SuisseOver 60% of Swiss voters have thrown out a pair of initiatives aiming to ban the use of synthetic pesticides in the country.
The “anti-pesticide” initiative had proposed an outright ban on the use of synthetic products for agricultural, private and commercial use, to be implemented within ten years. It also wanted to stop imports produced using such products. The “drinking water” initiative wanted to restrict the payment of government subsidies (worth some CHF3 billion a year) to farmers who work without using pesticides and prophylactic antibiotics. It also wanted to cut down on imports of animal feed. After months of heated campaigning, it was a clear “no” on Sunday for the proposals, which would have made Switzerland an organic farming pioneer by becoming the first European country to ban products like artificial weedkillers and fungicides.
CanadaDrought Monitoring in prairies in regions Alberta (AB), Saskatchewan (SK), Manitoba (MB)
Significant precipitation through the month of May relieved drought conditions across parts of the Prairies, while other areas remained significantly dry. This precipitation improved soil moisture conditions for the short-term. Long-term impacts, including poor water supply from the 2020 growing season, continued to impact drought across the agricultural areas of SK. Some regions recorded the second driest May in over 100 years. Exceptionally low precipitation values measured against historic data for the agricultural year caused severe draught near the U.S.-Manitoba border. 85% of AB´s agricultural landscape was classified as being dry/in drought, 96% of SK’s agricultural landscape was classified as being dry/in drought, and nearly 100% of MB’s agricultural landscape was classified as being abnormally dry/in moderate –exceptional drought.
FranceFrench rapeseed fuel trials for Europorte Euro400 locomotives
EUROPORTE and Saipol have signed an agreement to trial the use of Oleo100, a B100 type fuel derived entirely from French rapeseed, to power locomotives in commercial service. A three-month trial will begin on July 6, with Stadler Euro4000 locomotives hauling freight trains. The aim of the trial is to replace part of the non-road diesel (GNR) used by Europorte locomotives on non-electrified routes with Oleo100. This renewable fuel should reduce GHG-emissions by 60% from the field to rail. Europorte says that with an experimental journey estimated at 1500km per week 35 tonnes of CO2 will be saved weekly by the locomotive.
AustraliaAustralian rapeseed imports to Germany soar
Imports of Australian rapeseed to the German market have increased recently while Canadian supplies have lost pace since January. Although Germany's 2020 rapeseed harvest was larger than the previous year, it was nevertheless below average. This meant that large rapeseed imports have been required again in the 2020/21 marketing year. Canada, Ukraine and the Baltic countries were important suppliers of rapeseed in the first half of the season.
In the first quarter of this year, Canada and Ukraine contributed large volumes. Ukraine delivered more rapeseed to Germany - 169,000 tonnes - than in the same period the previous year, whereas Canada's shipments dropped almost one fourth to 87,000 tonnes.
In the current season, Germany received around 335,000 tonnes of Australian rapeseed in the period from January to March. This translated to a more than 150% increase over last year's period.
DenmarkResearchers want to convert rapeseed proteins from feed to food
A new research project SEEDFOOD will attempt to create new fundamental knowledge, so proteins can be used for food in the future. The project has been established with a grant of DKK 56 million kroner (~ 7.5 Mio. EUR) from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Challenge Programme and is being led from Department of Food Science at University of Copenhagen. Today, rapeseed is mainly used for the extraction of rapeseed oil, while the residual fraction is the protein which is usually used for animal feed. The focus is on getting the oil out in as good a condition as possible, and that often includes processes that involve high temperatures that damages the protein. The goal is to develop gentle methods where the protein is not damaged. The project will run for a period of six years starting on 1 January 2022.
FranceRapeseed harvest expected to hit a 20-year low
In France, rapeseed production is likely to fall (just) below 3 Mn t for the first time in 20 years. This would be a further minus of 9 % compared to 2020/21 and even a decrease of 32 % compared to the five-year average. The global rapeseed market is tense - the last season closed with a deficit. Finally the two very weak EU harvests would have contributed. A significant decline in area and the ban on an important group of pesticides as well as the weather (e. g. intense dry late summer 2020) were the reasons.
GermanyCleared way for more climate protection in traffic – UFOP welcomes the decision to further developments of GHG-Quota
The German Bundestag decided to increase the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction obligation for fuels. The law provides for a steady increase from 6% today to 7% in 2022 and to 25% in 2030. UFOP had repeatedly called for a more ambitious GHG quota regulation. The aim was to enable local agriculture and the biofuel industry to plan more reliably in the medium term, while at the same time allowing new options such as biofuels from residues, synthetic fuels and hydrogen to enter the market through a technology-open approach. Time is running out regarding climate protection – therefore the increase of the quota gets focused to vehicle tanks to contribute to decarbonization. The legislative resolution therefore simultaneously sets the signal for the approval of higher admixtures for biodiesel in heavy-duty traffic and bioethanol in cars.