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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection

Surprise Harvest

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Farmers in many states are surprised at the abundance of corn coming from their fields, and record harvests are likely in many states including Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, and Ohio.

In southeastern Nebraska, farmer Ben Steffen says his first field brought in 168 bushels an acre, above the average of 140.

The best crops are in areas with adequate rain and where corn pollinated amid cooler temperatures.

The positive surprise is welcome after the dismal harvest for many farmers last year when drought spread across the country reducing corn and soybean crops.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates this year's harvest to bring in 13.8 billion bushels of corn, beating the 2009 record of 13.1 billion bushels. Some analysts believe farmers may exceed the estimates.

   

Farmers Should Plan For Inconsistent Grain Moisture Levels

AMES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa State University grain storage expert says farmers should make sure they have a plan in place to handle corn that could have inconsistent levels of moisture, making this year's crop more likely to develop mold problems.
Professor Charles Hurburgh says the cold and wet spring followed by a heat wave late in
the growing season results in a crop characterized by inconsistency.
He says farmers should make sure to get their corn cooled and dried as soon as possible
after harvest because sharp differences in maturity, weight and moisture content create the
potential for spoilage once the grain is stored in a bin. 
Corn value drops if more than 5 percent shows mold and falls dramatically if mold
spreads to more than 20 percent of the kernels.

   

Ag Department Offers Grants

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Nine Iowa organizations focused on growing specialty crops will receive government grants totaling more than $250,000.
The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service provides the funding to allow farmers to diversify and give customers access to locally grown products including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and flowers.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says in a statement Tuesday agricultural non-profit organizations, cooperatives, and producer groups could to apply for funding.
Iowa State University received money to develop and improve the production of organic apples.
Other recipients include Iowa City Parks and Recreation to fund a perennial specialty crops demonstration site and classes, Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development to train Iowa Valley Food Co-op producers to become wholesale marketers, and Practical Farmers of Iowa to educate specialty crop producers about pesticide drift and prevention.


   

Iowa State To Offer Corn Genome Research Teaching Position

AMES, Iowa (AP) - A new teaching job at Iowa State University will focus on corn genetics research.
The university says an endowed faculty position in genetics will be established at its agronomy department. Patrick Schnable, a current ISU professor, will hold the inaugural position.
The Iowa Corn Promotion Board, which is helping to fund the endowment, is also investing in a new public-private collaboration that develops genomic information.
Schnable is an agronomy professor and director of ISU's Center for Plant Genomics. He is credited with leading wide-ranging research into the corn genome.

   

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