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A PRIMEDIA Property September 14, 2005 | 050914   
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 >> Logan Hawkes

 >> Katrina clobbers corn

 >> Practices to reduce high tractor fuel costs

 >> Gulf oil recovering

 >> Slow river traffic clogs combines

 >> September crop report

 >> Continued ag help for Katrina victims

 >> After Katrina: Barge bottlenecks costing producers

 >> Katrina's wrath reinforces awareness of vulnerabilities

 >> News from the Top of the Hill

 >> After Katrina: Tangled crops, rising fuel costs

 >> Rural America on the cusp of 'historic opportunity'

 >> Tour Brazil with Corn & Soybean Digest Magazine

 >> U.S.-Mexico border crisis real; needs national attention

 >> PRODUCT REVIEW: Take out the trash

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  EDITOR'S NOTE
Logan Hawkes
09/14/05    Crop News Weekly
Hurricane Katrina Hurts Midwest. That could be tomorrow's big headlines if shipping and cargo docks aren't up and running to maximum capacity soon as corn and other agriculture shipments float down the Mississippi to the Port of New Orleans for export. Already corn and grain shipments have bottle-necked and officials are saying they are uncertain as to when the port will be operating again. So far, the full extent of damages are not known. Speaking of storm damage, there are number of other problems caused by Hurricane Katrina. You'll find the full list below.

In other news, farmers looking for ways to trim fuel costs as farm diesel prices near $2.50 per gallon can start by using practices to improve efficiency. And while on the subjects of fuel and Hurricane Katrina damage, there is some good news to report. The Gulf coast region is slowly recovering its oil refining and distribution capability. Normal operations are expected to return before year's end. Also this week, get the latest September crop report and get ready for the annual ag trip to Brazil. You'll find the details below.

You'll find all this and more inside this issue of Crop News Weekly. Happy reading.



  FROM OUR MAGAZINES
Katrina clobbers corn
09/13/05   
While the human toll of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast area is tragic, there are economic consequences as well for Illinois and Midwestern farmers, said a University of Illinois Extension marketing specialist. "It is my understanding that the Port of New Orleans is closed. There is no electricity and they can't get ships in or out," said Darrel Good. "This is a major port for U.S. corn and soybean exports and the impact, particularly, for corn could be significant." Although no soybeans can leave the port, this is not the time of year when exports are the heaviest, Good noted. - from The Corn & Soybean Digest

Practices to reduce high tractor fuel costs
09/13/05   
Farmers looking for ways to trim fuel costs as farm diesel prices near $2.50 per gallon can start by using practices to improve efficiency, a South Dakota State University specialist said. SDSU Extension Farm Machinery Specialist Dick Nicolai said one practice that minimizes fuel consumption is the no-till method that requires fewer passes over the land to till and plant crops. "No-till farming has been used by some South Dakota farmers over the years but the current rising trend in fuel prices has encouraged more producers to look into these practices. Fuel savings vary for different producers who use the no-till method. Fuel savings of around $10/acre can be expected when compared to traditional farming practices," Nicolai said. - from The Corn & Spybean Digest

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Visit http://www.cruisercorn.com to learn more.

Gulf oil recovering
09/12/05   
The Gulf coast region is slowly recovering its oil refining and distribution capability after it was shut down by the fury of Hurricane Katrina. In fact, a return to near-normal operations before the end of the year is possible, barring additional hurricane activity in the region, according to a report from the Energy Information Administration. EIA is the statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy. On Aug. 29, Hurricane Katrina caused significant direct damage to offshore rigs, refineries, pipelines, and ports in the Gulf of Mexico. - by Elton Robinson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Slow river traffic clogs combines
09/12/05   
As Louisiana farmers move through the thick of harvest, yields haven't been a concern. Hurricane Katrina may have the headlines but the state's harvest season has been hampered by problems evident before her landfall. "I visited with a farmer the Thursday before Katrina showed up," said Johnny Saichuk, Louisiana Extension rice specialist. "He was wanting to harvest but could only use one combine and one cart. All of his trucks were full and there was nowhere to go with the rice. I hear stories like that all the time. Low Mississippi River levels before the hurricane kept barge traffic down and continue to. Plus, there's a glut of last year's crop still left in storage." - by David Bennett, Farm Press Editorial Staff

September crop report
09/12/05   
The USDA Crop Report released on September 12 increased the estimated U.S. corn production by 289 million bushels from the August 1 estimate. The expected total production level in 2005 is now projected at 10.639 billion bushels, with a national average corn yield of 143.2 bushels per acre. This may seem surprising, given the drought conditions that have existed in much of Illinois and parts of Indiana, Missouri, and Michigan for much of the summer. Minnesota's average corn yield on September 1, 2005, is projected at 157 bushels per acre, which is two bushels per acre lower than the final 2004 corn yield of 159 bushels per acre, but is up two bushels per acre from the from estimated yield of 155 bushels per acre on August 1, 2005.- by Kent Thiesse, The Corn & Soybean Digest

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Continued ag help for Katrina victims
09/09/05   
As the loss and suffering caused by Hurricane Katrina becomes increasingly evident, we hope our readers join their neighbors and us in offering all possible assistance to the victims and their families. The need is urgent and immense. Amidst this disaster, we are heartened to learn that farmers, ranchers and agricultural organizations across the country are sending donations of money, hay and supplies to assist farm families in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama whose farms and livestock were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. - by Wayne Wenzel, Farm Industry News

After Katrina: Barge bottlenecks costing producers
09/11/05   
The world wants Jason Holloway's milo crop. But his local elevator doesn't. At least that was the message it sent when the local cash price plunged by 50 cents in early September. The Des Arc, Ark., farmer doesn't understand everything that's happening in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but he is sure of a couple of things. Elevators are discouraging the delivery of grain by farmers because of transportation bottlenecks along the Mississippi River and the Port of New Orleans. In addition, increased costs for barge freights are being passed on to grain farmers. - by Elton Robinson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Katrina's wrath reinforces awareness of vulnerabilities
09/11/05   
A long-standing caveat in the weekly newspaper world is that you write about weather at your own peril: Write about a drought, and by the time the paper's out there may have been a deluge; write about how nice the weather's been, and by presstime a tornado may have ripped through. The validity of that admonition was demonstrated anew last week, when my column about the changes development has brought to the Mississippi Gulf Coast went to the printer just before Hurricane Katrina wiped out a good portion of the region. - by Hembree Brandon, Farm Press Editorial Staff

News from the Top of the Hill
09/09/05   
USDA Announces Hurricane Relief Efforts - The Department of Agriculture announced a number of initiatives to assist those affected by Hurricane Katrina; $170 million in emergency assistance will be made available to agricultural producers affected by the hurricane. USDA is implementing changes to its Marketing Assistance Loan program that will allow producers to obtain loans for "on-farm" grain storage (on the ground), grain bins and other "normally approved" structures. There will be $20 million in Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) funds made available to help producers repair damage to their lands. ECP participants will receive cost-share assistance to implement approved emergency conservation practices such as "debris removal and restoration of fences and conservation structures." Earlier, USDA announced that $50 million has been earmarked to provide emergency food assistance to Hurricane Katrina survivors. Also, USDA is coordinating with the private to sector to identify privately owned rental housing nationwide, which is available to displaced residents.

Agricultural Groups Support Hurricane Relief Efforts - A number of agricultural organizations have announced relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina. The American Farm Bureau Federation has established the Farm Bureau Hurricane Ag Fund to assist farm families and rural residents in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The National Farmers Union Foundation is raising funds to help rural residents in the region. A number of American Meat Industry members have donated food and water. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association is implementing a relief effort for cattle producers.

Mandatory Price Reporting Update - Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) have introduced S. 1613, which would extend livestock mandatory price reporting for one-year. And, Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, has introduced H.R. 3408, which would renew mandatory price reporting for five years. National Pork Producers Council, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, and the American Meat Institute support a five-year extension. Current mandatory price reporting expires on Sept. 30.

FDA Amends Rule on Cattle Materials for Food and Cosmetics - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has amended the 2004 rule, "Use of Materials Derived from Cattle in Human Food and Cosmetics," that will allow the use of cattle-derived material in human foods and cosmetics. FDA will now allow use of the small intestine in human food and cosmetics as long as the distal ileum has been removed. The rule also clarifies that "milk and milk products, hides and hide-derived products, and tallow derivatives are not prohibited for use in human foods and cosmetics."

Animal ID Hearings - Next week the House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on Australia and Canada's experience with implementing an animal identification (ID) system. Both countries' programs are operated by the private sector.

Farm Bill Forums - USDA announced the next series of Farm Bill Forums. The schedule is: Sept. 12, Kansas State Fair, Hutchinson, KS; Sept. 14, Utah State Fair, Salt Lake City, UT; Sept. 15, Husker Harvest Days, Grand Island, NE; Sept. 20, Farm Science Review, London, OH; Sept. 22, Oklahoma State Fair, Oklahoma City, OK; Sept. 29, New York City, NY; and Sept. 30, Cheyenne, WY.by Scott Shearer, National Hog Farmer

After Katrina: Tangled crops, rising fuel costs
09/11/05   
When Hurricane Katrina thrashed through Louisiana on Aug. 29, damage to cotton was measured by how close it was to the Mississippi River and how open it was, according to Louisiana Extension cotton specialist Sandy Stewart. Stewart said much of the unharvested northeast Louisiana rice crop "was blown down." Fortunately, most of the corn has been harvested and the soybean crop is looking okay. Mississippi Extension cotton specialist Tom Barber estimated cotton crop losses in Mississippi due to Katrina at 15 percent to 20 percent. The Mississippi soybean crop "came through in pretty good shape," according to Extension soybean specialist Alan Blaine. - by Elton Robinson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Rural America on the cusp of 'historic opportunity'
05/09/05   
Energy production and the attractions of rural life are going to have a major impact on rural America, says Tom Dorr, USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development. "It has taken the U.S. 25 years to get past the research and development curve on alternative energies," he said at the recent Ag Media Summit at Milwaukee. But all those efforts are now beginning to pay off, and as petroleum prices head for the stratosphere, new energy forms are more feasible and more practical, he says. b- by Hembree Brandon, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Tour Brazil with Corn & Soybean Digest Magazine
09/14/05   
The Corn & Soybean Digest's fourth annual trip to Brazil is set for Jan.12-25, 2006. Greg Lamp, Editor of The Corn & Soybean Digest, and Clint Peck, Senior Editor of BEEF, will lead the tour exploring Brazil's tropical ag system and assess its strengths and weaknesses as a major competitor for international markets. Highlights include tours of large and small soybean farms, a beef packing plant, an ag research center and a major international export facility. For more information or to register: glamp@primediabusiness.com, 952-851-4667 or Renata Stephens, Capital Travel Solutions, renatas@ctsinc.com, 651/287-4900 or 800/635-5488. A complete itinerary can be viewed on the CTS website: http://www.ctsinc.com.

U.S.-Mexico border crisis real; needs national attention
09/07/05   
There is no more perplexing issue in California and Arizona agriculture today that immigration reform. Forget water, pesticides and government regulations. Labor is No. 1 on the list of crises. However, it is a problem politicians address largely with rhetoric. Solutions seem distant at best. Manuel Cunha, president of the Nisei Farmers League in Fresno, is at a loss to understand what it will take to get meaningful federal immigration reform before agriculture loses its labor force. He told USDA Secretary Mike Johanns at the Farm Bill Forum that the United Farmworkers and agriculture struck a deal on immigration reform legislation only to be frustrated in Congress. - by Harry Cline, Farm Press Editorial Staff

PRODUCT REVIEW: Take out the trash
An invention from two Iowa farmers, Britt Shelton and Darrel Hay, solves the problem of trash buildup on a cornhead. Called the trash reel, the device is basically a mini corn reel that is pre-plumbed to be powered off the combine's hydraulic system. To activate the reel, the operator simply folds it down, turns it on with the included valve, and continues to combine corn. The reel turns slowly, keeping the trash stirred and moving. Price: $1,750. - from Fram Industry News



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