Corn & Soybean Digest Farm Industry News
A PRIMEDIA Property August 31, 2005 | 050831   
 >> Logan Hawkes

 >> Will Hurricane Katrina affect Louisiana harvest?

 >> Computer use on farms

 >> USDA selects watersheds for 2006 CSP

 >> USDA preparing to use buyouts to reduce FSA staff

 >> Up, up it goes, and where it stops nobody knows

 >> News from the Top of the Hill

 >> New cases of Asian soybean rust in Southeast

 >> Brandon: A vision for rural America

 >> Certified Crop Advisers can earn free CEU

 >> Review: The threat of rust in the U.S.

 >> National Plant Board site offers in-depth info


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Logan Hawkes
08/31/05    Crop News Weekly
Tragedy strikes the South, and farmers are still trying to determine the extent of damages in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. While rescuers are still trying to dig out stranded victims of powerful Hurricane Katrina - which roared on shore Monday morning - agriculture experts are just beginning to assess industry damages in the storm-stricken region. Certainly damage has been widespread, but even producers warn it may be weeks before the full extent of losses are known. Many producers remain isolated without electric power or communications, and many county roads remain closed after record-breaking floods. Good luck and best wishes to all those in harm's way!

Speaking of storm damage, crop conditions in Louisiana were reported as extremely good last week. But all bets are off this week. In other news, computer use is up on the farm, and USDA has selected the watersheds for next year's CSP. Also, USDA is reducing FSA staff across the nation, and gas prices are (surprise, surprise) going up again, perhaps this time substantially. We've also got the latest legislative update in this issue, and news about CEUs online and a review of Asian rust threats.

You'll find these stories and more in this issue of Crop News Weekly. Good luck with the weather!


Cruiser Extreme Pak

Cruiser Extreme Pak, a seed company-applied combination of two separately registered products, offers corn growers superior protection against a broad spectrum of early-season insect pests, as well as enhanced disease protection against all four major fungal groups. Cruiser Extreme Pak allows corn to get off to a fast, vigorous start, resulting in enhanced yield potential.
Visit to learn more.

Will Hurricane Katrina affect Louisiana harvest?
Through late August and across all crops, Louisiana's harvest has yielded surprisingly well. But as Hurricane Katrina lashed the state's coast and moved inland, producers took shelter and hoped for the best. "The storm is still going on -- some winds are gusting -- so I'm not about to get out in it," said Harold Lambert, a crop consultant located some 30 miles northwest of Baton Rouge. "I expect we'll be out of the field for a week or so." In the area Lambert works almost all the corn has been harvested and almost none of the cotton has been. - by David Bennett, Farm Press Daily

Computer use on farms
According to a recent survey, computer use on farms seems to leveling out after more than a decade of sharp increases in computer usage. The survey showed that in 2005 approximately 58% of all farms in the U.S. had computer access, exactly the same percentage as the last survey that was conducted in 2003. 51% of all farms now have Internet access on the farm, compared to 48% in 2003. 31% of the farms use a computer in their farm business management, which is up only 1% from two years earlier. - by Kent Thiesse, The Corn & Soybean Digest


CruiserMaxx Pak

A commercially applied combination of two separately registered products, Cruiser® seed treatment insecticide and an ApronMaxx® brand seed treatment fungicide, Cruiser®Maxx® Pak offers soybeans growers first-class protection. It protects against a broad spectrum of seed and foliar-feeding insects and all major seed- and soil-borne disease pathogens providing soybean growers with better plant stands, vigor, quicker canopy and higher yields.
Visit to learn more.

USDA selects watersheds for 2006 CSP
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner announced last week that 110 watersheds, with at least one in all 50 states, Guam and Puerto Rico, will be eligible for the 2006 Conservation Security Program (CSP). "This voluntary program recognizes farmers and ranchers for their ongoing stewardship activities on working agricultural lands," said Conner. "Natural resource conservation efforts by America's producers benefit everyone through healthier soil, cleaner air and water and improved fish and wildlife habitat. CSP successfully demonstrates a cooperative public-private conservation partnership." - from The Corn & Soybean Digest

USDA preparing to use buyouts to reduce FSA staff
Some of those smiling faces you've grown accustomed to seeing at your county Farm Service Agency office may not be there when you go in to sign up for a new program or check on your LDPs this fall. USDA is preparing to offer "buyouts" or "early outs" to from 535 to 612 Farm Service Agency employees as part of the Bush administration's and Congress' efforts to reduce federal spending. The buyouts would take effect by Nov. 3 and the early outs by Dec. 31, according to FSA sources. FSA administrators say a projected shortfall in congressional funding for the agency's operations and shifts in workloads are responsible for the buyout. - by Forrest Laws, Farm Press Daily

Up, up it goes, and where it stops nobody knows
Are we having fun yet? Playing the "What's the price of gas now?" game has become an almost universal exercise these days, as people share horror stories of the latest outrage at the pump. At a restaurant two nights ago, I eavesdropped on the tale being told by a guy at the next table. "I went to the doctor's office at 9 o'clock, and gas was $2.36 per gallon," he said, a touch of incredulity in his voice. "When I came out at 11:00, it was $2.46. Yesterday, it was $2.26." While I would normally question the credibility of anyone claiming to have been in and out of a doctor's office in only two hours, his lament about gas prices was all too true. As I write, they've risen another 10 cents a gallon, at $2.56. - by Hembree Brandon, Farm Press Daily


The rise of resistant weeds is no longer debatable -- it's a fact. Resistant weeds are already reducing yields and increasing costs for growers in at least 10 states. And it's forcing growers everywhere to make a choice: Fight now or pay later.

If you won't give an inch to resistance, visit

News from the Top of the Hill
Pork Producers Headed to the Hill - The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) will be hosting a Fall Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 14-15, 2005. Pork producers from throughout the United States will be meeting with Congressional members and staff to discuss key issues impacting the U.S. pork industry.

Rule Would Allow Japanese Beef Imports - USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has published a proposed rule that would ease import restrictions against Japanese beef. The proposed rule would allow the importation of whole cuts of boneless beef derived from cattle born, raised and slaughtered in Japan. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) has indicated they will not support the proposed rule. In a media story, NCBA said they "will not support finalization of this proposed rule until Japan has completed its process and accepts beef from the United States." The proposed rule is open for public comment until Sept. 19, 2005.

Animal and Animal Products Trade Advisory Committee - Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns and U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman recently appointed members of the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Animal and Animal Products. The committee provides USDA and USTR with technical advice and information regarding trade in animal and animal products. Those appointed include: James Bailey III, Wal-Mart Stores; Jaime Castaneda, National Milk Producers Federation; Greg Doud, National Cattlemen's Beef Association; Richard Ellinghuysen, Producers Livestock Marketing Association; Jerry Fickel, Select Sires; Richard Fritz, U.S. Meat Export Federation; John Hardin, Jr., John Hardin Farms; Dana Hauck, Pike Trail Cattle Co.; Gregory Ibach, Nebraska Department of Agriculture; Eric Joiner, AJC International; Joanne Kaminski, Will Poultry Co.; Frank Leaverton, Shore Genetics; John Lincoln, New York Farm Bureau; Mark Lobstein, USA Poultry & Egg Export Council; Thomas May, Trugman-Nash, Inc.; Daniel Meyer, American Dairy Products Institute; Shawna Morris, American Butter Institute; Mike Mullins, Cargill; Gary Reckrodt, Seaboard Farms; John Reddington, American Meat Institute; Paul Rodgers, American Sheep Industry Association; Bill Roenigk, National Chicken Council; David Salmonsen, American Farm Bureau Federation; Donald Schriver, Dairy Farmers of America; Jane Shey, Shey & Associates; Manuel Souza, Mel-Delin Dairy; Thomas Suber, U.S. Dairy Export Council; Kent Swisher, National Renderers Association; James Tillison, Alliance of Western Milk Producers; Gene Wiese, Wiese & Sons; James Willrett, J. Willrett Farms; Dennis Wolf, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture; and Robert Yonkers, International Dairy Foods Association.

White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation - The White House is hosting a conference on cooperative conservation next week in St. Louis, Missouri. President Bush last year directed the Departments of Agriculture, Interior, Commerce, Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement laws relating to the environment and natural resources in a "manner that promotes cooperative conservation, with an emphasis on local inclusion." The conference will provide an opportunity for government officials and public leaders to exchange information. - by Scott Shearer, National Hog Farmer

New cases of Asian soybean rust in Southeast
While still not in a gallop across the Southeast, the week of Aug. 22 saw Asian soybean rust move from a walk to a canter. On Aug. 24, new soybean rust sites were confirmed in six Alabama counties: in soybean sentinel plots in Coffee and Henry counties; in commercial soybean fields in Houston, Dale and Pike counties; and on kudzu in Conecuh and Pike counties. Conecuh County is in south-central Alabama with all the other listed counties in the southeast. - by David Bennett, Farm Press Daily

Brandon: A vision for rural America
When Tom Dorr finished high school, he went away to college, and after earning his degree, returned to the family farm in the heartland of rural America. He went on to run the farm and other businesses, was active in state and national commodity organizations, was a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and then was named by President Bush to the post of Under Secretary for Rural Development at USDA. - by Hemree Brandon, Farm Press Daily

Certified Crop Advisers can earn free CEU
A free, nationally accredited continuing education unit for American Society of Agronomy (ASA) licensed Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) has been launched by Delta Farm Press. The course, ìSpray Drift Management,î has been accredited by ASA for one hour in the pest management category. It is available on the Delta Farm Press Web site,, and on its affiliated Farm Press University Web site, The course was developed by the Delta Farm Press staff from information provided by leading university and industry experts in agricultural spray drift management. - from Farm Press Daily

Review: The threat of rust in the U.S.
It's easy to get lost in all the talk and speculation about dreaded Asian soybean rust and its possible impact on U.S. crops. So far, isolated outbreaks have been reported only in the South, but the thrtea of spread to Midwest fields remains a possibility. Sometimes it helps to back up to square one and review all the basics. The American Phytopathological Society provides a great article to help you review rust and its possible implications for U.S. crops.

National Plant Board site offers in-depth info
Producers often search the Internet for the best information to assist them in the business of farming. When was the last time you visited the National Plant Board Web Site? You'll find all kinfds of information about plant pests, including a special section about pest that are of particular concern to soybean growers. Visit this site and bookmark it as a great resource for future reference. - the editor


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