Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 343
Posted on: July 25th, 2017


This week’s quote of the week comes from Kevin Bellamy, Rabobank’s Global Strategist for Dairy, highlighting the giants of the dairy industry as they recover from two years of significant downturn and their forecasts heading into next year.

“As we look forward into the next year, we will see organic growth return, with growing milk supply in the north-eastern US (a JV between Dairy Farmers of America, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Foremost Farms, and Glanbia to construct and operate a new cheese and whey production facility, with Glanbia taking a 50% stake). We will also see growth from acquisitions with increased M&A. At the same time, mitigation of risk is likely to become a major driver for events, as companies will consider their position in the light of future risks caused by Brexit, potential and announced changes to trade agreements, and further changes to environmental and food safety regulations around the globe.”


Mr King, who was in charge of Sainsbury’s for a decade until 2014, said: “One can say very clearly what the direction will be: higher prices, less choice, and poorer quality, because all of those dimensions have been improved by these open trading relationships that we’ve had over the last 40 years.

“Brexit, almost in whatever version it is, will introduce friction, it will introduce barriers.
“That makes it less efficient, which means all three of those benefits, price, quality, and choice, go backwards.”

The EU guarantees free trade across the continent, which Mr King said has driven up standards and allowed shoppers to by out-of-season vegetables all year round.

A report published by Grant Thornton on Monday said Brexit could be ‘hugely disruptive’ to the industry. “A number of companies noted that even if they were not directly affected, their supply chain could be negatively impacted,” the report said.

But manufacturing boss and Leave campaigner John Mills believes the EU keeps prices artificially high for the shopper.

“Food prices inside the EU vary from food product to food product, but the average is something like 20% higher than they are in the rest of the world – so there is very substantial scope for food prices coming down if we switch sources of supply outside the EU.
“The reason why food prices are higher inside the EU is because they have got tariffs which keep the prices up,” he said.
“It’s not anything to do with quality, it’s due to the institutional arrangements which means the food prices are kept much higher to increase farmers’ incomes.”

But some British farmers told the BBC of their fears following the Brexit vote, claiming a bad deal could drive them out of business.
John Davies, a livestock farmer from Powys in Wales, said: “I’m really scared of imports, produced to completely different standards with hormones, you know, feedlot beef, you know.

“We’re based on green and pleasant land, high environmental standards. We really are proud of that.”
Jacob Anthony, a 24-year-old fifth generation beef and sheep farmer who runs a 700-acre farm in Bridgend, Wales, voted to leave the EU.

“I’m a young farmer and I’m looking to the future,” he said. “I think a lot of us in the industry were not happy with the way the sector was going and I thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for realistic change.”


The new study of how nutritional interventions can alter the risk for skin cancers appeared online in the journal Scientific Reports.

It found that male mice fed a diet of 10 percent tomato powder daily for 35 weeks, then exposed to ultraviolet light, experienced, on average, a 50 percent decrease in skin cancer tumors compared to mice that ate no dehydrated tomato.

The theory behind the relationship between tomatoes and cancer is that dietary carotenoids, the pigmenting compounds that give tomatoes their color, may protect skin against UV light damage, said Jessica Cooperstone, co-author of the study and a research scientist in the Department of Food Science and Technology in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State.

There were no significant differences in tumor number for the female mice in the study. Previous research has shown that male mice develop tumors earlier after UV exposure and that their tumors are more numerous, larger and more aggressive.

“What works in men may not always work equally well in women and vice versa.”

Previous human clinical trials suggest that eating tomato paste over time can dampen sunburns, perhaps thanks to carotenoids from the plants that are deposited in the skin of humans after eating, and may be able to protect against UV light damage, Cooperstone said.

In the new study, the Ohio State researchers found that only male mice fed dehydrated red tomatoes had reductions in tumor growth. Those fed diets with tangerine tomatoes, which have been shown to be higher in bioavailable lycopene in previous research, had fewer tumors than the control group, but the difference was not statistically significant.

Cooperstone is currently researching tomato compounds other than lycopene that may impart health benefits.

Non-melanoma skin cancers are the most common of all cancers, with more new cases — 5.4 million in 2012 — each year than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined, according to the American Cancer Society.

Despite a low mortality rate, these cancers are costly, disfiguring, and their rates are increasing, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Alternative methods for systemic protection, possibly through nutritional interventions to modulate risk for skin-related diseases, could provide a significant benefit,” Cooperstone said.

“Foods are not drugs, but they can possibly, over the lifetime of consumption, alter the development of certain diseases,” she said.



This week’s chart of the week comes ProFarmer over surging wheat prices on the back of concerns over parts of the US wheat crop, with commodity analyst Angus Thornton stating that “In North, South Dakota and Montana, the condition of the wheat crop is the worst it has been in since the late 1980s.’





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