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Farmers Told To Use Caution During Harvest Season

(Le Mars) -- The fatal farm accident in Buena Vista County should serve as a reminder to all people working on farms to be extra cautious during this harvest season.  This week is National Farm Safety and Health Week, and Iowa State University Extension Farm Safety Specialist Chuck Schwab says statistically, agriculture ranks as the most dangerous occupation.

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Schwab says the most common types of farm-related accidents involve: machinery entanglements, roadway collisions, grain suffocation, electrocution, and even roll-overs involving either tractors, and/or all terrain vehicles.  But the farm safety specialist says slips and falls account for many farm-related accidents each year.

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This is National Farm Safety and Health Week, a time devoted to call attention to the dangers associated with agriculture.  We continue our week-long series today.  Iowa State University Extension Farm Safety Specialist Chuck Schwab says agriculture sustains a higher number of deaths per 100,000 workers and therefore is the most dangerous occupation when compared to mining, construction, and manufacturing.

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Schwab says there are five categories of farm-related accidents that compile most of the injuries or deaths.  They include tractor and ATV roll-overs, machine entanglements, suffociation, roadway collisions, and electrocutions.

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Another danger that livestock producers are noticing is the build up of toxic gases, especially in confinement facilities.  Schwab says, if not properly ventilated, many of the gases found in a confinement facility can either cause a producer or animals to lose consciousness from a lack of oxygen and suffocate, or, they can also be explosive.

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Just last week a pork producer from northern Iowa suffered burns on his body when it was suspected a bubble of methane gas was trapped in the pits beneath the building had ignited when he was powerwashing the barn.

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Farmer Contend With Late Season Crop Diseases

(Le Mars) -- It won't be long before many farmers will begin thinking of harvesting this year's crops.  However, as Joel DeJong, Iowa State University Extension crops specialists says, there are some late-season diseases that are affecting this year's crop.

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DeJong says another concern for farmers is the fact the corn is slow to mature.

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Some farmers have reported having Goss's Wilt, a corn disease that strikes corn in the late season and robs yields. DeJong says there are several similarities between Goss's Wilt and Northern Corn Leaf Blight.

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As for the soybean crop, De Jong says some of the earlier soybean varieties have begun turning color. He says for the most part northwest Iowa soybean fields have not been affected by diseases.

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The crops specialist says it is still uncertain what type of yields will be produced with this year's soybean crop.

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Cool Temps Slow Down Crop Maturity

(Le Mars) -- With the cooler temperatures that we have been experiencing, many farmers are wondering if that may mean an early frost is likely this year.  If frost were to come early, would our crops have reached maturity so yields won't be compromised?  Joel DeJong, Iowa State University Extension Crops Specialist for northwest Iowa details how much more time the corn crop needs in order to become fully mature.

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DeJong says if temperatures remain cooler than normal for a significant time period, that could further slow down the maturity development process. He says the closer to the maturity date before frost hits, the less likelihood for yield loss.

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The crops specialist says the corn crop is falling behind on growing degree days.

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USDA Crop Report Looks To Set Record

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Farmers will produce a record-breaking corn harvest this year, surpassing earlier expectations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has revised upward its estimate of this year's corn harvest to 14 billion bushels.
     That exceeds last year's 13.9 billion bushel record.
     Soybean production also will set a new record at 3.8 billion bushels, beating the 2009 harvest of 3.4 billion bushels.
     Farmers are blessed with an abundant crop but cursed that it has driven prices lower. They are taking more control of their grain marketing by building more on-farm storage, holding onto the crop and timing the sale to maximize profit.
     Rain fell at the right times and a cooler summer made for favorable growing conditions in the 18 states that produce 91 percent of the nation's corn.

 


 

 

   

Farmers Cut Back On Corn Acreage, But Plant More Soybeans

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - American farmers have planted less corn than in any year since 2010 but more soybeans than ever, as expected.
     The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in its annual Acreage Report released Monday that farmers planted 91.6 million acres of corn. That's 4 percent less than last year but still the fifth-largest corn crop planted since 1944. Analysts expected some farmers to devote more acreage to soybeans because of a drop in corn prices.
     The USDA says farmers planted a record high 84.8 million acres of soybeans, up 11 percent from last year. Record soybean acres have been planted in Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
     Seventy-six percent of the corn crop is in good to excellent condition, compared with 63 percent last year.
 

   

Farmers Concerned About Cold Temps On Planted Seed

Farmers Concerned About Cold Temperatures With Planted Seed

(Le Mars) -- Farmers have been thankful for the rains of the last few days, but along with the rains have been some colder than normal temperatures, and farmers who have planted corn are wondering if the seed can withstand the colder soil temps.  Iowa State University Extension crops specialist Joel DeJong believes most of the planted corn will survive.

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As for the reserve soil moisture levels, DeJong says northwest Iowa could use additional rains.

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The ISU crops specialist believes all of the frost has finally thawed within this area.

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USDA To Monitor Swine Virus

USDA To Monitor Swine Virus

 MILWAUKEE (AP) - The federal government is starting a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of a virus that has killed millions of pigs since showing up in the U.S. last year.
 
     The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, believed to be from China, causes severe diarrhea in newborn piglets, who die from dehydration.
 
     The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday it is stepping up efforts by requiring farmers to report infections and labs where farmers send tissue and fecal samples to report positive tests.
 
     Farms that suffer an outbreak also will have to participate in a program to help control the spread of the disease
 
     Previously, the USDA and the nation's pork industry tracked the disease with voluntary reports from the labs.

   

Rootworms Build Resistance To Bt Corn

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Researchers say bugs are developing resistance to the widely popular genetically engineered corn plants that make their own insecticide, so farmers may have to make changes.
     Cases of rootworms eating roots of so-called Bt corn have been confirmed in Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota and Minnesota.
     Iowa State University researchers say rootworms have developed resistance to two of the four genetic traits in corn plants that are engineered to kill rootworms.
     Iowa State professor Aaron Gassmann says the problem isn't widespread yet, but farmers and seed companies should consider changing their approaches to pest control.
     In areas where Bt corn has failed to control rootworms, farmers turned to insecticides. The USDA says 76 percent of all corn planted last year was Bt corn.

 

   

Agriculture Census To Be Released

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is set to release its Census of Agriculture, a detailed report released every five years that lists the number of farms, how many acres are farmed, the number of farmers and their average age and many other statistics.

The last report released in 2007 revealed that the number of Iowa farms had increased 2 percent from 2002 to 2007 to more than 92,800. The average farm size was lower and total acres of land farmed fell 3 percent.
Iowa ranked first in the nation in 2007 in production of hogs, corn, soybeans and third in the nation for the value of agriculture products sold.
The report to be released Thursday morning is used in evaluating and implementing agriculture policies and programs.

   

Northey Expects Farm Income To Decline

(Le Mars) -- After seeing the past few years of farmers enjoying higher commodity prices, Iowa Agriculture Secretary, Bill Northey, says he is concerned about a possible decline in farm income this year.  Northey was in Le Mars Thursday morning.  He says this coming crop year may prove to be interesting as farm income is projected to be lower. The question is  how much lower?

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Northey expects the lower farm income will definately have an impact on ag businesses?

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