• Apples and cherries are the two most severely affected fruits by the retaliatory tariffs implemented on the U.S. by various countries over the course of 2018, according to a new report.

  • At the end of October there was a  strike in Mexico. Mexican avocado producers blocked the roads as they protested against the prices they got for their avocados. "Many growers were unhappy with the prices and they compared the market price of the USA with the orchard’s price of the avocado paid to the growers. There was a big gap between these prices, so these strikes began to demand better prices.

  • U.S. table grape inventories have decreased significantly over recent weeks from their record high and are now in line with what would typically be expected at this time of year.

  • Scientists in the US have engineered tobacco plants that can grow up to 40% larger than normal in field trials.

  • The global economy started 2018 with strong, synchronised growth. But as the year progressed, momentum faded and growth trends diverged. The US economy accelerated, thanks to fiscal stimulus enacted early in the year, while the economies of the Eurozone, the UK, Japan and China began to weaken.

  •  High prices and increasing imports are expected to lead to a slowdown in corn consumption in China in the coming years, according to a new report from Rabobank.

  • McDonald's announced recently that it aims to lessen the use of medically important antibiotics in the cattle supplying its beef. Hurrah for that press release, but farmers and ranchers have an important response for one of their premier vendors: It's already happening in a big way. Just ask the Food and Drug Administration.

  • China approved five genetically modified (GM) crops for import on Tuesday, the first in about 18 months in a move that could boost its overseas grains purchases and ease pressure from the United States to open its markets to more farm goods.

  •  Whole grains stood out among dietary staples as a food that is positive for digestive health, according to a survey from the London-based consultancy New Nutrition Business. Among consumers asked whether various food choices are good or bad for digestive health, 61% said whole grains are good and only 4.5% said whole grains are bad.

  • These should be boom times for Detroit. Unemployment is at a half-century low, gasoline is cheap and auto sales in the U.S. were near record levels last year. Yet American automakers are  closing factories, cutting  shifts and laying off  thousands of workers. The industry is behaving like a recession has arrived. 

  •  China  approved five genetically modified crops for import, a move that could increase overseas grain purchases and ease pressure from the United States, the world’s biggest GM crop producer, to open its markets to more agricultural products, according to a Reutersreport.

  • The global economy started 2018 with strong, synchronized growth. But as the year progressed, momentum faded and growth trends diverged. The US economy accelerated, thanks to fiscal stimulus enacted early in the year, while the economies of the Eurozone, the UK, Japan and China began to weaken.

  • The South African table grape industry has been enjoying better growing conditions this year with higher water availability and good crops expected in most regions, but an industry representative has said conditions so far have been “tough” in the country’s leading markets.

  • South Africa is the most popular hunting destination on the continent. The wealth of species on offer, the wide range of hunting experiences, overall affordability and fantastic infrastructure all contribute to a world-class African hunting destination.

  • John, Maurice and Douglass Steiger, the father and sons who built the first Steiger articulated 4wd tractor more than 60 years ago, have been inducted into the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ Hall of Fame, the North American organisation’s acknowledgement of contributions made to the development of productive agriculture through engineering advancement.

  • Last summer, the heat kept many parts of Europe in its grip. The persistent summer temperatures had a direct impact on the potato harvest. Lower yields were reported in Northern European countries, but how is the situation now? Will there be an early end to the North European season?

  • Wine or water? This is the choice that many of the world’s winemakers are currently facing as our most well-loved wine regions across the globe shrivel with heat and drought.

  • Water is a precious resource so improving its use is essential. Adopting proven sustainable agricultural practices reduces water use per bushel. Research, innovation, and access to improved technologies, seeds, and improved irrigation techniques are essential to increasing the efficiency of water use. Agriculture needs to be part of watershed management.

  • From the Ford Ranger to Ram and GM's HD trucks, these pickups will be a big deal

  • Reinet Meyer is the senior inspector at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the provincial city of Bloemfontein, located in the central grasslands of South Africa. In April, she received a tip: Two adult lions had been held for two days without food or water in tiny transport crates on a farm called Wag ‘n Bietjie (“Wait a While” in Afrikaans) about 20 miles outside the city.


Farming Diary

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