Monday, February 28th 2011 - 00:09 UTC

Mercosur researchers create robot to identify drought and disease resistant soybeans

As the world’s leading soy exporter, Mercosur also wants a biotechnological edge

A robot which categorizes soy bean plants according to their capacity to resist drought and make better use of the water resource has been developed by a bio-technology group of Mercosur researchers in Argentina, with European Union support.

Friday, February 25th 2011 - 21:53 UTC

Argentine government makes a small gesture towards farmers’ groups

Minister of Economy, Amado Boudou, a rising star in Cristina’s cabinet?

Argentina decreed the dissolution of the controversial ONCCA, (Office for the commercial control of agriculture produce) which was directly involved in market regulation and distribution of subsidies and as such caused much irritation and criticism particularly from farmers’ organizations.

Wednesday, February 23rd 2011 - 06:32 UTC

Biotech crops keep advancing and currently cover over a billion hectares

Clive James, chair of ISAAA

The amount of land devoted to genetically engineered crops grew 10% last year, and 7% in the year before, as farmers in major grain and soy exporting countries such as Brazil and Argentina continued to adopt the new seeds.

Thursday, February 17th 2011 - 23:01 UTC

Good harvest year for Argentina farmers and the tax man, in spite of drought

Less corn and soy beans but abundance of wheat, barley and sunflower

A good crop year for Argentine farmers and the government: export revenue will be up 4 billion US dollars and the tax man will bag an additional 888 million US dollars according to estimates from local grain dealers.

Wednesday, February 16th 2011 - 22:53 UTC

Mantega reiterates opposition to French plan for commodity prices regulation

Rich countries should work to eliminate farm subsidies, said the Brazilian minister

Brazil reiterated opposition to a French plan to impose regulation on commodity prices, saying it could have “negative effects” on major suppliers such as itself. “Brazil is totally opposed to a mechanism of control or regulation of commodity prices,” Finance Minister Guido Mantega told reporters, reiterating a position he gave last week.

Wednesday, February 16th 2011 - 13:50 UTC

Up to 10% of rice sold in Chinese markets tainted with heavy metals

However experts say pollution is confined to a few specific regions

Recent research has concluded that 10% of the rice sold in China’s markets is likely to be tainted with heavy metals, but agricultural experts said the pollution is confined to particular regions and there is no call for panic.

Tuesday, February 15th 2011 - 11:35 UTC

Extreme weather and panic buying send wheat soaring to new highs

Middle East and North Africa are keen to secure supplies

Countries anxious to avoid a repeat of the 2007-2008 global food crisis when they were caught short of grain supplies, have stepped up their buying programs and are driving prices to new highs.

Tuesday, February 15th 2011 - 05:34 UTC

US farmers have planted the biggest crop in 13 years reports USDA

The area with wheat totals 23.1 million hectares

United States farmers have planted the biggest crop in thirteen years according to a report released by the US Department of Agriculture which estimated the area sown to the eight major field crops in 2011 at 103.3 million hectares.

Monday, February 14th 2011 - 21:50 UTC

Political agreement in Paraguay to impose export levies on soybeans and beef

Paraguayan Finance minister Dionisio Borda determined to balance the budget

The Paraguayan government is working with Congress to agree on budget cuts and possible tax increases, (levies on beef and soybean exports) that should help balance 2011 expenditure and revenue.

Friday, February 11th 2011 - 20:16 UTC

Fruit and vegetables in Chile forecasted to soar 20% because of the drought

Grapes, lettuce, cabbage, citrus among the most affected

Chilean farmers and produce distributors estimate that prices will increase for some fruits and vegetables by as much as 10 to 20% within the next 60 days, due to water shortages in northern and central Chile.


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