Crop Damage Estimates In UP Revised To 9.51 Mn Ha

29th April 2015

Over the past month, estimates of damage to the standing crop in Uttar Pradesh (UP), one of India’s major grain-producing states, have swung from a high of 9.72 million hectares to a low of 2.46 million hectares, before coming back to 9.51 million hectares on April 24.

According to the latest estimates by the Centre, the standing crop on 18.98 million hectares has been affected in the unseasonal rain and hail that hit several parts of the country since late February, a huge jump from the 9.38 million it had estimated on April 16.

If this estimate is final, then as much as 30 per cent standing rabi crop has been impacted by the recent rains and hailstorm across the country. This year, rabi crops — excluding fruits and vegetables — have been sown in around 60 million hectares of land.

Interestingly, the latest estimate by the department of agriculture after factoring in inputs from different states, is closer to its preliminary estimate released on March 24, wherein it had said the standing crop on 18.1 million hectares had been damaged.

Much of the impact has been on wheat, the main foodgrain grown during the rabi season. According to the preliminary estimate, the standing crop on 9.72 million hectares in UP was damaged.

“The major change is due to a change in figures furnished by Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar and also major change in Uttarakhand, Telangana, Gujarat, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh,” an official statement said.

“Figures from Uttar Pradesh are changing very wildly and in the last one month, these moved down from 9.72 million hectares to 2.46 million hectares and back again to 9.51 million hectares,” said an official.

He said the government must assess the actual extent of damage caused to farmers in the recent unseasonal rains and hailstorm and get their insurance claims verified and settled by the insurance companies at the earliest.

The Centre has enhanced the amount of assistance granted to farmers by 50 per cent and lowered the eligibility for assistance from 50 per cent area damaged to 33 per cent. It has also directed banks to defer the recovery of short-term crop loans by a year.

“In the current situation, when large-scale crops have been damaged in the rains and hailstorm, directives have been issued to regional rural banks and others to convert the short-term crop loans into medium-term ones (those with a period of 18 months or more) and defer their recovery,” Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, chairman of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, told Business Standard recently.

The term-loans will also be restructured apart from making the farmers eligible for fresh loans,” Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, chairman of NABARD, had told Business Standard recently.

Source : Business Standard

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Effects Of Extruder Die Temperature On Fish Pellets

29th April 2015

A study was carried to investigate the effects of starch source (taro and broken rice) and extrusion die temperature (125, 140, 155 and 170 °C) on the physical properties of extruded fish pellets. The result showed that taro and broken rice starch used in the different diets have significant effects on most of the physical properties of the extruded pellets except for the moisture content and floatability.

What is extrusion?

Extrusion is a high temperature and short time (HTST) food and feed processing technique widely used in several industries. Extrusion cooking can be best described as a process of moistened starchy and proteinaceous materials are cooked and worked into viscous, plastic-like dough. During this process cooking the raw ingredients may undergo many chemical and structural changes. Furthermore, extrusion cooking is a very complicated process that product quality is highly variable depending on the type of extruder, screw speed and configuration, temperature profile on the barrel, die profile, feed rate and feed moisture (Mercier, 1977, Chinnaswamy and Hanna, 1988).

Pellet durability, expansion ratio and water absorption analysed The blends containing taro or broken rice starch were extruded using a single screw extruder and the three zones of the barrel temperature profile were set constant at 70, 90 and 100 °C. Moisture content, expansion ratio, bulk density, floatability, pellet durability index, water absorption and solubility indices were extensively analysed.

Results show taro and broken rice starch in fish diets are a good source of starch in fish pellets The results elucidated significant effects on the physical properties of the extruded pellets during the increase of die temperature and also change of starch source from taro to broken rice.

The highest ER, PDI, WAI was noted in the fish diet containing broken rice starch compared to diet containing taro starch. Increase of die temperature from 125 to 170 °C has significant effects on physical properties of the extruded pellets containing taro and broken rice starch. The MC, ER, F, PDI and WAI values significant increased by 7.0, 3.5, 103.6, 0.1 and 13.5%, respectively, as the die temperature was increased from 125 to 170 °C. In contrast, there was a significant decrease in BD and WSI values by 9.4 and 12.2%, respectively, as the die temperature elevated from 125 to 170 °C.

Source :Animal Feed Science and Technology

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Maize T o Lead Global Grain Contraction

29th April 2015

Smaller maize output will drive a ‘modest decline’ in global grain production this year. However, grain production will remain three per cent above the five year average, according to the International Grains Council (IGC).

This will, in part, be possible thanks to a record soyabean year, bucking the trend with an 11 per cent increase.

In its latest grain market report, the IGC predicted maize to drop by 43 million tonnes, taking volumes three per cent below last year’s record harvest.

A lower US corn crop, as well as reduced wheat prospects in Argentina, China and India were highlighted in the report for 2015/16.

With total use set to lift only seven per cent, the IGC predicts closing stocks to expand sharply. Record human demand last year is expected to be matched over the coming season and demands from livestock, biofuel and brewing sectors will remain steady.

The IGC said: “Livestock sector needs will likely stay high, but feed utilisation of grains will continue to face competition from alternatives, especially oilseed meals which are expected to be in abundant supply.

“Industrial use is forecast to rise, mainly for starch and brewing, with demand in the ethanol sector seen broadly unchanged y/y.

“Global stocks at the end of 2015/16 are projected to contract by 5 per cent, to 415m t; most of the reduction is for maize in the major exporters, but with falls, too, for wheat and barley.” The report sees world trade decreasing by one per cent this year, largely due to a decline in Barley transportation.

Source : The Crop Site News

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Bird Flu: No Cases Of Human Infection

29th April 2015

While it is always good to be cautious several messages on the social networking and Instant messaging (IM) sites, that include various pictures of Bird Flu infected poultry products, are terrorising the public. A photograph of a discoloured, uncut carcass of a poultry bird doing the rounds in WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber and other IMs is the most gruesome of all such pictures.

Epidemiologist and senior physician at the ESI hospital T.V. Narayana Rao said there have been no cases of human infection in the country till now. All reports appearing in the media were only of birds getting infected. Bird Flu or Avian Flu (H5N1) was caused by a virus that spreads primarily from animals to humans. There was no chance of humans contracting the disease from “well cooked” meat or eggs, Dr Rao said.

Those working with poultry were being given anti-viral drugs as a prophylactic. They were also being asked to wear masks to cover their eyes, nose and mouth and gloves while handling the birds, he said.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 826 laboratory-confirmed human cases of Avian Influenza Virus were reported from 16 countries in the world from 2003 to March 31, 2015. Fortunately, India is not one of these 16 countries. Bird flu claimed the lives of 440 persons in the affected countries till date, according to the WHO.

According the latest WHO report, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified 20 additional cases of Avian Flu and 4 deaths. This increases the number of confirmed human cases to 62 from three countries Egypt (37), China (23) and Indonesia (2). Twelve of the 62 patients who contracted Bird Flu succumbed to the infection.

The age range of the human cases in Egypt ranged from one to 77. All but one case had exposure to poultry or poultry markets and the exposure history of the one case was still under investigation.

All the patients were hospitalised and all reportedly received treatment with antiviral medication. Contacts of the patients were kept under observation for 14 days and there have not been any cases, according to the WHO report.

Besides Egypt, China and Indonesia, cases were also registered in Cambodia (4 deaths) and Vietnam (two deaths) in 2014.

In 2013, there were 14 deaths in Cambodia, two in China, three in Egypt, one in Vietnam and one death was also reported in Canada. While the incidence of the disease has increased in Egypt it has declined in all the other countries.

Source : The Hindu

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Haryana’s Wheat Output Also Drops

28th April 2015

The wheat production in Haryana is expected to dip by 10% to 15 % due to unseasonal rains and hailstorm, which adversely affected the crop.

Agriculture department officials estimate that as against the target of 115 lakh metric tonnes (MT) in 2015, the wheat production in the state is likely to be in the range of 100-108 lakh MT. In 2014, the wheat production was around 118 lakh MT.

Officials said that till January 2015, they were expecting the wheat production to go up to 120 lakh MT, about 5 lakh higher than the target of 115 lakh MT. “However, the hailstorm and unseasonal rains in February, March and April have upset the calculations,’’ they said.

The yield per hectare could also take a hit this time. In 2014, the average wheat yield was 47 quintal per hectare while in 2013, it was about 44 quintal per hectare.

This time, the estimated average yield was about 46 quintal per hectare.

For instance, Palwal which emerged as the worst-affected district after the recent girdawari, had in 2014 recorded an average yield of about 45 quintal per hectare while Mahendergarh, which too has been affected badly this time, registered an average yield of about 50 quintal per hectare in 2014. “This is likely to get affected this time,’’ said an official.

Scientists at Karnal-based Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR), however, say that foodgrain scenario was not grim. IIWBR principal investigator (quality improvement) RK Gupta said though adverse climatic conditions have affected the wheat crop in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, luster loss, broken grains and high moisture content do not make foodgrains inedible or nutrition-deficient. “High moisture content becomes issue for storage as it may be more prone to fungal infection. Luster loss or broken grains lead to slight reduction in flour or maida production for the flour industry,” he said.

Gupta said that the institute had started getting random samples for examination to count protein, starch and moisture content.

Since procurement in Haryana has picked up rapidly in the past few days, the agencies are upbeat over the progress. “As compared to about 48 lakh MT in 2014, the wheat arrival in mandis in 2015 till April 26 was about 44 lakh MT for the corresponding period,’’ said an official. Around 13 lakh acre of wheat cultivation was damaged due to the recent unseasonal rains and hailstorm in Haryana. According to the final girdawari report, about 3 lakh acre suffered 75% to 100% damage; about 2 lakh acre suffered 50% to 75% damage and about 8 lakh acre suffered 25% to 50% damage.

The maximum crop damage occurred in Palwal district (about 3 lakh acre) followed by Mahendergarh, Hisar, Bhiwani and Rewari (about 1.50 lakh each). The area under wheat cultivation this year is about 62 lakh acre and about 13 lakh acre for mustard crop. Revised compensation for wheat, paddy, cotton and sugarcane would be Rs 7,000 per acre for 25% to 50% damage, `9,500 per acre for more than 50% damage and `12,000 per acre for over 75% damage.

Source : Hindustan Times

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Soyabean Futures Trade Higher On NCDEX

28th April 2015

Soyabean futures traded higher on NCDEX on concerns over crop damage and inferior quality supplies due to unseasonal rains. Besides, higher demand in the spot market too supported soyabean prices.

The contract for June delivery was trading at Rs 4094.00, up by 1.79% or Rs 72.00 from its previous closing of Rs 4022.00. The open interest of the contract stood at 92000 lots.

The contract for August delivery was trading at Rs 4050.00, up by 1.86% or Rs 74.00 from its previous closing of Rs 3976.00. The open interest of the contract stood at 21910 lots on NCDEX.

Source : Live mint

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