A Primedia Property
February 2, 2005 050202

Table of Contents
Logan Hawkes
Threat of soybean rust builds big demand for sprayers
A lot of corn out there, but demand is strong
Thiesse's Thoughts: Crop input costs increasing
Argentine Soy: Hurt by dryness
Crop insurance requires treatment for soybean rust
From the Top of the Hill
Brazil threatens to sandbag Doha Round negotiations
'It's a Jungle Out There' family farm conference
Product Reviews: The new gadgets
Canada and BSE: It isn't rocket science
A good custom farmer
U.S. ethanol industry sets monthly production record
Cyberspace is meeting place for Kansas corn growers

Letter from the Editor
Logan Hawkes
02/02/05    Crop News Weekly
I realize we could say this just about any week of the year, but "what strange weather we're having." From Arctic blasts in the Northeast to deep freeze conditions in the West and Midwest in recent days, and now, warmer weather settling in for the weekend. High temps in Texas today are lower than they are in Wyoming. That's okay. It'll all change tomorrow or the next day. Maybe both. Anyone ready for an early spring season?

In the Top of the News this week: sprayers are in high demand; corn demand also remains high; crop costs increasing; dryness hurts global beans; Brazil roars again; the family farm conference and new products for the new year. You'll find this and more this week in Crop News Weekly. Thanks for being part of our online community. Happy reading.


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From our Magazines
Threat of soybean rust builds big demand for sprayers
Lora Berg
01/31/05    Farm Industry News
The clock starts ticking when Asian soybean rust breaks out in your field. Some officials have even gone so far as to say the sprayer had better be sitting "at the ready." However, some sprayer manufacturers are concerned there may not be enough sprayers available to beat the clock if an outbreak occurs. And federal crop insurance only covers yield loss if growers have made a serious attempt to treat the disease. The USDA warns that, once rust is discovered, growers have a seven-day window to apply an effective fungicide rescue treatment. Otherwise, plants can be completely stripped of foliage within a week. If left untreated, soybean rust causes yield losses ranging from 10 to 80%.


A lot of corn out there, but demand is strong
Elton Robinson
01/28/05    Farm Press Daily
The United States was not the only country to raise a huge corn crop in 2004. The European Union produced an estimated 145 million metric tons of corn last year, a 16 percent increase from the year before. And China's estimated 135 million metric ton corn crop is 9 percent larger than last year. Unfortunately, big crops mean big supplies, and that's keeping a lid on the market and constraining corn exports, according to Mark Waller, an economist with Texas A&M University. Waller spoke at the Ag Market Network's January teleconference.


Thiesse's Thoughts: Crop input costs increasing
Kent Thiesse
02/01/05    The Corn & Soybean Digest
According to some farm management specialists in the Midwest, crop input costs for seed, fertilizer, chemicals, and fuel are expected to rise about 10-15% for 2005, as compared to 2004. There has also been significant increases in the cost of fertilizer, fuel and corn drying costs, all which are directly linked to the worldwide increase in crude oil prices in the past year. There has been a steady increase in seed costs in recent years, with advanced seed genetics for weed and insect control. This reduced chemical costs initially, but these costs have increased slightly in the past couple of years.


Argentine Soy: Hurt by dryness
Richard Brock
02/01/05    The Corn & Soybean Digest
Dry weather and high temperatures have combined to cut the forecast for Argentina's 2004-05 soybean crop by 1 million metric tons, the Argentine consulting firm Agripac S.A. estimated last week, according to a Dow Jones News Service report. "The lack of rain and excessive temperatures during the first week of January have caused irreversible losses in a good part of the production zone," Agripac said. "There could be rain this weekend, but the losses are already there. These losses are a guarded secret that nobody is talking about. If it doesn't rain abundantly in the next 15 days, the losses will be even greater."


Crop insurance requires treatment for soybean rust
Lora Berg
01/31/05    Farm Industry News
The good news is federal crop insurance does cover lost production due to an outbreak of soybean rust. The bad news is if growers do not spray rust-infected soybean fields, they may not be able to collect insurance money on the lost yield, according to the Coarse Grains Crop Provisions outlined by the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA). What happens if there just aren't enough sprayers available? Shirley Pugh, RMA director of public affairs, says, "If you have done everything that you possibly can and you still can't get your crop sprayed, you are covered." However, growers need to be prepared to prove that they have made every possible effort to get the crop sprayed.


From the Top of the Hill
Scott Shearer
01/28/05    National Hog Farmer
Air Emissions Agreement - The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) announced a major consent agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding air emissions. The agreement provides for a two-year "benchmark study" of the air emissions from livestock and poultry operations from throughout the U.S. EPA will establish national air policies, identify farm emissions thresholds, and regulate excessive levels based on the findings of the study. According to NPPC, the agreement also provides "legal protections for past emissions if participating pork producers meet all the requirements of the agreement and fully comply with the subsequent regulatory policies for applicable requirements." NPPC will host regional meetings for pork producers regarding this agreement: Feb. 10 in Raleigh, NC; Feb. 11 in Indianapolis, IN; Feb. 15 in Des Moines, IA; and Feb. 16 in Kansas City, MO.

Senate Agriculture Committee Organizes - The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee officially organized this week. Members are Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), chairman, Dick Lugar (R-IN), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jim Talent (R-MO), Craig Thomas (R-WY), Rick Santorum (R-PA), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Tom Harkin (D-(IA), ranking member, Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Max Baucus (D-MT), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mark Dayton (D-MN), and Ken Salazar (D-CO). Subcommittee chairmen and ranking members will be named later.

Canadian Border Closing & COOL - U.S. Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) have introduced legislation that would keep the U.S.-Canadian border closed to imports of live Canadian cattle until mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) is implemented. Johnson said, "COOL should be in place to let people make informed choices about their meat." Mandatory COOL is scheduled for implementation by September 2006. USDA's proposed rule to open the U.S.-Canada border to imports of live Canadian cattle is to take effect on March 7.

BSE Hearing - Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns will testify next week before the Senate Agriculture Committee regarding the effects of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) on U.S. exports and imports. The hearing will focus on the Administration's rule reopening the U.S.-Canadian border for live cattle less than 30 months of age and for meat from cattle over 30 months of age. The rule is to go into effect on March 7. Additional committee hearings are expected.

Record 2005 Deficit - The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecast this week the deficit for fiscal year 2005 will reach a record $427 billion. President Bush will submit his proposed fiscal year 2006 budget on Feb. 7. Expectations are that agriculture could face significant cuts.

European Union (EU) Lifts Sanctions - The EU has agreed to lift the tariffs on the imports of U.S. products that were imposed in 2004 as a result of the U.S. foreign sales corporation/extraterritorial income (FSC/ETI) act. President Bush signed legislation last year that repealed the FSC/ETI act, which had been found trade distorting by the World Trade Organization (WTO). The EU has said they would re-impose the sanctions if the WTO finds the new law in violation of global trade rules. This would result in tariffs of 14% on 60% of the U.S. products on the EU's retaliation list worth $4 billion.

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Deadline - The deadline for producers to seek assistance from TAA is Jan. 31, 2005. Producers seeking assistance must file a petition with USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). TAA is providing cash benefits to producers if increasing imports (like or directly competitive commodity) contribute importantly to a decline in producer prices and a loss of net farm income. Petition forms can be found at http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa/resource.htm.

Brazil threatens to sandbag Doha Round negotiations
Forrest Laws
01/28/05    Southwest Farm Press
Brazilian trade officials are upping the ante on last year's World Trade Organization decision that mostly favored the Brazilian government's complaint against the U.S. cotton program. Although the ruling is under appeal, the officials are saying Brazil will not sign any agreement from the upcoming WTO ministerial meeting in Hong Kong that does not include the WTO cotton panel's rulings. Pedro de Camargo, the former Brazilian trade minister responsible for launching the challenges to the U.S. cotton program and the European Union's sugar regime, told members of the International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council that Brazil will not bend from its insistence that both programs be changed.


'It's a Jungle Out There' family farm conference
01/28/05    Western Farm Press
From dealing with family members in the day-to-day operations of the family business to making choices about growing genetically-modified crops, "It's a Jungle Out There." That's the theme for an interactive conference for all agricultural producers to be held here Feb. 24-25. The Friday session opens with "Top 10 Stupid Things Families Do to Break Up Their Business" by renowned ag speaker Jolene Brown from Iowa. Using real-life experiences, she helps families develop communication and succession strategies to help prevent fighting on the way to the funeral home.


Product Reviews: The new gadgets
Farm Industry News
Products for the farm, products to fix things; tools, one and all, that make our life easier and more efficient - that's what we all want, right? Thank goodness for the right tools! But how do you keep up with the latest? Trust Farm Industry News to bring you the latest gadgets and the greatest inventions to make your life easy and smooth. Take a look at some of the new items on the market and waiting at a store near you.


Canada and BSE: It isn't rocket science
Daryll E. Ray
01/25/05    Western Farm Press
The decision by the USDA to reopen the U.S. border to live cattle imports on March 7, 2005, continues to reverberate throughout the cattle industry and general farm organizations. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) has backed off its original support for the USDA decision saying, "What action NCBA ultimately takes on handling the reopening of the Canadian border will be decided by" its members. In the face of some questions at its annual meeting, American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Bob Stallman defended the decision to open the border arguing that the decision should be based on science and not economics.


A good custom farmer
Jodie Wehrspann
Farm Industry News
Lynn Clarkson, farm manager and president of Clarkson Grain Company, knows how to spot a good custom farmer. "We contract with farmers to raise specific varieties and hybrids in 20 states and three countries," Clarkson says. His company, located in Cerro Gordo, IL, provides food ingredients for products sold on grocery store shelves across the country. He also owns his own farm and uses two custom farming operations to do the work. He advises producers to look for people with the right qualifications.



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From the News Wire
U.S. ethanol industry sets monthly production record
01/31/05    NCGA News
The U.S. ethanol industry set an all-time monthly production record in November 2004, producing more than 290 million gallons, or the equivalent of 232,000 barrels per day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Production was up 20 percent compared to November 2003 when 194,000 barrels per day were produced. The previous all-time monthly record of 226,000 was set in September 2004 and tied in October 2004. "Monthly ethanol production records are being broken almost as quickly as they're being established. We're seeing the industry set a new production record nearly every month," said John Caupert, National Corn Growers Association director of commercialization. "The ethanol industry is growing at an amazing rate and that translates to expanding markets for corn growers and more clean-burning fuel for consumers."


Cyberspace is meeting place for Kansas corn growers
01/28/05    NCGA News
Members of a new corn grower association in Kansas are getting to know one another and exchanging ideas without leaving the comfort of their own homes. That's because the group, known as the Eastern Kansas Corn Growers Association (EKCGA), conducts all of its business via the Internet. When Ken McCauley, a National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Corn Board member who farms near White Cloud, Kan., came up with the idea to form the EKCGA, he thought it made perfect sense to make the group a Web-based entity. "It seemed like the perfect way to share ideas and information without asking people to drive to a meeting somewhere," he said. "It covers the eastern third of the state, which is a pretty big area. The comments we've been getting back have been very good and we're really excited about the amount of interest we've seen."


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