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A Prism Business Media Publication September 6, 2006 | 060906   
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 >> Logan Hawkes

 >> Johanns announces appointment of Arlen Lancaster

 >> Agricultural equipment export business up

 >> Wheat price trend normally set in early September

 >> Everyone has role in solving drift problems

 >> Diesel average falls but still tops $3; gas falling

 >> News from the Top of the Hill

 >> Hulless barley: An ethanol option?

 >> New seed-applied nutritional product introduced

 >> Western bean cutworm makes big impact in corn belt

 >> Fungicide studies and besting blast through genetics

 >> Insights into feeding the world

 >> Help for making fungicide decisions on soybeans

 >> Time for a farm visit?

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  EDITOR'S NOTE
Logan Hawkes
09/06/06    Crop News Weekly
The fifth year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is next week and the event serves as a reminder that bad things can happen when you least expect them. Since that tragic event officials have been warning of the vulnerability of the U.S. ag industry. Perhaps it's time again to review your farm security measures.

In the top of the news this week, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has announced the selection of Arlen Lancaster as Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), ending speculation over who would assume the post. And a closer look at last week's announcement about farm equipment sales reveals that while it is true that domestic sales are down this year, U.S. exports of agricultural-related machinery increased 10% during the first half of 2006 to total $4.12 billion, with Asia showing the strongest growth. Also this week, after the August USDA supply and demand reports were released last week, there has been a 25-cent decline in the KCBT September contract price, a 17-cent price decrease in the Chicago Board of Trade September corn contract price and a 27-cent decline in the CBT September soybean contact price. In other news, what are the issues in agriculture that we need to worry about? Obviously the huge issue is cost of production relative to current commodity prices. Another issue is herbicide drift. And individuals who have had crops affected by herbicide applications intended for other crops or fields are concerned about the problem. And in a bit of good news this week, the national average price for diesel dropped for the week ending Aug. 28, the second straight week prices fell. Gas prices are beginning to drop as well.

There's a lot more news to cover this issue, so dig in and enjoy. Thanks for reading Crop News Weekly.



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  FROM OUR MAGAZINES
Johanns announces appointment of Arlen Lancaster
09/05/06   
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced the selection of Arlen Lancaster as Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). "Arlen Lancaster's dedication, leadership and experience has well prepared him to serve in this new leadership role on our USDA team," says Johanns. "He has a passion for conservation and I look forward to working with Arlen in this new capacity. I'm very confident that our nation's farmers and ranchers will have a strong advocate in him for improving the quality of our natural resources and conserving our land." - The Corn & Soybean Digest

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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.

Agricultural equipment export business up
09/01/06   
U.S. exports of agricultural-related machinery increased 10% during the first half of 2006 to total $4.12 billion, with Asia showing the strongest growth, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). The AEM North American-based international trade group produces a quarterly "global markets" report consolidating U.S. Commerce Department data specific to farm machinery. Farm equipment exports to Asia increased 42% for the first half of 2006 compared to January-June 2005, with purchases totaling $351 million. - The Corn & Soybean Digest

Wheat price trend normally set in early September
09/05/06   
After the August USDA supply and demand reports, there was a 25-cent decline in the KCBT (KCBT) September contract price, a 17-cent price decrease in the Chicago Board of Trade September corn contract price and a 27-cent decline in the CBT September soybean contact price. Wheat, corn and bean price trends are down. The long-run wheat price uptrend began on March 27 and resulted in a $1.24 price rally that peaked on July 11. The uptrend was broken on July 26 and the price downtrend was confirmed on Aug.t 8 when the KCBT December contract price closed below $5. Note that the market has rolled from the KCBT September contract to the December contract. - Kim Anderson

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Everyone has role in solving drift problems
09/05/06   
What are the issues in agriculture that we need to worry about? Obviously the huge issue is cost of production relative to current commodity prices. I wish I could do something about that, but all I can do is try to provide some moral support. Another issue is herbicide drift. Individuals who have had crops affected by herbicide applications intended for other crops or fields are concerned about the problem. However, I sometimes scratch my head at the apparent lack of concern by individuals or groups that I think would be concerned about the drift issues. - Ford L. Baldwin, Practical Weed Consultants, LLC

Diesel average falls but still tops $3; gas falling
09/01/06   
The national average price for diesel dropped for the week ending Aug. 28, the second straight week prices fell, reports Landlinemag.com. The U.S. Energy Info Agency reported the national average price at $3.027, down from $3.033 a week ago. It's also 43¢ higher than a year ago. The biggest drop was in California where average price fell 2¢/gal. to $3.200. Rocky Mountain region truckers pay the nation's highest average at $3.346, while the West Coast is at $3.229/gal., the East Coast at $2.955, the Lower Atlantic at $2.897, and the Gulf Coast region at $2.923/gal. Meanwhile, gasoline prices are falling fast and could keep dropping for months, reports USA Today. - Joe Roybal, BEEF Magazine

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News from the Top of the Hill
09/01/06    National Hog Farmer
USDA Announces Drought Aid -- Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns announced a $780 million national drought aid package this week while visiting the hard hit drought area of South Dakota. The program includes a $50 million Livestock Assistance Grant Program. States will receive block grants which they will distribute to livestock producers in counties that were designated as D3 or D4 on the Drought Monitor anytime between March 7 and August 31, 2006. A list of eligibility criteria and eligible counties can be found at http://www.usda.gov. Nearly $700 million will be the result of moving up counter-cyclical payments. $30 million in unused conservation funds will also be used. Johanns said, "Today's actions emphasize USDA's commitment to use every resource available to help farmers and ranchers who are impacted by drought."

Drought Aid Not Enough -- USDA's announcement fell short to many Congressional members and others from drought affected areas. Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth (D-SD) said, "I am very disappointed. This package does not adequately reflect the severity of the drought." She went on to say that the package "ignores South Dakota corn, soybean and wheat producers and will do very little to assist hard-hit cattle producers." Senator John Thune (R-SD) said, "Any amount of relief is a step in the right direction, but more is needed. I'm hopeful the House of Representatives and the Administration will work together and meet the $3.9 billion drought relief package already passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee." The National Farmers Union said they will "continue to work with members of Congress who are working to pass meaningful disaster assistance when they return in September. We do not support USDA's approach of taking money away from other farm programs to provide assistance." When Congress returns next week, we can expect another effort to pass disaster assistance. Earlier this year during consideration of the fiscal year 2007 agriculture appropriations bill, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $3.9 billion in disaster aid.

Record U.S. Agricultural Exports -- USDA is projecting record U.S. agricultural exports for fiscal years 2006 and 2007. Corn, soybeans and horticultural products account for most of the expansion. Exports are expected to reach $68 billion in fiscal year 2006 and $72 billion in fiscal year 2007. The previous record was $62.5 billion in fiscal year 2005. Agricultural imports are forecast to reach $64.5 billion in 2006 and $68.5 billion in fiscal year 2007. Increases in imports are due to fresh fruits, vegetables, and wines.

NAFTA Accounts for One-Third of U.S. AG Exports -- USDA's recent export forecast indicates that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will account for one-third of all U.S. agricultural exports. Canada and Mexico are expected to import $19.6 billion this fiscal year and $23.7 billion in fiscal year 2007.

Colombian FTA -- President George W. Bush notified Congress of his intent to sign a free trade agreement with Columbia. Bush in his letter to Congress said the FTA "will generate export opportunities for U.S. farmers, ranchers and companies, help create jobs in the United States and help American consumers save money while offering them more choices." Under the agreement, U.S. farm exports will receive immediate duty-free treatment for high quality beef, cotton, wheat, soybeans, soybean meal, and key fruits and vegetables. Pork, beef, corn, poultry, rice, fruits, vegetables, and processed products will benefit from improved market access. Also, Colombia will allow for trade in beef and beef products from animals of all ages. Congress is expected to consider the Columbian FTA next year.

Lancaster New NRCS Chief -- Arlan Lancaster has been named chief of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Lancaster had been serving as Deputy Under Secretary of Agriculture for Congressional Affairs. Earlier, Lancaster had worked as agricultural adviser to Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID). - from the desk of Scott Shearer

Hulless barley: An ethanol option?
08/31/06   
One of the more interesting combinations of crops for ethanol is year around production of corn and hulless barley. Hulless barley varieties produce higher starch content per acre than corn and could fit ideally into a double-crop system. Virginia Tech released the first winter hulless barley cultivar, "Doyce," in 2003. Doyce, is a hulless barley that is high yielding, mid-season maturity, and short in stature with stiff straw. Doyce provides winter barley producers and end users with a new value-added crop having grain that is lower in fiber, higher in starch and metabolizable energy than traditional hulled winter barley, and having potential for use in feed, food and ethanol production. - Roy Roberson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

New seed-applied nutritional product introduced
09/05/06   
A unique new seed treatment that coats seed corn with zinc is available for the 2007 growing season from Agriliance. AgriSolutions Advanced Coating Zn is the first successful seed treatment to add zinc to seed corn for early-season plant vigor and growth, and for extra bushels at harvest. The new seed treatment, which is labeled for use on seed, field, popcorn and sweet corn seed, also improves seed plantability. The zinc formulation provides a consistent coating that reduces dust-off from other seed treatments for less dust in the bag. - The Corn & Soybean Digest

Western bean cutworm makes big impact in corn belt
08/31/06    AgPR
If there's a corn insect that has the inside track to Pest of the Year, it's got to be the western bean cutworm (WBCW). Once considered a pest of the Plains, WBCW used to make its living raiding eastern Nebraska cornfields, then withdrawing back to its home of dry beans and sandy soils in western Nebraska. While WBCW has been present in Iowa since the turn of the decade, it often didn't show up at levels that caused economic damage. That changed this summer with outbreak levels of WBCW throughout much of the state. - AgPR Network

Fungicide studies and besting blast through genetics
08/31/06   
While certainly unwelcome, the arrival of Asian soybean rust has meant a peripheral benefit for row crops. "ASR has led to more fungicides being introduced and developed in the United States," said Rick Cartwright, Arkansas Extension plant pathologist at the recent Southeast Branch Station field day in Rohwer, Ark. "We haven't had a bunch of good ones until relatively recently." Some of the newer products will likely be available for rice as well as soybeans. To get a "head start" Cartwright, along with fellow plant pathologist, Cliff Coker, have many tests set up around the state. The studies are checking not only the new products' effectiveness but also any phytotoxicity. - David Bennett, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Insights into feeding the world
08/31/06   
Perhaps no individual has done more to save people from hunger and starvation over the past six-plus decades than Norman Borlaug, whose "Green Revolution" in the 1960s helped farmers in developing countries use high-yield technologies to revolutionize grain crops production. The Iowa farm boy, now 92 years old and still going strong, has spent 62 of those years working in food-deficit countries, in the process helping to save millions of lives, and being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and countless other honors. - Hembree Brandon, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Help for making fungicide decisions on soybeans
08/30/06   
Spraying a fungicide on soybeans for a disease like frogeye leaf spot can be profitable in some varieties and not in others. The key, according to Bob Williams, Extension area specialist in northwest Tennessee, is knowing the difference, information which is now available through the University of Tennessee Extension Service. Williams speaking at the Milan No-Till Field Day, presented research collected over the last few years, which is being compiled to develop a ratings system for 277 soybean varieties. - Elton Robinson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Time for a farm visit?
08/30/06   
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and I share something in common. We both grew up on a farm -- Johanns, on an Iowa dairy; me, a small cotton farm in Arkansas. And we both left the farm because we saw more opportunity elsewhere. Obviously, Johanns has had the more spectacular career, earning a law degree and becoming mayor of Lincoln and then governor of Nebraska before being named to the top job at USDA. I've knocked around the journalism field, working at a couple of newspapers. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff



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