Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 348
Posted on: August 31st, 2017


This week’s quote of the week comes from Dr Theo de Jager, newly elected president of the World Farmers’ Organisation, on the challenges that farmers face in Africa and how he plans to address these.

‘the rest of the world sees Africa’s agriculture in a much more positive light than we do ourselves. Farmers in mainly west and central Africa often have a ‘poor peasant’ mentality. They see themselves as dependent on development aid and are some of the poorest and most food-insecure people in the world. Their concern during discussions is often about obtaining financial support from rich countries, and not necessarily the optimisation of their farms as businesses…But I’m encouraged by the new generation of young farmers in Africa. They want to commercialise, modernise and mechanise, and they are dreaming big.”


Irish milk production is surging ahead of the first six months of last year and is up more than any other country in western Europe.

Figures from the European Commission’s Milk Market Observatory show that Irish milk supplies for the first half of 2017 are up 6.6% on the same time last year and are up 2.7% on a year-on-year basis.

On a 12-month basis, Ireland is the only western EU country to see supplies up, although Italian milk supplies are up 2.8%.

Figures from Fonterra show that New Zealand production in June alone this year was up 21%, compared to June 2016, although it is a slow production time.

For the 12 months to June, milk production was down 1% compared to the same period the previous year, while Australia production in May decreased 3% compared to the same month last year.

Production for the 12 months to May was down 8% compared to the same period last year, with wet conditions in winter and spring heavily impacted volumes.

Figures for the US show that supplies increased 2% compared to the same month last year. Monthly volumes have been increasing at a rate of around 2% for each of the past 12 months. Milk production for the 12 months to June increased by almost 2% compared to the same period the previous year.


IT has the potential to revolutionise agriculture and since its unveiling last year has created a buzz around the world.

The driverless concept vehicle, a cab-less tractor can operate autonomously with a wide range of field implements, made its debut at the US’s biggest agricultural event, Farm Progress, last year.

“The ACV is a glimpse into the future for agriculture and proof of the affect technology is having on our industry,” said Case IH marketing manager Peter McCann.

“It’s the perfect example of the possibilities before us and the fact the next big revolution in agriculture could be just around the corner.”

The tractor was able to demonstrate the available technology and initiate customer feedback on the need for future autonomous products. Case IH global product manager for Advanced Farming Systems, Rob Zemenchik, said “autonomous tractor operations potentially offered producers more control, monitoring capabilities and cost savings through greater efficiencies with tasks such as tillage, planting, spraying and harvesting.’

With operates potentially able to supervise the activities of multiple machines via a tablet or desktop computer while completing other tasks and autonomous tractors could work together on the one task or on multiples tasks simultaneously. The ACV’s onboard system automatically accounts for implement widths and plots the most efficient paths depending on terrain, obstructions and other machines in the vicinity.



This week’s chart of the week comes from Bloomberg’s Swiss Meat is Expensive in Dollars, Cheap in Minutes, where a kilogram of beef in Switzerland will cost you $49.68, around 150% higher than the world average. An unskilled worker needs just 3.1 hours to afford it, compared to Indonesia where unskilled workers have to work for 23.6 hours to purchase the same amount of beef as in Switzerland, despite it costing $9.01/kg.






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