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A Prism Business Media Publication August 30, 2006 | 060830   
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 >> Logan Hawkes

 >> Brazil soybean production could fall 30 percent

 >> Doha Round negotiations expected to resume in fall

 >> Harris Barnes, ex-Farm Press editor, dies

 >> Keeping up with the farm shows

 >> U.S. soybeans celebrate 50 years of sales to Japan

 >> News from the Top of the Hill

 >> Kent Thiesse: Positive aspects of 4-H shows

 >> The Road Warrior of Agriculture

 >> Tractor sales drop

 >> Johanns Names New NRCS Chief

 >> Farm groups on a roll.... More to follow?

 >> Group concerned about possible futures manipulation

 >> Diverse support boosts biodiesel

 >> Robinson: As a general rule, farmers are not cute

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  EDITOR'S NOTE
Logan Hawkes
08/30/06    Crop News Weekly
It's the end of another hot month and still the drought toll continues to mount. Some rain relief has come, if not too late, and temps across the Midwest are finally dropping. Meanwhile, drought losses down in Texas have topped the $4 million mark. In terms of agriculture losses in the U.S., it's one of the worse years on record.

If you're on the hunt for farm news, you've come to the right place. We're packed with it this issue. First up, the governor of Mato Grosso, Brazil, says if his federal government fails to develop a solution for high debt rates among growers, soybean production could fall by 30 percent next season. Is this good news or bad news for U.S. growers? Also this week, while it may not be the message American Cotton Producers wanted to hear, NCC President Mark Lange said he believes the WTO's Doha Development Round negotiations will start back up this fall. So soon? Elsewhere and on a sad note, Harris Barnes, nationally-known agricultural writer/photographer, and the founding editor of Southeast Farm Press, died Aug. 25. He was 87. Also in the news, U.S. soybean growers have sold 179 million tons (6.6 million bushels) of their crop to Japan since the American Soybean Association opened its first overseas office there a half-century ago. Celebrations were held in Japan last week. Finally, tractor manufacturers selling to farmers in the United States faced a tough first half of 2006. Total tractor sales for the first six months of the year fell by 10.7% with 23,895 units sold compared to 26,755 units sold in the same period in 2005. Fuel demand, however, remains high.

You'll find a lot more news in this issue of Crop News Weekly, so get started below. And thanks for reading this week's issue.



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  FROM OUR MAGAZINES
Brazil soybean production could fall 30 percent
08/29/06   
The governor of the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil, Blairo Maggi, says if the federal government fails to develop a solution for high debt rates among growers, soybean production could fall by 30 percent next season. Mato Grosso is Brazil's biggest soybean producer. Maggi, who is also the country's biggest soybean producer, said, "I believe this picture (of cutbacks to production) can only be reversed if producers' demands are attended to." The rural sector is demanding debt renegotiation and extended deadlines for payments. It is also asking for cuts in the national interest rate, the liberalization of imported inputs and that Asian rust be considered an epidemic. - Jose Sergio Osse, Freelance Writer

Doha Round negotiations expected to resume in fall
08/28/06   
It was probably not the message the American Cotton Producers wanted to hear, but National Cotton Council President and CEO Mark Lange said he believes the WTO's Doha Development Round negotiations will start back up this fall. Many growers breathed a sigh of relief when WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy announced in late July he was suspending the talks because of the lack of any progress by the G-6 countries -- Australia, Brazil, the European Union, India, Japan and the United States -- in reaching a new agreement. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

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"We encourage our customers to use pre-emergence residual herbicides in both corn and soybeans to cut down weed pressure. They usually see a yield advantage, since they have no weed competition. Plus, we've had to use higher rates of glyphosate to control bigger weeds like waterhemp and marestail in the past year or so, and controlling weeds earlier minimizes the pressure we put on glyphosate technology." Howard Noel, New Century FS, Grinnell, Iowa

For more information on LUMAX or Lexar Pre-emergent herbicides go to LUMAX-herbicide.com or Lexar-herbicide.com To learn more about the benefits of pre-emergent weed control go to http://weedprevention.info

Harris Barnes, ex-Farm Press editor, dies
08/28/06   
Harris Barnes, nationally-known agricultural writer/photographer, and the founding editor of Southeast Farm Press, died Aug. 25. He was 87. He was also the publisher of acclaimed photo books chronicling the history of cotton, Southern agriculture, and an agricultural retrospective. "Harris had a remarkable career," said Hembree Brandon, editorial director for Farm Press Publications. "From the days of mule-power and hand labor to modern, high tech agriculture -- he was a part of it all, and documented it all in words and photos. He had one of the most extensive one-man collections of agricultural photos of anyone in the business. - Southeast Farm Press

Keeping up with the farm shows
08/29/06   
It's not uncommon to receive an e-mail or two each week from a reader inquiring about this farm show - or that one. Trusth is, there are so many quality farm shows, conferences, exhibitions, demonstrations, special classes and the like, that it's hard to keep up with them all. While we try to keep you abreast of the bigger shows as they happen, time and space limitations in addition to the large number of shows that take place year round dictate the need abbrviate our coverage. But, like most of you, I recognize and applaud the service a good farm show provides. I have learned many things and have had my eyes opened more than once while attending conferences all across the country. With that thought in mind, here is an online source that keeps up with just about all the farm shows and related events nationwide. Bookmark the address and use it as a resource next time you want to know something about a particular show or farm event. Here's the URL: http://www.agrimarketing.com/fsg.php. - Logan Hawkes

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"We're concerned about glyphosate resistance developing. We've had a hard time controlling giant ragweed in soybeans, and waterhemp is tough to control, too. If the weeds get through this year, they will be worse next year. Then it's much harder to get ahead of them, and it starts costing big bucks." Les Schliep, Pine Island, Minn

Get the facts, http://resistancefighter.com and solutions.

U.S. soybeans celebrate 50 years of sales to Japan
08/25/06   
U.S. soybean growers have sold 179 million tons (6.6 million bushels) of their crop to Japan since the American Soybean Association opened its first overseas office there a half-century ago. Representatives of American soybean farmers and Japanese customers met in Tokyo Aug. 24 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the office there. The 1956 event also has historic significance because it was the first overseas commodity office to receive funding for market development activities from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. - Farm Press Editorial Staff

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News from the Top of the Hill
08/25/06    National Hog Farmer
Conservation Tax Provisions -- President Bush signed into law the Pension Protection Act of 2006. This legislation contained provisions that provide tax assistance for land donated for conservation and protection of open space through December 31, 2007. The provisions include:

  • Raising the maximum deduction a donor can take for donation of a conservation easement from 30 percent of their adjusted gross income in any year to 50 percent (provided that the contribution does not prevent use of the donated land for farming or ranching);
  • Allowing qualified farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100 percent of their adjusted gross income; and
  • Increasing the number of years over which a donor can use conservation tax deductions from 6 years to 16 years.

    Biomass Advisory Committee Named -- USDA and the Department of Energy (DOE) have appointed a 12 member Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory committee. The purpose of the committee is to advise USDA and DOE on "meeting important national goals of a healthier rural economy and improved national energy security." Members appointed were: David Anton, DuPont Corporation, Wilmington, DE; Lou Honary, University of Northern Iowa, Waverly, IA; Alan Kennett, Gay & Robinson Sugar, Kaumakani, HI; Mark Maher, GM Powertrain Vehicle Integration, Pontiac, MI; John McKenna, Hamilton Clark & Co, McLean, VA; Ed McClellan, Alston & Bird, Washington, D.C.; Mitchell Peele, North Carolina Farm Bureau, Raleigh, NC; Jeffrey Serfass, Technology Transition Corporation, Washington, D.C.; Robert Sharp, Mobile Forest Products, Mobile, AL; Read Smith, Agriculture Energy Work Group, St. Johns, WA; Rodney Williamson, Iowa Corn Promotion Board, Johnston, IA; and Thomas Binder, Archer Daniels Midland, Decatur, IL.

    Guatemala Opens to U.S. Beef -- Guatemala has announced that it will now import all beef and beef products from cattle born and raised in the U.S.

    AG Committees and Election -- As we look to next year, there will be at least one new member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and three new members of the House Agriculture Committee. Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN) is not seeking re-election this fall. In the House, Congressman Ed Case (D-HI) is running for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate. Congressman Tom Osborne (R-NE) was defeated in the Republican primary for Governor and Congressman Joe Schwarz (R-MI) was defeated in the primary for re-election. With polls indicating a possible close election, there could be other changes come November. - from the desk of Scott Shearer

  • Kent Thiesse: Positive aspects of 4-H shows
    It seems far too often we place too much emphasis on winning and losing at 4-H livestock shows. Unfortunately, many times adults consider 4-H livestock projects a failure if their son or daughter doesn't win. If our only goal at a livestock show is to win, maybe we need to make some adjustments in our goals and in understanding the benefits our youth are gaining from livestock shows. Ideally, 4-H livestock projects should be a family affair. If youngsters and parents spend the right percentages of time and energy together, these projects can help our young people learn basic life skills and eventually help them develop into better citizens. - Kent Thiesse, The Corn & Soybean Digest

    The Road Warrior of Agriculture
    Dave Kohl writes: "While in Nebraska teaching the Kansas-Nebraska Ag Bankers School, some interesting data was shared that had been developed by the Nebraska Farm & Ranch business management education program. It was striking how much net income, which transforms to earned net worth, was generated by government supports. Granted, this is not all farms and ranches, but 129 farms and ranches from the Big Red Cornhuskers state were involved in the study. A six-year average found that nearly 90% of net income was generated by government supports (government supports as a percent of net income). Yes, it exceeded 100% in 2000 and 2001, was down to below 50% in 2004 but was back to over 80% in 2005..." - The Corn & Soybean Digest

    Tractor sales drop
    08/24/06   
    Tractor manufacturers selling to farmers in the United States faced a tough first half of 2006. Total tractor sales for the first six months of the year fell by 10.7% with 23,895 units sold compared to 26,755 units sold in the same period in 2005, according to figures from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. June was particularly tough with row-crop tractor sales down by 25% from a year ago. Utility tractors fared better with only a 1.1% decline in sales for June compared to 2005. - Farm Industry News

    Johanns Names New NRCS Chief
    08/25/06   
    USDA Secretary Mike Johanns has announced the selection of Arlen Lancaster as Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Lancaster succeeds Bruce Knight at NRCS, who was recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate as under secretary of agriculture for marketing and regulatory programs. Lancaster has served as deputy assistant secretary of Congressional Relations at USDA since April 2005. Prior to his service at USDA, Lancaster served in various senior staff positions in congress.

    Farm groups on a roll.... More to follow?
    08/24/06   
    They're not receiving much credit for it in the media, but farm organizations scored a major victory when the Doha Development Round negotiations collapsed in Geneva last month. In other years and other scenarios, farm groups might have walked away from the talks, muttering how U.S. trade officials had done it to them again by agreeing to proposals from the European Union or Japan or other WTO members just to get an agreement. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Group concerned about possible futures manipulation
    08/24/06   
    Citing "unprecedented differences" between cash and futures prices on the Chicago Board of Trade, National Farmers Union President Tom Buis says the nation's growers "need to have assurance that market concentration is not being used to manipulate the futures market." In a letter to officers of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, he asks that the CFTC investigate "the unusual difference" between prices on the Chicago Board of Trade and the local cash prices offered to farmers. - Hembree Brandon, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Diverse support boosts biodiesel
    08/23/06   
    Country music legend Willie Nelson and biological engineer San Fernando have a lot in common. The common link between the singer and the Mississippi State University professor is biodiesel, a fuel for diesel engines produced by blending petroleum diesel with refined vegetable oil. Nelson is promoting biodiesel as an alternative to pure petroleum-based diesel and as a way to support U.S. farmers. Fernando is researching ways to make production of the fuel easier and more cost-effective. - Bob Ratliff MSU Ag Communications

    Robinson: As a general rule, farmers are not cute
    08/23/06   
    Keep fighting, or get cute. That's what survival comes down to for American agricultural producers. They are fighting rising fuel and energy costs, labor shortages, taxes, drought, floods, hurricanes and insects. In the trade arena, they're competing with producers in developing countries who have nothing equivalent to our Environmental Protection Agency breathing down their necks, who use products on their crops that are outlawed here, who turn around and steal our technologies, then complain that we are driving prices into the gutter through over-production. - Elton Robinson, Farm Press Editorial Staff



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