global food production

Automation can be an agricultural boon, says FAO report

Agricultural automation, ranging from tractors to sensors, drones, and artificial intelligence, can play an important role in making food production more efficient and environmentally friendly, said the annual State of Food and Agriculture report on Wednesday.

World grain stocks to fall for sixth straight year, says IGC

With world corn production down 4 percent, the global stockpile of grain will shrink for the sixth year in a row, said the International Grains Council on Thursday. In a monthly report, the IGC said the 2022/23 global harvest would be 1 percent smaller than last season’s record output.

Global food prices moderate after hitting all-time high

The FAO Food Price Index, a barometer of prices for food commodities, rocketed to a record high immediately after Russia invaded Ukraine and disrupted food supply chains. Now it is down for the third month in a row, with large global harvests at hand, but Ukraine is a new entrant on the list of nations needing food aid, said the UN agency.

U.S. cuts red tape to increase food production, fill Ukraine gap, says Biden

Jeff O’Connor gave President Biden a firsthand introduction to double-cropping on his 800-acre Illinois farm on Wednesday and agreed with the president that America can help fill the gap in global food supplies created by the war in Ukraine. “We have the ability to raise two crops in one growing season while simultaneously providing conservation benefits,” said O’Connor. “The farming community stands ready to maximize production, which we do so well, in this time of world need.”

Biden encourages larger U.S. crops to feed world, blunt inflation

President Biden will announce three steps to encourage American farmers “to boost production, lower food prices, and feed the world” during a visit to a family farm in northern Illinois on Wednesday afternoon, said the White House. Action by the USDA would be a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and to high inflation at home.

‘Nobel Prize of Agriculture’ awarded to NASA climate scientist

NASA climatologist Cynthia Rosenzweig, one of the first scientists to document the impact of climate change on food production, is this year’s winner of the $250,000 World Food Prize, said the Food Prize foundation on Thursday. “Dr. Rosenzweig has brought powerful computational tools into practical application in agriculture and food systems,” said foundation president Barbara Stinson during an announcement ceremony at the State Department.

Help vulnerable nations buy food, FAO chief asks rich countries

The world should create a fund of up to $25 billion to help poor nations deal with the surge in food prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said the head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization on Wednesday. The FAO estimates that an additional 13 million people will face hunger in the near term because of warfare in the Black Sea region, ordinarily a major source of wheat and corn on the world market.

Vilsack sees ‘no significant’ gains from opening Conservation Reserve

The United States stands ready to provide food aid overseas if it is needed in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a letter to grain merchandisers. At the same time, the letter closed the door to suggestions for the emergency planting of crops on land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve, saying it would be impractical.

U.S. farmers pursue soybean profits, shrug at tight wheat stocks

American farmers say they will plant more soybeans — a record 91 million acres — and less corn and spring wheat despite tight global wheat supplies that have been compounded by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine are two of the world’s largest wheat exporters, and Ukraine is a leading corn supplier.

To avert food shortage, U.S. and allies will boost food aid and grow more

Global food shortages are a real possibility as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Biden told reporters while meeting with allies in Brussels on Thursday. Western leaders, including European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, joined Biden in saying they would step up their hunger-relief programs and encourage their farmers to grow more food.

Europe to till fallow land to offset food shortages from war in Ukraine

Responding to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Commission approved a $550 million aid package for its farmers on Wednesday and said they could grow food and feed crops on fallowed land without losing any of their so-called greening payments.

‘Without fuel, they cannot do it,’ says Ukraine ag official

Ukrainian farmers are woefully short of fuel ahead of the spring planting season and have lost around 10 percent of their land “to military effects,” such as bombing, said Dzoba Taras, the country’s deputy agriculture minister, during a webinar.

War in Ukraine could drive up global hunger by 2 percent in a year

Up to 13 million people around the world could be pushed into hunger because of the spike in food prices and disruptions in supplies that result from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization on Wednesday. The global hunger rate of 9.9 percent was already the highest in 13 years, due to the pandemic.

War to cut Ukraine and Russia wheat exports by 12 percent

The Russian invasion of Ukraine will slash wheat exports from the countries by a combined 12 percent, said the Agriculture Department on Wednesday in an initial assessment of the short-term impact of the war. Nations from Europe to Asia and Africa will import somewhat less wheat in coming months in the face of higher prices and reduced supplies from the Black Sea region, it said.

USDA says no discussions about emergency crops in Conservation Reserve

The USDA is not considering suggestions that it open the land-idling Conservation Reserve for cropping this year to stabilize grain supplies following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said press secretary Kate Waters on Thursday.

Respond to Ukraine invasion with emergency crops on Conservation Reserve, says economist

If the Biden administration wants to boost U.S. grain production in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it should open the 22 million-acre Conservation Reserve for crop production this year, said a University of Illinois economist on Wednesday. Grain prices have soared on the possibility of Ukraine and Russia, major exporters of wheat and corn, being knocked out of the world market for months.

World food security threatened by invasion of Ukraine

Global food supplies were put in jeopardy both directly and indirectly by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said two analysts at the IFPRI think tank on Thursday. The war will constrict grain supplies in the short term, and it would disrupt the flow of fertilizer needed for crop production in many countries.

World Bank sees gains for climate and economy if ag policies are revised

If governments encourage climate-smart farming, they would see an increase in agricultural productivity and a sizable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by agriculture, said a report by the World Bank and the IFPRI think tank on Wednesday. The report advocates a "repurposing" of agriculture policies and subsidies.

First decline in global food prices in a year

Sharply lower prices for vegetable oils, down nearly 10 percent in a month, contributed to the first decline in the Food Price Index since last May, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization on Thursday. The index fell by 2.5 percent in June, although it was still about one-third higher than a year ago.

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