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A Prism Business Media Publication March 29, 2006 | 060329   
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 >> Logan Hawkes

 >> Early soybean planting growing trend

 >> DAVE KOHL: The economy does not feel right

 >> Conservation Reserve Program Sign-up March 27-April 14

 >> Nitrogen concerns no reason to run for cover crops

 >> News from the Top of the Hill

 >> USDA confirms mad cow disease finding in Alabama

 >> Budget Committee passes resolution with no cuts in ag

 >> Psychology, more often than facts, moves markets

 >> Solving energy problems will take a 'team effort'

 >> ASA leaders take soybean issues to Capitol Hill

 >> Sign Up for MarketMaxx

 >> Johanns announces actions to reduce wildfire effects

 >> Administration hedging its bets on Doha?

 >> Case IH focusing on fuel efficiency in new tractors

 >> FAPRI 2006 Agricultural Outlook

 >> ROAD WARRIOR: Potatoes and beer

 >> Making a living on the farm

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"Our customers are very conscious of the potential for glyphosate weed resistance, which is one reason we don't recommend planting only glyphosate-tolerant corn. In the past 10 years, we have seen a lot of ALS-resistant waterhemp, so we understand the potential for resistance. Although no glyphosate resistance has been documented in the area, we feel like the amount of glyphosate needed to control certain weeds has increased."
John Allen, Brandt Consolidated, New Berlin, Ill.


  EDITOR'S NOTE
Logan Hawkes
03/29/06    Crop News Weekly
As April rolls around each year I generally start worrying about things I haven't worried about for some time; things like income tax filing, insects, tornados, the soon-to-come hurricane season. For this year, add to that mad cow disease, possible rust outbreaks, farm bill worries, more threats of terrorism. Come to think of it, it sounds just like last year - and probably next. Woe are we!

We've got another news-packed issue this week, starting with the growing trend of early soybean plantings. Is your seed in the ground yet? Also this week, what can we say about the economy - that it doesn't feel right? That's what Dave Kohl keeps hearing. Speaking of filing dates, Mike Johanns reminds producers and landowners that a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up which began Monday will continue through April 14. Don't be late. Elsewhere this week, incorporating cover crops into a production rotation may have conservational benefits, but their short and long-term agronomic value is still being evaluated according to Ohio State University. Also this issue: USDA confirms Alabama mad cow, Budget Committee passes resolution with no cuts in ag, and the changing grain market.

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



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  FROM OUR MAGAZINES
Early soybean planting growing trend
03/27/06   
A survey of Indiana soybean producers by Purdue University found that growers are planting much earlier than they did a decade ago. Producers said they've moved up their planting operations in order to increase the odds of harvesting bigger crops and avoid planting delays caused by late spring rain, says Shawn Conley, Purdue Extension soybean specialist and survey coordinator. More than 1,300 farmers across the state participated in the Purdue survey, conducted this past fall. Complete survey results will be released in a report due out this spring. - The Corn & Soybean Digest

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DAVE KOHL: The economy does not feel right
03/27/06   
The Road Warrior writes: "As I travel the roads of America, many people are saying the economy just does not feel right. Some will indicate it's like the 1970s; others fear China is like Japan in the 1980s, ready to take leadership in the global economy. Well, where are we? International economies are starting to see their domestic growth catch up to the U.S. Since 2001 and the recession "lite," the U.S.'s recovery has been fueled by borrowing on the international markets and the strong housing markets that propelled equity borrowing..." - Dave Kohl, The Corn & Soybean Digest

Conservation Reserve Program Sign-up March 27-April 14
03/27/06   
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns reminds agricultural producers and landowners that a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up will begin on Monday, March 27 and continue through April 14, 2006. CRP participants voluntarily enroll highly erodible and other fragile cropland in CRP through long-term contracts of 10-15 years. Participants plant grasses, trees and other vegetation on the enrolled land. In exchange, participants receive annual rental payments and a payment of up to 50 percent of the cost of establishing conservation covers. - The Corn & Soybean Digest

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New Gramoxone Inteon™ herbicide gives you the fast-acting burndown you love in an easy-to-use formulation. It even helps you to manage glyphosate resistance -- good news at a time when more and more weeds are becoming harder to control.

Visit http://www.gramoxoneinteon-herbicide.com for more information.

Nitrogen concerns no reason to run for cover crops
03/27/06   
Incorporating cover crops into a production rotation may have conservational benefits, but their short- and long-term agronomic value is still being evaluated. With new research, Ohio State University soil fertility specialists are hoping to provide more concrete answers. Robert Mullen, an Ohio State soil scientist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and his colleagues plan to seed red clover into this season's wheat crop to determine whether the cover crop provides a sufficient nitrogen (N) benefit for the incoming corn crop. - The Corn & Soybean Digest

News from the Top of the Hill
03/24/06    National Hog Farmer
USDA Technical Team to Japan - Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns announced that a USDA technical team headed by Chuck Lambert, Acting Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, will meet with Japanese officials next Monday, March 27th, to answer questions and press for the reopening of the Japanese market to U.S. beef. Johanns said, "The United States is eager to provide any additional clarification Japan may request so we can resume beef exports to Japan as quickly as possible. I believe our report is thorough and actions address the unique circumstances surrounding this ineligible shipment." Accompanying Lambert will be representatives of USDA's Food Safety & Inspection Service, Agriculture Marketing Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, and the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service.

Creekstone to Sue USDA Over BSE Testing - Creekstone Farms of Arkansas City, Kansas announced that it will sue USDA over the policy of testing cattle for BSE. For the past two years, Creekstone has asked USDA to allow it to voluntarily test cattle it slaughters for BSE. USDA has rejected Creekstone's request. Creekstone says that "it is vital to U.S. trade with Japan and other countries and the economic future of America's beef exporters to have the freedom to test for BSE, which will provide an added layer of confidence for U.S. beef customers worldwide."

Disaster Assistance - Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) has introduced disaster aid legislation. The bill would provide emergency funding to farmers and ranchers who have suffered weather-related crop production shortfalls, quality losses, damage to livestock feed supplies and payments for the loss of livestock. The bill also helps farmers overcome losses as a result of energy prices. Senator Conrad said, "This bill wouldn't make any farmer or rancher whole, but it goes a long way to making sure that producers who have seen losses at the hands of Mother Nature have a chance to stay in business." Senators cosponsoring the bill include: Senators Byron Dorgan (D-NC), Max Baucus (D-MT), Kit Bond (R-MO), Conrad Burns (R-MT), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Mark Dayton (D-MN), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Mel Martinez (R-FL), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ken Salazar (D-CO), Jim Talent (R-MO), and John Thune (R-SD). Estimated cost of the legislation is $3.566 billion.

Senate Budget - No AG Cuts - Last week the Senate approved a $2.8 trillion budget for fiscal year 2007 by a vote of 51-49. The budget does not require any cuts in farm programs as proposed by President Bush. The House plans to consider its budget resolution when Congress returns next week. Congress also raised the debt ceiling to nearly $9 trillion. The national debt has increased by 46 percent over the past five years. This means that the national debt has increased in the past five years what it took the United States to accumulate as entire debt from when George Washington was President through 1988.

USDA, Interior and HHS Announce Avian Influenza Program - USDA, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS) announced an enhanced national framework for early detection of avian influenza in wild migratory birds in the United States. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns said, "The Department of Agriculture is working on many fronts, with many partners to further strengthen our ability to detect and respond to highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza. By intensifying our monitoring of migratory bird populations, we increase the likelihood of early detection, which is key to controlling the spread of the virus, particularly in our domestic poultry." The interagency plan calls for early detection of avian influenza in wild migratory birds by:

  • Investigation of disease-outbreak events in wild birds.
  • Expanded monitoring of live wild birds.
  • Monitoring of hunter-killed birds.
  • Use of sentinel animals, such as backyard poultry flocks.
  • Environmental sampling of water and bird feces.

    USDA plans to collect between 75,000 to 100,000 samples from live and dead wild birds and 50,000 samples of water or feces from high-risk waterfowl habitats across the U.S.

    NPPC Legislative Conference - The National Pork Producers Council's Spring Legislative Conference will be held April 5-6 in Washington, D.C. Pork producers from throughout the United States will be meeting with Congressional members and staff on key issues affecting the pork industry. - Scott Shearer

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    Mark Kavan, Wahoo, Neb

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    USDA confirms mad cow disease finding in Alabama
    03/24/06   
    The fact that the Alabama cow veterinarians detected, and later confirmed, as carrying BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), or more commonly referred to as mad cow disease, was likely at least 10 years old may be the best news out of the latest discovery of the disease. On March 13, officials announced that test results from the USDA laboratory in Iowa confirmed the second such finding in cattle in America since the department began vigorous screening for BSE-infected beef several years ago. - Andrew Bell, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Budget Committee passes resolution with no cuts in ag
    03/23/06   
    In a move that is becoming increasingly common in Washington, the Senate Budget Committee largely ignored the Bush administration's spending reduction proposals for agriculture when it approved the committee's fiscal 2007 budget resolution. President Bush had called for a 5 percent across-the-board reduction in commodity program payments for savings of $1 billion in fiscal 2007 and $7.7 billion over the next 10 years. The president's budget plan also included reducing payments limits to $250,000 per farmer. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Psychology, more often than facts, moves markets
    03/23/06   
    Ethanol and biodiesel demand and commodity/index funds continue to change grain market dynamics, but one thing remains constant -- the emotion of the market. "It's not facts that are important to the markets," says grain analyst Richard Brock. "It's people's opinions of the facts that move the markets. And that's why the markets are so emotional. If you can understand people, you can have a better understanding of how the markets work." So what does your inner psychologist say about your marketing plan? - Elton Robinson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Solving energy problems will take a 'team effort'
    03/23/06   
    Collaboration will remain a crucial part of the path to independent energy usage and lowered fuel costs, says an official with the USDA. Ross Davidson, senior policy advisor on energy policy to USDA Secretary Mike Johanns, said there are a lot of separate interests groups eager to jumpstart new domestic energy markets. But he cautioned, "It's got to be a team effort. We must work together. - Andrew Bell, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    ASA leaders take soybean issues to Capitol Hill
    03/22/06   
    American Soybean Association (ASA) leaders have again taken soybean grower concerns to Congressional offices in Washington, D.C. Priority issues for soybean growers include proposed five percent cuts to farm programs, research programs for soybean rust and aquaculture as well as an extension to the biodiesel tax incentive and funding for the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Bioenergy Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). - Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Sign Up for MarketMaxx
    03/29/06   
    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

    Johanns announces actions to reduce wildfire effects
    03/22/06   
    Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced that agricultural producers in six Oklahoma counties and 27 north Texas counties currently being impacted by wildfires can remove dry grass on and move cattle to Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage, without facing charges for grazing value or the baled value of removed forage. "The wildfires in Texas and Oklahoma have burned more than one million acres, devastating many rural communities, as well as our farmers and ranchers," said Johanns. "Today I'm announcing that USDA will assist producers who need to immediately relocate livestock from burned pastures by opening CRP acreage to them. This action will also have an added benefit of helping to lower the risks of additional wildfires." - Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Administration hedging its bets on Doha?
    03/22/06   
    Is the Bush administration preparing to throw in the towel on the Doha Development Round? Twice in recent weeks, administration officials have gone out of their way to talk about their successes with regional and bilateral trade agreements while giving short shrift to the Doha Round. At the USDA Outlook Forum in Arlington, Va., Agriculture Undersecretary J.B. Penn spent more time talking about the benefits of the latest free trade agreements and the prospects for FTAs with Korea than on Doha. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Case IH focusing on fuel efficiency in new tractors
    03/22/06   
    Higher diesel fuel prices have certainly been the talk of farm country in recent months. In the wake of back-to-back hurricanes in the Gulf Coast oil fields last year, prices spiked above $3 a gallon and remained there for a while. As is usually the case when farmers zero in on an issue like fuel prices or Asian soybean rust, farm input suppliers are quick to respond with solutions, and Case IH has done that with improvements to its MX Series Magnum tractors. - Farm Press Editorial Staff

    FAPRI 2006 Agricultural Outlook
    03/21/06   
    Despite continued high energy prices, the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) expects world economic growth to remain strong in the coming decade, at around 3 percent per annum, boosting consumption of vegetable oil, dairy products, and meat in many parts of the world. This projection is part of FAPRI's 2006 agricultural outlook presented to Congress. The outlook runs from crop years 2005/06 to 2015/16. According to FAPRI, solid commodity prices and a persistently weak U.S. dollar in industrialized trading countries keep U.S. exports strong for the next 10 years. - The Corn & Soybean Digest

    ROAD WARRIOR: Potatoes and beer
    03/21/06   
    Agriculture Road Warrior Dave Kohl writes: "My travels took me north of the border to speak to the Manitoba Potato Production Days Conference in Brandon, just outside of Winnipeg. The next stop was to speak at the 50th Annual Convention of the Hop Growers of America in Yakima, WA. What is interesting about these conventions is that you get to enjoy the respective products. Potato and beer breaks were very prevalent throughout the day and evening, which made for a cheerful, jovial audience at the hop convention, to say the least..." - The Corn & Soybean Digest

    Making a living on the farm
    03/21/06   
    Thiesse's Thoughts: Many times, non-farm citizens wonder: "Why can't farms be the size they were in the early 1970's, and why can't family farms be successful at that size?" According to the 1974 USDA Census of Agriculture, the average farm size in South Central Minnesota was 261 acres of cropland, 25 dairy cows and 23 sows in a farrow-to-finish swine enterprise. According to the MnSCU Farm Business Management (FBM) Summary of actual farm records for 2000-2004 in South Central Minnesota, the average net returns were $45.75/acre for corn, $38.30/acre for soybeans, $11.63/hog marketed, and $461.81/dairy cow..." - Kent Thiesse, The Corn & Soybean Digest



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