29 Sep 2013

SEAP Quarterly Newsletter 2013-3

In this IssuePhilippines DA-Region IV-B holds hands-on training on Nutrient Expert for Hybrid Maize
IPNI Program Updates
-Philippines DA-Region IV-B hands-on training on Nutrient Expert for Maize

- NEW Policy Brief: contributions of BMPs towards sustainable oil palm intensification

-IPNI Scholar Awards recipients selected

-Oil Palm Posters

News From the Region
-Crop exporters look to better year end after first half lags

-Gene that regulates yield of oil palm tree discovered

-Reviving cocoa industry in Malaysia

Other News
-Gains for Indonesian palm oil production and trade will dominate global market

- New technology enables crops to use Nitrogen from the air

Literature at a Glance
-KHOR Reports Palm oil

-Climate change impacts on global agriculture

-McKinsey global survey results

IPNI SEAP in the Press
-Recent press releases

Upcoming Events
-Scroll down for updates
The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit IV-B in the Philippines conducted a training program on the use of Nutrient Expert for Hybrid Maize on July 10-11, 2013. Thirty-one municipal agriculture officers and technicians participated in the training, of which 27 were from the four provinces of Region IV-B namely Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan, and four from Lipa City of Region IV-A. The training, funded by the Site-specific Nutrient Management (SSNM) maize Region IV-B, was organized under the leadership of their SSNM focal person, Ms. Elenita Marasigan.

The training began with a lecture on SSNM for Yellow Corn by Dr. Apolonio M. Ocampo, Senior Researcher at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and project leader of SSNM for Maize in the Philippines. Each trainee had the opportunity to develop fertilizer recommendations using the Nutrient Expert software under the guidance of the trainers. With assistance from Ms. Maica A. Milagrosa, IPNI SEAP staff in the Philippines, the trainees also learned about developing Quick Guides for maize using the Nutrient Expert software.

Participants at the Nutrient Expert for Hybrid Maize Training Program
NEW Policy Brief: Contributions of Best Management Practices towards Sustainable Oil Palm Production through Intensification
IPNI Southeast Asia Program has long been engaged in sustainable oil palm production through intensification. By using Best Management Practices (BMPs), we have shown an increase in the productivity of oil palm within the first year of implementation. A process to deploy a series of BMPs consistent with the guidelines of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil was developed and tested on commercial blocks in oil palm plantations, leading to significant improvements to yield.

This policy brief summarizes the history, success, and future of BMP implementation in oil palm in Southeast Asia.

Click here to view the NEW Policy Brief.
International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) Scholar Award Recipients Selected
The IPNI Scholar Awards for 2013 have been awarded to 26 deserving students who were selected based on rigorous criteria in evaluating their academic achievements. Each award recipient receives a cash prize of USD 2, 000 and a Certificate of Recognition. It is IPNI SEAP's great pleasure to announce that one of the 26 winners this year is Mr. Alagie Bah, who is working toward his Ph.D. at Universiti Putra Malaysia in Serdang, Malaysia.

Mr. Bah is a Ph.D candidate working in oil palm research. His research dissertation titled Improved and efficient oil palm fertilization through controlled release fertilizers under tropical conditions, aims to provide an improved and efficient K recommendation program for sustainable oil palm production in Malaysia. The study is planned to be conducted in three phases:
1) development of controlled-release K fertilizers (granular and briquette forms) in collaboration with an established fertilizer company,
2) establishment of K release pattern of the controlled-release fertilizer (CRF), and
3) test performance of the CRF on oil palm fresh fruit bunch yield, and their leaching and runoff loss potentials.

We take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Bah, who wants to contribute to local or regional agricultural communities in boosting agricultural production and agribusiness management.
Oil Palm Posters
In addition to the English version, the A1 size poster "Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms in Oil Palm" is now available in French and Burmese. Please email seap@ipni.net for more information
News from the Region
Crop exporters look to better year-end after first half lags
Indonesia's crude palm oil exports are forecast to recover in the second half of the year following weakened demands in Asia due to the ailing global market. Total export revenue fell from USD 14 billion (Jan - June 2012) to USD 13 billion in Jan - June this year largely because of the reduced demand from China and India, its two major importers. Despite the slump in exports, the production of crude palm oil increased from 8 million tons to 10 million tons year-on-year, and is estimated to reach 18 millions tones by the end of this year. The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) executive director, Fadhil Hasan is optimistic that exports will rebound.

This may not be the trend for Indonesia's coffee industry which is preparing for lower production and exports this year. Indonesia Coffee Exporters Association (GAEKI) chairman Hutama Sugandhi explained that wet weather had adversely affected the coffee harvest, with fruits falling off prematurely and fungal infections on the rise. He added that production was expected to decline by 15 - 20 percent this year in Indonesia, the third-largest coffee exporter after Brazil and Vietnam.

Source: The Jakarta Post, August 6, 2013 http://www.thejakartapost.com
Gene that regulates yield of oil palm tree discovered
The joint discovery of a single gene, Shell, that regulates oil palm yield in the tree, by researchers at the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Orion Genomics in St. Loius, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York and the American Museum of Natural History, suggest huge implications. The regulation of the Shell gene will enable plantations to improve their yields by at least one-third. This is a major step forward for rainforest conservation, as the discovery of Shell will allow intensification of already planted oil palm trees, and lessen the pressure for land expansion.

Source: Click Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to read more.
Reviving Cocoa Industry in Malaysia
The Malaysian Cocoa Board will be introducing five new cocoa clones next month that will shave one year off the waiting period before the first harvest. The board is seeking to revive the cocoa plantation industry in Malaysia to the meet the demand for locally-produced chocolates. While Malaysia currently produces 8,000 metric tonnes of cocoa beans a year, the board believes the figures could rise up to 40,000 with the introduction of the new clones.

Source: The Borneo Post, September 22, 2013 http://www.theborneopost.com
Other News
Gains for Indonesian Palm Oil Production and Trade Will Dominate Global Market
Global production of palm oil for 2013/14 is projected to go up 5 percent to 58.1 million tons. Almost all of the increase could arise from output growth in Indonesia, which is expected to rise to 31 million tons from 28.5 million in 2012/13. As a result, next season Indonesia is expected to expand its palm oil exports to 21 million tons from 20.1 million in 2012/13. Indonesia’s share of global palm oil exports could grow to nearly half.

In contrast, no gains are anticipated for Malaysian palm oil production in 2013/14. The country’s output is expected to flatten out at 19 million tons due to a small reduction in harvested area. Malaysia’s Government has required small independent producers (who own about 14 percent of the country’s oil-palm area) to replant their aging and less-productive trees. The replanting program is expected to remove 365,000 hectares from production—or about 7 percent of the country’s total oil palm area. To compensate for the lost output, the producers would receive subsidies for 3 years. New land for expanding palm oil production in Malaysia is now quite scarce. Labor shortages also continue to hamper Malaysian palm oil producers, who must rely on immigrants for much of their workforce.

Source: Oil Crops Outlook by Economic Research Service, Situation and Outlook Report, Economic Research Service, May 2013

NEW Technology Enables Crops to use Nitrogen from the Air
Leading world expert in nitrogen and plant science, Prof. Edward Cocking, Director of the University of Nottingham's Centre for Crop Nitrogen Fixation, has developed a method to place nitrogen-fixing bacteria into the cells of plant roots. This development could potentially enable every cell in the plant to fix atmospheric nitrogen, something that previously was only available in legumes. Most plants, with the exception of legumes, have to obtain nitrogen from the soil. Legumes, with the help of nitrogen-fixing bacteria can obtain nitrogen from the air. In agriculture crops, nitrogen is supplied via synthetic fertilizers, which can lead to pollution among other issues.

Prof. Cocking explained that the N-Fix Technology as it is known, does not involve genetic modification or bio-engineering. Using naturally occurring nitrogen-fixing bacteria to coat the plant seeds, the process creates a mutually beneficial relationship, that results in the plant producing nitrogen naturally. The N-Fix is environment-friendly and can be applied to all crops.

Source: Click on Science Daily to read more.

Literature at a Glance
KHOR reports' Palm Oil, Issue #3, Jul - Aug 2013
This issue features top stories on EU biodiesel certification, anti-dumping and ILUC. Other highlights include expansion to Nigeria and Mindanao, who's got the best prices and growth prospects, China and crude oil.

Climatic Change Impacts on Global Agriculture
Abstract: Based on predicted changes in the magnitude and distribution of global precipitation, temperature and river flow under the IPCC SRES A1B and A2 scenarios, this study assesses the potential impacts of climate change and CO2 fertilization on global agriculture. The analysis uses the new version of the GTAP-W model, which distinguishes between rainfed and irrigated agriculture and implements water as an explicit factor of production for irrigated agriculture. Future climate change is likely to modify regional water endowments and soil moisture. As a consequence, the distribution of harvested land will change, modifying production and international trade patterns. The results suggest that a partial analysis of the main factors through which climate change will affect agricultural productivity provide a false appreciation of the nature of changes likely to occur. Our results show that global food production, welfare and GDP fall in the two time periods and SRES scenarios. Higher food prices are expected. No matter which SRES scenario is preferred, we find that the expected losses in welfare are significant. These losses are slightly larger under the SRES A2 scenario for the 2020s and under the SRES A1B scenario for the 2050s. The results show that national welfare is influenced both by regional climate change and climate-induced changes in competitiveness. Climate Change, September 2013, Vol. 120, pp 357 - 374
Bullish on digital: McKinsey Global Survey results, August 2013
CEOs and other senior executives are increasingly engaged as their companies step up efforts to build digital enterprises.

Excerpt: As businesses continue to embrace digital tools and technologies, especially when engaging with customers, C-level executives in a recent McKinsey survey, say they are stepping up their own involvement in shaping and driving digital strategies. This is vital to the success of digital programs, as survey respondents most often cite a lack of senior-management interest as the reason for an initiative’s failure. Respondents also suggest that organizational alignment is critical to seeing real business impact from digital.

Resource Revolution: Tracking Global Commodity Markets
Excerpt below:

Agriculture. Food prices (in real terms) fell by an average of 0.7 percent (increased by 1.7 percent in nominal terms) a year during the 20th century despite a significant increase in food demand. This was because of rapid increases in yield per hectare due to the greater use of fertilizers and capital equipment, and the diffusion of improved farming technologies and practices. However, since 2000, food prices (in nominal terms) have risen by almost 120 percent (6.1 percent annually) due to a declining pace of yield increases, rising demand for feed and fuel, supply-side shocks (due to droughts, floods, and variable temperatures), declines in global buffer stocks, and policy responses (e.g., governments in major agricultural regions banning exports). Non-food agricultural commodity nominal prices—including timber, cotton, and tobacco—have risen by between 30 and 70 percent since 2000. Rubber prices have increased by more than 350 percent because supply has been constrained at a time when demand from emerging economies for vehicle tires has been surging.
In the future, agricultural markets will be shaped by demand from large emerging countries such as China, climate and ecosystem risks, urban expansion into arable land, biofuels demand, and the potential for further productivity improvements.

Food. Demand for food increased throughout the 20th century, but thanks to higher yields, prices fell (in real terms). Yet they have risen by almost 120 percent since 2000 as yield improvements slowed, demand for feed went up, and agriculture endured droughts, floods, and variable temperatures. The net result is that global buffer stocks are running low but demand for food, largely in Asia and Africa, is expected to go up by 35 percent during the next 20 years. In addition, higher production of biofuels is boosting demand for land. So is the fact that more than 20 percent of the world’s arable land has been seriously degraded through, for example, pollution and soil salinization. Finally, the land shortage is further exacerbated by the mass migration of people from rural areas to cities: urban sprawl could reduce the world’s cropland by two million hectares a year. Trends survey 2013. September 2013. McKinsey Global Institute
McKinsey Sustainability & Resource Productivity Practice

An impending global food crisis: Policy and Data Needs
Excerpt: Amid all the gloomy commentary about widespread starvation in the Third World, some encouragement could be drawn from the World Bank’s Food Price Watch for November 2012, which claimed that the world has averted a global food crisis in the short term. However, the World Bank also warns that ‘a growing sense of a “new norm” of high and volatile prices seems to be consolidating’. This conclusion is marginally more encouraging than the stark message contained in the World Bank’s Food Price Watch for August 2012, which reported that global food prices had shot up by 10% in July from a month previously. The Bank pointed out that the absence of panic policies had contributed to food price stabilisation – at least so far. Keith Boyfield, World economics • Vol. 14 • No. 1 • January–March 2013
Plant Nutrition Today, Fall 2013
Seven new articles from IPNI scientific staff are now available at www.ipni.net/pnt:

1. When is a biosolid the right source? By Dr. Tom Bruulsema

2. Protein quality enhancement with sulfur fertilization. By Dr. Thomas L. Jensen

3. The facts about phosphate rock... Are we running out? By Dr. Rob Mikkelsen

4. Resources for on-farm research. By Dr. Scott Murrell

5. The InfoAg Conference - Connecting 4R Nutrient Stewardship and precision agriculture. By Dr. Steve Phillips

6. Fall nitrogen application - Is it right for your spring-planted crops? By Dr. Cliff Snyder

7. Winter canola nutrition. By Dr. Mike Stewart

New Entries to the IPNI Library
We have also updated our SEAP Reference Database with references dealing mainly with the following topics: oil palm, coffee, and nutrient and fertilizer management. For a complete listing of these references, please click on the attachment below.

New Entries September 2013.pdf
IPNI SEAP in the Press
IPNI Southeast Asia Program has in the second quarter of 2013 disseminated the following press releases:
  • July: Sulphur, the long-neglected nutrient in oil palm cultivation
  • August: Videos for best management practices in maize cultivation in Southeast Asia
  • September: Transfer of fertilizer recommendations from commercial plantations to oil palm smallholders

Click here to access IPNI SEAP press releases.
Upcoming Events
2nd Palm Oil Africa
17-19 October 2013
Libreville, Gabon,

5th PALMEX Indonesia 2013
2 - 4 October 2013
Santika Premiere Dyandra Hotel & Convention
Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia

Workshop: Sustainable Management of Soil in Oil Palm Plantings
7 - 8 November 2013
Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia

PIPOC International Palm Oil Congress 2013
19-21 November 2013
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

9th Indonesian Palm Oil Conference and 2014 Price Outlook
27-29 November 2013
Bandung, Indonesia

Plantation Management Conference
4 - 5 December 2013
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
(Contact Ryan Wong for details: ryanw@trueventus.com)
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SEAP Information Services

The Southeast Asia Program office of IPNI has an intensive collection of papers, books, articles, newsletters, and slides categorized into a searchable information database. A list of the latest additions to our reference database is attached.

We can also provide search lists of the resources available in our physical library. Click here for more information on our Information Services.
Disclaimer: News from the Region is a selection of regional agriculture-related articles extracted from internet sources. IPNI does not verify, endorse, or take responsibility for the accuracy, currency, completeness or quality of the content in these sites. Due to the nature of this service, IPNI cannot always verify every single news item. Be sure to check with the official websites of the companies, universities, research centers, and government agencies before using any information in the SEAP newsletters or webpages, as IPNI cannot vouch for news items submitted by the public. Links to external websites are included for the sole purpose of providing easy access to the source. The inclusion of external hyperlinks does not constitute IPNI’s endorsement of the views expressed by these websites. IPNI shall not be responsible for any damages caused directly or indirectly by the use of any information or content from within linked websites.

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