U.S. farm bankruptcies in September surged 24% to the highest since 2011 amid strains from President Donald Trump's trade war with China and a year of wild weather. Growers are also becoming increasingly dependent on trade aid and other federal programs for income, figures showed in a report by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the nation's largest general farm organization. The squeeze on farmers underscores the toll China's retaliatory tariffs have taken on a critical Trump constituency as the president enters a re-election campaign and a fight to stave off impeachment. The figures also highlight the importance of a "phase one" deal the administration is currently negotiating with Beijing to increase agriculture imports in return for a pause in escalating U.S. levies. Almost 40% of projected farm profit this year will come from trade aid, disaster assistance, federal subsidies and insurance payments, according to the report, based on Department of Agriculture forecasts. That's $33 billion of a projected $88 billion in income. The trade war and two straight years of adverse weather rattled farmers already facing commodity price slumps.
The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) recently released their Agricultural Census 2017 which indicated that agriculture occupied 41% of Brazil's land area. Brazil has a total land area of 851.4 million hectares (2.1 billion acres) with a total of 5,073,324 farming operations which occupy 351.2 million hectares (867.4 million acres) or 41% of Brazil's total land area. Compared to ten years earlier, the agricultural area in Brazil increased 5.8% while the number of farming operations declined 102,312. The census was conducted between October 1, 2017 and February 28, 2018 and data was collected on 7.5 million addresses. The number of large farming operations increased especially in the northern agricultural frontier areas while the number of farming operations decreased in northeastern Brazil due to periodic droughts over the last ten years. The percent of the types of agricultural operations were as follows: 15.8% annual crops, 2.2% permanent crops, 31.9% planted pastures, 13.4% natural pastures, 30.3% natural forested areas within the farming operations, 2.4% planted forestry plantations. A striking take away from the census data is how little of Brazil is dedicated to row crop production. Only approximately 7% of Brazil's land area is dedicated to row crop production with soybeans being the main crop. That means there is tremendous potential for the expansion of soybean acreage in the future if there are favorable market conditions. According to the Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Brazil is currently the third largest food producer in the world and it will continue to gain market share for the foreseeable future.
[前沿资讯] International Institute of Tropical Agriculture unveils digital tools for agricultural transformation 进入全文
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on Friday unveiled a suite digital tools that are helping in transforming farming, improving yield and livelihoods of farmers. The digital tools include the cassava, Goseed and yam seed trackers; Akilimo, IITA Herbicide Calculator, e-commerce site and IITA News App. The seed trackers are mobile platforms designed to help in seed production planning, seed traceability, seed inventory, real-time tracking of production status, seed certification, marketing, information resources, among others. The IITA Herbicide Calculator is a mobile app that was developed by the Cassava Weed Management Project and deployed across Nigeria and other African countries and is being used in controlling weeds in cassava. The App helps growers to estimate correct amount of herbicides to be added to knapsack sprayers, helping farmers to avoid underdosing or overdosing which leads to environmental pollution and weeds resistance. Akilimo on the other hand, is a mobile agronomy advisory tool developed by the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) that combines weed management/best plantig, fertilizer recommendations, scheduled planting.