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Russia’s mushroom production increased by 80.2% in 2020

Russia’s mushroom production increased by 80.2% in 2020 - Source: Flickr

Public domain (Source: Flickr)

 

Cultivated mushroom production in Russia has been growing steadily in recent years. Production increased by 80.2% to 86,300 tons in 2020. This is nine times higher than in 2016 (9,700 tons). 

Preferential short-term and investment loans are the key state support measures for mushroom producers. According to Mikhail Glushkov, director of the National Union of Fruit and Vegetable Producers, production optimisation will enhance industry development.

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WAPA presents annual Southern Hemisphere apple and pear crop forecast

WAPA presents annual Southern Hemisphere apple and pear crop forecast
Photo: WAPA

The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) has released the Southern Hemisphere apple and pear crop production forecast for the upcoming season. According to the forecast, which consolidates the data from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa, apple production is estimated to increase by 6% in 2021 compared to the previous year, while pear production is projected to stabilise.

The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) has released its 2021 apple and pear crop estimate for the Southern Hemisphere. This report has been compiled with the support of ASOEX (Chile), CAFI (Argentina), ABPM (Brazil), Hortgro (South Africa), APAL (Australia) and New Zealand Apples and Pears, and therefore provides consolidated data from the six leading Southern Hemisphere countries. WAPA’s Secretary General Philippe Binard commented on the usefulness of gathering the insights from these major producers: “Elaborating this collective data has previously proved a valuable exercise for the global apple and pear industry and a reliable source of information when the season progressively shifts from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere.”

Regarding apples, the aggregate Southern Hemisphere 2021 crop forecast  suggests an increase of 6% (5 million tons) compared to last year (4.8 million tons), with increases in Australia, Brazil, and South Africa of 23%, 20% and 6% respectively, a decrease in New Zealand of 5%, and stable figures in Argentina and Chile. The aggregate increased by 2% compared to the average of crops between 2018 and 2020. Chile remains the largest Southern Hemisphere apple producer in 2021 with 1.5 million tons, with Brazil in second place (1.1 million tons), followed by South Africa (1 million tons), Argentina (617 million tons), New Zealand (547 million tons), and Australia (271 million tons). 

Gala remains the main variety (39%), followed by Fuji (14%) and Red Delicious (13%). Export figures are estimated to stabilise at 1.7 million tons, with stable figures for Chile (650,000 tons), a 4% increase for South Africa (476,000 tons), and a 7% decrease for New Zealand (372,000 tons).Regarding pears, the Southern Hemisphere growers predict a stabilisation of the crop at 1.3 million tons and an increase of 2% compared to the overall average of years 2018-2020. The increase in South Africa, Australia, and Argentina of 3%, 2%, and 1% respectively are expected to compensate for the 3% and the 10% decrease in Chile and New Zealand. As in previous years, Packham’s Triumph and Williams BC/Bartlett are the major varieties, with 36% and 28% respectively. Forecasted export figures for pears are reported to increase by 6% compared to the previous year and reach 709,000 tons, with a 12% increase for Argentina (374,000 tons), a 2% increase for South Africa (214,000 tons), and a 3% decrease for Chile (108,000 tons).

 

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Despite growth of Dutch organic farming, share in supermarkets remains small

Despite growth of Dutch organic farming, share in supermarkets remains small © Réussir Fruits et Légumes

© Réussir Fruits et Légumes

 

Organic acreage in the Netherlands expanded by 5.9% last year, to 79,664 ha, according to the annual organic industry figures (2020) published by Skal Biocontrol. The number of registered agricultural companies grew from 2,076 to 2,115. Despite the growth, fewer farmers switched to organic (22% less) for the sixth year in a row. A trend that started in 2016: that year 245 farmers made the switch, in 2019: 124 and in 2020: 96 farmers. A decline caused not only by the uncertainty regarding agricultural policy in the Netherlands but also by lagging demand.

The organic market share in Dutch supermarkets remains relatively small with 3.2% (according to Bionext trend report 2019). “If the demand for organic products were to rise, farmers would consider switching. This requires stimuli, for example with a public campaign from the government and retailers that are open to stimulating the purchase of organic products in the store. We see that it is possible during BioKennisWeek. If more consumers buy organic, there are plenty of farmers who want to switch. Because they are entrepreneurs who look for opportunities,” says Michael Wilde, CEO of Bionext, the trade association for the organic industry. 

An uncertain vision of the future and the uncertainty concerning the agricultural policy mean that more farmers decide to stop. Despite this, organic farming goes against the trend: organic acreage and the number of registered organic growers has increased slightly. This means that the share of organic acreage is increasing in relation to the total acreage.

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EU pear crop rebounds

EU pear crop rebounds

The EU’s 2020/21 (July/June) pear output is expected to be up 13% from last year, when production was at a record low, according to a USDA report. Production in Italy, the largest pear producing country in the EU, partly recovered this season due to favourable growing conditions. Similar good weather conditions, in combination with a slightly higher area harvested, also resulted in increased pear production in the Benelux countries. The taste, colour, and storage quality are good. However, hailstorms and heavy rains during flowering and fruit setting led to lower production volumes in the Iberian Peninsula. Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal together account for more than 80% of EU pear production (although the area harvested in Spain and Italy fell in 2020/21). EU pear consumption in 2020/21 is expected to rebound after the decline in 2019/20 (due to reduced domestic supply). EU pear import and export volumes are expected to remain unchanged in 2020/21.

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Slight drop in European apple harvest

Slight drop in European apple harvest

The EU’s 2020/21 apple crop is estimated to drop by 2%, according to USDA data, due to a combination of late spring frosts (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary), alternate bearing (France, Spain, Portugal), poor pollination (Hungary), drought/heat (Belgium, Austria, Poland, UK), and hail damage (Hungary, Romania). Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic, and Greece reported a partial rebound from the very low production of 2019/20, but the combined increase was not large enough to compensate for the reduction elsewhere.  Market prospects are good as beginnings stocks were very low both for fresh apples as well as for apple juice and concentrated apples. The latter is important as the processing sector absorbs significant amounts of lower quality apples.

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Vegetables production and export from Russia, current results

Vegetables production and export from Russia, current results

By the end of October 2020, vegetables production in Russia totalled some 5.3 million tons or 6% more than by the end of October 2019, reported the Ministry of Agriculture. The crop of vegetables produced in hothouses amounted to 1.13 million tons, including 647,000 tons of cucumbers (+14.3%) and 410,000 tons of tomatoes (+18.6%). The leaders of the production of hothouses vegetables are the regions of Lipetsk, Moscow, Volgograd, Krasnodar, Novosibirsk and Kaluga.

Onion, tomatoes, cabbage and carrots are major vegetables grown in open fields. Their share in total production is 22.3%, 18.5%, 17.8% and 13.6 % respectively.
State-run assistance promotes the development of the sphere. The regions choose the priority targets themselves and obtain national investments. This, they can support local farmers.

Export of tomatoes would total 20,000 tons by the end of 2020, or 2,500 tons more than in 2019; export of cucumbers – 13,000 tons (comparing to 11,500 tons in 2019). Belorussia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia are major importers.

Source: https://mcx.gov.ru/press-service/news/proizvodstvo-ovoshchey-v-rossii-uvelichilos-na-6/

 

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5% drop in global peach and nectarine crop 

5% drop in global peach and nectarine crop 

 

The global peach and nectarine crop is estimated to fall 5% to 21.0 million tons, due to adverse weather conditions in top producers China and the EU, according to USDA/FAS data. The reduced harvest is expected to lower global exports. 

After the bumper 2019 crop, the EU’s 2020 harvest is predicted down 15% to 3.5 million tons, due to a variety of damaging weather events in leading producers Spain, Italy, Greece, and France. In addition, a saturated market in recent years has led to reduced planted area in Spain, Italy, and France, with Spain shifting some production towards tree nuts. Exports are forecast down 13% to 155,000 tons. However, imports are only marginally up as domestic supplies can meet most local demand.

In China, heavy snow in April caused damage during fruit set and is expected to the crop by 3% to 14.5 million tons. Exports are projected to plummet 33% to 80,000 tons as Russia continues its ban on imports of fruit from China. Russia was China’s third-largest market until August 2019, when phytosanitary concerns led to a ban. China’s imports are expected forecast up jump 40% to 38,000 tons, with much of the rise due to greater shipments from Chile before COVID-19 disruptions had an impact.

Source:USDA/FAS

 

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Sustained growth of Spain’s organic agriculture

Sustained growth of Spain’s organic agriculture © Eurofresh Distribution
© Eurofresh Distribution

 

Organic production in Spain totalled 2.355 million hectares in 2019, up 4.8% compared to 2018, according to data published by the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Organic farming now accounts for 9.3% of Spanish agricultural area. The data confirms the trend of sustained growth and the consolidation of Spanish organic production, with an average annual increase in total organic area of ​​7.5% in the last five years. Spain remains the leading producer in the European Union by surface area and fourth in the world. “It is a magnificent fact that reflects the ecological commitment of our farmers and ranchers,” said Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas.

Spain appears to be on the track to meet the objectives set in line with the ‘From farm to table’ and ‘Biodiversity’ strategies established by the European Commission. According to the data, half of the almost 2.4 million hectares is used for permanent pasture (+ 5.6%), a quarter for arable land crops (+1.5%) and the other quarter for crops permanent (+ 6%). The total number of operators has increased 6.4% to 47,108, with growth in all categories: primary producers (+5.9%), industrial establishments (+13%) and marketers (+24.8 %), among which retailers stand out with an increase of 37%. In Andalusia, the total number of operators reached 16,450 in 2019, of which 15,097 are producers.

In fruit and vegetable production, there has been an increase in organic area dedicated to tubers (+13%), legumes (+4.2%); fruit trees (+9%), banana trees (+25%), citrus (+19%) and berries (+10%). The area of ​​vineyards (+7%) and olive groves (+ 4.6%) also increased. 

The total number of official controls carried out in 2019 was 54,195 in the domestic market (+5.5% compared to 2018) and 3,114 in imports at the border (30% more than last year). In addition, the competent authorities of the autonomous communities have carried out 1,927 audits / supervisions to the public and private certifying entities.

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Don Camillo increases size of seedless Camilla watermelon

Don Camillo increases size of seedless Camilla watermelon

Don Camillo guarantees a 10-month melon season and has increased the size of its seedless watermelons. “This year, our melon season started in the last week of February with our Honduras production and will continue until the end of November. Our production includes a range of smooth melon varieties for which we have exclusive rights. We’ve had positive consumer feedback. In addition, we will increase from 4 kg to 8 kg the size of Camilla, our seedless watermelon of the Tiger type. This is to meet consumer demand for medium-sized fruits,” said the firm’s president, Ettore Cagna. In addition to the PGI Melon Mantovano and seedless watermelon Camilla, Don Camillo’s range also includes Navel clementines and oranges from Puglia and the exclusive Lelys melon, which guarantees excellent market performance. Production is also exported to short-distance markets in Europe and the UAE. 

Located in Brescello (Reggio Emilia), Agricola Don Camillo is an Italian melon and watermelon specialist. The producers organisation represents a combined 1,000 hectares of cultivated area throughout Italy, with a capacity to market over 50,000 tons of melons, mini watermelons, pumpkins and courgettes every year.

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Expansion of Spanish organic farming

Expansion of Spanish organic farming

 

In 2019, the area dedicated to organic agriculture in Spain rose by 4.8% to 2.35 million hectares, according to Agriculture Minister Luis Planas, who added that the growth shows that the country is on the right track to meeting the EY’s sustainability and biodiversity goals. Over the past five years, organic agriculture has grown at an average rate of 7.5% per year and now comprises 9.3% of Spain’s total farming area. The main category is pasture and arable crops, which combined account for 75% of organic acreage. The next largest organic categories are nuts, grapes and olives. The organic fruit and vegetable are has grown significantly in recent times in response to increased demand and greater availability of fertilisation and pest control systems suitable for organic production. In the past five years, organic banana production area has increased by 25%, citrus by 19%, other fruits by 9%, and potatoes by 13%.

Photo: Unexport