Cargill’s North American Protein business partners with non-profits to ensure Canada’s resilience amidst COVID-19

Image credit: Bernard Spragg NZ
(CC0 1.0)

May 27th, 2020: Cargill is working with non-profit and NGO partners around the globe to help address food security, health and safety needs and agriculture and industry challenges to ease the impact of COVID-19.

The company has committed $35 million to date for COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts through partnerships, aid funds, product donations and employee giving. In addition to monetary contributions, Cargill has donated more than three million pounds of food to food shelves and hunger relief efforts. The response is guided by a commitment towards nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way.

‘We are humbled to work alongside the people whose tireless efforts every day keep food on our tables,’ said Jon Nash, president of Cargill Protein – North America. ‘Cargill is focused on supporting employees and local communities – especially those most impacted by food insecurity during this pandemic. We are working with producers to keep the agriculture economy moving and to feed Canadian communities. Our employees as well as our producer partners have our deep gratitude.’

Partnering to put people first
Cargill has partnered with the Canadian Cattleman’s Foundation at the founder’s level to support Canadian producers. Additionally, the company has made contributions to organisations providing emergency support to Canadians including to Food Banks Canada, Second Harvest Canada and Breakfast Clubs Canada.

Local Cargill Protein teams have also helped to provide more than two million meals for Canadians through our food bank partners across the country. In Quebec, Cargill donated 20,000 kg of ground beef to Tables de Chefs’ ‘Les Cuisines Solidaires’ project. The project aims to mobilise the food industry and chefs of Quebec to produce more than 800,000 meals for people in need during and after the COVID-19 crisis. The meals are being prepped in commercial kitchens across the province and delivered to food banks and agencies that are part of Food Banks Quebec.

Prioritising employee safety
Cargill is committed to putting people first, and continues to keep its facilities operating anywhere it is safe to do so according to health and workplace authorities. This ensures a reliable market for producers and delivers the essential service of putting food on family tables.

To support employee health and safety, Cargill has adopted additional measures at all protein facilities, including temperature testing, distributing face masks to employees daily, taking extra cleaning and sanitising measures and supporting social distancing with efforts ranging from staggered breaks and shift flexibility to the installation of barriers between work stations. Throughout this process Cargill has worked alongside regional government officials and health authorities to ensure decisions made coordinate with the government’s greater COVID-19 response.

Cargill is also recognising the tireless contributions of our front-line employees with incentive pay and bonuses during the pandemic.

Visit the Cargill website, HERE.

Grain Industry makes moves to improve health and safety of grain sampling

Mark Worrell
Image credit: AIC

May 27th, 2020: The grain industry has for some time been working to improve the safety of ‘on farm’ grain sampling and how samples are taken.

Mark Worrell, Chairman of the AIC Crop Marketing Sector explains, ‘In advance of this year’s harvest AIC are keen to help the industry improve the Health and Safety of ‘on farm’ sampling and ensure farmers are well prepared and supported to adopt improved ways of working.’

‘Industry developed guidance from the AHDB on grain sampling, by the grower at store filling, will become increasingly important. Several AIC members have long ceased sending samplers to farm due to safety concerns, and this trend is expected to increase rapidly as we lead up to harvest 2020.’

Currently merchants send members of their team, or summer students, to farm to take samples which are then tested at a laboratory. Not only does this method present numerous Health & Safety risks, it is not the most efficient or accurate way to obtain a representative and accurate sample.  

The opportunity to send samples direct to merchants is increasing and this will also certainly help minimise any new risks which Coronavirus (COVID-19) has introduced. AIC members will have different approaches around drawing and collecting samples subject to their own internal Health and Safety policies and risk assessments.

In advance of harvest it is especially timely for AIC to help the farming industry be ready to adopt their own sampling. Grain merchants are keen to support growers and welcome discussion on managing this. In addition, the AIC will be working hard to gain support from all sectors including the NFU.

Visit the AIC website, HERE.

Innovation and tech in action at Cereals LIVE

Image credit: Cereals

May 27th, 2020: There is nothing quite like seeing tech in action to understand how it works and how it can be beneficial on farm, which is why Cereals LIVE will be putting demos right at growers’ fingertips.

From state-of-the-art robotics, to autonomous tractors and electronic weeding, Cereals LIVE will have it all available in video demonstrations in the brand new Innovation and Tech Demo ring, says event director, Alli McEntyre. ‘It’s a brave new world for farming, with innovation driving sustainability and efficiency. Being able to see the most cutting-edge technology in action will give farmers an insight into where their businesses could be headed very soon.’

So what will growers be able to see online?
The Small Robot Company will be demonstrating its robot weed mapping service, launched in November 2019. Hailed as a technical milestone, it is the world’s first service for individual plant mapping at broadacre scale and provides farmers with a per-plant view of their fields.

Delivered using its robust commercial robot Tom, it can cover 20ha per day autonomously and can distinguish plant details at sub-millimetre resolution, with less than one millimetre per pixel resolution on the ground.

Also demonstrating how far robotics in farming has advanced, FarmDroid will show just what an autonomous field robot can do to help reduce costs for sowing and weeding crops, while additionally staying carbon neutral and organic.

Harper Adams University will be exhibiting its new drone sprayer, while Syngenta will be offering visitors a close-up view of different sprayer nozzles in action, alongside the new closed handling system which makes filling traditional sprayers easier and safer.

For those wanting to improve spray efficiencies, MagGrow could be worth a look – using magnetic technology it claims to increase coverage by 20 percent and reduce drift by up to 70 percent.

Two new innovations from Joskin promise to grab growers’ attention: With John Deere, its NIR sensor can be fitted to slurry tankers in order to test the nutritional content of slurry as it’s being delivered. And for the machinery buff, its new E-Drive will be of great interest. This distributes tractor power throughout the tractor-trailer combination, allowing for increased traction alongside reduced ground compaction, tyre wear and fuel consumption.

Another first of its kind, New Holland’s methane tractor will be on display. Offering the same performance as its diesel equivalent, with up to 30 percent lower running costs, this machine presents a look at the future of zero carbon farming.

When it comes to crop monitoring, there is plenty of choice, from DroneAG’s Skippy Scout app – which makes crop walking a doddle by linking a drone to field records – to Kisanhub’s new app – which links crop monitoring and traceability throughout the supply chain.

Weed control will also be under the spotlight, with various alternatives to chemical sprays. Lyckegard will demonstrate its CombCut mechanical and selective weeding tool which has been designed for low power tractors. This works by cutting weeds either within crops or above branched crops, making it a suitable alternative for organic growers.

Mechanical weeding options will also be explored, while those looking for something completely new might be tempted by Rootwave – electric weeding technology. A sustainable and no-till option, it uses electricity to zap roots, ensuring weeds are systematically killed.

Advancing technology opens many news doors and opportunities for farmers, adds Ms McEntyre. ‘Cereals LIVE will have a full shop floor for growers to explore, with plenty of ideas for them to take home and use to develop their farm for the future.’

Visit the Cereals LIVE website, HERE.

IPPE ranks #22 on TSNN’s top trade show list

May 27th, 2020: The International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) is pleased to announce its recognition by Trade Show News Network (TSNN) as ranking #22 in net square footage on the 2019 TSNN Top Trade Show list.

All trade shows on the list are based in the United States and are ranked by overall net square footage. The 2019 IPPE had 1,426 exhibitors and 594,052 net square feet of exhibit space. IPPE is sponsored by the US Poultry & Egg Association, the American Feed Industry Association and the North American Meat Institute.

‘IPPE is honoured to be recognised for its growth. This is the highest ranking IPPE has attained, and it could not have been achieved without the commitment of our exhibitors and attendees who appreciate smart collaborations between the right industries. Bringing three strong industries together allows all of our members and the industry at large to see the newest technology, equipment, suppliers and innovative solutions for their businesses in one combined event,’ said IPPE show organisers.

The 2021 IPPE will take place 26–28th January, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga. IPPE is the world’s largest annual poultry, animal food and meat industry event.

Show updates and attendee and exhibitor information are available on the website, HERE.

Key role for former foodstuff processing sector to achieve farm-to-fork strategy ambitions

May 27th, 2020: EFFPA, the European Former Foodstuff Processors Association has warmly welcomed the Farm to Fork Strategy published by the European Commission on 20th May 2020.

Former foodstuff processing corresponds well with a range of the projected ambitions as regards sustainable food production systems, such as reduced environmental and climate footprint of the EU food system, increased circular business models, reduced food waste and the recovery of secondary raw materials.

Former foodstuffs are well-suited to contribute to a reduced environmental and climate footprint of animal products, as their use in feed compared to nutritionally equivalent, ‘traditional’ feed materials has lower environmental impacts, particularly in terms of land use and overall carbon footprint.

EFFPA members are starting to engage on the development of data linked to the environmental performance of processed former foodstuffs in feed. EFFPA expects that this will be a key contribution of the sector to a more sustainable animal production chain.

Former foodstuff processing, i.e. the conversion of ‘ex-food’ at food manufacturing level that are no longer intended for human consumption into feed, is in essence a circular ‘food-feed-food’ business model that simultaneously reduces food waste and assures the safe use of ‘secondary raw materials’ in feed.

EFFPA calls on the European Commission to facilitate the food-to-feed transition to allow usage of surplus food for animal feed when it is not possible to redistribute it to humans, in line with the Recommendations for Action in Food Waste Prevention developed by the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste.

Visit the EFFPA website, HERE.

Indo Livestock postponed to June 2021

May 27th, 2020: The organisers of Indo Livestock, Indo Feed, Indo Dairy, Indo Agritech, Indo Vet, and Indo Fisheries 2020 Expo and Forum, PT Napindo Media Ashatama have taken the difficult decision to postpone this year’s show to 23-25th June 2021 at the Jakarta Convention Centre, Jakarta, Indonesia.

This decision was made as the health and safety of every member of the community are of the utmost importance to them.

Whilst standing by their belief that they have made the right decision to protect the health of the industry, the organisers have also extended their apologies for any inconvenience that has been caused to those involved with or set to attend this year’s show.

For more information visit the Indo Livestock 2021 website, HERE.

Hamlet Protein supports local US communities

Grady Fain
Image credit: Hamlet Protein

22nd May, 2020: As millions of Americans struggle with the impact of the coronavirus, a series of devastating tornados hit the Southeast US. Hamlet Protein Inc joined forces with some of its customers and local relief organisations to support communities in general and agricultural industry employees and their families in particular.

In April, tornados struck communities in the Southeast US, damaging and destroying numerous homes and business buildings. Hamlet Protein donated to volunteer fire departments in the area that have shown tremendous commitment in helping families in need.

Food banks across the United States support families and individuals through the donation of food. The economic impact of the corona virus has prompted an increased demand for food donations. Hamlet Protein Inc contributed to foodbanks in Oklahoma to support their efforts.

Hamlet Protein Inc also donated to the ‘Meating the Need Campaign’ that provides food and support to families impacted by COVID-19 in the upper Midwest.

‘Hamlet Protein is part of the food chain. Through the health of farm animals, we contribute to feeding the world. In times like these, when a pandemic and storms collide, we feel it is important to support those in need. Through our donations we join forces with many other organisations aiming to make a difference to local communities,’ commented Grady Fain, Regional Director NCA at Hamlet Protein.

Visit the Hamlet Protein website, HERE.

Leading Eastern European pasta producer invests in new mill

Image credit: Ocrim

22nd May, 2020: Makfa, one of the leading pasta producers in the world and top brand in Eastern Europe is preparing for a new investment project: the installation of an additional and new mill for grinding durum wheat. The particularity of the project is that it must be carried out within the context of the global coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

For Ocrim, it is the first contract after the official and total reopening, which took place on May 4th due to this emergency. An agreement reached during a conference call that ended with a virtual handshake.

Ocrim is Makfa’s historical partner: in the last 10 years two durum wheat mills (having respectively a capacity of 330 and 360 T/24h) have been set up in the Roschino mill complex (Chelyabinsk Region) and a 400 T/24h soft/hard wheat mill in the Kurgan mill complex. The new 250T/24h mill will be installed in the existing building in Chelyabinsk.

The new contract includes the supply of a complete durum wheat range with quality and reliability characteristics that Makfa has always sought and found in Ocrim. ‘To be one of the Top pasta producers in the world’, said Anton Belousov, Managing Director of Makfa, ‘it is necessary to have high-quality semolina, which is the result of high-quality cereal, and processed with the best machines and modern technologies on the market today’.

In turn, the CEO of Ocrim, Alberto Antolini, commented on the imminent joint project ‘Ocrim has been the official supplier of the major durum wheat plants in Russia for many years. We are therefore proud to have been chosen again by one of the top players in pasta production in Russia and worldwide. In an emergency like what we’ve gone through, this important milestone represents a great sign of optimism”.

Visit the Ocrim website, HERE.

Check out the latest varieties at Cereals LIVE

Image credit: Cereals

22nd May, 2020: Informed variety selection is key for arable farmers; whether looking for peak yield potential, disease resistance or many other select traits, the right characteristics can set a crop up to flourish.

Though achieving the highest treated yield has been the main driver for a lot of growers, untreated yield and disease resistance are coming to the fore of variety selection as efforts are made to optimise pesticide usage and increase gross margins.

So what new and exciting varieties will be on display at Cereals LIVE? Using video from the Cambridgeshire site as well as plots around the UK, visitors will be able to see a large range of treated and untreated varieties. ‘Being able to see the crops over video will give growers a real feel for how they look and what might suit their own systems,’ says event director Alli McEntyre. ‘Additionally, there will be experts on-hand to answer questions and provide detailed information on the varieties, so growers can find out anything they want to know.’

Comparing treated and untreated yields can help farmers to optimise pesticide use efficiency, explains Bill Clarke at NIAB. ‘Historically, the highest yielding varieties were always dirty and susceptible to septoria,’ he says.  ‘This meant growers had to put a big fungicide programme on, but now we have high yielders which are quite resistant to disease and have a much lower fungicide requirement.’

Some varieties with similar treated yields demonstrate a difference in untreated yield of anywhere from 0.5t/ha to 6t/ha. Producers could therefore make big savings by selecting the right variety to combat disease pressures.

With a range of choice across the board, Simon Oxley at AHDB picks out six top performers to look out for.


KWS Firefly is a quality Group 3 biscuit wheat from KWS. It has the highest yield of the Group 3s.  It is a short stiff variety, which has the highest rating for resistance to septoria tritici for a Group 3 variety of 7.0. It is also resistant to orange wheat blossom midge. It has performed well on heavier soils and in a first-cereal position.

SY Insitor is a new Group 4 hard feed wheat from Syngenta. It is very high-yielding and has a high specific weight. It has given very high treated yields throughout the UK, as well as across a range of soil types and rotational positions. It has high resistance to septoria tritici (6.6).

Theodore is a new Group 4 hard feed wheat for the West region only from DSV. The variety has a high resistance to septoria tritici (8.2), but has a low specific weight. It is a short and relatively stiff-strawed variety. It has given high untreated yields in UK trials

Winter barley

Jordan is a new two-row feed variety from Elsoms Ackermann Barley. It has performed particularly well in the East and West regions, as well as on heavier soils. Jordan has given the highest yields in untreated UK trials for a two-row feed variety. It has high resistance to brown rust and rhynchosporium.

KWS Hawking is a new two-row feed variety from KWS. It has performed particularly well in the East region and on heavier soils. It has shown no major weaknesses in disease resistance.

SY Kingsbarn from Syngenta is a very high-yielding six-row hybrid feed variety with a high specific weight. This variety has performed well across all regions, as well as across a range of soil types. It responds well to plant growth regulators, has given good yields in untreated UK trials and has no major weaknesses in disease resistance.

Visit the Cereals Live website, HERE.

FEFAC responds to farm-to-fork and biodiversity strategies

22nd May, 2020: FEFAC has welcomed the EU Commission’s willingness to strengthen food security at both global and EU level and the resilience of EU agriculture and food systems in its communication on FTF and Biodiversity. The EU feed industry has proven its capacity to secure essential feed and food supply chains for the provision of products of animal origin to EU consumers during the COVID-19 crisis, under very challenging conditions and in close cooperation with key supply chain partners and the EU Commission.

FEFAC fully agrees with the Commission analysis of the central role of the Common Agricultural Policy as the key policy delivery mechanism to provide safe, sustainable and affordable food to EU Consumers. As world leaders in animal nutrition efficiency, we also share the high level of ambition of the EU Commission to meet climate change targets, providing opportunities for EU agriculture and livestock production by providing incentives to produce “more with less”.

No food system can be sustainable without the production of farm animals, due to their essential role in transforming low value human inedible feed materials into high-value nutritious food via milk, meat and eggs to consumers. At the same time farm animals provide highly valued organic fertilisers to arable crops, making them a key component of sustainable food systems based on the Circular Economy principles. The feed industry’s role is to provide optimised animal nutrition, reduced nutrient losses, improved animal health and welfare and increasing environmental performance of animal production systems, via precision feeding systems and the adoption of new technologies.

FEFAC is however deeply concerned about the potential adverse impact of some of the key policy orientations included in the FTF and Biodiversity strategy setting conflicting targets which may actually reduce the EU’s food production capacity. We therefore stress the importance of a thorough inception impact assessment, prior to any specific legislative measures, in line with better regulation practices. We believe this approach to be crucial to ensure policy coherence at EU and national level, in particular regarding the EU’s objective to raise the production and competitiveness of home-grown vegetable proteins.

The EU feed industry has not waited for the FTF Communication in developing new tools for its members and livestock farmers to increase the sustainability and competitiveness of feed and livestock production. It has developed an LCA based methodology for measuring the environmental performance of compound feed (the PEFCR Feed for Food-Producing Animals), validated in 2018 by DGENVI and EU 28 Member States. The FEFAC Soy Sourcing Guidelines have made a significant contribution to facilitate the transformation of the EU soy supply chain. A new module on deforestation-free soy supplies is currently under preparation. FEFAC member companies are offering tailor-made animal nutrition solutions to reduce the need for therapeutic antibiotics at farm level, as part of a farm animal health & welfare management system.

FEFAC President Nick Major said, “The EU feed industry is a key driver for the development of sustainable food systems for farm animals and aquaculture. We therefore share some of the overall objectives of the FTF/Biodiversity communication on sustainable food systems. We do however fear that conflicting policy targets and measures announced in the EU Commission communication, may actually undermine the EU’s food production capacity and global leadership role in developing resource efficient sustainable and circular food production systems. We do fully support the new priority setting on food security, resulting from the lessons of the COVID-19 crisis and would strongly recommend to carry out in-depth inception impact assessment before taking any specific legislative measures, preventing any “unintended consequences” by denying farmers access to proven technology, without providing tangible, effective alternatives.”

VIsit the FEFAC website, HERE.