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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection

Northey Visits Marcus, Remsen

(Remsen) -- Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey made a stop in both Marcus and Remsen on Monday.  Northey, a farmer from Spirit Lake, says this summer's drought has similarities to the 1988 drought. He says several regions of the state are suffering, particularly east-central Iowa.

 

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However, he also says their are some pockets within the state that have not been adversely affected by the dry conditions.

 

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Northey says most of the government sponsored disaster programs are coordinated at the federal level, but he says the state department of agriculture are standing by to help.

 

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The state secretary of agriculture toured both the Little Sioux Corn Processors in Marcus and he visited the Remsen Processing in Remsen.  Iowa's corn crop has deteriorated further with 40 percent now in very poor or poor condition. A week ago it was 27 percent.

The USDA says it has received reports of farmers chopping down their corn.

Just 23 percent of the crop is in good to excellent condition down from 36 percent a week earlier.

For Iowa soybeans 30 percent are now in very poor or poor condition. It was 20 percent a week ago. Just 28 percent of the crop is in good or excellent condition down from 38 percent a week ago.

Nationally, 45 percent of the corn crop is very poor or poor.  Last week it was 38 percent.

For soybeans, 35 percent is now poor or very poor compared with the 30 percent a week earlier.

   

Ag Economist Concern About Next Year

Ag Economist Concerned About Next Year

(Ames) -- Although grain prices are spiking as a result of the drought, a retired agricultural economist believes this year's drought may have additional consequences into next year.  Robert Wisner with Iowa State University says that South America also suffered a drought this past growing season, and he says along with the U-S drought, farmers in both regions will be tempted to plant every available acre next year, which may cause a steep decline in commodity prices.
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Wisner says as a result of the drought, consumers will begin seeing higher prices at the supermarket; first with milk, then with poultry, and finally with red meat products like beef and pork.
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Wisner says in the short-term, there may be bargains with poultry and red-meat products as farmers flood the market selling their stock, but in the long-term, meat may be in short supply.

   

Pork Producers Worried About High Grain Prices

Local Pork Producer Worried About High Grain Prices

 

(Le Mars) -- With corn selling at more than $7.00 a bushel and soybeans at more than $16.00 a bushel, and with expectations for even higher prices as the nation's drought worsens, livestock producers, and especially swine and poultry producers are worried about the rising price of grain.  Bill Tentinger is a pork producer from Le Mars.  He also serves as the president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association. He spoke on behalf of the state's pork producers during a drought meeting held Tuesday and hosted by Governor Terry Branstad.  Tentinger says there are many pork producers that are quitting the business because grain prices are too costly.

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The Plymouth County pork producer says he offered a message to Governor Branstad.

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Tentinger says he isn't certain if packers are already loaded with culled sows, or if the packer knows that more will come, and they are waiting for the market price to fall.

   

Farmers Discuss Drought


(Le Mars) -- More than 300 concerned farmers attended a drought meeting on Thursday hosted by the Plymouth County Extension Services.  Each, with probably the same question on their minds, "What options do I have with my crop as a result of this ongoing drought?" Many farmers are wondering if chopping the corn for silage would be economical, feasible and safe.

Both Joel DeJong, Extension Crops Specialist, and Beth Doran, Extension Livestock and Forage Specialist, suggested to the farmers they need to test their corn for nitrates before chopping it for silage.  De Jong also stressed to wait before cutting the corn to make certain the moisture percentage is at the right level.  DeJong says a common mistake made by farmers during drought conditions is believing the corn is drier than the actual moisture level.  He told the group that cut silage should be between 65 and 70 percent moisture if the silage is stored in either a bunker or an ag bag.  Silage stored in an upright silo should be of at least 60 to 65 percent moisture.  Both Doran and DeJong warned farmers of how silage seepage can be a danger to fish in local ponds.  Doran also cautioned farmers if they have a farm pond to check it for algae.  She says if cattle drink from the pond with algae, it could prove to be deadly.  She was also asked by a cattle
producer how long should a farmer wait before feeding green cut silage to cattle  Her reply was, "three weeks."

Agricultural economist, Dr. William Edwards appeared via a web cam from Ames. He told farmers they need to visit with their crop insurance agent, and they should do so in the near future.  Edwards offered a series of scenerios as to how much revenue return farmers could expect based on their yield loss and the average price per bushel.

   

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