Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 327
Posted on: March 22nd, 2017


This week’s quote comes from the Food and Agriculture Organisation, on the role that women play as the backbone of rural agriculture.

“In developing countries, women make up 45% of the agricultural labour force, ranging from 20% in Latin America to up to 60% in certain parts of Africa and Asia…Evidence from Africa, Asia and Latin America consistently shows that significant improvements in food security can be achieved by expanding women’s access to productive resources and technologies.”


Australian beef exports may win a greater share of Asian imports after a Brazilian meat scandal has rocked the industry.

China and the European Union curtailed meat imports from Brazil on Monday after police, in an anti-corruption probe criticised by the government as alarmist, accused inspectors in the world’s biggest exporter of beef and poultry of taking bribes to allow sales of rotten and salmonella-tainted meats.

As the scandal deepened, Brazil’s Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said the government had suspended exports from 21 meat processing units.

According to one European report, Brazilian police allege potato, water and cardboard were used to dilute chicken meat to boost profits and salmonella-contaminated meat was exported to Europe.

China’s Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine yesterday issued an urgent notice to all meat entry ports that customs clearance of Brazilian meat would be put on hold, with meat already on the docks to be kept in customs warehouses.

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) believes one Brazilian exporter has 160 containers of beef on its way to export markets. MLA managing director Richard Norton said if China did not accept the Brazilian product on the water, it would seek to buy that product from other countries, fundamentally spiking global beef prices.

South Korea’s agriculture ministry said in a statement that it would tighten inspections of imported Brazilian chicken meat and temporarily bar sales of chicken products by BRF.

More than 80% of the 107,400 tonnes of chicken that South Korea imported last year came from Brazil, and BRF supplied almost half of that.


Using a laser beam to control birds might sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but workers at an Adelaide Hills vineyard hope the technology will save their grapes from the flying pests.

After lots of rain and a dry end to summer, the South Australian vintage is later than in recent years but fruit quality is high.

Shaw and Smith viticulturist Murray Leake said at this time of year hungry birds were flocking to vineyards for a sample.

It is a major issue wineries around the country grapple with year after year.

Shaw and Smith is one of a handful of Australian vineyards trailing the use of the laser.

It sends out a random series of light patterns across the vineyard and into nearby trees to scare the birds away.

Wineries and grape growers have a range of strategies for keeping birds at bay, from shooting them and hanging up shiny streamers to firing off gas guns to spook them.

Consultant Richard Hailton from the Adelaide Hills Wine Technical Group said the birds were safe from the laser’s green beam.

“…[it] can be set up with 100 waypoints per program and six different proframs and it’s going to be hard for them to remember where it’s going next.” This unpredictability may be a key advantage, compared with some other control methods that birds can learn to predict and overcome.


This week’s Chart of the Week comes from Bloomberg’s U.K. Inflation Gains More Than Forecast, Breaching BOE Goal and displays the end of almost three years of U.K. food-price deflation, with prices rising an annual 0.3 percent. The last such increase was in April 2014.




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