• Leaving NAFTA is terrible idea, farmers tell Trump

    The White House plans to withdraw the U.S. from the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to reports April 26. U.S. corn and soybean growers said such a move would be disastrous to U.S. agriculture. According to national reports, President Donald Trump’s administration is in the final stages of formulating an executive order to lead the U.S. out of NAFTA. National Corn Growers Association President Wesley Spurlock said in a written statement: "Mr. President, America's corn farmers helped elect you. We are strong supporters of your administration and continue to stand ready to work with you to build a better farm economy. That begins with strong trade policy. Withdrawing from NAFTA would be disastrous for American agriculture. We cannot disrupt trade with two of our
  • Canada's CPPIB pension fund plans farmland retreat

    Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has decided against making further investments in farmland and is open to selling its existing portfolio after reviewing the operations, people familiar with the matter told Reuters this week, a shift in strategy after some local farmers voiced concerns. CPPIB began buying farmland in North America in 2012 and has since purchased about 120,000 acres in the United States and a similar amount in Canada. The country's biggest public pension fund purchased 115,000 acres of Saskatchewan farmland from Assiniboia Farmland LP in 2013 for C$128 million ($95 million)and had intended to invest another C$500 million in Canadian farmland over a five-year period.
  • University crops competition winner takes on the US

    The winner of last year's Australian Universities Crops Competition Nellie Evans has just returned from competing in the US universities competition in Kansas. The fourth-year student, studying Science in Agriculture at the University of Sydney, teamed up with fellow Sydney University student Brett Bushell to go head to head with 50 other teams from around the US. As well as competing in the US competition, and finishing a creditable 12th, Ms Evans had the opportunity to tour the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center, flour mills, farms and a Feed Technology Centre. She said the US tour gave her an insight in tackling the challenges facing Australian grain growers. "Obviously our climate and changing growing season over here is a challenge," she said.
  • Troubling times for beef production as dairy farming exceeds itself

    A new Teagasc report has found that there are vast differences in the competitiveness of Irish beef and dairy systems compared to their EU and international counterparts. In an EU context, Ireland has very low dairy costs of production, at €2.70/kg of milk solids, a new report by Teagasc has found. The report, ‘Measuring the Competitiveness of Irish Agriculture: A Decade in Review’, analysed the trends in the competitiveness of the main sectors in Irish agriculture. Profitability, costs of production, value of output and some partial productivity indicators (such as milk yield, stocking density, cereal yield, labour productivity) were examined.
  • Minnesota-based beef-supplying giant Cargill to exit U.S. cattle-feeding business

    Cargill Inc said on Wednesday it will exit the business of feeding cattle to direct capital toward other investments, the latest transformation for the global commodity trader. Minnesota-based Cargill struck a deal to sell its last two feed yards to ethanol producer Green Plains Inc for $36.7 million, after selling other feedyards to Friona Industries last year, according to the companies. Cargill's withdrawal from the feeding business highlights a change in priorities at the company, which says it is the world's largest supplier of ground beef. Cargill wants to expand its North America-based protein business by exploring plant-based protein, fish and insects, along with other opportunities linked to livestock and poultry, spokesman Mike Martin said.
  • Wisconsin dairy farmers' uncertain fate escalates US-Canada trade war

    Farms like the Phil-Mar-Ru in Wisconsin depend on what is called ultra-filtered milk that for decades was sold to Canada. But a Canada trade dispute meant Wisconsin farmers were suddenly cut off from their biggest buyers – and now many of them risk closure. As of May 1, when their contract expires, dozens of dairy farms in the U.S. will no longer have anyone to purchase their milk. Experts say lost revenue to U.S. farms is estimated at $150 million. And next Monday, when the contracts run out, at least 75 farmers will be faced with too much milk and not enough buyers. “We would have to have an auction,” said Matt Gartman of the Phil-Mar-Ru dairy farm, which has been in business for seven generations. “We would have to sell the cows. That would be our
  • Agriculture producers struggle to find US workers

    When Robert Kraft wakes up, usually before sunrise, the first thing he thinks about is his dairy. There's always a lot to do. He's the owner of Kraft Family Farms, a dairy in Fort Morgan. The day can start in a number of ways but includes milking or feeding a cow. It also can mean feeding a calf still needing milk — the stuff from mama is being saved for humans. There's also checking on the cows to make sure they're OK, watching over pregnant cows, monitoring the breeding or the calving, and oh yeah, there's vaccines and vet care and clean-up. There's always pens to clean. That means shoveling poop, which is not exactly a glamorous job. It's long, hard, cold or hot work that doesn't allow for much time off. At most, Kraft gets one day per week off.
  • Turkey to host agriculture forum with African ministers

    The Turkey-Africa First Agriculture Ministers Meeting and Agribusiness Forum will be held in the Mediterranean resort province of Antalya on Thursday and Friday. The two-day event -- organized by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock -- will host more than 300 participants, including agricultural ministers of African countries, ambassadors, representatives of international organizations and private sectors. Foreign Economic Relations Board, the Central Union of Turkish Agricultural Credit Cooperatives and Turkish Airlines are among the main shareholders of the event. The ministers’ meeting will be held under the theme of "Turkey-Africa Partnership on Rural Development for Achieving Food Security".
  • Trump targets 'unnecessary' agriculture regulations

    President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that will direct his new agriculture secretary to identify and eliminate what Trump says are unnecessary regulations that hurt farmers and rural communities. The order also establishes a new task force charged with reviewing policies, legislation and regulations that unnecessarily hinder agricultural and economic growth. Trump says he's working to make life easier for working Americans. He was kicking off a round-table discussion with farmers at the White House Tuesday.
  • German report puts spotlight on milk supply agreements

    A highly critical report on the structure of milk supply agreements (MSAs) by the German national competition authority has proposed changes that could have implications for the industry right across the EU. The interim report from the Bundeskartellamt proposed a restructuring of supply contracts to loosen the links between farmers and their dairies. The investigation by the German authorities found that: Milk supply contracts are too restrictive as farmers must supply the milk they produce exclusively to one co-operative; Notice periods for a farmer to leave a processor are too long; Pricing should be fixed ahead of collection. The interim report's findings have been strongly criticised by the German dairy industry. This German investigation began in April last year and
  • New Zealand farmers say 'we're in better place after removal of subsidies'

    When a prime minister turns up at a provincial farm show without fanfare or entourage and walks around assessing livestock and greeting friends, you know you’re in a country where agriculture is well-connected. There’s no denying the essential economic contribution the industry makes to New Zealand’s balance of payments, but not only can the PM, Bill English, compete successfully with the world sheep shearing champion, he’s visibly proud that farming is in his blood. Kiwi farmers have a government that may not pay direct subsidy, but it certainly puts its weight behind the industry.
  • Donald Trump says US 'will not stand for' Canada's action on dairy farming

    Donald Trump has claimed his administration 'will not stand' for Canada making business tough for US dairy farmers in border states. "Canada has made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult," Mr Trump tweeted. "We will not stand for this. Watch!" The tweet echoed comments reportedly made by Mr Trump at a closed-door meeting with conservative journalists the night before. Breitbart News, which was present at the event, reported Mr Trump claimed dairy farmers in Wisconsin and upstate New York are getting "killed by NAFTA".
  • Milk glut is hurting dairy farmers

    According to Kansas dairy farmers, a glut of milk and fewer sales to other countries have them concerned about their future. An oversupply of milk happens every spring, but dairy farmer Orville Miller said this year is even worse. "It's absolutely stressful," said Miller. "When you get up in the morning and work hard all day and know you're losing money, that's tough on the mind after awhile." Miller said the price of milk is down about 40% from two to three years ago, and more product needs to be sold.
  • Local dairy farmers struggle in a world 'just flooded with milk'

    Local dairy farmers such as John Richmond suddenly see one of their biggest challenges – and President Trump's first big trade controversy – emerging from, of all places, north of the border. Amid a worldwide milk glut that has pushed prices down and left some local farmers just scraping by, the Canadian dairy industry in recent months made moves that, in essence, closed the border to a key American milk product. American dairy experts say the move will keep the annual equivalent of 3,000 tanker trucks of milk that would have headed north stuck in America, further flooding the U.S. market and further driving down prices. As a result, for Western New York's 935 or so dairy farms, "it's going to be harder than ever to pay our bills," said Richmond, who runs a dairy farm
  • Hong Kong regulator queries banks over $200 mln Huishan Dairy loan

    Hong Kong's banking watchdog is questioning lenders over a $200 million loan raised by China Huishan Dairy Holdings Co Ltd, sources involved in the matter told Reuters, as regulators try to unpick the group's tangled finances. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has been increasing its scrutiny of Hong Kong bank lending to mainland Chinese companies, fretting that the city's lenders are growing increasingly exposed to worsening credit conditions there. Huishan, one of China's biggest dairy companies, embraced 'innovative financing' and investors flocked to a $1.3 billion Hong Kong listing. But it has now missed debt payments, breached loan covenants, all but two directors have quit its board and a key executive is missing.
  • Ghana: Realising Africa's agriculture potential

    “Amaraaba!” smiled the military officer in combat fatigues, standing at a road block chicane as we left the small airport in Tamale. Her friendly Dagbani greeting contrasted with the signs dotted round the Airborne Training School at the adjacent Barwah Barracks: “Death from Above” and, our favourite, “Meet with the Best, Die with the Rest”. The pilots’ view from the air is less of the enemy, however, than of expansive shea trees, whose soaps and beauty products are a key source of local enterprise and income. Yet despite its abundant land and labour, its plentiful water and rich soils, today Ghana imports more than half of its food requirements. The foodstuffs of Tamale’s Jabu Market have higher prices than in the United King
  • Senate confirms Trump's agriculture secretary

    The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as secretary of agriculture, leaving all but one of President Donald Trump's Cabinet positions filled. Lawmakers voted 87 to 11 in favor of Perdue, who takes office as the agricultural community grapples with the key issues of trade and immigration. The nomination earlier passed the Senate Agriculture Committee with only one vote in opposition, although some Midwestern senators raised concerns that Perdue was not from a major agricultural production state. Trump nominated Perdue, 70, in January but progress on his confirmation was slow, with media reports suggesting that undoing his various business entanglements caused delays in the ethics filings.
  • French farmer looks to the sky for help in presidential election after crop disasters, low prices

    A farmer's cry for help in the French presidential election leads to the planting of a message in wheat in protest over low prices and high French taxes. To political pundits French politics is in crisis with two outsiders facing off in the final race for president — the former head of the National Front, Marine Le Pen, and a centrist who formed his own party, Emmanuel Macron, on May 7. But according to the farmers of France, it is them who are in crisis, with farmers going bankrupt and earnings plummeting. One grain grower at Tours in central-west France, Jacques Fortin, sowed a giant 100 metre by 48 metre sign in wheat last November that now pronounces in bold green letters: "help".
  • Indian farmers Delhi protest suspended

    Drought-hit farmers in India have suspended a protest, after an assurance that their demands would be met. More than 100 farmers from southern Tamil Nadu state had mounted an eye-catching protest in the capital, Delhi, more than a month ago. They brandished human skulls, held live mice in their mouths, shaved their heads, and slashed their hands. They were demanding waivers on farm loan repayments and relief funds, among other things. Reports say that the farmers, who had been camping in a makeshift tent near Delhi's Jantar Mantar observatory for 40 days, called off their protest on Sunday after an assurance from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami that their demands would be met.
  • Farmers have a beef with Trump and big meat

    Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it was delaying implementation of an Obama administration rule designed to give America’s farmers more leverage in their dealings with mammoth agriculture companies that control almost every aspect of their livelihoods, so-called Big Meat. The move, though not out of the ordinary for an incoming administration, is seen by farmer advocacy groups as a sign Trump is bending to the will of the industry, which strongly opposes the rule. The decision comes as Sonny Perdue III, the president’s pick for secretary of agriculture, is likely to be confirmed next week. Perdue is the former governor of Georgia, the country’s top chicken producing state, and has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign

News source: Farming UK