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TheCropSite Newsletter - 31 July 2012

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The Crop Site

Tuesday 31st July 2012.

Sarah Mikesell - TheCropSite Senior Editor

Sarah Mikesell
Senior Editor

Editorial: Welcome to TheCropSite Newsletter

This past Friday, my family and I watched the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics. I was in awe of the spectacular job the UK did showcasing their history and culture going from agrarian society to industrial nation and then Lord Voldemort to Mary Poppins to Sir Paul McCartney. It was brilliant (as the English say)!

I am always amazed by the parade of nations. It reminds me how big the world is when I see countries I've never heard of (yes, I'm admitting it). And there's something unsettling about seeing China show a population of 1.3 billion and India at 1.2 billion. I suppose it makes 9 billion people seem not so out of reach by 2050.

The Olympics are expected to bring an extra 9 million people to London over a few short weeks, so I wondered how they will handle it? Here are a few fun sustainability facts:
  • London 2012 is the largest peacetime catering operation in the world. Their aspiration is to serve 14 million sustainably sourced meals.
  • The Olympic Park is the most sustainable Olympic and Paralympic Stadium ever built. The Park is the largest new urban parkland in Europe for 150 years and more than 60 per cent of construction materials were brought to the site by rail or river to build it.
  • London 2012 is committed to delivering a zero-waste-to-landfill Games, which is another first. Targets-to-date have been achieved with 98.5 per cent reuse and 99 per cent recycling of materials in demolition and construction.
  • London 2012 is the first Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games to measure its carbon footprint over the entire project term and have radically improved their ability to avoid, reduce and substitute carbon emissions associated with delivering the Games.
Beyond my fascination with the Olympics, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the downturn that US grain markets took last week, primarily due to rain moving through the Midwest and bearish Euro-zone conditions. On Monday, however, prices moved higher based on disappointing weekend precipitation and expectations for another week with temperatures in the 90s (32° C).

On the bullish side, the International Grains Council cut its US corn production forecast to 300Mt (down 14 per cent). While private analyst, Informa Economics, lowered its estimate to 292Mt. USDA's estimate is 329Mt.

China is expecting a record corn harvest in 2012 due to favorable weather conditions. Grain yields in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan are expected to be down significantly due to hot, dry conditions.

Have an Olympic week!


'Massive Plantings' in South America Could Provide Supply Relief
With global corn and soybean stocks already tight and the severe US drought lowering expectations for a replenished supply this fall, commodity prices have soared to record levels, writes Sarah Mikesell, TheCropSite senior editor.

Team Discovers How Western Corn Rootworm Resists Crop Rotation
A new study answers a question that has baffled researchers for more than 15 years: How does the western corn rootworm – an insect that thrives on corn but dies on soybeans – persist in fields that alternate between corn and soybeans? The answer, researchers say, has to do with enzyme production in the rootworm gut.

New Biofuel Process Dramatically Improves Energy Recovery
A new biofuel production process created by Michigan State University researchers produces 20 times more energy than existing methods. The results, published in the current issue of Environmental Science and Technology, showcase a novel way to use microbes to produce biofuel and hydrogen, all while consuming agricultural wastes.

Assessing Potential of Ecosystem Services with Land Use Data
A new study has developed a system to assess the potential of ecosystems to supply ecosystem services in the EU-25 plus Switzerland and Norway. It is one of the first to use historical and projected data on land use change at a continental scale to estimate the provision of ecosystem services and to assess possible trade-offs between them.

New Method Associates Genetic Variation with Crop Traits
A new technique will allow plant breeders to introduce valuable crop traits even without access to the full genome sequence of that crop.

Sustainable Agriculture: Wider Debate of Farming Techniques Needed
There is a need to broaden the debate on sustainable food security from a straight comparison between organic and conventional farming to a consideration of a variety of farming techniques. This is the conclusion of a new review of research that indicates, for some crop types, organic yields can nearly match conventional yields under good management practices and growing conditions.



   United States

UPDATED - USDA: More CRP Acres Available for Haying, Grazing
Forage Crops Could Provide Opportunities Following Corn
Grain, Corn Prices Reach High - But Not in Crisis Yet
Drought Impact on Crop Prices, Biofuels Assessed
CME: Feed Crisis Deepens
CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher Monday
CME: Corn, Soy, Wheat Futures Closed Lower Tuesday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher Wednesday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Lower Thursday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher Friday
Additional 76 Counties in Six States Designated as Disaster Areas
USDA Allows Unrestricted Use of Roundup Ready Sugar Beets
Grasshopper Problems 'Likely to Get Worse'
House Leadership Urged to Finish Farm Bill Amid Deadline, Drought Concerns
Updated Report Finds Land Values Increased Stronger than Expected
Estimating Yields of Stressed Corn
Weekly Roberts Market Report
Public Supports Programs Helping Farmers Adapt to Climate Change
GeoGrain: New Crop Basis Increased Average of 2 Cents
Grain Hedge: Commodities, Equities Ebb and Flow
Support for Biofuel Feedstock Producers Announced
Altering the Renewable Fuel Standard is Not an Option
Be Aware of the Potential for Herbicide Carryover
App Helps Growers Track, Manage Insect Populations
Anticipating Size of 2012 Corn and Soybean Crops
Coalition Urges EPA to Waiver RFS Due to Drought
Drought Challenges Communities to Plan for Weather Extremes

   Philippines

Super Bags to Minimise Rice Waste Now Available to Filipino Farmers

   Canada

Wheat Tan Spot Increases Through Canada
Changes in Wheat Marketing Could Affect Winter Wheat
Canadian Government Invests in Green Pest Management Technology
Harper Government Delivers Producer Check-off for Grain Farmers
Winter Cereal Crops Coming Off Fields in Excellent Condition

   Ireland

Increasing Costs of Production Eating Farm Profits

   Australia

Farmers Want Specialist Agency to Oversee Wheat Markets

   Pakistan

Phytosanitary Concerns: Pakistan Stop Rice Exports to US

   General

Good Prospects for Denmark, Sweden Winter Crops
Global Feed Industry Voices Alarm At Rising Feed Costs
'Massive Plantings' in South America Could Provide Supply Relief
Global Weather Conditions Hitting Grain, Oilseed Production

   United Kingdom

Excessive Rain, Lack of Sun Revises UK Crop Forecasts Down
UK: Two-Thirds Now Support GM Crop Testing
British Farming Delivers for the Olympics
NFU Frustrated at 'Inconsistency' Over Energy Plans
UK Mycotoxin Risk Assessment 2012: Update

   European Union

Advanced Direct CAP Farm Payments Approved

   Mexico

Mexico Exports Increased 10.7 Per Cent in First Half of 2012

   India

India 2011/12 Cotton Imports Treble Following Short Supplies

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