Gleanings - AF Weekly news summary
16th August 2023

Here’s what caught our eyes and ears in the agri news from UK and further afield this week.


No let-up in farm thefts

Farms are still providing rich pickings for the light fingered fraternity. FarmingUk reported a 25% increase in claims in 2022 compared to 2021. Farmers Weekly reports a spate of Manitou telehandler thefts in Shropshire. Interestingly, among others, has reported the link between an increase in rural crime and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

British police confirm that organised crime gangs are sending machinery and equipment stolen from UK farms to Eastern Europe in very large quantities. They believe the cause is the crippling sanctions imposed on Russia driving demand for machinery on the black market.

The National Crime Unit reports that machinery theft in England and Wales has risen more than 300 percent in the first quarter of 2023. As we know from previous reporting a particular target has been high-value GPS units which have been targeted by thieves able to hack their software and locate them precisely before even arriving at the farm.

What can Members do? A determined thief will always find a way, but AF can help you make it harder for them. Call AF General Inputs who can supply CCTV systems, gates, fencing, chains and locks.

AF is also sponsoring an event with Agri-TechE, looking at advances in security technology for farmers and rural businesses. Members can find out about the latest innovations designed to protect rural businesses, livestock, machinery and people. Click here for details of this free online event.


Cargill profit hike

Reuters, World Grain, and International Leather Maker report that global commodities trader Cargill Inc reported that their financial year 2023 revenue increased 7% from a year earlier to $177 billion, the highest ever for the 158-year-old company.

Privately owned Cargill stopped reporting most of their quarterly data in 2020 but reports its sales for its June-to-May financial year in its annual report. Their profits have been elevated by strong demand for food, animal feed and biofuel, and by global supply disruptions such as the war in Ukraine.

In the UK Cargill is owner of Frontier Agriculture and Avara among other food and mineral operations. Globally they operate Agriculture, Food, Financial and Industrial operations in 70 countries.


A rotten tale from China

 France24 reported on the State Guest Mansions project outside Shengyan, China. This is an abandoned, half-built town which have become more and more common in China since the downturn in the property market. Known as ‘rotten tail’ homes they are indicative of the great wealth in China, but also the capricious nature of property markets the world over.

“What does this have to do with agriculture?” we hear you say. Well, this particular ghost town is now home to roaming cattle, and the open areas between houses are being cultivated by resourceful farmers!

Photo credit ©Jade Gao


And Tweet of the week…

I know we were updating on bTB last week, but this is ridiculous.