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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection

Despite Wet Conditions, Planting Ahead Of Pace

(Des Moines) -- The latest weekly crop condition report from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship shows 96 percent of the state's corn crop has been planted, which is two days ahead of last year, and six days ahead of the five-year average.  75 percent of that planted corn has emerged, which is on pace from last year, but four days ahead of normal.  As for soybean planting, the report shows 74 percent of the soybean crop has been planted with nearly 21 percent having already emerged.  Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says "many farmers were able to make good progress last week, but now may be again a bit delayed with additional wet weather across the entire state."  Northey says farmers will be anxious to finish their planting.   As for the condition of the crop, four percent of the corn is listed as poor to very poor. 23 percent of the corn crop is in fair condition, 62 percent is good, and 11 percent of the corn crop is listed as being in excellent condition.

 

   

Pork Producers Encouraged To Attend World Pork Expo

(Des Moines) -- In a matter of a couple of weeks, 20,000 pork producers from around the globe will convene at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines to attend the World Pork Expo.  The World Pork Expo is an annual event that features an industry trade show, junior hog judging contests, and educational seminars.  Cindy Cunningham serves as the Assistant Vice President of the National Pork Board.  She says World Pork Expo is an excellent opportunity for pork producers to gather and network with industry officials, and with other pork producers to discuss common issues impacting the pork industry.

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Cunningham says this year's World Pork Expo will cover some of the new regulations that are soon coming that deal with antibiotics vaccinations and medications.

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The pork board official says World Pork Expo offers many organizations and companies the chance to host a hospitality tent.  She says pork producers are welcomed to attend the National Pork Board's hospitality tent for some great tasting bacon products, and to learn and discuss issues with other producers.

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This year's World Pork Expo is scheduled for June 8th, 9th, and 10th.

 

   

Wet, Saturated Fields May Force Farmers To Re-plant

(Spencer) -- In the latest weekly crop condition report, more than half of the state's corn crop has been planted.  However, after several days of rain and cooler temperatures, some agronomists believe that some farmers may be forced to re-plant some of those fields.  Iowa State University Extension Crops Specialist Paul Kassel says there a several fields that are saturated and under water.

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Kassel is based at Clay county in Spencer.  He says a vast majority of the fields in his area are under water.

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It is always advised to plant early to insure a full-season growing potential with the highest yields for corn, and corn planted after May 5th has been a date usually associated when corn yields begin to taper off, but Kassel doesn't believe farmers will see much of a yield loss, unless the wet conditions continue through past mid-May.

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Kassel suggests farmers to use patience before rushing back into the fields.  He says after the soggy conditions, it would be easy to have soil compaction which ultimately would prove to be even a worst scenario.

 

 

 

   

Soil And Water Conservation Week Observed

(Le Mars) -- Each year, the equivilant of a dump truck filled with soil, or about five tons of topsoil is lost on each acre of Iowa farmground due to either wind or water erosion.  This week is recognized as Soil and Water Conservation week as proclaimed by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.  John Vogel a conservationist with the Plymouth County Soil and Water Conservation district office says soil erosion has been a concern for farmers, landowners, and conservationists since the Great Dust Bowl era in the 1930's.  He talks about how much soil is lost in Iowa each year due to erosion.

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Vogel says many farmers have implemented various types of conservation practices that have helped protect the soil and reduce erosion.

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Vogel says cover crops offer several benefits, not only do they help protect the soil from eroding, but cover crops also help replenish the soil with valuable nutrients, and cover crops act as a buffer or filter to reduce nitrate runoff into our waterways.

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Other conservation methods include grass waterways to help channel running water and buffer zones near streams and creeks to help filter soil sediment and nitrates from entering our waterways.

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Vogel says both the state and federal governments offer several cost-share programs to assist landowners and farmers to implement conservation practices.  Last year, many people may recall Governor Branstad had proclaimed this week as Soil and Water Conservation Week while visiting the Bob and Lisa Puetz farm located east of Le Mars.  At that time, Branstad was given a tour of the Puetz farm and shown different conservation practices and was informed about the Deep Creek Watershed Project that is educating farmers and landowners about the benefits of protecting the soil and the water.

 

   

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