Wednesday, January 28, 2015
   
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Local Ag News

Grain Prices Likely To Remain Low Through 2015 Marketing Year

(Le Mars) -- Corn prices are low, as are gasoline prices, so how is the ethanol industry faring?  An Iowa State University agricultural economist says the ethanol industry is facing a good news - bad news scenerio with profit margins becoming very slim.

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Chad Hart spoke at a Crop Advantage seminar in Le Mars on Tuesday.  He says ethanol is able to compete when oil prices are high, but times like today, the ethanol industry still needs support from subsidies.
 
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Hart says there isn't much optimism for improvement in the grain prices for this next marketing year.

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The grain marketing specialist says if there is a possibility for hope in the grain markets, it could be with exports.

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2015 May Be Good Weather Year For Crops

(Le Mars) -- An Iowa State University Extension Climatologist believes 2015 should be a decent year for farmers and their crops.  Elwynn Taylor spoke before nearly 200 farmers in Le Mars on Tuesday.  He says subsoil moisture levels have for the most part, been replenished across the cornbelt, giving farmers some optimism for having another good yield, despite what appears to be a dry winter.

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Taylor says the nation is ending one weather cycle and is starting another.  He says so far, we are having a moderate el nino' weather pattern which could mean above average crop yield for 2015.

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The Extension Climatologist says farmers may see a cycle that could be more volatile.

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Judge Blocks Farm Groups Lawsuit Against EPA

Judge Blocks Farm Groups Lawsuit Against EPA

 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A federal judge has rejected a lawsuit by two major farm groups that sought to block the release of data on large livestock farms in Minnesota and Iowa.
     The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Pork Producers Council filed the lawsuit in in Minneapolis in 2013 after some activist groups requested the Environmental Protection Agency data under the Freedom of Information Act. The data includes physical addresses and other operational details about the farms. The farm groups said releasing the data would violate farmers' privacy.
     But U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery dismissed the lawsuit Tuesday. She ruled that Farm Bureau and the Pork Producers lacked legal standing. And she pointed out that the data the two groups sought to keep private is easily available from other public sources anyway.

   

USDA Reports Record Corn & Soybean Harvest

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's final tally of the 2014 crop year is showing farmers brought in record corn and soybean crops.
     The agency says in reports released Monday that farmers harvested a record 14.2 billion bushels of corn. That is 3 percent more than the 2013 crop, which had set the previous record. The average bushel-per-acre yield is 171, significantly better than the 158 bushels per acre in 2013.
     The record crop came even though farmers harvested about 5 percent fewer acres than in 2013. Record yields are estimated in 21 states, including Illinois and Nebraska.
     Soybean production also is a record at 3.97 billion bushels, up 18 percent from 2013. Farmers harvested a record 83.1 million acres in 2014.
 

   

Farm Bill Meetings Scheduled For Northwest Iowa

(Le Mars) -- Beginning November 17th, and continuing through the month of December, the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach along with the U-S-D-A Farm Services Agency will host a series of meetings discussing the provisions of the new Farm Bill.  There will be a meeting for each county.  Melissa O'Rourke, is the farm management specialist with Iowa State University Extension.  She says this farm bill is a departure from previous farm program legislation.

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The Farm Management Specialist says farmers will have to know the new programs, since the decision they make will be for the next five years. She says farmers and landowners need to decide whether they want to protect themselves from yield losses, or price loss.

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On the other hand, as O'Rourke explains, if farmers are more concerned about the revenue losses, they may want to sign up for PLC or Price Loss Coverage program.

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The Le Mars meeting is scheduled for December 3rd at the Le Mars Convention Center starting at 9:00 a.m.  For specific dates, locations, and times, contact your local Iowa State University Extension and Outreach office.

 

Cherokee

Nov. 17 9:00 a.m.
Western Iowa Tech Community College

Primghar

Nov. 17 1:30 p.m.

Primghar Community Center

 

Emmetsburg

Nov. 20 9:30 a.m.

Iowa Lakes Community College

 

Spencer

Nov. 21 9:00 a.m.

Spencer Community Theater

 

Spirit Lake

Nov. 24 9:00 a.m.

Dickinson County Extension Office

 

Estherville

Nov. 24 2:30 p.m.

Iowa Lakes Community College

 

Sheldon

Dec. 2 9:00 a.m.

Northwest Iowa Community College

 

Rock Rapids

Dec. 2  1:30 p.m.

Forster Community Center

 

Le Mars

Dec. 3  9:00 a.m.

Le Mars Convention Center

 

Sioux City

Dec. 3  1:30 p.m.

Western Iowa Technical Community College - Cargill Auditorium

 

Storm Lake

Dec. 4  1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Buena Vista County Extension

 

Pocahontas

Dec. 8   9:00 a.m.

Expo Center

 

Sibley

Dec. 16  1:00 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church

 

 

 

 

   

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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USDA Crop Report Looks To Set Record

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Farmers will produce a record-breaking corn harvest this year, surpassing earlier expectations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has revised upward its estimate of this year's corn harvest to 14 billion bushels.
     That exceeds last year's 13.9 billion bushel record.
     Soybean production also will set a new record at 3.8 billion bushels, beating the 2009 harvest of 3.4 billion bushels.
     Farmers are blessed with an abundant crop but cursed that it has driven prices lower. They are taking more control of their grain marketing by building more on-farm storage, holding onto the crop and timing the sale to maximize profit.
     Rain fell at the right times and a cooler summer made for favorable growing conditions in the 18 states that produce 91 percent of the nation's corn.

 


 

 

   

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