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June 15, 2005 050615

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Table of Contents
Logan Hawkes
China would be 'happy' to see DR-CAFTA fail
Export prospects improve for U.S. soybeans
Rust or rain to Midwest?
Farm living expenses increase
News from the Top of the Hill
Food pyramid: A basis for commodity policy?
Knowledge of nitrogen transfer between plants expands
The latest product lines
Reader Comments: Treating indeterminate soybeans
More product news
NCGA issues alert for grassroots push on energy bill
ASA urges immediate grower action


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Letter from the Editor
Logan Hawkes
06/15/05    Crop News Weekly
In The Headlines: There are proponents and opponents to the proposed DR-CAFTA bill on the Hill, but no one seems more eager for the plan to fail than China. A U.S. Trade official is saying if the bill passes, more jobs in textile will return to the U.S. and CAFTA nations, a measure China may not like.

In other news, last year's small South American soybean crop is expected to provide increased U.S. export opportunities this year, according to USDA's June 10 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate. Also this week, there are a number of happy soybean growers in the Midwest after Tropical Storm Arlene stopped short of drenching soybean fields, increasing the chance of spreading Asian rust. But there is some bad news for Midwest farmers. According to the University of Illinois, farm expenses rose $5,641 on average from 2003 to 2004. Finally, new findings show that a beneficial soil fungus plays a large role in nitrogen uptake and utilization in most plants.

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

From our Magazines
China would be 'happy' to see DR-CAFTA fail
Forrest Laws
06/14/05    Farm Press Daily
Farmers who are still wondering which side of the DR-CAFTA fence they're on should consider what may happen if the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement fails to win enough votes for passage, a U.S. trade official says. Congressional committees were expected to begin DR-CAFTA hearings on June 7 and move the agreement to the House and Senate floors soon after. Reports say the measure is still short of the needed votes, but Allen Johnson, the U.S. Trade Representative's chief agricultural negotiator, is optimistic it will pass.


Export prospects improve for U.S. soybeans
Elton Robinson
06/13/05    Farm Press Daily
Last year's small South American soybean crop is expected to provide increased U.S. export opportunities this year, according to USDA's June 10 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate. But South America is expected to rebound in 2005-06 and contribute to a projected world record crop in 2005-06. USDA increased soybean crush and exports and reduced ending stocks from the 2004-05 U.S. crop and also reduced global ending stocks. The latter reflects the ever-shrinking Brazilian crop, now down to 53 million tons.


Rust or rain to Midwest?
Elton Robinson
06/13/05    Farm Press Daily
As of June 10, Tropical Storm Arlene was headed for the Gulf of Mexico, with landfall expected over the following weekend in New Orleans. The big question at the time was whether it would continue north and bring rain, rust or both to Midwest soybean fields. According to Greg Soulje, agricultural meteorologist, U.S. Farm Report, Arlene was expected to stop short of giving the eastern Corn Belt a good soaking. "We have Arlene tracking to the north and northwest with landfall sometime over the weekend in New Orleans," said Soulje, speaking at a Chicago Board of Trade press briefing on USDA's June 10 crop production and supply/demand estimates.


Farm living expenses increase
University of Illinois
06/10/05    The Corn & Soybean Digest
Living expenses rose $5,641 on average from 2003 to 2004 for 1,225 Illinois farm families monitored in a University of Illinois (U of I) Extension study. Total living expenses averaged $58,549 in 2004 compared to $52,908 the year before. The families studied are enrolled in the Illinois Farm Business Farm Management Association (FBFM) and are mainly grain farmers in central and northern Illinois. The figure includes both capital--automobiles, furniture and household equipment--living expenses and non-capital living expenses.


News from the Top of the Hill
Scott Shearer
06/10/05    National Hog Farmer
EPA Denies Waver - In a major victory for the ethanol industry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied requests from California, Connecticut, and New York to not use oxygenated fuels to meet requirements of the Clean Air Act. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) said, "We thank the EPA for again recognizing that the use of ethanol significantly reduces harmful tailpipe emissions from automobiles. With this decision, the EPA continues to acknowledge the proven benefits ethanol has on air quality. It is clear that the EPA is committed to addressing concerns about air quality."

Appeals Court to Hear Canadian Beef Case July 13 - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hear USDA's appeal of the preliminary injunction of USDA's rule regarding Canadian cattle on July 13 in Seattle, WA. In March of this year, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Cebull placed a preliminary injunction on USDA's rule to reopen the U.S. market to Canadian cattle less than 30 months of age. USDA appealed this decision to the Court of Appeals, hoping the court will rule before Judge Cebull begins hearings on July 27 on R-CALF's request for a permanent injunction of Canadian cattle under 30 months of age and all beef products.

Consumer Groups Say Keep Canadian Border Closed - Consumers Federation of America and Public Citizen joined the Cattlemen's Competitive Market Project, R-CALF and the Organization for Competitive Markets in filing a friend-of-the court brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in support of keeping the U.S. border closed to Canadian beef.

Korean Technical Team - A Korean technical team is in the U.S. this week visiting a feed yard, feed mill, slaughter facility, and USDA's Technical Center in Ames, IA. This is a part of the on going effort to re-open the Korean market for U.S. beef and beef products. USDA had a team in Korea earlier this spring.

Lebanon Reopens Border to U.S. Beef - Lebanon has agreed to resume importing U.S. beef and beef products from animals under 30 months of age. This is the third country in the Middle East region to reopen its borders to U.S. beef.

CAFTA-DR - The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing on the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). The Agriculture Coalition for CAFTA-DR in a letter to the Senate Agriculture Committee urged members to support the trade agreement. The coalition said the "economic growth and prosperity generated by this Agreement will create millions of new customers for U.S. food and agricultural products." Sugar remains a major obstacle. The Administration would like Congress to vote on the agreement before the July 4th Congressional recess.

More Changes at USDA - The Administration plans to nominate Richard Raymond, M.D. as USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety. Raymond currently serves as the director of the Regulation and Licensure Agency of Nebraska's Health and Human Services System.

Food pyramid: A basis for commodity policy?
Daryll E. Ray
06/10/05    Western Farm Press
Much of the response to USDA's recently released revision of the food pyramid is predictable. Whether it is viewed as (1) a tool of the food industry, (2) too confusing, or (3) a needed and helpful revision that reflects the diversity of needs within the U.S. population seems to depend on the prior agenda of the speaker. There was one response, however, that you might not expect. It came in a May 2, 2005 "Chicago Tribune" article by Andrew Martin titled "USDA's subsidies ignore its own dietary advice."


Knowledge of nitrogen transfer between plants expands
06/10/05    Southwest Farm Press
New findings show that a beneficial soil fungus plays a large role in nitrogen uptake and utilization in most plants. In the current issue of the journal Nature, Agricultural Research Service chemist Philip E. Pfeffer and cooperators report that beneficial arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi transfer substantial amounts of nitrogen to their plant hosts. A lack of soil nitrogen often limits plant growth.


The latest product lines
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Honeywell has launched two new grades of Sulf-N ammonium sulfate (21-0-0-24S) and improved quality specifications and supply for its granular grade. Also, AutoFarm introduces the AutoFarm RTK AutoSteer System 2005. The system is engineered for interoperability that allows seamless integration with any brand and model of tractor, sprayer or harvester. And Syngenta Crop Protection announces the U.S. EPA registration of Callisto herbicide for use in sweet corn. Get the details!


Reader Comments: Treating indeterminate soybeans
Wayne Wenzel
Farm Industry News
A reader writes: Dear Farm Industry News: We enjoy your magazine the most of all the magazines we receive. You get to the issues. 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...(more)


More product news
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From the News Wire
NCGA issues alert for grassroots push on energy bill
06/13/05    NCGA News
As the Senate begins debate on S. 10, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is issuing a legislative alert urging its corn grower members to contact their senators to support the comprehensive energy policy that includes an 8-billion-gallon Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). "We've been pushing for an energy policy that utilizes domestic renewable fuels for over four years," said NCGA Ethanol Committee Chairman Daryl Haack. "This Congress has realized how important a comprehensive energy policy with a renewable fuels standard is and there is tremendous support building for an energy bill that will utilize domestic sources for energy such as ethanol.


ASA urges immediate grower action
06/09/05    American Soybean Association
The American Soybean Association (ASA) is encouraging all U.S. farmers and livestock producers to contact their Senators and Congressional Representative to express support for the United States-Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). Growers are urged to use ASA's convenient online Legislative Action Center, which is available at capwiz.com/soy/home/, to send email or letters to their legislators. The CAFTA-DR includes the United States and six Central American countries: Costa Rica, The Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. These six countries represent a growing region of 45 million people that imported $264 million in U.S. soy product in 2003.


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