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A Prism Business Media Publication November 29, 2006 | 061129   
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 >> Logan Hawkes

 >> Sen. Harkin's ag committee

 >> Corn for ethanol demand driving prices higher

 >> A voice in the campaign wilderness

 >> Weevil quarantine rule proposed

 >> Glyphosate-resistant weeds costing growers

 >> News from the Top of the Hill

 >> Ethanol will power 2007 IndyCar Series season

 >> Meat exports add value to U.S. soybeans

 >> Conrad slowdown forces disaster assistance promise

 >> Missouri soybean producer wins MSA yield contest

 >> Alternative oil crops may diversify farms

 >> Agritourism conference set for Jan. 22-23

 >> Vegetable herbicide carryover data probed

 >> Corn for ethanol demand driving prices higher

 >> Congressman Peterson is new House Ag Chair

 >> Workshop emphasizes success of family farms

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  EDITOR'S NOTE
Logan Hawkes
11/29/06    Crop News Weekly
Welcome to a diet conscious issue of Crop News Weekly. I have discovered why they call the turkey dressing "stuffing". I ate so much on Thanksgiving I nearly fell asleep during the football game - Heaven forbid!

While last week's holiday break provided less ag news activity than usual, you can expect things to heat up this week as behind-the-scene lawmakers and industry pros set their sights on making up for time lost before the Christmas break, paving the way for substantial efforts in the new year. On the top of the news list this week, an insatiable demand for corn for ethanol production combined with projected record exports is likely to drive U.S. corn stocks-to-use ratio down to 10 percent this season. The last two times that happened, prices soared. In other news, in the weeks of mud-slinging, posturing, and empty promises of the recent election campaigns, David Walker's voice sort of got drowned out in the cacophony. He wasn't running for anything -- he's got a job until 2013, so he doesn't have to kowtow to anyone to keep his position -- but the message he had for anyone who'd listen was every bit as important as the blathering of the candidates. Also this week, a worldwide racing first, the IndyCar Series is poised to open its 2007 season on March 24 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway with the debut of the new 3.5 liter Honda Indy V-8 engine fueled by 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol. Alternative fuel is apparently not only getting better, it's getting faster. And congratulations to Kip Cullers, Purdy, MO, who has established a new world soybean production record. Averaging 139.39 bu./acre, Cullers is the winner of the conventional category of the 2006 Missouri Soybean Association (MSA) yield contest.

You'll find these and other stories in this issue of Crop News Weekly. Happy reading!



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  FROM OUR MAGAZINES
Sen. Harkin's ag committee
11/28/06   
Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin will become chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry when Democrats assume control of the House and Senate in January. Incoming Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said he anticipates naming Harkin Agriculture Committee chairman when he meets with the new Republican minority leader to discuss the make-up of each committee. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

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Corn for ethanol demand driving prices higher
11/27/06   
An insatiable demand for corn for ethanol production combined with projected record exports is likely to drive U.S. corn stocks-to-use ratio down to 10 percent this season. The last two times that happened, prices soared. CBOT corn futures peaked at $5.545 per bushel in July 1996 when the stocks-to-use ratio fell to 5 percent. When the 2003/04 stocks/use ratio fell to 9.4 percent, it produced a high of $3.3525 in April 2004. The 15-year stocks-to-use ratio average is 15 percent. - Harry Cline, Farm Press Editorial Staff

A voice in the campaign wilderness
11/27/06   
In the weeks of mud-slinging, posturing, and empty promises of the recent election campaigns, David Walker's voice sort of got drowned out in the cacophony. He wasn't running for anything -- he's got a job until 2013, so he doesn't have to kowtow to anyone to keep his position -- but the message he had for anyone who'd listen was every bit as important as the blathering of the candidates. - Hembree Brandon, Farm Press Editorial Staff

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Weevil quarantine rule proposed
11/27/06   
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced a proposal to establish boll weevil regulations restricting the interstate movement of regulated articles into or through commercial cotton-producing areas. USDA said the regulations are necessary to prevent the spread of the boll weevils to non-infested areas. To date, the highly-migratory boll weevil has caused an estimated $22 billion in yield losses and control costs to the U.S. cotton industry.

Glyphosate-resistant weeds costing growers
11/27/06   
Cotton producers who encounter glyphosate-resistant horseweed in their fields may be tempted to fall back on a solution that served their fathers and grandfathers well: cold steel. Before you pull that disk out of the weeds on the back side of the equipment lot, however, think about this: Do you really want to spend all that extra money on diesel fuel and labor and undo the benefits of conservation tillage you've worked so hard on all these years? - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

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News from the Top of the Hill
11/24/06    National Hog Farmer
USDA Oversight -- Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN), new chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, has indicated that next year he will be holding oversight hearings on USDA management decisions. One of the first hearings will be concerning USDA's animal ID plan. He has been very critical of USDA's efforts. According to press reports, Peterson said that "Bush administration officials have screwed this up so bad that I am now against what they are doing." Peterson will also investigate the administration's stricter regulations on financial transactions on agricultural exports to Cuba. He will ask the administration to appear before the committee to explain its policy. These new regulations have diminished U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba.

USDA Announces FMD Allocations -- USDA announced fiscal year 2006 allocations for the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program. The $34.5 billion program focuses on reducing market impediments, improving the processing capabilities of importers, modifying restrictive regulatory codes and standards in foreign markets and identifying new markets or uses for U.S. products. The program was established in 1954. Cooperators receiving funding include: American Seed Trade Association, American Sheep Industry, American Soybean Association, Cotton Council International, U.S. Dairy Export Council, U.S. Grains Council, U.S. Meat Export Federation, U.S. Wheat Associates, USA Poultry and Egg Export Council, and USA Rice Federation.

House Republican Leadership -- The House Republican Caucus elected Congressman John Boehner (R-OH) as Minority Leader, Congressman Roy Blunt (R-MO) as Minority Whip, and Congressman Adam Putnam (R-FL) as Republican Conference Chairman. Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) announced after the election that he would not continue in leadership.

110th Congress Agenda -- Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has outlined the first items of business for the House of Representatives in the 110th Congress. Items identified are increasing the minimum wage, implementing tougher ethics and disclosure rules for the House of Representatives, passage of the 9-11 commission's recommendations, cut interest rates on student loans, and allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices for seniors -- similar to the Department of Veteran Affairs' program. The 110th Congress will convene on January 4, 2007. - Scott Shearer

Ethanol will power 2007 IndyCar Series season
11/24/06   
A worldwide racing first, the IndyCar Series is poised to open its 2007 season on March 24 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway with the debut of the new 3.5 liter Honda Indy V-8 engine fueled by 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol. The ethanol industry is proud to be involved in the most significant racing fuel change in recent history. The cutting edge technology developed for this series has performed flawlessly in extended testing. The combined efforts of the ethanol industry and the IndyCar Series have helped drive consumer awareness of ethanol and its performance and environmental benefits.

Meat exports add value to U.S. soybeans
11/24/06   
Exports of U.S. meat and poultry continue to rise, helping to put money in U.S. soybean farmers' pockets. U.S. livestock and poultry consume the majority of soybean meal utilized in the United States. This means that exports of U.S.-produced meat and poultry equate to indirect export of U.S. soybean meal. In 2005, the soybean meal consumed by chickens destined for export represented 81 million bushels of soybeans, and turkeys represented nearly another 10 million bushels of soybeans.

Conrad slowdown forces disaster assistance promise
11/24/06   
If anyone had any doubts about how serious Sen. Kent Conrad considers disaster assistance legislation, those doubts were dispelled when the North Dakota Democrat practically shut down the Senate for three days. The slowdown forced Senate leaders to agree to bring up the FY2007 agricultural appropriations bill for debate and to promise Conrad his disaster assistance amendment will get a vote when the Senate returns from Thanksgiving recess on Dec. 4. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Missouri soybean producer wins MSA yield contest
11/22/06   
Kip Cullers, Purdy, MO, has established a new world soybean production record. Averaging 139.39 bu./acre, Cullers is the winner of the conventional category of the 2006 Missouri Soybean Association (MSA) yield contest. He accomplished this by planting Pioneer soybean variety 94M80 on an irrigated and conventionally tilled field. - The Corn & Soybean Digest

Alternative oil crops may diversify farms
11/24/06   
With demand for biodiesel on the rise, researchers are looking for ways Mississippi agricultural production can contribute more to this growing market. Brian Baldwin, a Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researcher, is identifying alternative crops that can grow in Mississippi and produce large quantities of oil. The highest oil-producing crops are tropical, but there are other plants that can be grown in Mississippi and yield more oil per acre than those currently being grown. - Bonnie Coblentz, MSU Ag Communications

Agritourism conference set for Jan. 22-23
11/22/06   
Agritourism entrepreneurs and farmers considering agritourism enterprises are encouraged to attend a special conference Jan. 22-23 in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. The 2007 Agritourism: Cultivating Farm Revenue conference will include educational sessions, a trade show and opportunities to network with other entrepreneurs and service providers. "The first conference held in November 2005 was attended by more than 280 people from 11 states," says Megan Bruch, marketing specialist with the University of Tennessee's Center for Profitable Agriculture and one of the conference planners.

Vegetable herbicide carryover data probed
11/24/06   
Ideally, herbicides simply kill weeds during a crop's season and then after harvest degrade without harm to the following crop, but in reality, the breakdown depends on time and certain conditions in the soil. With that in mind, Steve Fennimore, University of California vegetable weed specialist at Salinas, Calif., has been charting the fate of some new herbicides. What happens to the compounds in the soil is the basis for the plant-back restrictions carried on their labels. - Dan Bryant, Freelance Writer

Corn for ethanol demand driving prices higher
11/22/06   
An insatiable demand for corn for ethanol production combined with projected record exports is likely to drive U.S. corn stocks-to-use ratio down to 10 percent this season. The last two times that happened, prices soared. CBOT corn futures peaked at $5.545 per bushel in July 1996 when the stocks-to-use ratio fell to 5 percent. When the 2003/04 stocks/use ratio fell to 9.4 percent, it produced a high of $3.3525 in April 2004. - Harry Cline, Farm Press Editorial Staff

Congressman Peterson is new House Ag Chair
11/21/06   
Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson will be the Chair of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee when Congress convenes in January, 2007. This is significant because the next session of Congress will likely write and approve the next Farm Bill. The current Farm Bill expires in 2007. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa will be the Chair of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, starting in January, 2007. It also appears likely that Tim Walz, newly elected First District Congressman, will be appointed to the U.S. House Ag Committee. Current First District Congressman Gil Gutknecht has served on the House Ag Committee for the past 12 years. - Kent Thiesse, The Corn & Soybean Digest

Workshop emphasizes success of family farms
11/21/06   
A University of Nebraska-Lincoln workshop Dec. 1-2 and Jan. 5-6 will help students, young farmers and parents face the challenges associated with handing down the family farm. Returning to the Farm, at the downtown Holiday Inn in Lincoln, will help families develop working arrangements and financial plans for a successful operation, says Meg Kester, agricultural economics project specialist and Returning to the Farm coordinator. - University of Nebraska



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