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A Prism Business Media Publication April 26, 2006 | 060426   
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 >> Logan Hawkes

 >> Congressmen push for agricultural disaster legislation

 >> Technology, less tillage helping overcome rising costs

 >> Ding-dong, is Doha dead?

 >> New 3-hour weed resistance management course online

 >> New from the Top of the Hill

 >> Energy production offers opportunities to farmers

 >> Louisiana considering two percent biofuel mandate

 >> Biodiesel on Arkansas, Mississippi legislative agenda

 >> Patience plays an important role in precision farming

 >> Expansion: It's more than where we are in the cycle

 >> USDA sets timetables for animal ID program

 >> Got a good machinery idea?

 >> 2005 drought causes 2006 concerns

 >> Thiesse's Thoughts: Spring planting

 >> Chinese delegation purchases U.S. soybeans

 >> Sign Up for MarketMaxx



  EDITOR'S NOTE
Logan Hawkes
04/26/06    Crop News Weekly
Spring has sprung across most of North America and growers in the High Plains and Midwest are busy preparing for the upcoming growing season. Some heavy rains are making things difficult in parts of the country while the opposite is true for the remainder of the country. If we could just figure out a way to even it out...

In the world of news this week, disaster relief legislation is getting support from rice growers. The USA Rice Federation supports emergency comprehensive agricultural disaster assistance for farmers and ranchers, including S. 2438, the Emergency Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2006, introduced recently by Sen. Kent Conrad. In other news, reduced tillage, technology and successful boll weevil eradication efforts are helping Oklahoma farmer Clint Abernathy win the battle of the balance sheet. Meanwhile, things aren't looking so good for DOHA. Analysts are now saying there may be no hope remaining for what some are calling an ill-fated issue. Meanwhile, and back on the home front, if you're struggling with weeds - like most of us area - there is online help available. Western Farm Press' Web site offers a new 3-hour continuing education course on one of the most important topics today in production agriculture, managing weeds to reduce herbicide resistance. Elsewhere this week (and back to the subject of weather), recent rains in parts of the country may have eased drought concerns since last year, but not done away with them. Arkansas farmers have their fingers crossed that more rain will offer final relief in 2006.

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



  FROM OUR MAGAZINES
Congressmen push for agricultural disaster legislation
04/24/06   
The USA Rice Federation supports emergency comprehensive agricultural disaster assistance for farmers and ranchers, including S. 2438, the Emergency Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2006, introduced recently by Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and 23 of his bipartisan Senate colleagues. The bill contains a supplemental direct payment provision that is key for rice producers who suffered significant natural disaster-related losses during the 2005 crop season. Sen. Conrad held a news conference recently on Capitol Hill to rally support for agricultural disaster assistance and referenced the March 7 letter calling for emergency comprehensive agricultural disaster assistance. - Farm Press Editorial Staff

Technology, less tillage helping overcome rising costs
04/21/06   
Reduced tillage, technology and successful boll weevil eradication efforts are helping Altus, Okla., cotton farmer Clint Abernathy win the battle of the balance sheet. Abernathy, like most Southwest farmers, faces significantly higher production costs as he approaches the 2006 planting season. And, like most, he's experienced weather problems of one kind or another over the past few years and is looking for production practices that help limit crop losses. - Ron Smith, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Ding-dong, is Doha dead?
04/20/06   
If you follow the posturing, badgering, and multinational sniping that surrounds the ongoing Doha Round of world trade talks (and could anything possibly be more brain-numbing?), you know the latest bit of fodder for the news mills is that the whole shootin' match just might collapse. Probably not, but all the speculation keeps the pot stirred. While many of the parties involved have been optimistically saying that Doha Round issues -- of which agriculture has been one of the most contentious -- can be resolved by the end of this year. - Hembree Brandon, Farm Press Editorial Staff

New 3-hour weed resistance management course online
04/20/06   
Online now at Western Farm Press' Web site (www.westernfarmpress.com) is a new 3-hour continuing education course on one of the most important topics today in production agriculture, managing weeds to reduce herbicide resistance. The course, sponsored by Monsanto, covers resistance management in both row crops as well as the key tree and vine crops in the West. It is accredited for 3 hours for all California Department of Pesticide Regulation licensees (AA, PA, QC, QL /AP/JP); all Arizona Department of Agriculture licensees and Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs) in California and Arizona. - Harry Cline, Farm Press Editorial Staff

New from the Top of the Hill


Energy production offers opportunities to farmers
04/20/06   
Despite the negatives, and there are plenty of those, America's farmers face significant opportunities as they gear up to help solve the nation's energy crisis. "Fuels from the farm," says Tom Buis, president of the National Farmers Union, provides agriculture the chance to capitalize on its ability to produce grains and cellulose and to harness the wind to wean the country from reliance on fossil fuels from foreign sources. - Ron Smith, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Louisiana considering two percent biofuel mandate
04/22/06   
The Louisiana Legislature is preparing to debate a bill that would require a two percent use of biofuels by the state's motorists if production of products such as ethanol and biodiesel reach 20 million to 50 million gallons annually. Supporters say House Bill 685 would create investment opportunities, while giving Louisiana farmers another market to sell corn, soybeans and sugarcane. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Francis Thompson, D-Delhi, is scheduled to be debated in the House Tuesday. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Biodiesel on Arkansas, Mississippi legislative agenda
04/21/06   
The Arkansas and Mississippi state legislatures recently ended spring sessions. While biodiesel was on the agenda in both state capitols, politicians predict 2007 sessions will see more substantial, favorable legislation regarding the fuel. At least that's the hope. "What we did this session was a technical correction, really," says Sen. Steve Higginbotham, who farms outside Marianna, Ark. "When we passed legislation during the last session calling for a tax refund on biodiesel, we were told there was a need to cap it at a 2 percent blend. That (cap) was needed because the state couldn't afford to credit blends at 5, 10 or 20 percent. - David Bennett, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Patience plays an important role in precision farming
04/19/06   
Oklahoma farmer Keeff Felty says technology allows farmers to transition from theory to reality. "In college we learned a lot about theory but in the field we see a lot less black and white and a whole lot more gray." Patience may be one of the most important virtues a farmer needs if he's interested in adopting precision agriculture. Keeff Felty, an Altus, Okla., cotton and wheat farmer, says a precision guidance systems, for instance, provides "one of the best tools we've ever had. But it takes time and a willingness to work things out. We have to have the patience and the temperament to work with glitches, especially with the narrow planting window we have." - Ron Smith, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Expansion: It's more than where we are in the cycle
04/17/06   
Road Warrior Dave Kohl writes: "On a recent 11-day road warrior trip that took me to each corner of the U.S. and to Canada, I was asked numerous times, "Should I expand?" Whether it was hog, dairy or greenhouse growth, or the purchase of more land, I noticed that many progressive producers were weighing the decision. I can't tell you whether you're in the right part of the cycle for expansion, but there are specific criteria that should fuel an objective judgment to keep you out of the minefield that often goes with growth..." - Dave Kohl, The Corn & Soybean Digest

USDA sets timetables for animal ID program
04/20/06   
The USDA is ratcheting up its efforts to implement a national animal identification system. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns has announced that four new phases of the overall plan, initiated in 2004, have been finalized, citing increasing pressures on timelines due to global marketplace demands. Johanns said timetables and benchmarks for the system have been established, based partly on feedback from industry producers in recent months. Foremost, Johanns said the animal tracking database technology, called the Animal Trace Processing System, is on schedule to be in place by early 2007 with a goal of achieving full producer participation by 2009. - Andrew Bell, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Got a good machinery idea?
04/26/06   
Got a whiz bang machinery idea? Please tell our Corn And Soybean Digest editors about it. They're searching for shop-built or modified farm machinery projects that you've worked on over the winter. No idea is too big or too small. They're interested in machinery that's been built from scratch, or several pieces of equipment that have been torn down and re-assembled as a single unit, or simple modifications to existing equipment. It's always interesting to see planters, anhydrous applicators, sprayers and tillage tools that farmers have constructed to help them farm better, bigger or more efficiently. If you have an idea you'd like to share, please send an e-mail to csd@prismb2b.com or click on the link below to enter your project.

http://www.pbm3.com/trk/ct.aspx?x=3695.1188a.165020

2005 drought causes 2006 concerns
04/19/06   
As the 2006 growing season opens for business, Arkansas farmers want no repeat of last year's dry conditions. Recent rains have eased drought concerns but not done away with them. "Some time ago, we began to notice a long-term trend of less water flow in the state," says John Terry, director of the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Arkansas Water Science Center. "It's gotten to the point that (in mid-March) readings on 26 of our stream and river gauges were at all-time lows. Some of those gauges have been in place for 30 years." - David Bennett, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Thiesse's Thoughts: Spring planting
Like the start of a big race, or the beginning of a championship game, farmers in Minnesota are anxiously awaiting the initiation of full-scale field. Above normal temperatures throughout most of early April have farm operators poised to start tillage practices, and to begin planting corn. However, heavy rainfall that fell across extreme Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa during the first week of April, followed by some smaller rainfall events, has kept most fields too wet to begin spring fieldwork. Further north where rainfall amounts were less, there has been some initiation of spring fieldwork. Some early peas have been planted, and some small grain and alfalfa have been seeded, in areas with drier field conditions. - Kent Thiesse, The Corn & Soybean Digest

Chinese delegation purchases U.S. soybeans
04/19/06   
China's shopping trip to the United States in early April to purchase cotton and soybeans was more of an affirmation of the relationship between China and the United States than something the market was interested in. Nonetheless, the purchases indicate what a huge trading partner the country has become. In Chicago, a delegation represented by the president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce announced that China had signed agreements with U.S. companies to purchase 4.9 million metric tons of soybeans (roughly 182 million bushels) from just Illinois alone. The total production of soybeans in Illinois last year was 247 million bushels. - Elton Robinson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Sign Up for MarketMaxx
04/26/06   
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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