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A Prism Business Media Publication June 7, 2006 | 060606   
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 >> Logan Hawkes

 >> Scientists helping to rust-proof America's soybeans

 >> Green stem/bean syndrome in soybeans

 >> Residual herbicide effective, profitable against grasses

 >> ATV safety taught to farm youth

 >> NAWG, Other Ag Groups: Doha Must Deliver

 >> ASA urges President Bush to safeguard interests of U.S. producers

 >> Scott Shearer's 'News from the Top of the Hill'

 >> Weather gets personal with My-Cast5

 >> Cargill renews commitment to FS4JK

 >> 'Fast tractors' speeding toward SMV, safety issues

 >> Road Warrior: Agriculture Lending

 >> Thiesse's Thoughts: Counter-Cyclical Payment Details

 >> Uphill battle gives insight into legislative process

 >> Nitrogen management essential part of no-till systems

 >> Conservation systems conference: Focus on resources

 >> House passes $93.6 billion ag appropriations bill

 >> Producers: Stay the course, extend '02 farm bill

 >> Chambliss, Harkin announce farm bill hearings

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  EDITOR'S NOTE
Logan Hawkes
06/07/06    Crop News Weekly
WTO talks, discussion of the farm bill extension, Asian soybean rust concerns near the Texas border, immigration reform -- there's a lot of concern in the world of agriculture these days. Come to think of it, there's always a lot of concern in the world of agriculture. There always has been; always will be. Things rarely change. Same game, different players. So much for the philosophical outlook, Now for the news.

There may be light at the end of the soybean rust tunnel. Fungicides are a key frontline defense against Phakopsora pachyrhizi, the latest fungal threat to America's soybean crop. ARS scientists continue their search for the 'perfect cure' - and they're getting closer! Also this week, DOHA negotiations are on the minds of many farm support groups. A united effort is being made to inform President Bush of the dangers of bowing to international pressure concerning U.S. farm policy. Will it help? Elsewhere, technology is helping farmers in the field keep tabs on developing weather. It's called My-Cast5 from Digital Cyclone and it is designed to alert you of weather developments via your cell phone. In other news, those new fast tractors can get you down the road a little faster, but a number of safety issues are being expressed. And more news this week about nitrogen management and no-till farming. Catch up on the latest.

You'll find these and other stories in the news in this issue of Crop News Weekly. Happy reading.



  FROM OUR MAGAZINES
Scientists helping to rust-proof America's soybeans
06/05/06   
Fungicides are a key frontline defense against Phakopsora pachyrhizi, the latest fungal threat to America's soybean crop. Many of the fungicides approved for use against this exotic fungal pathogen owe their availability to the efforts of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Urbana, Ill., and Fort Detrick, Md. First detected in Louisiana in November 2004, the fungal disease called soybean rust has since been found in 11 other states. - Jan Suszkiw, United States Department of Agriculture

Green stem/bean syndrome in soybeans
06/06/06   
Green stem syndrome (labeled as a disease by some) in soybeans occurs when stems stay green after the pods mature. Leaves and petioles may remain on the plant. Conditions associated with this syndrome can result in delayed harvest, reduced harvest speed, and contamination of harvested seed with green plant material. Green stem syndrome has been attributed to fungal and viral diseases, insects (mainly stink bugs), and environmental stresses (mainly drought). All of these maladies typically result in a reduced number of pods and alter the source-sink ratio in favor of the source or vegetative tissue. - Larry G. Heatherly

Residual herbicide effective, profitable against grasses
06/06/06   
Over time, Mid-South soybean farmers exclusively relying on glyphosate for weed control has resulted in an ever-increasing problem: later-emerging annual grasses. But research done by soybean agronomists and weed scientists at the USDA experiment station, Stoneville, Miss., and Mississippi State University, has found an effective, cogent solution. - Andrew Bell, Farm Press Editorial Staff

ATV safety taught to farm youth
06/06/06   
All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) use by farm youth is on the rise and so is the need for ATV education and training. To reach this growing segment of the farm population, Farm Safety 4 Just Kids (FS4JK) has released its new ATV educational packet "Ride Smart." The packet teaches children the importance of ATV safety and training and stresses the significance of wearing protective equipment, riding a properly sized ATV and not allowing passengers. To identify how ATVs were used by today's youth, FS4JK worked with Great Plains for Agricultural Safety and Health to develop and conduct a survey among youth attending the 2005 National FFA convention in Louisville, Ky. The 624 survey results were used in the creation of the "Ride Smart" educational packet and will guide the direction of future ATV injury prevention. Funding for the educational packets was provided by the seed companies of Syngenta and pilot sites were funded by Monsanto. - AgPROnline

NAWG, Other Ag Groups: Doha Must Deliver
06/02/06   
NAWG and 11 other agricultural groups sent a letter to President George W. Bush Thursday saying any reduction in American agriculture's domestic support because of the ongoing Doha negotiations must be accompanied by corresponding market access successes. "America's farmers and ranchers are extremely concerned about the present situation in the Doha round WTO agricultural negotiations," the letter read, in part. "Reductions in, and limitations on, domestic support for U.S. agriculture are only acceptable if the negotiations yield an important net gain for American farmers and ranchers through commitments on market access and other trade-distorting policies by our trading partners." - Farm Press Editorial Staff

ASA urges President Bush to safeguard interests of U.S. producers
06/02/06   
The American Soybean Association (ASA) has expressed its concerns to President George W. Bush about the present situation in the Doha round World Trade Organization (WTO) agricultural negotiations. U.S. agriculture has strongly supported the Doha round as a means of balancing the global playing field and tackling the many inequities in world agricultural markets. - Farm Press Editorial Staff

Scott Shearer's 'News from the Top of the Hill'
06/03/06    National Hog Farmer
Uniform Food Safety Legislation -- Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Ben Nelson (D-NE) have introduced S. 3218, the "National Uniformity for Food Act." The legislation harmonizes existing state and federal food safety laws to create a uniform system for safety standards and warning labels. The legislation would make food safety regulation for packaged food consistent across all states and under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and establish a procedure requiring FDA to evaluate state regulations different than its own and consider applying that state's standards nationally. According to the Food Products Association, the legislation is a "logical extension of the approach to consumer information that currently exists for nutrition labeling, allergen labeling, meat and poultry standards, prescription drugs, pesticide residue standards and medical devises. It will put food safety in the hands of the nation's top food scientists and food safety experts." The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) opposes the legislation. NASDA believes that the legislation "greatly expands federal preemption under the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act. These preemptions would seriously hamper state and local efforts to act quickly and address food safety and public health issues." The House earlier this year passed similar legislation.

Immigration Reform -- The Senate passed a major immigration reform bill that puts the Senate at odds with the House of Representatives. The Senate bill increases border security by doubling the number of border agents, increases the number of immigration and customs enforcement officers, creates a special guest-worker program for an estimated 1.5 million immigrant farm workers, and establishes an employee verification system for newly hired employees. The major difference between the House and Senate passed bills is the Senate allows a means for illegal immigrants to become citizens. The legislation would allow those who have been in the U.S. five years or more to remain, continue working and eventually become legal permanent residents and citizens after paying at least $3,250 in fines and fees, paying back taxes, and learn English. Those who have been in the U.S. between two and five years will have to go to a point of entry at the border and file an application to return. Illegal immigrants who have been in the U.S. for less than two years will have to leave. A number of agricultural organizations supported the Senate passed bill. The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) said, "Without comprehensive immigration reform, U.S. agriculture runs the risk of losing between $5 billion and $9 billion per year in lost fruit and vegetable production. Net farm income could also be depressed by up to $5 billion per year." The legislation will now be considered by a House-Senate conference committee which will be very contentious. Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, stated the Senate passed bill is a "non-starter."

Vietnam PNTR -- The United States and Vietnam have signed a bilateral market access agreement which is required for Vietnam to become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Congress will need to pass permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) legislation for Vietnam. Under the agreement Vietnam's average applied tariff on agricultural products will be reduced from 27 percent to 15 percent or less on three-fourths of U.S. agricultural exports. These products include cotton, beef and pork offals, boneless beef, whey, almonds, grapes, apples, pears, raisins, cherries, and frozen fries. Vietnam will recognize the U.S. food safety inspection systems for beef, pork, and poultry. Pork: Tariffs on pork offals will be immediately cut from 20 percent to 15 percent with further reductions to 8 percent over four years. Tariffs on other key pork and pork products will be reduced by 50 percent over five years, including tariffs on hams and carcasses, which will fall from 30 percent to 15 percent. Process pork products tariffs will be reduced from 20 percent to 10 percent over five years. Beef: Tariffs on U.S. beef offals will be reduced from a rate of 20 percent to 15 percent immediately and phased down to 8 percent over four years. Boneless beef will be cut from 20 percent to 14 percent over five years. The duty on beef sausages, currently at 50 percent, will drop to 40 percent immediately and will be reduced to 22 percent over five years.

Senate Farm Bill Hearings -- The Senate Agriculture Committee plans to begin a series of farm bill hearings this month. The first will be held June 23 at Albany State University, Albany, Georgia. Hearings will be held in Missouri on July 17 and Pennsylvania on July 21. Additional hearings will be held in Iowa and western states later this year. - Scott Shearer

Weather gets personal with My-Cast5
Personalized weather information is available on mobile phones with My-Cast5 from Digital Cyclone. The newest version of My-Cast offers on-demand, 24/7 weather intelligence including animated NEXRAD color radar, virtual real-time storm and lightning tracking, hour-by-hour and extended forecasts, and more -- all centered around the user's immediate or chosen locations. My-Cast also delivers "always-on," localized alerts by paging the user's phone anytime severe weather is entering their area. - The Corn & Soybean Digest

Cargill renews commitment to FS4JK
06/06/06   
Cargill recently renewed its commitment to Farm Safety 4 Just Kids (FS4JK) in 2006, by contributing $75,000 to support the organization's efforts to keep rural kids safe and healthy. FS4JK will use the contribution to renew and enhance their educational packet, "PAWS 4 Farm Safety," which teaches animal safety to children and youth. The packet includes games, puzzles, demonstrations, brochures and posters covering a wide spectrum of animal safety issues. The packets are distributed to FS4JK Volunteer Chapters in Canada and the United States. Packets are also available for sale to the public. - AgPROnline

'Fast tractors' speeding toward SMV, safety issues
06/01/06   
Farmers who have purchased "fast tractors" probably feel like the driver of a Ferrari on a road with a speed limit of 55 mph, says a program coordinator for Ohio State University Extension's Agricultural Safety and Health program. "A lot of cars are built to go faster than the speed limit allows, but that doesn't mean it's legal to do so," says Wayne Dellinger. The same can be said for tractors built for speeds up to 40 mph. - The Corn & Soybean Digest

Road Warrior: Agriculture Lending
05/31/06   
Dave Kohl writes: "At the last ECI Agricultural Lending Technology conference, one of the attendees asked, "What is the most important factor impacting agriculture and ag lending?" Let's examine this from the perspective of an agricultural producer's financial statements. Concerning the balance sheet, the number one factor would be the value of land. Ag lenders need to do an earned net worth analysis. In recent years, what percent has come from appreciated vs. earned net worth? My best estimate would be at least 75 percent appreciated net worth vs. earned net worth, which has given both producers and lenders a false sense of security." - The Corn & Soybean Digest

Thiesse's Thoughts: Counter-Cyclical Payment Details
05/31/06   
Counter-cyclical payments (CCP) for corn and soybeans are based on the national average price for that commodity from Sept. 1 in the year of harvest through August 31 the following year (crop marketing year). The crop marketing year for wheat and other small grains is June 1 in the year of harvest through May 31 the following year. The monthly average grain prices for each commodity are weighted for the volume sold each month to determine the final 12-month national average price for a commodity. - Kent Thiesse, The Corn & Soybean Digest

Uphill battle gives insight into legislative process
06/02/06   
As a relatively new association now in its seventh year, CAFA is continuing to venture into new territory to be an effective advocate for the alfalfa and forage industry. The latest effort involves a program that started about two years ago -- getting the USDA Agricultural Service to bring its resources to California to fill research gaps for dairy-forage systems in western states and complement work being done by universities. In mid-March, CAFA asked a number of California congressmen to take up the cause and allocate funds for ARS positions that would benefit the alfalfa and forage industry and the dairy industry, as well. - Harry Cline, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Nitrogen management essential part of no-till systems
06/01/06   
With diesel fuel hovering around $3 a gallon, and nitrogen fertilizer at near record price levels, many farmers have gone to reduced and no-tillage systems for economic reasons. For other growers the move to no-till was more of a career choice that happens to save on fuel and fertilizer. Nitrogen cycling is critical to any type no-till system, with the key points to get as much N as possible in the plant and leave as little possible to get into streams and waterways. A side advantage is carbon storage in soil organic matter, which reduces total carbon dioxide the air and improves our environment. - Roy Roberson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Conservation systems conference: Focus on resources
05/30/06   
The 28th Annual Southern Conservation Systems Conference is scheduled in Amarillo, June 26-28, 2006, at the Fifth Seasons Inn. This year's program theme is "Improving conservation technologies to compete for global resources and markets" and will feature a producer panel discussion of conservation systems used on dryland and irrigated farms with some integrated livestock grazing. Over 20 presentations and 40 poster reports will describe research that integrates livestock into forage, grain, and fiber cropping systems or implements sensor and tillage technology to increase the efficiency of water, ag-chemicals, and energy use. - Farm Press Editorial Staff

House passes $93.6 billion ag appropriations bill
05/30/06   
The House passed a $93.6 billion agricultural appropriations bill for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, after turning back efforts to scrap funding for agricultural research and international market promotion and to shift dollars for the fiscal year 2007 cotton and rice programs to create block grants for the states. The vote was 378-46. Members also defeated by a vote of 281-135 an amendment that would have lowered the loan rate for raw cane sugar from 18 cents to 17 cents per pound and 22.9 to 21.6 cents for refined beet sugar. And they voted against extending the peanut storage program and the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC). - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Producers: Stay the course, extend '02 farm bill
05/31/06   
The message could not have been clearer: Farmers like the current farm program and urge Congress to either extend it or use it as the base for a new one. Twelve members of the House of Representatives Agriculture Committee seemed to get that message following a recent field hearing in San Angelo, Texas. "I think the 2002 law works well," said Colin Peterson, Minnesota, ranking minority member of the committee. "The testimony I've heard in Texas shows a lot of commonality with what I hear in Minnesota." - Ron Smith, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Chambliss, Harkin announce farm bill hearings
05/26/06   
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Saxby Chambliss today announced that the first of a series of regional hearings on the 2007 farm bill will be held on the campus of Albany State University in Albany, Ga., June 23. Chambliss, a Republican from Georgia, made the announcement with Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, ranking minority member of the committee. Additional hearings will be held in Missouri, July 17, and Pennsylvania, July 21. The Georgia hearing is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. - Farm Press Editorial Staff



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