Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 359
Posted on: December 20th, 2017



This week’s quote of the week comes from University of Queensland’s Director of Queensland’s Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation Professor Robert Henry, and gene technology as a game-changer for agriculture.

“the next generation of genetically altered foods are here and waiting for regulatory approval…gene editing is the same as conventional breeding but a faster, safer and a more precise process – with benefits to human health as well as agriculture and food…we will see more nutritious, longer-lasting, disease-resistant crops, fruit and vegetables, and more effective ways to develop desirable welfare traits like polled (hornless) cattle”


Sheepmeat prices are at near record levels with farmers receiving higher lamb and mutton returns than forecast.
Meat processors remain cautious about lamb’s ongoing position, as shoppers could lean to alternate meat such as poultry, pork and some beef products as prices were lower.

Alliance general manager livestock and shareholder services Heather Stacy said lamb prices at the moment were at about $7 a kilogram, while the mutton minimum price contract was at $4.80.

The minimum price lamb contracts for Easter were being finalised, and it looked like lamb prices would be between $5/kg and slightly above $6/kg, she said.

While prices are favourable, the season has been off to a slow start processing.

Meat processor Silver Fern Farms says farm gate prices are likely to remain buoyant over the coming months. However, there are some key variables which could impact prices, such as the exchange rate and demand for post-Chinese New Year shipments. The company is forecasting from mid-November through to Christmas that farm gate pricing could range from $6/kg to $7, dropping to $5.60 to $6.20 by mid-season (post-Chinese New Year).


Uruguay’s nascent hemp industry is quietly expanding in the shadow of its more sexy cousin, recreational marijuana, with planting of the crop used in food, pharmaceuticals and textiles set to triple this year.

Nine companies, are authorised to plant about 1,200 hectares in 2017, according to Agriculture Ministry data.

Hemp is proving to be a safer investment than marijuana as U.S. banks refuse to work with local lenders that cater to licensed marijuana growers and distributors in Uruguay. The South American nation of about 3.4 million people was the first nation to regulate cannabis in all forms. Investors plan to extract cannabidiol, or CBD, from hemp flowers for export and further processing into nutritional and pharmaceutical products once the government issues the necessary approvals, said Sergio Vazquez, who evaluates and monitors hemp projects as head of a technical advisory body at the agriculture ministry. Commercial scale CBD exports could start next year, he said.


CHART OF THE WEEKThis week’s chart of the week comes from Bloomberg’s Why the chicken may still cross the border, nafta, or no nafta in relation to agriculture shipments as the U.S. and Mexico enter its fifth rounds of discussions.




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