• Fears last year over the prospects of the U.S. table grape market during and after the transition to Southern Hemisphere supplies have resulted in what is described by Chilean exporters as a supply shortage.

  • Things are not looking good for the U.S. farm economy.

  • The US used to be the top soybean supplier for China, but the trade war has dried up the flow of soybeans from the US to China.
  • Bayer is set to face a second US jury over allegations that its popular glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup causes cancer, six months after the company’s share price was rocked by a $289m verdict in a California state court.

  •  Today, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) and PG Economics, Ltd. released new studies highlighting the continued social, environmental and economic benefits of the global adoption of biotechnology in agriculture.

  • Both the United States and China have suffered more damage from the trade war than expected, Blu Putnam, CME Group chief economist and managing director, said at the opening session of INTL FCStone’s annual Global Markets Outlook conference.

  • The US and China have for the past three months been locked in discussions about how to overcome a trade dispute that has slowed Chinese economic growth and seen the US-China trade balance slump to a record low last year.

  • The Food and Drug Administration lifted an import restriction that allowed AquaBounty, a biotech company with facilities in Canada and Panama, to start raising genetically engineered (GMO) salmon eggs in America, effectively clearing the way for the country’s first GMO seafood—and first commercially raised GMO animal—to come to market

  • Before the first harvest robot drives through the greenhouses, millions of cucumbers will still be manually picked. However, robots are already working in packing and sorting. Beltech is one of the companies focused on the development of a harvest robot, but the company has already delivered a packing robot as well.

  • Last year, a few days before Christmas, Gail Fuller drove me out to the middle of a wind-whipped field just north of Emporia, Kansas.

  • The debate on land reform has not translated well in the US and investors are looking for more transparency from the South African government that it will not hurt the economy, says US deputy secretary of state John Sullivan.

  •  Japan’s compound and mixed feed production is staying strong, reaching its highest level since 2012-13, as livestock levels hold steady.

  • TROPICAL FORESTS GLOBALLY are being lost at a rate of 61,000 square miles a year. And despite conservation efforts, the global rate of loss is accelerating. In 2016, it reached a 15-year high, with 114,000 square miles cleared.

  • Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa, spoke about the challenges and triumphs of SA’s citrus industry at the recent Citrus Summit.

  •  Massive flooding in the Midwestern U.S. is wreaking havoc on stored grain as well as storage structures, and its likely the area of damage will expand.

  • South Africa Farming and Agriculture-  May 2021 

  • March 2019 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided further evidence that the world will have fairly large maize, soybean, and rice supplies in the 2018/19 season. Meanwhile, wheat production could decline from levels seen in the 2017/18 season.

  • US consumers would run out of avocados in three weeks if Donald Trump makes good on his threat to close down the US–Mexico border.

    Trump said on Friday that there was a “very good likelihood” he would close the border this week if Mexico did not stop immigrants from reaching the United States.

    'We're one community': border cities fear Trump's crackdown

    But a complete shutdown would disrupt millions of legal border crossings in addition to asylum seekers, as well as billions of dollars in trade, about $137bn of which is in food imports.

    From the avocados on avocado toast, to the limes and tequila in margaritas, the US is heavily reliant on Mexican imports of fruit, vegetables and alcohol to meet consumer demand.

    Nearly half of all imported US vegetables and 40% of imported fruit are grown in Mexico, according to the latest data from the United States Department of Agriculture.

    Avocados would run out in three weeks if imports from Mexico were stopped, said Steve Barnard, president and chief executive of Mission Produce, the largest distributor and grower of avocados in the world.

    “You couldn’t pick a worse time of year because Mexico supplies virtually 100% of the avocados in the US right now. California is just starting and they have a very small crop, but they’re not relevant right now and won’t be for another month or so,” said Barnard.

    Monica Ganley, principal at Quarterra, a consultancy specializing in Latin American agricultural issues and trade, said that a border closure would inevitably hit consumers.

    “We’re absolutely going to see higher prices. This is a very real and very relevant concern for American consumers.”

    The US and Mexico trade about $1.7bn in goods daily, according to the US Chamber of Commerce, which said closing the border would be “an unmitigated economic debacle” that would threaten 5m American jobs.

    The effects of a shutdown would run both ways.

    Mexico is the largest importer of US exports of refined fuels like diesel and gasoline, some of which moves by rail. It is unclear if rail terminals would be affected by closures.

    Mexico's avocado army: how one city stood up to the drug cartels

    As changing palates have increased demand for fresh produce, and a greater variety of it, the United States has increasingly come to depend on Mexico to meet that need.

    Imports have nearly tripled since 1999. In that period, Mexico has gone from supplying less than a third of imported produce to 44% today.

    In addition to avocados, the majority of imported tomatoes, cucumbers, blackberries and raspberries come from Mexico. While there are other producers of these goods globally, opening those trade channels would take time, said Ganley.

  • Coffee exporters in one of the world’s top producers are facing losses as they struggle to get their hands on beans, with weak prices dissuading farmers from selling.

  • Every year in the United States alone, a serious and dangerous repeat offender in the world of food poisoning sickens 1,600 people and kills 260 more, often from just a handful of outbreaks. The culprit? Listeria.


Farming Diary

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