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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection

Cattle Producers Concern Over Cattle Futures Trading

(Rock Valley) -- Last week cattle producers from across the nation gathered in San Diego, California for the National Cattlemens Beef Association convention and annual meeting.  One of the issues that was discussed at great length was the recent action of volatility market prices in the cattle futures.  Kent Pruismann, a cattle producer from Rock Valley, and a former president of the Iowa Cattlemen Association attended the San Diego conference and he says officials of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange were invited to explain to cattle producers why the markets were acting like a yo-yo.

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Pruismann says once the CME officials shared data from the trading activity within the time period in question, many producers had a different opinion.

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The Sioux County cattle producer says the volatile trading happened during the last three months of 2015 and with the markets moving limit up and limit down, sometimes within the same day, it created a scenario making it difficult for cattle producers to utilize futures trading as an effective risk management tool.

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Iowa Farmers Set Production Records For Corn And Soybeans

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - It is a record year for Iowa and Nebraska crop farmers.
The final harvest report released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture says Iowa farmers brought in 2.5 billion bushels of corn, 4 percent higher than the 2009 record. Iowa has led the nation in corn production for 22 consecutive years. The average per-acre yield of 192 bushels also is a new record.
Soybean farmers did very well too producing a record crop and the nation's largest soybean bounty, beating out Illinois for the first time since 2012. At 554 million bushels, this year's Iowa soybean harvest exceeds the 2005 record by 5 percent. The per-acre yield also beat the 2005 record.
Nebraska also produced records with 1.69 billion bushels of corn and a 306 million bushel of soybeans.

   

Iowa State Survey Shows Land Values Declining

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa State University survey says state farmland values have dropped by nearly 4 percent this year, marking a second straight year of decline.
Farmland values dropped to a statewide average of $7,633 an acre, down from a recent 2013 peak of $8,716 per acre. Assistant economics professor Wendong Zhang says farmland value may not rebound soon because of declining farm income and stagnant commodity prices.
However, Zhang says this year's decline was less severe than anticipated and farmland values are still almost 14 percent higher than 2011 values.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, farm income in Iowa declined 39 percent last year to nearly $5.1 billion.

   

EPA Lowers Renewable Fuels Standard

(Des Moines) -- The Environmental Protection Agency announced the long-awaited renewable fuels standard on Monday, and ethanol industry officials are disappointed.  Monte Shaw serves as the executive director with the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.  He says the EPA only solidified big oil company's monopoly on this nation's fuel source.

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Shaw says Congress had set the production levels for ethanol at 15 billion gallons for the years 2015 and 2016.  The Environmental Protection Agency has instead set the ethanol production levels slightly above 14 billion gallons for 2015 and 14.5 billion gallons for 2016.  Shaw says the actions of the E-P-A will hurt the farm economy and the midwest economy.

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The ethanol industry official believes the EPA's actions may result in the slowdown for future ethanol investments.

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