Sugar Producer

June/July 2010 Sugar Producer

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FROM THE ASGA by Luther Markwart | EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT Elections and Farm Bill Expectations Roundup Ready Litigation On April 27, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on Monsanto Co. vs Geert- son Seed Farms regarding Roundup Ready alfalfa. The U.S. beet sugar industry and the National Corn Growers Association filed an amicus brief in this case because it will directly impact how our case is addressed in the 9th Circuit. We expect the Supreme Court to rule on the case in June. Oral arguments in the Roundup Ready sugarbeet case are sched- uled for Friday, July 9. Increased imports On April 23, USDA announced increased access of up to 200,000 tons of additional sugar for the current fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2010. Imports would come from our tradition- al suppliers as required by the World Trade Organization. The industry responded to the announcement: “Today’s action once again shows that the Farm Bill is operating as intended and gives the USDA the time and the tools it needs to ensure adequate supplies and operate U.S. sugar policy at no cost to tax- payers. Over the two months leading up to this decision, domestic sugar prices had dropped by 25 percent. Since the begin- ning of the fiscal year, USDA has raised its projection of year-end surplus stocks by 46 percent.” The beet crop was planted weeks earlier than usual in many producing areas, which could result in an additional increase in yields and more sugar in the market. As we all know, lots can happen between the seed in the ground and the sugar in the bag. USDA will have to watch the crop closely to make sure a larger crop is accounted for in their estimates. Keeping an eye on Mexican produc- tion and exports to the U.S. is critically important to keep supply and demand in balance. Sugar users are calling for an additional 800,000 tons of sugar, which would clearly oversupply the market and collapse the price. USDA, however, has until mid-July to make further increases in imports in order for that sugar to enter the U.S. by the end of the fiscal year ending September 30. 2012 Farm Bill The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture has begun a series of eight hearings in Des Moines, Iowa; Nampa, Idaho; Fresno, Calif.; Cheyenne, Wyo.; Morrow, Ga.; Troy, Ala.; Lubbock, Texas; and Sioux Falls, S.D. to hear producers explain how the current farm bill is working and suggest changes for the next farm bill. 10 Sugar Producer June/July 2010

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