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Local Ag News

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.

   

Northey Plans Northwest Iowa Visits

(Des Moines) -- Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has announced that he will be visiting Ida, Cherokee, Sioux and Plymouth Counties on Monday, July 23rd as part of his efforts to visit each of Iowa's 99 counties  again in 2012.  Northey will visit the Ida County Fair in Ida Grove at 10:30 a.m., then he will tour Little Sioux Corn Processing in Marcus at 12:30 p.m.  Northey is scheduled to tour Van Beek Natural Science in Orange City at 2:00 p.m.  and then he will visit the Remsen Processing in Remsen at 3:30 p.m.  All events are open to the public.

   

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 www.iowacorn.org/icpbdirectorelections.

 

 

   

Heat Wave May Be Stressful To Cattle

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa farmers are being urged to watch their cattle for signs of stress as the heat builds across the Midwest.
     The Iowa Cattlemen's Association says cattle could be at risk with temperatures around 100 degrees on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. CEO Matte Deppe says cattle rely on respiration more than sweating to cool down, which means producers must also consider other means to keep them comfortable.
     Some suggestions from Iowa State University Extension include clean fresh water, shade and using a higher percentage of feed in the afternoon.
     If necessary, farmers should begin sprinkling cattle with water if there are signs of heat stress. Officials say producers who use fans or water on their cattle should continue to use the process
until the heat wave breaks.

   

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