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Sioux Co. Land Sells For $20,000/acre

(Orange City) -- A farmland sale yesterday set a new record for Iowa.  The 74-acre tract in Sioux County sold for $20,000 an acre.  Iowa State University Extension Farm Management Specialist Melissa O'Rourke says she is always asked the question of whether land can go higher and how high will it go?  She says land values can go higher, but as to how high, she says that depends on the circumstances.

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Land values have increased nearly 30 percent over the past year.  O'Rourke says most of the land is being purchased by farmers, although other investors are showing interest in obtaining land.  She says strong commodity prices, including grain and livestock, have helped boost the land prices.  Because of recent years of good farm income, the ISU farm management specialist says many farmers are able to offer cash for the acquired land without additional financing.  O'Rourke says simple economics are at play with the higher land values with a high demand and a low supply.

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O'Rourke says agriculture, like other businesses, needs to reduce risk.  She says when you own land, you are reducing the risk factor. Many people are wondering if we are seeing a repeat of the 1970's and '80s decades when land prices had skyrocketed in the 1970's, only to see the bottom drop out in the 1980's.  O'Rourke says the major difference between today and that era is that we have much lower interest rates. She says debt levels have been lowered as well.


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Next week Iowa State University will release its annual land values survey. 
 
  
(LeMars) -- A construction accident occured this morning at the new St. Joseph Catholic Church in LeMars.  At about 8:45 a.m. a man fell nearly 15 feet from a scaffling platform.  The construction worker sufffered a head injury and was transported to the Floyd Valley Hospital. The man's identity and condition are unknown at this time.
  

 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines Area Religious Council says donations haven't kept up with the increasing demand, so its food pantry will have to cut back its aid to needy families.
     The council will cut 40 percent from the family food boxes.
     A family of four had received 55 items in a box each month.  Starting Monday, that will be cut to 33 items per box.
     In 2010, a dozen Des Moines-area pantries gave food boxes to more than 9,200 families. The number this year is nearing 12,700.
     Urbandale Food Pantry director Eileen Boggess says people probably are going to be upset. She says hunger "is an immediate issue. When people are hungry they're not very pleasant."
 

    ---
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - U.S. senators from seven Missouri River states are asking the Government Accountability Office to examine this summer's heavy flooding throughout the river basin.
     The request was supported by 13 senators who are part of the Missouri River Working Group. The group includes senators from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and South
Dakota.
     The senators want the GAO to review several issues, including whether the Army Corps of Engineers followed its master manual for managing the Missouri River and what role meteorological forecasts played.
     They also want to know if environmental concerns, such as protecting endangered species, influenced flood-control efforts.

    


ARCADIA, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa family's joy over the heart transplant given their 3-year-old son has turned to grief over the death of their infant son in a car crash.
 Chris and Emmalee Julin, of Arcadia, had been at Magic Kingdom park in Orlando, Fla., celebrating with their son, Connor. But then they learned that their 2-month-old baby, Chance, was killed in
Saturday's crash near Breda.
     The baby's godmother, Mary Ann Vanderheiden, had been caring for the boy. She was driving him to his grandparents' home in Arcadia, about 10 miles from Breda, when her car ran off a county road and into a ditch.
     Connor's transplant occurred March 12. The Make-A-Wish Foundation paid for the Orlando trip so the family could celebrate his new life.
     ---
    

   

Soderberg Seeks 5th Term Re-election

(LeMars) -- State Representative Chuck Soderberg of LeMars has announced his intentions to seek re-election for a fifth term in the Iowa legislature.  Soderberg made his announcement on Wednesday before a group of community leaders at the LeMars Chamber of Commerce Legislative Luncheon.  Soderberg, a republican, says with the new re-districting, if elected, he will serve nearly all of Plymouth County including each community.  The new district also includes some portions of Woodbury County, east of Sioux City.

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(LeMars) -- Commercial Property Tax Relief may be the main focus for the upcoming legislative session, according to two local state legislators.  State Representative Chuck Soderberg of LeMars and State Senator Bill Anderson of Pierson appeared together yesterday at the LeMars Chamber of Commerce Legislative Luncheon.  Soderburg told the gathering what is the primary goal for the upcoming session. 
 

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The Iowa House Representative says at present time, Iowa is not competitive with our neighbors.  Soderburg indicated that Illinois is raising its property tax rate up 60 percent, but it would still be cheaper than in Iowa.  Another comparison Soderberg made was the property tax rate for Iowa and New York's Manhattan.  He says something is wrong when Iowa's property taxes are higher than Manhattan.  Soderberg says in 2011 the Iowa legislature was able to pass a budget where spending was less than revenue.  He indicated that Iowa was spending $1.18 on every $1 of revenue.  Last year, the state legislature was able to reduce the state's spending so for every $1.00 brought in through taxes, 97 cents was being spent.  State Senator Bill Anderson of Pierson was also at the chamber luncheon.  Anderson informed the group that because of the Senate's split of 26 Democrats to 24 Republicans it will be difficult to pass much legislation.  Anderson said the property tax relief introduced in the State Senate last year was "a joke" because it did not offer any substanial tax relief to businesses. 

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Other topics that were discussed included a proposed road use tax, the Iowa Film Office, Environmental Regulations placed on municipalities, and the governor's proposed education reform.

 

(LeMars) -- Don't look for any tax credit programs to come out of the upcoming state legislative session, that according to State Senator Bill Anderson.   Anderson says because of the various scandals including the Iowa Film Office and CIETEC, the Democratic Controlled State Senate is weary of creating any new tax credit programs because of the fear it could lead to another potential scandal.  Anderson says the Democrats know the scandals occurred during their watch and they don't want to take any chances of it happening again.  Anderson admits there are some legitamate causes that may deserve tax credits, but he says it will be difficult getting anything through the state senate.

 

(LeMars) -- LeMars Police have arrested a LeMars man for sexual abuse and supplying alcohol to a person under 21.  On Monday, officers  received a complaint of an adult supplying alcohol to a minor and sexual abuse of a 15 year old female.  Taken into custody was 21 year old Adam McKee.  McKee was booked into the Plymouth County jail on both charges.  Sexual abuse is a third degree Class C felony.  Also arrested was David Kelly, age 60, also of LeMars.  Kelly was also charged with providing alcohol to a person under 21.
 

(LeMars) -- The Holidays can be a time for family gatherings, festive decorations, special treats, and gift giving.  However, the Holidays can also present its share of dangers, especially fires.  Candles, space heaters, worn extension cords, and dried out Christmas trees can all be the cataylist for a deadly fire.  LeMars Fire Chief Dave Schipper offers some holiday safety suggestions.

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa has a new farmland price record.  It happened on Wednesday when a 74-acre tract near Hull in Sioux County in northwest Iowa sold for $20,000 an acre.
     The previous record was in October when a 120-acre parcel went for $16,750 per acre near Sioux Center, also in Sioux County
     Auctioneer Pete Polleman, of Hull, who called Wednesday's sale, says farmland in northwest Iowa is very valuable, with good commodity prices and a strong livestock industry.
     Economist emeritus Neil Harl of Iowa State University calls the prices "amazing."
     A survey or real estate agents in September put the state average at $6,477 an acre, an increase of over 30 percent in the last year. ISU will release its annual farmland survey Dec. 14.

 

 

 

   

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