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A Prism Business Media Publication July 26, 2006 | 060726   

TABLE OF CONTENTS
 >> Logan Hawkes

 >> Farm groups, congressmen support U.S. WTO position

 >> Picture 'not pretty' for future ag energy costs

 >> Georgia passes tough immigration laws

 >> Signs of smaller Brazilian bean crop surface

 >> Clean bins maintains grain quality

 >> Candidate forums highlight Farmfest

 >> USDA awards nearly $20 million in CI grants

 >> Farmers ask for more of the same from new farm bill

 >> Road Warrior: Just Show Me Where to Sign

 >> Kansas cotton acreage could increase

 >> News from the Top of the Hill

 >> USDA Offers Food Safety Guide for growers

 >> Drought Meetings Series set for North Dakota

 >> Demand for gas down; diesel up

 >> Agronomy reports available on Pioneer Web site

 >> Late-season N application could help corn

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  EDITOR'S NOTE
Logan Hawkes
07/26/06    Crop News Weekly
It's been another week of extremely hot and often weird weather. With temps in Los Angeles county hanging near the 120-degree mark and the upper Midwest mercury topping the century mark in recent days, it strikes me as being one of the warmest summers on record. The only up side to it all is that we are well over half way through the season.

In the top of the news this week, the U.S. farm community appears to be lining up in support of U.S. trade officials' decision to just say no to further concessions to the European Union and the so-called advanced developing countries in the Doha Development Round. Recent DOHA rounds have ended with the U.S. and the EU blaming each other for the failure to reach an accord. And hold on to your caps, in case you haven't noticed, fuel prices on the farm are skyrocketing again. And there appears no relief is in sight. In other news, fertilizer problems in Brazil indicate their soybean crop will be down this year compared to last. Apparently we're not the only ones feeling the energy pinch. Elsewhere, all major candidates in the 2006 election races for Minnesota Governor and U.S. Senate will be participating in the Farmfest Candidate Forums scheduled the first week of August near Redwood Falls. Here's your chance to get your voice heard. In the world of farm conservation, nearly $20 million in new USDA Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) will develop and refine cutting-edge technologies and approaches to help producers maintain viable agricultural operations. There are 66 projects in 38 states being funded. In farm bill news, U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) received a request for more of the same for the 2008 farm bill at the first of several hearings to be held throughout the country. The Congressional leaders now head back to Washington to work on formulating a new bill.

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



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  FROM OUR MAGAZINES
Farm groups, congressmen support U.S. WTO position
07/24/06   
The U.S. farm community appears to be lining up in support of U.S. trade officials' decision to just say no to further concessions to the European Union and the so-called advanced developing countries in the Doha Development Round. Most of the country's major farm and commodity organizations issued statements praising U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab's and Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns' efforts after the Doha Round negotiations were suspended indefinitely in Geneva, Switzerland. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Picture 'not pretty' for future ag energy costs
07/25/06   
In the past 12 months farmers have been confronted with major price increases for gasoline, diesel fuel, natural gas, electricity, fertilizer, chemicals -- virtually anything that has a petroleum/energy component. As if that weren't bad enough, the likelihood is that energy costs will continue to rise as demand increases worldwide. - Hembree Brandon, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Georgia passes tough immigration laws
07/25/06   
In its latest legislative session, the Georgia General Assembly passed one of the toughest immigration laws in the country, and many in agriculture have been concerned about the effects on an industry that has become increasingly dependent on migrant labor. According to officials with the Georgia Farm Bureau, farmers are concerned not so much for what the bill actually does, but for what it might do in the future. The bill includes provisions that prohibit business expense deductibility of labor costs for workers who cannot provide acceptable documents. - Paul L. Hollis, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Signs of smaller Brazilian bean crop surface
07/24/06   
Reduced fertilizer purchases may lead to a smaller '07 Brazilian bean crop. Brazilian fertilizer deliveries for this year are 3% lower than comparable '05 data. The Brazilian National Fertilizer Use Association (ANDA) has just released data for fertilizer deliveries for the first half of the year. The lack of new rural credit resources, bureaucracy and the snail's pace of renegotiating last year's debt aggravates fertilizer deliver problems, says Eduardo Daher, executive director of ANDA. - James Thompson, The Corn & Soybean Digest

Clean bins maintains grain quality
07/24/06   
Farmers who triumphed over insects during the growing season could find their victory short-lived when they store their grain, says a Purdue University entomologist. Grain bins can harbor destructive pests, says Linda Mason, a food pest management and stored grain specialist. She advised farmers to prepare their bins ahead of harvest. "Preparing bins for storage now goes a long way toward preventing insect infestations during the summer," Mason says. "Several species of insects may infest stored grain. The principal ones are the adult and larval stages of beetles and the larval stage of moths. Insect damage reduces grain weight and nutritional value, causing contamination, odor, mold and heat damage problems that reduce grain quality." - The Corn & Soybean Digest

Candidate forums highlight Farmfest
07/24/06   
THIESSE'S THOUGHTS: All major candidates in the 2006 election races for Minnesota Governor and U.S. Senate will be participating in the Farmfest Candidate Forums. The candidate forums, along with feature forums on Renewable Energy and Avian Flu, will be held at Farmfest on August 1, 2, and 3, in the Forum Tent. Farmfest will be held at the Gilfillan Estate, 7 miles southeast of Redwood Falls, MN. A special event at Farmfest will be the "Farm Family of the Year" recognition program, honoring approximately 60 honored Minnesota farm families. This will be held on Thursday, August 3, at 1:30 pm, in the Forum Tent. Farmfest and the University of Minnesota jointly sponsor this event. - Kent Thiesse, The Corn & Soybean Digest

USDA awards nearly $20 million in CI grants
07/24/06   
Nearly $20 million in new USDA Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) will develop and refine cutting-edge technologies and approaches to help producers maintain viable agricultural operations. There are 66 projects in 38 states. These projects address traditional natural resource issues concerning agriculture such as water quantity and quality, livestock nutrient management, grazing lands and forest health and soil resource management. They may also address new natural resource issues including agricultural air emissions, energy conservation and market-based approaches to conservation. - The Corn & Soybean Digest

Farmers ask for more of the same from new farm bill
07/24/06   
U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) received a request for more of the same for the 2008 farm bill at the first of several hearings to be held throughout the country. Chambliss, along with Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), hosted the meeting at Albany State University in Albany, Ga., on June 23. At the hearing, Southeast farmers were given a chance to plead their wants and needs before the two-senator panel as they make their national tour of hearings and eventually head back to Washington to work on a new bill. - Matt Dischinger, Farm Press Intern

Road Warrior: Just Show Me Where to Sign
07/24/06   
Dave Kohl writes: "At a recent banker's school an ag lender indicated a spouse, in this case a female, came by to sign a note for a farm mortgage and operating loan renewal. Her comments were, "Show me where to sign because I just want to get this over with and get out of here." Folks, this attitude and method of dealing with the ag lender are a sure sign of potential disaster. This spouse doesn't realize that when she signs on the bottom line, she shares responsibility for the total financial obligations of the farm business. Too often spouses don't realize the total amount of debt and length of the financial obligation." - The Corn & Soybean Digest

Kansas cotton acreage could increase
07/21/06   
Cotton grower Tom Lahey realizes that he, like many High Plains farmers, lives in a world of diminishing returns. Lahey, from Moscow, Kansas, believes cotton is the answer for farmers struggling with a dwindling supply of irrigation water and increasing production costs. "We've grown record yielding irrigated cotton with a season of just 4 to 6 inches of water, while irrigated corn needs at least 12 to 14 inches," Lahey said. Lahey said he and Jerry Stuckey, whose land he farms, were the first two farmers to grow cotton in this southwest Kansas area. In 2000, they each planted 40 acres. - Vic Schoonover

News from the Top of the Hill
07/21/06    National Hog Farmer
Senate Superfund-Animal Waste Legislation Introduced -- Senator Pete Dominici (R-NM) and 22 other Senators introduced legislation that would exempt animal waste from CERCLA/Superfund. The legislation clarifies that animal waste is not considered a hazardous substance for a pollutant nor contaminant under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and is not subject to the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). Senator Dominici said, "This amendment does not change current law, it simply clarifies the intent of the law. It is a matter of basic common sense. Nobody wants to penalize our farmers under laws that clearly were not intended to apply to them. The clarification outlined in this bill is badly needed to protect America's agriculture industry from onerous and frivolous lawsuits. Without it, livestock operations could be fined up to $27,500 per day per violation, which would bankrupt many of them." The National Pork Producers Council said, "should Congress fail to pass the clarification legislation, the use of manure as fertilizer on farms effectively could be prohibited." This legislation is being supported by the Farmers for Clean Air & Water coalition. Members of the coalition include: American Farm Bureau Federation, American Meat Institute, CoBank, Dairy Farmers of America, Farm Credit Council, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Corn Growers Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Producers Council, and National Turkey Federation. Similar legislation (H.R. 4341) has been introduced in the House with 174 co-sponsors.

New BSE Surveillance Program -- Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns announced that USDA would be transitioning to an ongoing BSE surveillance program that "corresponds to the extremely low prevalence" of the disease in the U.S. The ongoing BSE surveillance program will be testing approximately 40,000 animals each year. According to USDA, the testing will be at a level ten times higher than the OIE recommended level. Over 759,000 animals have been tested under USDA's enhanced surveillance program which began on June 1, 2004.

WRDA -- The Senate passed the Water Resources Development Act that will modernize the locks and dams on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. The project in the bill would lengthen five locks on the Mississippi River and two on the Illinois River. The agriculture community has been advocating the need for this legislation to ensure U.S. agriculture remains competitive in the international market place. This legislation was strongly supported by the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, and Midwest Area Rivers Coalition (MARC 2000).

Ethanol -- 10x10 -- Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Tim Johnson (D-SD) have introduced legislation that would require all motor fuel sold in the United States to include ten percent renewable fuel by 2010. Johnson said, "The Grassley-Johnson 10 by 10 Act would force Big Oil to reduce their costly addiction to foreign oil, while also increasing the incomes of family farmers in South Dakota. We need less talk and more action when it comes to energy independence."

UN Animal Disease Crisis Management Center -- USDA is assisting the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in launching a new crisis management center that will enhance worldwide response to animal disease. The Crisis Management Center will work with the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) to provide animal disease analyses and information and deploy international resources to prevent and contain dangerous animal diseases. - from the desk of E. Scott Shearer

USDA Offers Food Safety Guide for growers
07/24/06    Crop News Weekly
"Pre-Harvest Security Guidelines and Checklist 2006" is the title of a USDA guide to help ag producers enhance security at the farm level. The compilation of practical measures is designed to help protect against natural disasters, as well as unintentional or intentional introduction of plant or animal diseases. USDA's local Farm Service Agency Service Centers are distributing the guide. For more info on USDA's homeland security efforts, go to http://www.usda.gov/homelandsecurity.

Drought Meetings Series set for North Dakota
07/24/06    Crop News Weekly
Drought and drought strategies are the focus of a series of upcoming North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension-sponsored meetings. On the agenda are range/forage issues, economics, business management and taxes, livestock management (nitrates, water quality and early weaning), nutrition issues, and Farm Service Agency rules and regulations. A Q&A session will conclude the meetings, and resource material on how to handle stress during a drought also will be available. The meetings are set for:

  • July 31, 7 p.m., Hettinger Research Extension Center, Hettinger;
  • Aug. 1, 9 a.m., Grant County Fair Building, Carson;
  • Aug. 1, 7 p.m., Days Inn Grand Dakota Lodge, Dickinson;
  • Aug. 2, 10 a.m., Center Civic Center;
  • Aug. 7, 7 p.m., Zeeland City Hall;
  • Aug. 8, 9 a.m., Emmons County Courthouse auditorium, Linton;
  • Aug. 8, 7 p.m., Veterans Club, Steele; and
  • Aug. 9, 10 a.m., 104B VoTech Center, Bismarck State College

    In addition, Greg Lardy, NDSU Extension beef cattle specialist, says producers can access NDSU drought info at http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/drought/.

  • Demand for gas down; diesel up
    07/22/06    BEEF Magazine
    As prices have surged, demand for gasoline has dropped, but diesel demand is on the rise, a mid-year review by the American Petroleum Institute (ADI) reports. According to landlinemag.com, API says demand for refined product -- measured as deliveries from the primary distribution system of refineries, bulk terminals and pipelines -- was down 1.3% the first half of 2006 when compared to 2005. The exception was on-highway diesel, where demand actually increased as the volume of goods transported to consumers by truck increased. Overall stocks of crude oil are up 3.2% from levels in 2005. Stocks of distillate fuel oil (used to make diesel) are up 8.6% from 2005. Refined oil imports were up more than 12% the first half of 2006 as more product was brought in to fill supply gaps left by refiners still struggling from damage by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Land Line says. - Joe Roybal, BEEF Magazine

    Agronomy reports available on Pioneer Web site
    07/18/06   
    Throughout the growing season, growers can log on to the Pioneer GrowingPoint Web site for timely agronomic advice from local Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., agronomists in the form of audio and video clips. Growers can find these features on their Web site and keying in "growing headquarters" in the search box. The audio and video links cover topics like corn plant growth stages, soybean planting tips, seedbed preparation and effectsof frost damage on young corn plants, says Jeff Talmage, e-business coordinator for Pioneer. - The Corn & Soybean Digest

    Late-season N application could help corn
    07/20/06   
    Corn farmers get kidded about how they supposedly work only a couple of months of the year. They plant the crop, spray it with herbicides once or twice and then go to Florida until it's ready for harvest. Or so the story line goes. Louisiana State University AgCenter researchers may have found something else for corn producers to do in the summer -- sample leaf tissue to determine if conditions warrant a late-season nitrogen application. (Don't write me. I know growing corn isn't that easy.) - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff



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