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Agri Hour

What's new in Farmer’s Weekly?

───   ELSABÉ RICHARD 05:00 Fri, 16 Apr 2021

What's new in Farmer’s Weekly?  | News Article

In our Friday insert, only on OFM News' Agri Hour, Elsabé Richard speaks to the editor of Farmer’s Weekly, Denene Erasmus, about the latest news in the agricultural industry covered in the magazine and on its website...

See PODCAST below

In the news section of the 23 April issue of the magazine, which has a striking cover of a banana flower, readers can find an article about global fertilizer prices that have risen to a 24-month high during March. This information was released by Grain SA who added that international prices have increased mainly due to low stock levels that can be attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic along with rising natural gas prices, and earlier plantings of commodity crops such as maize and wheat in the US and EU. The latter has increased the demand for fertilizer.

Erasmus adds that, in the case of urea, a smaller supply in China had also supported the rise in prices. She says that over the past year, there has been a moderate decrease of about 7,8% for potassium. However, for ammonia, urea and diammonium phosphate, there were increases of between 30% and up to 80% in the cost for these fertilizers internationally. Erasmus says that fertilizers in South Africa are expected to follow a similar trend in Rand terms, although there might be a slight relief given the stronger currency at the moment.

Another article sheds light on the honey industry and how fake or adulterated honey products are infiltrating the South African market. Erasmus says that the South African Bee Industry Organisation (SABIO) states that fake honey is being sold as pure or authentic – but it typically consists of sugar and a water mixture with only a small amount of honey. Adriaan du Toit, chairperson of SABIO, says that there has been a spike in these occurrences over the past few years. Du Toit highlights that farmers are suffering as they have to compete against products that cost less than a tenth of what it costs to produce pure honey.

Moving on to Sharon fruit, Erasmus shares that despite reports of Covid-19 related shortages of containers, the South African growers of this fruit are expecting a good harvest. The main marketer of Sharon fruit in the country says that they are expecting a harvest of about 4 000 tons this year, which is up from 3 300 last year. The high volumes of this fruit are due to good weather conditions. Erasmus says there are also good quality expectations that will boost exports for the coming season.

Lastly, focusing on the wool market. Erasmus says that at the last wool sale, there were a small decline in the wool market as well as a smaller offering. According to Cape Wools SA, the wool market indicator closed slightly down in the last week of March at about R161,00, with an overall sale’s clearance on the day of 94%, which was off of 6 023 bales that were available for sale.

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