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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection

11 Iowa Organizations Receive Ag Grants

(Des Moines) -- Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has announced that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will be awarding $244,000 in grants to Iowa organizations to help enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops grown in Iowa.  The Department received $271,396 through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service to support the program.

"Specialty crops are a very important part of Iowa agriculture as they allow farmers to diversify and give customers access to locally grown products," Northey said.  "These federal funds will support a variety of efforts that will make these Iowa grown crops more available and encourage Iowans to choose fruits, vegetables, nuts and flowers that are produced right here in our state."

Iowa agricultural non-profit organizations, cooperatives, specialty crop industry associations or organizations, and producer groups were eligible to apply for funding to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.

The Department also invited public comment from specialty crop stakeholders to help identify priorities for the program and established a review committee to help review, evaluate, and make recommendations on which grant proposals submitted to the Department should receive funding.

The maximum grant award from the Department to sub-grantees is $24,000 and administrative and indirect costs are not allowed.

The Department received 29 proposals requesting assistance and the 11 chosen were selected by an independent review committee of nine industry stakeholders.

Grant funds shall be used for projects that benefit and enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops industry as a whole, and cannot be for projects that directly benefit a particular product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual.

"Specialty Crops" that ar eligible under this program are fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.  The funds anot passed through to Iowa organizations will be used by the Department to administer the grant.

 

The full list of 11 grant recipients follows here:

Practical Farmers of Iowa - $24,000 to support improving employee management on fruit and vegetable farms.

 

Lutheran Services of Iowa - $24,000 to support increasing specialty crop production by refugee groups through land access and grower education.

 

Iowa Heartland RC&D - $23,983 for delivering specialty crops to corporations through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA's).

 

Iowa State University (Angela Shaw) - $23,939 for the statewide on-farm food safety program.

 

Iowa State University (Dining Services) - $13,645 to create awareness of the nutritional value and importance of specialty crops.


Southern Iowa RC&D - $23,928 to gather economic and social impact data in rural southwest Iowa to support specialty crop production.

 

Iowa State University (Lester) Wilson) - $20,755 to determine the optimum harvest time for aronia berries to maximize their antioxidant and sensory properties.

 

Golden Hills RC&D - $24,000 to support creating, marketing and promoting the Iowa Loess Hill AVA Wine Trail.

 

Iowa State University (Winneshiek County) - $15,750 to create a Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)/Good Handling Practices (GHP) cost share program for Northeast  Iowa fruit and vegetable  producers.

 

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship - $40,000 to spotlight on Iowa's specialty crops as part of the Iowa Farm to School Program.

 

 

 

 

   

Drought Continues

Harvest Nearing Completion, But There Are Some Concerns


(Le Mars) -- Harvest is nearing completion, especially for northwest Iowa farmers, but Iowa State University Extension crop specialist Joel DeJong says there are still some concerns.     

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DeJong says we are still in a drought and the window of opportunity to recharge our soil moisture levels is closing.  He says if we get snow before the ground freezes, then our soils will benefit.  However, if it happens to freeze and then we get snow, that moisture will just run off.  DeJong says it would be best if we could get some autumn rains.

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DeJong says there has been a wide variation with yields just within Plymouth County.

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DeJong says test weights of crops have been fairly decent for this drought-stricken harvest.

 

   

Cherokee County Farmer Visits China

Cherokee County Farmer Visits China To Talk Soybeans

(Cleghorn) -- It has been 30 years since United States farmers set up an office in China to help establish agricultural trade relations, especially with soybeans and soybean products.  Tom Oswald, of rural Cleghorn, serves as a director with the Iowa Soybean Association, and recently traveled to China in honor of the anniversary.  Oswald explains how important China is to the U-S soybean trade.
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Oswald says the Chinese only recently have started using soymeal as a source for protein for their livestock, poultry, and fish farming needs.

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Oswald says Chinese officials were concerned about the news reports they had heard regarding the U-S drought.  Oswald says the U-S delegation informed the Chinese that although the drought had reduced soybean yields, the U-S would still be a reliable supplier of quality soybeans and soymeal.

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Oswald says the Chinese are stepping up their production in aquaculture, water fowl, such as ducks and geese, pork, and dairy operations.

 

 

   

National Farm Safety Week


(Le Mars)
-- This week marks National Farm Safety Week.  A week devoted to the awareness of the many dangers on the farm.  La Vonne Galles, local coordinator of Agri Safe of Plymouth County, a part of Floyd Valley Hospital, reminds farmers to know at all times where  children are located.  She says the grain trucks and wagons, and grain bins can often times be a "playground for children".  Tractor roll-overs, according to Galles still ranks as the top cause for farm related fatalities. Iowa State University extension safety specialist Charles Schwab echos Galles' comments.
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Schwab says agriculture, and particularly farming, ranks as one of the most dangerous and deadliest occupations.
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Galles says farmers need to keep all shields in place and to stop the machine before working on it to prevent entanglements.  Galles reminds farmers that they should have their equipment properly marked with slow moving vehicle signs and amber flashing lights when traveling on the roadways.  Since we have another dry year, Galles suggests farmers equip their combines with a fire extinguisher.  She also asks farmers to take some breaks during the hectic harvest season.
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Because of the drought, there are many corn fields that are affected with aflatoxin.  Galles says this year, farmers should wear a mask or a breathing aparatus when entering grain bins.
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Each year, there are more than 300 deaths due to farm-related accidents.

Farmers Ahead of Schedule With Harvest


(Des Moines)
-- Farmers are about three weeks ahead of normal harvesting schedules, according to the latest weekly crop report, and many farmers are reporting this year has been the earliest that they have been in the fields.  Farmers have been able to harvest at least 22 percent of the corn crop, and six percent of the soybean crop.  Northwest Iowa is leading the way for the soybean harvest with 12 percent already harvested.


FDA Approves Of Blending Aflatoxin Corn

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa agriculture department says federal officials have approved a request for corn contaminated by a poison-producing fungus to be blended with other corn for animal
feed. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the agency's request to blend corn containing more than 20 parts per
billion of aflatoxin with corn that has lower levels or no aflatoxin.

   

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