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A Prism Business Media Publication November 22, 2006 | 061122   
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 >> Logan Hawkes

 >> Corn prices buck the trend; move higher

 >> Winter wheat prices could soften

 >> Time is right to adopt precision agriculture

 >> New soybean premium

 >> News from the Top of the Hill

 >> Equipment sales flat

 >> Biodiesel to boost economy

 >> Fall herbicides may help combat resistant marestail

 >> The arrogance of power

 >> Corn remains leader in grain markets

 >> Glyphosate drift task force recommendations

 >> Asian soybean rust makes earlier, vigorous appearance

 >> Research may reduce drought yield drag

 >> Thiesse's Thoughts

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  EDITOR'S NOTE
Logan Hawkes
11/22/06    Crop News Weekly
I don't know about your house, but mine is beginning to smell a lot like there's a feast brewing in the other room. Which reminds me, and humbles me, to realize that I take a lot for granted. Not that it is my intent. I just get busy with working and living and trying to stay on schedule and, occasionally taking in a football game on the tube..

But then, that's what the traditional American Thanksgiving is all about isn't it? Remembering how much we have to be thankful about, being humble over our blessings, gathering with family and friends and celebrating with a gracious meal, and - if you're lucky - taking in that occasional football game on the tube. Yes - that is a feast I smell in the other room, and humble or not, I am thankful my life is so abundant, that I am so fortunate to live in a free country and exercise liberties and freedoms that many do not have. I am thankful for family and for friends and business associates, for good health, happy children and the fireplace that crackles in the corner. And I am thankful for that occasional football game on the tube and the good fortune to consume that feast I smell cooking in the other room in front of that new plasma TV where that occasional football game is going to be watched on Thanksgiving Day. Now, who's ready for some football?



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  FROM OUR MAGAZINES
Corn prices buck the trend; move higher
11/20/06   
Most years when farmers are coming off three straight seasons of bin-busting crops, economists would say, prices more than likely are going into the tank. (Well, economists probably wouldn't say it that way, but you know what I mean.) Until USDA's latest crop production report, U.S. corn farmers appeared to be on track to harvest their third straight 11-billion-bushel-plus crop, starting with the record 11.8-billion-bushel harvest in 2004. (The October report lowered the previous month's 11.1-billion-bushel forecast to 10.9 billion due to dry conditions in the central Corn Belt.) - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

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Winter wheat prices could soften
11/21/06   
Motorists traveling the highways and by-ways of the Mid-South and Southeast states are seeing a lot more green in farmers' fields this fall. With Chicago soft red winter futures trading close to $5 a bushel and relatively dry conditions allowing them to get in their fields and plant, growers are believed to have significantly increased their winter wheat plantings. But farmers shouldn't let those shiny, green fields -- and currently high futures prices -- distract them from making good pricing decisions for marketing that wheat when it comes out of fields next May or June. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Time is right to adopt precision agriculture
11/20/06   
The stars, or perhaps one should say, the satellites, have never been more perfectly aligned for farmers to adopt precision agriculture, according to Roger Carter, Clayton, La., crop consultant. There's money to be saved and made, as well as cost-share assistance from a government program. But if you're just starting, Carter suggests that you keep it simple and don't get bogged down by definitions. - Elton Robinson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

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"We have fields of giant ragweed not being controlled by glyphosate. Those problems are more extensive than the fields we have with resistant marestail. Roundup Ready crops had allowed growers to wait to put on their application of glyphosate, therefore letting weeds get bigger and harder to control. When resistant weeds become widespread, it's not going to be simple anymore. It'll be a field by field recommendation and we'll have to rely on older chemistries."
Doug Anderson, Agronomist, Anderson's Fertilizer Service, Romney, Indiana Get the facts, resistancefighter.com and solutions.

New soybean premium
11/18/06   
Growers who buy at least 200 units of NK Brand Roundup Ready soybeans for the first time or increase their annual order of the brand by 200 units will receive at least a $0.09/bu. premium on the soybeans. The premium could increase to $0.21/bu. if the grower uses CruiserMaxx seed treatment and Syngenta brands of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides. The company notes that, for existing customers, the premium is only given on the additional purchase. - Farm Industry News

News from the Top of the Hill
11/17/06    National Hog Farmer
Voters Send Administration a Message -- The voters sent a strong message to President Bush and the Congressional Republican leadership when the Democrats were elected to take control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The biggest surprise of the election was the Democrats gaining six Senate seats to take control of the Senate. They also gained 29 House seats to take control. There a few House seats still waiting the final results do to recounts. The voters said the four most important issues were the economy, corruption in government, terrorism, and the war in Iraq. Six in 10 voters disapprove of the war in Iraq and indicated that the long-term security of the United States has not improved. Forty percent of the voters disapprove of Bush, 40% indicated the President was not a factor in their voting; and 20% voted Republican to show their support of the President. Other views of the voters were: over 60% of the voters disapprove of Bush's job performance; 60% disapprove of Congress' job performance; and 50% indicated the economy was not good. The voters were split on the issue of immigration. Sixty percent of the voters indicated that illegal immigrants working in the U.S. should be offered an opportunity to apply for legal status. Forty percent said they should be deported.


110th Congress -- With the change in control of the Congress, there will be a number of new leaders. Senate: Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) will serve as Majority Leader and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) will be the Majority Whip. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will serve as Minority Leader and Senator Trent Lott (R-MS) will be Minority Whip. Durbin serves on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee and McConnell is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. House: Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will be the first female Speaker of the House. The new Majority Leader will be Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC) will be the new Majority Whip. Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) announced he will not serve as a leader of the House Republicans. The Republicans were electing their new leaders at press time.


House & Senate Agriculture Committees -- House: Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN) will be the new chairman of the House Agriculture Committee with Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) serving as Ranking Member. There will be at least seven new members of the House Agriculture Committee. Approximately, seventy-five percent of the new committee members have never been through a farm bill debate. Senate: Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) will serve as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) will be the Ranking Member. The Democratic leadership has appointed Senators-elect Bob Casey (D-PA), Amy Klobachar (D-MN), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) as new members of the committee. The Republican leadership will make their appointments next month.


Lame Duck Session -- There are a number of issues that need to be finished before the 109th Congress adjourns. The main items the House and Senate leadership hope to finish are appropriations bills, including agriculture, tax extenders, and the Vietnam trade bill.


Animal Terrorist Acts -- The House of Representatives passed the "Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act of 2006." The legislation increases penalties for criminal acts against animal enterprises (farms, meat processing companies, laboratories, animal shelter, pet store, breeder, or furrier). It revises criminal prohibitions against damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise to include "intentional damage or loss to any real or personal property and intentional threats of death or serious bodily injury against individuals." The legislation passed the Senate in September. President Bush is expected to sign the legislation.


Russia WTO -- The United States and Russia have reached a bilateral market access agreement concerning Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). According to USTR the agreement will continue to in force the 2003 Bilateral Meat agreement, which covered beef, pork, and poultry, through 2009. The tariff commitments will benefit food processors of wheat, corn, barley, apples, pears, grapes, raisins, almonds, walnuts, pistachio nuts, dairy, soybeans, soybean meal, soybean oil, pet food, pork, beef, and poultry, once Russia joins the WTO. The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) said the 2003 meat agreement on a country-specific quota for U.S. pork has allowed U.S. pork exports to increase from $8 million in 2003 to $72.2 million in 2005. Russia imports approximately $1 billion in U.S. agricultural products.


USDA Nominations -- Mark Keenum, chief of staff to Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), has been nominated to be USDA Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. Keenum has been involved in a number of previous farm bills. He is a former assistant professor of economics at Mississippi State University. - Scott Shearer

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Equipment sales flat
11/17/06   
Agricultural equipment manufacturers report that they expect equipment sales in 2007 to be flat or slowing. The annual Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) report shows that sales of 2-wd tractors of 100 hp and lower will be essentially flat in the U.S. Sales of tractors over 100 hp are predicted to decrease about 3%. Sales of 4-wd tractors are expected to decline 2.5%. Manufacturers expect a slight up-tick in combine sales, with about a 1% increase. - Farm Industry News

Biodiesel to boost economy
11/18/06   
A new study, "Contribution of the biodiesel industry to the economy of the U.S.," predicts biodiesel and its related industries of production and job creation will add $24 billion to the U.S. economy between 2006 and 2015. The study by the National Biodiesel Board predicts total production capacity in the U.S. will grow from 75 million gals. in 2005, to 650 million gals./year by 2015, creating 39,100 new jobs during that time. Landlinemag.com reports soybeans continue to be the crop of choice to produce the oil that can be made into non-toxic biodiesel, but other vegetable oils, animal fats and recycled grease are also common.

Fall herbicides may help combat resistant marestail
11/17/06   
"You can pay me now or pay me later." This line from the old TV commercial may be on the minds of some farmers as they begin making fall herbicide applications to control glyphosate-resistant horseweed and other problem weeds. What once was a time to rest up from the harvest or head for the duck blind has become another application window for growers spraying tank mixes of herbicides such as flumioxazin (Valor) and dicamba (Clarity) or 2,4-D or flumioxazin alone to control resistant horseweed or marestail. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

The arrogance of power
11/17/06   
Forty years ago, Sen. William Fulbright, D-Ark., then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, published his book, "The Arrogance of Power." In the midst of the debacle that was Vietnam and the untrammeled arrogance of power by President Lyndon Johnson and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, Fulbright's was a reasoned voice of dissent, contending that the war was sapping U.S. resources that should better be used "for the education of our children, the rehabilitation of our cities, and the making available of jobs for all who want to work." - Hembree Brandon, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Corn remains leader in grain markets
11/17/06   
The wheat market continues to impress with futures prices reaching as high as $5.25 during trading in early November. But corn will continue to be the leader in the market based on a backdrop of shrinking supplies going into 2007, according to Jim Bower, a market analyst with Bower Trading Co., Lafayette, Ind. Speaking at a conference call sponsored by the Minneapolis Grain Exchange on USDA's Nov. 9 supply and demand estimates, Bower said, "The market needs to buy more corn acres in 2007 and consequently, if we get a rise in price to get that corn into production, the soybean market to a certain degree is going to have to follow." - Elton Robinson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Glyphosate drift task force recommendations
11/16/06   
There are a lot of things going on right now. A lot of it has me thinking that I need to find a way to re-retire. I get a lot of questions about what is going on with the glyphosate task force. We have completed our set of meetings to which we invited representatives of different segments of the industry for comments and input. Now we'll draft a set of recommendations that will go to the pesticide committee of the Arkansas State Plant Board. - Ford L. Baldwin, Practical Weed Consultants, LLC

Asian soybean rust makes earlier, vigorous appearance
11/15/06   
With Asian soybean rust increasingly in the Louisiana soybean disease mix, Boyd Padgett believes it's time for an updated review of symptoms. That's especially true since so many ASR symptoms overlap with established diseases. "When I began looking at cercospora foliar blight, I didn't think it would be difficult to distinguish from Asian soybean rust," said the LSU AgCenter plant pathologist at the recent Crop Demonstration meeting at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center in Alexandria, La. - David Bennett, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Research may reduce drought yield drag
11/16/06   
Few factors affect soybean farmers like the weather, and it's the one factor you can't change, only try to manage. But recent soybean checkoff-sponsored research may give soybean farmers another tool to manage one of the weather challenges that plague many farmers -- drought. Two new soybean lines offer a genetic advantage for yields in drought conditions, according to new research. The University of Florida and University of Arkansas collaborated on research finding new soybean lines that are better able to fix nitrogen (N) in spite of water deficit. The lack of water when soil begins drying makes it harder for soybeans to fix N, which results in yield drag. This research could help reduce that yield drag. - The Corn & Soybean Digest

Thiesse's Thoughts
11/16/06   
The latest USDA Crop Production Report, released on Nov. 9, gives an indication of the final harvest results for the 2006 U.S. corn and soybean crop, and what the carryover grain stocks are as we head into 2007. According to the report, it's estimated that 71.0 million acres of corn will be harvested in 2006 with a total production of 10.7 billion bushels of corn. The estimated 2006 corn production level is slightly below the 2005 corn production of 11.1 billion bushels, and well below the record 11.8 billion bushels harvested in 2004, but is above the 10.1 billion bushel production in 2003 and 8.9 billion bushels in 2002. - Kent Thiesse, The Corn & Soybean Digest



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