AGCO of Duluth, Georgia, reported net sales of about $2.0 billion for its second quarter ended June 30, a decline of 17.2 per cent from the same quarter last year.
Net income from operations was halved from about $200 million to $97 million.
Martin Richenhagen, AGCO’s chairman, president and chief executive officer tried to put a brave face on the results in the face of COVID-10, saying. “we’ve had good success with these efforts to this point, and I would like to thank our employees around the world for finding innovative solutions to keep our business running effectively and to support our customers.
“Our second quarter results demonstrated strong execution as we overcame COVID-19 related production disruptions in Europe and South America in order to deliver a solidly profitable quarter.
“While all our factories are now open with strong order boards heading into second half of 2020, we still face a demanding environment to manage our manufacturing, supply chain and aftermarket operations.
“AGCO’s priorities throughout the COVID-19 crisis continues to be the safety of our employees while serving our dealers and the world’s farmers as they maintain the global food supply,” he said.
The company’s main brands are Challenger®, Fendt®, GSI®, Massey Ferguson® and Valtra®, supported by Fuse® smart farming solutions.
Conquer COVID-19 is donating more than 120,000 masks, face shields, and personal protective equipment (PPE) to the migrant workers in Windsor-Essex where there are the highest rates of the virus in all of Canada.
Conquer COVID-19 consists of doctors, nurses, business leaders, small business owners and volunteers.
Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk said the donation will go to six agencies and community organizations: the Migrant Worker Community Program, Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, Windsor Regional Hospital, Erie Shores Healthcare, and Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare.
“These organizations are working day-and-night to protect our farmworkers and our communities, and this incredible donation provides a timely boost and the opportunity to demonstrate once again that our region stands united,” she said in a news release.
Three of the largest supermarket chains - Kroger Co., Walmart Inc. and Albertsons Cos. – in the United States are bottling their own milk.
That has squeezed competitors, including some of the largest.
Dean Foods Co., which until last year was the largest U.S. milk processor by sales, and Borden Dairy Co. were sold this year after filing for bankruptcy in November and January.
Executives of both had blamed some of their struggles on grocers’ focus on cheap milk, often used as a loss leader.
But in Canada the trend has been in the opposite direction. The Weston Group sold its Neilson’s Dairy, but continues to buy that brand for its supermarket chains such as Loblaws and Zehrs.
Sobey’s sold four of the milk processing plants it had bought in Western Canada when it picked up the Canada Safeway supermarket chain. Agropur co-operative now owns them.
They were once known as Lucerne.
“There are retailers who prefer to have really aggressively low prices on milk because it’s a great way to get people in the stores,” said Tony Sarsam, Borden’s former chief executive. Private-equity firm KKR & Co. and Capitol Peak Partners LLC, an investment firm headed by former dairy executives, bought Borden out of bankruptcy this month.
Adding to the industry’s pressures, milk’s luster has been slowly fading for years in an increasingly crowded beverage market. Many consumers have switched to bottled water and juice, or dairy alternatives made from almonds or oats; breakfast cereal has fallen out of favor.
There are more billboards going up alongside the biggest highways in Kansas saying “1 Kansas Farmer Feeds More than 155 People + YOU!”
The Kansas Agri-Women’s mission is behind the campaign which began with the Mertz family in 1977.
Harold and Jeanne Mertz were driving to San Angelo, Texas, to purchase livestock when she thought it was too bad that billboards sitting on farm fields said nothing about the farmers who own the land.
Kansas Agri-Women was founded in 1974 and Jeanne Mertz was a member when her campaign began with a hand-painted billboard erected by Thomas Signs of Manhattan, Kan., in 1977. It was on the Mertz farm.
“We lost a true visionary in 2017 on the passing of Jeanne Mertz. She helped show the impact our organization could have on spreading the message of agriculture,” said Lori Bammerlin, Kansas Agri-Women president.
The Mertz estate included a sign memorial fund to go toward replacing and installing signs.
Farmers in the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair watersheds have signed up for 235 projects to improve the environment and protect water quality.
The federal and provincial governments are providing $2.5 million for the projects.
“Farmers in Ontario have been and continue to be stewards of the land. We want to continue to make a positive impact on the environment, the economy and our communities,” said Jan VanderHout, member of Environmental Collaboration Ontario (EcoAg).
“Partnership programs like LEADS are important tools for achieving innovative and effective environmental outcomes.”
LEADS supports the Canada-Ontario Lake Erie Action Plan and aligns with the Made-in- Ontario Environment Plan, committing to a 40 per cent reduction of phosphorus run off into Lake Erie and its watershed.
Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed cost-share support to more than 2,500 projects through the Partnership.
Walmart Canada sent notices to 3,000 suppliers, including food suppliers, that they will face a new charge of 1.25 per cent beginning Sept. 14.
Suppliers worry that other supermarket chains will follow suit.
It’s far from the first time the giants in the business have introduced a new squeeze. Couple of years ago Sobeys and Loblaws announced they would discount invoices by a couple of percentage points, and made that change retroactive.
Another sign of their clout came when Sobeys, Loblaws and Metro all cancelled COVID-19 bonus pay on the same day. In testimony before a House of Commons committee, they admitted that as a “courtesy” they informed each other when they made that change.
Walmart called its new charge a “Vendor Investment Program,” an apparent reference4 to its announcement that it will be spending $3.5 billion in Canada.
“It sets a really, really unfortunate precedent,” said Michael Graydon, chief executive officer of Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC), a trade group representing manufacturers.
“The practice in the past has been that the phone starts to ring, with other retailers saying we want the same deal,” Graydon said. Too bad farmers couldn't do the same to hike their prices. Of course, supply management marketing boards can.
A transport hauling pigs rolled over on Highway 7/8 about five kilometres east of New Hamburg on Monday morning.
A veterinarian was on site to help with rescuing or euthanizing injured pigs. So, too, was an animal welfare woman who said that the response would have been different had the transport been loaded with dogs. She said nobody seems to care about pigs.
Officials across the United States are warning people who get unsolicited packages of seeds in their mailboxes to not plant them.
There are concerns that the seeds come from China and may contain invasive species.
"At this point in time we don't have enough information to know if this is a hoax, a prank, an internet scam or an act of agricultural bioterrorism," Ryan Quarles, Kentucky's agriculture commissioner, said in a video posted on the department's website.
Photos of packages that state agriculture departments posted on social media show seeds of different sizes, shapes and colours that arrived in white or yellow envelopes. State officials said some packages were labelled as jewellery and may have contained Chinese writing.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., did not immediately respond the Reuters News Agency request for comment.
Rory McAlpine, for 15 years Maple Leaf Foods’ government relations manager, is retiring.
His replacement is Nadia Theodore who is moving from the federal government to become vice president of Global Industry and Government Relations, effective Oct. 13.
Her most recent government job was Consul General of Canada in Atlanta, Georgia.
Since 2004 she has worked on global affairs and trade policy.
"Nadia's deep experience in global issues, her understanding of government and her diplomatic skills will be tremendous value to Maple Leaf Foods," said Michael McCain, president and chief executive officer.
"We are grateful for Rory McAlpine's long-standing leadership of industry and government relations and we know that Nadia will be an outstanding successor."
Farm Credit Canada grew its
portfolio by 6.6 per cent to $38.6 billion in the fiscal year that ended March
Its net income was down to $656.6
million from $670 million the previous year.
It increased its provision for
loan losses to $103 million compared with $31 million the previous year.
It paid dividend of
$394.8 million to the Government of Canada which also gave it another $500 million
worth of backing so FCC can make another $5 billion in loans in response to the
Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said the FCC is important to keeping the Canadian
agriculture industry healthy and noted that exports have increased by six per
cent so far this year.
Corteva is making donations to equip the Canadian
Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) to help rural fire departments deal
with grain entrapment rescues.
CASA's grain safety program, BeGrainSafe, is designed to save
lives and is supported by sponsors such as Corteva.
CASA said this support has helped to build the
BeGrainSafe mobile demonstration unit, develop BeGrainSafe resources,
raise awareness on grain hazards, and train firefighters on grain
entrapment rescue and now supply these fire departments with much needed
Corteva’s support will purchase a GSI RES-Q-TUBE and a
Haul-ALL pencil augerfor eligible
rural fire departments that have taken part in BeGrainSafe training.
The grain rescue tube and portable auger are essential in
rescuing a person trapped in grain. When used in combination, the grain
rescue tube creates a barrier between the victim and the grain while the
auger helps rescuers quickly move the grain away from the entrapped
The combination of training and equipment “greatly increases
the probability of a victim surviving a grain
entrapment,” saids Robert Gobeil, CASA’s Agricultural Health and Safety
The American Meat Institute is
defending wild price swings for cattle after the August, 2019, fire at the
Tyson Foods’ plant at Holcomb, Kansas, and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The institute’s biggest members
are under several investigations for price-fixing.
The institute issued a statement
this week that said “in its analysis of the effects of the fire and the
pandemic, USDA (the United States Department of Agriculture) found no
wrong-doing and confirms the disruption in the beef markets was due to
devastating and unprecedented events.”
Meat Institute president and chief
executive officer Julie Anna Potts said “it is difficult to see how the USDA’s
recommended legislative proposals would have changed the outcome of the fire or
“We will continue discussions with producer
groups, Congress, and the Administration to ensure there is a fair and
It cited Dr.
Stephen Koontz of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at
Colorado State who said “record low livestock prices are also not a surprise.
If packers cannot run at typical throughput levels – especially if supplies are
abundant –then the marginal value of that last group of animals that is not sold
is close to zero.”
beef prices rose because shoppers emptied supermarket meat counters and the
stores we eager to refill them.
Burger King has cancelled advertisements for its Whopper burgers
after facing criticisms for telling whoppers about the environmental impact of
The company’s goal to reduce methane and produce a more
eco-friendly Whopper is a positive, acknowledges Frank Mitloehner, University
of California-Davis air quality Extension specialist, department of animal
But much of the
information in the advertisement is inaccurate, he said.
Meat has announced that its Beyond Burger will be produced at a
co-manufacturing facility in Quebec.
not say who or precisely where.
continues to be an important part of Beyond Meat’s long-term growth strategy
and producing the Beyond Burger locally in Canada enables Beyond Meat to better
serve the Canadian market, while reducing the company’s environmental
footprint,” the California-based company said.
process of rapid and relentless innovation in service of the consumer, and
making investments in the markets we serve, are key pillars in our company’s
strategy to provide delicious and nutritious plant-based protein with a lower
environmental footprint,” said Ethan Brown, founder and chief executive officer
of Beyond Meat.
The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) is trying to light
a fire under Canadian trade negotiators to get on with a new deal with the
But Steve Verheul, assistant deputy minister of trade policy and
negotiations at Global Affairs Canada, told a parliamentary committee that negotiations
will have to wait until a deal emerges on Brexit, Britain’s exit from the
And he told a House of Commons committee that Canada will be
asking for a deal that duplicates what already exists in the recently-implemented
trade agreement between Canada and the European Union.
Claire Citeau, executive director of CAFTA, said that deal (CETA)
held promise for exporters when first signed but “continues to fall short” of
its potential, because of the EU’s reluctance to remove technical and
non-tariff trade barriers to trade over the deal’s three years of existence.
“Our view is that
Canada should formally engage and seek to conclude negotiations of an ambitious
(Canada-U.K.) free trade agreement that removes tariffs and non-tariff
barriers, that provides liberal rules of origins, and secures the level playing
fields,” she said.
She said some other countries have done this and Canada needs
“to be at the table as well.”
She said Canada has too often been later than other nations in
making trade deals. Earlier this month the United States said it’s talking to
the United Kingdom about a post-Brexit deal.
I’ve seen bubbles with chinchillas, pigeons and research
with red Holsteins,
But never in my wildest dreams would I expect London to become home
to the world’s largest cricket processing plant.
Nor did I, as a taxpayer, expect to be investing $10
million in construction of the plant.
On the other hand, what could go wrong?
This is a venture backed by a researcher from McGill University.
It’s put forward by Aspire Food Group of Texas which says
it will hire 60 people to start in the building of 100,000 square feet.
I guess it would not surprise me if next we will learn about
“opportunities” to invest in rearing crickets to be processed at the plant. Or maybe
offers to starving students to go out and catch crickets? Should be easy to simply
follow their chirps, eh?
I can hear you chastising me for being such a skeptic and
critic. This could be a perfectly legitimate business venture.
A court award of $289.2 million, reduced to $78.5
million, has been reduced again to $21.5 million by an appeals court in California.
But the court upheld the verdict that glyphosate
in Monsanto’s Ranger Pro herbicide caused non-Hodgkins lymphoma in schoolyard
groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson.
The 1st District Court of Appeal said there was
evidence to support a California jury’s 2018 decision that “Monsanto acted with
a conscious disregard for public safety.”
The original San
Francisco Superior Court jury found that St. Louis-based Monsanto had purposely
ignored warnings and evidence that glyphosate, the active ingredient in its
popular Roundup and Ranger Pro products, causes cancer..
RH Accelerator Inc. of
London has entered into a strategic alliance with Ontario Agri-Food
Technologies (OAFT) to fund and help emerging companies in the food and
RH Accelerator launched last year to recruit experts to help
fund and mentor early-stage companies, especially those in agriculture and
“We are excited
about adding OAFT’s 23 years of knowledge, network and reputation to our
founder programming already being delivered to the RHA companies.“ said Joe
Dales, co-founder of RH Accelerator Inc.
Accelerator is a relatively young company, we have made almost 20 investments
and our new private virtual community has grown to over 500 members – founders,
mentors, investors and business professionals.”
Inc. is currently raising a private RHA fund with accredited investors using
the Angelist.co system
so it can invest in early-stage innovative companies.
president of OAFT, said “we are looking forward to working with the experienced
RH Accelerator team to expand our impact and enable more companies to gain
access to needed resources such as financing, highly-accomplished mentoring,
deep business intelligence and expanded networks in our collaboration with RH
Accelerator. The combined resources will significantly improve the growth
prospects and probability of success for early stage innovators.“
I got a chuckle watching Premier Doug Ford announce increased funding for business risk management programs this week. Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman is standing behind him, twiddling his thumbs. "Hurry up, Doug! I want to talk to my farmers."
Kansas State University is working with a Korean company using a new technique to develop a vaccine to counter African Swine Fever.
The project is on a three-year research and development schedule.
The university’s partner is MEDIAN Diagnostics Inc., or MDx, a veterinary medicine company based in South Korea.
The technology we are utilizing is based on a novel adenovirus backbone — developed from human adenovirus serotype 6 — that can amplify a transgene up to 10,000 copies in the infected cell without producing infectious viruses," said Waithaka Mwangi, professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology in the university's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Ontario is increasing Business Risk Management program funding by 50 per cent to $150 million a year. Premier Doug Ford also promised that funding will remain at that increased level in the years ahead. The government also announced that farmers have until July 30 to enrol in the enhanced AgriStability program. Ontario Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman also announced another $10 million for beef and hog farmers under the AgriRecovery program. The federal government is a partner in that promise.
An alarming number of large-animal veterinarians are suffering stress-related mental illness, said Athena Diesch-Chham, a veterinary social worker in the Veterinary Medical Center, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota.
She said when she speaks to gatherings of veterinarians, they are shocked to learn the results from surveys about mental illness.
COVID-19 has increased the stress, she said.
The good news is that more people are now openly talking about their mental health and seeking help, she said.
One stress is simply the heavy workload and social isolation in rural communities, she said.
Another is “moral stress” – situations where veterinarians are uncomfortable with the way cattle and pigs are being managed.
“You can’t pull anybody else out of the stream if you’re in it too,” she said.
“We need to get veterinarians to a better place. Pull yourself out of the stream so you can help all of us on the banks pull people out who need help.”
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is planning to regulate the movement of farmed deer into, through, and within Ontario.
“This is something the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters has been advocating for and is a major accomplishment in the fight to keep Chronic Wasting Disease out of Ontario. All OFAH members should be proud knowing their voice drove this change, the OFAH said.
Chronic Wasting Disease, which has a similar impact on deer as Mad Cow’s Disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) has on cattle, has been an issue on deer farms across Western Canada.
The government is also proposing to ban the use of deer material to make lures.
They are already banned from use in hunting, but are allowed for other uses, such as nature photography.
The government also proposes to increase restrictions on hunters bringing animal parts into the province. The proposal is to allow only cut (butchered) meat, taxidermy mounts, tanned hides and skulls, canine teeth and antlers from which all tissue has been removed.
Five Canadian organizations involved in the seeds industry are planning to merge this year.
Members will get a chance to vote on the proposal later this summer.
The five are the Canadian Seed Growers Association, the Canadian Seed Institute, the Canadian Seed Trade Association, the Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada and the Canadian Plant Technology Agency.