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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection

U-S Court of Appeals Stops EPA Rules On WOTUS

(Des Moines) -- Farmers, ranchers, and even contractors are breathing a sigh of relief following a ruling last week by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals out of Cincinatti, Ohio, regarding the controversial rules established by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U-S Army Corps of Engineers on the Waters of the United States.  The court decided to place a temporary stay on the implementation of proposed rules by the EPA.  Chris Gruenhagen of the Iowa Farm Bureau government relations counsel says the decision by the court is a "key step" to stopping EPA's broad definition of navigational waters.  You may recall, the original rules would have allowed the EPA to have jurisdiction on grass waterways, small streams, and even erodible gullies.

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Gruenhagen says it may be several months before a final court ruling will be determined.

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Many farm organizations, including the Iowa Farm Bureau, are requesting Congress to pass legislation that would permanently prohibit the EPA from implementing the far-reaching rules regulating the nation's waterways. A study by the Iowa Farm Bureau showed that 97 percent of the state of Iowa would be adversely affected by the proposed EPA rules.  She says the proposed rules are confusing.

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Gruenhagen says ultimately, if the EPA rulings go into effect, it would be a tedious and costly measure for everyone in agriculture.

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Bird Flu Detected In Plymouth County

(Des Moines) -- The bird flu has now struck Plymouth County.  Iowa Department of Agriculture officials have confirmed the avian flu virus H5N3 has been detected in a chicken operation.  Dustin Vande Hoef is a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

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The pullet farm has experienced increased mortality, and Vande Hoef says the farm will be quarantined, and the birds will be euthenized.   An estimate on the number of birds at the site is still pending. Vande Hoef says officials believe the bird flu virus will greatly slow down, or go away all together, once the weather warms up.

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Most of the reported bird flu cases have been from larger commercial size operations, be they a turkey or a chicken layer operation.  But, Vande Hoef says the bird flu is also affecting smaller-sized backyard poultry operations.

 

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Sioux County is also reporting another case of the bird flu at a pullet operation.  With the two new cases, that brings the total number of 52 cases for the state of Iowa.  Agriculture officials have quarantined the premesis.  The Center of Disease Control says there is no risk to humans.  No human infections with the virus have ever been detected, and there is no food safety risk for consumers.

 

   

Bird Flu Hits Iowa Turkey Farm

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A bird-flu strain that has already hit numerous turkey farms in the Midwest has been found in a turkey flock in northwest Iowa.

An Iowa Department of Agriculture spokesman says Tuesday the H5N2 strain of bird flu virus has been confirmed in a barn on a farm housing 27,000 birds in Buena Vista County. The disease was suspected when turkeys began dying in the barn.

An Iowa Poultry Association spokesman says the farm is under quarantine and the turkeys will be euthanized.

Animal health officials have long said the virus is dangerous to all commercial poultry. Iowa has 130 turkey farms raising 11 million turkeys a year. The state also is the nation's leading egg producer with 59.6 million egg layers. No chicken flocks in Iowa have been infected.

   

Farmers Off To A Good Start On Field Work

(Le Mars) -- Farmers have been taking advantage of the warm weather by preparing their fields for crop production.  Iowa State University Extension Crop Specialist for Northwest Iowa, Joel DeJong says so far, farmers are off to a good start.

 

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Soil temperatures have been rising according to DeJong, but still a bit cooler than desired for crop production.

 

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As for sub-soil moisture levels, and despite some reports indicating drought-like conditions, the crops specialist says for most of Northwest Iowa the levels are sufficient.

 

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Most Iowa farmers will probably plant this year's corn crop between April 20th and May 10th.

 

   

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