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A Prism Business Media Publication September 13, 2006 | 060913   
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 >> Logan Hawkes

 >> Avoid farm safety hazards during harvest

 >> Congressman wants to improve farm legislation

 >> Chairman hears support to extend current farm laws

 >> Bush puts forth trade agreement with Colombia

 >> More ASR found in southeast Mississippi soybeans

 >> News from the Top of the Hill

 >> U.S. objects to Brazil's request for WTO panel

 >> Don't Miss This Opportunity!

 >> Thiesse's Thoughts: Future of ag biotechnology

 >> Road Warrior: Finding good people

 >> Economist offers views on run-up to new farm bill

 >> Conference on renewable energy

 >> New technologies require investments

 >> Moran: Let's try for something better

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  EDITOR'S NOTE
Logan Hawkes
09/13/06    Crop News Weekly
Finally, cooler temps are being experienced across most the Nation's midsection. And what was that wet stuff falling from the clouds last week? Could that really have been rain? Of course it's a little too little too late, even if we were to get a downpour. But as dry as its been this year, we'll take every drop we can get - anytime. Then again, if rain patterns change and decide to give us a wet fall, it could make harvest time interesting.

In the spotlight this week, National Farm Safety Week gets underway next week and it is as good a time as any to review farm safety procedures and protocol. Think safety! Also this week, Congress may well end up extending the 2002 farm bill, says Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas. But the Congressman says he would like to see farm legislation improved first. And speaking of farm legislation, Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., chairman of the U. S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, admitted that the farm sector faces serious challenges as both Senate and House committees begin deciding what to do with farm legislation. Elsewhere this week, a free trade agreement between the United States and Colombia will generate additional export opportunities for American farmers and ranchers, President Bush said in a letter notifying the House and Senate of his intent to sign the pact. Also in the news, the U.S. Trade Representative's office has objected to the formation of a new WTO panel to review U.S. compliance with an earlier panel's ruling favoring a Brazilian complaint against the U.S.

You'll find these stories and more in this issue of Crop News Weekly. Thanks for reading.



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  FROM OUR MAGAZINES
Avoid farm safety hazards during harvest
09/11/06   
National Farm Safety and Health Week, Sept. 17-23, reminder: Older or disabled farmers should take extra safety care. The long hours of fall harvest put any farm family at greater risk of injury-particularly for aging farmers and ranchers or those with disabilities. "Older farmers and ranchers must adjust for the effects of aging. The risk of having an accident increases with age," said Karen Funkenbusch, coordinator of the AgrAbility program at the University of Missouri. Compared to the general U.S. labor force, farm operators are considerably older. More than one-fourth of all farm operators are 65 years old or older. - Robert Thomas

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Congressman wants to improve farm legislation
09/11/06   
Congress may well end up extending the 2002 farm bill, says Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., "but I think there are reasons we first ought to at least try to improve on the current legislation." The chairman of the House Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management said in a recent interview that "from east to west, north to south, there is general and broad support for the current farm bill, and there's much discussion at the moment as to whether we should simply extend it for one, two, three, or four years. "My impression is that many national farm organizations and commodity groups feel that would be the best thing to do. - Hembree Brandon, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Chairman hears support to extend current farm laws
09/11/06   
Senator Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., chairman of the U. S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, admitted that the farm sector faces serious challenges as both Senate and House committees begin deciding what to do with farm legislation. "I am pleased with the way the current farm bill is working," Chambliss told witnesses and a sizeable audience at a farm bill hearing Friday in Lubbock. "But we face challenges as we debate a new farm bill. The DOHA (collapse) has shifted the debate. Some domestic programs may not mesh with international trade." - Ron Smith, Farm Press Editorial Staff

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John Allen, Brandt Consolidated, New Berlin, Ill.

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Bush puts forth trade agreement with Colombia
09/08/06   
A free trade agreement between the United States and Colombia will generate additional export opportunities for American farmers and ranchers, President Bush said in a letter notifying the House and Senate of his intent to sign the pact. It would also "help create jobs in the United States and help American consumers save money, while offering them more choices," he said. And it would "benefit the people of Colombia by providing economic opportunity and strengthening democracy." - Hembree Brandon, Farm Press Editorial Staff

More ASR found in southeast Mississippi soybeans
09/08/06   
Asian soybean rust has been discovered in a southeast Mississippi soybean field in Jackson County. Malcolm Broome, a member of Mississippi's ASR team, found rust just north of Moss Point on Sept. 6, said Billy Moore, Mississippi Extension plant pathologist. "It's in a nice-sized soybean field that we've been watching for a long time. We thought ASR might show up there because of its proximity to some positive finds in Alabama. They've found ASR in the Foley area of Alabama -- that's probably less than 60 miles away." - David Bennett, Farm Press Editorial Staff

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News from the Top of the Hill
09/08/06    National Hog Farmer
Congress is Back -- Congress returned this week after the August recess. With the November election looming, Congress will recess the end of the month until after the election. During September, Congress is expected to pass the fiscal year 2007 defense appropriations bill. Most of the other appropriation bills, including agriculture, will be considered after the election. Other issues to be considered will be port security, judicial nominations, minimum wage, tax extenders, and estate tax. Many issues will be put on hold until after the election. We can expect a number of issues to be raised by both parties this month that will have no chance of becoming law. These issues will be used to energize the base of both parties for the election. The message is wait till after the election to see many issues addressed.

Net Farm Income Down -- USDA is forecasting that the 2006 net farm income will drop to $54.4 billion. This is down from $73.8 billion in 2005. The 10-year average according to USDA is $57.2 billion. The cost of fuel and fertilizer is estimated to increase by $2.8 billion over last year.

Biofuels Investment Trust Fund -- Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) introduced legislation that would establish the Biofuels Investment Trust Fund. This fund would invest the revenue generated by the ethanol import tariffs into renewable fuels research and development. Nelson said, "There's no better way to decrease the need to import ethanol than by increasing domestic supply through research. The United States must continue to push ahead with research and development of biofuels and cellulosic ethanol represents the next generation of this important alternative, renewable fuel."

Farm Bill Hearings Next Week -- The House Agriculture Committee will hold two farm bill hearings next week. The one hearing will be the former Secretaries of Agriculture testifying on their views regarding federal farm policy. The other hearing will be to hear the views of agricultural processors and suppliers. Another hearing will be held later this month that will include general farm organizations and commodity groups.

Disaster Fly-In -- The National Farmers Union (NFU) will be hosting a Washington, D.C. legislative fly-in next week to urge Congress to pass emergency disaster assistance. NFU said, "Congress should immediately pass the Senate Appropriations Committee approved FY 2007 Agriculture appropriations bill, which includes $3.9 billion for emergency agricultural disaster relief. But for a long term solution to weather disasters on the farm, Congress must pass a permanent disaster program to assist producers during times of natural disasters without relying upon yearly ad hoc assistance or the political climate in Washington." - from the desk of Scott Shearer

U.S. objects to Brazil's request for WTO panel
09/08/06   
The U.S. Trade Representative's office has objected to the formation of a new WTO panel to review U.S. compliance with an earlier panel's ruling favoring a Brazilian complaint against the U.S. cotton program. But the action probably provided only a temporary reprieve for U.S. cotton farmers who have become the poster boys -- and girls -- for a campaign that appears to be aimed at trying to "level the playing field" for cotton farmers in least developed, third world countries. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Don't Miss This Opportunity!
09/08/06   
Due to the busy harvest time, the American Soybean Association (ASA) has extended the application deadline for the 2007 Conservation Legacy Awards to Friday, October 6, 2006, to provide more opportunity for growers to apply. So, if you are an innovative and creative producer who recognizes the value of good conservation for your operation and your community, or if you know someone who fits this bill, ASA encourages you to apply for this award. The Conservation Legacy Award Program recognizes the outstanding environmental and conservation achievements of soybean farmers who distinguish themselves by taking care of the environment while still reaping economic returns from their farms. All ASA members are eligible. So, don't delay -- the four regional winners along with a spouse or guest will receive an expense-paid trip to Commodity Classic in sunny Tampa, FL, March 1-3, 2007 and will be featured in an article in The Corn And Soybean Digest. The application can be downloaded from http://www.soygrowers.com/clap/.

Thiesse's Thoughts: Future of ag biotechnology
09/06/06   
USDA recently released a report about the future of biotechnology in agriculture that is quite interesting. This report, titled "Opportunities and Challenges in Agricultural Biotechnology: The Decade Ahead," was the result was the result of over two years of study, data review and discussions by the 20 member USDA Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21). During the past decade, biotechnology has been mainstreamed in many commodities that are commonly raised by U.S. farm producers. In 2005, 52% of the corn, 87% of the soybeans, and 79% of the cotton raised in the U.S. originated from genetically modified (GMO) seed varieties. Globally, transgenic crops were planted on approximately 222 million acres, or about 5.8% of the 3.8 billion crop acres worldwide. - Kent Thiesse, The Corn & Soybean Digest

Road Warrior: Finding good people
09/06/06   
Dave Kohl writes: "This year as I conduct ag lender and producer seminars, I've started the schools and seminars by asking individuals about their biggest challenges. Yes, weather, oil, energy and global competition frequently top the list. However, one that surfaces time and time again is finding good workers and people. Yes, some will comment that the Generation Xers and Nexters lack good work ethic. One farmer panelist recently stated that it was difficult to get his college graduate son off the couch before 10 a.m. and he would be glad when his son's college roommate moved out to go back to school..." - The Corn & Spybean Digest

Economist offers views on run-up to new farm bill
09/07/06   
Field tours weren't all that was on offer at the Rice Research and Extension Center field day in Stuttgart, Ark. There were also talks on the economics of growing rice and the current economic health of Mid-South producers. It was during this session that Eric Wailes, an economist and professor at the University of Arkansas, laid out what could be expected during the coming 2007 farm bill debate. For row-crop producers, there was scant good news. Wailes said there are three main drivers behind 2007 Farm Bill policy.. - David Bennett, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Conference on renewable energy
09/06/06   
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Energy will sponsor a conference on renewable energy Oct. 10-12 at the Americas Center in St. Louis. The event, "Advancing Renewable Energy: An American Rural Renaissance," is designed to create partnerships and strategies that will accelerate commercialization of renewable energy industries and distribution systems, the crux of President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative. - Farm Press Editorial Staff

New technologies require investments
09/06/06   
A friend and I were reminiscing about watching people pull cotton sacks through the fields in one of the Mid-South states in the 1950s and early 1960s. Then, you would see whole families out in the fields with all but the smallest children picking cotton. (My brothers and I picked on my grandfather's farm after school and on Saturdays until we were in high school.) I don't remember anything particularly uplifting about the experience, although there have been efforts to try to put an aura of romanticism around it. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Moran: Let's try for something better
09/06/06   
Congress may well end up extending the 2002 farm bill, says Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., "but I think there are reasons we first ought to at least try to improve on the current legislation." The chairman of the House Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management said in an interview prior to the mid-year board meeting of the Delta Council at Stoneville, Miss., "from east to west, north to south, there is general and broad support for the current farm bill, and there's much discussion at the moment as to whether we should simply extend it for one, two, three, or four years. - Hembree Brandon, Farm Press Editorial Staff



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