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July 13, 2005 050713

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Table of Contents
Logan Hawkes
Two spores of interest found in Tennessee
U.S. on the downhill side of world trade outlook
Corn, soy ratings down again
Thiesse's Thoughts: Closing out 2004 CCC crop loans
Ethanol will pass exports as number two corn use
Flying high on appreciation and depreciation
EU divided on farm subsidies
Laws: Strong conservation ethic
Farm Bill Forum draws spirited comments
Beans boost corn silage protein
Land O'Lakes buys ABI Alfalfa
NCGA looks ahead to WRDA debate, floor action
Eastern corn belt experiencing recent drought


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Letter from the Editor
Logan Hawkes
07/13/05    Crop News Weekly
What many said was inevitable may well be happening -- the invasion of tropical weather systems across the Southland that threaten to speed the spread of Asian rust to other rich soybean fields to the north and west. Of course, growers remain hopeful in the Midwest that troublesome spores won't be blown that far inland. But Hurricane Dennis and the approach of TS Emiliy are not encouraging signs of containment. And to increase our panic is the latest report about possible rust evidence in Tennessee. It would be easy to jump to conclusions, but remaining calm and watchful are the best things to do.

Leading off today's headlines are the details of those yet unidentified spores in the Tennessee Valley, followed by an interesting article about the world trade outlook for U.S. agriculture. Also this week, U.S. corn and soybean ratings fell further last week as conditions in the key producing state of Illinois continued to deteriorate due to dry conditions. With TS Dennis still bringing moisture to the area, that may change in the days ahead. Elsewhere this week, data from ProExporter Network and USDA suggests ethanol will pass exports as the number two use of corn by 2008. Corn used for ethanol has increased every year since 1999 and has more than doubled in the past six years. In other news, the recently-concluded European Union Summit, typically an exercise in bureaucratic boredom, was filled with acrimony between the leaders of England and France. And, finally this week, anyone who thought farmers aren't interested in a new farm bill quickly found out that's not the case during USDA's first Farm Bill Forum last week.

Get the details on these stories and more in this issue of Crop News Weekly. Happy reading.


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Asian Soybean Rust may be top-of-mind right now, but the Plant Health Initiative (PHI) reminds growers not to overlook SCN or aphids, either. The PHI provides management information on these and other pests, and links to other resources through their Web site - http://www.planthealth.info

From our Magazines
Two spores of interest found in Tennessee
07/12/05   
As part of an early detection system for Asian soybean rust, "spores of interest" have been found in west Tennessee. A slide collected on July 5 in a Jackson-area spore trap held two suspicious spores, a potential precursor to soybean rust. "That means the spores landed on the (petroleum jelly-smeared) slide between collection dates - June 27 to July 5," said Angela Thompson, Tennessee Extension soybean specialist on Monday. "Since it's such a small number of spores, a definite confirmation can't be made, just a visual affirmation that the spores look like soybean rust." In the same time period, 10 spores were found in a trap near Bowling Green, Ky., said Thompson. - by David Bennett, Delta Farm Press


U.S. on the downhill side of world trade outlook
07/08/05   
No matter how you count them, the numbers don't look good for the United States on the population front, says Bruce Scherr. Most industrialized countries, including the United States, are not growing in terms of population, said Scherr, president and CEO of Informa Economics. In fact, some countries -- Japan, the United Kingdom, Italy and Russia -- are shrinking. At the same time, the U.S. population is getting older with the average life expectancy in the industrialized world increasing to 79 to 80 years of age, primarily due to improvements in health care. - by Forrest Laws, Farm Press Daily


Corn, soy ratings down again
07/06/05   
U.S. corn and soybean ratings fell further last week as conditions in the key producing state of Illinois continued to deteriorate due to dry conditions. Conditions also declined in other eastern Corn Belt states, however, improved conditions in the western and northern Midwest limited slippage in the overall U.S. ratings. The USDA rated the U.S. corn crop 62% good/excellent as of Sunday, down from 65% a week earlier. That was in line with trade expectations for a 2-4 point drop. - by Richard Brock, The Corn & Soybean Digest


Thiesse's Thoughts: Closing out 2004 CCC crop loans
07/08/05   
A considerable amount of corn and soybeans raised in 2004 were placed under a CCC Marketing Loan at County Farm Service Agency (FSA) Offices. Many of these nine-month loans will mature at the end of July, August or September. Many producers have been hoping a summer grain market price rally will allow higher net prices on this stored grain. It's always a good idea for producers to review the CCC loan close-out processes and procedures at County FSA Offices. - by Kent Thiesse, The Corn & Soybean Digest


Ethanol will pass exports as number two corn use
07/05/05   
Data from ProExporter Network and USDA suggests ethanol will pass exports as the number two use of corn by 2008. Corn used for ethanol has increased every year since 1999 and has more than doubled in the past six years. In 1999, 553 million bushels were used for ethanol; by 2004, that number reached 1.204 billion bushels, according to the data released from PRX on May 31 and the USDA Economic Research Service Exports report on May 12. - from National Corn Growers Association, The Corn & Soybean Digest


Flying high on appreciation and depreciation
07/05/05   
Agriculture Road Warrior Dave Kohl writes: Recently I addressed the Northeast Agribusiness Seminar held at Cornell University. It was nice to be back on my old stomping grounds. During a session, an interesting conversation developed - are many producers making more of their debt and subsequent management decisions based upon depreciation and appreciation. Will that get people into trouble? - by Dave Kohl, The Corn & Soybean Digest


EU divided on farm subsidies
07/07/05   
So much for British civility and manners and the French reputation for reserve and aloofness. The recently-concluded European Union Summit, typically an exercise in bureaucratic boredom, was filled with acrimony between the leaders of the two countries. In the end, it accomplished little or nothing. The sound and fury between Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair and France's President Jacques Chirac centered on agricultural subsidies and the "rebate" paid to Britain to offset the disparity between the far greater number of farmers receiving payments in France than in England. - by Hembree Brandon, Farm Press Daily


Laws: Strong conservation ethic
07/07/05   
As meetings go, the Southern Conservation Tillage Systems Conference will never rival the Beltwide Cotton Conferences or the soybean and corn growers' Commodity Classic in size. Conservation Tillage Conference participants held their recent annual get-together at Clemson University's Pee Dee Research and Education Center near Florence, S.C. The Beltwide alternates between New Orleans and San Antonio with an occasional visit to Nashville's much-maligned Opryland Hotel. The last Commodity Classic was in Austin, Texas. - by Forrest Laws, Farm Press Daily


Farm Bill Forum draws spirited comments
07/08/05   
Anyone who thought farmers aren't interested in a new farm bill quickly found out that's not the case during USDA's first Farm Bill Forum Thursday night. The four-hour session, broadcast live from the Nashville facilities of RFD-TV, attracted a standing-room-only studio audience of more than 400 persons, mostly from Tennessee and Alabama, and 39 phone calls from 26 states. - by Forrest Laws, Farm Press Daily


Beans boost corn silage protein
07/08/05   
Intercropping European climbing beans with corn can increase corn silage protein levels, say University of Wisconsin researchers. Three climbing bean species (lablab, velvet bean and scarlet runner bean) were planted into standing corn. The beans were planted 6" from the corn rows two to four weeks after corn planting. - from Hay & Forage Grower


Land O'Lakes buys ABI Alfalfa
07/08/05   
Land O'Lakes, Inc., has entered into an agreement to buy the assets of ABI Alfalfa, Inc. The sale is expected to close around Aug. 1. ABI is a well-known alfalfa breeding, seed production and marketing company that sells seed under the America's Alfalfa brand. Its al-falfa business will be operated by Forage Genetics, Inc., a Land O'Lakes subsidiary. - from Hay & Forage Grower



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From the News Wire
NCGA looks ahead to WRDA debate, floor action
07/11/05   
The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is looking ahead to Thursday of this week, when the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to take up the 2005 version of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), H.R. 2864, which contains legislation authorizing upgrades to the locks and dams on the upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers. - from NCGA News


Eastern corn belt experiencing recent drought
07/08/05   
Dry and hot weather in the east-central portion of the Corn Belt have forced bushel estimates lower and sent corn futures higher on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBT) this past week, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) notes. According to The ProExporter Network (PRX), nearly half of Illinois is in a state of severe drought. Several other areas are experiencing severe drought as well: the southern tip of Texas, southwestern Arkansas and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Parts of Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Maryland and Pennsylvania are in near-severe droughts. Meanwhile, all of North Dakota and parts of Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota have received more than enough rain. - from NCGA News


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