with traits enabling yield advances of 10 percent or more over conventional hybrid rice seeds. In this global, non-exclusive agreement, BASF Plant Science licenses yield-increasing technologies to Bayer CropScience for commercialization in Bayer CropScience’s Arize hybrid rice. The agreement encompasses all major rice growing geographies, with first products expected to be launched by 2020.

Within the scope of the agreement, BASF Plant Science is responsible for the research and development activities leading to the selection of higher-yielding rice traits, and for obtaining the regulatory approvals needed for commercialization. Bayer CropScience will integrate these higher-yielding traits into leading Arize rice hybrids. The companies will communicate and work closely with key rice stakeholders as the products near commercialization. The final products will be brought to farmers by Bayer CropScience. Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed.

”We are very happy to announce Bayer CropScience as our first partner in bringing higher yielding rice to farmers around the world,” said Marc Ehrhardt, Senior Vice President at BASF Plant Science. “BASF has a great portfolio of superior yield enhancing and stress tolerance genes that we have already screened in rice plants. With Bayer CropScience, we now have a partner with a strong market position and long-term experience on our side.” Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.
Enhanced by Zemanta

USDA announces final environmental impact statement for genetically engineered Alfalfa

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of the final environmental impact statement (EIS) that evaluates the potential environmental effects of deregulating alfalfa genetically engineered (GE) to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, which is known commercially as Roundup. This GE alfalfa is commonly referred to as Roundup Ready (RR) alfalfa.

"Our goal with the EIS, first and foremost, is to recognize and consider the many concerns that we have heard from all segments of agriculture," said Secretary Vilsack. "We are equally committed to finding solutions that support not only the developers and users of biotechnology products, but growers who rely on purity in the non-genetically engineered seed supply."

USDA considered three alternatives during the preparation of the final EIS: 1) to maintain the RR alfalfa's status as a regulated article; 2) to deregulate RR alfalfa; or 3) to deregulate RR alfalfa with geographic restrictions and isolation distances for the production of RR alfalfa. USDA has thoroughly analyzed the potential environmental impacts of the proposed alternatives and has listed two preferred options: deregulation as one option and the other deregulation accompanied by a combination of isolation distances and geographic restrictions on the production of GE alfalfa seed and, in some locations, hay. Read more...


This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

Enhanced by Zemanta

New bee vision database useful for food security and more

A Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)-funded Ph.D. student at Queen Mary, University of London has been involved in developing FReD - the Floral Reflectance Database - which holds data on what colours flowers appear to be to bees. This resource may be useful for scientists in a variety of fields and not least those looking at the important role bees play in pollinating food crops - an area of research that will contribute to future food security.

BBSRC-funded Ph.D. student Sarah Arnold said: "We have created a database in which the colours of flowers are indexed from this vitally important pollinator's point of view." Knowing how bees see colours gives us a better idea of which flower colours are the most successful at attracting bees to pollinate them. In the past, records of flower colours did not take the visual systems of pollinator insects into account. Bees - for example - have evolved completely different colour detection mechanisms to humans and can see colours outside our own capabilities in the ultra-violet range. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Pathogenic Attacks on Host Plants Examined

Two Kansas State University researchers focusing on rice genetics are providing a better understanding of how pathogens take over a plant's nutrients.Their research provides insight into ways of reducing crop losses or developing new avenues for medicinal research.

Frank White, professor of plant pathology, and Ginny Antony, postdoctoral fellow in plant pathology, are co-authors, in partnership with researchers at three other institutions, of an article in a recent issue of the journal Nature. The article, "Sugar transporters for inter-cellular exchange and nutrition of pathogens," was led by Li-Qing Chen from the department of plant biology in the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University.

The project involves the identification a family of sugar transporters, called SWEETS, which transport glucose between plant cells. These transporters are also important because they are targeted by pathogens trying to obtain plant sugar for nutrition. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

Enhanced by Zemanta

December 17, 2010

Conservation Stewardship Program (CPS) benefits forage growers

A federal program that pays farmers to farm environmentally smart. That’s what the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), now in its second year of funding, is, says Harlan Anderson, a Cokato, MN, grower who signed up for the 2010 program. “This program is designed to reward and support and encourage the people who are farming right and encourage them to do more of it right,” says Anderson.

“CSP is Congress’s attempt to bridge the way that we pay farmers with production payments. Instead of paying based on the number of acres that they plant of the seven crops (approved for deficiency payments), or the number of bushels that they grow of those crops, Congress is investigating if we could pay farmers based on the conservation that they apply to the land,” Flynn say. The reason? The U.S. would then be on par with other countries interested in world trade that have agreed not to subsidize production, he says. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

Enhanced by Zemanta

OSHA failed to check collapsed silo

The Tyson feed mill, where a grain silo collapse last week killed one worker, had not been visited by federal inspectors in almost two decades, according to documents from the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Federal safety regulators had not conducted an inspection since 1991 at a southwest Arkansas grain silo that collapsed and killed a Tyson Foods Inc. worker last week, according to documents from the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The federal agency, which oversees safety at private and federal workplaces in Arkansas and other states, is investigating the cause of the Nashville, Ark., silo collapse, said OSHA spokesman Juan Rodriguez. The mill has about 30 employees, and OSHA spokesman Juan Rodriguez told the Texarkana Gazette newspaper that its inspectors usually don't schedule visits to sites with fewer than 40 workers. The federal agency is investigating the cause of the collapse. Tyson closed its Nashville feed mill after the accident so other structures at the site could be inspected. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Organic AA complexes improve vitamin stability in premixes

Researchers at the University of Minnesota studied the effect of metal specific amino acid complexes and inorganic trace minerals on vitamin stability in premixes. Stability of vitamin activity in a swine premix containing metal specific amino acid complexes, inorganic trace minerals, or no trace minerals was evaluated over a 120-day storage period. Two vitamin-trace mineral premixes containing either metal specific amino acid complexes or inorganic trace mineral sources were formulated to contain 200 percent of NRC (1988) sow requirements for I, Cu, Zn, Mn, Fe, and Se based on a 5g/kg dietary inclusion rate.

The vitamin premix and the two vitamin-trace mineral premixes were formulated to contain the same level of vitamins. Vitamin levels exceeded NRC (1988) and were chosen to represent “typical” industry levels based on an informal survey of vitamin levels in commercial premixes in the USA.
Premixes were stored in an environmentally controlled feed storage room and samples were collected every month to determine vitamin activity. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.
Enhanced by Zemanta

The US grain market waits and watches

The grain market is taking a wait and see approach, with the market teetering below resistance marks at the old highs in wheat, corn, and soybeans.  That's the good news for bears, as the market has yet to push though the old resistance levels and it starting to look like it is having trouble moving through them.

However, the market has also been able to hold recent gains, hanging on on charts to recent gains on what could be a recovery in an otherwise bear market.  But we are hanging on too long, helping charts to form a pendant or flag formation on charts, a bullish technical formation.  For typically markets break out to the upside in pennant (wheat) or flag (corn and soybeans) formations, with the market usually making significant gains after this formation.  That makes a strong case for the bulls, which seems particularly strong for wheat bull traders due to the long time that wheat has formed its pennant formation (since last summers highs on weekly charts).  That suggests a breakout to the upside is possible, a unlikely development just a few weeks ago when corn, soybeans, and wheat all broke sharply following the Nov. 9 report. 

It's interesting that this should be the case, and although US exports are projected sharply higher for 2010, still we have a projected carryout of over 800 million bushels of wheat - higher even than projected corn carryout.  It spite of all the world production and quality problems, the US is still forecast to have over 800 million bushels of milling quality wheat leftover from last year (which virtually every bushel of US grain was milling quality in 2010). Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.
Enhanced by Zemanta

December 16, 2010

Swiss develop better digestible GM-free soybean

Recently, researchers at Agroscope Changins-W├Ądenswil ACW in Switzerland have, through conventional breeding methods, developed new soybean varieties with a lower trypsin inhibitor level. This approach is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than the industrial processes in which the inhibitor is destroyed by heating.

Soy is an important source of vegetable protein in animal feed. The soy bean contains between 40 percent and 50 percent protein and about 20 percent oil. Main proteins are glycinin and conglycinin. These include a well-balanced content of essential amino acids. Without the inhibitors from soybeans, the digestive enzymes trypsin and chymotrypsin, which are rich in methionine and cysteine, are decomposed in the digestive tract into amino acids that are useful to the animal. Therefore it makes sense to take away the inhibitors from the animal feed ban. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers





Enhanced by Zemanta

Water challenges no longer just in Western U.S.

Water scarcity in the Western U.S. has long been an issue of concern. Now, a team of researchers studying freshwater sustainability in the U.S. have found that the Southeast, with the exception of Florida, does not have enough water capacity to meet its own needs.

Twenty-five years ago, environmentalist Marc Reisner published Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, which predicted that water resources in the West would be unable to support the growing demand of cities, agriculture and industry. A paper co-authored by a University of Georgia researcher and just published in a special issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences offers new support for most of Reisner’s conclusions, using data and methods unavailable to him in 1986.

In order for water supply to be considered sustainable, the researchers calculated that no more than 40 percent of freshwater resources can be appropriated for human use, to ensure that streamflow variability, navigation, recreation and ecosystem use are accommodated. They also determined how much water a region would need to meet all its municipal, agricultural and industrial needs—its virtual water footprint. The VWF includes the water needed if a region were to grow enough food to support its own population. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.
Enhanced by Zemanta

USDA announces assistance to farmers for natural disaster losses

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the sign-up period for the 2009 crop year Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program begins on January 10, 2011. SURE is one of five disaster programs included in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 that provides assistance to farmers and ranchers who have suffered losses due to natural disasters.

"This program provides a tremendous amount of assistance to producers who have suffered from natural disasters, and is part of the 'safety net' designed to assist farmers and ranchers who feed America and the world," Vilsack said. "USDA encourages producers who suffered losses during the 2009 crop year to visit their local FSA office to learn more about the SURE program." Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

Enhanced by Zemanta

December 15, 2010

A review - Global Food and Agricultural Institutions

  
ISBN 978-0-415-44504-7

This is the thirty-first volume in the dynamic series on 'global institutions', written by D. John Shaw. He has been involved with and worked for the United Nations World Food Program. He was there at the beginning in 1963, he has also been a consultant with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and currently he is on the International Editorial Board of the Journal of Food Policy.

Chapter one looks at the background of the current poverty and hunger in the world, it also covers the global crises related to the spread of genetically modified (GM) crops, and dramatic increases in food and oil prices. He also covers the issues of global warming and globalization that is exacerbating the poverty and hunger in the world today.

In chapter two he covers the origins of the four United Nation organisations the FAO, World Bank, WFP and IFAD that are concerned with food and agriculture. Charting their beginnings from 1941 with the speech of Franklin D. Roosevelt gave at the joint session of the US Congress.

In chapter three, he looks at the mandates, governance starting with the four UN bodies. He also covers the financing arrangement of each of the four global food and agricultural institution in turn. Looking at how each has their own arrangement for managing their operations.

Chapter four looks at the policies, programs and projects of each of the four institutions. Instead, an attempt is made to provide a broad sweep of the activities undertaken with a concentration of what are regarded as their key activities.

The finale chapter looks at the future directions that the four UN institutes might take, in the meantime, many significant changes have taken place in the world in which they operate.

An interesting book not for everyone, but a remarkable book full of good solid information and certainly a good tool, this book is essential reading for all academics, students and anyone with an interest in international organisations, agricultural development and economic and humanitarian affairs.




This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Climate change will affect agriculture

Climate change will affect agriculture over the next 30 to 50 years and will require scientists and farmers to develop new systems to adapt to more variable weather patterns. Jerry Hatfield, Laboratory Director and USDA-ARS Supervisory Plant Physiologist at Ames, Iowa, said more extremes in weather, including drought, heat and excessive rainfall, will increase production risk.

He said variability in temperature and precipitation has affected agriculture since the early 1900s. In some cases, higher temperatures have increased yields. “But that also increased variability,” he said. Cotton and corn yields have increased significantly over the past century. A big part of the increase results from better cotton varieties and transgenics and improved corn hybrids.

Precipitation will change, as well.  He said the United States as a whole experiences extremely variable rates of precipitation. “Since 1901 some areas have gotten drier and some have become wetter.” The Southwest falls into the drier category, as does the Southeast. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.




Enhanced by Zemanta

US grain council recognises India potential and challenges

The US Grains Council’s latest look at India illustrates both the long-term export potential and the constraints on grain sales. “A middle class of 100 million that is growing in size and income represents a huge future demand for meat, milk and eggs,” said Erick Erickson, USGC special assistant for planning, evaluation and projects. India’s agriculture and food systems are responding in significant ways to the country’s economic growth – and over time that may offer opportunities to trade partners.

By becoming a trusted, credible partner, the Council will be in a position to help when the Indian industries are ready to take on the policies that restrict corn imports, and those sectors will be better organized to work together on issues of common interest. “This capacity-building takes time,” Erickson said, noting for comparison that the Council began working in China in 1983, and China is just now becoming a regular importer of corn. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.
Enhanced by Zemanta

GM feed on the rise in Finland

The largest Finnish animal feed producers have avoided genetically modified (GM) raw material in their feed so far, however there is increasing economic pressure to adopt GM produce. Much of the soy used as a basic ingredient of Finnish animal feed comes from South America. Today over 10% of soy beans are genetically modified, with the proportion of altered soy increasing worldwide.

Up to now, the big Finnish feed producers such as Suomen Rehu and Rehuraisio have committed themselves not to use modified Significant amounts of GM soy is already being imported to Finland. With stiffening competition, Rehuaisio CEO Leif Liedes admits that in the long run, the big feed companies can hardly afford to be crusaders for non-genetically modified foods. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

Enhanced by Zemanta

December 14, 2010

GM crops and biotechnology vital to global food security

Agricultural innovation has long sustained the world's masses with an abundance of low-cost food, thanks to the success of the mid-20th century's Green Revolution, which brought industrialization and high-yield grains to India, Mexico and many other developing countries. A prosperous global population however, has blazed the way for burgeoning new mouths to feed that, by 2050, will nearly double food demand. At the same time, farmers face unprecedented challenges of climate change, high oil prices driving demand for biofuels, and rising costs of land and water.

This intention to improve global agricultural productivity and extend food security to Africa is welcomed by former U.S. Department of Agriculture Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics Gale A. Buchanan. And if the president's plan is to have any "real, revolutionary" impact, he said, then it must capitalize on the value of genetically modified (GM) crops. In a November 11 keynote address at Sigma Xi's "Food Safety and Security: Science and Policy" symposium, Buchanan charted out several examples of how GM crops could improve agricultural productivity. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Agriculture faring better than overall economy

The 18-month U.S. “great recession” ended a year ago, according to the federal government. John Penson, Jr, regents professor and Stiles Professor of Agriculture at Texas A&M University, told the 29th Annual Agribusiness Management Conference in Fresno, California, that many economic indicators are worse now than they were when the government declared the recession over in December 2009.

“Things are a little bit better than the last time I was here (a year ago),” Penson told attendees at the conference sponsored by three departments at California State University, Fresno and Bank of America. Fortunately, agriculture is faring considerably better than the rest of the economy. The latest United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) figures project that net farm income will increase this year to US$77.1 billion, the fourth highest level ever. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.
Enhanced by Zemanta

US rice industry aiming for sustainability

At the 2010 USA Rice Outlook Conference panelists participating in a sustainability session presented new research findings on rice industry sustainability. Rice producer Jennifer James, chairman of USA Rice Federation's Sustainability Task Force, presented findings from a new research report that examines rice production's impact since 1987 in five key areas, including land use, soil loss, water and energy use, and climate impact."The results show that rice farmers are producing more with fewer resources," James said.

The study, U.S. Rice Resource Efficiency and Sustainability Metrics, shows that rice production has become increasingly efficient on a national level over a 20-year period, resulting in a 21 percent decrease in land required to produce 100 pounds of rice; a 43 percent decrease in soil loss; a 33 percent reduction in water use; a 52 percent reduction in energy use; and a 29 percent reduction in soil methane per 100 pounds of rice over a 20-year period.

Holdorf announced that Kellogg's is working with the Louisiana State University's Master Farmer Program and Louisiana rice millers to develop an education program to raise awareness about sustainably grown rice. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

December 10, 2010

Press Release: NAMA Members and Industry Friends



Leave the cold behind to join your friends and colleagues in sunny, warm Florida for NAMA’s March 12-15, 2011 Division Meetings. The meetings will be held at the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort & Spa, a family friendly resort and a favorite of the NAMA group.

Each division will meet separately to discuss the issues of importance to their division. Both the oat and soft wheat programs include crop forecasts. All three divisions will join together for a General Session to discuss issues important to the milling industry. We will also join together for our social and networking events, including two receptions, a luau, and our annual golf tournament

The preliminary meeting schedule is posted on NAMA’s web site at http://www.namamillers.org/2011_DM_General_Info.html. Online registration is open. To receive a discounted registration fee, register for the meeting before January 31, 2010.

Plan now for you and your family to take advantage of the Florida sunshine while you get the latest information about the industry issues important to you. Hotel reservations must be made before February 6 to receive discounted room rates.

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Press Release: Mycotoxins2011 at VIV Asia


Following the very successful Mycotoxins2009, this conference will run again as Mycotoxins2011 on Tuesday March 8, 2011 (the day before VIV Asia) in Bangkok Thailand. With over a dozen international experts from 10 different countries this conference has a varied, stimulating and informative programme for anyone involved livestock or animal feed production.

Among the speakers will be Carlos Mallmann from the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria in Brazil who will speak on Brazilian experiences with mycotoxins and Dr Arpad Bata from Hungary who will speak on the biotechnological detoxification of mycotoxins.

Mycotoxins2011 is divided into two halves - in the morning the focus is on monitoring, testing and defining problems and in the afternoon technical people from Olmix, Ayurvet, Trouw, Impextraco, Invivo, Biomin, Special Nutrients, Alltech and Kemin will give short, fact filled presentations on interfacing, science, products and solutions.

Demand for places is expected to be high and attendees are recommended to book early to secure their places (special early bird rates for bookings made and paid for by February 1, 2011). Full programme and booking details can be seen in the conferences section of www.positiveaction.co.uk or obtained from Palm at palmpositive@yahoo.com.

A copy of the programme can be downloaded HERE

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.
Enhanced by Zemanta

A tribute to Jonathan Bradshaw 1953 - 2010

 

It was with heavy heart that GFMT learnt – in mid-September this year - of the untimely death of Jonathan Bradshaw after a long illness. Jonathan was one of GFMT’s key feature writers. This is the first opportunity, as a bi-monthly magazine, we have had to properly recognise his contribution to the milling industry and we are honoured to record this in the pages of the industry’s oldest and foremost milling magazine! Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Organic accreditation could be damaged by GM contamination

No one is too sure how everything will pan out after the possible discovery of genetically modified canola seeds on an organic farm at Kojonup. The farmer, organic organisations, Monsanto and the Department of Agriculture and Food are all still figuring out what they will do. If results prove positive, the organic grower, Steve Marsh's organic certifiers, the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia may withdraw his organic status for the land and crops contaminated.

Chairman of the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia, Jan Denham says there is zero tolerance when dealing with GM contamination. "If there is contamination of land or contamination of product then they will be de-certified. "We are not like Europe we do not have tolerances." When contacted the Department of Agriculture and Food issued a short statement saying they had tested Steve Marsh's property last week to investigate the claims. They say samples have been taken and the results will be made available to Mr March. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

USDA Taking Action to Meet Climate Change Challenges

Calling it "one of the greatest threats facing our planet," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA  is taking action to meet the challenge of climate change. Speaking at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, the Secretary said USDA continues to take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions "by helping farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to be even better conservationists.

Among the steps announced today, Vilsack said USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide US$15 million in Conservation Innovation Grant  funds and other assistance to support large-scale demonstration projects to accelerate the adoption of new approaches to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and promote carbon sequestration on private lands. As part of this, NRCS will provide financial assistance to support eligible producers as they implement conservation practices associated with these selected GHG projects. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change

The Global Crop Diversity Trust has announced a major global search to systematically find, gather, catalogue, use, and save the wild relatives of wheat, rice, beans, potato, barley, lentils, chickpea, and other essential food crops, in order to help protect global food supplies against the imminent threat of climate change, and strengthen future food security.

"All our crops were originally developed from wild species -- that's how farming began," explained Cary Fowler, Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust. "But they were adapted from the plants best suited to the climates of the past. Climate change means we need to go back to the wild to find those relatives of our crops that can thrive in the climates of the future. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

Enhanced by Zemanta

December 09, 2010

Japan Buys 51,210 Tons Wheat

Japan bought 51,210 metric tons of milling wheat from Canada today in the second tender this week as the government accelerated purchases on tightening supply. Japan, Asia’s second-largest importer, has bought 453,924 tons of milling wheat this month, exceeding last month’s total of 429,567 tons. Reduced crop quality in Australia, the fourth- largest exporter, spurred Japan and other buyers of high-protein wheat to seek alternatives from suppliers including the U.S., according to Charlie Utsunomiya, director at the Tokyo office of U.S. Wheat Associates. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.  
Enhanced by Zemanta

Africa can feed itself within a generation

African nations can break dependence on food imports and produce enough to feed a growing population within a generation despite extra strains from climate change, a Harvard University study said. "Africa can feed itself. And it can make the transition from hungry importer to self-sufficiency in a single generation," said an international study led by Harvard University professor Calestous Juma.

About 70 percent of Africans are involved in agriculture but almost 250 million people, or a quarter of the population of the poorest continent, are undernourished.
The number has risen by 100 million since 1990. Juma said the study, "The New Harvest, Agricultural Innovation in Africa," called for more involvement by national leaders in solving problems in sectors such as water, energy, transport, communications and education. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.  
Enhanced by Zemanta

Infrared spectroscopy can help crop rotation

Infrared spectroscopy can quickly spot beneficial fungi on roots in soil, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) soil scientist Francisco Calderon. The ability to quickly analyze field soils for these beneficial fungi, called mycorrhizae, would allow scientists to judge which crop rotations or other farming practices increase mycorrhizal fungi. This is important nationwide to improve crop yields, and especially critical in semi-arid areas like the Central Great Plains.

The scientists measured the reflectance of infrared light from dried, powdered carrot root samples. They found that the cell wall chitin and fatty acids in mychorrhizal fungi have distinct spectral signatures, absorbing infrared at wavelengths different than standard chitin and fatty acid samples and different than non-mychorrhizal root samples. Read more...

This research was published in the Journal of Applied Spectroscopy.


This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.  
Enhanced by Zemanta

December 08, 2010

Scientists in the UK closer to unravelling genetic code for yield in barley

Scientists have identified the genes responsible for visible differences in barley, which could help unravel the genetic code for valuable traits including yield, quality and disease resistance. The group of researchers at NIAB TAG have identified stretches of barley DNA code that control a range of characters, from the eye-catching variations in barley awn-pigmentation to the shape and the structure of the ear, fundamental to differences in yield.

Study leader in NIAB's genetics and breeding research program Donal O'Sullivan added: "By showing that we can use approaches from human genetics and apply them successfully in crops, we will now be able to investigate the natural genetic variation that controls agronomically important traits in barley, as well as other crops. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.  

Enhanced by Zemanta

Morocco grain crop escapes major flood damage

Morocco is the world's tenth biggest importer of grain and its imports fluctuate according to the size of its domestic harvest, which last year was hit by a combination of a shortage of rain and severe flooding. "Floods damaged about 5 percent of wheat growing areas in Gharb. This is nothing compared to last year's catastrophe from the flooding here," said Jilali Benkroun, head of the farmers' association in the Gharb region.

Agriculture Ministry figures showed that for Morocco overall, farmers had increased the area under cereals by 36 percent on last year, and that rainfall was 39 percent higher than the same time in the 2009-10 season. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers


Enhanced by Zemanta

Corn products International to invest US$ 75 -100 million in Brazil

Corn products International a leading provider of ingredient solutions announced that they plan to invest between US$75 to 100 million over the next several years to support growth in its Brazilian business. “The intended investment we are announcing today reaffirms our commitment to growing with and supporting our customers over the long term,” said Ilene Gordon, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Corn Products International.

Corn Products operates six manufacturing facilities and two ingredient development centers in Brazil. Corn products continues to invest in growth opportunities on a global basis, highlighted by the acquisition of National Starch, which added US$1.3 billion of largely value-added sales primarily to the food industry. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Near East in need of agricultural boost

The rapid growth in population, isn’t being matched by growth in agricultural production making the region ever more dependent on food imports.  This trend makes it vital to boost investment in agriculture in the region, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Director-General Jacques Diouf said today.

In a speech to the thirtieth FAO Regional Conference for the Near East, held this year in Khartoum, the Sudan, from Dec. 4-8, Diouf noted that while agricultural yields have improved in some countries in the region, its overall productivity lags behind other world areas. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

A review of The State of Food and Agriculture: biofuels prospects, risk and opportunities


ISBN 978-92-5-105980-7

This report was prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations in June 2008, on the state of food and agriculture of the world. This report looks at the implications of rapid recent growth in the production of biofuels based on agricultural commodities.

The Report comes in two parts.

Chapter one contains the introduction and some key messages, it then goes on to deal with agriculture and energy looking at the opportunities and risks for biofuels. Also covered are the policies and objectives.

Chapter two give a technical overview of biofuels and agriculture. Looking at the different types of biofuel and the types for transport. It also covers the lifecycle of biofuel, and second generation liquid biofuels, and the potential for bioenergy.

Chapter three looks at the economic and policy drivers of liquid biofuels, along with market polices. Policy measures affecting biofuels development the economic cost of biofuels and the viability. Also the underlying objectives of biofuel policies.

Chapter four looks at the policy impacts and biofuels markets, it covers recent biofuel and commodity market development, long term projections and medium term outlook for biofuels. It also covers the impacts of biofuels policies. 

Chapter five deals with the environmental impacts of biofuels and if they will help to mitigate climate change?. It also looks at weather biofuels will cause an effect on water, soil and biodiversity? and if biofuels can be produced on marginal lands? ensuring environmentally sustainable biofuel production.

Chapter six deals with the impact on poverty and food security at national levels and household levels.  It also looks at biofuel crop production as an impetus for agricultural growth and development, and the equity and gender concerns.

Chapter seven covers the policy challenges, such as questions addressed by this report, the framework for better biofuel policies and areas for policy action.

Part two of this report reviews world food and agriculture, looking at agricultural commodities, production and stock trade. Food aid and emergency needs along with the key factors driving future prices.

It also contains a list of tables, and figures with a comprehensive list of references.

This report covers a complex and interesting issue, looking at all aspects of biofuels and the effects on agriculture and the environment. In my opinion a valuable source of information, for anyone interested in biofuels and would be useful to future students studying environmental science as well as a good source material for any teachers, one for the bookshelf.

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.



December 07, 2010

Climate change could reshape crop agriculture

Agricultural producers throughout the corn belt would face warmer average temperatures and precipitation extremes, likely leading farmers to shift to more climate-appropriate crops or management strategies, said Otto Doering. Doering will address climate issues during a talk at the Indiana Certified Crop Adviser Conference on Dec. 14-15 at the Indianapolis Marriott East.

One possible benefit from warmer annual temperatures is the prospect of more farmers growing soybeans and winter wheat in the same crop year. "Double cropping," as it is known, is practiced in Indiana mostly in southern counties because temperatures warm earlier in the spring and remain warm later into the fall. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

Iron Deficiency in Soil Threatens Soybean Production

An expansion of soybean production into areas where soybean has seldom, if ever, been grown can be problematic for some farmers. Soils having high pH values and large amounts of calcium and/or magnesium carbonate are notoriously iron deficient. Iron deficient soils in the North Central United States are estimated to reduce soybean production by 12.5 million bushels every year.

According to John Wiersma a researcher at the University of Minnesota Northwest Research and Outreach Centre at Crookston, his study, plant height, seed number, and grain yield all decreased linearly in response to increasing nitrogen rates for iron inefficient varieties, whereas these responses in iron efficient and moderately efficient varieties changed little as nitrogen rates increased. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

Enhanced by Zemanta

December 06, 2010

Australian milling wheat exports could drop to 3 year low

Milling wheat exports from Australia, the fourth largest shipper, may drop to the lowest levels in three years due to the drought in the west and the rain damage in the eastern states. Shipments of milling-quality wheat, used in bread, pasta and noodles, may decline in 2010-2011 to the lowest level since 2007-2008, when total exports fell to less than 10 million metric tons, Wayne Gordon said, an analyst at Rabobank Group NV in Sydney.

As much as 5 million tons, or 35 percent, of east-coast production may be downgraded to feed quality this year, Commonwealth Bank of Australia analyst Luke Mathews wrote in a report yesterday. The bank estimated total Australian output at 22.3 million tons and exports at 14 million tons. Read more...

 This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

Viterra build more grain storage capacity in South Australia

Viterra announced today that it is to invest AU$3 million in extra storage facilities at Tailem Bend, Port Adelaide and Port Giles to cope with this years record crop. This extra storage is in addition to the 500, 000 tonnes of further capacity, at a cost of AU$6 million, Viterra recently committed to build at Wudinna, Cummins, Roseworthy, Bowmans, Snowtown, Loxton and Port Giles.

Viterra’s Executive Manager Grains Dean McQueen said the company is constantly reviewing the state-wide system to ensure there is the capacity to cope with this year’s crop. “Viterra’s recent investments have increased the network’s capacity by 800,000 tonnes at a cost of approximately $9 million. This increased capacity is in addition to the existing 9.5 million tonnes in Viterra’s storage and handling network,” Mr McQueen said. Read more...


This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

December 03, 2010

Grain harvests devastated by the rains

South Australia’s major grain storage handling company Viterra says the company will be visually assessing and testing malt barley and milling wheat to ensure it is usable and has not shot. Viterra's country operations manager, Andrew Hannon, says there could be a drop in quality this season but it will focus on the volume of grain.

During the last 24 hours Viterra has rolled out a wet weather procedure as to how they will deal with some of the shot grain.  Read more...
 

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers
 

Feed families around the world ADM donates US$ one million

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) announced on December 2, 2010 a donation of US$ one million to the international hunger-relief organisation  Feed the Children. The gift was made through ADM care program and will provide essentials and food to children and families in the United States and around the world.

Since 1993, ADM has partnered with Feed The Children to support those in need. This year, ADM’s holiday donation of US$ one million which includes US$500,000 for Feed The Children's domestic efforts, including the Americans Feeding Americans Caravan, which will provide food and essentials to 200,000 children and families in the U.S. and US$500,000 to help feed 200,000 children in Feed The Children’s international feeding programs during the week of December 20. ADM’s donation will supply more than 1.5 million meals. Read more...


This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers

December 02, 2010

Feed mill funding dispute at K-State

A dispute has arisen about how to pay to remove and build an animal feed mill at Kansas State University (K-State) that has to make way for the proposed National Bio and Agro-defence Facility (NBAF). A member of the Kansas Board of Regents expressed dismay with the Kansas Bioscience Authority for not providing the US$5.4 million that K-State says it needs.

K-State says a decision on funding is needed soon as the NBAF project, a highly sought $451 million federal lab, moves forward. Site preparation for the high-level biosecurity lab is already taking place. Read more...


This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers
 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Japans biggest grain trader to take on world’s largest agricultural commodity traders

Marubeni, Japans biggest grain trader, will take on the world’s largest commodities traders by shipping more crops on the back of strong demand for food in emerging Asia. Marubeni, the sixth largest grain trader in the world, expects to ship 25 million tonnes to customers by 2012 or 2013.

In the past five years Marubeni has doubled its grain shipments, chief executive Teruo Asada has said that that the 25 million tonnes of grain will be up from the 20 million tonnes expected this year. Asada told the Financial Times that Marubeni was better positioned than its U.S. and European rivals to take advantage of new opportunities in Asia, especially China. Read more...

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers

ADM-Benson Quinn to build grain elevator in Tulare SD

New elevator will help local growers meet increased need for crop storage, ADM-Benson Quinn announced that they will be constructing a new grain elevator in Tulare, S.D. The storage capacity of the new elevator will hold more than 2 million bushels and will be used to store corn, soybeans and wheat from local growers. Construction is scheduled to begin at the end of 2010 and is expected to be completed in late 2011.

Scott Nagel President of ADM-Benson Quinn said that ADM is responding to the needs of the growers, farmers have increased crop yields significantly in recent years, and ADM is providing local storage in Tulare that will be convenient. He went on to say that ADM are please to be investing in a community that understands the value of agriculture. Read more...



This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

Enhanced by Zemanta

December 01, 2010

Grain growers look for help

Australian grain growers, are seeking help as the looming crisis facing the nations grain harvest. Rain bands extending from Queensland to Victoria are expected to cause huge damage to the cereal crops across the eastern grain belt. Which could cost the industry hundreds of millions of dollars in milling quality grain.

The New South Wales Farmers Association (NSWFA) said “we have a natural disaster developing at the moment”, Queensland has already had a lot of downgraded grain, this is a cancer creeping south. Mr Hoskinson of the (NSWFA) said growers were worried weather-damaged grain would be sold at "firesale" levels. "There is no buyer obliged to buy weather-damaged grain any more with the demise of the single desk”. But an AWB spokesman said there was no difficulty selling feed grain internationally. Read more...
Enhanced by Zemanta

This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.

A Review OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2010




ISBN  978-92-64-08375-2

A recently published Agricultural Outlook report tells us that while many markets are in slow recovery mode from the worldwide recession, the projections for the future is beginning to look more positive.

The OECD and FAO have come together once again to produce their join annual publication 'Agricultural Outlook 2010' that looks at world agriculture tomorrow based on projections from today. This reports starts from the premise that 2009 saw the world plunged into the worst recession since the 1930s.

This has had a huge impact on the macroeconomic environment affecting many areas of agriculture and commodity markets. For example, prices for oil increased dramatically affecting the poorest regions of the world. It is now estimated that there are more than one billion people in developing countries still suffer starvation.

The world recession now being followed by a slow recovery is moving us towards more sustainable methods of production. It says a two-speed recovery is underway with many OECD countries suffering high levels of unemployment and the larger developing countries showing stronger growth and faster recovery, helping fuel world income growth.

That's the overview. However, when we look at what this latest report says about cereals specifically, we find that there is even more room for optimism.

The report suggests that over the next 10 years prices for the principle cereals are likely to remain unchanged or to slightly decline, but still exceed the levels achieved from 2000-10. The ratio between wheat and maize is likely to fall to 1.1 to 1.2 (down from 1.3-1.6). We are also likely to see an increase in world cereal production in the order of 1.3 percent to reach 2564 million tonnes by 2019. Utilisation is likely to increase also by some 1.4 percent.

An indicator of food security is based on cereal stocks. The OECD says stocks will increase by some 580 million tonnes by 2019, overcoming the low levels of 2006-07 by just over 25 percent or 153 million tonnes, leading to a world stock-to-use ratio improving to 23 percent which is a much more comfortable level and well below that for the first 10 years of 2010.

As for trade, the report tells us that total world trade will exceed 313 million tonnes by 2019. That's up some 50 million tonnes (or 21 percent) from current levels. What is really interesting is that the OECD projects that developing countries will increase their imports by some 2.3 percent per annum to 256 million tonnes. This is maintaining the same rate of increase these countries have experienced since 2000.

The report also shows that world wheat output will increase by 1.1% per annum to 746 million tonnes by 2019 up 90 million tones (14 percent). After several years of fast growth driven by high international market prices it is expected to grow at a slower rate. In OECD countries, the growth rate of wheat is expected to be lower 0.8 percent per year.

However the report indicated that the growth rate for wheat in the Developing countries will be higher, but may not reach more than 1.3 percent per year well below the previous 10 years rate.

The report showed that global cereal production was slightly down on the previous year. The reasons were lower demand for feed grains resulting from limited meat production and a slow expansion in the use of cereals in industrial utilization, that is, maize for the production of ethanol.

This report is a must for anyone with interest in the agricultural community, dealing with many aspects of global farming and economics, along with the predictions for the next decade in the growth of cereal farming, dairy and meat and the changes for both the OECD countries and the developing countries.



This blog is written by Martin Little The Global Miller, published and supported by the GFMT Magazine from Perendale Publishers.









Enhanced by Zemanta