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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection

Crop Conditions Continue to Worsen

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Not since 1988... that's the phrase that is being heard by farmers as they describe the current hot and dry conditions as it is taking a  toll on Iowa crops. The condition of corn and soybeans continues to decline.  1988 was the last time Iowa suffered a major state-wide drought.
     The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday's weekly report that only 46 percent of the corn is in good to excellent shape. That's the lowest level for the first week of July since 1993. A week ago, it was 62 percent.
     Forty-eight percent of soybeans are in good to excellent condition, down from 59 percent last week.
     The USDA says 88 percent of topsoil moisture and 82 percent of subsoil moisture are short or very short.  Roger Elmore serves as the corn specialist for Iowa State University.  He says farmers have probably already lost nine percent of the yield potential.

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Mark Licht is an extension agronomist with Iowa State University.  He says farmers can calculate the amount of lost yield by adding up the number of hours corn leaves are rolled.

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Iowa had 100-plus temperatures from Wednesday through Saturday.  The highest temps so far this year were on Saturday with eight communities reaching 105 degrees. There was no widespread rain.


Corn Acreage On The Increase

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says farmers planted 96.4 million acres of corn this spring, up 5 percent from last year.
     It's the largest number of planted acres since 97 million in 1937. The revised estimate, based on early June farm surveys, is up from May's estimate of nearly 92 million acres.
     The USDA says farmers expect to make more profit from corn than other commodities.
     Iowa corn acres fell to 14 million from 14.1 million. Nebraska rose to 9.9 million from 9.85 million.
     Record corn acreage is expected in Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon and the Dakotas.
     The USDA estimates 76.1 million acres are planted in soybeans. That's up 1 percent from 2011 and the third highest on record.



Ethanol Plants Face Slim Profit Margins

  WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - High corns prices and less consumer demand for gasoline have ethanol plants across the Midwest cutting back production.
     More than 95 percent of the nation's ethanol plants use corn as their feedstock. Analysts say corn prices have been skyrocketing because of fears triple-digit temperatures and drought in the middle of the country will destroy, or greatly reduce, this year's crop.
     Meanwhile, the country has an ethanol glut. People are not driving as much given the poor economy and the high gasoline prices. Ethanol is primarily used in gasoline blends.
     Valero Energy operates 10 ethanol plants. It is temporarily idling one in Nebraska and another in Indiana because it costs more to make ethanol at those plants than the company can sell it for.


Corn Checkoff Elections

(Des Moines) -- Corn growers in Crop Reporting Districts 1...2...4...5...7...and 8 will vote July 10 at their county extension offices for representatives to serve on the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB).  Elected directors will serve a three-year term representing corn growers from their respective crop reporting districts.  Anyone who has produced and marketed 250 bushels of corn or more in Iowa in the last year is eligible to vote in the election.  Producers unable to visit an extension office on July 10, may vote by absentee ballot.  Absentee ballots are available by contacting the Ioiwa Corn Promotion Board office at (515) 225-9242.  All absentee ballots must be postmarked by July 10. 

Candidates for each district include:

Crop District #1

Kent Harms - George, Lyon County

Gary Small - Rembrandt, Buena Vista County

Crop District #2

Deb Keller - Clarion, Wright County

Chris Weydert - Algona, Kossuth County

Crop District #4

Larry Klever - Audubon, Audubon County

David Leiting - Carroll, Carroll County

Crop District #5

Jon Brockman - Melbourne, Marshall County

Kevin Rempp - Montezuma, Poweshiek County

Crop District #7

Doug Holliday - Greenfield, Adair County

Trevor Whipple - Northboro, Fremont County

Crop District #8

Ray Cook - Seymour, Wayne County

Don Hunerdosse - Milo, Warren County

Biographies for all of the candidates and a list of counties in each crop reporting district are available at




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