Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 411
Posted on: February 1st, 2019



This week’s quote addresses the ripple effects that farming octopus may have on sustainability and animal welfare.

 “Universities and companies are investing time and money into farming octopus, which we believe is a big mistake. Mass producing octopus would repeat many of the same mistakes we made on land in terms of high environmental and animal welfare impacts, and be in some ways worse because we have to feed octopus other animals.”


Interestingly, octopus farming would produce high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution from uneaten feed and faeces, which contributes to oxygen depletion. Additionally, research has shown that octopus have considerable cognitive and behavioural complexity, making farming in enclosed environments incompatible with their make-up. As a result, high mortality rates, increased aggression and parasitic infection would be pronounced.


-Jennifer Jacquet, assistant professor at New York University’s Department of Environmental Studies




Rice plants engineered to be better at photosynthesis make more rice

A new bioengineering approach for boosting photosynthesis in rice could boost grain yield up to 27%.

“Food shortage related to world population growth will be a serious problem our planet will have to face. Our study could have a major impact on this problem by significantly increasing rice yield, especially for areas with bright light. Our engineered plants could be deployed in fields at a larger scale after further evaluations by independent researchers and government agencies,” says senior study author Xin-Xiang Peng of South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou, China.

The approach, called GOC bypass, enriches plant cells with CO2 that would otherwise be lost through a metabolic process called photorespiration. The genetically engineered plants were greener and larger and showed increased photosynthetic efficiency and productivity under field conditions, with particular advantages in bright light.

Source: Xin-Xiang Peng, ScienceDaily, January 10 2018, 





Heat makes for good season for dried fruit growers

High costs are being offset by good prices for growers, who are expected to start cutting in the coming weeks.

Dried fruits are expected to pay around $2200 per tonne or above, which is a positive increase from $1980 per tonne from last year.

Dried Fruits Australia’s chairman, Mark King, believes it is shaping up to be a good season for most growers despite high temperatures and an increase of water prices.

Source: 2GB, January 29 2019, 








The export value of Australian nuts increased in 2018 largely due to higher prices. The value of nut exports was expected to end 2018 around $813.5 million, which is 10% higher than 2017.


Source: Rural Bank Ag Answers, 2018,




What is a bee’s favourite band?

The Bee gees!




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