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A Prism Business Media Publication December 27, 2006 | 061227   
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 >> Logan Hawkes

 >> Johanns announces AWB Limited suspension

 >> Glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed confirmed

 >> U.S. soy exports exceed 1 billion bushels

 >> 2007 Commodity Classic to highlight latest and greatest

 >> Crop quality key for soybean farmers

 >> News from the Top of the Hill

 >> Road Warrior: Cycles of Extreme

 >> NCGA hails end of year legislative victories

 >> Know-how for reducing the application of fertilizers

 >> Moran visiting Cuba to explore political situation

 >> 50 years of herbicides: higher yields, lower costs

 >> Eye on Energy Confernece Nears

 >> Johanns to speak at 2007 Beltwide Cotton Conferences

 >> XSAg.com redesigns Web site

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  EDITOR'S NOTE
Logan Hawkes
12/27/06    Crop News Weekly
Another year has come and almost gone... and, yes, the year 2007 becomes a realty in just a few short days. Yes, I said 2007. I don't know how we breezed through three quarters of a decade in the last couple of years. Or so it seems. I remember when the movie "2001" was released back in the 60s, a futuristic sci-fi thriller set in some far distant time. Then they made the sequel, "2010". Now that time is clipping along rather quickly, perhaps they should make a movie based upon a futuristic tale of a GM farming community on some remote planet where young farmers are hard at work replacing Soylent Green as our primary galactic food source in spite of government efforts to develop a meat-only army of cyborg legislators? Okay, maybe I've been watching too many of my son's sci-fi movies over the holidays. Either that or dementia is finally setting in as the years continue to pass me by at light speed.

Back to my point: Regardless whether you're ready or not, the new year dawns shortly with a number of lingering questions related to the ag industry and what the future may hold for farmers of America. Is the farm bill in or out? What changes are coming down that will affect the way we do business? Will we survive the changing farming environment? Come to think of it, those are the same questions our fathers were asking a generation ago. Oh well, time rolls ever onward. Our job, I suppose, is to make the best of it and adapt to the inevitable.

In spite of the holidays, we're loaded with news this week. Enjoy - and Happy New Year!



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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 weedprevention.info

  FROM OUR MAGAZINES
Johanns announces AWB Limited suspension
12/26/06   
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced the immediate suspension and proposed disbarment of AWB Limited, formerly the Australian Wheat Board, and its affiliates from participating in U.S. farm programs. USDA's Foreign Agriculture Service is taking the action following reports that the AWB, several individuals and a Minnesota-based company participated in giving bribes, kickbacks and other activities to win grain contracts from Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

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Glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed confirmed
12/22/06   
Giant ragweed soon could cast a giant shadow on the world's most popular herbicide. Researchers at Purdue and Ohio State universities have confirmed glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed populations in Indiana and Ohio.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in herbicides, such as Roundup and Touchdown, which are used for burndown weed control in no-till cropping systems and postemergence in Roundup Ready soybeans and corn. The weed species is the seventh in the United States to show resistance to glyphosate. - Purdue University

U.S. soy exports exceed 1 billion bushels
12/22/06   
U.S. soybean farmers have once again outdone themselves in the international marketplace by capping off 2006 with combined soybean and soybean meal exports reaching 1.2 billion bushels. Thanks in part to soybean checkoff marketing efforts, over 937 million bushels of soybeans and over 282 million bushels worth of soybean meal were exported this year.

China continues to be the number one market for U.S. soybeans, buying just over 356 million bushels in the 2005/2006 marketing year. Mexico came in as the top export market for both soybean meal and soybean oil. "It is a great honor to represent the farmers of the soybean checkoff as USB chairman," says Niemann.

"Mexico's livestock industry is flourishing, which results in more consumption of soybean meal in feed rations," says Terry Ecker, USB International Marketing chair and soybean farmer from Elmo, Mo. "Increased use of U.S. soy in Mexico is a direct result of international marketing efforts put in place by the soybean checkoff."

Another reason for the increase in exports to the Latin America region is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which brought the U.S. back to nearly 100 percent market share in Mexico. Also, due to Mexico's proximity, increased freight rates are not having as large of a price impact as they are in other international markets.

"The soybean checkoff-funded United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC) is an 'engine' that U.S. soybean farmers are using to expand new marketing opportunities abroad," says Mark Pietz, USB Competitiveness chair and soybean farmer from Lakefield, Minn., who also serves as vice-chair of USSEC. "USSEC is on the ground overseas working to increase the demand for U.S. soy through educational efforts to buyers and consumers."

The future demand for soy consumption abroad looks bright with new opportunities in aquaculture, foods and other industrial products. Containerized shipping is another exporting opportunity for soybeans, offering benefits to importers through less handling during shipping. This form of shipping also enables importers to order smaller, customized amounts of soybeans rather than importing via large freight ships.

"When looking at the ultra-competitiveness of the global market, it is important to establish high standards for U.S. soybeans," says Pietz. "We have several programs in place that will ensure we continue to meet and exceed expectations of our customers by delivering the kind of quality product they desire."

USB is made up of 64 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Customer Information Act, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff. - United Soybean Board

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"Our customers are very conscious of the potential for glyphosate weed resistance, which is one reason we don't recommend planting only glyphosate-tolerant corn. In the past 10 years, we have seen a lot of ALS-resistant waterhemp, so we understand the potential for resistance. Although no glyphosate resistance has been documented in the area, we feel like the amount of glyphosate needed to control certain weeds has increased."
John Allen, Brandt Consolidated, New Berlin, Ill.

For more information on other glyphosate resistance management tips, click here. resistancefighter.com

2007 Commodity Classic to highlight latest and greatest
12/22/06   
Hundreds of exhibitors representing leading agribusiness decision-makers and representatives will showcase state-of-the-art products and technology at the 11th Annual Commodity Classic March 1-3, 2007, in Tampa, Fla. Corn, soybean, and wheat growers from across the country will benefit from the latest information, equipment and products that can positively impact their bottom line.

"Bounty on the Bay" is the theme for the 2007 Commodity Classic -- the combined convention and trade show of the American Soybean Association (ASA), the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG). This is the first year NAWG joins Commodity Classic. In addition to the trade show, Commodity Classic will offer a wide range of valuable educational sessions. Participants will hear experts discuss timely issues that can impact growers' profitability. There will also be a number of important networking opportunities throughout the event. - National Corn Growers Association

Crop quality key for soybean farmers
12/23/06   
A recent soybean checkoff-funded crop quality survey sampling 1,593 soybean specimens across America has shown U.S. soybeans averaging an oil level of 19.2 percent and an average protein level of 34.5 percent. For soybean farmers, these protein and oil numbers mean increased competitiveness as well as more profits. One tool farmers can use to ensure a quality crop is the Soybean Variety Selector 2007, which can be downloaded from www.worldsbestbeans.com. The selector now houses a new feature enabling farmers to compare the performance of seed varieties across multiple years, allowing farmers to get an even better idea of how the variety has performed in the same test plot but under different weather conditions. The selector also includes 2006 crop data for farmers to review. - United Soybean Board

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News from the Top of the Hill
12/22/06    National Hog Farmer
Unfinished Business -- Congress left a number of issues important to agriculture for the 110th Congress to deal with. Those include:

  • Manure clarification -- Congress failed to pass legislation clarifying that manure is not a hazardous substance or pollutant under Superfund laws. A number of agricultural organizations are concerned that unless there is clarification of this issue that manure as fertilizer on farms could be prohibited.

  • Dust and soot -- Senator Chuck Grassley's (R-IA) legislation to prohibit EPA from enforcing Clean Air Act rules on agriculture for dust and soot was not adopted.

  • WRDA -- Congress failed to complete the conference committee on legislation concerning the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) which would have modernized the over 60 year old locks and dams on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. This is a priority of the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, Midwest Area Rivers Coalition (MARC 2000), and American Farm Bureau Federation. This is a critical issue to keep American agriculture competitive in the world market.

    Livestock Issues & Farm Bill -- Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced his plans to press for more competition in agriculture during the farm bill debate next year. He plans to introduce several pieces of legislation early next year that will outline his plans for the farm bill. They include according to Senator Grassley:

  • "Ban on packer ownership of livestock. This would prevent meat packers from assuming complete control of the meat supply by preventing packers from owning livestock.

  • Limit on mandatory arbitration agreements. This would be similar to previous legislation Grassley introduced which amended the Packers and Stockyards Act to prohibit mandatory arbitration clauses from being included in contracts between livestock producers and packers.

  • Review of agribusiness mergers. This would change the way the Justice Department reviews agribusiness mergers. It would also enhance the Agriculture Department's ability to address anti-competitive activity in the industry."

    Senator Grassley said, "Concentration is one of the most important issues in agriculture today. Vertical integration leaves the independent producer with even fewer choices of who to buy from and sell to. And, it hurts the ability of farmers to get a fair price for their products."

    Panama & US Complete FTA -- The United States and Panama completed the free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations. According to USDA, the agreement provides that more than half of all current U.S. farm exports to Panama will become duty-free immediately, including high quality beef, mechanically de-boned chicken, turkey, pork variety meats, whey, soybeans, crude vegetable oils, cotton, wheat, barley, most fresh fruits, almonds, walnuts and many processed foods such as soups, chocolate confectionary, distilled spirits, wines and pet food. U.S. agriculture will also benefit from expanded market access through tariff-rate quotas on pork, chicken leg quarters, dairy products, corn, rice, refined corn oil, dried beans, frozen French fries and tomato products. Tariffs on most remaining U.S. farm products will be phased out within 15 years. Also, Panama is revising its sanitary and phytosanitary regulations recognizing the equivalence of the U.S. food safety inspection system for meat, poultry and process food products. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns said, "Expanding access to the Panamanian market and increasing our two-way trade will strengthen our economic ties and promote increased stability in the Western Hemisphere."

    Republicans Named to Senate AG Committee -- Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are the two new Republican members of the Senate Agriculture Committee for the 110th Congress. Republican Senators that will continue to serve on the committee are: Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), ranking member; Richard Lugar (R-IN); Thad Cochran (R-MS); Mitch McConnell (R-KY); Pat Roberts (R-KS); Norm Coleman (R-MN); Mike Crapo (R-ID); and Chuck Grassley (R-IA). - Scott Shearer

  • Road Warrior: Cycles of Extreme
    12/20/06   
    Dave Kohl writes: "The other day I presented a webinar sponsored by the Canadian Farm Business Management Council. This event was broadcast live across Canada and was very interactive with many excellent questions from participants. It was the 10th webinar that I presented this year via our computer and web camera in my office in Blacksburg, VA. This method of presentation sure beats the cramped, always late, non-reliable airlines..." - The Corn & Soybean Digest

    NCGA hails end of year legislative victories
    Legislation to open up domestic natural gas and oil production, extend ethanol tax incentives and grant Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Vietnam highlight the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) end of year legislative victories. "Congress ended with a bang and corn growers are very happy with the legislative victories securing more domestic development of natural gas, continuing our positive push for better trade and extending significant tax incentives for the ever-growing ethanol industry," says Ken McCauley, NCGA president. "This legislation addresses some very important needs for corn farmers." - The Corn & Soybean Digest

    Know-how for reducing the application of fertilizers
    12/23/06   
    Danish farmers have reduced their application of fertilizers and pesticides considerably during the past 15 years. Researchers and advisors will explain the possibilities for further reduction -- and the feasibility of optimizing all types of plant production -- at the seminar to be held during Agromek 2007. This seminar is arranged by the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences and the Danish Agricultural Advisory Service. Researchers and advisors from both of these institutes will present the latest know-how at this seminar. - AgPR

    Moran visiting Cuba to explore political situation
    12/21/06   
    Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., is traveling to Cuba to meet with government and trade officials about the possibility of expanding agricultural exports to one of the country's nearest neighbors. The visit by Moran, currently chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's General Commodities Subcommittee, could include a meeting with current acting-President Raul Castro. - Forrest Laws, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    50 years of herbicides: higher yields, lower costs
    12/20/06   
    Half a million juvenile delinquents pulling weeds -- that's what it would take, says Leonard Gianessi, to replace what herbicides do to control weeds in U.S. crops each year. "In the 1950s," he told members of the Southern Crop Production Association at their annual meeting at Amelia Island, Fla., "juvenile delinquents in Minnesota and North Dakota were paid to pull weeds out of crops. Over the summer, each weeded the equivalent of 4 acres." - Hembree Brandon, Farm Press Editorial Staff

    Eye on Energy Confernece Nears
    Spiraling energy costs are forcing farmers to examine every agronomic practice on their operations, especially tillage. That's the focus of the 2007 Conservation Tillage Conference and Expo, Jan. 30-31, themed "Eye On Energy" and slated for the Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center in Sioux Falls, SD. University experts and conservation-focused farmers will detail how conservation practices can help stretch energy dollars. The conference provides tillage info for beginners, as well as veteran no-till, strip till, ridge-till and mulch-till growers. Offered are four tracks:

    Track I: Learn the basics: Tillage 101
    Track II: Keep corn-on-corn profitable
    Track III: Manage your energy costs
    Track IV: Match new technology to tillage.

    To register, visit www.tillageconference.com or call 800-722-5334, ext. 14698. The conference is sponsored by The Corn & Soybean Digest and Farm Industry News.

    Johanns to speak at 2007 Beltwide Cotton Conferences
    12/19/06   
    Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns will deliver the keynote address during the opening session of the National Cotton Council's 2007 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans Jan. 10. Johanns, an attorney and former governor of Nebraska, will be the first secretary to speak at the conference in a number of years. The Beltwide, held annually in different parts of the country, is considered one of the premier information exchange events in the country.

    XSAg.com redesigns Web site
    In response to member requests, XSAg.com has redesigned its website to make it even easier to use. The new look will simplify the buying process and maximize member savings. XSAg.com is an online trading platform, or exchange, which provides a secure web site to buy and sell agricultural chemicals and other ag inputs. XSAg.com is not the buyer or seller of the products and never takes possession of products; XSAg.com is only the facilitator of the transactions agreed to in the trading process. - AgPR.com



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