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FROM THE PUBLISHERS OF CORN & SOYBEAN DIGEST
SOYBEAN E-DIGEST
In the March 18, 2010, Issue:
Outlook Stays Strong For U.S. Soybean Exports
Drought Researchers Make Soybean Breakthrough
Brazil Boosts Soybean Production 17.4%
Soybean Association Participates In Agricultural Competition Workshop
Floods Threaten Midwest; South and East Also at Risk
Take Steps To Reduce Compaction Before Spring Planting
Control Volunteer Corn Early To Prevent Problems Later
Weed And Insect Resistance An Issue At Commodity Classic
Biodiesel Board Hails Biodiesel Tax Incentive Passage In Senate
Edamame Gaining Attention In Illinois
Arkansas Soybean Yield Winner -- 87.6 Bushels

Top Bean News

Outlook Stays Strong For U.S. Soybean Exports

By John Pocock, Corn & Soybean Digest
U.S. Soybean farmers who’ve watched their commodity prices dip lower all winter have several good reasons to remain optimistic going forward, says Chad Hart, an Iowa State University agricultural economist.

“We’ve already suffered some sharp price hits downward as the market has taken into account the biggest U.S. soybean crop we’ve ever seen in 2009 and probably the biggest South American soybean crop ever seen in 2010,” says Hart. “Yet, soybean futures prices are still above $9/bu. and continue to show strong resilience.”

Several reasons are combining to give the market pause before driving U.S. soybean prices any lower, he adds. “The major story is the recovery in the general economy around the world that is helping our soybean-export picture,” says Hart. “My case in point is the USDA’s most recent export estimates …
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Bean Briefs

Drought Researchers Make Soybean Breakthrough

Source: United Soybean Board
Research funded by the United Soybean Board (USB) and soybean checkoff has identified two drought-tolerant soybean traits that perform well in U.S. soybean varieties under moderate drought and normal conditions.

According to Larry Purcell, a professor and soybean researcher at the University of Arkansas, previous research into drought-tolerant plants has predominantly produced the same result: drought-tolerant plants grow better than most plants during drought conditions, but they grow poorly under optimal growing conditions.

“For the two traits with which we have worked, we have sidestepped this problem,” Purcell said. “This is a significant project that has produced many important discoveries for finding soybeans …
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Brazil Boosts Soybean Production 17.4%

Source: Soyatech
EFE News Services reports that Brazil will harvest 145.1 million tons of grain this year, a volume close to the record 145.8 million tons gathered in 2008. Brazil officials say production of grains, legumes and oil plants in 2010 will be 8.5% greater than in 2009, according to forecasts by the IBGE statistics agency on the basis of February field data.

Land under cultivation will grow by 1.5% compared with 2009, eventually reaching 47.9 million hectares, or 118.27 million acres, IBGE says. Crop growth this year will be achieved mainly by the 17.4% boost to soybean production and a 2.6% increase in corn.
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Soybean Association Participates In Agricultural Competition Workshop

Source: American Soybean Association
The American Soybean Association (ASA) participated in a panel discussion on the competitive dynamics of the seed industry during a public workshop exploring competitive issues in agriculture hosted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and USDA. The panel explored the competitive implications for farmers of significant shifts in the seed industry during the past 20 years in terms of seed price, choice, patents and licensing and innovation at a workshop held at the Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, IA.

For soybeans, corn, cotton and canola, farmers overwhelmingly have moved from using conventional seed varieties to seed with biotech-enhanced traits that help farmers better manage weeds and pests that reduce yields. Additionally, biotech-enhanced traits that improve the nutrition of crops or provide other consumer benefits are being introduced. Trait research and development increasingly has moved from numerous and diverse entities such as universities and independent seed companies toward major …
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Floods Threaten Midwest; South and East Also at Risk

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Major flooding has begun and is forecast to continue through spring in parts of the Midwest according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service. The South and East are also more susceptible to flooding as an El Niño influenced winter left the area soggier than usual.

Overall, more than a third of the contiguous U.S. has an above-average flood risk – with the highest threat in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Iowa, including along the Red River Valley where crests could approach the record levels set just last year. Supporting the forecast of imminent Midwest flooding is …
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Take Steps To Reduce Compaction Before Spring Planting

Source: Purdue University
With a late harvest, a wet fall and slow-melting snow, Ohio farmers may be facing more compaction issues than usual this spring. But no-till farmers may be better off than others, says Randall Reeder, Ohio State University (OSU) Extension agricultural engineer.

“Farmers faced a late harvest and a wet fall, and with so much snow they haven’t had the opportunity to get into their fields and prepare the ground for planting,” Reeder says. He adds that heavy combines and grain carts driven on wet or saturated soils during harvest last year increased the risk for soil compaction problems this year.
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Control Volunteer Corn Early To Prevent Problems Later

By Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture
While historically it has not been a concern for Kentucky grain crops producers, volunteer corn problems have increased in the past several years and could potentially reduce the benefit of crop rotation if left untreated.

University of Kentucky (UK) College of Agriculture Professors James Martin and Ric Bessin discussed potential problems caused by volunteer corn in soybean and corn fields and control methods during the recent UK IPM Training School.

Volunteer corn is a weed that grows from grain left in fields after a harvest. It competes with newly planted crops for nutrients, which can result in yield losses in those crops. It also attracts …
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Weed And Insect Resistance An Issue At Commodity Classic

By Larry Stalcup, Corn & Soybean Digest
“There are opportunities where you don’t have to use glyphosate. It’s up to growers to do so,” says Christy Sprague, Michigan State University weed science specialist.

She was among a panel of speakers addressing growing weed resistance problems recently during the 2010 Commodity Classic (CC) in Anaheim, CA. It was part of numerous grower-oriented sessions, including one on insect resistance and the need for growers to follow refuge guidelines.
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Off The Stem

Biodiesel Board Hails Biodiesel Tax Incentive Passage In Senate

Source: National Biodiesel Board
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has praised the U.S. Senate for passing H.R. 4213, The American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act of 2010 by a 62 to 36 margin. Among its provisions, the legislation provides a one year retroactive extension of the biodiesel tax incentive.

“The domestic biodiesel industry is pleased that that the Senate has approved a retroactive extension of the biodiesel tax incentive,” says Manning Feraci, NBB vice president of federal affairs. “The lapse in the biodiesel tax credit has been extremely disruptive to the domestic biodiesel industry and a retroactive extension of this worthwhile incentive will help America realize the job creation, energy security and environmental benefits associated with biodiesel.”
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Edamame Gaining Attention In Illinois

Source: University of Illinois
Edamame are creating a stir. This healthy, protein-packed, fresh vegetable fits a modern “on-the-go” lifestyle. And while the crop has been around for thousands of years, it is now gaining popularity as a “new crop” in Illinois.

Edamame, also known as vegetable soybeans, are popping up in Illinois grocery stores, farmers' markets and even in the McDonald's Asian salad. Magazines showcase …
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Soy Pod Extra

Arkansas Soybean Yield Winner -- 87.6 Bushels

By Elizabeth Fortune, University of Arkansas
Pointer Hall Farms of Marvell, AR, won the 2009 Arkansas Soybean Association Yield Challenge with a 87.6-bu./acre yield.

The contest results were announced at the Arkansas Soybean Association annual meeting. The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service assisted in the contest.

Gregory Baltz of Pocahontas, AR, finished second with a yield of 80 bu./acre, and Paul Bingham of Trumann took third with a 77.5-bu./acre yield.
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FROM THE EDITOR
Spanking Ahead For Big, Bad Agri-Business?

Remember the “too big to fail” mantra that heralded taxpayer bailouts of big banks and big automobile companies not too long ago? For America’s large agribusinesses, the unspoken mantra recently being hinted at by government agencies and many mainstream media outlets seems to be “too big to succeed!”

Specifically, I’m referring to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and USDA “first-ever workshop on competition issues in agriculture,” held in Ankeny, IA, on March 12 and led by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. To learn more about this “first of five workshops on competition issues in agriculture,” click here.

If you ask me, it’s Vilsack and Holder who are the very ones (and not U.S. farmers) who are stoking suspicions that large American agribusinesses are too successful. As Vilsack says, “In my travels across the county ...
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