Wed10172018

Last update08:00:00 PM GMT

What is NEW in Agriculture
10 Sep 2018
Argentina has overhauled its export regime for grains, oilseeds and any derivative product on Monday after President Mauricio Macri said he would ask exporters who have benefitted from a collapse in the peso to do more to help the country eliminate its primary fiscal deficit next year. The measure, at current exchange rates, effectively introduces a 10-11% tax on grain exports and increases current export taxes marginally on soybeans, soyoil and soymeal. It also effectively halts the gradual reduction of soybean, soymeal and soyoil taxes that had been planned for 2018 and 2019. In a television address President Mauricio Macri…
03 Sep 2018
Murcia, Spain’s grape-growing region, is expecting exports to reach record levels of around 160,000 metric tons (MT) this season. Last year the region exported 130,000MT, and so this season’s projection would mark a sharp increase. “It’s more volume than in previous seasons. Spain is growing,” said Joaquín Gómez, president of Murcia-based grower’s association Apoexpa. Gómez said the volume rise is due to an increase in plantations, and he added that many growers of other fruits have been converting to grapes. “We are growing around 10% in production every year,” he said. The Spanish table grape season begins mid-June and ends…
27 Aug 2018
At this time of the year in the agricultural markets, the harvest prospects for the northern hemisphere and weather forecasts for the southern hemisphere are typically discussed, as the 2018-19 planting season is fast approaching for the latter. But this time around the typical discussion has been eclipsed by the uncertainty in the global trade environment caused by the trade dispute between the US and China. One of the commodities that has dominated the headlines is soya beans, following the introduction of retaliatory tariffs by China. This is important because the US and China are key players in the market.…
27 Aug 2018
On August 17, Lusaka Times reported that South Africa has placed a ban on the importation of Zambian honey. This is after South African authorities found honey contaminated with a disease called American Foulbrood in one of the consignments from Zambia. The Zambian High Commission in Pretoria expressed disappointment on this action. This is understandable considering that South Africa is the biggest export market for Zambian honey, accounting for nearly a third in the past three years. Aside from the Zambian issues, I was encouraged to learn that South African authorities are keeping a close eye on these food safety…
20 Aug 2018
The ANC opened the door wide for land grabs to occur in South Africa and it will be of such great magnitude that the ANC will not be able to manage it. The announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa late Tuesday evening that the ANC will proceed with the process of amending Section 25 of the Constitution is now apparently creating the impression that land grabs are acceptable. Yesterday morning (Wednesday), one day after President Ramaphosa’s announcement in the media, a farmer form Wesselsbron in the Free State was threatened with land grabs by members of the community. The matter has…
13 Aug 2018
Every Monday, scientists at the University of Pretoria’s biological control facility send small plastic sandwich bags containing a cloudy liquid and more than 6-million microscopic worms, called nematodes to pine plantations all over the country. Since 2007, the South African Sirex Control Programme, a collaboration between academia, government and Forestry South Africa, has reduced Sirex-related pine losses by R404-million, Forestry South Africa says. These tiny creatures are one of the country’s major weapons in the fight against the pine-tree-killing invasive Sirex wasp. South Africa’s forestry industry is worth more than R16 billion, of which pine accounts for about half of…
06 Aug 2018
If you’re farming in the United States, you’ve likely heard two major suggestions for building healthier soils across your operation: reduce tillage and plant cover crops. Reduced tillage is often the easier sell. On average, farmers who switch from continuous conventional till to continuous no-till save more than four gallons of diesel fuel per acre each year. In a very direct way, fuel saved is money saved. The potential economic benefits of cover crops aren’t so immediately obvious, but they’re just as important to consider. Cover crops can and often do lead to annual economic benefits for farmers. How? Weed…
30 Jul 2018
Healthy soil contributes to healthy crops. Farmers know this, so they do what they can to ensure their soil is in good shape. They send samples of their soil for lab testing to find out if it is low in any important nutrients. If it is, they can take steps to improve the health of their soil. These might include adding fertilizers or growing cover crops that feed the soil. One of the essential nutrients for vigorous crop production is nitrogen. Yet most routine tests done in commercial soil testing labs do not measure available nitrogen in the soil. Tests…
23 Jul 2018
Euronext milling wheat futures have surged after an analytical agency slashed its forecasts for the coming French wheat crop to the third-lowest level in a decade. French soft wheat production is to come in at 34.2 million mt, down 6.6% from last year’s figure, Agritel said Friday. It is the latest agency to downgrade its estimate for the coming crop in the EU’s biggest wheat producer and exporter, with some of the hottest and driest weather on record in France paring back yields. Heavy storms during late stage development then caused further damage. Euronext December futures hit their highest level…