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TheCropSite Newsletter - 22 May 2012

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The Crop Site

Tuesday 22nd May 2012.

Sarah Mikesell - TheCropSite Senior Editor

Sarah Mikesell
Senior Editor

Editorial: Welcome to TheCropSite Newsletter

It feels like Mother Nature flipped the Summertime Switch here in the Midwest. Temps hiked up near 100º F (38ºC) over the weekend and weather is expected to range between 70º - 90º F (21º - 32º C) over the next 10 days, with no major rain in the forecast.

So... I'm going to ask you in indulge me going a little off-topic (and a little long-winded) this week as Chicago was host to NATO meetings on Sunday and Monday. As my colleague and I were leaving our Chicago Board of Trade office Monday afternoon, we caught the tail end of a NATO protest walk. Being journalists, we simply had to follow to see what was happening, and frankly it was easy to get sucked in to the shouts and the drums playing - it felt a lot like a parade. In the end, all remained peaceful and we just stood back and watched America's freedom of speech at work.

I have to add that almost more interesting was the shocking amount of Chicago policemen on-hand. They were literally shoulder-to-shoulder lining the streets, keeping watch on the protesters, the media, the media-seekers and even those of us on the street taking pictures with our cell phones. Even as we made our way to our hotel, policemen were at every corner and surrounding key buildings. I had been a little nervous about safety during NATO, but I have actually never felt more safe in Chicago.

So what was NATO up to?

The Chicago Summit was planned as a time to assess progress since the last NATO Summit, but intervening events — the international financial crisis and revolutions in the Arab world — expanded the agenda. However, three issues dominated the agenda.

Topping the agenda was the planned military withdrawal in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 — a timetable that European nations want to speed up. President Barack Obama, who visited Afghanistan earlier in the month, signed an agreement with the Afghan president reiterating the US commitment to stay through 2014 and maintain a largely noncombat presence for another decade. NATO leaders planned to hash out the transition of security provision from NATO to the Afghan government.

Second on the agenda was "Smart Defense" which is another way of saying “do more with less.” European nations have cut their defense spending, so the US defense spending within the Alliance has shifted from 50 per cent to 75 percent. The US simply can't sustain this portion, so Smart Defense will find ways to cut costs by prioritizing, pooling resources and determining country specializations.

Last, with the world radically changing amid a global financial crisis, NATO wants to find partnership opportunities with non-NATO countries in order to deal with emerging threats.

Just prior to the NATO Summit was the G-8 Summit where leaders from The Group of Eight, including the US, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Russia, focused their talks heavily on Europe's debt crisis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel came to the summit demanding austerity (cost-cutting) as the most important step toward easing the eurozone's debt troubles. However, other leaders pushed to promote economic growth and job creation.

A joint statement noted that budget cuts should "take into account countries' evolving economic conditions and underpin confidence and economic recovery", meaning time will be given to let indebted countries reduce their deficits to lessen the impact of economic cuts.

It called for "investments in education and in modern infrastructure," which would involve more government spending. The group also noted support for Greece remaining in the euro. However, speculation abounds that Greece may not be able to follow that course.

I said earlier I was only going a little off-topic, because all of this impacts the global financial markets. And what impacts the financial markets will greatly impact our world of food production.

Have a great week!

Pearl Millet Is Alternative Feed Grain
Pearl millet has a long history of use as a summer grazing and hay crop in the southeastern United States. The recent development of new, adaptable and productive grain pearl millet hybrids in the southeast gives crop producers a suitable alternative feed grain for dryland production.

Grain Expectations in Sugar Country
Seven years ago, central Queensland grower Aaron Sanderson and his family packed up and moved north to a small property in Ayr, about 90 kilometres south-east of Townsville.

Knock, Knock — The Modern Answer to Weed Control
Advisors are asking Central Queensland grain growers to try again if they have experimented with the double knock weed control technique with mixed results.

New Resources Promote Flexible Approach to Farming
Western Australian research suggests the inclusion of fallow in the crop sequence can be a productive option, boosting the yields of subsequent crops and helping to control annual ryegrass.

Unusually Warm Spring May Cause Stored Grain Problems
The warm spring temperatures following a warm winter may lead to stored grain problems, particularly for grain that exceeds the recommended storage moisture content or did not stay cool during the winter, writes Calli Thorne, North Dakota State University Extension Agent.

Plant Proteins Boost Agricultural Yields, Biofuel Production
Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Iowa State University discovered a family of plant proteins that play a role in the production of seed oils, substances important for animal and human nutrition, biorenewable chemicals and biofuels.

   United States

Rains Jump-Start Texas Cotton Planting, Moisture Critical in Areas
US Sorghum Production Set to Bounce Back in 2012/13
US Wheat: Supplies Up, Prices Down
22 Hours of Grain Trading; Industry Says Slow Down
Pioneer Hi-Bred Will Sell Soybeans by Seed Count
Record Feed Grain Production Projected for 2012/13
Herbicide Injury to Corn Increases
CME: Corn Futures Closed Lower Monday
CME: Wheat, Soy Futures Closed Higher Tuesday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher Wednesday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher Thursday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher Friday
Compensation Agreed for Stuttering US Canola Project
Nitrogen Applications for the 2012 Corn Crop
GeoGrain: Basis for Spot Corn Delivery Up Three Cents Last Week
Food Hubs Keep Connections Local
US Barley Production Advances in 2012/13
CME: Corn Planting Near Record-High Condition


India: GM Crops 'Need of the Hour', Say Experts
India Sugarcane Expected to Continue Strong Growth
Likely Shift from Cotton to Soy for India's Farmers


Fertilizer Industry Launches Online Campaign Ahead of G8 Summit
New Zealand & Australia Join Forces at World Farmers'
Plans for China-UK Centre of Excellence for Plant Research
Wheat Production Down in 2012/13, Still Fourth Largest on Record

   Russian Federation

Russia Grain: Historical Area Estimates Revised


Canada Seeded Area Forecast at a Record High
Fall-Seeded Cereals Looking Better than Ever in Manitoba


China Cotton Production Forecast Down by Nine Per Cent
Revenue Soars for Sino Agro Food

   United Kingdom

Renewable Energy Gathers Pace at Cereals
Outlook Conference Examines Future of UK Agriculture
UK Farmers Challenge GM Trial on Newsnight
Maize 'Perfumes' Attract Beneficial Bugs
Farmers Advised to Get Head-Start on NVZ Appeals
Fixing Single Farm Exchange Rate Removes Euro Uncertainty
John Deere AutoTrac Controller Widens the Net
UK Farmers Enjoy Boom as Economy Suffers
Arrest Made After Break-in at GM Wheat Trial Site
'Confused' Crops could Pose Complications for Future of Farming
John Deere Launches JDLink App

   South Africa

South African Sugar Recovers from Drought


Colombia Sugar Increases as Ethanol Production Rises


Danish Support for a Greener Agricultural Policy


Australian Agriculture Shares A$70 Million in Research Grants
Australian Sugar Industry Continues Recovery
A$4 Million in Fee Rebates to Grain, Fish and Egg Exporters


Weather Damage to Bulgarian Crops Assessed


Bird Flu Hits Bangladeshi Feed Producers


Moroccan Grains Struggle with Lack of Rain


Thai Rice Export Prices Rise


French Ban of Monsanto GM Maize Rejected by EU

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