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Crops department

Correction An item in our January issue, page 70h, about Novartis's AgriFit program should have read "all prices for NK-brand seed will remain virtually unchanged for 2000."

agclick The National Pesticide Telecommunications Network's Web site at offers an abundance of information on agricultural chemicals.

Gun shy "Everybody around here likes biotech, but not a lot of guys are willing to take a bullet for biotech." Jim Miller, Belden, NE, farmer on what he sees may be a widespread defection from genetically modified crops that will bring an end to his and its proponents' dreams - Wall Street Journal

Seed vacuum option A new vacuum system for seed handling is available from SystemsOne, a Yetter company. The vacuum system is an option for the Seed Jet II that uses air to move seed from bulk storage to a planter or drill. The vacuum option lets growers use the system with bulk seed boxes and large seed bags or in self-contained storage and retrieval systems.

The vacuum attaches to the blower air intake side of the Seed Jet II to facilitate the vacuum action. Seed is then gathered in a heavy-duty plastic container. Quick-release couplers and hoses let growers switch seed by quickly emptying seed from the boxes. Price: $353. Contact Yetter Mfg. Co., Dept. FIN, Colchester, IL 62326, 309/776-4111.

Crop insurance deadline Growers worried about low soil moisture may want to consider federal crop insurance this year. Deadline for buying the insurance is March 15 in the Midwest. USDA's crop insurance market price elections are $1.90/bu. for corn and $5.16/bu. for soybeans. Catastrophic coverage is 55% of the established market price. - Doane's Agricultural Report

Soybean herbicide changes Although Dupont isn't introducing any new products for 2000, it has received federal approval for product label expansions. Canopy and Canopy XL herbicides can now be applied in the fall to ground going into soybeans the next spring. Both herbicides provide burn down and limited residual control of a broad spectrum of no-till weeds. Apply 2 to 2.5 oz./acre for variable rate pH soils and 5.8 to 7.9 oz./acre on soils of 6.8 pH or less.

The company's Authority soybean herbicide can now be used on conventional and Roundup Ready soybeans in all soybean-producing states. In addition to preemergence activity, it provides burn-down control of selected broadleaf weeds up to 3 in. tall and grasses up to 1 in. tall. Contact Dupont Agricultural Products, Dept. FIN, Wilmington, DE 19898, 888/638-7668.

Check non-GM contract wording Growers should exercise caution when signing any contract or certification with a grain dealer or processor for non-genetically modified (GM) crops, reports Kent Thiesse, University of Minnesota extension service. They should be careful not to certify what they can't control, such as segregation of the grain at the elevator, Thiesse warns.

He suggests that growers may commit to contract language that states: * No seed represented by the seed company as GM was planted. * Seed represented by the seed company as non-GM was planted. * Care was taken in avoiding contamination in all operations including harvest, on-farm storage and transportation of the crop.

Examples of statements to avoid are: * The crop has non-GM germ plasm. * No contamination occurred in harvest, on-farm storage or transportation of the crop. * No contamination from pollen drift occurred. Some local extension services offer free guides to help growers decide which contracts to sign.

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