Iran: Shrimp production on rise

images (8) Iran will produce about 8,000 tons of cultured shrimp in the current Iranian year (started March 21), indicating a 20-percent increase against the figure for the same period last year.
Stating this, Deputy Minister of Agricultural Jihad Gholamreza Razeqi told ISNA that shrimp production capacity should reach 50,000 tons a year by the end of the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2010-15).
Last year, Iran produced about 6,200 tons of cultured shrimps, he added.
Razeqi, who also heads Iran Fisheries Organization (IFO), further said that the government has allocated one trillion rials ($100 million) to support the shrimp industry.
He explained that according to the package, the matured debts and cash penalties of shrimp farmers have been predicted in the budget for the current Iranian year.
He put the entire interest rates of banking loans and the fines of delayed payment at 1.4 trillion rials ($140 million), of which $100 million has been made available from this year’s budget.
The official listed liquidity shortage and debt of shrimp breeders as the major problems facing the shrimp industry.
However, with the approval of the aforesaid package, the problems will be overcome, he concluded.
Earlier, managing director of Iran’s Development Fund for Export of Aquatics said that fisheries output had reached 700,000 tons per annum, adding that the country has potential to raise the figure to 3 million tons.
Arsalan Qasemi pointed out that the aquatic exports fetch over $100 million.
He said based on the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan, fisheries output is predicted to reach one million tons per year.

Vietnam coffee said to be trading at a discount before record production


Buyers are demanding a discount for Vietnam’s coffee crop starting in October on speculation of record output, according to three people involved in the trade.

The beans are trading at $70 to $90 a metric ton below the price on the NYSE Liffe exchange in London, according to the people, who declined to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media. Robusta beans from the current crop are trading at a premium of $80 to $100 a ton over the London price, traders said.

“Vietnam will have a record 22 million bags production next season, with good weather and farmers flush with cash for inputs maximizing production,” said Keith Flury, an analyst at Rabobank International in London.

Vietnam will produce 19.6 million bags in the current season that ends Sept. 30, according to Rabobank. Global robusta output for 2011-12 will climb 3.4 percent to a record 56.55 million bags, the bank said in a monthly report on Aug. 26.

Robusta coffee for September delivery fell $10, or 0.4 percent, to $2,352 a ton on NYSE Liffe in London yesterday. Prices have climbed 43 percent in the past year.

US corn output climbs even as area under production remains unchanged

download (8) The chart below plots the US acreage of Corn harvested vs.production. Green lines plot the production in tons all the way from 1967 to 2009, where as red lines plot the area of corn harvested.

From the chart, it is evident that corn area harvested has remained little changed even as corn production has fluctuated irrespective of acreage. It may be that seasonal ravages, macroeconomic picture etc. can be attributed to the corn output fluctuations.

China to hike grain production

img_4e60d92e6a29e_18949 BEIJING (Dow Jones)–China is targeting an 8% rise in grain production capacity by 2015 from 2010 levels and has kept unchanged its 95% grain self-sufficiency rate target, the Ministry of Agriculture said Friday.

The world’s largest grain consumer is facing challenges in stabilizing grain production amid rising demand and declining arable area due to rapid urbanization.

Grain output reached 546.4 million metric tons in 2010, rising for the seventh year in a row, and China is now aiming at an annual capacity of more than 540 million tons in the 12th Five-Year Plan [2011-2015], from around 500 million tons in 2010, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

"Guaranteeing supply of grain and other major agricultural products will remain top priority [between 2011 and 2015]," it said.

The government also aims to maintain grain acreage above 1.07 billion hectares by 2015, compared with actual acreage of 1.1 billion hectares last year.

Demand for corn is growing faster than domestic supply of the most popular animal feed, amid a rise in meat consumption.

China has reportedly bought more than 3 million tons of corn from the U.S. so far this year to replenish reserves, more than twice the total imports in 2010. Its annual corn output is around 180 million tons.

It is also aiming to boost cotton output to more than 7 million tons in 2015 compared with actual output of 5.96 million tons in 2010, the ministry said. China is the world’s largest cotton importer.

The ministry said the country’s 2015 oilseed output target would be 35 million tons compared with 32.3 million tons in 2010, in its attempt to stabilize edible oil self-sufficiency rate at about 40%.

China’s edible oil self-sufficiency is only 37%, industry data showed.

Output of sugar crops, which include sugar cane and sugar beets, is expected to reach 140 million tons compared with actual output of 120 million tons in 2010.

The ministry said it aims to raise meat output–including pork, beef and poultry–to 85 million tons in 2015 from 79.3 million tons in 2010.

A new arrangement for potato production

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When Idaho farmers started making the state famous for its potatoes, they seeded their crops in ridged rows and watered the plants by channeling surface irrigation to flow through the furrows between the rows.

But even though most commercial potato producers in the Pacific Northwest now irrigate their crops with sprinklers, they still typically use ridged-row planting systems.

"The problem is that sprinkler irrigation can actually work against efficient water management because runoff from the sides of a ridged potato row allows water to pond in the furrow," says agricultural engineer Bradley King, who works at the ARS Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory (NWISRL) in Kimberly, Idaho.

"So some of the irrigation water is wasted because the excess water in the furrows percolates below the crop root zone and becomes unavailable to the plants. Under these conditions, nitrate leaching from the soil can increase."

King worked with NWISRL research leader Dave Bjorneberg and soil scientist David Tarkalson on a series of studies to see whether planting potatoes in flat beds instead of ridged rows could increase irrigation water-use efficiency and the overall efficiency of potato production.

For a 2-year study, they set up experimental fields near their laboratory in Kimberly and compared three planting systems: conventional ridge-row systems, a five-row planting configuration on a raised bed where the plant rows were 26 inches apart, and a seven-row planting configuration on a raised bed where the plant rows were 18 inches apart.

They also varied nitrogen application and irrigation rates for the experimental beds.

With the help of a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and assistance of industry partner Western Ag Research LLC, the team also set up a 5-year study with commercial producers in eastern Idaho on 62 fields, a study area that totaled around 6,900 acres. They looked at how irrigation rates and variety selection affected yields for each producer, but in this study, they only compared ridged-row systems and five-row raised-bed systems.

Results? The researchers found that using the flat-bed system increased yields by an average of 6 percent, even though 5 percent less water was used for irrigation-which meant that using flat beds instead of ridged rows for potato production led to a 12 percent increase in irrigation water use efficiency. They attribute these gains to several factors, especially the probability that planting potatoes in flat beds improves water- and nitrogen-use efficiency because more water reaches the potato roots.

These findings, which were published in 2011 in the American Journal of Potato Research, could help commercial farmers in Idaho and other states increase yields and profits, save valuable water resources, and reduce nitrate leaching. Idaho farmers who use a high level of irrigation water management-methods identified by NRCS that help producers monitor soil moisture needs, such as electronic moisture sensors and data loggers-in combination with the potato bed planter are now eligible for state funding.

The work could also create new opportunities for farmers who are looking for ways to increase production efficiencies in the cultivation of specialty potatoes for niche markets.

King concludes: "What’s great about the results is that this is another example of where a conservation measure can also result in increased income."

Kazakhstan’s grain production up 60%

tải xuống (6) Kazakhstan’s grain production is expected to jump this year to 19.2 million tonnes, up 60% on last year’s drought affected crop, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS).
These greater exportable supplies in 2011-12 will boost wheat grain exports, and Kazakhstan could benefit from reduced supplies in other high-quality wheat suppliers.
Although the planting of some crops were delayed by spring rains, the weather in 2011 during the growing season was near ideal, with resulting much higher yields expected in all crops and especially wheat.
Because of beneficial weather, Kazakhstan’s grain production is rebounding this year from last year’s drought-reduced crop, and is expected to reach 19.2 million tonnes (16 million tonnes wheat), compared to 12 million tonnes last year (9.7 million tonnes ).
The wheat harvest is set to begin at the end of August, beginning of September. The only remaining concern for the crop is whether early cold weather or excess rain before or during harvest will affect quality, which last year was excellent, FAS said.
Wheat feed consumption is expected to recover in 2011-12 as a result of expected lower domestic prices and greater supply.
Kazakh grain exports are expected to rebound this year as a result of the higher availability, with total grain exports estimated at 8.3 million tonnes (8 million of which is wheat and flour) compared to 5.7 million tonnes last year (5.4 of wheat and flour).
Flour exports are expected to continue steady this year, although there may be a little more competition from Russian flour as a result of the much larger harvest there. In the long-term, however, flour exports are unlikely to be a growth area for Kazakhstan as some Central Asian importers have begun developing their own milling industries (although this development will open opportunities for Kazakh wheat grain exports to these markets), FAS said.
The Kazakhstan Statistics Agency reported that grain stocks as of July 1, were 3.5 million tonnes of which 3.3 million tonnes was wheat. Although some storage scarcity may occur due to the large harvest, Kazakhstan during the Soviet Union regularly produced significantly more grain than even this year’s bumper crop, and as a result there is some excess capacity in Soviet built concrete storage facilities.

India to witness high oilseeds production in current kharif season

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NEW DELHI: Seeing the broad area of cultivation in the current kharif season, the edible oil industry organization Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) is expecting a buffer production of oilseeds in the 2011-12 crop year (July-June).

In the 2010-11 crop year, the country has registered a bumper production of oilseeds that reached to 31.1 million tones, of which kharif season contributed about 20.84 million tones. As per the report of SEA, the cultivation area of oilseeds has increased to 168.8 lakh hectares in the current kharif season in the country, as compared to 164.5 lakh hectares of 2010-11 crop year.

According to Sushil Goenka, President of Solvent Extractors’ Association of India, the country is witnessing a remarkable increment in the cultivation areas for castor, soyabean and sesame. But at the same time, area for the cultivation of sunflowers and groundnut has come down substantially.

Uncertainty, not panic, surrounding this year’s projected crop production, prices

bilde In an industry where the future is always uncertain but forecasting plays a key role in present decisions, 2011 is shaping up to be as interesting as any year in agriculture.
As U.S. Department of Agriculture officials are releasing predictions on nationwide crop production and is compiling more information for further projections, they are doing so at a time of severe drought that has affected 13 states, including the southeast corner of Colorado, and following 100-year flooding along the Souris River in the northern Midwest and Mississippi River — all of which has wiped out acres upon acres of crops.
Despite the extreme conditions, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service stated last week — its most recent forecast released — that U.S. farmers are on track to produce the third-largest corn crop in history.
A sigh of relief, perhaps, considering this year’s extreme weather, but then the ag industry has to look past production.
Farmers today have to deal with climbing input costs, most notably high fuel prices, along with volatility in commodity prices, a shaky economy and legislative debates over issues such as eliminating ethanol subsidies, the latter of which some ag producers fear could affect corn production and the crop’s price.
“It’s all really just too much to think about,” said Jerry Sidwell, a corn and hay producer from Gill who also raises cattle. “A lot of times I just choose not to.”
Weather has been favorable for Weld County farmers since the spring, and crop production across the board locally has generally been average or above average. But local farmers, like ag producers everywhere, are still intertwined in global agriculture.
Sidwell said his biggest concern — disregarding NASS’s massive corn production projections this year — is that today’s high commodity prices could come back down.
“When they’re as high as they’ve been recently, there’s usually only one way to go from there,” he said. “And as expensive as it is to farm right now (fuel prices, etc.), we can’t handle commodity prices going down very much.”
Sidwell, who has farmed all of his life, said today represents as much uncertainty in the industry as he can remember.
“It’s certainly been an interesting year,” said Norm Dalsted, professor and agriculture economist at Colorado State University.
However, Dalsted, along with other ag economic experts, agree that whatever is predicted for production and whatever subsequent effects those have on commodity price projections, many favorable factors should help the agriculture industry overall weather the storm.
While uncertainty surrounds Wall Street, many investors view the agriculture industry as a reliable place to put their money. As commodity prices are high, the value of farmland continues to go up across the nation, interest rates stay low and the world’s demand for food grows.
Technology is also helping the industry, Dalsted noted, as better yields can be produced from farmland — at least land that hasn’t been destroyed by extreme weather this year.
However, Dalsted acknowledged that there will still be some losers in the scenario, specifically mentioning cattle farmers in drought-stricken Texas, who are paying “astronomic” prices for hay to feed their livestock, or are having to sell off their herds.
Meanwhile, farmers where hay is growing well — places like Weld County — have the grass they need to feed their livestock and alfalfa producers can sell their product for a good price.
“It’s nothing new,” Dalsted said. “You have some winners and some losers. That’s how it always goes in this business.
“The only difference today is that you have so many factors playing into everything.”
Mark Sponsler, CEO with Colorado Corn based in Greeley, attended a conference this week in Arizona, where, among other topics, predicting this year’s crop production and prices were among the matters discussed.
“Basically, we came to the conclusion that we don’t know what’s going to happen,” Sponsler said with a laugh.

Farmland prices reach all-time high, says report

tải xuống (4) FARMLAND prices reached an all-time high in the South West during the first half of 2011, as land availability failed to match growing demand, says the latest RICS Rural Land Market Survey.

Chartered surveyors estimate that the average price per acre increased to £5,950 during the first half of the year, reaching all-time record levels for the second consecutive period.

Interest from potential buyers of commercial farmland continued to surge ahead, with 50 per cent more respondents reporting increases rather than decreases in demand. Surveyors report this is driven largely by increasing demand from commercial farmers looking to expand production on the back of elevated commodity prices.

RICS spokesperson Sue Steer said: "The first six months of 2011 saw farmland prices in the South West increase to record levels once again. With supply of commercial farmland to the market falling away, the growing demand from potential buyers kept prices high across the region. Furthermore, with commodity prices still very high, many commercial farmers appear more keen to expand their businesses rather than sell their land.

"This can only lead to even higher prices over the next 12 months."

Firm prices boost sheepmeat production


EU sheepmeat production increased by nearly 3% during the first five months of the year, as farmers culled heavier ewes to benefit from higher prices.

Although meat production rose to 288,000t, overall slaughter numbers remained relatively static compared with the previous year, at 19.4m head, said a report by AHDB Meat Services. "Lamb slaughterings fell slightly to just below 17.2m head, while the number of adult sheep culled increased 7% to 2.2m head."

The recovery followed sharp falls in 2009 and 2010, and was being led by a 13% increase in adult sheep slaughterings in the UK, said the report. Overall, EU lamb production remained static at 238,000t, while mutton production increased by 17%, to 50,000t. "These higher weights indicate that producers are culling their flocks harder as they seek to take advantage of significantly higher ewe prices."

In New Zealand, sheep numbers had fallen by 2% in the year to 30 June, but better lambing percentages should boost the lamb crop by 6%. Although this would increase export availability, shipments to the UK in 2012 would not reach 2010 levels due to newly emerged markets and constrained supplies.