Tuesday, May 24, 2016
   
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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection

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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AGP To Expand Biodiesel Production Facilities At Sergeant Bluff

(Sergeant Bluff) -- A soybean processing cooperative is wanting to expand its biodiesel operations.  Ag Processing Incorporated has announced it will move forward on a major expansion of the company's biodiesel production facility near Sergeant Bluff.  AGP currently operates a 30 million gallon biodiesel production facility at that location.  Keith Spackler, Chief Executive Officer, for AGP says "biodiesel is an important component of our integrated soybean processing platform".  Spackler says, "this expansion reflects our committment to the biodiesel industry and soybean farmers as we continue to invest in this important value-added market".  The expansion of biodiesel production capacity is complementary to plans announced earlier in the year to build soybean oil refining capacity at the site.  Cal Meyer, Chief Operating Officer with the cooperative says, "Biodiesel is a premium advanced biofuel and has led directly to higher soybean prices and jobs in rural communities. Our announced project at Sergeant Bluff will do the same for the Siouxland region and beyond".  Company officials noted that final construction decisions are contingent on completion of agreements with state and local officials.

   

Sioux County Farmland Sells At $17,300/acre

(Hospers) -- Despite low agricultural commodity prices, land still seems to be in high demand with buyers willing to spend near record levels.  At a Sioux County land auction held on Friday near Hospers, a tract of 154 acres sold at $17,300 an acre.  Jim Klein of Remsen was the auctioneer for the sale.  He says the land sold is of high quality with a history of being very productive.

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Klein says the land was sold to a local neighboring farmer that had land already adjacent to the land that sold.

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The price per acre is not a record for Sioux County land sales, as a parcel of land sold for more than $20,000 an acre nearly two years ago, but as Klein says with lower grain prices, the expectation would be that land value would also decline.

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Sioux County is a leader in livestock and poultry production, and Klein believes one reason for the high demand for land is so farmers have somewhere to dispose manure.

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Klein says the tract of land did bring several bidders at the start of the sale.  He says this was the highest price paid for land that he has had a role in selling.

   

Corn Harvest Nearing Completion

(Le Mars) -- Ideal weather conditions have allowed farmers to harvest corn at a faster than normal pace, with some agricultural officials saying as much as two-thirds of the region's corn have already been harvested.  Iowa State University Extension Crop Specialist Joel DeJong says many farmers are reporting high yields, and are nearing completion.

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Yields have also been good, averaging near or above 200 bushels per acre.

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DeJong says the recent warm, dry and windy days have helped reduce corn moisture levels so many farmers have not needed to artificially dry their corn.

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The ISU crops specialist says some farmers have noticed stalk rot due to the excessive rains from July, August and September, and have managed the harvest accordingly.

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DeJong says soil temperatures are still too warm for farmers to apply any anhydrous ammonia fertilizer, and he is also concerned about the liiquid manure that is being applied on some harvested fields.

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