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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection

Iowa Continues To Lose Farms

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in a new report that the number of farms in Iowa continues to slide. 
     In an annual report released Thursday the USDA says Iowa farms fell to 88,000 last year, 500 fewer than the year before. Most of the decrease came in the small farm category, those with annual sales between $1,000 and $10,000.
     The number of Iowa farms has fallen 1.2 percent since 2010, while the average farm size is up 1.2 percent in the same period, a reflection of national trends.
     The average farm in Iowa is 347 acres, up one acre from the year before. 
     Iowa had 30.5 million acres in farms last year, down 100,000 acres from the year before.

   

Hundreds of Farmers File Suit Against Syngenta

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Farmers and farm businesses in 20 states have filed more than 360 lawsuits against agricultural chemicals-maker Syngenta, and hundreds more may be coming as a federal judge in Kansas City coordinates the cases so they can proceed.
     The dispute centers around Syngenta's Agrisure Viptera, a corn seed genetically modified to contain a protein that kills corn-eating bugs. China hadn't approved it for import, and boycotted U.S. corn once Viptera was detected in its grain shipments in 2013.
     Farmers who did not plant the seed, grain handlers and exporters claim the boycott cost them money.
     Syngenta says it plans to seek dismissal because there's no legal authority barring the introduction of a U.S. government-approved product simply because it wasn't approved for sale in a foreign country. 
     China approved Viptera in December.

 

   

Grain Prices Likely To Remain Low Through 2015 Marketing Year

(Le Mars) -- Corn prices are low, as are gasoline prices, so how is the ethanol industry faring?  An Iowa State University agricultural economist says the ethanol industry is facing a good news - bad news scenerio with profit margins becoming very slim.

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Chad Hart spoke at a Crop Advantage seminar in Le Mars on Tuesday.  He says ethanol is able to compete when oil prices are high, but times like today, the ethanol industry still needs support from subsidies.
 
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Hart says there isn't much optimism for improvement in the grain prices for this next marketing year.

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The grain marketing specialist says if there is a possibility for hope in the grain markets, it could be with exports.

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2015 May Be Good Weather Year For Crops

(Le Mars) -- An Iowa State University Extension Climatologist believes 2015 should be a decent year for farmers and their crops.  Elwynn Taylor spoke before nearly 200 farmers in Le Mars on Tuesday.  He says subsoil moisture levels have for the most part, been replenished across the cornbelt, giving farmers some optimism for having another good yield, despite what appears to be a dry winter.

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Taylor says the nation is ending one weather cycle and is starting another.  He says so far, we are having a moderate el nino' weather pattern which could mean above average crop yield for 2015.

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The Extension Climatologist says farmers may see a cycle that could be more volatile.

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