Argentina the land of beef and soybean!


In the second part of our 2019 agriculture innovation review we continue to explore the American continent. After spending two weeks in northern America in two of the major agricultural centres as described in our previous blog-post, we moved south to Argentina the land famous for its steaks, Gauchos, Tango and of course Soybean.

Argentina has a land area of 278M ha of which 150M ha are used for agricultural purposes. The grassland which is present both in the north and south is known for its extensive cattle and sheep production. In total 39M ha of Argentina is arable land planted with annual crops and permanent pastures for intensive cattle production.

Soybean has been the main crop for the last 15 years with an area of 17-19M ha per year yielding approximately 54M tonnes, followed by corn (43Mt) and wheat (19.7Mt) as the most commonly grown crops. Interestingly the acreage for wheat and maize has remained consistent over the past 20 years, however it had almost doubled for soybean. Those significant improvements have mostly been due to the implementation of no tillage practices and increased usage of biologicals.

Argentina has a highly diverse climates due to its unique geography. Wedged between the Andes to the west and the Atlantic to the east it is influenced by the cold and often rough weather around the southern tip close to Antarctica and the warm reaches of the Amazon basin in the north. The main agricultural production is focused in the provinces of Santa Fe, Cordoba and Northern Buenos Aires. Together they produce 70% of Argentina’s total soybean. The beneficial climatic conditions in this area allows for a double crop with either wheat or barley during winter and soybean or corn in summer.

Producing such large amounts of crops requires some level of transportation or processing before it can reach the customers. Rosario lies roughly 300km to the north-west of Buenos Aires. It is home to the biggest soybean crushing hub in Argentina processing 20,000 tonnes/day, which produces both soybean meal and oil, and makes Argentina the world’s largest exporter of soybean meal and oil with 47% and 49% of the global export. Sitting on the banks of the Paraná river which has its source in the Amazon, the Rosario port also services small boats from Paraguay, Brazil and Uruguay that make their way down to Rosario for crushing and export. It is therefore no surprise, that large international companies like Cargill and Louis Dreyfus also have terminals along the river.

While the production numbers are certainly most impressive, they do not inform us who the growers are and whether there are differences to farming in Australia. In total 70% of farming is done on leased land, which is a trend that started in the 90’s as the new generation of land owners kept the land but did not want to do farming. The cost of land lease also increased due to the succession law in Argentina, which led to a fragmentation of farms, rendering some of them uneconomical. As demand for farmland did not subside, an increase in farmland prices made acquiring farms more expensive and therefore also less economical. This unusual constellation leads to a lack of soil maintenance or care as it is not their land and the farmer might not have the same land to work with in the following year. One example that can be observed as a result of this is that the amount of P fertiliser application often decreases if uncertainty over the lease of the land exists.

Other practices such as using contractors for harvesting, seeding and spraying are also very common. It is therefore interesting to realise that in Argentina a farmer can be a farmer, even without owning land or equipment, a concept that may not be obvious or preferred, but possible nevertheless.

Although export is strong and yields are high, farming in Argentina is often difficult due to government regulations and frequent changes, sometimes over-night. Some of these regulations included the implementation of high tax rates of sometimes up to 60-70%. These taxes can also originate from federal, provincial or local levels. Because the economics and politics are complex, agriculture needs to be highly flexible. This adaptation to flexibility has allowed agriculture to remain Argentina’s main economic activity responsible for a third of the GDP and more than a third of its export. Importantly it also generates income opportunities in the rural areas, which is an issue for many nations globally.

Considering the success and importance of soybean today, it is a relatively young crop, as it only arrived in Argentina in the 70’s. Given its importance it is therefore also somewhat surprising, that the same inoculant strain (E109) has been used since ’77. The South American inoculant market is estimated to be worth $85M annually with more than 95% of the market dedicated to soybean. Argentina together with Brazil have around 85% inoculation rates with 20M ha in Argentina alone. However, the soybean seed practices differ significantly between the two nations, as Argentina is using 80% saved seed rather than certified seed, compared to only 20% saved seed in Brazil.

While much knowledge can be learned from books and statistics, meeting people on site and seeing things first hand provides a much deeper experience and detailed impression.

The first stop on our trip to Argentina was a visit to the National Agricultural technology institute in Buenos Aires (INTA), which is tasked to solve issues in forestry, agriculture and the associated agro-industry. The focus of the visit for us was to understand the local legume inoculation process, problems faced by farmers in Argentina and the solutions currently available to them. We learned, that inoculant quality control is currently not obligatory in Argentina, but INTA maintains a culture collection and provides type strains to inoculant manufacturers if they request so. In addition, it is also possible for companies to hold their own collections and produce inoculants with them. Interestingly, not only rhizobia inoculants are used but also plant growth promoting bacteria such as Azospirillum are frequently used in soybean and maize production to reduce artificial fertiliser inputs.

Our next visit brought us to Novozymes in Pilar, an hour’s drive from Buenos Aires. Novozymes has been part of the BioAg Alliance with Monsanto (now Bayer) since 2014, while Novo A/S, with its Danish roots, is still the majority owner. Agriculture and feed make up 15% of the portfolio with a diverse range of products focusing on biocontrol, nutrient uptake, signalling, nitrogen fixation and phosphate solubilisation. As indicated above, quality control is not legally required, but every batch is tested in house, considering the same official parameters including the total bacterial count, optical density, gram stain, pH, visual colony inspection and box PCR. It was further impressive to see the extensive QC performed in the R&D department with a focus to increase shelf life of the liquid inoculant, increase the CFU/ml, on seed survival and to understand the effect of field conditions on the effectiveness of the final product.

The final visit was made to Rizobacter in Pergamino which is a proud Argentinian owned inoculant company with carbon neutral status and ISO certification established in 1983. Through their strategic alliances with Bioceres, Syngenta, De Sangosse and Momentive they aim to become leaders in the investigation, development and production of microbiological products. Their product portfolio contains microbiological products (growth promotors, biological fungicide, rhizobia), chemical crop protection (Adjuvants, fungicide, insecticide), crop nutrition (fertiliser), seed (soybean, wheat) and seed treatment services. However, 51% of their revenue is generated by inoculants followed by 31% adjuvants. As mentioned, the head office, R&D laboratory and main production facility are located in Pergamino in the heart of the northern agricultural region, 220km inland from Buenos Aires and a 90-minute drive south of Rosario with its soy industry and port. However, they have subsidiaries around the world in Europe, Africa, India, the USA and other Latin American nations. In Argentina, Rizobacter holds 24% of the inoculant market followed by Novozymes with a 17% market share.

Significant efforts by the R&D department are put into increasing the shelf life of their products, concentration, effectiveness in the field and compatibility with additional chemical or seed treatments. With an equally strong and ambitious team, the QC department is focused on researching raw material of strains sourced locally or internationally, Quality Assurance, R&D control and environmental control. The purity and concentration of the product is monitored during the whole production process by their in-house department including identification, pH and nodulation test, using established or traditional methods of plating and dilutions. From each batch, samples are retained and checked on a monthly basis until the expiry date is reached, setting high standards in a global and competitive market.

After an eventful and informative time in Argentina it was time to make our way across the border and visit Brazil, of which we will report more in our next blog post.

2019 agriculture innovation review – USA


With the end of the year nearing, we thought it was time to review all the things we have learned from our travels and interactions with our clients, farmers and experts in different areas of agriculture.

This week we will start with a report about the trip to the World Agritech summit in San Francisco earlier this year where our CEO and co-founder Dr Sofie De Meyer, joined the March 2019 Austrade USA mission. Together with Agersens, AgriFutures Australia, Aware Water Group, Bridge Hub, Digital Ag Collective, Escavox, Farmbot Australia, Farmscan Ag, FluroSat, GRDC, Monash University, Nexgen Plants, ProAgni, thingc and UTAS, MALDI-ID was immersed in the agricultural industry in the US to learn about its different aspects.

The information-packed program started with an overview of the Austrade USA landing pad assisting in understanding on how to conduct business in the US. We had the opportunity of talking to Australian businesses with successful trading histories in the US and gained particular insights into the relevant cultural differences between the US and Australia.

After this insightful introduction, we fully embraced the opportunity to engage and learn about innovative technologies during the World Agri-tech summit in San Francisco. The summit included a vast array of great speakers and interesting discussion points on a wide range of topics regarding the future of agriculture worldwide.

It is becoming apparent that a tailored approach to farming is quickly becoming more prevalent with the inclusion of various sensors, satellite data, robotics, precision sowing/spraying/harvesting and Artificial Intelligence amongst other things. A truly smart farm might be closer to reality than we think as global players like Amazon, IBM, Bayer and Corteva show a strong interested and have started to invest in the sector.

While we embrace this new age of data-driven agriculture, we fully agree with Abe Hughes from Trimble who mentioned that “At the end of the day, none of this technology means anything unless it shows a true Return On Investment” and this is going to be one of the major challenges for farmers in the near future. It will be important to understand how they will be able to integrate the technology that suits their needs instead of just jumping on board with what is often referred to as the latest and greatest new tech.

A little closer to our own interest were signs of a renewed focus on soil health and attention to minimising soil degradation of arable land. After focusing on everything above ground for the past few decades to increase performance of livestock and crops, the major industry players are refocussing on the soil to increase production to feed a growing world population. This was evident by the large number of “biologicals” on offer. These products from Micro-organisms come in a wide range of applications from enhanced nutrient uptake to plant growth promotion and pest/disease control. A highly important aspect for the success of these, however, will be the quality and appropriate application of these living organisms to provide farmers with the return on investment. With the fast and accurate identification of microorganisms a core aspect of our business, quality assurance is exactly what MALDI-ID can offer to manufacturers providing a great opportunity for us in the future. Supporting the manufacturers will help to insure that investments by farmers locally and internationally will result in that “Return on Investment”.

After an information packed first week, we left the San Francisco Bay area to explore the Salinas valley, getting to know successful local farmers and learn from their experience.

The Valley in Monterey county California, is cradled by mountains to the east and west, yet opens to the Pacific Ocean in the north which cools the valley. Together with great soil it is a highly productive growing region which has earned it the name of the Salad Bowl of the World due to its large production output serving the majority of the US lettuce market. Valued at of over $1.9 billion, this region is the fourth highest agricultural producing area in California. Around 600,000 ha of land is used for agriculture of which more than 80,000 ha are irrigated. As the name suggests, there is a strong horticultural focus in the north on cool-season vegetables like artichoke, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, Asian vegetables, spinach and lettuce. Further south where the effect of the cool pacific climate is less pronounced, warm-season vegetables including carrots, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes are grown. On the sweeter side of things, the Salinas valley is also producing a third of the Californian strawberries and has a thriving viticulture industry.

The week-long road trip started at the Western Growers Centre for Innovation and Technology. Of course, the idea of co-working space is not new, but the implementation and the focus on innovation in the Agricultural industry was very inspiring. The centre does far more than just providing an office space and meeting rooms for potential start-ups and companies. It was created to help identify industry priorities and then assist to address them by attracting small businesses with novel technologies, facilitate testing and networking to meet the needs of the industry. It was great to see how differently things can be approached and how a supportive industry is tackling their problems together to the benefit of everyone involved.

Making our way along the valley, we were introduced to Andy Boy who contrary to his name can look back at an eventful long life during which he developed and established the amazing fresh produce cooler pipeline that he was proud to show us in person. The benefits for the manufacturer and ultimately the customers are clearly evident, observing the short processing time from field through the cooling stages to loading the trucks.

One aspect that became clear visiting Pessagno winery, Sundance Berry Farms, PlantTape and Church Brothers Farms was that the main problem across the region is the difficulty of finding reliable labour, as a large portion of the production still requires manual sowing, weeding and harvesting. Once more innovation plays a big role to improve capacities when staff numbers are limited and PlantTape is a great example implementing  such innovation and working a treat on farm. Check out the video here.

Exploring innovations and how they can help the farmers and benefit the customers was a key aspect of the trip. At Sundance Berry farm they produce both conventionally and organically grown strawberries and Jackie Vasquez proudly told us how they innovated the growing of their organic fruit which resulted in larger good-looking strawberries. When these however hit the market, complaints were soon made on social media that these could not be organic strawberries as they were too big or did not look organic enough. So, innovation is great but what if the customer does not (yet) want it? Therefore, market pressure and how consumers drive innovation and production on farms was another eye opener for all of us.

After the great introduction to the horticulture in California we headed east for a better understanding of broad acre cropping in the US for which the Midwest is known globally. Our first stop was St Louis (Missouri) visiting the former Monsanto campus now operated by Bayer Crop Sciences. A tour of the facilities highlighted the latest and greatest in greenhouse technology and gave us an overview of the future directions they have chosen as a global player in the industry.

Moving from one of the largest established ag-bio companies to the start-up scene, where the Danforth Plant Science Center and the Helix Biotech Incubator demonstrated how important pathways of innovation are for establishing successful start-ups, providing general and specific support including the building of networks.

Further exploration of Missouri led us to a local cattle farmer, where we learned more about the local practices, allowing a great comparison to those used in Australia.

Leaving the cattle enjoying their feed, we turned our attention to the Missouri Bay Research Facility to hear all about soybean. This was especially important for us to get a good understanding of the soybean market and how soybean is grown in the Midwest specifically in regards to the inoculation practices. Associations like this example for Soybean in the US can be compared to our own Research Development Corporations (RDC) which are levy-funded and provide funding support to projects which target key issues for the growers.

The USA are the top producer of soybean in the world with 120.4M tonnes of which 38% are exported as beans, 17% as meal and 8% as oil.

In the afternoon we took a brief trip across the state boarder into Kansas visiting the John Deere Ag Marketing Centre in Olathe to heard about their recent innovations and integration of novel technologies.

Kansas State University is highly regarded for its agricultural research and renowned as one of the US land-grant universities. With the abundance of expertise in agriculture, participants were matched with researchers for an exchange of thoughts and ideas. This was not only highly informative and invigorating, but further allowed us to establish the first contacts for potential future collaboration with the university.

It was interesting to learn that soybean is used in rotation with corn and due to the large amount of fertiliser used in the corn cycle it is unclear what the effects are on the natural nitrogen fixation ability of soybean. There is a belief among farmers that they do not need to inoculate as the high N content in the soil is inhibiting the nitrogen fixation making the investment for inoculation redundant. However, there is no evidence from field or glasshouse studies to support or confirm this believe or elaborate at what exact levels of N in the soil nitrogen fixation in legumes is reduced or inhibited.

The excessive application of artificial N-fertiliser has also been identified to cause pollution with dramatic effects on the waterways and aquafers. With the concern of environmental damage threatening the agricultural industry of the region, the counties and state government are interested in reducing fertiliser usage without compromising yields. MALDI-ID is committed to collaborate with US partners to find solutions that enable a stable soybean production with minimal impact on the environment. A transfer of knowledge from the international market would of course also benefit Australia’s soybean production worth AU$20M in 2019 to grow further.

The Midwest spreads across multiple states that are within driving distance, making it easy to once more cross the state border into Nebraska. The state is the top producer of beef and feedlot cattle and ranked in the top 5 for soybean, kidney bean and pinto bean production. Farming is the biggest industry in the state and contributed 5.7% to the US total economy in 2017. There are around 47,400 farms with an average size of 386ha which cover 91% of the state’s total land area. Again, here soil erosion has caused the loss of the top 12 inches (30cm) of the top soil due to the limited corn/soy rotation and the lack of cover crops during winter. Moreover, the N-contamination load allowed by the US Environmental Protection Agency has been set to 10 ppm and Nebraska has an increasing number of areas going above this level. Therefore, similar to Kansas, efforts are being made in Nebraska to reduce the N-fertilisation use during the corn rotation to reduce runoff into the waterways and facilitate or improve nitrogen fixation in soybean rotation instead. Visiting the University of Nebraska and Valmont facilities provided a valuable insight into smart irrigation systems and the importance of using technology to incorporate appropriate management systems to control water wastage.

Crossing a state border for the last time into Iowa for our final stop we spent the day at Corteva Agriscience and their Granular team sharing insights with us about legislation and future directions for GMO crops with a focus on innovation integration along the way rounding up the trip that has provided all of us with a wealth of valuable knowledge that we are integrating into our research to benefit our customers.

If you like to hear more news about soybeans and other legume stories from Brazil and Argentina keep an eye on this space over the next few weeks.

Nothing wild or wolfish about this Coyote


A new narrow-leaf lupin variety has been recently launched by Australian Grain Technologies (AGT)

Coyote offers growers a high yielding & stable lupin variety which can cope with a range of conditions.

AGT took over the lupin breeding program from the Department of Primary Industries & Regional development in 2016. In May of this year, lupin breeder Matthew Aubert was appointed to its Northam, WA facility.

Lupins are a significant crop in the WA repertoire, and the excitement around this new breed stems not just from high yields but for its stable performance across environmental conditions.

It compares well to the leading variety, Jurien as slightly higher-yielding with better stability across soil types and rainfall zones. This environmental variation has not impacted upon Coyote’s yield or quality.

These results were a significant driver in the decision to release it into the market, and the uptake has been good. Marketing manager Alana Hartley was keen to point out that this release is a milestone for both the AGT and for lupin breeding across the country. The AGT lupin program encapsulates a focus upon high protein and strong yields, and they utilise around 20,000 plots per year.

Ms Hartley intends to work with growers to utilise this variety in their crop rotations and hopes growers will remember the catchy title.

In case you were wondering about that title, the variety gets its name from the Coyote gold mine in the North East of Western Australia. It is intended that a number of new lupin varieties will follow and be named after WA gold mines.

MALDIID is working hard to offer the RHIZO-ID service for Lupins but has encountered some challenges with the nodule structure of these plants. Further R&D is being done to solve those hurdles, so watch this space!

Innovation is a business buzz word in the Primary Industries grain sector.


The Curtin University Business School’s Ignition Innovation accelerator program has up skilled scholarship winners Bronnie Kemp and Louise Edmunds. In its fourth year of awarding these scholarships, the Dept of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), has helped to encourage and foster innovation and business opportunities for the grains industry.

When speaking from her experience, Bronnie Kemp expressed an intention to grow her agricultural software business, which provides instant analysis of soil and tissue infield, which will undoubtedly aid crop profitability. She felt the Curtin program had given her an edge with networking and valuable entrepreneurial feedback. All are invaluable in terms of optimising and availing her techniques to the Australian agricultural industry.

Co-recipient, Louise Edmonds has a different yet equally valid proposition. She plans to run a regenerative training program for approximately 60 Wheatbelt farmers to develop a carbon farming market after an examination of WA soils and their capacity to store carbon.

These young women join an elite yet expanding alumni who have led the way in the innovative grains industry. Our own CEO and co-founder Dr Sofie De Meyer participated in the Ignition program in 2015, which was the starting point for her to embark on the entrepreneurial pathway and commercialise MALDIID.

More information on the program:


Are Peas the next best thing in the plant-based protein game?


The humble pea is literally jumping out of its shell to participate in the new groundswell to replace animal protein with plant protein, in many non-meat and non-dairy food options.

Agriculturalists are cottoning on to the fact that the humble pea may be the next best plant-based protein to hit the market.

If the pea doesn’t feature in your vegan burger or alternative milk latte, it soon might! In fact, it’s been reported by research firms that 757 new pea related foods hit the shelves last year!

The pea has long been part of the traditional meat and three veg meal or mum’s pea & ham soup. They practically showed up on every plate in the family home in the ’80s. However, this small player, particularly the yellow variety, is showing merit in competing with market leader’s soy, grains & corn. Taking the competition head-on peas can profess to be drought-tolerant & needing less water. As well as needing little fertilising due to its internal nitrate stores & therefore it is excellent for crop rotations. They also very rarely cause allergies, unlike some of their counterparts.

Canada has recently taken dairy foods off the recommended human food guidelines and is leading the US in its research into plant-based products. Significant investment has gone into a pea protein facility in Saskatchewan financed by an environmental activist and film director. The director of investments in the Saskatchewan Ministry of trade believes the trend is here to stay.

Canada, unlike the US, is not affected by tariffs, particularly from China.

Scientists in the US also have the pea on their radar, trying to discover the generic nature of pea protein concentration to make a great protein-packed pea.

So, where does the pea end up? Pea starch in noodles, pea protein in non-dairy ice creams & milk & pea fibre in all of the above and more. Feeding the world sustainably in the future will require a food revolution. This humble little legume may be a pioneer to sustain a healthy environment with healthy inhabitants and healthy food.

Not just a rabbit proof fence


If you are a farmer wanting to protect crops and stock from feral animals, you may be interested to read about Esperance’s new 660 km extension of the state barrier fence. This 11-million-dollar project is expected to take 2-3 years and will provide a 1.35 metres high protective fence.

Much of the funding has come from the state government budget with some federal support. Australian Wool Innovation has provided a Caterpillar fencing machine to ensure the terrain can be accessed.

Indigenous native title representatives have been in discussion with the State government around certain sections of the area that are subject to native title. It is also hoped that the construction of the fence will lead to employment opportunities, particularly amongst Indigenous rangers who will be given training to help complete this work.

As sheep and wool prices are booming it is seen as something that will be strongly supported by farmers, as wild dogs, rabbits, and emus have long been causing issues for livestock farmers in WA.


Source: The Farm Weekly






Women’s voices valued in leading agricultural decisions


Pictured: Senator Bridget McKenzie

Despite playing an integral role in the success of agricultural businesses, since farming began; female leaders in the industry have been overlooked. Nonetheless, women have made an impact behind the scenes and have rarely been recognised and noticed. The appointment of a female Federal Minister for Agriculture (Senator Bridget McKenzie), has gone some way towards amending this oversight, but more must be done.

Related businesses, including banks, agribusiness and other agencies and industry representative bodies, have joined Australian Community Media to make a new charge towards enabling females to become or be recognised as leaders in this field.

In addition, with the introduction of the Diversity in Agricultural Leadership Program, the National Farmers Federation strives to make change amongst the higher levels of management that have senior decision-makers of only one gender. Ms Simson says, “This situation doesn’t reflect real life and it blatantly ignores the great results that are achieved when men and women work together.

A select group of women who are leading this charge have recently met with the Federal Minister for Agriculture to scope out a way forward to seeing women take on senior roles and have a voice on relevant boards. This change in values will no doubt impact on the success of the agricultural and farming industries into the future. A change that has come late but not too late to be meaningful if these women are heard, paving the way for others.

MALDI-ID is proud to have a female director and scientist Sofie De Meyer leading the way through legume nodule research being used through a variety of cropping programs across the South West and beyond.

Source: The Farm Weekly

The Future of Legumes


Over the last 25 years, the Pulse association of the South East (PASE) has seen a huge change in the legume space. PASE is asking questions about the transition to developing a strategy to continue to grow legumes and if it is viable to market out of the port zone.

In the last two decades with the transition of business operation in agriculture along with changing technology and the development of agriculture research, it is evident that Canola has become the regular break crop in the South Easter area. Although there is still a lot of interest in creating a legume rotation among a variety of growers, the majority seem to have moved on. A small group still incorporates legumes into their cropping programs in the area including faba beans, lentils, lupins and chickpeas which is why PASE are still interested in the continuation of the organisation for the potential pulses have for sustainable farming.

Legumes are known to give increased yield and profit through the high-performance nitrogen fixation of pastures and crops as well as providing livestock with increased fat score and more significant profit margins. Legumes also decrease fertiliser programs allowing for sustainable farming practises. A variety of international farmers are cutting down their fertiliser costs using legumes as a way to develop healthier soils each year. In the next few decades, it is predicted farming operations will increase their sustainable farming practises and increase the level of productivity as the agricultural sector grows in capacity. Internationally there is an expectation that more plant-based proteins, including soybeans and other legumes, will be used as more sustainable and less invasive cropping to allow soil protection. It is yet to take off in Australia, but with the ability for organisations including PASE among others to work together to educate and increase the capacity for legumes, there is hope soon Australia will be using this strategy rather than increase fertilisers.

It is exciting for PASE to be evolving their practice and are seeking guidance from Professor Tim Mazzarol at UWA, specialised in entrepreneurship, innovation, small business management, and part of the Commercialisation Studies Centre ( focusing on advancing the development and understanding of commercialisation. PASE hopes to come to a successful outcome that can support the future of legumes and pulses in the South East region and see more farmers in the area using legumes for a sustainable and prosperous future in farming.

Sources: Farm Weekly, & High West Journal

Farmers feeling the dry start to seeding.


Although winter might officially be here, this year’s rainfall has been significantly lower than in previous years. The last 6 months have had little to no substantial rainfall leading to almost no moisture in the soil which is leaving farmers concerned. Many across the state have been dry seeding and are not sure how they are going to get through the rest of the season with little rain due in sight — leaving many to create significant changes to the cropping program. According to Wagin Farmer Ben Ball “The way this season is panning out, we are in danger of burning a bit of money.

Mr Ball has had to change his 2019 program to abide by the dry climate. Previously he planned to put in 500 hectares of canola, but with no summer rain, there was no subsoil moisture to be able to put into the growth for the crop. He has had to make dramatic changes to his program as the lack of moisture has deterred him from cropping canola.

Traditionally lupins have always been a consistent part of the program with up to a third of their crop in lupin. Mr Ball says “Lupins don’t like a dry start, finish or frost. When they are good, they are excellent, but when they are poor, they are very poor.” This has led to the demise in hectares they have put in because of the variabilities being too high to crop. With farmers having to dry seed as a result of the lack of rainfall. There are plenty worried about the germination of their crops.

The Bureau of Metrology has predicted a warm and dry winter for the South-East. Which coincides with Grain Industry Association of Western Australia (GIWA) releasing reports saying the intended canola areas had decreased with only 1.4 million hectares of canola production planned. BOM Spokesmen Neil Bennett stated “We’ve had a very dry autumn, but we also had a very dry summer and late spring” “It’s been an exceptionally long dry period and that has meant it is unlike previous years where we have had rainfall in the summer season” “We didn’t see that this year”.

Perth posted its second-driest May on record as it collected 17.8mm. These conditions are certainly putting the pressure on farmers. Welcomed rainfall hit over the weekend which was seen across the Midwest and Wheatbelt including Southern Cross who scored 14.2mm, Cunderdin with 10.5mm and Dalwallinu with 10mm. Luke Rushby from the Wheatbelt who works for CBH said: “Any rain out this way is good for the farmers,”.

Source: Farm Weekly, Dry could see lots of money burnt – Travis King,
ABC, Perth weather shows the second-driest May on record as winter starts with a warm stretch – Irena Ceranic

MALDI-ID attending WORLD Agri-Tech Innovation Summit


We are attending the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in San Francisco. The theme this year is to turn disruptive technology into business strategy, through partnerships and collaborations. We are keen to understand what the rest of the world is focusing on in agriculture. Finding partnerships is our goal and understanding where MALDI-ID can play internationally.