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A Prism Business Media Publication August 2, 2006 | 060802   
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 >> Logan Hawkes

 >> Following Doha, support for extending farm law

 >> ASR found in Mid-South soybeans

 >> UGA economist studying rural lands' variant values

 >> Escalating costs cloud agriculture's future

 >> News from the Top of the Hill

 >> Preserving mankind's treasure

 >> Soybean farmers face another challenging year

 >> U.S. farm groups 'disappointed' following WTO collapse

 >> Give farming same good name farmers have

 >> Doha suspension could last for months

 >> Drought stress pressures crops and livestock

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  EDITOR'S NOTE
Logan Hawkes
08/02/06    Crop News Weekly
With the arrival of August and less than 60 days out from the changing of the season, a lot of growers are wanting to know when the high temps will finally end and where, by the way, is the rain? Unseasonably high mercury readings are adding to drought woes in many parts of the nation, and down South all eyes are on the arrival of the peak hurricane season (and TS Chris). It seems like regardless where you live and farm, life starts and ends with the weather.

In the news this week, collapse of recent WTO negotiations adds a sense of urgency to farm bill debates and a renewed effort from farm organizations to extend the current farm law for at least one year. Farm groups are getting behind the urgent push for an extended farm bill. Meanwhile, leaders of major U.S. farm organizations were disappointed but seemingly resigned to the collapse of the five-year-old Doha Round negotiations at the WTO's headquarters in Geneva in July. In press statements issued after WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy announced the suspension of the talks, farm groups said they could not have supported an agreement that promised no more than what appeared to be on the table when Lamy declared the negotiations at an impasse. In other news, for the first time this season, Louisiana State University AgCenter specialists have found Asian soybean rust in soybeans. The disease was discovered in a sentinel plot on the Dean Lee Research Station south of Alexandria, Louisiana. Elsewhere, people touting the value of land will often say, "They're not making any more of it." Because "they" really aren't making more land, a University of Georgia economist wants to place values on rural lands that he says are in a tug-of-war between rural and urban interests. Also this week, In one of the most inhospitable climates on Earth, one of mankind's most important treasures will be stored -- seed samples from every known crop variety. In an Arctic mountain on an island near the North Pole, the cornerstone was recently laid for the "doomsday seed vault," a Noah's ark of genetic material for the crops that have been the foundation of man's progress.

There's a lot more news to review this week, so dig in and enjoy!



  FROM OUR MAGAZINES
Following Doha, support for extending farm law
07/28/06   
Collapse of WTO negotiations earlier this week adds a sense of urgency to farm bill debates and a renewed effort from farm organizations to extend the current farm law for at least one year. Suspension of the Doha round of trade talks emphasizes the need to extend farm legislation, says Kenneth Dierschke, Texas Farm Bureau president. "If we change farm legislation now, we face serious disadvantages in international trade," Dierschke said during a media tele-conference yesterday. - Ron Smith, Farm Press Editorial Staff

ASR found in Mid-South soybeans
07/26/06   
For the first time this season, Louisiana State University AgCenter specialists have found Asian soybean rust in soybeans. The disease was discovered in a sentinel plot on the Dean Lee Research Station south of Alexandria, La. "A lady checking the sentinel plots on a weekly basis brought the samples to (LSU AgCenter plant pathologist) Clayton Hollier (Wednesday, July 26) morning," said David Lanclos, LSU AgCenter soybean specialist. "The samples were pulled (on Tuesday, July 25). Clayton checked them over and called me this morning shortly after 9 a.m. and said, 'ASR is in your backyard.' So, now it's on to the next phase of recommendations." - David Bennett, Farm Press Editorial Staff

UGA economist studying rural lands' variant values
07/31/06   
People touting the value of land will often say, "They're not making any more of it." Because "they" really aren't making more land, a University of Georgia economist wants to place values on rural lands that he says are in a tug-of-war between rural and urban interests. "There are emerging land-use conflicts in rural areas," says John Bergstrom, an economist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. New residents want more land for housing and amenities. Longtime residents want land for farming and forestry. - Brad Haire, University of Georgia

Escalating costs cloud agriculture's future
07/31/06   
Mississippi's poultry industry -- the state's largest agricultural industry in value of production -- is being hit with major increases in costs as a result of higher energy prices and the fallout from last year's Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Row crop producers are scrambling, too, to try and find ways to counteract similar problems. In a seminar on "The Evolving Global Energy Market: Challenges and Opportunities for Agriculture" at the annual conference of the Mississippi Agricultural Economics Association, two farmers discussed situations they face in trying to survive in their profession. - Hembree Brandon, Farm Press Editorial Staff

News from the Top of the Hill
07/28/06    National Hog Farmer
Japan Reopens to US Beef -- Japan announced that it is reopening its market to U.S beef from cattle under 20 months of age. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns said, "This has been a long process as we've confirmed that our system is in full compliance with Japan's import requirements and provided Japan with clear, scientific data confirming that American beef is extremely safe." Johanns also said, "Nations need reasonable methods of addressing the inadvertent shipment of products that don't meet an importing country's specifications, without disrupting an entire trading relationship. The U.S. has such methods of addressing noncompliant shipments from Japan, as well as our other trading partners, and I am hopeful that going forward Japan will take a similar approach." Japan earlier this year closed its market again after a shipment was found to contain product not allowed under the original agreement. In 2003, the U.S. exported $1.4 billion worth of beef and beef products to Japan.

Doha Talks Suspended -- Pascal Lamy, WTO Director General, suspended the Doha WTO negotiations after there was failure to reach agreement on the issues of domestic support and market access for agriculture. Lamy in announcing the suspension of the talks said, "If the political will really exists, there must be a way. But it is not here today. And let me be clear: There are no winners and losers in this assembly. Today there are only losers." The negotiations were suspended after the G-6 countries which are the United States, European Union (EU), Brazil, Australia, Japan, and India could not make progress on market access and reductions in domestic support. Lamy said he would not resume the negotiations until "the conditions exist to permit renewed progress and this means changes in entrenched positions." Now the finger pointing has started between the U.S., EU, and others on who is at fault for the failure of the negotiations. In reaction to the EU's statement that the United States had failed to "show flexibility" in the Doha agriculture negotiations, U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said, "Unable to endorse the US proposal given substantial opposition from France and a few other member states with strong farm interests, the EU attempted, alternately, to criticize the U.S. proposal as too ambitious or too weak. Most recently, the EU attacked the United States for failing to propose even more dramatic cuts to domestic support while at the same time insisting on the right to lavish more than twice as much trade distorting subsidies on its farmers."

AG Reaction to Failed Doha Talks -- Reaction from U.S. agriculture and Congressional leaders were one of disappointment but supportive of the Administration backing away from a bad deal. Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), House Agriculture Committee chairman said, "The U.S. was asked to come up with a bold proposal to significantly reduce domestic supports and our proposal did just that. Yet, our trading partners refused to even meet us part way. As disappointing as the result may be, from the standpoint of America's farmers and ranchers, no deal is better than a bad deal." Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee said, "The United States made a generous proposal for other countries last fall, particularly the European Union, to reduce their trade barriers as we scale back our trade-distorting farm payments. The ball has been in the EU's court to make a reasonable offer, yet they haven't done so, leading to a suspension of the negotiations in the Doha Round." The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) in a statement said, "We are pleased the United States did not succumb to pressure from India, the European Union and other trading partners who want a Doha 'lite' deal." The American Soybean Association (ASA) said, "ASA is disappointed that WTO negotiators were unable to agree to meaningful trade reforms that would level the global playing field for U.S. agriculture exports. But we've said all along that ASA would not support a WTO agreement that failed to provide significant market access improvement for U.S. soybean and livestock products. As such, we're pleased that the Administration didn't budge on its commitment to produce a robust and balanced agreement." The American Farm Bureau Federation in a statement said, "It is truly unfortunate that other nations of the world failed to seize this Doha Round opportunity for freer trade created by the bold agricultural proposal offered by the U.S. negotiators." The National Farmers Union said, "From the U.S. agriculture producer perspective, there was great fear that the trade round would severely tie the hands of the U.S. government as it attempts to address the challenges facing rural America. We will continue to urge U.S. and global policymakers to only pursue trade agreements that create a fair and level playing field for producers at home and abroad."

CO Meat Packaging -- Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) announced that she will be introducing legislation that will stop the use of carbon monoxide (CO) packaging of meat. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration allows the use of CO for meat packaging. Recently, Texas Tech University and the University of Georgia did an analysis that showed that CO packaging can prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Dr. Melvin Hunt of Kansas State University said the "effort to discredit the science that went into it -- and efforts to discredit the federal agency that reviewed it three times -- is scientifically inaccurate and unfortunate."

House Approves Oman FTA -- The House of Representatives approved the Oman Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by only 16 votes. The Administration would like to the Congress to vote on the Peru FTA and the Vietnam Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) legislation this year. - from the desk of Scott Shearer

Preserving mankind's treasure
07/26/06   
In one of the most inhospitable climates on Earth, one of mankind's most important treasures will be stored -- seed samples from every known crop variety. In an Arctic mountain on an island near the North Pole, the cornerstone was recently laid for the "doomsday seed vault," a Noah's ark of genetic material for the crops that have been the foundation of man's progress. As polar bears prowled, heads of state from five Nordic countries and the Global Crop Diversity Trust launched the fail-safe seed storage project aimed at insuring the long-term survival of vital food crops. - Hembree Brandon, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Soybean farmers face another challenging year
07/27/06   
While more exact soybean acreage numbers were still a few days away, Louisiana's planting intentions were at 950,000 to 980,000 acres. "Those numbers appear to be realistic if not on the low side," said David Lanclos, LSU AgCenter soybean specialist at the Rice Research Station field day in Crowley, La., in late June. The big story in 2006 is the whooping Mother Nature is again administering to Louisiana farmers. - David Bennett, Farm Press Editorial Staff

U.S. farm groups 'disappointed' following WTO collapse
07/26/06   
Leaders of major U.S. farm organizations were disappointed but seemingly resigned to the collapse of the five-year-old Doha Round negotiations at the WTO's headquarters in Geneva July 24. In press statements issued after WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy announced the suspension of the talks, farm groups said they could not have supported an agreement that promised no more than what appeared to be on the table when Lamy declared the negotiations at an impasse. - Forrrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Give farming same good name farmers have
07/26/06   
My biggest fan and only granddaughter doesn't read much beyond names and words in neon -- like McDonalds and Wal-Mart. She does, however, love to 'read' from cover to cover each edition of the Southeast Farm Press in search of my name or picture, which occasionally occur in the magazine. During one of these readings she asked me why my name and picture are in the magazine. Thinking this was an innocuous enough question for a five year old to ask, I gave her the simplest reply I could come up with -- I write about farmers and farming. - Roy Roberson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Doha suspension could last for months
07/26/06   
A suspension of Doha Round trade talks could last for months, affecting global U.S. agricultural trade, a Texas Cooperative Extension expert said. "(The suspension) could last even longer," said Parr Rosson, Extension economist and director of the Center for North American Studies. "This could lead to some real pressure on the European Union, Japan and others to rethink market access into these countries." Negotiations ended July 23 in Geneva as talks focused on tariff reductions in agriculture, particularly on high-end products such as beef, Rosson said. - Blair Fannin

Drought stress pressures crops and livestock
07/27/07   
Extremely high temperatures over much of Texas has evaporated chances for good crop yields except where irrigation water is available, Texas Cooperative Extension officials say. "Corn and milo harvests are more disappointing than expected due to the dry conditions," said Ron Woolley, Extension district administrator in Stephenville. Livestock raisers, feeling the brunt of drought-zapped pastures and water tanks, opted to provide supplemental feed to their animals or cull out portions of their herds and head for a sale barn. - Kathleen Phillips



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