Argentina’s 2009/2010 crop is estimated in 91 million tons, 48% higher than the previous mainly because of improved yields thanks basically to more regular rainfall, courtesy of the El Niño climate phenomenon.
Chile’s annual fall harvest season continues apace, notwithstanding earthquake damage to Chile's roads, irrigation systems, electric grid, packing houses, and other infrastructure.
Chile’s fresh fruit business has been whip-lashed the past weeks by the 8.8 earthquake which struck February 27, at the height of the fresh fruit export season. Large shipments of table grapes - roughly four million cases - and other fruit had to be stored while authorities worked over time to get port facilities operating again.
Argentina has its Malbec; Chile has its Carmenere and now Uruguay, not to be out-classed by its more famous wine-producing neighbours, is taking the world of viticulture by storm, with its distinctive Tannat wines.
Cuban farmers are pressing for greater autonomy to produce and sell their crops, blaming government inefficiency for Cuba’s falling food output despite agricultural reforms introduced by President Raúl Castro.
Uruguay expects for this year a record export of grains and oilseeds, however prospects for the rest of the year are not too clear given abundant crops worldwide which will have an impact on prices.
Brazil will harvest a grain crop of 145.1 million tons this year, a volume very close to the record 145.8 million tons of 2008, said the government’s statistics office, IBGE on the basis of February field data.
Brazil announced Monday it would levy a total of 591 million US dollars in retaliatory tariffs on US goods under a ruling against US cotton subsidies granted by a World Trade Organization last year. However Brazil also sent a conciliatory message.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization called for greater global support and funds to be invested in biotechnology research and regretted that so many politicians “do not understand that biotechnology is far more that Genetically Modified Organisms, OGM”.
UK growers of a particular type of rhubarb have hailed the decision to award it special status as fantastic news for British food. Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb, which is only grown in the 'Rhubarb Triangle' between Bradford, Wakefield and Leeds, joins products likes champagne and Parma Ham in having its name legally protected.