More transparency, better prices and above all less labour input: all this is promised by the new agri-trading platforms currently shooting out of the ground like mushrooms. Is this the beginning of the end for the classic farm supply outlets? Or are new marketing opportunities opening-up here for farmers and local traders?
So far, new breeding methods (»CRISPR/Cas«) have represented a golden future for crop production, offering plant breeding progress with unbeatable price-performance value. But recent research at ETH (Swiss Technical University) in Zurich indicates the CRISPR/Cas »gene shear« has its limitations.
Participants attending last year’s European Dairy Farmers Congress in Denmark learnt all about efficiently managed dairy farms that had undergone substantial expansion and delivered impressive milk production performances. Here are three examples.
Excellent locational and climatic conditions and high production performance are all synonymous with dairy land Denmark. On the other hand, costs for labour and land are high, farm businesses depend to a great extent on outside capital and society demands on the sector continue to rise.
Earlier this year, scientists and farmers joined a DLG-Mitteilungen workshop on aspects of crop rooting. How can this aspect of plant development be encouraged for better and, above all, more stable yields? The discussion, reported below, offers expert answers to important questions.
Climate change, government policies and export market access are all important factors influencing the worldwide beef market. Even events at the other end of the world have an influence on the way the beef markets in our own countries develop.
Important parts of central European society have a massive interest in the welfare of animals. Whether this concern is based on the necessary factual knowledge is quite another matter – an attitude that unfortunately continues in subsequent communication.
Interest grows in new methods that might improve crop production. But many of them still need considerable research, for instance the use of biostimulators. Mycorrhization is an aspect of the latter. What can this offer crop growers?
If there’s one country that has taken the EU Water Framework Directive especially seriously for a considerable time now, it’s certainly Denmark. The main reason for this was, and still is, the critical condition of the Baltic Sea.
Output of agricultural products and their trade steams on the world markets appear at first complex and hard to follow. But global trade patterns tend to repeat themselves and follow fixed rules. Those who understand this can then appreciate many developments or even anticipate them.
For the first time in the almost 30-year history of the association, the Managing Board of the European Pig Producers (EPP) e.V. met in Finland last year. In addition to working through the agenda, a visit to a pig farm and a large slaughterhouse and a consulting company were scheduled. As a result, the members of the managing board were able to familiarise themselves with the special aspects of pork production in Finland "from farm to fork".
Everyone speaks about it but hardly anyone knows what exactly lies behind blockchain technology. Already clear, however, is that it can enable greater transparency within the agricultural delivery chain. And the data involved cannot be manipulated. Here’s how the blockchain concept functions.
The extreme conditions in 2017 and 2018 once again emphasised just how unpredictable weather and climate have become. What if such »exceptional years« become standard? How can farms prepare for such conditions?
Chemical seed treatment is the simplest and safest procedure. But if this approach is no longer effective and the active ingredients therefore wasted, what then? Physical and biological alternatives have their limitations. But the so-called »Swedish model« offers a very promising approach.
Milk production in Ireland is right on-course for continued expansion. Following a substantial increase last year, there’s every sign that progress will be maintained in 2019, particularly as conditions for this remain ideal.
Global grain trade patterns have changed radically in the last ten years. No longer is the USA unchallenged as »bread-basket of the world«. Catching up fast as top grain suppliers are Ukraine, Russia and Brazil. EU exports are also affected – at least for wheat.
The inaugural appearance of representatives from the South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) at the 2018 EPP Congress in Switzerland recently prompted a three-day reciprocal visit by the EPP to the Johannesburg/Praetoria region.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has spoken: new breeding techniques around the CRISPR/Cas procedure will come under gene technology, as far as the law is concerned. While the court’s decision imparts long overdue legal certainty, it’s also the starting gun for a flood of very difficult questions.
It was a vision to begin with. Dutch poultry farmer and university lecturer Ruud Zanders searched the world for a carbon-neutral egg production system. Early-on, it became clear that this vision would greatly profit from Nijsen-Granico’s “food for feed” concept. Another identified requirement was animal housing designed to supply all required energy for ventilation, lighting, etc. Zanders formed a partnership with three other businessmen and named the company Kipster.
Here’s an overall concept involving farmer, feed miller, food processor and retailer all working together. The aim: production of welfare-based and environmentally-friendly high-quality food. The concept has already started in the Netherlands where one of the first projects features egg and chicken meat production.
The present EU agricultural policy (CAP) applies until 2020. But if EU Commission proposals for the period 2021 to 2027 are followed, we’ll still be meeting old acquaintances then including capping and degressive payments or risk management through insurances. But what exactly might be new?
Ripp‘s Dairy Valley is a family business run by brothers Chuck, Gary and Troy Ripp and their families. Stocking is 980 cows, 880 of them milked three times daily. Labour force: 18 workers including eight milkers.
Spiralling starch production is taking place in Europe’s south and west, particularly from wheat and maize. This affects traditional price differences between inland and coastal grain markets.
Advisers know it. Farm business comparisons show it. The biggest influence on farm results is the farmer’s entrepreneurial spirit. Increasing output through more fields and more livestock is not the only way ahead. So what else do modern farmers need for business success?
The business environment in Brazil is imbalanced at the moment. Cash crop producers tend to be satisfied, but there is dissatisfaction among dairy cattle farmers.
Pig farming is an important and significant industry in the global agricultural and food sector. A decisive factor for the increase in global demand for high-quality food in the past two decades was the demographic development.
Nutrition. A flood of currently published books claims wheat is bad for health. But too often the respective authors ignore or misinterpret the cereal’s scientifically proven benefits: an approach that does more harm to humans who really suffer from wheat-caused diseases.
In a research project that had been running for five years at Linköping University, Sweden, the entry of unmanned aircraft technology and sensors in global agriculture has been studied. Per Frankelius ranks the use of unmanned aircraft technology in parity with the satellite revolution or other earlier agricultural developments.
Protein strategies or »homegrown protein« – these are the terms when talk is of substitutes for imported soymeal such as peas, field beans or rapeseed meal. But more than half the protein in European feed troughs is already EU-produced, particularly from grain.
In Spain a couple of advantages help competitiveness in this sector. Not – as often claimed – laxer environment protection rules. But instead, efficiency right along the production chain and a positive public image.
The movement that sees increasing concentration of companies in the agrochemical sector has more than a few farmers bemused. Among the reasons for the mergers and takeovers are the huge costs of developing new products. But could this revolution also be opening new perspectives in the markets?
Harvest yields. The larger wheat harvests throughout the world are only the product of the crop’s increased yield capacities and not through expansion of growing area. This sort of situation increases harvest risks – but also the chances of higher prices. This applies even more so for barley.
The Netherlands. The efforts involved in wresting polder land from nature have been huge. And because polder soil is fertile, scarce and therefore expensive, it’s intensively farmed. Here, we present three outstanding farming businesses in the northeastern polder and Flevopolder.