Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 381

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

The quote for this week is taken from a speech by UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Director-General José Graziano da Silva to make the first World Bee Day. The official ceremony was held in Slovenia, the birthplace of Anton Janša in 1734 who is cited as the father of modern apiculture. Graziano da Silva had the following to say:

“Each one of us has an individual responsibility towards protecting bees and we should all make pollinator-friendly choices. Even growing flowers at home to feed bees contributes to this effort. Through agroecology, FAO seeks to optimize the interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment. Innovations are needed and they must be based on the co-creation of knowledge, combining science with local knowledge and experiences, as a social process.”

AUSTRALIAN WOOL SOARS TO ‘UNTHINKABLE’ HIGHS AS IT CLOSES IN ON $20 A KILOGRAM

“Australia’s woolgrowers are about to hit a milestone many thought was unthinkable even a few years ago, with prices set to…

Read More

Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 380

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

The quote for this week is taken from an interview with Wang Zhong, chief consultant with China-based Systematic, Strategic & Soft Consulting Company. He was discussing the greater degree of scrutiny that US imports, including agricultural ones such as apples, were subject to at Chinese ports. This in the wake of the ongoing trade tension between China and the US.

“It is a kind of invisible trade war, which will give China more bargaining power in negotiations ”

Zhong further pointed out that agricultural produce is often targeted by the Chinese government in dealing with bilateral relations as there are scientific standards that must be met and can delay the release of such goods.

AUSTRALIAN BEEF EXPORTERS DECLARE WAR ON CHINESE COUNTERFEITERS

“Top Australian beef brands are facing a substitution onslaught from counterfeiters in China, with the latest encryption technology enlisted in the fight to stop fakes.

Commercial trials are underway in Australia to inject edible nanoparticles into cuts and sides of export meat…

Read More

Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 379

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

The quote for this week comes from the Australian Meat Industry Council’s (AMIC) chairman, Lachie Hart. He was discussing the future of live exports. While AMIC does not support the banning of live exports, Hart had the following to say, if such a ban was to go forward:

“If the Government is prepared to support the manufacturing industry in Australia, support us in training our labour, to get labour into our plants, we certainly have the capacity and the ability to handle the live export trade volumes.”

Essentially suggesting that there could be a transition from live export to the export of Australian slaughtered and processed animals to traditional trading partners but that significant government support would be required.

MEDIAN VALUE OF AUSTRALIAN FARMLAND GREW BY 7 PERCENT IN THE LAST FINANCIAL YEAR

“Nationally, the median price of farmland grew by 7.1 per cent last financial year, according to a report by Rural Bank, a subsidiary of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.

Australia’s most expensive farming…

Read More

Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 378

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

This week’s quote is from Vytenis Andriukaitis, a member of the EU Commission in charge of health and food safety. He was commenting on the recent vote in favour of widening the ban on neonicotinoids (a type of pesticide) found to be harmful to bees:

“Bee health remains of paramount importance for me since it concerns biodiversity, food production and the environment.”

The reaction to the vote has been mixed as industry groups suggest the move could impact crop outputs especially for sugar beet and wheat production. Further, pesticide makers are currently awaiting a court ruling on a case brought against the EU in response to an earlier banning of certain pesticides.

MULTI-BILLION-DOLLAR POTENTIAL FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S CARBON FARMING INDUSTRY

“A new carbon farming pilot project across the Southern Rangelands could signal the start of a new multi-billion-dollar industry for Western Australian pastoralists. This week the State Government gave approvals for WA pastoralists to participate in the Commonwealth’s $2.55 billion Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) and…

Read More

Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 377

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

This week’s quote is from Dr Karen Beauchemin, a beef researcher with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. She was discussing a collaborative project between Canadian and Australian researchers to determine which cattle feed supplements would reduce methane output while not affecting the quality and profitability of cattle in beef and dairy production.

“We need to know how feed affects methane production, but we also need to know how it affects other aspects of the farm operation, like daily gains in animals, milk production, and feed efficiency. Farmers want to help the environment, and they need to know what the trade-offs will be, which is why we took a holistic approach looking at the overall impacts.”

The study found that 3-nitrooxypropanol (3NOP) could potentially inhibit methane production while reducing feed costs.

HOW TO SAVE AUSTRALIA’S REMAINING FARMLAND AS DEMAND FOR HOUSING CONTINUES

Only 10 per cent of the continent is arable and much of that land on the coastal fringe is being swallowed up as state governments…

Read More

Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 376

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

This week’s quote is from Kym Anderson, a professor of economics at the University of Adelaide and the executive director of the university’s Wine Economics Research Centre. In response to a statement released on 1 April China expanded its list of agricultural products to be tariffed, he had the following to say:

“If U.S. wines are subjected to higher tariffs when imported into China, that would have a direct benefit to other suppliers into that rapidly growing market, especially France and Australia — the two largest suppliers of premium wines to China.”

The tariffs form part of a retaliation by China against the USA’s implementation of tariffs that appear to be directly targeting China given that Mexico, Canada and the EU (among others) were exempted. If China does implement the proposed 15% tariff, Chinese consumers would have to pay almost 68% tax on US wine.

QUEENSLAND CATTLEMEN EMBRACE DRONES FOR HERDING

“Having switched from horseback to a motorbike years ago, cattleman Ashley Kirk is set…

Read More

Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 375

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

This week’s quote is from Kym Anderson, a professor of economics at the University of Adelaide and the executive director of the university’s Wine Economics Research Centre. In response to a statement released on 1 April China expanded its list of agricultural products to be tariffed, he had the following to say:

“If U.S. wines are subjected to higher tariffs when imported into China, that would have a direct benefit to other suppliers into that rapidly growing market, especially France and Australia — the two largest suppliers of premium wines to China.”

The tariffs form part of a retaliation by China against the USA’s implementation of tariffs that appear to be directly targeting China given that Mexico, Canada and the EU (among others) were exempted. If China does implement the proposed 15% tariff, Chinese consumers would have to pay almost 68% tax on US wine.

QUEENSLAND CATTLEMEN EMBRACE DRONES FOR HERDING

“Having switched from horseback to a motorbike years ago, cattleman Ashley Kirk is set…

Read More

Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 374

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

The quote for this week is taken Professor Salah Sukkarieh, professor of robotics and intelligent systems at the University of Sydney, speaking at the Sydney Royal Easter Show:

“Ten years ago there was the assumption that there was no way that robotics would work on a farm — in a very small space of time there’s been a complete refocus and an attention on how robotics can be used on a farm and the farmers are really looking forward to the technology.”

This highlights the integration of advanced technology with primary production and becomes increasingly relevant as agricultural labour becomes scarce, volatility in climate increases and pressure of a growing population make the role of farmers ever more important.

CITRUS ORCHARD AND VINEYARD VALUES DOUBLE ON CHINESE DEMAND

“Citrus orchards and commercial vineyards are selling at almost double the prices of two and three years ago, as growers enjoy bumper profits driven by demand from export markets especially China, according to a new rural outlook report from…

Read More

Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 373

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

The quote for this week is taken from a report published by the University of California (cited in the Australian Financial Review), the research paper’s lead author Tapan Pathak said the following:

“The agricultural community recognises the changes we are experiencing and impacts we may face. It is important to engage agricultural stakeholders in climate adaptation discussions, understanding their needs, what they may already be doing to adapt, and any barriers to climate change adaptations.”

The paper focuses on California but the underlying thesis is that there is an ongoing need for scientists and agriculturalists to collaborate if meaningful solutions and progress is to be made for current and future challenges.

RAISIN SHORTAGE LEADS TO PRICE RISE

Britain – the world’s biggest importer of dried fruit – has seen the price of raisins and sultanas rise by 42% since September, leading suppliers have said. They blame falling numbers of raisins in California for pushing up prices.

Jara Zicha, a market analyst in the…

Read More

Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 372

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

The quote for this week is taken from The Bloomberg Commodity Outlook – March 2018, when looking at sector performance the report stated the following:

“Agriculture, the major sector left behind in the two-year commodity recovery, is finally catching up. It’s still prone to similar rally failures of the past five years, though we find differences this time. The potential paradigm shift in U.S. grain production favoring soybeans and allocating more corn to ethanol production than animal feed has established a longer-term price bottom. Representing the majority of agriculture, the grains (led by soybean meal and wheat) top 2018 commodity returns through February.”

AUSTRALIAN BLOCKCHAIN START-UP SECURES INVESTMENT

“Square Peg Capital has invested in Australian blockchain start-up, AgriDigital, in a $5.5 million Series A funding round it said would help expansion plans into North America.

In the global grain industry, provenance and traceability has proved problematic but blockchain can be used to establish a fact at a given point in time by storing a digitised representation of a…

Read More