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April 20, 2005 050420

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Table of Contents
Logan Hawkes
Bt10 corn test expected soon
Theisse's Thoughts: EARTH DAY
New U.S. Soybean Export Council holds inaugural meeting
Oil price hikes increase farmer costs for planting
Fungicides don't always do well in 'mixed' company
Black cutworm caught in Illinois
ASA applauds USDA framework for rust monitoring
News from the Top of the Hill
Johanns backs away from payment limit stance
Ethanol generates more energy than it takes to produce
EU will continue to allow biotech traits in feed products
ASA welcomes legislation for renewable fuels standard


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Letter from the Editor
Logan Hawkes
04/20/05    Crop News Weekly
In the Top of the News: the Swiss Biotech firm, Syngenta, announced its support for the European Union's (EU) plan to require shipments of U.S. corn gluten and brewers grain to be certified as free of its unauthorized Bt10 corn variety, a move being lauded by U.S. farm groups. Independent testing is being performed and results should be available in the days ahead.

In other news, Earth Day will be recognized across the United States this Friday. For over three decades, the event has been a time for all U.S. citizens to reflect on the country's environmental resources and what we can do individually and as communities to help enhance the environment. Also this week, U.S. soybean farmers have a new ally working on their behalf to remain competitive in a growing global marketplace. The United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC), a new organization that will implement a unified and coordinated international marketing program to build demand and brand for U.S. soybeans and soy products. Elsewhere in the news, surging prices for oil and natural gas are causing concerns for farmers this spring planting season, and this piece of news: farmers can control Asian soybean rust and soybean aphid by spraying fungicides and insecticides from the same tank mix. Also this week, the first black cutworm moth of the season has been captured. On Wednesday, March 23, a black cutworm moth was captured in Pulaski County, and a single moth was captured on March 25 in Jefferson County, Illinois. Finally this week, the American Soybean Association (ASA) is applauding the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for providing funding for soybean rust surveillance and monitoring.

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


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From our Magazines
Bt10 corn test expected soon
Richard Brock
04/19/05    The Corn & Soybean Digest
On Friday, the Swiss Biotech firm, Syngenta, announced its support for the European Union's (EU) plan to require shipments of U.S. corn gluten and brewers grain to be certified as free of its unauthorized Bt10 corn variety and said it expected testing for the presence of Bt10 to be available soon. The company said it has been working closely with world leading and independent testing laboratory, GeneScan, as well as with the animal feed trade. "The certification for EU importation is expected to be operational within a few days at U.S. ports of departure," said a Syngenta press release.


Theisse's Thoughts: EARTH DAY
Kent Thiesse
04/19/05    The Corn & Soybean Digest
On Friday, April 22, the annual event called Earth Day will be recognized across the United States. For over three decades, this event has been a time for all U.S. citizens to reflect on our country's environmental resources, and what we can do individually and as communities to help enhance our environment for the next generation. In recent years, it has become fashionable to point the finger of blame at agriculture and farmers for many environmental issues. However, in reality farmers have been some of the best environmental stewards in the U.S. in the past couple of decades. This has been accomplished with a relatively small investment of federal tax dollars.


New U.S. Soybean Export Council holds inaugural meeting
United States Soybean Export Council
04/18/05    The Corn & Soybean Digest
U.S. soybean farmers have a new ally working on their behalf to remain competitive in a growing global marketplace. The United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC), a new organization that will implement a unified and coordinated international marketing program to build demand and brand for U.S. soybeans and soy products, held its inaugural meeting on March 31, 2005, in Chicago. USSEC will be governed by 19 representatives from the American Soybean Association (ASA), the United Soybean Board (USB) and U.S. soybean exporters and allied industry.


Oil price hikes increase farmer costs for planting
University of Missouri
04/18/05    The Corn & Soybean Digest
Surging prices for oil and natural gas are causing concerns for farmers this spring planting season, says Lori Wilcox, analyst with the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri. "Per acre costs for fuel and fertilizer for growing corn could be up 15-19%from 2004," Wilcox said. "Fuel and fertilizer costs this year could range from $60 to $103 per acre." Cropping practices, application rates and contracts made last fall can affect these figures. Oil prices raise the cost of gasoline and diesel to power farm tractors. Rising natural gas prices affect the manufacture of fertilizers, especially nitrogen, which is derived from the gas.


Fungicides don't always do well in 'mixed' company
Purdue University
04/18/05    The Corn & Soybean Digest
Farmers can control Asian soybean rust and soybean aphid by spraying fungicides and insecticides from the same tank mix. However, if they mix fungicides and herbicides, rust or weed control is likely to go in the tank, Purdue University Extension specialists say. Fungicides and insecticides are similar enough to be used simultaneously, says Greg Shaner, Extension plant pathologist. That cannot be said about fungicides and herbicides. Differences in application timing and spraying methods make it difficult to combine fungicides and herbicides, Shaner says.


Black cutworm caught in Illinois
University of Illinois
04/18/05    The Corn & Soybean Digest
The first black cutworm moth of the season has been captured. Ron Hines, a senior research specialist at the University of Illinois Dixon Springs Agricultural Research Center, sent in the first reports of black cutworms in pheromone traps. On Wednesday, March 23, a black cutworm moth was captured in Pulaski County, and a single moth was captured on March 25 in Jefferson County. Black cutworm moth season is beginning 2 weeks later than last year, when Hines reported the catch of the first cutworm moth on March 9, 2004, in Pope County. In another note, the first true armyworm of the 2005 season was captured in Pope County on March 29.


ASA applauds USDA framework for rust monitoring
American Soybean Association
04/18/05    The Corn & Soybean Digest
The American Soybean Association (ASA) applauds the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for providing funding for soybean rust surveillance and monitoring. The framework will allow for reporting where soybean rust has been confirmed, as well as predicting where it is likely to spread during the 2005 growing season. The cooperating USDA agencies include the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Cooperative State Research Extension and Education Service (CSREES). USDA confirmed the introduction of Soybean Rust (SBR) Phakospora pachyrhizi in the continental U.S. on November 10, 2004.


News from the Top of the Hill
Scott Shearer
04/15/05    National Hog Farmer
Ban Animal Antibiotics - Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Ted Kennedy (D-MA) have introduced legislation that would ban the use of various classes of antibiotics that are used on farms for livestock. Similar legislation was introduced last Congress. A coalition of public health and environmental groups have petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urging the agency to speed up the process to ban the use of seven classes of antibiotics that are used for livestock. The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), in a press release, stated, "These efforts would override a strict, science-based regulatory process currently in effect at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)." NPPC also said, "pork producers are concerned that their access to antibiotics may be seriously reduced and that proposed legislation advocated by activists, 'The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2005,' could slow down, and possibly eliminate, the development of new and innovative drugs, which could assist producers in finding new treatments for emerging animal diseases."

Packer Ban - This week on Radio Iowa, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced that he plans to introduce legislation that would make it illegal for packers to own or feed livestock intended for slaughter. Grassley introduced similar legislation in the last Congress.

End of Estate Tax - The House of Representatives passed H.R. 8, the "Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act of 2005," to permanently eliminate the estate tax in 2010. The cost of the repeal is estimated to be $290 billion over 10-years. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the American Farm Bureau Federation praised passage of this legislation. The bill faces uncertainty in the Senate.

Ten Weeks to Sign-up for Air Emissions Agreement - There is now 10 weeks left for producers to sign-up for the Air Quality Consent Agreement. This agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the livestock industry establishes a "nationwide air monitoring study that will result in the definition of air emissions standards for agricultural operations." Additional information concerning the agreement can be found on the National Pork Producers Council's website at: http://www.nppc.org/hot_topics/airemissions.html.

Taiwan Lifts Beef Ban - Tomorrow, Taiwan will lift its ban on U.S. boneless beef from animals under 30 months of age. In 2003, the U.S. exported more than $56 million in boneless beef to the country.

Agriclture Coalition for CAFTA-DR - This week began the effort for Congress to consider the Central America Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the Dominican Republic FTA. The Agricultural Coalition for CAFTA-DR held a press conference with Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns urging Congress to support CAFTA-DR. The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing regarding the agreements. Strong reservations were raised by a number of Senators concerning the effects the FTAs would have on the U.S. sugar industry. The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on the FTAs next week.

NPPC Lobby Congress on Key Issues - Last week over 100 producers met with members of Congress and government officials concerning key issues facing the pork industry. Those issues included mandatory price reporting, voluntary country-of-origin labeling, support for the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), and the U.S. EPA air emissions consent agreement.

Johanns backs away from payment limit stance
Forrest Laws
04/13/05    Southwest Farm Press
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns says the Bush administration is willing to work with Congress to find other ways to reduce farm program spending besides changing payment limits. In comments before the Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday (April 12), Johanns acknowledged that some lawmakers have been less than kind in their criticism of the payment limit language in the president's fiscal 2006 budget proposal. "We believe the president presented a budget that has some reasonable suggestions for reducing the costs of our farm programs," said Johanns. "However, we acknowledge that many of these policy proposals, such as the reduction in the payment limit, are quite sensitive." "We recognize Congress may have other proposals to achieve these savings, and we are willing to work with the Congress on other cost savings recommendations."


Ethanol generates more energy than it takes to produce
The Corn & Soybean Digest
A recent study by Argonne National Laboratory found that ethanol generates 35% more energy than it takes to produce, reinforcing the fact that production of the corn-based fuel yields a net energy gain. The findings of the Argonne study support earlier research conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Michigan State University, the Colorado School of Mines, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and other public and private entities that determined ethanol has a positive net energy balance. A USDA study released in 2004 found that ethanol may actually net as much as 67% more energy than it takes to produce.



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From the News Wire
EU will continue to allow biotech traits in feed products
04/18/05    NCGA News
The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) welcomes the European Commission's (EC) decision to allow continued inclusion of specific biotech traits in processed feed products that are imported by the European Union (EU). The action allows the EU to continue to import processed feed products that contain 26 approved "existing (biotech) products," according to the commission. These products have met all notification requirements under EC regulations. "We applaud the commission for ensuring U.S. growers have continued access to important EU markets for processed feeds," said NCGA President Leon Corzine. "For producers who plant these biotech traits, this action provides assurance that there will continue to be an established market for their products."


ASA welcomes legislation for renewable fuels standard
04/13/05    American Soybean Association
The American Soybean Association (ASA) expressed support for the "Fuels Security Act of 2005" introduced today in the United States House of Representatives by Stephanie Herseth (D-SD), Tom Osborne (R-NE), Collin Peterson (D-MN), and Steve King (R-IA). The legislation would establish a Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) growing to 8 billion gallons by 2012. This legislation is identical to legislation introduced in the Senate (S. 650) on March 17. "This landmark legislation would increase our nation's energy independence, protect air and water quality, provide increased flexibility for refiners and stimulate rural economies through the increased production of domestic, renewable fuels," said ASA President Neal Bredehoeft. "Increased use of renewable fuels will help support better prices paid to farmers."


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