Shorter life span

"Biotech traits are compressing corn hybrid life cycles from seven to eight years to three to five years." - John Green, Agri-Growth Inc., speaking at Commodity Classic

Egg-citing biopesticide Both field and post-harvest insect pests could lose their free lunch, thanks to a natural pesticide found in egg whites. Researchers at ProdiGene, a biopharmaceutical and industrial protein company, partnered with USDA biologists to discover that the naturally occurring food protein Avidin, found in chicken egg whites, causes a biotin deficiency in insects. The Avidin gene in corn could save U.S. grain producers a portion of the more than $1 billion in harvested grain lost to pests each year.

...Find the answer to that and many more questions in Specialty Corn and Soybean Fact Sheets from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The book lists commodities from high-oil and high extractable corn to STS and Natto soybeans. It describes each product, lists recommended production and harvest and post-harvest practices, gives a per-acre variable cost comparison and even lists an added value per acre.

For Illinois farmers, Marketing of Specialty Corn and Soybean Crops gives statistics about firms handling specialty crops by type of crop. Both publications are free. Download them from http://web.aces.uiuc.edu/value/marketingspecialty.pdf, contact Burt Swanson at University of Illinois, Dept. FIN, 412 Mumford Hall, 1301 W. Gregory Dr., Urbana, IL 61801 217/244-0225.

Hopper-bottom bins

Hopper-bottom bins from Bridgeview feature galvanized metal with 5-in.-wide corrugations and the company's all-new, bolt-together, galvanized hopper cone. Sizes range from a 15-ft.-dia., three-ring bin with 2,287-bu. capacity to one that's 27 ft. in diameter and has nine rings and a 19,696-bu. capacity. Prices start at $1,500. Contact Bridgeview Mfg. Inc., Dept. FIN, Box 4, Gerald, Saskatchewan, Canada, S0A 180.

A new book and a CD give you expert information to help make site-specific farming pay off.

GIS in Site-Specific Agriculture presents an overview of site-specific agriculture and then explains the display, analysis and interpretation of the data. It uses a Midwest corn/soybean farm field as an example. The last section of the book tells what you should expect from a GIS specialist. Price: $17, plus shipping and handling. Contact Interstate Publishers Inc., Dept. FIN, Box 50, Danville, IL 61834, 800/843-4774.

Trimble offers a free CD that serves as an introduction to precision agriculture. It also explains features of the company's AgGPS Field Management Systems. Contact Trimble Navigation Ltd., Dept. FIN, Box 3642, Sunnyvale, CA 94088-3642, 408/481-7808.

Handy little grain mover

The Brandt GrainBelt 1515 conveyor belt can move up to 6,000 bu. of grain/hr., according to independent tests performed by the Alberta Farm Research Council. The conveyor has a 15-in. belt and boasts an adjustable discharge hood to accommodate most grain-moving situations. It is available with hydraulic, electric or gas engine drives. Suggested list price, depending on drive purchased, is $2,300 to $2,650 (excluding freight and assembly). Contact Brandt Industries Ltd., Dept. FIN, Box 317, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada S4P 3A1, 800/427-2638, www.brandt.ca.

The Crop Data Management Systems' (CDMS) ag chemical labels and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are now available on an upgradable CD.

AgLabel.com contains product information about more than 1,300 chemicals from more than 80 ag chemical manufacturers. Also, 2,400 MSDS answer the "when, where and how" of chemical application and will help you make clear and safe choices before, during and after spraying your crops. Price $40. Contact CDMS, Dept. FIN, 423 4th St., 7th Floor, Marysville, CA 95901, 800/237-2367.