Last year, we had some ground that's both tiled and irrigated, and they
ended up being under flood water. I had sprayed them with Quadris, and
even with being totally submerged in water, they still yielded 62-63
bu/A. Quadris saved those soybeans; if we hadn't used Quadris, I think
they would have been consumed by foliar diseases.
Crop News Weekly
This is the day historians tell us Chris
Columbus discovered the Americas - a land where agriculture was being
and had been practiced for thousands of years before his arrival. Rumors
have it Chris may have been a emissary of the European Union.
Regardless, not long after, the first American export hit the European
market and life hasn't been the same since. Happy Columbus Day.
It's October and as the moon waxes to full the corn harvest is well
underway in spite of last week's brush with early winter. It's also a
time when the world is talking about Bird Flu. Health and Human Services
Secretary Michael Leavitt said this week the likelihood of a flu
pandemic in the future is "very high," - just something else for
agriculture to worry about.
In the world of ag news this week, if you're holding your breath for
lower fuel costs, you had better get ready to turn blue. There's no
relief in sight. Also this week, the experts are saying the FSA is still
on the chopping block. Expect some bad news coming shortly. And speaking
of bad news, that's all ag secretary Johanns has been hearing about the
farm bill - bad only because producers want the bill to stay just the
same as it is now, and Johanns has to handle all the questions in a time
of change. Elsewhere this week, we'll take a look at the Montreal
Protocol, catch up on the latest from the Hill, extend birthday wishes
to biotech engineering, and see if we can find a farmer that could use
an extra $10,000. Any takers?
You'll find these stories and more in this issue of Crop News
Weekly. Happy harvest.
not good for lower fuel prices in near term
A "long, mild fall" could help ease oil prices back
from current post-Katrina/Rita levels. But odds are that little can be
done to return U.S. gasoline, diesel and natural gas prices to the
ranges farmers and consumers were paying a year ago. Energy analysts
estimate that Hurricane Katrina disabled 7 percent of U.S. oil refining
capacity when it struck the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29. On the Friday before
Hurricane Rita hit the Louisiana-Texas coast on Sept. 24, 35 percent of
U.S. refining capacity was shut down. But, with all the attention those
events have brought to the energy markets, they are the effects, not the
causes of tighter energy supplies, according to Matt Roberts, an energy
economist with the Ohio State University Extension Service. - Forrest
Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff
encourage Johanns to stay the course
The message couldn't have been clearer. The Food
Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 is working, so don't change
it. Whether that missive gets back to Washington and whether Secretary
of Agriculture Mike Johanns will support that position when debate on
the next farm bill begins in earnest remain less than lucid, however. If
the Secretary had any questions about how Texas farmers feel about
current farm programs, they were answered within the first few minutes
of a USDA Farm Bill Forum. -Ron Smith, Farm Press Editorial
"I started selling Lexar based
on customer demand. My customers wanted more pre-emergent control and
they finally found that with Lexar. Waterhemp is a big problem in our
area and Lexar controlled it better than any other product we've used.
It did the job even in the dry season we experienced this year. Lexar
also provided better crop safety than its competitors. Next season the
use of Lexar will increase in my area due to the success it had this
year. Previous customers plan to use it again and other customers who
learned of the control it offered will switch to it."
Hamson Ag., INC.
Ag Committee seeking middle ground
The first attempt by the Senate Committee on
Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry to meet its budget reconciliation
target of $3 billion in spending cuts over five years had to be sent
back to the drawing board. The plan, which involved a 2.5-percent
reduction in farm program payments and cuts in spending for
conservation, food stamps and agricultural research, was severely
criticized by numerous conservation, charity, environmental and taxpayer
watchdog groups in Washington. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial
a closer look at the Montreal Protocol
In 1985, the first Antarctic ozone hole was
discovered. Just two short years after the discovery, the Montreal
Protocol, an international treaty, was established to protect the
disappearing stratospheric ozone layer. The treaty called for the
phasing out of all ozone depleting chemicals and was negotiated and
signed by 24 countries and the European Economic Community.
In those early years, global warming was a highly emotional issue and it
has been suggested by some that perhaps the treaty moved too quickly in
naming chemicals purported to be causing the ozone depletion, and then
developing the plan to phase them out. As it turns out, there is no
evidence demonstrating that agricultural uses of methyl bromide are a
factor in ozone depletion. - Bill Goodrich, Farm Press Editorial
how you spin it, FSA offices at risk
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns says he's "opening
a dialogue" with state and congressional leaders to determine how best
to "modernize the Farm Service Agency to ensure it meets the needs of
farmers and ranchers in the 21st Century." That's a nice way of putting
that Johanns is about to engage in what's almost become a rite of
passage for agriculture secretaries: Proposing to reduce the number of
county FSA offices by one-fourth or one-third or whatever amount the
powers that be have decided is politically palatable. - Forrest Laws,
Farm Staff Editorial Staff
"We're concerned about glyphosate
resistance developing. We've had a hard time controlling giant ragweed
in soybeans, and waterhemp is tough to control, too. If the weeds get
through this year, they will be worse next year. Then it's much harder
to get ahead of them, and it starts costing big bucks."
Les Schliep, Pine Island, Minn.
News from the Top of the
Secretary Johanns & Farm Bill Policy -
Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns in a speech this week offered
observations of what he has heard from producers during the Farm Bill
forums he has conducted throughout the U.S. Johanns indicated there is
unanimous support for USDA's rural development efforts. There is strong
support for conservation. Producers support "opening doors to new and
expanded markets" for U.S. agricultural products. There is a range of
opinions regarding farm support programs. Producers in the Midwest
support stronger payment limitations while producers from the South
strongly oppose this idea. There are concerns that farm payments are
being capitalized into land values and the greatest benefits are going
to the largest farms. Eight percent of all farms are receiving 50% of
government payments. Johanns, indicating there will be changes in the
next farm bill, said the U.S. must take a strong leadership role in the
World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations if we are to gain new market
access and avoid our farm programs from being challenged by other
countries at the WTO (Step Two cotton program). "We have a choice. We
can sit back and watch as our farm policy is disassembled piece by
piece, or we can begin a discussion about how to craft farm policy that
provides a low-risk, meaningful safety net for our farmers and
ranchers," Johanns said. We must choose wisely, remembering that a
quarter of farm cash receipts depends on trade."
Agriculture Reconciliation Package Offered - Senator Saxby
Chambliss (R-GA), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, has
proposed a reconciliation package of $3 billion in cuts over five-years.
The cuts would be $1.1 billion from commodity programs, $1 billion from
conservation programs, $227 million from research, and $574 million from
nutrition programs. The cuts would include:
A 2.5% across-the-board cut in all direct payments, counter-cyclical
payments, loan deficiency payments and marketing loan gains.
Advance direct payments for producers to be reduced from a maximum
of 50% to 40%.
The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage cap would be lowered
from 39.2 to 36.4 million acres for calendar years 2006 to 2010.
Conservation Security Program (CSP) would be limited to $1.954
billion for fiscal years 2006 to 2010.
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) would be limited to
$1.185 billion in fiscal year 2006 and $1.270 billion in fiscal years
2007 to 2010.
Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program will be extended until
Sept. 30, 2007. The payment factor will be reduced from 45% to 34%. This
program expired Sept. 30.
The committee will consider this proposal the week of Oct. 17. The House
Agriculture Committee plans to consider their budget reconciliation the
Price Reporting Law Expires - Congress did not renew the
mandatory price reporting legislation that expired on Sept. 30. There
continues to be differences between the House and Senate. The House
supports a five-year renewal of the law, while the Senate has passed
legislation for one year. A coalition of livestock producers, including
the National Pork Producers Council, American Farm Bureau Federation,
American Sheep Industry Association, and the National Cattlemen's Beef
Association, have called on Congress to immediately approve a multi-year
reauthorization. USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service is asking packers
to continue to voluntarily report pricing information while Congress
continues to address this issue.
FDA Announces Feed Rule - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) announced its new proposed feed rule concerning bovine spongiform
encephalopathy (BSE). FDA would prohibit items from high-risk cattle
from entering all animal feed, including pet food. They include:
Brains and spinal cords from cattle 30 months of age and older;
Brains and spinal cords from cattle of any age not inspected and
passed for human consumption;
The entire carcass of cattle not inspected and passed for human
consumption if the brains and spinal cords have not been removed;
Tallow that is derived from the materials prohibited by this
proposed rule if the tallow contains more than 0.15% insoluble
Mechanically separated beef that is derived from the materials
prohibited by this proposed rule.
Market Access Statement Issued - The American Farm Bureau
Federation (AFBF) and the Australian National Farmers' Federation (NFF)
in a joint statement announced their support for a "strong and balanced"
outcome in the Doha Round for agriculture. According to AFBF and NFF,
"Reform must include the real, substantial and ambitious expansion in
access to markets on a fair and transparent basis through aggressive
tariff reduction; the meaningful and substantial reduction of
trade-distorting domestic support and the early elimination of export
subsidies along with disciplines on export credits, state trading
enterprises and food aid." The next meeting of the Doha Round is this
December in Hong Kong.
FSA Office Closure Hearing - The Senate Agriculture Committee has
announced that it will hold a hearing on Oct. 20 concerning USDA's
proposal to close and consolidate local Farm Service Agency (FSA)
offices. Under USDA's consolidation plan, "FSA Tomorrow," 713 of 2,351
local FSA offices would be closed. - Scott Shearer, National Hog
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:
email@example.com, 952-851-4667 or Renata Stephens, Capital
Travel Solutions, firstname.lastname@example.org, 651/287-4900 or 800/635-5488. A
complete itinerary can be viewed on the CTS website: http://www.ctsinc.com/Brazil2006.pdf.
BIOTECH CROPS officially turned 10 years old this past
summer. Monsanto celebrated the milestone by staging an event at its
research facility in Jerseyville, IL, where the first U.S. plant
biotechnology field trial was held in 1987. The success of biotech crops
is widely acknowledged; today more than 200 million acres are planted
with biotech traits worldwide. Speakers at the event reported that
biotechnology will continue to grow in importance. Robert Fraley,
executive vice president and chief technology officer, Monsanto,
compared today's plant biotech industry to that of the computer industry
in the 1960s. - Farm Industry News
expiring CRP contracts can be extended
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced that
farmers and ranchers might elect to re-enroll or extend their
Conservation Reserve Program contracts expiring in 2007 through 2010.
"Balance is the key to any good conservation plan. So we're offering
farmers and ranchers re-enrollments and contract extensions to take full
advantage of the environmental benefits of this program," said Johanns.
To determine eligibility for re-enrolling or extending CRP contracts,
USDA's Farm Service Agency will use the Environmental Benefits Index
that was in place when the contracts were first written. - Farm Press
a farmer that needs $10,000?
Nominations are now being accepted for American
Farmland Trust's 2006 Steward of the Land Award. The $10,000 prize is
presented annually to a farmer or rancher that best exemplifies American
Farmland Trust's (AFT) mission of stopping the loss of productive
farmland and promoting farming practices that lead to a healthy
Nomination kits can be requested by calling (800) 886-5170 x3055, or can
easily be downloaded on AFT's web site at http://www.farmland.org/steward/nomination_instructions.pdf.
Nominations will be accepted until 5pm EST on November 1, 2005.
The 2005 Steward of the Land Award was recently presented to Steve
Sinton, a wine grape grower and fourth generation cattle rancher from
Shandon, California. Throughout his 18,000 acres of ranchland and 125
acres of vineyards, Steve utilizes a variety of innovative practices to
promote sustainability and protect the environment. Efforts on Steve's
ranch have even resulted in the reintroduction of the California condor,
which nest on parts of his property. He was also instrumental at the
state level in the creation of the California Rangeland Trust,
California's statewide agricultural land trust.
"The Steward of the Land Award showcases the diversity of American
agriculture and illustrates the many benefits farmers and ranchers
provide to the general public, like habitat for wildlife, a filter for
clean air and water and scenic vistas," said Sinton. "I'm a rancher, but
I know that past winners of this award have also been grain growers,
dairy farmers and fruit growers. There are people in every aspect of
agriculture that are engaged in good stewardship practices."
Past winners of the award can be found across the United States, in
California, Maryland, Wisconsin, Indiana, New Hampshire, Oregon,
Colorado and South Carolina.
Entering a landmark tenth year, the Steward of the Land Award is also
working to raise awareness of the public benefits agriculture provides
as discussions about changing farm policies in the 2007 Farm Bill
"As the 2007 Farm Bill approaches, it's more important than ever to show
examples of the many faces of agriculture working so hard to implement
good stewardship practices on their land," said AFT president Ralph
Grossi. "American Farmland Trust can only honor one farmer each year
through its Steward of the Land Award, but by supporting incentive-based
farm policies that link payments to good stewardship and sound land
management, our nation can honor thousands of farmers every year."
American Farmland Trust's Steward of the Land Award was created in 1997
in honor of farmer and conservationist Peggy McGrath Rockefeller, a
founding AFT board member who cared deeply about protection and
conservation of the nation's farm and ranch land. For more information:
American Farmland Trust
storage information available
Fall harvest in northern and western Iowa is expected
to yield higher than average corn crops in those areas, according to
Iowa State University (ISU) experts. Record harvests in 2004 caused
grain elevators to begin piling corn in temporary storage situations,
including outdoor piles. The outside piles are gone and 2004 grain
has been moved inside, but much has not been sold. This has created a
shortage for storage for the 2005.
"The large harvest volume, carryover grain in storage at Iowa elevators
and the effects of Katrina will move grain slower than normal this
fall," according Charles Hurburgh of the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative
at ISU. "Farmers need to plan for the potential storage of grain on-farm
to capture additional premiums and reduce
backups in elevators already at storage capacity."
Temporary grain storage facilities need to protect the grain from
moisture, wind, birds, rodents, and insects. Thus, storage in an
existing building (such as a pole barn, machinery shed, warehouse, or
even livestock building) is preferred over outdoor piles.
"Farmers with empty silos previously used for silage or other empty
buildings on the farm may consider those for dry grain storage,"
Hurburgh said. "There are a number of general considerations that need
to be weighed in approaching the evaluation of an existing silo
or building for possible adaptation for dry grain storage."
Make sure the building location is well drained. If the building does
not have a concrete floor, place the grain on plastic to prevent
moisture moving from the ground to the grain. Even with a concrete
floor, Hurburgh advises covering the concrete with plastic, especially
if the concrete is cracked. Moisture vapor will move through concrete
and into the grain if the soil below the concrete is wet. The grain must
be cool and dry. Harvest temperatures may be fairly warm, which means
aeration cooling will be needed very soon
Silos must be in sound structural condition, and hooped or reinforced
sufficiently to store dry shelled grain. The silo must have a roof and a
concrete floor. Walls must be reasonably tight and be equipped with an
aeration system. Any storage must have aeration to be successful. Even
dry corn will spoil because of temperature-induced moisture migration,
if aeration is not used to balance grain and air temperatures. Estimate
approximately 1 hp of fan per 10,000 bushels, to maintain temperature
"Various techniques and facilities have been used to store grain
temporarily with success," Hurburgh said. "Generally, the more durable
the facility, the longer grain can be stored without excess loss.
Temporary grain storage is for less than 6 months. Stored grain is the
result of a season's work - it deserves as much attention in
storage as it took to produce it in the first place."
For additional information regarding on-farm storage of grain and other
grain quality issues, visit the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative
Web site at http://www.extension.iastate.edu/grain.
In addition, a special Web page has been created to offer farmers risk
and energy management tools to help them make better decisions this
harvest season. That page is http://www.extension.iastate.edu/agenergy.
- Iowa State University
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