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January 19, 2005 050119

Table of Contents
Logan Hawkes
Asian rust and fungicides: Keeping the enemy at bay
Scouting, prompt spraying key to managing soybean rust
President's budget proposal may freeze ag spending
Little change in crop numbers seen
Seed games, steel prices and changing taxes
Thiesse's Thoughts: Counter--Cyclical Payments - 2004
Column: Specialty Crop Competitive Act
COLUMN: Road Warrior Dave Kohl
FIN-OVATION Awards
WANTED: Custom Farmers
Conservation Tillage Conference & Expo
Bill funds initiatives for Iowa Soybean Growers
NCGA applauds repeal of Dominican Republic tax

Letter from the Editor
Logan Hawkes
01/19/05    Crop News Weekly
In The Headlines: Asian rust fungicides; managing soybean rust; ag spending freeze; same old crop numbers; steel prices and changing farm taxes; the Crop Competitive Act and the 2005 FIN-Ovation Awards - these stories and more in this issue of Crop News Weekly.

From Asian soybean rust to custom farming, there's a lot of ground to cover this week. While the new year is just taking root, a pair of articles this week about soybean rust demonstrates Midwest farmers are settling in to the task ahead, that of being watchful, educated, and prepared to take action if rust hits the early crop this year. Expand your continuing education this week on the subject of fungicides and spraying technique and timing as it relates to the war on rust.

Also this week, is it possible President Bush's budget will put a freeze on agriculture spending? There's always the chance. And if you were thinking the 2005 crop will be about the same as the 2004 crop - then your guessing like the experts. Elsewhere, what's up with steel prices, changing tax laws and seed company wars? You can find out this week. And take a moment to explore an article about the Specialty Crop Competitive Act. It may be a mouthful, but West Coast farmers are warming up to the idea. Finally this week, find out why more property owners and former farmers are turning to custom farming to make a dollar out of the field. Happy reading!

From our Magazines
Asian rust and fungicides: Keeping the enemy at bay
David Bennett
01/12/05    The Corn & Soybean Digest
You have to look hard, but there's a silver lining on the rust-darkened cloud currently pouring gloom all over soybean country. If Asian soybean rust hadn't been found so late this growing season, agriculture interests wouldn't have the luxury of preparation -- some four months' worth -- for the disease. We've got time," says Alan Blaine, Mississippi Extension soybean specialist. "That means the Section 18s can be dealt with, that means fungicides can be manufactured and shipped, that means everyone can be brought up to speed on how to scout for this." There may be time, but there's little patience in the face of such a yield-sapping disease. (Yield losses of 80 percent have been reported in untreated fields in Zimbabwe.)


Scouting, prompt spraying key to managing soybean rust
University of Missouri
01/12/05    The Corn & Soybean Digest
If they haven't already, Missouri soybean producers should add comfortable boots and a 10- to 20-power magnifying lens to their Christmas lists - they'll need both while scouting their fields for Asian soybean rust in 2005. "We'll all have to do a little more walking next season," MU Extension plant pathologist Laura Sweets told a group of crop advisors at the MU Crop Management Conference, Dec. 16-17 in Columbia. Since the announcement in November that the yield-reducing foliar disease had reached the continental United States for the first time - most likely on the winds of Hurricane Ivan - soybean producers across the Southeast and Midwest have scrambled for information.


President's budget proposal may freeze ag spending
Forrest Laws
01/18/05    Farm Press Daily
Farmers who have been waiting for the other shoe to drop on the administration's deficit reduction plans won't have to wait much longer. The president will submit his fiscal year 2006 budget shortly after his inauguration on Jan. 20, and the early line isn't very encouraging. One congressional aide is being quoted as saying the administration will propose a freeze on spending for agriculture, housing and veterans programs as part of the president's goal of cutting the budget deficit in half by 2009. "Absolute freeze," William Hoagland, an aide to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, told reporters for Congress Daily PM.


Little change in crop numbers seen
Richard Brock
01/12/05    The Corn & Soybean Digest
The grain trade does not expected to see much change in the U.S. corn and soybean production numbers when USDA releases its final 2004 crop report this week. Trade estimates of corn production average 11.753 billion bu. in a range from 11.680-11.831 billion bu., vs. USDA's Nov. 1 estimate of 11.471 billion bu., according to a survey done by Dow Jones News Service. Estimates of soybean production average 3.149 billion bu. in a range from 3.123-3.180 billion bushels, versus USDA's Nov. 1 estimate of 3.150 billion bushels.


Seed games, steel prices and changing taxes
Karen McMahon
Farm Industry News
Equipment manufacturers face a chilling situation with the price of steel. A survey of farm equipment and construction manufacturers reports steel prices have increased from 60 to 100%. Also, biotech seed games continue between two big rivals, with some surprising results expected in the future. And farmers may find some changes in how their federal income tax is figured. The new American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 includes changes in the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) calculation and extension of Section 179 depreciation.


Thiesse's Thoughts: Counter--Cyclical Payments - 2004
Kent Thiesse
01/12/05    The Corn & Soybean Digest
USDA has already made an advance counter-cyclical payment (CCP) of 14¢/bu. on the 2004 corn crop. This was based on a projected 12-month national average price for corn of $1.95/bu., and a maximum total estimated CCP of 40¢/bu. for the 2004 corn crop, which was made by USDA in mid-October. If the 12-month national average price for 2004 corn is below $2.35/bu., a CCP is earned. The maximum CCP on the 2004 corn crop is $.40/ bu. For the 2005 corn crop, the maximum CCP will again be 40¢/bu., and the payments will be initiated at a 12-month national average price for corn of $2.35/bu.


Column: Specialty Crop Competitive Act
Harry Cline
01/12/04    Western Farm Press
Ask 50 non-California farmers what SCCA stands for and the likely answer will be Sports Car Club of America. They would be half right. Ask 3,000 Western Growers what SCCA stands for and they'll tell you it's the initials for the Specialty Crop Competitiveness Act, the other half of the right answer. The Specialty Crop Competitiveness Act was a seemingly miniscule piece of agricultural legislation Congress passed this year.


COLUMN: Road Warrior Dave Kohl
Dave Kohl
01/12/05    The Corn & Soybean Digest
Dave Kohl writes: Yes, it is 2005 and we will soon be gearing up for the next farm bill. What do I see coming down the road and what will its impact be on you as producers? First, the major theme of your next farm bill will be natural resource management. To a less agriculturally astute legislator, this is the transcending issue that has a feel-good factor to an urban and suburban public. This winter, sit down and think, "How can I position my business to take advantage of supports in this area, and be a good steward if environmental and natural resources." The next two areas will depend upon a sequence of events. If we continue to have geopolitical risk around oil and energy, then a focus on energy enhancements will be a theme.


FIN-OVATION Awards
Karen McMahon
Famr Industry News
Human ingenuity shines through in these products Farm Industry News has chosen as their 2005 FinOvation Award winners. This year's winners include products that cost only $37 and complex machinery costing $229,000. In total, we've picked 21 products that cover the range of farm inputs. You may have helped select the winners. We use reader inquiries to chose top products in the different categories, as well as votes from our Team FIN farmer panel. Here are the best innovations of 2004 designed to help you farm more efficiently and more profitably.


WANTED: Custom Farmers
Jodie Wehrspann
Farm Industry News
SIX YEARS AGO, corn and soybean farmers Jim Dobson and his nephew T.J. Dobson were made an offer they couldn't refuse. They were asked to custom farm 1,500 acres for Lynn Clarkson, a local farm manager and president of Clarkson Grain Company of Cerro Gordo, IL. Under the arrangement, the farmers are paid a per-acre rate to do all of the farming operations. But they get none of the profits from the crop. As an incentive to do well, they are paid a per-bushel bonus for production.


Conservation Tillage Conference & Expo
01/19/05    Farm Industry News
Be sure to attend the Conservation Tillage Conference & Expo, scheduled February 8 and 9 in Sioux Falls, SD, at the Ramkota Hotel. Fifteen presentations are planned for the event with topics ranging from pests and tillage systems to soil fertility and the economics of tillage options. A trade show will display the latest conservation tillage technology and equipment. Cost for the event is $100 per person. Farm Industry News is a sponsor of the conference.



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From the News Wire
Bill funds initiatives for Iowa Soybean Growers
The Iowa Soybean Association
01/12/05    The Corn & Soybean Digest
The Iowa Soybean Association received significant funding support for key soybean rust and environmental initiatives in the FY 2005 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. The spending bill, signed by President George Bush, provides $800,000 for soybean rust-related research and more than $1.1 million for ISA environmental and agronomic study programs. "We are pleased Congress has addressed the serious threat soybean rust poses to Iowa and U.S. soybean farmers. We have been working on this issue for well over a year and the funding provided in this bill to deal with this issue will be very helpful in finding a solution," says ISA President Curt Sindergard, Rolfe.


NCGA applauds repeal of Dominican Republic tax
01/13/05    NCGA News
Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernández recently signed a measure to eliminate the country's tax on beverages sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), marking the final step in the process to repeal the discriminatory tax. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) applauds the U.S. Trade Representative and members of Congress for taking steps to ensure the Dominican government rescinded the 25 percent levy on HFCS-sweetened beverages. The action virtually assures inclusion of the Dominican Republic in the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), a deal that is expected to provide new market opportunities for U.S. corn growers.



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