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A PRIMEDIA Property October 19, 2005 | 051019   
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 >> Logan Hawkes

 >> 2005 farm production expenses projected higher

 >> Congress will write the next farm bill

 >> Eliminating commodity programs reduces net income

 >> Brazilian farmers energized by WTO rulings

 >> Spy on pests in the field

 >> Fertilizer and gas prices

 >> Johanns says safety net calls for more market access

 >> News from the Top of the Hill

 >> Superbowl of Agriculture report

 >> NCGA defends ethanol

 >> Tour Brazil with Corn & Soybean Digest Magazine

 >> Six sweet rides

 >> Tearless Tier 3



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If you won't give an inch to resistance, visit http://www.resistancefighter.com

  EDITOR'S NOTE
Logan Hawkes
10/19/05    Crop News Weekly
With another nice break in Midwest weather, harvest is progressing on or ahead of schedule, perhaps nowhere better than in Iowa. In addition to running first in the race again for best corn production, it appears as though Iowa will reclaim the lead in soybean harvest as well. And because of the hot, dry weather, the pumpkin harvest is the best it's ever been as well. Some have all the blooming luck. The national corn and soybean harvest, however, looks as though it will still fall slightly short of last year's totals.

With a waning harvest full moon on the rise again tonight, we've got plenty to offer this week in the way of ag news, starting with the costs of doing business on the farm. No surprise, but farm expenses are up again, in just about every area. Will it ever end? Sure - as soon as it snows in Texas on an August afternoon. In other news, you might call it a friendly reminder. An unusual letter sent by Sen. Saxby Chambliss to Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns is asking for a 60 percent reduction in U.S. farm subsidies. You need to get the details below. Also this week, recent discussions about the 2007 Farm Bill have centered on the impact that trade negotiations will have on the shape of new farm legislation. And, speaking of subsidies, farmers from Brazil are once again fostering support for U.S. farm subsidy reduction. Elsewhere, it may seem a little James Bond-ish, but the new IPM Scope digital camera from Spectrum Technologies helps identify and track plant pests such as aphids and diseases such as Asian soybean rust. What will they think of next?

You'll find these stories and a lot more in this mid-October issue of Crop News Weekly. Happy reading.



  FROM OUR MAGAZINES
2005 farm production expenses projected higher
10/17/05   
Just how much are rising fuel and fertilizer costs impacting the bottom line on your farm? Plenty, according to the latest projections from USDA. Total U.S. agricultural production expenses in 2005 are projected to be $218.7 billion, up $8.9 billion or 4 percent from this past year. Since a decline in 2002, expenses have increased by about $7 billion or more in each of the last three years. Rising costs of energy-based inputs such as fuel and fertilizer and increasing interest expenses will account for more than 60 percent of the increase in costs this year. - Paul Hollis, Farm Press Editorial Staff

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Congress will write the next farm bill
10/12/05   
You might call it a friendly reminder. That's what Washington observers were saying about an unusual two-page letter sent by Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., to Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman. Chambliss, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, fired off the letter on Oct. 9 after Portman said he planned to offer to reduce U.S. farm subsidies by 60 percent to try to restart the stalled Doha Round negotiations in the WTO in Zurich, Switzerland. The letter was released to the agricultural media on Oct. 11. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Eliminating commodity programs reduces net income
10/14/05   
The structure of the 2007 farm bill has engendered a lot of discussion at most of the meetings we have attended this summer. Of particular interest has been the impact that trade negotiations will have on the shape of the new farm legislation. The impact of trade negotiations has generated significant attention since the recent cotton ruling went against the U.S. While not dealing with other U.S. crops, some of the language in the decision makes it clear that government support for other crops might be in danger as well. One of the provisions of current commodity support programs restricts those participating in these programs from taking the direct payments and then switching to the production of vegetables and fruits. - Daryll Ray, Farm Press Editorial Staff

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"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.

Brazilian farmers energized by WTO rulings
10/14/05   
Brazilians farmers are asking for more action from their international negotiators in the WTO (World Trade Organization). The outcome of complaints against U.S. cotton and sugar programs have energized the country. The WTO has become almost sacred ground for Brazilians, where they believe they can win a commercial fight against stronger competitors, such as the EU and the United States. More than that, they believe that the WTO decision set a standard for other countries within the Group of Twenty (G-20) for international commerce for agricultural products. Not surprisingly, the G-20 is led by Brazil and India. Even so, Brazilians farmers feel this is not enough and there is still room for additional gains. - Jose Sergio Osse, Farm Press Daily

Spy on pests in the field
It may seem a little James Bond-ish, but the IPM Scope digital IPM camera from Spectrum Technologies helps identify and track plant pests such as aphids and diseases such as Asian soybean rust. The IPM Scope camera captures and magnifies images or video by 40 to 140 times. The enhanced digital images can then be up-loaded to a personal computer through a simple USB connection for e-mailing to industry partners for quick identification. An LED light illuminates the sample. - Farm Industry News

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Labeled on more than 200 crops in 72 countries, Quadris has more than proven its worth to thousands of American growers. Over the past four seasons, Quadris has been increasing soybean yields on commercial fields an average of 6 bu/A and helping produce better quality beans. For more information on Quadris fungicide, please visit http://www.quadris-fungicide.com
Fertilizer and gas prices
THE PRICE of natural gas continues to drive up the cost of nitrogen fertilizer, forcing the industry toward more nitrogen fertilizer imports. It could get worse. Domestic natural gas futures are predicted to reach $12/one thousand cubic feet (Mcf) for October, about double what prices were a year ago. Natural gas is the primary feedstock material for nitrogen production. Therefore, as domestic natural gas prices rise, it makes more sense to produce more nitrogen fertilizer overseas where natural gas is cheaper. Fertilizer, especially in granular form, is much easier to import than gas. - Farm Industry News

Johanns says safety net calls for more market access
10/11/05   
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns says that a true safety net for farmers must reach beyond subsidies and bring growers "real and substantial market access" if they are to continue to lead the nation and the world in agriculture. As he has at USDA Farm Bill Forums around the country, Johanns again claimed the current farm bill is contributing to agriculture's problems because farm payments are being capitalized into increased land values and benefits are not being distributed equitably. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

News from the Top of the Hill
10/14/05   
US Proposes Major Cuts in WTO Talks - The United States in a major effort to move forward the WTO negotiations on agriculture proposed eliminating market-distorting tariffs and subsidies within 10 years. The 148 WTO members are suppose to agree on an outline for a global trade deal as part of the Doha round of negotiations this December in Hong Kong. The U.S. proposal includes:

  • Domestic support - amber box: 60% reduction in trade-distorting farm subsidies for the U.S. (EU and Japan would have to make cuts of 83%).

  • Domestic support - green box: no expenditure caps for Green Box programs (these types of farm programs are considered non-trade distorting).

  • Progressive tariff reductions: developed countries cut their tariffs by 55-90%. Lowest tariffs cut by 55%, with cuts ranging to 90% for highest tariffs.

  • Tariff rate caps: establish a "tariff cap" ensuring no tariff is higher than 75%,

  • Sensitive products: limit tariff lines subject to "sensitive product" treatment to 1% of total dutiable tariff lines.

  • Export subsidies: eliminate all agriculture export subsidies by 2010.

  • STEs: establish new disciplines on export State Trade Enterprises that end monopoly export privileges, prohibit export subsidies, and expand transparency obligations.

  • Food aid: establish disciplines on food aid shipments that guard against commercial displacement, while removing obstacles to emergency shipments and deliveries to countries with chronic food aid needs.

  • Export credit programs: establish specific disciplines on export credit programs to bring them in line with commercial practice with a maximum repayment period of 180 days.

    AG Groups React to WTO Proposal - The reaction by most U.S. agricultural organizations was generally positive towards the U.S. WTO proposal. However, this is dependent upon major concessions from other countries. The American Farm Bureau Federation said, "bold action is needed to provide commercially meaningful access to world markets for America's farmers and ranchers. The agricultural trade proposals put forth today by the United States will significantly advance that position within the WTO agricultural negotiations." The National Pork Producers Council in a statement said, "We fully support the U.S. negotiating objectives and look forward to the conclusion of a comprehensive, meaningful Doha Round agreement." The National Farmers Union (NFU) has concerns with the proposal. NFU said the U.S. proposal would "significantly alter, if not eliminate, much of the current safety net for U.S. farmers and ranchers, without getting anything meaningful in return."

    Gov. Schwarzenegger Vetoes COOL - California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) bill. The bill would have required retailers to label beef produced outside of the U.S. with the country where the beef was born and raised. In his veto message, Schwarzenegger said the bill would be "unworkable, costly and impossible to enforce while providing no improvement in public health protection or additional benefits to the consumer."

    More Budget Cuts - The House Republican leadership is now asking for savings of at least $50 billion from mandatory spending programs. The original budget resolution called for savings of $35 billion. The increased savings is to offset the cost of Hurricane Katrina. Committees will now be given until October 27 to determine their proposed spending cuts.

    2006 Agricultural Outlook Forum - USDA's annual Agricultural Outlook Forum will be held February 16-17, 2006 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, Arlington, Virginia. The topics for the forum will focus on rural development, farm policy, conservation, economic outlook for commodities, globalization and U.S. trade, animal health, and bio-tech development. More information is available at agforum@oce.usda.gov. - Scott Shearer, National Hog Farmer

  • Superbowl of Agriculture report
    THE MARKETERS of the Farm Progress Show coined a catchy term awhile back, calling their event The Super Bowl of Agriculture. I take exception to that description. Sure, the show is big. But I spend the Super Bowl eating chips and ham, sitting on the couch and falling asleep. At the Farm Progress Show, I logged at least four miles on foot and barely had time to wolf down a pork sandwich between booth visits. No nap time. That's how much there is to see. - Wayne Wenzel, Farm Industry News

    NCGA defends ethanol
    SHOULD solar energy shining down on crops be considered an energy expenditure when figuring the net energy gain of producing ethanol from corn? Most reasonable people would say no. But others with close ties to the oil industry think differently. Take, for example, anti-biotechnology researcher David Pimentel and Tad Patzek, a former employee of Shell Oil and paid consultant to Shell and Chevron. Patzek and Pimentel recently teamed up to produce a study on the net energy balance of ethanol. Gaining considerable national attention, the study alleges ethanol production requires more energy than the resulting ethanol fuel contains. - Farm Industry News

    Tour Brazil with Corn & Soybean Digest Magazine
    10/19/05   
    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: 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/Brazil2006.pdf.

    Six sweet rides
    FOR TWO DAYS in July, the rough terrain surrounding a hunting lodge in Minnesota became the testing grounds for the Farm Industry News ATV Rodeo. Here, a group of Team FIN farmers put six of the latest ATVs through their paces. The farmers tested the ATVs on a course designed to replicate farm tasks. It was a combination of woods, water, hills and sand with a barrel event and salt-bag handling tossed in. The farmers attempted to push the ATVs to the limit. They spun the vehicles in a sand pit and plowed them through a muddy creek. They loaded them down with the salt bags and tested the brakes on hills. They opened up the throttle on gravel roads and wove the vehicles around barrels. - Karen McMahon, Farm Industry News

    Tearless Tier 3
    WAS I the only one cheering at the news of stricter EPA off-road diesel emissions standards? Seems all I heard about the issue for most of the past five years was how taking soot and nitrous oxide (NOX) out of tractor diesel smoke couldn't be done without either bankrupting the industry or passing onerous costs on to farmers. Perhaps that weighted message ringing in my ears was due to the superior funding of the diesel engine lobby. At times, the industry even rallied farmer organizations to speak out from the "grass roots" against emissions regulations. - Wayne Wenzel, Farm Industry News



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