• Livestock farmers and others interested in beef cattle farming can get free advice from experts at the annual Beef Cattle Information Day on Friday 12 October 2018 at Agri-Expo Livestock at Sandringham outside Stellenbosch.

  • A new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) highlights the multiple contributions made by the global livestock sector, especially to the lives of millions of poor, animal-dependent small-scale producers in developing countries. 

  • Longtime beef vet outlines mounting pressures of antibiotics use and what producers can expect.

  • Beef: Grazing conditions improved over most parts of the Free State, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and KZN after receiving good rainfall over December and January. Namibia and Botswana also received very good rainfall the past weeks and need to start rebuilding their depleted herds as well. This will also lower the immediate supply of not only breeder cattle into SA, which will be supportive for local beef prices. The FMD outbreak is still not completely under control. The national ban of auctions continues to place producer cash flows under pressure. The demand for weaner calves is low at the feedlots due to the uncertainty the latest FMD outbreak has caused.

    Mutton:  According to Santam Agri’s weather report, some sporadic rainfall occurred over some parts of the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape. Drought conditions still persist in the regions, because the very hot day temperatures caused high evaporative demand. Natural grazing and pasture conditions in the large sheep producing areas continues to deteriorate.

    Pork: The local pork prices traded lower this week due to subdued demand. This week was a flat week, consumer demand for red meat was low across the board. The average porker price is 1.0% lower at R27.11/kg, while the average baconer price declined by 1.7% to R25.79/kg. The average cutters prices were 1.7% lower at R26.38/kg and the average heavy price was 0.4% lower at R25.14/kg. The sausage price was 0.3% lower at R20.01/kg. Feed prices are the largest cost component in piggeries. The improved rainfall during the planting of maize and soybean crop increased the business confidence amongst our maize and soybean producers. We expect that the hectares planted will improve (compared to estimates a month ago), supporting lower production costs.

    Poultry: Local poultry prices and uptake was flat this week. Prices are expected to find support because poultry remains a cheaper protein source compared to beef and mutton. Seasonally January is a period of lower poultry prices, with poultry prices following the downward trend in beef and mutton prices. Prices are expected to pick up towards March.

    Hides: The current average hide price is R1.42/skin. The current price is 2.9% higher than prices were a month ago and the current hide price is 64.1% lower than prices were a year ago. The local market remains under pressure. Global slaughter continues at a good rate, with global hide stocks also rising. Locally week on week prices were supported by the re-opening of the automotive plants and lower slaughter numbers.

    Prices in the international beef market traded mostly negative this week. The price of topside, rump and brisket decreased by 2.9%, 4.7% and 0.4% respectively week on week. The price of striploin remained unchanged and the price of chuck increased by 4.7% week on week. Tight livestock inventories in Australia will drive beef production down. Strong global demand will continue to support cattle prices in 2020.

    Week on week, beef prices were mixed in the different classes. The average Class A price remained unchanged at R45.01/kg and Class C prices moved 0.5% higher to R39.30/kg week on week. Grazing conditions improved over most parts of the Free State, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and KZN after receiving good rainfall over December and January. Namibia and Botswana also received very good rainfall the past weeks and need to start rebuilding their depleted herds as well. This will also lower the immediate supply of not only breeder cattle into SA, which will be supportive for local beef prices. The FMD outbreak is still not completely under control. The national ban of auctions continues to place producer cash flows under pressure. The demand for weaner calves is low at the feedlots due to the uncertainty the latest FMD outbreak has caused.

    Strong demand will be the main factor in the global beef market in 2020, while beef production is expected to experience slow growth. Locally, the closure of all auctions in South Africa amid the latest FMD outbreak continues to cause uncertainty and puts producers under strain. Local beef prices is expected to follow a downward trend after the December period based on seasonal trends.

    Sheep meat market trends

    International sheep meat market

    Outlook

    This week, lamb and mutton prices traded negatively when compared to the previous week. The national average Class A carcass lamb prices decreased by 6.0% to R72.41/kg and the average Class C carcass prices decreased by 1.8% to R52.52/kg. The price of merino skins was down by 2.1% from R46.67/skin  to R45.71/skin this week. The Dorper skin price was down by 18.0% week on week at R28.69/skin. Compared to a year ago the price of dorper skins is 11.1% higher and the price of merino skins is 26.29% lower. According to Santam Agri’s weather report, some sporadic rainfall occurred over some parts of the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape. Drought conditions still persist in the regions, because the very hot day temperatures caused high evaporative demand. Natural grazing and pasture conditions in the large sheep producing areas continues to deteriorate.

    The international price of lambs and ewes decreased by 6.8% and  6.2% respectively week on week. The price of mutton ribs increased by 5.0% week on week while the price of mutton shoulders remained unchanged week on week. Hot and very dry conditions continues to put pressure on grazing conditions in Australia. This combined with the Christmas shutdown added pressure on sheep slaughter prices. The market expects more declines in the coming weeks. There is currently a large decrease in Chinese lamb buying.

    Looking forward, the reduced sheep flock and strong demand from China is likely to keep lamb prices supported in 2020. Locally, lamb and mutton prices remain subdued due to the availability of cheaper protein alternatives. Local mutton/lamb prices are expected to decline  which is normal in January following a high-demand and consuming festive season.

    Local pork market

    Outlook

    The international pork market traded mixed this week with the US pork carcass price and loin price lower by 1.3% and 2.5% respectively. The US rib prices and US ham price higher by 0.9% and 2.5% respectively week on week. The import parity for pork ribs increased by 1.9% and  the import parity of ham increased by 3.0% week on week. In the EU, pork production are set to rise in 2020, driven by export opportunities. In China, ASF still dominates the outlook, Rabobank expects a decline in pork production in 2020. Pork production in North America is expected to rise above all other meat types.

    The local pork prices traded lower this week due to subdued demand. This week was a flat week, consumer demand for red meat was low across the board. The average porker price is 1.0% lower at R27.11/kg, while the average baconer price declined by 1.7% to R25.79/kg. The average cutters prices were 1.7% lower at R26.38/kg and the average heavy price was 0.4% lower at R25.14/kg. The sausage price was 0.3% lower at R20.01/kg. Feed prices are the largest cost component in piggeries. The improved rainfall during the planting of maize and soybean crop increased the business confidence amongst our maize and soybean producers. We expect that the hectares planted will improve ( compared to estimates a month ago), supporting lower production costs.

    Outlook

    The international pork market traded mixed this week with the US pork carcass price and loin price lower by 1.3% and 2.5% respectively. The US rib prices and US ham price higher by 0.9% and 2.5% respectively week on week. The import parity for pork ribs increased by 1.9% and  the import parity of ham increased by 3.0% week on week. In the EU, pork production are set to rise in 2020, driven by export opportunities. In China, ASF still dominates the outlook, Rabobank expects a decline in pork production in 2020. Pork production in North America is expected to rise above all other meat types.

    The local pork prices traded lower this week due to subdued demand. This week was a flat week, consumer demand for red meat was low across the board. The average porker price is 1.0% lower at R27.11/kg, while the average baconer price declined by 1.7% to R25.79/kg. The average cutters prices were 1.7% lower at R26.38/kg and the average heavy price was 0.4% lower at R25.14/kg. The sausage price was 0.3% lower at R20.01/kg. Feed prices are the largest cost component in piggeries. The improved rainfall during the planting of maize and soybean crop increased the business confidence amongst our maize and soybean producers. We expect that the hectares planted will improve ( compared to estimates a month ago), supporting lower production costs.

    The USDA in its Quarterly Hog's and Pigs report estimates the Sep-Nov 2019 pig herd higher than the same period in 2018, which will be supportive of a higher slaughter and production rate in the first half of 2020. Given the high prices in China in 2019 it is expected that the EU, Brazil and Canada will increase pork shipments to China in 2020. Locally, prices are expected to follow a sideways to downward trend from January. It is normal behaviour for consumers to focus on other financial obligations such as school after a season (festive holidays) of high meat demand and consumption.

    Outlook

    The international poultry price traded mostly higher this week. The price of US whole birds increased by 1.1% week on week. The price of fresh MDM increased by 2.3% and the price of frozen MDM increased by 1.0% week on week. Compared to a year ago the price of US whole birds and US chicken breasts are lower by 11.9%  and 15.2% respectively. The price of US leg quarters increased by 0.7% and the price of EU leg quarters increased by 3.7% week on week. Compared to a year ago the price of US leg quarters are 8.7% higher and the price of EU leg quarters are 24% higher. The trade issues between the EU and Brazil is still an on-going concern, and is likely to carry-on for the 1st half of 2022. Global breast meat prices is expected to remain under pressure in 2020, because Europe is the only western market that’s open to breast meat imports and changes are needed in Brazil’s animal health monitoring systems.

    The average poultry prices were negative this past week. The average price for frozen birds declined by 4.0% to R25.78/kg, the average prices for fresh whole birds also declined by 4.0% to R27.227/kg and IQF poultry prices were down by 4.1%  to R23.00kg week on week. Poultry industry players do not anticipate any increases in the next few weeks. Feed prices are the largest cost component in the intensive livestock production such as broiler units. The improved rainfall during the planting of maize and soybean crop increased the business confidence amongst our maize and soybean producers.  We expect that the hectares planted will improve.

    For January 2020,  broiler prices are forecasted lowered due to higher production estimates adding downward pressure on markets. The USDA's January report forecasts a larger broiler production driven by continued expansion of laying flock in the US. Some "wildcards" could have an effect on markets such as Brexit. Local poultry prices and uptake was flat this week. Prices are expected to find support because poultry remains a cheaper protein source compared to beef and mutton. Seasonally January is a period of lower poultry prices, with poultry prices following the downward trend in beef and mutton prices. Prices are expected to pick up towards March.

    Outlook

    The current average hide price is R1.42/skin, this is 2.9% higher than last week’s price of R1.38/skin.

    The current price is 2.9% higher than prices were a month ago and the current hide price is 64.1% lower than prices were a year ago. The local market remains under pressure. Global slaughter continues at a good rate, with global hide stocks also rising. Locally week on week prices were supported by the re-opening of the automotive plants and lower slaughter numbers.

    NB* Hide prices are determined as the average of the RMAA (Red Meat Abattoir Association) prices and prices of independent companies.

    Notes on data used

    Beef carcass prices: Class A: Weaner or A grade (0-18 months, Milk Teeth).  Class C: (48 – 50 months, 8 Teeth). (Source: Red Meat Abattoir Association; beef carcass prices are a week delayed).  Live weaner calf prices:  Weaner (200-250kg) Average live weaner calf prices (Excluding VAT) at auctions and feedlot in the Northern Free State and auctions in the Central Free State (Bloemfontein) in the current week.  AMIE carcass import parity price; wholesale delivered price of beef trimmings 80VL (Excluding VAT) (Source: Association of Meat Importers & Exporters; prices are a week delayed) Beef trimmings are pieces of meat remaining after steaks, roasts, and other cuts are removed. Beef trimmings are very often used to make ground beef. VL: Visual Lean

    Sheep carcass prices: Class A: lamb or A grade (0-12 months, Milk Teeth).  Class C: (28 – 48 months, 8 Teeth). (Source: Red Meat Abattoir Association; sheep carcass prices are a week delayed).  Feeder lamb (27-41kg) Average live feeder lamb prices (Excluding VAT) at auctions and feedlot in the Northern Free State and auctions in the Central Free State (Bloemfontein) in the current week. Dorper Skins:  Price per skin (Source: Red Meat Abattoir Association; Dorper skin prices are a week delayed). Slaughter numbers: The total number of sheep (all grades) slaughtered in the week (Source: Red Meat Abattoir Association; slaughter numbers are a week behind). AMIE carcass import parity price for mutton ribs and shoulders: wholesale delivered price of mutton ribs and shoulders (Excluding VAT) (Source: Association of Meat Importers & Exporters; prices are a week delayed)

    Pork carcass prices: Porker: Average price for porker pigs (weighing 20-55.99kg) across the fat thickness levels (PORCUS) Baconer: Average price for baconer pigs (weighing 6579.99kg) across the fat thickness levels (PORCUS). (Source: Red Meat Abattoir Association; pork carcass prices are a week delayed). Fat thickness level (PORCUS): P: <12mm, O: 13-17mm, R: 18-22mm, C: 23-27mm, U: 28-32mm, S: >32mm. Slaughter numbers: The total number of pigs (all grades) slaughtered in the week (Source: Red Meat Abattoir Association; slaughter numbers are a week behind). AMIE loin import parity price: wholesale delivered price of pork loins (Excluding VAT) (Source: Association of Meat Importers & Exporters; prices are a week delayed)

  • South Africa’s agricultural sector has had two consecutive years of strong growth, with expansion in all subsectors, i.e., livestock, field crops and horticulture. This year will be a break from the 2020 and 2021 strong performance. We expect the sector’s gross value added to fall by roughly 3-5% year on year given the high base from 2021. The overall field crops harvest will likely be lower than the previous season, although some crops such as soybeans and sunflower seed promise a large harvest. But this will not be the only source of potential contraction in the sector. The livestock sector, which accounts for roughly half of the sector’s gross value added, continues to face numerous challenges. First, the generally higher grains and oilseed prices, a key feed ingredient, have presented increased cost pressures to livestock and poultry farmers since 2020. For example, yellow maize prices were up by 38% year on year on 23 June 2022, trading at R4 357 per tonne.

     While the farmers were somewhat able to manage the rising feed costs in the past two years, the current season has presented new challenges: a vast outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease as well as continued occurrences of swine flu and avian influenza outbreaks. South Africa has had 91 foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks in previously disease-free zones. The disease has for the first time in history spread outside the demarcated foot-and-mouth disease zone and is now active in five provinces, namely, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, North West, Gauteng and Free State. While the outbreak does not necessarily mean a wide slaughtering of cattle for farmers and has now, encouragingly, been quarantined in various sites or farms, the economic impact still cuts deep. The impact on livestock auctions is huge. Moreover, bans by many countries on exports of South Africa’s livestock products constrain the growth of the sector and harm the potential for black farmers to reap the benefits from an increasingly export-oriented livestock sector. South Africa’s beef industry is aggressively building its export activity, with exports having grown nearly seven-folds over the past two decades, reaching 54 334 tonnes in 2021 (see Exhibit 1 in the attached file). But we are still not able to export our top-quality beef products to the USA, UK and EU markets where the returns will be much higher than exporting to the Middle East and other smaller markets.

     The frequent outbreak of the foot-and-mouth disease risks reversing or slowing the export drive that the beef industry has embarked on. Weaker exports could also translate to softer domestic beef prices at a time when the feed costs – grains and oilseeds – are elevated. This ultimately adds financial strain on farmers. The financial pressure is not limited to the cattle industry but also to sheep, goats, pigs and poultry. For instance, China has temporarily suspended imports of South Africa’s wool for roughly three months due to the foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks. China is a significant market, accounting for roughly 70% of South Africa’s wool exports. The current export ban has a broad negative financial impact on the wool industry and the communities that rely on the industry.

     Livestock is also one of the subsectors with the deep involvement of farmers from the former homelands’ regions of South Africa. For example, the National Agricultural Marketing Council estimates suggest that black farmers account for 18%, 13% and 34% of wool, mohair, and cattle production, respectively. The accuracy of these data is debatable, but the point here is that a sizable share of agricultural output by black farmers is affected by these financial pressures. We highlight this data to note that these new entrant farmers might not have financial buffers to carry them through in a tough livestock market, as we already hear from established commercial farmers about these financial pressures.

     Keeping in mind the focus of the Agriculture and Agro-processing Master Plan on inclusive growth and employment creation in the agricultural sector, efficient prevention and management of animal diseases and maintenance of animal health is critical. Government has a critical role to play here and the legislative, budgetary and coordinating tasks of public veterinary services and animal health services are absolutely vital in protecting our national livestock herd and enabling the growth that the sector desperately needs.

     The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development established an Animal Biosecurity Task Team, which we understand completed its task with crucial recommendations for improving the current challenges. The report should be made public, and its recommendations implemented urgently. This could provide a platform for effective collaboration between the private sector and the government in placing measures in place to curb the spread of diseases and improve the health of all sectors of the livestock sector.

     Importantly, for key markets for the wool industry such as China, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development should actively engage the Chinese authorities to resume exports, as we believe there was the framework for engagement from the previous episodes of this nature of outbreaks. The engagement is crucial as China has slowly opened its economy from the tough lockdowns. Our government should move with speed on its engagement. In the case of rising feed costs, the potential rains will be a saving grace that natural grazing veld will continue recovering well and assist the livestock, to an extent.

     Overall, South Africa’s agricultural sector faces numerous challenges, which range from network industry, and broad policy matters such as a need for increased export markets. But in the near term, resolving the constraints above facing the livestock industry would bring a slight relief.

     

    Weekly highlights

     

    South Africa’s consumer food price inflation accelerated in May

     We are in a period of elevated prices, and food is at the core of these increases. For example, in May, South Africa’s consumer food price inflation accelerated to 7,8% y/y, from 6,3% in the previous month. This is the quickest pace since March 2017. The increase was broad base on all food products in the inflation basket. This largely mirrors the uptick we have been seeing in the global agricultural commodity prices, and indeed the domestic market.

     Importantly, we are now also starting to see the spillover the Russia-Ukraine war had on agricultural commodity prices transmitted into retail food prices. In fact, for the grain-related and vegetable oils products, we will likely see a continuous mild uptick in the coming month or two, which could push up mildly the headline food consumer price inflation number further. Since the Russia-Ukraine war began and disrupted the global grains market, the global agricultural commodity prices have increased significantly, with the FAO's Global Food Price Index in May averaging 157 points, which is up 22% y/y, coming from a record high seen in March.

     The disruption in the palm oil market, and indeed the entire vegetable oils market, the ban on wheat exports by India, and the expected lower wheat harvest in the 2022/23 production season are added upside risks that could sustain prices at higher levels. We, however, don’t see potential further increases in the global agricultural commodity prices, but that prices could hover at current elevated levels for some time. South Africa, which is interlined with global agricultural markets, has also experienced increased agricultural commodity prices. The result of these developments is the recent uptick in the cereals, and oil and fat products prices in the consumer food price inflation basket. These could remain elevated, in line with our expectations of agricultural commodity prices.

     Nevertheless, we still think the outlook on food product prices will remain mixed, despite the recent broad increase in product prices. In the case of fruits and vegetables, South Africa has a sizable harvest and the disruption in fruit exports within the Black Sea region could add downward pressure on domestic prices; Therefore, we hold a generally favourable view of these product price directions for the coming months.

     The one essential product whose price trend remains uncertain is meat. The recent outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease have led to the temporary closure of some key export markets for the red meat industry, thus potentially adding downward pressure on prices. Still, this will be dependent on the cattle and sheep slaughtering activity, which for now remains robust, with 197 712 head of cattle slaughtered in April 2022 (-2% y/y), and 318 155 head of sheep slaughtered in the same month (-10% y/y). Conversely, there are fears of a potential increase in poultry product prices, which could lessen the benefit of softer red meat prices.

     Overall, various factors in the food market will likely push in opposing directions in the coming months. Thus, we believe that South Africa's consumer food price inflation could average just above 6,0% y/y in 2022 (from 6,5% in 2021). The base effects, along with meat, fruits and vegetables, will likely provide a constructive price inflation path ahead. With that said, the next month or two will likely show elevated consumer food price inflation, with moderation in much of the second half of the year.        

      

    Data releases this week

     We start the week with a global focus, where, today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will publish its weekly US Crop Progress The planting activity has been completed, and thus we now focus on the crop-growing conditions. In the previous release, in the week of 19 June 2022, about 70% of the maize crop was rated good/excellent, compared with 65% in the corresponding week in 2021. Moreover, about 68% of the soybean crop was rated good/excellent, compared with 60% in the same week last year. On Thursday, the USDA will release the US Weekly Export Sales data.

     On the domestic front, on Tuesday, the Crop Estimates Committee will release its fifth summer crop production estimates. We don’t expect any major adjustments from the current estimates, aside from a marginal uptick in the soybeans harvest estimates.

     On Wednesday, SAGIS will release the maize Weekly Producer Deliveries data for the week of 24 June 2022. This data will help us get insight into the progress of the maize harvest activity. In the previous release of the week of 17 June, 2,7 million tonnes of maize had already been delivered to commercial silos, out of the expected harvest of 14,7 million tonnes. Moreover, the soybean harvesting process is nearly complete. In the week of 17 June 2022, about 1,9 million tonnes had already been delivered to commercial silos. The data for 24 June 2022 will likely show additional small volumes of deliveries. In terms of sunflower seed, in the week of 17 June 2022, about 594 236 tonnes had already been delivered, against an expected harvest of 963 000 tonnes (second largest on record).

     On Thursday, SAGIS will publish the Weekly Grain Trade data for the week of 24 June 2022. In the previous release on 17 June 2022, which was the seventh week of South Africa's 2022/23 maize marketing year, the weekly exports amounted to 99 019 tonnes. The key markets were Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Southern Africa region. This brought the total 2022/23 exports to 563 796 tonnes out of the seasonal export forecast of 3,2 million tonnes. This is slightly down from 4,1 million tonnes in the past season due to an expected reduction in the harvest.

     South Africa is a net importer of wheat, and 17 June was the 38th week of the 2021/22 marketing year. The total imports are now at 1,17 million tonnes out of the seasonal import forecast of 1,48 million tonnes (slightly below the 2020/21 marketing year imports of 1,51 million tonnes because of a large domestic harvest). About 25% is from Argentina, 23% from Lithuania, 18% from Brazil, 14% from Australia, 13% from Poland, 4% from Latvia and 3% from the US.

     If one looks into South Africa’s wheat imports data for the past five years, Russia was one of the major wheat suppliers, accounting for an average share of 26% a year. This has now been replaced by the above-mentioned suppliers.

     Also on Thursday, Statistics South Africa will release the Producer Price Index (PPI) data for May 2022.     

  • Yellow and white maize prices and soybean prices have increased significantly in the past two months. This is in line with industry expectations, the Rand drooped tremendously in the past 2 months which supporting maize exports, hence supporting prices. The harvesting pressures that were weighing on prices have subsided as we now in the new planting phase.

  • Cows born without horns or pigs that never reach puberty? These scenarios could become a reality soon thanks to new gene-editing tools.
    A company wants to alter farm animals by adding and subtracting genetic traits in a lab.

  • Yellow and white maize prices and soybean prices have increased significantly in the past two months. This is in line with industry expectations, the Rand drooped tremendously in the past 2 months which supporting maize exports, hence supporting prices.

  • The total poultry imports from Brazil are estimated at R3,2 billion for 2017. During the first 10 months of 2018 Brazilian imports already exceeded R2,9 billion.

    The expected imports for 2018 can be estimated at R3,6 billion. From the world, South Africa imported until October an estimated R5,14 billion broiler meat products. The total imports from the world for 2018 are estimated at R6,2 billion. Keep in mind that the average exchange rate for the Rand to the $ were R13.32 in 2017 and R13.16 in 2018. The import value of poultry products increased by 20% year on year. The profitability of local poultry production is challenged by the increased competitive imports from the world. South African exports of poultry declined year on year by 16,3%. The impact of imports on the poultry industry and the consequent substitution of local production impacts also on other industries such as the grain and oilseeds industry. Growth in the domestic market for locally produced feedstock such as maize and soybean are impacted negatively as well.

    Highlights

    South African poultry imports increased by 20% year on year. The value of poultry imports is estimated at R6,2 billion for 2018. The Poultry Association applied for an adjustment in the import tariff to protect the local industry from cheaper imports.

    Livestock

    The combination of the unusual increase in supply by primary producers of cattle to meet cash flow needs and the seasonal increase of supply by feedlots at abattoirs to meet demand during the festive season weigh on local beef prices.

    The tightening supply in Australia and a strong export demand will support mutton prices in 2019

    At current prices US pork producers will be producing pork at break-even levels during Q1 in 2019. Producers will incur losses with further declines in pork prices.

    ABSA AGRI TRENDS- Wessel Lemmer. 

  • Recycling or taking the bus rather than driving to work has its place, but scientists are increasingly pointing to a deeper lifestyle change that would be the single biggest way to help the planet: eating far less meat.

  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been framed as one of the biggest threats to humanity in the 21st century. By 2050, more humans could die because of AMR than cancer. 

  • Heifer and beef cow slaughter levels have surged over the last year. USDA-NASS Livestock Slaughter report places total heifer slaughter under federal inspection up 7.3% above last year in data through October 2018.

  • The late rainfall during the planting window of maize threatens to limit the output of the crop in the 2019/20 marketing year.

  • Proponents of herbal medicine also known as alternative medicine are rooting for adoption of herbal formulations in managing and curing livestock diseases arguing that they are cheaper and readily available than the conventional ones.

  • A survey released last week by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) confirms what many around the country already fear: the poor rains in the first half of the season and their inconsistency in the second have driven away farmers from the fields, blighted crops and left livestock teetering on the brink.

  • We cannot expand the Earth boundaries. Our natural resources are finite. But every day there are more people on the planet, and how to feed them all remains a number one issue.

  • Among the highest food safety standards in the world. A stringent risk assessment. A ready-availability of affordable fish, meat, milk and eggs. The lowest burden of foodborne illness in the world. 

  • It's not often you hear people refer to "livestock farming" and "climate change" in a positive context. And even less so among tech entrepreneurs, as increasing numbers look to create meat-free, alternative food products with the hope of reducing the impact of the meat industry on the environment.

  • The US beef market was mixed this week with both positive and negative shifts in market prices, the US beef carcass equivalent declined by 1.7% week-onweek.

  • Since 2000, the area of land dedicated for livestock pasture around the world has declined by 1.4 million square kilometers (540,500 square miles) — an area about the size of Peru.