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A Prism Business Media Publication June 28, 2006 | 060628   
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 >> Logan Hawkes

 >> ASA rallies support for new pro-biodiesel legislation

 >> WTO director hearing what he wants to hear

 >> Eighth International Conference on Precision Ag

 >> Moorhead named to key White House post

 >> Grower inputs improve pest management research

 >> News from the Top of the Hill

 >> Farming is too valuable to give away

 >> REPLAY: Senate committee passes disaster amendment

 >> From campfire to gas tank, mesquite to ethanol?

 >> House passes amendment blocking OFAC Cuba rule

 >> ASR comparisons: Argentina instead of Brazil?

 >> Add hunting guide to your résumé

 >> Technology needed to reverse declining wheat trend

 >> When to apply N to rotated pastures

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  EDITOR'S NOTE
Logan Hawkes
06/28/06    Crop News Weekly
The Fourth of July holiday is upon us and there certainly are a lot of fireworks going off in the world of agriculture. The farm bill extension is just one of many issues ready to explode, and WTO issues remain a hot firecracker in most circles as well. I guess all good bangs start with a little spark.

Around the world of agriculture this week a new Renewable Fuels and Energy Independence Promotion Act has been offered up by a bipartisan pair of U.S. Representatives and is being applauded by farm groups as a positive step in the right direction. Elsewhere, what's up at the WTO? A few days ago there seemed to be a stalemate over U.S. farm subsidy issues, but now WTO officials say they are optimistic that President Bush may be giving in on the issue. Are U.S. farmers always the last to hear about such changes? In other news, the 8th International Conference on Precision Agriculture is likely to be the largest ever; with over 500 attendees from all over the U.S and in over 35 countries. The event is set to get underway July 23 in Minneapolis. Meanwhile, there's new farm blood in the White House. Hunter H. Moorhead, a former agricultural aide to Sen. Thad Cochran, has been named Special Assistant to President for Agriculture, Trade and Food Assistance. Also this week, like a cat going through the fourth or fifth of its nine lives, disaster assistance legislation once again has begun winding its way through Congress. The Senate Appropriations Committee accepted an amendment offered by Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Conrad Burns, R-Mont., to provide disaster aid to farmers hurt by adverse weather conditions in 2005. Will the flag fly up the pole this time?

You'll find these stories and a lot more in this issue of Crop News Weekly. Happy July 4th to all, and happy reading!



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  FROM OUR MAGAZINES
ASA rallies support for new pro-biodiesel legislation
06/27/06   
The American Soybean Association (ASA) is applauding U.S. Representatives Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.) and Earl Pomeroy (D-ND.) and their co-sponsors for introducing the Renewable Fuels and Energy Independence Promotion Act. The bill is key to soybean growers because it would make permanent the biodiesel tax incentive and the small agri-biodiesel producer credits that ASA successfully championed and Congress included in 2004 and 2005 legislation. - Farm Press Editorial Staff

WTO director hearing what he wants to hear
06/27/06   
Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organization, said he was much more optimistic about the prospects for the Doha Development Round as negotiators approached yet another deadline -- on June 30. Until a few days earlier, Lamy's newfound optimism could have meant only one thing to U.S. farm organizations: European Union officials had finally relaxed their opposition to increased market access for agricultural products. Instead, Lamy was boasting about a change in tone by President Bush, who seemed to be saying the United States was willing to make concessions; i.e., make more reductions in domestic support to achieve an agreement. Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Eighth International Conference on Precision Ag
06/27/06   
The 8th International Conference on Precision Agriculture is likely to be the largest ever; with over 500 attendees from all over the U.S and in over 35 countries. The 8th International Conference on Precision Agriculture and Other Precision Resources Management provides a forum for presentations on the current status of precision agriculture research and applications worldwide. The Conferences facilitate interaction among research scientists, producers, technology company representatives, equipment manufacturers, input dealers, agronomic consultants, software developers, educators, government personnel and policymakers.

Moorhead named to key White House post
06/26/06   
Hunter H. Moorhead, a native of Greenville, Miss., and former agricultural aide to Sen. Thad Cochran, has been named Special Assistant to President for Agriculture, Trade and Food Assistance. Moorhead, who has been serving as a professional staff member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, will become the Bush administration's point person for agricultural issues. - Farm Press Editorial Staff

Grower inputs improve pest management research
06/26/06   
The Area wide Pest Management for Wheat program recently completed four years of cost-of-production interviews and a series of focus groups with wheat producers. The project, which began in the fall of 2002, was designed to demonstrate management techniques for the Russian wheat aphid and the greenbug. "Management techniques include crop rotations, which minimize the prevalence of wheat pests and costly treatments. For producers, the bottom line is selecting farm enterprises that maximize profit. Focus groups and interviews were a way for researchers to explore grower's experiences with dryland cropping systems involving winter wheat," said Sean Keenan, a postdoctoral fellow of Oklahoma State University's Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. - Farm Press Editorial Staff

News from the Top of the Hill
06/23/06    National Hog Farmer
U.S. & Japan Reach Beef Agreement -- The United States and Japan announced they have reached an agreement to reopen the Japanese market to U.S. beef under 20 months of age. Japanese audit teams will arrive in the U.S. this weekend to begin auditing U.S. plants that plan to export to Japan. The audits are expected to last until July 21. Indications are the first shipments will be in August. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns said, "This partial reopening of trade in U.S. beef from animals 20 months and younger is an important step towards the full restoration of beef trade with Japan. Although we welcome the progress that the two governments have made in restoring trade, it's important to recognize that the vast majority of the U.S. beef supply will remain ineligible for export to Japan due to the age limitation on cattle."

Legislation Would Impose Sanctions on Japan -- Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) introduced legislation that would require the Treasury Department to impose tariffs on Japanese exports if Japan does not re-open its market to U.S. beef by August 31, 2006. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) in support of this legislation said, "Although sanctions are not the preferred method to resolve these issues, those within the Japanese government favor protectionist standards over science-based standards for international trade. Our preference is free, fair and reliable trade based on sound science, but at this point they have left us with no viable option. Ranchers are tired of hearing reports from countless meetings and investigative visits between the two nations, dragging out for weeks, then months, and now years and ending with announcements of unfulfilled promises."

Senate Approps Subcommittee Passes AG Spending Bill -- The Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee approved the fiscal year 2007 agriculture appropriations bill. The legislation provides for $18.2 billion in discretionary funds and $ 76.379 billion in mandatory funds (including farm program payments and food stamps). Key items in the bill include:

  • Food Safety and Inspection Service - $865.905 million, an increase of $36.527 million over FY '06

  • Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (FSIS) -- funded at $900.423 million

  • Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) -- funded at $101.429 million

  • Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) -- funded at $38.737 million

  • Avian Influenza programs -- fully funded at $56.730 million

  • Resource conservation and development program -- funded at $50.7 million

  • Wetlands Reserve Program -- authorized at 250,000 acres

  • Child nutrition programs -- funded at $13.654 billion

  • Commodity Assistance Program - $179.366 million

  • Market Access Program -- fully funded at $200 million

  • Foreign Market Development -- fully funded at $34.5 million

  • No user fees for meat and poultry inspection

  • Requests a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on USDA's animal ID program.

    E-85 Advancement -- The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed legislation that would create a grant program for independent businesses to purchase equipment for E-85 gas pumps and other alternative fuel infrastructure. The legislation is designed to expand E-85 pumps throughout the nation. Independent businesses could receive a $30,000 grant to install E-85 pumps. Large integrated oil companies would be prohibited from participating in the program. Congressman Mike Rogers (R-MI), sponsor of the legislation, said "With the number of American-made flex-fuel cars on the road nearing six million, we need to move our distribution system for E-85 ethanol into high gear. U.S. autoworkers are building the cars needed to help us cure our addiction to foreign oil, but we don't have good access to a fully functioning distribution system for the renewable fuels made from products grown in Michigan and other states." The legislation is expected to be considered by the full House of Representatives next week.

    FSA County Committee Election Process -- USDA announced that agriculture producers can nominate eligible candidates to serve on USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees from now until August 1. The elections will be held this fall. A list of eligibility requirements are available at local FSA Service Centers or http://www.fsa.usda.gov/pas/publications/facts/hrml/cocelig06.htm. - Scott Shearer

  • Farming is too valuable to give away
    06/26/06   
    As a young boy, growing up way too many years ago in east-central Alabama, I remember going to family reunions and hearing my relatives in Birmingham talk about the demise of the steel industry. Giving the steel industry to Japan and other economically emerging nations of the time they reckoned was progress. My question is couldn't Birmingham, Ala., have had progress and a vibrant steel industry? Sure, Birmingham is a progressive city now -- they even renovated the world's largest (at the time it was operational) steel furnace, Sloss Furnace, into a major tourist attraction. - Roy Roberson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    REPLAY: Senate committee passes disaster amendment
    06/22/06   
    Like a cat going through the fourth or fifth of its nine lives, disaster assistance legislation once again has begun winding its way through Congress. The Senate Appropriations Committee accepted an amendment offered by Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Conrad Burns, R-Mont., to provide disaster aid to farmers hurt by adverse weather conditions in 2005. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    From campfire to gas tank, mesquite to ethanol?
    06/22/06   
    The dense mesquite-covered mid-section of Texas could provide fuel for about 400 small ethanol plants, according to one Texas Agricultural Experiment Station researcher. Jim Ansley, Experiment Station rangeland researcher at Vernon, is determining the feasibility of developing a bio-energy industry in rural West Central Texas. The industry would be based on the harvest and use of rangeland woody plants, such as mesquite and red berry juniper, as an energy source. - Kay Ledbetter

    House passes amendment blocking OFAC Cuba rule
    06/22/06   
    The House voted to try again to block enforcement of a Treasury Department rule that farm groups say has reduced agricultural trade with Cuba by 22 percent since it was implemented in February 2005. House members approved by voice vote a Transportation-Treasury spending bill amendment that would prohibit the Treasury Department from using funds to enforce the rule issued by the latter's Office of Foreign Assets Control. The rule requires Cuba to pay for U.S. agricultural products before they leave U.S. ports. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    ASR comparisons: Argentina instead of Brazil?
    06/21/06   
    In discussions about how Asian soybean rust could affect the U.S. crop, Brazilian experiences with the disease are often cited. But Argentina's ASR dealings might be the better parallel. For just one example, Argentina's weather is much more similar to the United States' than is Brazil's. After visiting several South American countries on a trip sponsored by Dow AgroScience in March, Alan Blaine has a new understanding of how ASR progresses south of the equator. - David Bennett, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Add hunting guide to your résumé
    06/22/06   
    Bo Sloan has quick smile, a fast wit and likes to hang around with people. He's turned these traits, plus experience in farming and wildlife habitat management into a nice income as a hunting guide in Mississippi and Arkansas. Sloan grew up on a small family farm, which produced soybeans, corn and wheat and raised horses and cattle near Tupelo, Miss. In addition to the waterfowl guiding business he started in 1994, he has worked with USDA's wildlife services for 15 years and for the past two years has been the manager of the 39,000-acre Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Mississippi. - Elton Robinson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Technology needed to reverse declining wheat trend
    06/21/06   
    Adoption of biotechnology may hold one of the keys to reviving the declining U.S. wheat industry, according to a new report jointly authored by the National Association of Wheat Growers, the North American Millers' Association, U.S. Wheat Associates and the Wheat Export Trade Education Committee. "Wheat in America is at a crossroads," said Daren Coppock, National Association of Wheat Growers CEO. "Wheat's share of American field crop receipts has fallen from 20 percent in the 1980s to about 11 percent now. This tide can be turned, but it will require wheat industry cooperation and action." - Farm Press Editorial Staff

    When to apply N to rotated pastures
    Rotationally grazed pastures in Wisconsin respond best to nitrogen (N) applications made in early May or early August, when temperatures are in the mid- to high 70s. Relatively cool temps and adequate soil moisture offer the greatest response when applying N, according to an N rate and timing study by Dennis Cosgrove, University of Wisconsin-River Falls extension agronomist. "Split nitrogen applications have long been recommended on rotationally grazed pastures," says Cosgrove. "However, until recently, the most efficient timing for these nitrogen applications had not been established." He conducted an N rate and timing study in 2004 and 2005 to test application strategies. - Hay & Forage Grower



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