Friday, November 28, 2014
   
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Local Ag News

Vilsack Annouces CRP Program

AMES, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the government will accept 1.7 million acres into the Conservation Reserve Program under the general sign-up for the current year.
Speaking in Ames at the Iowa Farm Bureau's 2013 Economic Summit Monday, Vilsack says USDA has more than 26.9 million acres enrolled nationally. That's down from a high of more than 36 million acres
in 2007. The decline is partially due to the increased value of corn and soybeans. It many instances it's more lucrative to rent out land for crops that to collect the CRP payment.
Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, says the USDA received 28,000 offers from farmers willing to voluntarily set aside land for soil, water, and wildlife conservation.
The USDA pays landowners about $2 billion a year for the program.

   

Farmers Urged To Update Hay And Straw Directory

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's top agriculture official says hay and straw producers should be sure to keep their information on a state directory updated to help market their products.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says with the continued tight supply of forage crops used for livestock feed, the Iowa Hay and Straw Directory is a critical link for buyers and sellers.
The listing is available to interested buyers throughout the nation. Only sellers from within Iowa are on the list.
The information may be accessed and updated on the IowaAgriculture.gov website.

   

USDA Expects Lower Corn Crop

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has slightly lowered its estimate of the corn crop, reflecting late planting in the Corn Belt caused by a wet spring.
Farmers are now expected to harvest 13.95 billion bushels, 55 million fewer bushels than predicted in June. That still beats the 2009 record by about 858 million bushels.
The supply of corn is likely to shrink this summer because of last year's small, drought-affected harvest of 11 billion bushels and this year's delayed planting, so prices will likely remain high.
That's good for farmers selling grain, but will increase the cost of corn-based feed for livestock producers raising cattle, chickens and pigs.
Food prices aren't likely to be affected much by the change.

   

USDA Issues Plantings Report

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says farmers will come through with the predicted corn crop despite the Midwest's wet spring that delayed planting.
Some states - including Michigan, Nebraska and Texas - planted more corn than expected, which will make up for the loss in Iowa, the nation's leading corn producer.
Friday's annual acreage report is based on farmer surveys, and surprised farmers, analysts and commodities traders. Many expected the number of corn acres planted to fall by about 2 million acres.
The report says farmers planted 97.4 million acres and will harvest 89.1 million acres. Earlier predictions were 97.3 million acres planted and 89.5 million acres harvested.
Corn prices fell rapidly as the report was released, because it indicated more corn than expected would be available on the market.


   

Soybean Association Launches Program Dealing With Resistant Weeds

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Soybean Association has launched an informational campaign to help farmers deal with weeds that are becoming resistant to the farm chemicals commonly used to
kill them.
Iowa State University agronomist Mike Owens says herbicide-resistant weeds are present in 20 to 30 percent of Iowa soybean fields, about 2 to 3 million acres and the area is likely to grow.
He says most farmers are just a year or two away from a serious weed control problem as each generation of seed becomes more resistant to weed killers used most often.
Strategies include rotating chemicals used from year to year, controlling weeds in waterways, edges and ditches, and increasing crop rotation to break weed cycles.


   

Northey Says Crops Show Some Improvement

(Le Mars) -- Farmers are still behind with their spring planting, although this past week allowed for more drying and warmer conditions across the state.  The latest weekly crop condition report shows Iowa’s corn crop was 96 percent planted, marking the first year since 1993 that any corn remained to be planted this late in the year. Ninety-three percent of the corn crop has emerged, normally all corn would be emerged. Corn condition showed a very slight improvement, and was rated 3 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 44 percent good and 10 percent excellent. Ninety percent of the soybean crop has been planted, an advancement of 13 percentage points from last week, but still below the normal 98 percent. Seventy-five percent of the soybean crop has emerged; still well behind the five-year average of 94 percent. The soybean condition rating improved slightly, and was rated 3 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 44 percent good and 9 percent excellent. Sixty-seven percent of the oat crop was headed, almost catching up with the normal 72 percent headed. The oat condition rated 1 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 56 percent good and 12 percent excellent.  Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey was in Le Mars yesterday and spoke about the state's crops.

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Northey says the crops are showing some signs of improvement.

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Cool, Wet Spring Cold Spell Trouble For Soybeans

Cool, Wet Spring Could Spell Trouble For Soybeans

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The cool wet spring has delayed planting for corn farmers but it also has presented a problem for soybean producers.
A soil-borne fungus that thrives in excessively wet years causes a disease known as sudden death syndrome in soybean plants.
It can destroy entire fields or parts of fields. In 2010, Iowa farmers lost about 28 million bushels of soybeans to SDS.
Leonor Leandro, Iowa State University assistant professor of plant pathology, says the key is to plant resistant soybean varieties. She says conditions favoring SDS include compacted soils, soils with poor drainage, and fields with a history SDS.
Leandro says a drier summer will reduce the risk of SDS.
If the plants get into reproductive stages and the weather turns wet, the disease may surface.

   

Spring Produce Could Be Bountiful

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says growers are hopeful for a bountiful crop of spring produce that could begin showing up at farmers markets soon.
Northey says a cool spring delayed the crop a bit, but the weather has improved and timely spring rain and the lack of a killing frost could produce a big harvest.
Produce such as strawberries, asparagus and rhubarb is beginning to become available, and later crops such as radishes, carrots, green beans and leafy greens should be harvested soon.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's website lists the state's farmers markets as well as farm stands and many farms where people can buy produce. Go to www.IowaAgriculture.gov , and click on Data Searches and Directories on the bottom right side of the page.

   

Climatologist Says Planting Will Be Delayed Due To Cold, Wet Spring

(Le Mars) -- You can't help but scratch your head and wonder when will spring finally arrive?  Although the moisture from this past week is perhaps appreciated, obviously, Mother Nature is playing a cruel late April Fools joke by producing the late season snows.  Iowa State University Extension Climatologist, Elwynn Taylor says it may be at least two more weeks, or more, before temperatures warm up to near normal levels.

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Normally at this time of year, farmers would be in their fields planting the new corn crop. Since it will be a while until farmers can get to their fields, will that hurt the corn production in the long run?

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The ISU extension climatologist says although records show earlier planting usually performs better, he says the soil temperatures need to be at or above 50 degrees for a sustained period of time to help with the development of the seed.  Taylor says records have proven as the spring progresses, it normally becomes wetter, which may be another factor determining when farmers will be able to plant this year's corn crop.  Taylor says this past winter and colder than normal spring reminds him of the conditions similar to 1947.

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Taylor says Iowa farmers have had three straight years of below trend-line yields, and he believes the odds are in favor for a fourth year for below trend-line yields.

   

Farm Rescue Expands

Farm Rescue Foundation Expands

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The founder of Farm Rescue has launched a separate foundation to further his cause of helping farmers stricken by major illnesses, ailments or disasters.
Farm Rescue helps farmers in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa and eastern Montana with planting and harvesting. Founder and CEO Bill Gross says the new Farm Rescue Foundation will help farmers in the
recovery process with specialized equipment, or with some farm tasks they're unable to do.
Langdon farmer Brett Kakela (KAK'-uh-luh) is recovering from a stroke. The foundation helped him get equipment that will enable him to unload grain without having to climb out of his truck. He
says he appreciates the help.
The foundation aims to help about 20 farmers in North Dakota this spring and expand to the other four states this fall.

   

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