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Thursday Afternoon News, September 19

Iowa Farmland Values Continues To Rise

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's farmland values continue to increase, with the latest survey showing average prices climbing by 20 percent to $8,400 an acre.
The  U.S. Department of Agriculture survey finds that Iowa's agricultural real estate values grew
more sharply than all nearby states except North Dakota, where an energy boom has led to
a big jump.
Iowa's 20 percent increase compared to a national farmland value rise of 9.4 percent.
The survey compared prices from August 2012 to August 2013.
Iowa State University economics professor Michael Duffy credits the land value rise to increased farm income. He says big increases started in 2007 when corn and soybean prices climbed and remained at higher levels.


Governor's Brother Fined By EPA

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The brother of Gov. Terry Branstad will pay a fine and spend $26,000 to install a wetland area after his cattle farm failed to comply with requirements of his clean water permit.
The Environmental Protection Agency says Branstad Farms near Forest City did not maintain adequate records for the application of manure onto farm land and did not sample the manure and soil as required.
EPA documents show Monroe Branstad, the governor's brother, operates the farm.
The EPA says the farm will pay a $5,100 civil penalty and spend the additional money to install a wetlands restoration area, the first agreement of its type in the EPA region covering Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska,
The governor's spokesman says he will not comment.
Monroe Branstad did not immediately return a message.


Senator Schumer To Speak At Iowa Democratic Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York has been chosen to be the keynote speaker at a major Iowa event that has previously featured some of the national Democratic Party's top figures.
Schumer will speak Nov. 2 at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Iowa. He will focus on the party's platform for the middle class.
The event's organizers say Thursday that Schumer was chosen because of legislation he sponsored including a college tuition tax credit, a consumer protection measure for credit card users, and for securing relief funding after Superstorm Sandy.
Previous speakers have included former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, and Vice President Joe Biden. In 2007, U.S. Representative, and at the time, House Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi conducted a meeting at the dinner with presidential contenders, including then-Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.


Bait Cars Yielded No Results

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say two vehicles designed to catch car thieves in the Des Moines area have yielded zero results.
Sgt. Scott Bright of the Iowa State Patrol says officials are surprised no one has tried to steal the cars, which have been parked for several days at a time in high crime areas since April. Troopers have even left keys in the cars.
Des Moines television station KCCI reports (http://bit.ly/1eULi7h ) the bait cars are designed to track and record a theft.
Troopers say they will continue to monitor the vehicles. They say up to 5,000 cars are stolen in Iowa each year.



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