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A Prism Business Media Publication July 12, 2006 | 060712   
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 >> Logan Hawkes

 >> Asian soybean rust finding confirmed

 >> Thiesse's Thoughts: Closing Out 2005 CCC Crop Loans

 >> Brazil's move could be challenged in the WTO

 >> Road Warrior: Why Does The Fed Keep Raising Rates?

 >> News from the Top of the Hill

 >> Nitrogen fertility for soybeans

 >> Propane powers effort to dispose of waste

 >> Farm program costs a matter of perspective

 >> Web-based farm tools better than weeds

 >> Price, yield, test weight make wheat a winner

 >> Hood's contributions tough act to follow

 >> Greenseeker works well in Virginia tests

 >> Off-farm forces drove ag land values in 2005

 >> Success of '02 farm bill was not an accident

 >> U.S. negotiators disappointed, but still hopeful

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  EDITOR'S NOTE
Logan Hawkes
07/12/06    Crop News Weekly
We have just about reached the mid-point of the summer growing season throughout much of North America and, as always, it's hard to believe how fast time is moving. Speaking of moving, soybean rust is back in the news, this time a confirmed sighting in a Louisiana kudzu patch. Also this week, a reminder that a considerable amount of corn and soybeans that were raised in 2005 were placed under a CCC marketing loan at county Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices. Many of these nine-month loans will be maturing at the end of July, August or September. Elsewhere this week, the Brazilian government's recent move to grant an additional $454 million to Brazilian soybean farmers to offset sagging prices could make the country a target within the World Trade Organization. With this sum, the total allocated for aid to Brazilian farmers reached roughly $1 billion for the 2005-06 season. In other news, there is the theory that nitrogen fixation and soil residual nitrogen may not supply enough nitrogen for soybeans to maximize yield, especially in high-yield environments. This has provided impetus for assessing the effect of nitrogen (N) fertilizer on soybean yield. Finally this week, weeds are calculating organisms, always looking to make life difficult for farmers. To defeat the unwanted plants, producers have to be twice as calculating. Growers can start with two free computer calculators. The Web-based tools are programs within WeedSOFT, a weed management software package developed by Purdue University and eight other land-grant universities.

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
Asian soybean rust finding confirmed
07/08/06   
The LSU AgCenter announced Asian soybean rust had been found in a Louisiana kudzu patch south of Lafayette near New Iberia on June 30. As of July 7, the disease has not spread. "Late on June 29, Blaine Viator reported he'd found something that looked a lot like ASR," said David Lanclos, LSU AgCenter soybean specialist, shortly after the disease confirmation. - David Bennett

Thiesse's Thoughts: Closing Out 2005 CCC Crop Loans
07/11/06   
A considerable amount of corn and soybeans that were raised in 2005 were placed under a CCC marketing loan at county Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices. Many of these nine-month loans will be maturing at the end of July, August or September. Many producers have been hoping that a summer grain market price rally will allow some higher net prices on this stored grain. It is always a good idea for producers to review and be aware of the CCC loan close-out processes and procedures at county FSA offices. Producers that have grain stored under CCC loan have three options at the end of the nine-month loan period. - Kent Thiesse, The Corn & Soybean Digest

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Brazil's move could be challenged in the WTO
07/11/06   
The Brazilian government's recent move to grant an additional $454 million to Brazilian soybean farmers to offset sagging prices could make the country a target within the World Trade Organization. With this sum, the total allocated for aid to Brazilian farmers reached roughly $1 billion for the 2005-06 season. Some countries could be preparing complaints in the WTO against Brazil's move. At least, this is the concern among Brazilian officials. - Sergio Osse

Road Warrior: Why Does The Fed Keep Raising Rates?
07/11/06   
Agriculture Road Warrior Dave Kohl writes: "Everywhere I go bankers and producers are asking about the interest rates these days. Since about 24 months ago, the Fed funds rate has risen from 1 percent to over 5 percent. The question that comes to mind is "why?" First, the new Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke, is a big believer in targeted inflation. The target inflation rate is somewhere between 2 percent and 4 percent. Bernanke has published papers concerning inflation. He has found that after analyzing countries with developed and emerging economies, those that have prospered have been able to maintain inflation rates under 4 percent..." - The Corn & Soybean Digest

News from the Top of the Hill
07/07/06    National Hog Farmer
North American Swine Identification Systems -- The Canadian Pork Council, the Mexican Pork Association and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) have agreed that "swine health and the ability to quickly identify the origin of an animal with a disease" are priorities for North American pork producers. In a recent meeting concerning animal identification (ID), the organizations agreed their countries' ID systems should have "similarities to increase trace back efficiency, that producers in each nation should be made aware of program standards and of how important it is to the North American pork industry to be diligent in the implementation process." It was agreed that each country should move as rapidly as possible to enhance the current trace back standards.

Animal Welfare Reform Needed -- The House Animal Welfare Caucus recently held a briefing on the Humane Treatment of Farm Animals. Congressman Chris Shays (R-CT) called for passage of H.R. 5557, the "Farm Animal Stewardship Purchasing Act." This legislation would require that the federal government purchase only products that comply with certain animal welfare standards. The legislation would require various standards including "adequate shelter, which allows sufficient space for the covered animal to stand, lie down, get up, walk move his or her head freely, rest, and turn around completely and fully extend all limbs or wings without touching any part of an enclosure." Covered animal would include swine, cattle, chicken, turkey sheep, rabbit, etc. Those testifying at the briefing included The Humane Society, the Animal Welfare Institute, and Professor David Favre, Michigan State College of Law. Various witnesses said there needed to be exposure of conditions that animals are forced to live under, especially confinement. The event was to begin the debate on animal welfare and to build support for various animal welfare proposals for next year's farm bill.

Attorneys General Oppose Manure Legislation -- Seven state Attorneys General have written Congress stating their opposition to legislation (H.R. 4341) which would exempt manure from CERCLA/Superfund. In their letter to Congress, the Attorneys General said, "As the chief legal officers of our states, we think that the proposed amendments, if enacted, would seriously impair our ability to protect the health of our citizens and the environment." And, "H.R. 4341 would exempt industrial-scale animal feeding operations from the provisions of CERCLA that require releases of hazardous substances to be reported to the government and the provisions that, among other things, authorize states to recover the costs of responding to releases of hazardous substances and the resulting damages to natural resources." Those signing the letter were the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, Kentucky, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.

Another Canadian BSE Case -- Canada confirmed its sixth case of BSE this week. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said the animal was a cross-bred beef cow from Manitoba and was at least 15 years of age and would have been born prior to Canada's feed ban.

Canada Revises U.S. Beef Imports -- Canada has announced that all classes of U.S. cattle and beef, including those for breeding purposes born after 1999 and beef from cattle over 30 months of age, will immediately be eligible for import under prescribed certification requirements. Specified risk materials will still be banned.

No Breakthrough at WTO -- There was no breakthrough during recent WTO negotiations on agriculture. U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said, "We remain fully committed to an ambitious, robust round that opens new markets for the world's farmers, manufacturers and service providers. This is the only way to deliver on the Doha promise as a development round. We have no intention of giving up hope." Another round of negotiations will take place this month.

Oman FTA -- The U.S. Senate passed the Oman Free Trade Agreement (FTA) before leaving for the July 4th recess. The House Ways and Means Committee has approved the FTA and it will be considered by the House of Representatives sometime this month. Other trade bills to be considered by Congress this year include the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement and Vietnam Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR).

Congress Home for July 4th Recess -- Congress is in recess this week. Appropriation bills, pension reform, and tax legislation are a few of the many items Congress will consider when it returns next week. Congress will be in session for the rest of July and then will recess until after Labor Day. - from the desk of E. Scott Shearer

Nitrogen fertility for soybeans
07/10/06   
There is the theory that nitrogen fixation and soil residual nitrogen may not supply enough nitrogen for soybeans to maximize yield, especially in high-yield environments. This has provided impetus for assessing the effect of nitrogen (N) fertilizer on soybean yield. Research in several states provides results that address using starter N fertilizer applied to normal and late-planted soybeans, N fertilizer applied in an amount to replace bacteria-fixed nitrogen, and N fertilizer applied during reproductive development when nitrogen demand is highest. - Larry G. Heatherly

Propane powers effort to dispose of waste
07/11/06   
The Propane Education & Research Council has joined Onsite Power Systems Inc., along with the University of California-Davis, in testing a new biodigester technology that could result in environmental and economic advantages, including the possibility of becoming a new renewable fuel source. The biodigester project kicked off with a June 29 demonstration at the university that was attended by government officials from California. PERC contributed to the purchase of two propane-fueled boilers; a low-emission, California Air Resources Board-certified propane engine; and a generator for the project. - Farm Press Online

Farm program costs a matter of perspective
07/10/06   
For most people, except maybe for Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, $16 billion is a lot of money. Former National Cotton Council Chairman Kenneth Hood would concede that going into the debate on the 2007 farm bill. In the bigger picture, however, $16 billion is miniscule, accounting for only 0.6 of a percent of the federal budget, according to Hood, a farmer, ginner and precision agriculture advocate from Perthshire, Miss. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Web-based farm tools better than weeds
Weeds are calculating organisms, always looking to make life difficult for farmers. To defeat the unwanted plants, producers have to be twice as calculating. Growers can start with two free computer calculators. The Web-based tools are programs within WeedSOFT, a weed management software package developed by Purdue University and eight other land-grant universities. While the entire package must be purchased, the WeedSOFT team decided to provide with farmers two programs online at no charge, says Bill Johnson, Purdue Extension weed specialist. - The Corn & Soybean Digest

Price, yield, test weight make wheat a winner
07/07/06   
Good yields, high test weights and excellent futures prices made last fall's decision to plant a little wheat a good one for wheat producer Terry McGraw. McGraw says this will certainly help his bottom line during a time when farmers' profits are hurting from high fuel prices and high interest rates and with the future of the farm bill uncertain. But if he and other U.S. farmers can hold on for a few more years, stronger demand could start to offset some of those problems, he says. - Elton Robinson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Hood's contributions tough act to follow
07/05/06   
How can you say no to Kenneth Hood? That thought leaped out the other day while I was listening to Hood speak at a Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer/Rancher Symposium. Hood was introduced as a cotton farmer, ginner, former vice chairman and chairman of the National Cotton Council and former president of the Delta Council, and he seemed embarrassed at that list. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Greenseeker works well in Virginia tests
07/05/06   
With both nitrogen and diesel fuel costs at near record highs, row crop farmers from coast to coast are looking for ways to cut fertilizer costs without jeopardizing the yield and quality potential of their crop. In a cooperative project with NRCS, Virginia Tech researchers have worked with Greenseeker, a high tech system that senses color variations by reading chlorophyll levels in plant tissue. In tests at six sites in Virginia, Greenseeker use has produced yields comparable to standard applications based on soil and tissue sampling. - Roy Roberson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Off-farm forces drove ag land values in 2005
07/10/06   
Trends in many California markets for agricultural land and lease values were driven by everything but agriculture during 2005. That was the message given by Tony Correia, a Sonoma-based accredited rural appraiser, before the recent spring outlook forum of the California Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers in Visalia. "We have a tremendous trend of folks buying land for recreational use, or solely for a home site in the country, whether a 1 acre, 160 acres, or 5,000 acres," Correia said in his interpretation of property transactions. - Dan Bryant

Success of '02 farm bill was not an accident
07/05/06   
The success and popularity of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 was no accident. That program provided "a balanced approach for farm groups and rural interests," said Steve Verett, executive vice president of the Plains Cotton Growers Inc., during a panel discussion of farm policy at the recent Texas Ag Forum in San Antonio. "This is one of the most successful (farm programs) ever created," Verett said. "That's no accident. It provides a stable farm policy and provides the basis for long-term investments, which is vital to producers. Support during periods of low prices provides a necessary safety net," he said. - Ron Smith, Farm Press Editorial Staff

U.S. negotiators disappointed, but still hopeful
07/04/06   
They're disappointed that yet another deadline passed without a substantive agreement, but U.S. negotiators say they're not ready to give up on the Doha Development Round of the WTO talks. WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy began the latest series of negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland, on an optimistic note June 29, saying he believed the United States was willing to make more concessions on farm subsidies to help finalize an agreement. - Farm Press Editorial Staff



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