The White Pea Flower

From next year, grain growers in southern Australia will have access to a new variety of field pea that’s in high demand overseas reports ABC Rural.

The white pea, which is named Pearl for its colour and clear seed coat has just been released thanks to Pulse Breeding Australia.

Research Agromist Eric Armstong works with the NSW Department of Primary Industries, and he hopes the pea will be eventually exported for food production in the Indian sub-continent. “A good quality white pea like Pearl will be used generally for splitting, to produce the yellow split pea, roasting and frying,” he said.

“They also use them for dahl for cooking.”

Mr Armstrong says pulses are also becoming more important for growers as a rotational crop with wheat.

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UK Grains Harvest 2012: What we already knew…

The global price of wheat has increased by an astounding 30% over the past 12 months – which according to the UK based National Farmers Union (NFU), has put massive pressure on farmers who buy grain to feed their livestock.

NFU President Peter Kendal was discussing the worst wheat growth in the UK since the 1980’s when he said, “The challenge for the pig and poultry market is trying to make sure that retailers pay a fair price, because in pigs 50% of the cost is grain, poultry it’s 60% – and these farmers at the moment, because the prices haven’t responded yet, they’re actually saying I’m not going to fill my sheds with poultry or pigs any more.”

The problems faced by farmers in the UK and the global increase in wheat prices are both adding to fears over rises in food prices reports the BBC News wesbsite. But The extreme weather has taken its toll on the amount of food produced and the quality of food and grain.

Martyn Jones, from the Morrisons supermarket chain, said that, for example, carrots were not quite as sweet as previous years, and the available volumes of some food was down – about 25% across most potatoes and root crops.

The worst hit areas in the UK this summer were in the South-West where a huge proportion of  UK crops are produced. Ian Johnson, south-west England spokesman for the NFU, said this year’s weather had led to a “mixed picture” for arable farmers.

He said while wheat crops had suffered, winter barley yields were up 1.6%; spring barley yields were down 7.4% and oilseed rape yields were up 5.9%.

But still for some such as Paul Harris, an arable farmer in Dorset, the difficulties look set to continue. He said, “I’ve been farming now for 40 years and it’s the worst harvest I have ever known.”

More about NFU

Grain Production Actually on the Up… But so is Consumption.

Now I know the subject of grain production in 2012 has generally been approached with sighs and groans but we here at IMD HQ have received a release from the WorldWatch Organisation that has made for very interesting reading.

Despite climactic problems in pretty much every farming region across the world this year, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has suggested that the Global grain production is expected to reach a record high of 2.4 billion tons in 2012.

This comes as stark contrast to the early indications which had seen fears of a low quality grain harvest grow. In fact according to the report this is an increase of 1% from 2011 levels and that’s not all. The production of grain for animal feed is growing the fastest- a 2.1% increase from 2011.

According to the International Grains Council 571 million tons were used last year for human consumption, with India consuming a grand 89 million tons.

However it is no secret that fierce drought in the Great Plains of USA have severely altered estimates on Maize production this year where it is most productive (in 2011 it was expected to reach a record 345million tonnes). This has led to a huge deficit expected for 2012/13 – 13% to be precise – and FAO have warned that with increased production also comes increased consumption.

“The relationship between food security, grain production, and climate change is especially important in 2012,” said Danielle Nierenberg, a Worldwatch senior researcher and Nourishing the Planet project director. “The recent drought affecting the United States and the rest of the world show the need to reduce price volatility, move away from fossil fuel-based agriculture, and recognize the importance of women farmers to increase resilience to climate change.”

If you would like to learn more about the Nourishing the Planet Project please click on the link above, you can also visit the blog at blogs.worldwatch.org/nourishingtheplanet.

Record Wheat Crop thanks to Indian Summer

The latest crop-stock reports coming out of India may make for interesting reading to a vast majority of our listed IMD companies as India Infoline reports that it may harvest a record crop this year.

Thanks to some good weather and a helping hand from its government the country’s farmers are likely to reap something in the region of 90.23 million metric tons of wheat in 2012. That is an increase from last year’s 86.87 million tons, according to the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organization based in Rome.

While rice and course grains had got off to a slow start because of a scarcity of rain, a favorable monsoon last year boosted its cereal production to a record 232.1 million tons including milled rice, up 5.5 percent from a year earlier, it said.

Owing to this, India will have a surplus of about 13 million tons available to export in the 2012-13 season that started in April, nearly doubling the average for the previous five-years, this includes wheat, corn and rice.

However there is concern over a lack of sufficient quality storage capacity surrounding this report by FAO.

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