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TheCropSite Newsletter - 10 April 2012

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The Crop Site

Tuesday 10th April 2012.

Sarah Mikesell - TheCropSite Senior Editor

Sarah Mikesell
Senior Editor

Editorial: Welcome to TheCropSite Newsletter

The corn planters are starting to roll here in the Midwest, especially in Illinois with 17 per cent acres planted according to the USDA Crop Progress Report. You can expect that by mid-week when the crop insurance 'earliest planting date' of April 11 kicks in that there will be a surge in planting. The university Extension guys' only concern seems to be the water deficit, indicating the moisture level may not be high enough to germinate seed.

Speaking of water… the last few conferences I've been at Water keeps coming up as a consistent concern, especially among industry.

At the CropWorld conference I attended a few weeks ago, there was a representative from The Coca-Cola Company who spoke, not on water, but another topic. The gentleman sitting next to me leaned over and asked 'Do you know why a guy from Coke is at a conference like this?' I shook my head 'No'. His reply to me was one word - 'Water'.

When it comes to water, there are obviously many implications for agriculture - one of the biggest is the use of irrigation. And in developing nations, it accounts for over 90 per cent of water withdrawn from available sources for use.

In Europe, you see vast differences based on the weather pattern. In England where it rains all year round, water for agriculture accounts for less than 1 per cent of human usage. However, on the same continent, water used for irrigation in Spain, Portugal and Greece exceeds 70 per cent of the total usage.

Globally, about 15 to 35 per cent of irrigation withdrawals are estimated to be unsustainable. The map to the right indicates where there is insufficient freshwater to fully satisfy irrigated crop demands.

Am I suggesting everyone stop irrigating? Absolutely not - it's what has allowed some countries to boost production, enabling them to feed their growing population. That said, I do think we need to take a long-term look at irrigation and make sure we are using irrigation as efficiently as possible. How we use water TODAY will affect future food production.

To learn more about water use, click here.

In closing, I was talking to a friend last week, and she had just received a text that her girlfriend's husband had been badly hurt while planting corn and had to be life-flighted to a hospital for treatment. Having grown up on a farm, I know how it works - you push the limits during planting season to get more done in less time. So the mom/daughter/wife in me is sending out a reminder to put safety first and be extra careful as you head to the fields.

Have a safe and great week!

Feedstocks for Biofuel Production
Biomass feedstocks for energy production can result from plants grown directly for energy or from plant parts, residues, processing wastes, and materials from animal and human activities. The US Department of Energy conducted an assessment of these feedstocks in 2005 and concluded that over 1 billion tons of agricultural and forestry-related biomass could sustainably be collected and delivered to biorefineries, writes Zane Helsel for Rutgers University, New Jersey.

Is Dry Soybean Seed an Issue for 2012?
Areas of Iowa and other Corn Belt states were very dry during soybean harvest in 2011.

Wheat Breeding Program Spurs Economic Development
South Dakota State University’s wheat breeding program is at the heart of SDSU’s engine for statewide economic development. SDSU is one of only three institutions in the nation to have longterm breeding programs for both winter wheat and spring wheat.

Opening the Window of Spray Opportunity
Making the most of the short window of opportunity to control pests and diseases safely and efficiently in agricultural crops is often a challenge for grain growers. Graeme Tepper, MicroMeterological Research and Educational Services (MRES) says this opportunity may be shortened by unsuitable weather conditions.

Puzzle Solved as Maize Pest Reveals its Achilles Heel
Scientists at Rothamsted Research have identified the crucial controls of population cycles of the European corn borer pest, which could help prevent damage to maize crops and thereby save billions of dollars.

Intercropping, Crop Diversity and Pest Management
Intercropping is the practice of growing different crops in the same field. There are many spatial combinations possible for intercropping, including mixed intercropping, in which different crops are planted in the same row or without regard to row, and row intercropping, which involves planting different crops in alternating rows.

   United States

CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher Tuesday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Lower Wednesday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Slightly Higher Thursday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Down Monday
Weekly Roberts Market Report
USDA Food Assistance Programmes to Benefit Nearly 10 Million Worldwide
Purdue Agronomist: Wheat Excellent; Farmers Should Beware
Now Is It Time to Plant?
Research Shows Reduction in Volatility, Drift for Enlist Tech Package
Canola Tours Scheduled for Kansas
Study Paves Way for Safer Insect Control
Strip-Till Improves Soybean Yield
New Directory will Connect Producers with Custom Manure Applicators


High Commodity Prices Not Expected to Affect Corn, Wheat, Rice Consumption

   United Kingdom

Vegetable Protein Key for Future Protein Supplies
Business Must Play it's Part During Drought, Says Environment Agency
New HGCA Information Sheet on No-Till
NFU Scotland Opposes Fertiliser Ban


Wheat and Rice Production to Increase with More Rain Forecast

   European Union

Copa-Cogeca Release Cereals Figures. Call For Urgent Drought Measures
Bee Health: How Study Hopes to Protect Our Pollinators


China Becomes Biggest Grocery Market

   Korea, South

Fish Led Farm, Food Export Jump in First Quarter


Expert: Global Agriculture Sees 'The Rise of the Rest'
UK Donates $25M to Improve Ag Statistics
Food Prices Remain Nearly Unchanged in March
Sustainable Palm Oil is Good for Business
Food Prices Remain Nearly Unchanged in March


Taiwan Soy Exports Expected to Decrease


Pakistan to Beat Own Cotton Production Record


2012/13 Cotton Production Forecast at 4.6 Million Bales
Government Invests in Future of Farming


Corn, Rice & Wheat Imports to Continue to Meet Food Demand


Turkish Cotton Production Expected to Decrease


India’s 2012/13 Cotton Production Forecast Down


Drought Continues to Devastate Crops in Mexico


Bangladesh Cotton Imports to Decline


2012 Kazakhstan Wheat Production: Decline Expected

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