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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection

Winter Is Perfect Time To Inspect Windbreaks

(Le Mars) -- During the winter is a perfect time to check your windbreaks, according to a state technician with the Natural Resources and Conservation Services.  Chuck Hoelker says walking around your farmstead and feedlots at this time of year can provide you with valuable information helpful in making decisions about your windbreak.  Snow drifts in areas of the farmstead could indicate a need for additional snow catch areas to be planted.  Hoelker says windbreaks play an important role in the protection of livestock particularly for young animals.  By reducing wind velocity and the effects of cold temperatures, a good windbreak can significantly reduce stress on feed energy requirements.  The N-R-C-S official says a good windbreak around a farmstead will result in better animal health, lower mortality, reduced feed costs, and increased profitability in your livestock operation.  Hoelker says evergreens work well for windbreak protection, but he also recommends some shrubs.

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The N-R-C-S is now offering a cost-share program for farmers and landowners wanting to plant a windbreak.  Monte Dowlinger, also is a state technician with the N-R-C-S.  He says the N-R-C-S will provide up to 75 percent of the costs for planting a windbreak, with the farmer or landowner paying the remaining 25 percent. He explains the details of the cost-share program.

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Dowlinger says a properly planted windbreak will offer many benefits.  He says windbreaks have proven to help reduce odors emitting from livestock production facilities.

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Dowlinger says windbreaks can also add value to your farm.

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The N-R-C-S technician says other benefits to planting a windbreak include: added beauty to the home or farm, reduces the weathering effect on buildings, and provides food and shelter for wildlife.

   

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.

   

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