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May 25, 2005 050525

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Table of Contents
Logan Hawkes
Hong Kong trade talks: The beginning of the end?
The Road Warrior of Agriculture
Early season soybeans may need boost from herbicide
ASA applauds USDA rust monitoring
News from the Top of the Hill
ASA blames EU rules for lost sales
Treating indeterminate soybeans for Asian rust
Thiesse's Thoughts: Crop insurance and soybean rust
Cleaner air could increase global warming
Eyes in the sky
Highway bill extension to delay WRDA action
ASA suports biodiesel legislation


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Letter from the Editor
Logan Hawkes
05/25/05    Crop News Weekly
The Hong Kong Trade Talks, coming later this year, are already garnering a lot of attention and talk in ag circles worldwide. Will bickering countries set aside the differences and repair the riff created at the Cancun talks last year? Can this world trade conference change the not-so-productive mood of previous talks? If you're listening to the talk around the water cooler lately, it seems as though most everyone is expecting an uphill battle and a rocky road beyond.

In other news this week, and while on the subject of ag trade, Agriculture Road Warrior Dave Kohl compares North American and South American trade losses and gains and provides insight on how the competitive war is progressing. Also this week, growers who are planting early varieties and early-maturing varieties of soybeans are discovering they may need more from a herbicide than they are getting. In other news, the American Soybean Association (ASA) applauds the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for providing funding for soybean rust surveillance and monitoring. Meanwhile, U.S. soybean farmers are blaming strict European Union labeling and traceability regulations on genetically modified foods for a "steep decline" in sales of U.S. soybeans to the EU and charged the regime violates world trade rules. Finally this week, for years, climatologists have observed that smog, soot and smoke are contributing to a phenomenon dubbed global dimming. Climate statistics show that a significant amount of sunlight is literally being blocked from reaching the Earth's surface by emissions from smokestacks, diesel engines and forest fires.

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

From our Magazines
Hong Kong trade talks: The beginning of the end?
Hembree Brandon
05/23/05    Farm Press Daily
Will the December round of World Trade Organization talks in Hong Kong be the beginning of the end of a process that started in Havana, Cuba, in 1947 and has gone on nearly three decades? Or will it be yet another chapter in acrimony, as in Seattle in 1999, where demonstrators and police clashed in the streets, or Cancun in 2003, when discussions fell apart over agricultural issues and rich country/poor country bickering? If a panel discussion at the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers is any indicator, the Hong Kong discussions won't exactly be a cakewalk.


The Road Warrior of Agriculture
Dave Kohl
05/24/05    The Corn & Soybean Digest
The Road Warrior writes: Over the years I have compared North America and its agriculture to South America. I have indicated that the vast agricultural potential to our south would have to demonstrate political and financial stability over a decade period before I would give them equal status. Have the cracks in the southern potential started to occur? In the 1980s, South America was a region of military dictators that were being replaced by democracy and capitalism. There was optimism that the market economics would lift these regions out of the doldrums. For a decade this occurred; however, storm clouds are emerging in these economies as some corrupt politicians have channeled the benefits away from the poor and middle classes.


Early season soybeans may need boost from herbicide
Forrest Laws
05/19/05    Farm Press Daily
It's no secret why farmers took to Roundup Ready soybeans when the technology was first introduced in the mid-1990s. Growers could make one or two applications of glyphosate after planting and turn their focus to other things. But as soybean producers have moved to earlier planting and earlier-maturing varieties, they've begun to notice that the Roundup Ready system may not provide the season-long weed control they need to produce the higher yields to which they're becoming accustomed.


ASA applauds USDA rust monitoring
05/19/05    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).


News from the Top of the Hill
Scott Shearer
05/20/05    National Hog Farmer
No COOL Funds - The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture defunded country-of-origin labeling (COOL) during consideration of the Fiscal Year 2006 agriculture appropriations bill. The bill prohibits USDA from spending funds to implement COOL, thus delaying implementation. The National Farmers Union (NFU) said that delaying "mandatory country-of-origin labeling for meat is yet another missed opportunity to promote U.S. products. The flood of imported food continues to enter the United States at record pace." The bill now goes to the full House Appropriations Committee. Currently, mandatory COOL for meat and meat products is to take effect Sept. 30, 2006.

BSE Roundtable - Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns announced that USDA will hold a roundtable discussion entitled "The Safety of North American Beef and the Economic Effect of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) on the U.S. Beef Industry." The purpose of the roundtable is to address the "safety of North American beef and the changing infrastructure of the industry." Johanns said, "It is time to clearly present the science that underlies the safety of North American beef and examine the changing infrastructure of the industry. It is remarkable that we've not found a single new case of BSE throughout our year-long aggressive search. Now it is time to put into perspective for producers, processors, and decision-makers the facts and the future implications of the course we are following." The roundtable will be held on June 9 at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN.

Soybean Rust Surveillance and Monitoring - USDA will use nearly $1.2 million to monitor, report and manage soybean rust during 2005. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns said, "These funds will enhance our federal, state and industry-coordinated effort to provide the most up-to-date information on where soybean rust exists in the United States and how best to protect against it."

DCP Sign-Up Deadline - USDA reminded producers they have until June 1, 2005, to sign-up for the 2005-crop Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payment program (DCP). To sign-up for the program, producers can either visit a Farm Service Agency (FSA) office or use USDA's online DCP service at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/egov/edcp_default.htm.

Agriculture Trade Ambassador to Leave - Allen Johnson, the U.S. Agricultural Trade Ambassador, has announced that he will be leaving U.S. Trade Relations later this year. Johnson has been the chief U.S. agriculture trade negotiator for the past four years. He is highly regarding by the U.S. agriculture community and has been very involved in the Doha trade negotiations and the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

ASA blames EU rules for lost sales
Richard Brock
05/17/05    The Corn & Soybean Digest
U.S. soybean farmers on Friday blamed strict European Union labeling and traceability regulations on genetically modified foods for a "steep decline" in sales of U.S. soybeans to the EU and charged the regime violates world trade rules. The EU legislation is responsible for shaving "around 1 million tons" off annual U.S. soybean exports to the EU, according to Kimball Nill, Technical Director of the American Soybean Association told Reuters News Service.


Treating indeterminate soybeans for Asian rust
Wayne Wenzel
05/18/05    Farm Industry News
Question from a reader: In regard to treatment for Asian soybean rust, everybody is talking about how to prevent or treat for Asian rust in Brazil. I believe most varieties in Brazil are determinate soybean varieties (you can check). My concern is that no one has told us if Brazil has indeterminate soybeans in the southern regions of Brazil and if they have any experience in spraying indeterminate soybeans for Asian rust. Get the answer inside.


Thiesse's Thoughts: Crop insurance and soybean rust
Kent Thiesse
05/17/05    The Corn & Soybean Digest
The 2005 growing season is now underway, and farm operators in some areas have already planted many of their soybeans, and other in areas will be planting soybeans in the next couple of weeks. Throughout the winter and early spring, there has been considerable discussion about the potential for Asian soybean rust in 2005, scouting for the disease, treatment options, etc. One topic that has not been discussed as much, or as clearly, is how an incidence of soybean rust will be handled for crop insurance indemnity claims.


Cleaner air could increase global warming
Wayne Wenzel
Farm Industry News
For years, climatologists have observed that smog, soot and smoke are contributing to a phenomenon dubbed global dimming. Climate statistics show that a significant amount of sunlight is literally being blocked from reaching the Earth's surface by emissions from smokestacks, diesel engines and forest fires. Recent climate data, however, now show that the air is clearer than a decade ago and that more sunlight is reaching the Earth. Apparently pollution control measures are working. Great news! Or is it? Though there's less particulate matter in the air, fossil fuels continue to be burned at a furious pace, and carbon dioxide "greenhouse" gas continues to increase and trap heat in the atmosphere.


Eyes in the sky
Wayne Wenzel
Farm Industry News
Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns will discuss the agricultural benefits of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) at a press event May 20 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC. As the redundant-sounding name implies, the GEOSS project seeks to coordinate multiple satellite networks into a comprehensive worldwide system for collecting weather and crop data. GEOSS includes satellite data from U.S. agencies such as the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration System (NOAA) and National Aeronautic & Space Administration (NASA).


From the News Wire
Highway bill extension to delay WRDA action
05/20/05    NCGA News
As the House and Senate are work out details of a seventh extension of federal highway and transit programs, introduction and mark up of the House Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) will be delayed, notes National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Director of Public Policy Lisa Kelley. With less than two weeks before federal transportation aid expires, the Senate completed its work on re-authorizing surface transportation legislation, known as the "highway bill." This opens the door to difficult conference negotiations with the House. The bill is under the threat of a White House veto due to its high price tag. "Right now we are seeing movement on a seventh extension on the of federal highway and transit programs," said Kelley.


ASA suports biodiesel legislation
05/19/05    American Soybean Association
The 25,000 members of the American Soybean Association (ASA) today applauded the introduction of legislation in both the United State House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate that would extend the biodiesel tax incentive to 2010. Unless Congress passes an extension, the current biodiesel tax incentive, which took effect on January 1, 2005, will expire on December 31, 2006. "Biodiesel is an essential component of a comprehensive national energy policy that will help the United States reduce its dependence on imported oil," said ASA President Neal Bredehoeft, a soybean producer from Alma, Mo. "Every gallon of biodiesel processed from domestically grown soybeans also helps thousands of farmers and their families and the rural communities in which they live."


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