Corn & Soybean Digest Farm Industry News
A PRIMEDIA Property October 5, 2005 | 051005   
 >> Logan Hawkes

 >> New soybean lines feature high yield, resistance

 >> Johanns hearing consistent theme

 >> House committee passes new energy supply bill

 >> Dave Kohl: Points To Ponder

 >> News from the Top of the Hill

 >> Thiesse's Thoughts: CCC loan extensions

 >> Soybean exports reach all-time record

 >> Senate votes to delay FSA office closings

 >> Tour Brazil with Corn & Soybean Digest Magazine

 >> New disaster relief bills in Congress

 >> Pombo introduces new endangered species legislation

 >> New study quantifies fungicide benefits

 >> Energy Bill boosts ethanol

Logan Hawkes
10/05/05    Crop News Weekly
We're well into October and you would think the last thing on our minds this time of year would be tropical weather. But alas, computer models released early this week indicate we may not be out of the woods yet. And with ever spiraling fuel prices and the approach of winter just around the corner, that's not good news for Americans in general - and agriculture in particular. On the other side of the proverbial coin, temps are dropping this week across the Midwest - an early sign to a harsh winter? The weather saga never ends.

There's plenty on our plate this week, thanks to politics, technology, energy and - well, yes, weather. First up, a new soybean line developed by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station is promising high seed yield and unique resistance to nematodes and several diseases. Get 'em while their hot. Elsewhere, (who says no one's listening?) since early July, USDA has conducted 23 farm bill listening sessions, most of them attended either by the Secretary or Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. But the same old topic keeps popping up - the farm bill. In the world of politics, the House Resources Committee is using the recent hurricane disasters to try to pass legislation that would open a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling for oil. And, speaking of politics, national leaders are trying to determine what part of the budget to cut to pay for disaster funding. Hold on to your hats.

There's a great deal more in this issue of Crop News Weekly. So let's just dive right in. Thanks for dropping in this week.


"In the past, I always had good luck with Bicep II MAGNUM® followed by Callisto®. So, a switch to Lexar® wasn't a hard choice. Lexar is a good fit for my ground and weeds -- it has done a tremendous job for me. I applied Lexar right after planting this year, and I haven't had to go back to respray."
Roger Johnson, Malvern, IA

New soybean lines feature high yield, resistance
High seed yield and unique resistance to nematodes and several diseases are the key qualities of new soybean lines developed by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station in Knoxville. The release of soybean lines JTN-5303 and JTN-5503 was announced in Jackson, Tenn., during a ceremony hosted jointly by ARS and the experiment station. According to Prakash R. Arelli, a geneticist at the ARS Nematology Research Unit in Jackson, the new lines have broad resistance to multiple races of soybean cyst nematode (SCN). - Jim Core, USDA

Johanns hearing consistent theme
You can't say Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns isn't interested in the opinions of farmers. Since early July, USDA has conducted 23 farm bill listening sessions, most of them attended either by Johanns or Deputy Agriculture Secretary Charles Conner. The irony is that except for a few regional wrinkles, Johanns keeps hearing the same thing: farmers like the 2002 farm bill. At USDA Farm Bill Forums from Tennessee to Alaska, growers have said they would like to slap 2007 on the current law and move on. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

House committee passes new energy supply bill
The House Resources Committee is using the Hurricane Katrina and Rita disasters to try to pass legislation that would open a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling for oil. The legislation, the National Energy Supply Diversification and Disruption Prevention Act, would also allow natural gas production in federal waters of the outer continental shelf -- another move that is likely to spark opposition from environmental organizations. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff


"We're seeing new weeds in our fields that we haven't seen before because of too much reliance on one herbicide. For customers using glyphosate-tolerant corn, we recommend applying a pre-emergence residual herbicide to control weeds that compete with the crop early in the season. They take a lot of moisture and yield away from the crop, but they aren't an issue when you use a residual herbicide early."
-- Bill McDonald, Champaign Landmark Co-op, Derby, Ohio

Dave Kohl: Points To Ponder
The Road Warrior of Agriculture writes: "Here are a few perspectives and points I've picked up during my summer travels and reading that may get you thinking as you enter the harvest season. The U.S. has out-sourced many of its technology jobs to India and Southeast Asia. Now a new term, near sourcing, finds these jobs are moving to South America in order to be in a similar time zone and speaking a similar language (English or Spanish) when talking to Americans or interacting with them over the computer..." - and more. - Dave Kohl, The Corn & Soybean Digest

News from the Top of the Hill
Producers Group Testify on Animal Identification - Various agriculture groups testified before the House Agriculture Livestock Subcommittee on the development of a private sector-based National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) strongly supported a private sector program. NCBA stated, the "largest impact, both good and bad, will be borne by the industry; therefore, the industry should be responsible for the system." The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) testified, "Pork producers are comfortable with the current level of recording and reporting, and we already have accepted the costs of this system." NPPC stated the need for enhancements to the current system, including: 1) mandatory premises registration, which includes owner and location data, by 2007; 2) mandatory animal identification (ID) for groups/lots by 2008; and 3) mandatory individual animal ID for market breeding swine and show pigs by 2008. The National Farmers Union (NFU) believes USDA should control an animal ID program. NFU stated that USDA had taken a "step in the wrong direction by allowing private entities to control the animal ID." Those testifying included NCBA, NPPC, American Farm Bureau, Holstein Association USA, National Farmers Union, and National Turkey Federation.

Animal Identification (ID) Public Meeting - USDA will hold a public meeting to discuss development of a privatized "animal movement tracking database" under the National Animal Identification System. The meeting will be held Oct. 12 in Kansas City, MO.

Congressional Frustration Growing with Japan's Delay on U.S. Beef - Japan announced this week that it will need more time to evaluate U.S. safeguards before deciding to reopen its market to U.S. beef. This announcement by Japan caused immediate reaction from members of Congress. Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) called upon U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to take "retaliatory economic action against Japanese goods." Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, in a statement said, "Japan's inexplicable lack of response to even consider a move to reopen their market to U.S. beef will sorely tempt economic trade action against Japan. Japan is well beyond the time for assessing scientific reasoning, and diplomatic efforts attempted repeatedly by the President, by our trade emissaries, and by the U.S. Congress." During a House Ways and Means Committee hearing concerning Japanese trade relations, members of the committee warned that it may be time to retaliate against Japan for unfair trade measures and the delay in reopening the Japanese market to U.S. beef.

Cuts to Pay for Katrina - The Republican Study Committee (RSC) issued a document, Operation Offsets, that outlines proposed cuts to approximately 100 government programs to help pay for the cost of disaster-relief measures for Hurricane Katrina. The proposed cuts amount to $500 billion over 10 years. The RSC is a group of over 100 House Republicans. Some of the proposed cuts in agriculture include:

  • Reduce farm payment acreage by 1%; use 84% instead of 85% of acreage in the payment formula.

  • Eliminate the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development Program; these programs promote the export of U.S. agricultural products.

  • Eliminate new enrollments in the Conservation Security Program.

  • Set a cap on future enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program and prohibit new enrollees.

  • Eliminate USDA's agricultural attaches at the U.S. Embassies.

  • Reduce funding for the Agricultural Research Service.

    Closure of Local Farm Service Agency Offices - USDA is considering a consolidation plan, "FSA Tomorrow," that would close 713 local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices. There are a total of 2,351 local FSA offices. States where 40% or more of their local offices would be closed include Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and West Virginia. During consideration of the fiscal year 2006 agriculture appropriations bill, the Senate adopted an amendment that would delay the closures until USDA does a detailed cost-benefit analysis. Congressmen Ike Skelton (D-MO) and Marion Berry (D-AR) have asked the House Agriculture Committee to hold hearings on this initiative. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns announced this week that he will begin discussions with state and congressional leaders on how "best to modernize" FSA. The last major closing of local offices was in 1995.

    USDA Continues Farm Bill Listening Tour - USDA will conduct 14 Farm Bill listening sessions next month - Oct. 1, Berlin, CT; Oct. 5, Lubbock, TX; Oct. 6, Oakland, CA; Oct. 7, Elkins, WV; Oct. 1, Bangor, ME; Oct. 14, Little Rock, AR, Baltimore, MD and Narragansett, RI; Oct. 15, Harrington, DE; Oct. 18, Moultrie, GA; Oct. 19, Miami, FL; Oct. 21, Greeley, CO; Oct. 25, Manchester, NH; and Oct. 26, South Burlington, VT.

    Crawford Resigns as FDA Commissioner - Lester Crawford, DVM resigned as Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Crawford was confirmed as Commissioner just two months ago.


    Farmers used to have 60 bushel beans, but now they're down in the 40s. We need to get back up in the 60s to be profitable. Otherwise, we should gamble with corn on corn. Quadris is what we need to take us to the next level. Farmers need to realize that there's more out there than just rust.

    Herb Johnson
    Watertown, WI

    Thiesse's Thoughts: CCC loan extensions
    There are a number of farm operators with CCC corn and soybean loans expiring at the end of September and October. On September 20, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns announced that producers with CCC grain loans that mature at the end of September or October will have an additional 60 days to purchase the grain back at the "Posted County Price" (PCP). This announcement was made to ease short-term grain movement problems associated with damage from Hurricane Katrina near New Orleans, and to encourage producers to buy back the CCC grain that is under loan , rather than forfeiting the grain. - Kent Thiesse, The Corn & Soybean Digest

    Soybean exports reach all-time record
    The expectations of the American Soybean Association (ASA) for record soybean exports have been confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) final export sales report of Aug. 31, 2005. The report confirms U.S. soybean exports during marketing year (MY) 2004/05, exceeded 29,966,000 metric tons, which is equivalent to 1.1 billion bushels This year's all-time record is more than 3 percent higher than the previous record of 1.063 billion bushels set in MY2001. - Southeast Farm Press

    Senate votes to delay FSA office closings
    A plan to close or consolidate more than one-fourth of USDA's county Farm Service Agency offices nationwide could be put on hold by an amendment to the fiscal 2006 agricultural appropriations bill. The amendment, passed by voice vote during Senate deliberations on Sept. 20, would delay implementation of a plan that reportedly would shutter 665 of FSA's current 2,353 county offices. The House must agree to the amendment before it becomes part of the 2006 ag appropriations bill. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Tour Brazil with Corn & Soybean Digest Magazine
    Time is running out to get registered! The Corn & Soybean Digest's fourth annual trip to Brazil is set for Jan.12-25, 2006, and you're encouraged to sign up before deadline. 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:, 952-851-4667 or Renata Stephens, Capital Travel Solutions,, 651/287-4900 or 800/635-5488. A complete itinerary can be viewed on the CTS website:

    New disaster relief bills in Congress
    Members of Congress have introduced new disaster assistance legislation aimed at helping farmers who suffered losses from Hurricane Katrina and from the intense drought and other weather problems that occurred in the Midwest this summer. Some disaster bill provisions would also try to help offset the impact of sharply higher fuel prices, extend the Livestock Assistance Program and provide an additional $100 million in Emergency Conservation Program funds. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Pombo introduces new endangered species legislation
    Rep. Richard W. Pombo, R-Calif., introduced his long-awaited rewrite of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, saying it was "time to do better" by the plants and animals the law was designed to protect. Pombo, chairman of the House Resources Committee, was joined by fellow West Coast Congressmen Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif.; Greg Walden, R-Ore.; and George Radanovich, R-Calif., at a press conference announcing the new legislation in Stockton, Calif., Sept. 19. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    New study quantifies fungicide benefits
    In a newly released study, the Crop Protection Research Institute says fungicide benefits to the United States are immense. The report, reviewed and endorsed by 38 commodity groups (including the National Cotton Council and United Soybean Board), says if left untreated, yields of most fruit and vegetable crops would plunge 50 to 95 percent. "Fungicides are pesticides that kill fungi and bacteria," said Leonard Gianessi, CropLife Foundation director and lead author of the report. "If they aren't killed, the fungi and bacteria cause plant diseases. There are 20,000 different species that release spores and bacteria. These spores float around and must infect plants to complete their life cycles.

    Energy Bill boosts ethanol
    ETHANOL PLANT owners and corn growers have plenty to smile about with the newly signed Energy Bill. The Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) included in the bill calls for 4 billion gallons of ethanol to be blended into the nation's fuel supply in 2006. While manufacturers are currently producing ethanol close to the 2006 rate, they will need to ramp up their efforts over the next six years to meet a nearly doubled annual standard of 7.5 billion gallons by 2012. Additionally, the energy law does not give MTBE (methyl-t-butyl ether) producers the groundwater liability protection that they were seeking, making it more likely that ethanol will become the fuel additive of choice.


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