G10 Countries Express Trade Concerns

Chuck Zimmerman

As we get closer to the Hong Kong Ministerial of the WTO the rhetoric is heating up. Ag groups here in the United States have sure been sending out the “position” releases. I have to call them that since I’m not sure I would use the word news to describe the content of a lot of the ones I see. They are informative though for reporters, most of which probably don’t “use” them other than for background information.

What is interesting is to see the language and the us vs. them attitude that everyone has in this world trade negotiation. I’m sure the same thing happens in other countries and in fact, I received a release this morning from an interesting group of countries who see things very differently than our farm groups here in the U. S. This release was sent by the Swiss Farmers’ Union.

After intensive discussions with governmental and WTO officials in Geneva, we farm organisations from the G10-countries of Japan, Korea, Norway and Switzerland, express our grave concerns about the development of the WT O negotiations in agriculture. Exporting countries like G20 and USA have continued to put forward aggressive negotiating proposals such as drastic tariff reductions, tariff capping, and limitation on the number of sensitive products while importing countries’ requests for reflecting non-trade concerns and providing flexibility in market access have not been properly accommodated. We are also deeply concerned about the recent proposal of the EU including tariff capping and deep cuts in tariffs. These proposals do not consider the special situation of the agriculture in the net food importing countries.

Who would think that countries like Japan, Korea, Norway and Switzerland would get together on anything? The release also mentions “multifunctionality” which is a concept we don’t discuss much here. It takes a little bit of explanation and understanding the cultural differences that exist between these countries and the U. S. If you delve into it you’ll start to understand the thinking behind the folks we’re negotiating with a little better.

I don’t personally believe we’ll see much accomplished again this year. If you think differently please feel free to comment.

International, WTO

NAMA Agribusiness Forum Blog

Chuck Zimmerman

NAMA ConnectAnnouncing NAMA Connect. It’s the National Agri-Marketing Association blog. You may remember they blogged the Boot Camp this summer. Well it’s time to move on down the blogging super highway.

Yours truly will be the NAMA guest blogger for the Agribusiness Forum. In fact, I’ve already started. Visit the site now to hear an interview with Forum chairman, Scott Kurfman, AdFarm. He talks about the program and says it’s not too late to register.

If for any reason you can’t make it to the Forum keep tuned to NAMA Connect (and of course, AgWired) to keep up with what’s happening. Also, as Scott says, the sessions will be recorded, so you can always listen to the speakers later.

This will be fun.

Blogging, NAMA

Photo Album From World Dairy Expo

Chuck Zimmerman

Entrance To World Dairy ExpoI took a lot of pictures while I was at the recent World Dairy Expo blogging away on World Dairy Diary. Although I used a bunch of them during the course of writing about the event there were many more not used. So, it was Flickr photo album time.

Just in case you’re interested I thought I’d post a link to it here. I took 262 photos during Expo and uploaded 201 of them. So there’s a lot to look at. This link – World Dairy Diary Photo Album – will take you to the Flickr photo album. You can look at them individually or as a slideshow. You can download them too. If you use them, just give us credit please.

I hope you enjoy them. It was fun taking them.

World Dairy Expo

Touring Tessenderlo Kerley In Kansas

Chuck Zimmerman

TKI Fertilizer Forum GroupNow isn’t this a good looking group? The Tessenderlo Kerley folks brought in the media to tour their plant. That’s a great idea. Bring the media in and do a show and tell. Best way to get everyone on the same page! It’s part of that whole transparency thing.

Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc., held a fertilizer industry update forum and tour of its liquid fertilizer plant in Coffeyville, Kan., on Wednesday, Oct. 26. The purpose of the forum was to provide the latest information on fertilizer production and supplies for the 2006 season, as well as overview fertilizer options to help producers improve nutrient efficiency management and save money. Presentations on current fertilizer market conditions and options were given by Dr. Larry Murphy, Fluid Fertilizer Foundation; Neal Barkley, Coffeyville Resources; Randy Whisenhunt and Jeff Mayfield with Ag Services of Hillsboro, Kan.; and Brian Lawrence of Tessenderlo Kerley.

Attending the forum and tour were (left to right) Terry Anderson, Lee AgriMedia, Tekamah, Neb.; Greg Vincent, Vance Publishing, Overland Park, Kan.; Beth Riffel, Grass & Grain, Manhattan, Kan.; Doug Rich, High Plains Journal, Lawrence, Kan.; Brian Lawrence, Tessenderlo Kerley, Kearney, Mo.; R. Kelly Schwalbe, BCS Communications, Kansas City, Mo.; Bill Spiegel, Kansas Farmer, Manhattan, Kan.; and Stacey Irwin, Farm Industry News, Raymore, Mo.

Agribusiness

ScanControl In The Palm of your Hand

Chuck Zimmerman

Scan ControlAt first glance the news about ScanControl’s service and software enhancements is pretty difficult to digest. Pretty technical language for one thing and lots of it. That’s why I was very glad to see that they included a link to a flash demo. Pictures speak a thousand words or at least make something like this easier to understand!

You can find the demonstration here.

ScanControl, a global provider of data collection solutions that “put crop management in the palm of your hand,” announced enhanced scalable support for smart phones, Wireless devices, GIS, and barcode technologies in CropTrak™ software, providing vineyards and diverse agricultural businesses with on-demand, cost saving crop sampling and field operation reporting.

CropTrak’s new “Sync over Cellular” wireless synchronization eliminates delays in field data collection by connection through cellular networks to instantly enter and remotely synchronize field data. The benefit of on-demand reporting of crop status and field operations is automatically obtained through immediate updates to databases and spreadsheets, without the time, cost, and labor of returning to the office to manually enter new information.

Agribusiness

Soybean Sun Protection

Chuck Zimmerman

ARS Photo - Soybean PlantThis is an interesting story since it was put out by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. I can’t find this iSOY Technology Corporation online anywhere though. It’s nice that they’ve made this announcement but it leaves you with very little information and in my quick search I couldn’t find much either.

SoyScreen, a biodegradable sunscreen derived from soybean oil, could be a step closer to becoming a commercial product for health-conscious consumers. On October 3rd, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) granted an exclusive license on the patented sunscreen technology (US no. 6,346,236) to iSOY Technology Corporation of Cary, Illinois. The license stems from a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) in which iSOY is working with ARS chemists Joe Laszlo and Dave Compton to scale up production of SoyScreen, as well as create variations of it having different properties.

They developed SoyScreen at the ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, Ill., where 100 full-time scientists explore innovative new ways to create value-added products from U.S. crops, particularly corn and soybeans.

In SoyScreen, they envision a skin- and hair-care product that could expand the market for U.S. soy oil. Of the 17.6 billion pounds consumed domestically, 628 million pounds of soy oil is used for industrial purposes, according to the American Soybean Association’s Soy Stats page.

Government, USDA

Newly Designed Website For O & B

Chuck Zimmerman

Osborn & BarrTheir latest e-newsletter says they have a newly designed website so you know we have to check that out. One of the features that I think is great is video with people who work there telling us about why they believe in their company, Osborn & Barr Communications.

Joe Osborn, president, states that two things make Osborn & Barr unique: “We have elected to specialize in five markets. We are able to bring depth, background and context in each market and we have been fortunate to have blue-chip clients…and the ability to matrix them.” Cheryl Bergeron, creative director; and Kiersten McCarty, associate public relations director are also currently featured on videos. More employees and quotes are found under the Faces section and Work section.

Agency

Russell Graves, Photographer

Chuck Zimmerman

I’ve been meaning to write about Russell Graves for a while. Finding out that he’s blogging forced me to go ahead. I’ve been receiving his newsletter and am very impressed with his photography and writing. Now you can find him at RussellGraves.com Updates. I’m not posting any pictures because I think you need to go there to see what he does for yourself. If you want the full meal deal then visit his website for an extensive stock photo collection. Here’s what his profile says:

Russell Graves is many things: He’s an agricultural science instructor at Childress High School, and award winning photographer and writer whose credits include many magazine covers and books on wildlife and agricultural subjects. In addition, he’s a keynote speaker. Raised in the tiny Texas town of Dodd City, Russell brings small town humor and values to his presentations. A life spent in close contact with the natural world makes his speeches and photography unique.

Blogging

New MBIC Board Member Blue Geier

Chuck Zimmerman

MBIC Report PodcastEach of the next three weeks on the MBIC Report we’ll be featuring the 3 new board members starting with David “Blue” Geier of Region Two, northeast Missouri, who is from California.

You can listen to this week’s MBIC Report here: Download MP3 File

The MBIC Report is an AgWired podcast which you can subscribe to using the link you’ll find on our “Blogs & Podcasts” page or on the newly designed MBIC website.

Ag Group, Audio, Beef, MBIC, MBIC Report, Podcasts

Missouri Ethanol Groundbreaking Next Week

Chuck Zimmerman

CornTalk podcastCornTalk, a weekly program for the Missouri Corn Growers Association, features an interview with David Vogt, Presidnt of Missouri Ethanol, LLC. Missouri Ethanol, LLC is breaking ground for a new ethanol plant to be built in Laddonia, near Mexico, MO. Vogt talks about the project and the groundbreaking ceremony to be held on November 7.

You can listen to this week’s CornTalk here: Download MP3 File

CornTalk is a weekly AgWired podcast which you can subscribe to using the link you’ll find on our “Blogs & Podcasts” page.

Ag Group, Audio, Corn, CornTalk, MCGA, Podcasts