Thursday, July 31, 2014
   
Text Size

Local Ag News

AGP Names New CFO

(Omaha) -- Scott Simmelink has been named Group Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Ag Processing Inc. a cooperative (AGP).  Simmelink, who has 30 years of finance, accounting and business experience, succeeds Keith Spackler, who was appointed CEO by the AGP Board of Directors on September 2, 2012.

"With over 30 years of progressively responsible leadership experience in accounting and financial management for both Fortune 500 and privately-held companies, Scott brings an excellent blend of budget and financial administration, project leadership, and sound business expertise," said Spackler.  "Scott will make a great addition to our executive management team."

Simmelink began his new position with AGP on January 2.  He was previously employed as Director of Financial Services with Consolidated Container Company of Omaha.  He was responsible for various aspects of accounting, financial reporting, cash managment, customer and equity owner relations, credit, financial compliance, and other financial services.  Additionally, he was extensively involved in numerous acquisitions and related financing.  His career also includes financial experience with Compaq Direct, Inacom, Coleman Powermate, and Colman Company, Inc.

Simmelink has deep agricultural roots, being born and raised on a crop/cattle farm near Lebanon, Kansas.  He has a B.A. degree in Finance/Business Management from Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas.  Scott and his wife reside in Waterloo, Nebraska.  They have three grown children and two grandchildren.

AGP, the largest farmer-owned soybean processor in the world, is owned by 179 local and regional cooperatives representing over 250,000 farmers from 15 states throughout the United States.  Corporate headquarters are located in Omaha, Nebraska.

   

Iowa Land Values On The Rise...Again

(Ames) -- Iowa land values have once again risen over last year and according to Mike Duffy, Agricultural Economist with Iowa State University, in many cases, new records were established. Duffy noted northwest Iowa saw the largest increase in land values.
Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



Duffy says there are a number of factors that are helping drive the land values higher including good investment opportunities, the need for additional land for manure application for livestock and poultry producers, but he says the most mentioned driving factor are higher commodity prices.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



There are some people, including Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, who believe farmers are entering an era much like the 70's when grain and land prices were high, only to see the bubble burst, causing a recession era which occurred in the 1980's.  Duffy says although there are some farmers that may be over-extended with their financing, he doesn't see it being a wide spread problem, at least not just yet.

 

Iowa Soybean Association Applauds Governor's Action On Reducing Nutrient Runoff

Ankeny, Iowa (AP) - Environmentalists say it doesn't go far enough, but the Iowa Soybean Association is praising Gov. Terry Branstad's strategy to keep harmful nutrients from reaching Iowa
waterways and the Gulf of Mexico.
Association leaders who met in Ankeny this week reaffirmed their support for the plan, which was released last month. ISA President Mark Jackson says the plan is based on science, recognizes the
diversity of the state's landscape and is "much more effective than a costly, one-size-fits-all effort to improve water quality."
The plan calls on wastewater treatment plants to make upgrades to reduce their discharges into waterways. But it asks farmers to take voluntary steps to reduce the runoff caused by fertilizers and
manure on farm fields.
Critics say they doubt a voluntary approach will have much impact.


Iowa Pork Congress Scheduled

(Clive, Iowa) -- The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) will hold the 2013 Iowa Pork Congress January 23 and 24 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

The nation's largest winter swine tradeshow and conference will be held in Hy-Vee Hall at the Iowa Events Center.  Pork Congress hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. January 23 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on January 24.  The Iowa Pork Foundation's annual Kickoff Reception and Auction will be held at Hy-Vee Hall on January 22 and the IPPA Youth Swine Judging Contest will be held in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on January 24.

"Pork Congress encompasses every aspect of the pork industry and I encourage anyone involved in pork production to make plans to attend," said IPPA President Bill Tentinger of Le Mars, Iowa.  "The tradeshow, seminars, social functions, youth activities and networking opportunities always attract thousands of people from around the Midwest and we're hoping for another great turnout this year."

Nearly 300 companies will exhibit in spacious Hy-Vee Hall and several will be introducing new products.  IPPA will welcome attendees to the Pork Information Plaza where guests can visit with producer leaders and representatives from the National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council and other affiliated organizations.

A wide range of seminars will be held at no additional charge.  Topics include animal health, sow housing, pit foaming and swine reproduction.  Attendees can get updates on regulations and nuisance cases, public policy and an industry economic outlook.  Dr. David Kohl from Virginia Tech University will address transition management in the keynote presentation.  Producers can obtain or renew their PQA Plus and TQA certifications, and a certification session for confinement site manure applicators is being offered.

 

 

 

 

   

Crop Insurance Payments

 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says farmers who chose to pay more to insure their crops at harvest prices will receive $7.50 per bushel for corn.
That should be welcome news for corn farmers in Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska, the nation's three largest corn producers, respectively.
The Des Moines Register also reports that the harvest price payout for soybeans will be $15.39 per bushel.
Farmers who elected to be covered by the less expensive non-harvest price coverage will receive the $5.68 per bushel for corn and $12.55 per bushel for soybeans. Those prices were set in
March at the time of insurance sign-up.
USDA figures show crop-loss insurance payments through October 29th totaled $3.5 billion nationally, including $1.63 billion for corn and $247.6 million for soybeans.

   

Farmers Nearly Done With Harvest

Farmers Are Nearly Done With Harvest

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa farmers are very close to wrapping up this year's harvest, but work was delayed by some much-needed rain.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 93 percent of the corn crop has been harvested, which is a month ahead of schedule.  Ninety-six percent of the soybean crop is in, almost three weeks ahead of normal.
The USDA says in Monday's weekly report that widespread rain helped Iowa's pasture and range land, but 73 percent is in very poor or poor condition. Hay supplies are running about 42 percent
short.
A slow-moving storm system brought rain to the state on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The statewide average was a-half inch, just shy of the weekly normal of 0.56 inches.

 

   

USDA Plans Drought Meeting

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The Agriculture Department is planning a series of four regional workshops in areas hard hit by the drought to make sure farmers know about resources available to help them.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack plans to attend the first workshop on Tuesday in Omaha, Nebraska. The other three workshops are being planned in Pueblo, Colorado, Pine Bluff, Arkansas and an
undetermined town in Ohio.
This summer's drought has been the worst one in decades. Experts at the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln say about one-fifth of the total land area in the
lower 48 states remains in extreme or exceptional drought.
The USDA is working with the Commerce Department, the Small Business Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to plan these meetings.

   

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.     

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



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.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



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

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



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.
Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



Oswald says the Chinese only recently have started using soymeal as a source for protein for their livestock, poultry, and fish farming needs.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



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.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



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.
Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



Schwab says agriculture, and particularly farming, ranks as one of the most dangerous and deadliest occupations.
Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



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.
Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



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.
Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



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.

   

Farm Progress Show Starts This Week

Farm Progress Show Expected To Attract Several Thousand

(Boone) -- As many as 100-thousand visitors are expected in Boone this week for the Farm Progress Show, the region's biggest event of its kind. Dena Morgan is spokeswoman for the 59th annual exposition, showing off everything that's new in agricultural production.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



Morgan says visitors will be seeing the latest in agricultural equipment and technology as this is the place where many companies will roll out new products and campaigns.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Morgan was asked how this year's enduring drought will have an impact on the show.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



The show runs Tuesday through Thursday. It rotates locations every other year. Boone hosts the show in even-numbered years while Decatur, Illinois, hosts it in odd-numbered years. Learn more at: "www.farmprogress.com"

 

 

   

Page 4 of 6

Copyright 2010, Powell Broadcasting, Website developed by iCast Interactive