Weekly News of Global Agriculture XXXV

2023-03-14 10:31:00

Weekly News of Global Agriculture

1. Irish Department of Agriculture examining potential supports for sheep farmers

On March 9, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture said that the Department is currently examining potential supports it can put in place for sheep farmers in light of recent 'income crisis' facing the sector. They will conduct careful assessment, as well as diverting funds from previously agreed areas in the budgets for 2023. In 2022, gross margins on sheep farms decreased by 14%, with net margins dropping 81% to just €7 per ewe.

2. USDA Announces More Than $43M Investment in Meat and Poultry Processing Research, Expansion and Innovation

On March 9, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an investment of more than $43 million in meat and poultry processing research, innovation and expansion in support of its ongoing efforts to transform the food system; the University of Arkansas was awarded a $5 million grant from the AFRI Center of Excellence for Meat and Poultry Processing and Food Safety Research and Innovation; one $25 million Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) grant was awarded to Wholestone Farms for a major plant expansion in Fremont, Nebraska.

3. BMEL sets a closed season to protect of endangered eels

On March 7, according to the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture(BMEL), the European eel stock is in an extremely critical state. To protect it, BMEL, in consultation with the coastal states of Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, has now set a comprehensive eel fishing ban in German sea watersfrom 15 September 2023 to 14 March 2024.

4. Japan provided seeds to Ukraine to restore its agricultural production capacity

On March 9, the handover ceremony to provide sunflower and corn seeds by Japan for the Government of Ukraine was held in Kyiv, Ukraine, Japan will purchase sunflower and corn seeds through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA),and the seeds will be distributed to approximately 400 smallholder farmers in Kharkiv, aiming to recover production capacity of the Ukrainian agriculture, which will thereby lead to improving the global food supply.

5. AIM1-dependent high basal salicylic acid accumulation modulates stomatal aperture in rice

Chinese researchers found that the synthesis of basal SA in rice shoot is dependent on OsAIM1, which encodes a beta-oxidation enzyme in the phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) pathway. The results provide the direct genetic evidence for the critical role of the PAL pathway in the biosynthesis of high basal level SA in rice, which plays an important role in the regulation of steady-state stomatal aperture to promote fitness under stress conditions.

6. A combinatorial TRM-OFP module bilaterally fine-tunes tomato fruit shape

Researchers from the University of Georgia used CRISPR/Cas9 to generate knock-out mutants in TRM proteins to investigate their roles in organ shape and interactions with OFPs. The findings indicate that TRMs impact organ shape along both the medio-lateral and proximo-distal axes of growth. This study supports a combinatorial role of the TRM-OFP regulon.

7. Conserved and plant-specific histone acetyltransferase complexes cooperate to regulate gene transcription and plant development

Chinese researchers identified and characterized a plant-specific GCN5-containing complex, PAGA, in Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa.  The results given that the PAGA mutants show semi-dwarf and increased branching phenotypes without reduction in seed yield, the PAGA mutations could potentially be used for crop improvement.

8. African Swine Fever Virus MGF505-7R Interacts with Interferon Regulatory Factor 9 to Evade the Type I Interferon Signaling Pathway and Promote Viral Replication

Chinese researchers found that ASFV protein MGF505-7R inhibited the beta interferon (IFN-β)-mediated Janus-activated kinase-signal transducer and activation of transcription (JAK-STAT) signaling. This study shows that ASFV protein MGF505-7R plays a key role in evading IFN-I-mediated innate immunity, revealing a new mode of evasion for ASFV.

9. Quorum-sensing interference in vibrios

University of Minnesota researchers led successful efforts to work on ASFV and developed and validated a surrogate virus, which is strikingly similar to ASFV in terms of its structure and stability, and it can safely be used in field studies. This is a major breakthrough to reach the goal of accelerating research for understanding the survival of ASFV.


Trade expectations for corn and soybean crops in Argentina continue to fall as the country experiences one of its worst droughts in 60 years. The first full week of March 2023 continued the trend of hot and dry weeks in Argentina’s main soybean-producing regions. This is one of the hottest and driest first full weeks of March in 30-plus years, according to data from WeatherTrends360.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service in a weekly crop report on Monday rated 17% of the winter wheat in top producer Kansas in good to excellent condition, unchanged from the previous week.U.S. farmers planted 36.950 million acres (14.953 million hectares) of winter wheat for 2023, the most in eight years, the USDA said on Jan. 12. But dry conditions have threatened crop prospects in portions of the southern Plains wheat belt.


Chilean authorities on Monday confirmed the South American country's first outbreak of avian flu in poultry, prompting it to suspend chicken exports from the country.Agriculture Minister Esteban Valenzuela told a news conference a case had been confirmed in a campus belonging to meat producer Agrosuper, in a western part of central Chile's Rancagua commune.

13. The first batch of salted salmon exported by the Russian Jewish Autonomous Prefecture to China in 2023

The Russian Federation Animal and Plant Health Supervision Bureau said that since the beginning of 2023, the Russian Jewish Autonomous Region had exported 47 tons of salted salmon to China for the first time, and the goods were exported through the Russian-China mixed port of Amurzet.

14. Boosting support to Least Developed Countries through South-South Cooperation

Least Developed Countries (LDCs) stand to benefit from strong partnerships with their Global South counterparts when it comes to making their agrifood systems more efficient, more inclusive, more sustainable and more resilient, the Chief Economist of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Maximo Torero, said today in Doha.