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A Prism Business Media Publication March 15, 2006 | 060315   
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 >> Logan Hawkes

 >> Study shows promise for variable nitrogen on corn

 >> USDA-ARS could lose 11 percent of budget

 >> We can deal with rust and stay in the soybean business

 >> Twin-row beans marries wide-row and narrow row

 >> News from the Top of the Hill

 >> 'Make rural development a national priority'

 >> Small problems can become big ones

 >> Texas soybean acreage remains constant

 >> Carolina growers: Keep a close eye on soybean rust

 >> Secretary of ag vying for input into farm bill

 >> Herbicide drift damage: Maybe, maybe not

 >> Twin-row is the only way to go

 >> Soybean rust found at two new sites

 >> Pushing the variable-rate envelope

 >> Sign Up for MarketMaxx

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  EDITOR'S NOTE
Logan Hawkes
03/15/06    Crop News Weekly
With the official start to the spring season just a few days away and tax deadlines and the Easter holiday just around the corner, it's "catch-up" time on the farm - catch up with the planting, plowing, seeding, spraying. It's time to catch up with taxes, the NCAA tournament, and time to catch up with the kids during spring break. And it's time to catch up on the news.

It's not going to be a pretty sight. Another U.S. case of BSE has been confirmed and now the cattle industry, indeed the U.S. ag industry-at-large, await the potential repercussions and impact. In other news, according to a new study, the highest returns for nitrogen applications on corn occur when soil color is used to create management zones for variable-rate applications. The results of that study were presented recently to the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants. Elsewhere this week, the USDA Agricultural Research Service would lose 11 percent of its annual budget under the Bush administration's budget proposal and those cuts would result in closing some important research centers. There is some good news for bean growers this week, Mississippi Extension professor/plant pathologist emeritus Billy Moore says we shouldn't "be scared of soybean rust." Knowing your enemy, being alert to what's going on in your soybean fields, and making use of effective weapons like fungicides can keep the wolf away. Speaking of soybeans, twin-row soybeans can provide the same yield advantage as 30-inch soybeans without significant changes to wide-row equipment, according to Trey Koger, agronomist at USDA/ARS. Read about it in this issue.

There's a lot more news to cover this week and it's waiting for you below. So catch up on your reading - and then get back to catching up with everything else. Happy spring season!



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  FROM OUR MAGAZINES
Study shows promise for variable nitrogen on corn
03/13/06   
The highest returns for nitrogen applications on corn occur when soil color is used to create management zones for variable-rate applications, according to a Colorado State University study. The method achieved higher net returns than both a blanket application of nitrogen and when grid sampling was used to create management zones for variable-rate applications. Ironically, a blanket application of nitrogen had better returns than variable-rate applications on corn based on grid sampling. The results of the study were presented at the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants, Tucson, Ariz., by Dwayne Westfall, professor, soil and crop sciences, CSU. - Elton Robinson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

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USDA-ARS could lose 11 percent of budget
03/13/06   
The USDA Agricultural Research Service would lose 11 percent of its annual budget under the Bush administration's budget proposal and those cuts would result in closing some important research centers. The closings, if the proposed budget stands, would occur on October 1, 2006. Some funds saved by closing those facilities would be diverted to other research centers. Centers across the country will be forced to take cuts if the president's budget is approved. - Ron Smith, Farm Press Editorial Staff

We can deal with rust and stay in the soybean business
03/13/06   
With the fervor of an old-time tent revivalist exhorting his audience to resist Satan's wiles, Billy Moore tells farmers they can be triumphant in the battle against Asian soybean rust. What it takes, says the Mississippi Extension professor/plant pathologist emeritus, is knowing your enemy, being alert to what's going on in your soybean fields, and making use of the effective weapons -- fungicides -- available to fight the disease. "Rust is nothing to be scared of," Moore says. "It can be managed with the right tools. We can deal with this disease and still stay in the soybean business," he told northwest Mississippi growers at recent meetings. "When we were first told we were faced with the threat of soybean rust in the U.S., there were a lot of scary predictions that it could slash yields 40 percent or more, but that's just not going to happen. - Hembree Brandon, Farm Press Editorial Staff

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Twin-row beans marries wide-row and narrow row
03/10/06   
Twin-row soybeans can provide the same yield advantage as 30-inch soybeans without significant changes to wide-row equipment, according Trey Koger, agronomist at the USDA/ARS, Stoneville, Miss. "We can plant the twin-row pattern on an 80-inch bed or a 40-inch bed, giving us a narrow-row spacing of somewhere around 30 inches, and we can still use our existing production system set up on 38- or 40-inch beds. The twin-row system is a narrow-row spacing in a wide-row system," Koger said. Koger spoke about his research on twin-row soybeans versus wide-row soybeans during the Conservation Systems Cotton and Rice Conference, in Tunica, Miss. - Elton Robinson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

News from the Top of the Hill
03/10/06    National Hog Farmer
NPPC Resolutions - The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) adopted a number of public-policy resolutions at their annual meeting last week in Kansas City. They include:

  • Study the merits of having Congress wait to write the 2007 Farm Bill until current WTO trade talks are completed.

  • Urge pork producers to support a national animal identification system and ask them to register their premises, to make preparations to implement enhancements to their reporting and recording systems and to urge USDA to adopt a species-specific approach to animal ID.

  • Support an increase in funding for USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service so that it can better meet the needs of the swine industry.

  • Support implementation of recommendations from a USDA audit report for reforms to the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.

  • Oppose legislation - the Captive Supply Reform Act - that would limit the types of contracts producers could enter with packers.

  • Work with USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service to resolve producers' concerns about meat inspection decisions regarding condemned animals at packing plants.

  • Seek reauthorization of the mandatory price reporting law, which expired last September, and support a study of mandatory price reporting of pork carcass cutouts and their components to increase the transparency and more accurately reflect the pricing of the entire product.

  • Support legislation that would clarify that livestock manure is not a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant under certain federal environmental laws.

  • Ask the federal government to establish an expedited process for clearing trucks carrying swine at border crossing between the U.S. and Canada.

  • Support the American Association of Swine Veterinarians' efforts to rename Porcine Circovirus-2-associated disease syndrome.

  • Support the permanent addition of pork and pork variety meats to USDA's weekly export/sales report.

    These resolutions will guide NPPC for 2006.

    AG Calls for No Budget Cut - The House and Senate Budget Committees will begin work on the fiscal year 2007 budget this week. The House and Senate Agriculture Committees are urging the budget committees not to seek any additional cuts in farm spending, especially with uncertainty of the Doha Round and the farm bill next year. A group of over 40 agricultural organizations sent a letter to the budget committees asking that agriculture be spared in budget cuts. In the letter, the groups say that the farm bill "represents a delicate balance by effectively addressing the stability of our agricultural production base, protecting our important natural resources, and enhancing nutrition and food assistance programs in our nation. The mandatory programs administered by the Department of Agriculture are of enormous importance to farmers, ranchers, rural businesses, low-income Americans and all our nation's children." Some of the groups signing the letter include: American Farm Bureau Federation, American Farmland Trust, American Soybean Association, Farm Credit Council, National Association of Conservation Districts, National Corn Growers Association, National Cotton Council, National Farmers Organization, National Farmers Union, National Pork Producers Council, National Wildlife Federation, and United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association.

    Malaysia Opens to U.S. Beef - USDA has announced that Malaysia will resume imports of U.S. beef and beef products from animals under 30 months of age. Previously the U.S. exported more than $1.9 million worth of beef and beef products to Malaysia.

    NPPC Elects Officers - The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has elected new officers and members. Joy Philippi of Bruning, NE was elected NPPC President. Jill Appell of Altona, IL is the new President-elect. The new NPPC Vice President is Bryan Black of Canal Winchester, OH.

    Buis to Lead NFU - Tom Buis was elected President of the National Farmers Union (NFU) last week at NFU's annual convention in Denver. Buis had been serving as NFU's vice president of government relations. Previously, Buis had served as agriculture advisor to Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD). - Scott Shearer

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    'Make rural development a national priority'
    03/10/06   
    If the United States wants to remain a global economic superpower, it should stop treating rural America like a stepchild. That may not have been exactly what Robert W. Lane said at USDA's 2006 Agricultural Outlook Forum, but that was the message that came through from the chairman and CEO of Deere & Co. "U.S. farmers and ranchers contribute directly and substantially to U.S. economic growth," he said. "They provide a secure, abundant and affordable supply of food, fiber and fuel. In doing so, they literally feed and fuel the U.S. and global economy." - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Small problems can become big ones
    03/07/06   
    The Road Warrior of Agriculture writes: In my last column I highlighted some of Dr. Ed Seifried's comments at a Farm Credit-sponsored Executive Producer Roundtable in Spokane, WA. There are further highlights, including housing market and interest rate considerations. - Dave Kohl, The Corn & Soybean Digest

    Texas soybean acreage remains constant
    03/10/06   
    Texas soybean acreage could increase slightly in 2006 as some farmers switch from corn or other higher-input crops, but significant acreage shifts are unlikely, says Texas Cooperative Extension Service soybean specialist Jim Heitholt. And soybean farmers, he says, are not likely to change production practices significantly but may improve production potential by fine-tuning management practices. Heitholt recently responded to Farm Press Staff questions regarding 2006 soybean production. - Ron Smith, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Carolina growers: Keep a close eye on soybean rust
    03/09/06   
    Recent blasts of artic air into the deep South caused some problems for travelers throughout the region, but hopefully provided some much needed breathing room for soybean growers in the Carolinas and Virginia. "But the worst thing soybean growers can do is take a cavalier attitude toward rust," says John Mueller, Clemson University soybean researcher. "We know soybean rust can cause significant economic losses to soybeans in our environment, and if conditions in 2006 are different than 2005, the disease could be a problem for us," Mueller adds. - Roy Roberson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Secretary of ag vying for input into farm bill
    03/08/06   
    President Bush and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns would like to play major roles in shaping the next farm bill, but Congress is not likely to abdicate that chore, says Texas A&M Extension economist Joe Outlaw. Outlaw, co-director of the Texas A&M Ag Policy Center, discussed prospects for the next farm bill during a recent risk management seminar in McKinney, Texas. "As far as the president's budget, Congress will pretty much ignore it," Outlaw said. "It's easy to get disheartened but neither the president, the Office of Management and Budget nor the secretary of agriculture will pass agricultural legislation. Congress has that responsibility and key leadership in both houses still supports the current farm law and they support agriculture." - Ron Smith, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Herbicide drift damage: Maybe, maybe not
    03/08/06   
    Don't assume symptoms you see on tomatoes, peppers, melons, or other crops are necessarily caused by herbicide drift. Tom Lanini, Extension weed ecologist at the University of California, Davis, says it pays to take a much closer look, perhaps take photos and collect samples, and consult with an expert before blaming a wind-carried weed killer. "At least half the calls I get about crop damage from potential herbicide drift turn out to be a nutrient imbalance, mechanical damage, temperature, or some other problem," he said. - Dan Bryant, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Twin-row is the only way to go
    03/08/06   
    Missouri farmer John Engram wanted the higher efficiency and yield he could get with narrow rows, but he didn't want to change his equipment spacing or lose irrigation efficiency due to difficulty of maintaining narrower beds. He found a way to accomplish both goals with twin-row planting. Engram, who farms cotton, corn and soybeans near Vanduser, decided to make a change in his row spacing in 1990. He didn't like the yields he was getting in corn on 38-inch rows. "I saw where farmers were getting yield increases on 30-inch configurations, because they were increasing their plant populations and utilizing sunlight and all their inputs better." - Elton Robinson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Soybean rust found at two new sites
    03/07/06   
    Soybean rust has been found on kudzu at two new sites in Alabama and one in Georgia, creating concern that more inoculum than originally thought may be surviving this winter than last. As the last traditional freeze date approaches for central Alabama and Georgia, researchers continue to find isolated pockets of soybean rust surviving on kudzu growing in sheltered areas. With literally thousands of abandoned houses and buildings to provide protection for kudzu in south-central Georgia and Alabama, the concern is that only a fraction of such sites have been located and destroyed. - Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Pushing the variable-rate envelope
    03/08/06   
    Last year, when Delta Farm Press first visited Kin-Co Ag Aviation in Light, Ark., it was mid-May and some extraordinary research had begun. A large team comprised of pilots, company technical staff, a professor and his graduate students was working with variable-rate dry fertilizer applications in rice, a first. The project had the attention of truly smart people from different disciplines. The work linking up application systems, computers, infra-red cameras, imaging software, prescriptions and the ability to apply chemicals precisely promised future advances as well. - David Bennett, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Sign Up for MarketMaxx
    03/15/06   
    Sign up and play The Corn And Soybean Digest's fantasy grain game called MarketMaxx. It's easy, fun and hopefully you'll learn a little more about how to market the corn and beans your raise. It's easy to sign-up. Just log on to http://www.marketmaxx.net and register at the top left and begin trading your fictitious 100,000 bu. of corn and 50,000 bu. of soybeans. If you're a winner at the end of the game on October 31 you could take home the grand prize of a year's use of a Massey Ferguson tractor or combine. Or, win additional prizes such as a computer system from Syngenta Crop Protection, customized rugged mobile computers from Grayhill Custom Mobile Solutions or a high-speed satellite Internet service from Agristar Global Networks. - The Corn & Soybean Digest



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