Ag Moment

Go ahead, take a moment for some Ag news and information on the net

Monday, December 19, 2005

The world soda wars: a roundabout strategy in China for Pepsi

From the - To take China, Pepsi takes up potato farming

DALATE BANNER, Inner Mongolia -- Standing amid rows of yellowish plants running to the horizon, Vicky Huang fretted in September about the fall potato crop at this 1,200-hectare farm operated by PepsiCo Inc., here at the desolate edge of the Kubuqi desert. Thousands of tons had to be harvested for the company's Chinese potato-chip business before temperatures plunged and tubers began splitting apart in the ground.

WTO agreement calls for end to farm subsidies by 2013

From - WTO talks end with draft pact on farm exports All 149 members must still approve the call for an end to all subsidies by 2013

Hong Kong -- Trade ministers cobbled together a last-minute, face-saving agreement that saved the World Trade Organization meeting from collapse, but put off until next year a more sweeping pact, following six days of talks marked by discord inside the meeting and violent street protests outside. he draft agreement, which must be approved by all 149 WTO members, calls for the end of all farm export subsidies by 2013 and the elimination of subsidies to cotton exporters next year. The 2013 deadline is a victory for the European Union, which held out against pressure by developing countries that consider rich-world agricultural subsidies unfair to farmers in poor countries, and by the United States, which had proposed ending export subsidies by 2010.

World soybean production growing

From the Joplin Globe - Soybean ranking tumbles

NEVADA, Mo. - During the last 15 years, world soybean production has doubled, according to University of Missouri Economist Ron Plain. The big boost means the United States has slipped from producing half the world's soybeans to a third of the supply. Brazil and Argentina combine to produce more soybeans than the United States, he said.

Borders still closed to U.S. Beef

From Agriculture online - Ban on U.S. beef remains in many countries

As Japanese inspectors over the weekend accepted the first shipment of U.S. beef since a 2003 confirmed case of BSE, the industry now turns its focus on getting 28 other countries to lift their ban on U.S. beef. Japan is the biggest customer of U.S. beef with purchases in 2003 worth $1.5 billion. Without exception, this renewal of trade is very important to the U.S. beef industry. But, many countries have left their borders closed since 2003.

Follow-up Canadian duties will hurt Canadian hog farmers

From Farmscape - Canadian Corn Duties Raise Risk of US Action Against Canadian Hogs

Manitoba Pork Council is expressing its frustration following news that Canada has imposed provisional antidumping and countervailing duties on unprocessed grain corn imported from the United States. Last week the Canada Border Services Agency announced, effective immediately, imports of unprocessed US grain corn will be subject to provisional antidumping and countervailing duties totaling $1.65 US per bushel. Manitoba Pork Council Chair Karl Kynoch says, while the biggest impact of this duty will be felt by Canada's livestock industry, it will have a minimal impact on American corn growers.

Is the U.S. dumping grain in Canada? Canada thinks so

From The Vancuver Sun - Canada to impose duties on U.S. corn imports

OTTAWA -- Canada said Thursday it is imposing provisional duties on U.S. grain corn after a preliminary finding by the Canada Border Services Agency that imports of unprocessed grain corn from the United States are being dumped and subsidized. The decision came two months after the agency began investigating complaints from Canadian farmers that Washington was dumping and subsidizing grain corn.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Argentine soybean crop could use a rain

From Agriculture Online - Argentine farmer says soybean crop suffering from drought in spots

With the Argentina soybean crop just planted, it may be early to get too nervous about its condition, but any dryness in the South American crop conditions is expected to keep a level of support in the U.S. soybean market, market watchers say. Because the USDA estimated in its December report a U.S. 2005-06 soybean carryover of 405 million bushels, a record if realized, the market is expected to pay close attention to South America's crop weather.

Canadian Swine ID and Traceability program progressing

From Farmscape - ID and Traceability Offers Opportunity to Address Domestic as well as Foreign Animal Disease

A Prince Edward Island Veterinarian says the new national identification and traceability system being proposed for the Canadian swine industry has the potential assist in addressing common domestic disease concerns as well as reducing the risks associated with foreign animal disease.

Discussion: Is the soybean rust threat over?

From - X.B. Yang asks and answers: Soybean rust -- Are we out of the woods?

12/15/20005 -- In the discussion board portion of a Web site, I recently read a message with a similar subject title by a producer. This question is also one producers in the North Central Region are asking because of the light occurrence of soybean rust this past season. Development of the disease was surprisingly slower than most of us had anticipated. In this article, I will address the questions raised by producers by reviewing what we learned this past growing season, which was summarized during the National Soybean Rust Symposium held last month.

Break out the A1, US beef on way to Japan

From - U.S. Beef `On Its Way' to Japan, USDA's Johanns Says

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. beef is already being shipped to Japan, just three days after the Asian nation re-opened its market following a two-year ban over fears of mad-cow disease, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said. U.S. meatpackers including Tyson Foods Inc. and Cargill Inc. once had a $1 billion market in Japan and Johanns said his department would work to rebuild that market, which in 2003 was the biggest importer of U.S. beef.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Ag Moment site of the moment (8)

The Ag Moment site of the moment (8) is the: GMO Pundit blog A blog to give Australian primary producers a direct insight into what technology could offer them, and point them towards authoritative sources of information from all over the world. We help agricultural producers to stay ahead of the global competition. Welcome to the blogging community!

2005 - The second largest corn and soybean harvest

From the Argus Leader - Corn, soybean harvest big

The nation's farmers have harvested the second-largest corn and soybean crops on record this year, but many are concerned that low prices for livestock and grain and other factors will challenge farmer profitability. Some analysts say the added volume from a large crop will help offset depressed prices, but sagging U.S. crop exports and ballooning grain supplies threaten to push prices even lower.

Japan Lifts Ban on US Beef

From the San Francisco Chronicle - Beef sales back in the saddle U.S. to ship again to Japan after mad cow scare

On Wednesday, the Harris Ranch Beef Co. will spend the extra money it will take to send 10,000 pounds of beef to Japan via air rather than ship, in hopes of being the first producer to return to a market that was slammed shut nearly two years ago. In December 2003, a dairy cow at a ranch in Washington state was found to have mad cow disease. Japan, the largest foreign consumer of U.S. beef, quickly stopped buying it, followed by many other importing nations. Suddenly, the Japanese market for U.S. beef, valued at $1.4 billion annually, evaporated.

Canadian wheat tariffs lifted

From the Globe and Mail - NAFTA panel opens door to Canadian wheat

Bismarck, N.D. — A North American Free Trade Agreement panel has rejected a North Dakota Wheat Commission appeal over Canadian spring wheat imports, clearing the way for the U.S. government to lift tariffs on grain from north of the border. The Canadian Wheat Board described the decision this week as the last hurdle to Canadian grain freely crossing the border again.

No really, its OK to destroy GM crops in France

From Yahoo News - Activists' destruction of GM crops was justified: French court

ORLEANS, France (AFP) - In a judgement expected to send a chill through companies growing genetically modified (GM) crops in Europe and embolden their opponents, a French court acquitted 49 activists who destroyed GM plants after ruling their actions were justified. The court in the central city of Orleans dismissed the criminal charges of organised vandalism against the 49, who had uprooted GM maize in the region planted by the US biotechnology group Monsanto in two incidents, one last year and the other in 2005.
Comments at Common Sense for the Biochemist

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Japan one step more step closer to opening up US beef exports

From CBC News - Japan moves closer to allowing North American beef

The slow process of reopening the Japanese market to beef from Canada and the United States inched ahead Thursday. The Japanese Food Safety Commission, which prepares risk assessments other government agencies then consider, said beef from North American cattle – less than 21 months old – is safe.

Anti-GMers turn up the heat in Austrailia

From The Austrailian - Jennifer Marohasy: Costly harvest of ignorant GM campaign

THE organic food market is growing and according to some studies this demand is being driven by increasing consumer resistance to genetically modified foods. This resistance in turn is driven by anti-GM campaigning. In Australia, state government bans on GM food crops prevent the planting of GM corn, soybeans and canola, varieties grown overseas, including in the US. During the past two weeks the Australian organics industry has sponsored a lecture tour by anti-GM advocate and US-based consultant Charles Benbrook.

Corn after Corn may not be as profitable next year

From the Illinois Farm Bureau - U of I: Corn-After-Corn May Not Pay Off in '06

Corn-after-corn production may be less profitable than soybean production in 2006, meaning the recent trend of increasing corn production may end, according to a University of Illinois Extension study. "Between 2000 and 2004, corn returns exceeded soybean returns in many areas of Illinois," said Gary Schnitkey, U of I Extension farm management specialist who co-authored the study with fellow Extension specialist Dale Lattz.

Benlate fungicide contamination lawsuits back

From The Ledger - DuPont Lawsuit Given New Life

HONOLULU -- A federal appeals court has ruled that six Hawaii plant growers can bring racketeering and fraud charges against chemical maker DuPont Co. for crops they lost using a contaminated fungicide. In a unanimous decision, three judges on the 9th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a federal judge's dismissal of the case and reinstated the suit against the chemical manufacturer.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Its legal to smoke it, now the Netherlands may make it legal to grow it

From the Winston-Salem Journal - Dutch may allow pot to be grown like tobacco

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands A broad coalition of political parties unveiled a pilot program yesterday to regulate marijuana farming on the model of tobacco, which opponents say would be tantamount to legalizing growing the drug.

Soybean market has the winter blues

From - The soybean market continues to be a big concern

Soybeans started the week on a good note, however, the funds were unable to hold strength, and over the past two days the market dropped. The market closed lower today but off from its extreme lows. On a positive note, soybeans have not taken out last week’s low, but the risk still exists.

USDA corn report, just what was expected

From Agriculture Online/Dow Jones newswire - DJ SURVEY:Analysts See Few Surprises For US Corn In Report

CHICAGO (Dow Jones)--With the harvest complete and the combines stored after farmers produced what is expected to be the second largest U.S. corn crop in history, analysts contacted by Dow Jones Newswires expect little change to the corn ending stocks figure in Friday's supply and demand report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Will a new farming reality show be real?

From the Mercury News - Farm leader concerned about reality show

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. - We're not hayseeds, says a Nebraska farm leader, worried about how accurately a new TV reality show will portray farmers and their problems. John Hansen, the president of the Nebraska Farmers Union fears that "The Farmer Wants a Wife" intends to turn its rural reality cast into media fodder as naive bumpkins.

Bayer gets OK for new fungicide in UK

From Reuters - Bayer gets fungicide registration in UK

FRANKFURT, Dec 5 (Reuters) - German drugs and chemicals group Bayer has received the first registrations in the United Kingdom and China for its fluopicolide mildew and blight fungicide, it said in a statement on Monday.

A little ethanol for Missouri gas tanks?

From the Missourian - Mo. gas could have 10 percent ethanol

JEFFERSON CITY — All Missouri drivers would have corn in their gas tank if a bill filed for the next legislation session that addresses a key Missouri agriculture issue passes. The bill would require all gasoline sold after Jan. 1, 2007, to be blended with at least 10 percent ethanol. Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from fermented agricultural products, such as corn.

Not Where's the Beef, but how old's the Beef?

Yep, I haven't posted in a few days. The neph-critter gave me one heck of a cold or something over Thanksgiving. First up from Reuters - How old is that US beef? Japan wants to know

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Stan Isaacson can look at the cattle in his sprawling Texas feedlot and estimate each animal's age fairly accurately. That skill has served him well in managing his cattle, but it will not be enough if he and other cattle producers intend to ship beef to Japan when that market reopens, perhaps as soon as late this month.
Japan will only be allowing the export of cattle 20 months of age or younger.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

New Soybean Aphid Resistance Found

From - Research discovers aphid resistance in Chinese soybean cultivars

The soybean aphid is a major pest of the crop, and is difficult to control and remedy. There are currently no commercial cultivars with resistance to the pest, but headway has been made in the latest issue of Crop Science, where Clarice Mensah of Michigan State University, and colleagues, document the “Resistance to Soybean Aphid in Early Maturing Soybean Germplasm.”
Link to the article is here

Grain exports below expectations

From Agriculture Online - USDA corn, wheat, and soybean export sales below trade estimates

Though a holiday shortened week is blamed for keeping U.S. export sales lower last week, a developing trend of low sales is troubling, according to one analyst. Don Roose, U.S. Commodities, said the export soybean sales are not meeting goals set for the year by USDA. "We're falling drastically behind on soybean sales," Roose said.