New tool measures crop yield gaps worldwide

Sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s largest gap in farm yields—70 to 90 percent below their potential—according to a new research tool unveiled at the Global Water for Food Conference in Seattle. The new web-based platform is called the Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas.  According to Frank Rijsberman, CEO of the international agricultural research… Read more »

Brazil positioning to produce more beef

A new report says Brazil is positioning to meet growing global demand for beef.  Rabobank’s Food and Agribusiness Research and Advisory group (FAR) predicts Brazil will double its feedlot capacity to 4.5 million head turning out over 9 million fed cattle annually and increasing beef production by 2.5 million tons per year by 2023. The… Read more »

Rabobank says hog market “cooling down”

Rabobank has published its quarterly Global Pork Industry Report and it says “the heated international markets are slowly cooling down.” The bank’s Food & Agribusiness Research team says that, although the peak of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) outbreak is past, the global pork industry faces another challenge from Russia’s import ban.  That ban… Read more »

WTO decision favors U.S. poultry producers

A World Trade Organization panel has found in favor of the U.S. in challenging India’s ban on poultry-meat, eggs, and live hogs.  India imposed the ban allegedly to protect against avian influenza.  The panel agreed with the U.S. assertion that India’s ban ran counter to some international trade rules, including that it was imposed without… Read more »

Global food prices soften

Global food prices have dropped.  The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) price index slipped for the sixth consecutive time, with food prices at their lowest level since August of 2010. According to the FAO index, food prices were down 2.6 percent from August, and 6 percent below September 2013.  This is the longest… Read more »

Renewable energy is a key to national security

Energy independence is a key to national security.  Retired US Air Force General Donald Hoffman, a member of the military advisory board says since World War 1, fuel has replaced fodder as our means of mobility from military actions.  He adds, “Both on the battlefield and getting to the battlefield and training and getting ready… Read more »

Reopening of China to U.S. beef ‘not imminent’

Over the past two years, China has become the fastest-growing market in the world for imported beef.  But the U.S. continues to be shut out of the Chinese market. Thad Lively senior vice president for trade access with the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) says efforts to regain access to China are progressing—but he says… Read more »

German farmer’s harvest perspective

Harvest is important to crop farmers everywhere in the world. On a Bayer CropScience trip to Germany last month, I spoke with farmer Armin Lind, who grows winter wheat, barley, oilseed rape and corn on about 80 hectares, about 200 acres. He farms alone in Central Germany…and says this has been a good year (not unlike… Read more »

NCBA upset with proposal on beef imports from Brazil, Argentina

Some members of Congress are calling for an investigation into a proposal by USDA to allow importation of fresh and frozen beef and live cattle from regions of Argentina and Brazil known to harbor foot and mouth disease (FMD). Kristina Butts of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) says they agree with those requests for… Read more »

MO corn farmer takes Asia trip

A recent visit to Japan and South Korea by a delegation of U.S. farmers centered on the quality of U.S. corn and the projected ample U.S. corn crop. Kevin Hurst, the new president of the Missouri Corn Growers Association, was on that trip and says Japan has always been a top buyer. Hurst says, “Japan… Read more »