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Network News
New strategic partnership: Farm Management Canada joins the Network
In September agri benchmark and Farm Management Canada (FMC) signed a partnership agreement to expand agri benchmark presence in Canada. This will enable both partners to enhance domestic and international benchmarking efforts and provide much-needed international insights into strength and weaknesses of Canadian farmers in comparison to their global peers.
logo FMC
» Joint news release of FMC and agri benchmark
pdf-document, 4.460 KB
Former agri benchmark team member Sergey Chetvertakov has successfully finished his PhD in Agricultural Economics at the Voronezh State Agricultural University in Russia. For the last three years he worked in the agri benchmark team in Braunschweig
Sergey Chetvertakov
The entire team thanks Sergey for his support and kindness and wishes Sergey all the best for his future work at F. O. Licht.
Annual Australian agri benchmark Conference 2016
In June the agri benchmark partners from the Australian Network met in Adelaide to discuss recent developments in crop production costs in the different regions across Australia as well as the outlook for the ongoing grain season. This national network initiative has established seven typical farms in the major grain production regions countrywide. The initiative is funded by the Australian levy organization Grains Research & Development Corporation.
participants ccc Australia
Samuel Balieiro from the Braunschweig team joined the meeting with a presentation about soybean and corn production in Brazil.
Master thesis on potato production in Kenya
agri benchmark Cash Crop is sponsoring Henry Chemjor to write his master thesis on potato production in Kenya. Henry is collecting data for a typical farm in Nakuru County and comparing his outcome to a sample of 200 individual farms. Results are expected later in October 2016.
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October 2016
Dear Friends and Partners,
Yelto Zimmer Global commodity markets continue to be bearish – a good reason to look for fundamentals in crop production and for options how to improve. The last agri benchmark Cash Crop conference held in Bangkok was the place to discuss those issues.
Please find in this newsletter some new insights, especially on Thai sugar production, which is one of the leading global players.
Since we are expanding into African crop production, this newsletter informs you about insights we have generated on potato production in Kenya and Nigeria.
Last but definitely not least, we are happy to inform you that Farm Management Canada has entered into an agreement with us in order to develop the Canadian network.
We hope you’ll enjoy reading our newsletter – in case you have any comments or questions, please let us know.
Yelto Zimmer
Coordinator of agri benchmark Cash Crop Network
Cash Crop Conference 2016
This year´s conference proved once more the importance of international comparisons of facts and figures . Key findings of the conference are summarized in the conference press release:
»  Economic pressure on global grain producers continues
Press release on www.agribenchmark.org
participants ccc16
The post conference tour following the annual agri benchmark Cash Crop Conference has become a fun tradition. It provides more detailed insights into the agriculture of the host country. Take a look at this year´s post-conference tour.
» Photo album of the post-conference tour.

Thai sugarcane production – How does it compare to global competitors?
sugar cane During the Cash Crop Conference the sugar team presented key findings from recent work with special attention to Thai sugar cane production.
It seems that nowadays, there are no major differences between the various producers when it comes to comparing mechanical versus manual harvesting of cane. The other main finding: costs of raw material production do not differ significantly between cane and beets. This of course does not take into account the fact that processing costs are most likely rather different.
» Thai sugar cane production – How does it compare to global competitors?
(presentation by Pipat Weerathaworn and Samuel Balieiro, Global Forum CCC16, pdf, 2.174 KB)

Production systems under Potato Initiative Africa (PIA)
Logo NPCK Friederike Rösner of the agri benchmark Team in Braunschweig issued a report, which outlines the results of the agri benchmark economic studies conducted for the German Development Aid organization, GIZ, which manages the Potato Initiative Africa.
Typical farm data as well as value chain data was collected for a baseline scenario and for farms participating in the PIA program in Nigeria and Kenya. One of the key findings: Kenyan growers outsource a lot of simple operations to contract workers which increases cash cost and therefore puts heavy economic pressure on the profitability of potatoes. Logo NAERLS
Furthermore, in the first year at least, improved varieties promoted by the project did not boost yields as one would expect.
In addition to the profitability analysis of different potato varieties and production systems, the project also supported local researchers in how to conduct economic analyses of policy interventions. Finally, the entire agri benchmark Network is happy to have won the National Potato Council of Kenya and the national Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Service (Nigeria) as partners.
For more information on the project and its results you can download the complete report for free:
» Economic assessment of agricultural production systems under Potato Initiative Africa in Kenya and Nigeria – Report to the GIZ
(pdf-document, 5.275 KB)

News and Results
irrigation Irrigation pays off for corn production
Irrigation is commonly accepted as an important strategy to enhance productivity of crops. But besides legal and technical issues related to water access, irrigation also requires substantial investments. Therefore, a close look is needed to answer the question whether it is profitable to invest in irrigation to produce corn.
Samuel Balieiro has analyzed the overall effect of irrigation for corn production based on data from three typical farms in the agri benchmark Cash Crop network located in Romania, Kansas (USA) and South Africa (Free State).
» Irrigation pays off for corn production
(News and Results on www.agribenchmark.org)

agri benchmark in the media
A lively report of the Cash Crop Conference 2016 which stresses the contributions of the agri benchmark partner Tegemeo (Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development, Egerton University, Nairobi, Kenya)
» agri benchmark Cash Crop Conference 2016
Thomas de Witte, Frederik Volckens and Friedrich Stute analyzed the competitiveness of German crop farms based on agri benchmark data. Cost data of German farms are compared to data of typical farms in Russia, Ukraine, USA, Canada and Australia, the main exporting countries of wheat and rapeseed. A compilation of results was published in
» Chicago vor dem Hoftor – Eine Studie zur internationalen Wettbewerbsfähigkeit deutscher Ackerbaubetriebe
in agrarmanager, Sept. 2016, pp. 30 – 33 (available only in German)
A compilation of results regarding the international competitiveness of corn production presented by Michael Langemeier at the Cash Crop Conference 2016 is now published.
» International benchmarks for corn production
in: farmdoc daily (6):167, Dept. of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Sept. 2, 2016
An analysis of international competitiveness of soybean production based on agri benchmark data was published by Michael Langemeier and Elizabeth Lunik
» International benchmarks for soybean production
in: farmdoc daily (5):225, Dept. of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Dec. 4, 2015
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