Significant Potential to boost Global Crop Production
Therefore Bullish Markets are not a Given
Will the global agricultural system be able to respond to increasing demand for raw material in the mid-term? This question was one of the key topics of this year’s agri benchmark Cash Crop Conference.
From June 9th to June 15th the network of leading farm economists, which is coordinated by Thünen Institute and DLG (Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft), held its annual meeting in Pilanesberg, South Africa. Invited by the South African partner organizations BFAP (Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy) and NAMC (National Agricultural Marketing Council), 38 experts from 23 different countries came together to discuss recent developments and perspectives in global crop production.
Selected case studies from Argentina, Poland, Ukraine, Morocco, USA, Australia and Bulgaria yielded the clear message that technically and economically speaking, there is a huge potential to boost output. For example Pawel Boczar (University Poznan, Poland) indicated that average Polish wheat yields are 4t/ha while well managed farms are able to harvest between 6 t/ha or 50 % more. Such an increase however requires improvements in plant nutrition, seed quality and plant protection.
Furthermore, the example of Argentina illustrates that the hurdles for an expansion in land use are not paramount. Only modest investments in development are needed in order to expand arable production significantly. The agri benchmark partner Martin Otero (Hillock) made clear that, even under stringent regulations regarding clearing until 2020, an expansion of arable land by 20 to 40 % is a realistic scenario. Consequently, provided there were stable grain markets for Argentine farmers, an increase in oilseed production by up to 25 % and in grain production by 75 % would be realistic.
Recently, high commodity prices and significant improvements in profitability of crop production have generated a strong incentive to expand production. This may change the ag commodity market from a seller’s to a buyer’s market again. Scenario calculations for agri benchmark farms indicate that the long term floor price for wheat might at least be 30 % or 50 USD/t less than what is being realized nowadays. Yelto Zimmer (Thünen Institute, Germany) therefore concluded that a lasting period of much lower commodity prices is possible (if not even likely) – despite the bullish projections of international agencies.
BFAP and NAMC also invited about 80 representatives from industry, growers and policy makers to the ‘Global Forum’. One of the key topics was the comparison between the US and South African corn production analyzed by Divan van der Westhuizen (BFAP, South Africa) and Kelvin Leibold (Iowa State University, USA). One key finding: Due to high nitrogen prices and low nitrogen productivity, South African irrigated corn production is relatively expensive. One of the probable reasons: As of today the typical farms do not run a corn-soybean rotation; hence no nitrogen residue remains from a leguminous crop.
At the Global Forum Somporn Isvilanonda (KNIT, Thailand) and Luan Nguyen (Vietnam) identified success factors for the small holder based rice production – both countries are by far the most important players in the global rice market. Reliable property rights on land, access to credit and advice as well as a proper physical and economic infrastructure turned out to be the decisive factors for success. Presentations from the Global Forum can be downloaded from http://www.agribenchmark.org/ccc2012.html.
Dr. Michael Welling | vTI
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core
Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....