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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection

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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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.

   

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