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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection

Harvest Nears Completion

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County farmers are making great progress towards finishing this year's harvest.  Jerry Wendt who farms west of Le Mars was just one of many farmers harvesting corn this weekend.  Wendt says the harvest has produced some decent yield returns.

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Earlier this year, many farmers had reported wetter than normal corn as a result of the late maturing crop.  However, Wendt reports most of his corn moisture level is low enough that he can store his grain without any artificial drying methods.

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Wendt says he probably farms a bit different than most Plymouth County farmers in the fact that he harvests his wet corn first.  He also says he has noticed more stalk diseases this year.

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Although yields appear to be doing well this year, farmers like Wendt, are facing commodity prices at nearly half the value from last year.  Wendt admits it may be difficult to budget for next year's expenses.

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Many farmers have indicated they believe they will finish with harvest within the next few days.  Iowa State University Extension Crops Specialist, Joel DeJong, estimates the soybean harvest to be more than 90 percent finished, and the county corn harvest is at 75 percent completed.

   

Farmers Told To Use Caution During Harvest Season

(Le Mars) -- The fatal farm accident in Buena Vista County should serve as a reminder to all people working on farms to be extra cautious during this harvest season.  This week is National Farm Safety and Health Week, and Iowa State University Extension Farm Safety Specialist Chuck Schwab says statistically, agriculture ranks as the most dangerous occupation.

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Schwab says the most common types of farm-related accidents involve: machinery entanglements, roadway collisions, grain suffocation, electrocution, and even roll-overs involving either tractors, and/or all terrain vehicles.  But the farm safety specialist says slips and falls account for many farm-related accidents each year.

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This is National Farm Safety and Health Week, a time devoted to call attention to the dangers associated with agriculture.  We continue our week-long series today.  Iowa State University Extension Farm Safety Specialist Chuck Schwab says agriculture sustains a higher number of deaths per 100,000 workers and therefore is the most dangerous occupation when compared to mining, construction, and manufacturing.

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Schwab says there are five categories of farm-related accidents that compile most of the injuries or deaths.  They include tractor and ATV roll-overs, machine entanglements, suffociation, roadway collisions, and electrocutions.

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Another danger that livestock producers are noticing is the build up of toxic gases, especially in confinement facilities.  Schwab says, if not properly ventilated, many of the gases found in a confinement facility can either cause a producer or animals to lose consciousness from a lack of oxygen and suffocate, or, they can also be explosive.

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Just last week a pork producer from northern Iowa suffered burns on his body when it was suspected a bubble of methane gas was trapped in the pits beneath the building had ignited when he was powerwashing the barn.

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Farmer Contend With Late Season Crop Diseases

(Le Mars) -- It won't be long before many farmers will begin thinking of harvesting this year's crops.  However, as Joel DeJong, Iowa State University Extension crops specialists says, there are some late-season diseases that are affecting this year's crop.

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DeJong says another concern for farmers is the fact the corn is slow to mature.

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Some farmers have reported having Goss's Wilt, a corn disease that strikes corn in the late season and robs yields. DeJong says there are several similarities between Goss's Wilt and Northern Corn Leaf Blight.

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As for the soybean crop, De Jong says some of the earlier soybean varieties have begun turning color. He says for the most part northwest Iowa soybean fields have not been affected by diseases.

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The crops specialist says it is still uncertain what type of yields will be produced with this year's soybean crop.

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Cool Temps Slow Down Crop Maturity

(Le Mars) -- With the cooler temperatures that we have been experiencing, many farmers are wondering if that may mean an early frost is likely this year.  If frost were to come early, would our crops have reached maturity so yields won't be compromised?  Joel DeJong, Iowa State University Extension Crops Specialist for northwest Iowa details how much more time the corn crop needs in order to become fully mature.

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DeJong says if temperatures remain cooler than normal for a significant time period, that could further slow down the maturity development process. He says the closer to the maturity date before frost hits, the less likelihood for yield loss.

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The crops specialist says the corn crop is falling behind on growing degree days.

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