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TheCropSite Newsletter - 28 February 2012

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The Crop Site

Tuesday 28th February 2012.

Sarah Mikesell - TheCropSite Senior Editor

Sarah Mikesell
Senior Editor

Editorial: Welcome to TheCropSite Newsletter

As promised, I'm going to share a few highlights from the Pioneer Hi-Bred event I attended last week in Johnston, Iowa, USA.

First off, I have to say Awesome! - that's my best descriptor of the Pioneer Beaver Creek Research Center that our group toured as part of the two-day event. The facility was brand-spanking, new-carpet-smell-new.

I really don't consider myself a lover of all things high-tech, but this place made you wish you'd been a scientist, just to get to play with all the cool machines they had. It was kind of like where high-tech meets high-touch.

On one side of the building they use advanced mechanized and robotic technology to conduct marker discovery and development along with production genotyping. On the other side of the building, the high touch teams (my words, not theirs) carefully work with plant tissue and study monocot transformation in a highly controlled environment.

To demonstrate high touch, our group was shown how to remove the embryo from a corn kernel, and then we all had the opportunity to give it a try. Once again my LASIK eye surgery paid off, and I was able to extract three tiny corn embryos and place them turned "up" in the designated petri dish. It was all really cool and a reminder of what a high-tech world we live in.

OK, I'll stop ooo'ing and ahhh'ing and get back to another key highlight.

Pioneer said their Optimum AQUAmax drought-tolerant hybrids would "go global" in 2012. There were no other details given on which countries would receive drought-tolerant hybrids in 2012, but there might be additional announcements made at Commodity Classic later this week. I'll keep you posted if I hear anything further.

For the US in 2012, Pioneer will offer 25 Optimum AQUAmax hybrids and expects 2.5 to 3 million acres will be planted. Pioneer noted that in nearly 8,000 on-farm trials, Optimum AQUAmax hybrids yielded 7.1 per cent higher in drought conditions and 3.4 per cent higher in favorable weather conditions than competitors.

This week, I'll be at Bayer CropScience's Ag Issues Forum, which has a sustainability and weed resistance focus. The Bayer meeting rolls right into the Commodity Classic, which is the annual meeting for the corn, soy, wheat and sorghum commodity associations, held this year in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

Watch headline news at for live coverage and highlights from each of these events.

Have a great week and please say hello if our paths cross at Commodity Classic!

Impact of Canadian Ethanol Policy on Livestock, Meat Industry
Ethanol has already contributed to the downsizing of the Canadian livestock industry through its impact on margins and livestock prices, and expansion of the ethanol industry will amplify the negative consequences, according to Kevin Grier, Al Mussell and Irena Rajcan, all with the George Morris Centre in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Iowa State University: 2011 Farmland Value Survey
Based on the long-running Iowa farmland survey, land values should remain strong for the next several months at least. Beyond that there is a fair degree of uncertainty with respect to whether land values can maintain their current levels.

New Way to Map Drought, Water Use
Every month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Center for Climate Prediction has a drought briefing by teleconference to identify the latest drought areas in North America.

Nixing Nitrate Flow from the Farm
When early settlers arrived in the Midwest, they began constructing an underground network of tile drains to channel water away from the soggy prairies, which then became some of the most fertile crop fields in the country.

Quality of Soil Analyses Can Be Improved
What is the actual nutrient status in a particular field? Will I need to apply more fertiliser? Or shall I desist because the soil at the moment actually has a surplus of nutrients? To get a clear answer to these questions, the farmer sends in soil samples for analyses.

Market Potential for US Distillers' Grains Exceeds Supply Growth
US production of distillers' grains (DGs), which include a range of animal feed co-products derived from corn-based dry-mill ethanol production, has quadrupled since 2004/05, paralleling the rapid growth of US ethanol production, write Linkwood Hoffman and Erik Dohlman.


Global Coarse Grain Use Prospects Little Changed, Ending Stocks Lower
US Corn Exports up on Reduced Competition and Increased Trade
South Korea, US FTA Implemented in March
Hermetic Bags Save African Crop, but Not How Experts Once Thought
India Hopeful for E280m Grant This Year
Road Links Improve Ghana's Agribusiness Developments
Canada and US Strengthen Ag Trade Relationship
GM Crops Continued to Grow in 2011
Sustainable Intensification to Meet Growing Demand

   United Kingdom

Attraction of Renewable Options for Farming Community
NFU AGM - Farming to Help Kick Start Economy
NFU AGM - CAP Greening Will Not Penalise Champions
Freeing up Farming to Reach its Full Potential
NFU AGM - Farmers Attack CAP Reform Proposals
UK Water Companies in Talks About Pooling Resources to Beat Drought
Ross Farmers Urged to 'Harvest the Wind'

   United States

CME: Corn Prices for 2012/13 to be Almost 20% Lower
CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher Monday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Lower Tuesday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher Wednesday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher Thursday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher Friday
CME: Bearish Corn Outlook for 2012/13 Supplies & Prices
Sugarcane: Brown Rust Coming Back - Limit the Damage
Texas: Rains Green Things Up; Hay, Grazing Still in Short Supply
Maize Hybrid Looks Promising for Biofuel
Fewer Farms, Less Land but Greater Production
USDA Outlook: Wheat Stocks Up, Uncertainty for Corn
Federal Court Dismisses Lawsuit by Organic Growers Against Monsanto


Cargill to Close Manitoba Grain Elevator and Crop Facility
Govt Creates Opportunities for Use of Agricultural Biomass


Argentina May Export Corn to China


Burning Opportunity for Carbon Credits
WA Farmers Sticks with GM Policy
Mapping Out a Food Secure Future
Food Security on the Agenda at Dubbo Grains Update
Early Rust Findings Prompt Green Bridge Warning
Growers Urged Not to Grow Canola on Canola to Prevent Disease, Losses
Australian Barley Growers Warned to Prepare for Disease Risk


French Government Ask European Commission to Suspend GM Maize


Feed is Key to Rising Prices of Chinese Pork
Draft Grain Law Limits Genetic Engineering
China's First GMO Corn Expected in 2013

   European Union

CAP Reform: An Update
Small Recovery Expected for EU Cereals


Corn Exports From Ukraine to Climb, Boosting Global Supply


Egypt Buys More CGM and DDGS

   Viet Nam

Vietnam February Rice Exports Forecast 40 Per Cent Lower


Energy Risk Management Products for Japan

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