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Local Ag News

Climatologist Says Planting Will Be Delayed Due To Cold, Wet Spring

(Le Mars) -- You can't help but scratch your head and wonder when will spring finally arrive?  Although the moisture from this past week is perhaps appreciated, obviously, Mother Nature is playing a cruel late April Fools joke by producing the late season snows.  Iowa State University Extension Climatologist, Elwynn Taylor says it may be at least two more weeks, or more, before temperatures warm up to near normal levels.

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Normally at this time of year, farmers would be in their fields planting the new corn crop. Since it will be a while until farmers can get to their fields, will that hurt the corn production in the long run?

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The ISU extension climatologist says although records show earlier planting usually performs better, he says the soil temperatures need to be at or above 50 degrees for a sustained period of time to help with the development of the seed.  Taylor says records have proven as the spring progresses, it normally becomes wetter, which may be another factor determining when farmers will be able to plant this year's corn crop.  Taylor says this past winter and colder than normal spring reminds him of the conditions similar to 1947.

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Taylor says Iowa farmers have had three straight years of below trend-line yields, and he believes the odds are in favor for a fourth year for below trend-line yields.

   

Farm Rescue Expands

Farm Rescue Foundation Expands

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The founder of Farm Rescue has launched a separate foundation to further his cause of helping farmers stricken by major illnesses, ailments or disasters.
Farm Rescue helps farmers in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa and eastern Montana with planting and harvesting. Founder and CEO Bill Gross says the new Farm Rescue Foundation will help farmers in the
recovery process with specialized equipment, or with some farm tasks they're unable to do.
Langdon farmer Brett Kakela (KAK'-uh-luh) is recovering from a stroke. The foundation helped him get equipment that will enable him to unload grain without having to climb out of his truck. He
says he appreciates the help.
The foundation aims to help about 20 farmers in North Dakota this spring and expand to the other four states this fall.

   

Iowa Corn Growers Help Set National Policy

JOHNSTON, Iowa - March 1, 2013 - Iowa corn farmers joined with other corn farmer members from twenty-six states representing the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) at the annual Commodity Classic meeting in Kissimmee, Florida today.

NCGA farmer delegates discussed issues related to crop insurance, tax issues, farmer confidentiality, as well as farm image, sustainability and environment. The delegate body adopted several resolutions that Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) members brought forth through the grassroots policy making process.

"This is the culmination of our grassroots policy development process. Starting with our local roundtable meetings, to our Annual Meeting, and now onto National policy in Corn Congress at Commodity Classic, this is how our grassroots members help develop national policy," said Bruce Rohwer, a farmer from Paullina, Iowa and the current president of the ICGA. "Iowa farmers are here to be part of the process to develop policy positions of interest to Iowa corn farmers."

Additional NCGA policy discussions will take place on Saturday afternoon. "With the drought conditions last year, we saw crop insurance work," said Rohwer. "Grain farmers didn't require an ad hoc disaster assistance bill, even with last year's extreme weather conditions, as we have seen happen in the past. Our task at Commodity Classic is to make sure we have and maintain sound policy for Iowa's corn farmers."

The new NCGA policy document will be posted at www.iowacorn.org/policy when it becomes available. For more information on upcoming summer policy development meetings in your area, contact the Iowa Corn Growers Association at (515) 225-9242 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
The ICGA is a membership organization, lobbying on agricultural issues on behalf of its nearly 7,000 farmer members. For more information or to view the complete policy position book, log onto www.iowacorn.org.

The Commodity Classic is the premier convention and trade show of the US corn, soybean, sorghum, and wheat industries. Each year, the industry gathers at Commodity Classic to experience, learn and share information about issues, technology, and trends in US agriculture.

   

Kossuth County Farmers Produced Most Corn & Soybeans

Kossuth County Farmers Produced Most Corn and Soybeans

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Farmers in north-central Iowa's Kossuth County beat out all others in corn and soybean production last year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in a report issued Thursday that Kossuth County led with 52.8 million bushels of corn and 10.3 million bushels of soybeans. It makes sense that Kossuth
would stand out, it's the state's largest county by land size and has the most harvested acres of corn and soybeans.
The extreme heat and drought last year reduced yields significantly across much of Iowa. Only Palo Alto and Clay counties in northwest Iowa produced corn yields above 170 bushels per acre.
Southern Iowa counties suffered most. Appanoose County reported the lowest yields with corn at 44.5 bushels per acre and soybeans at 24.3 bushels per acre.

   

Caswell Joins AGP

Matt Caswell Named Vice President at Ag Processing, Inc.

(Omaha) -- Ag Processing, Inc. a cooperative (AGP) announced today that Matt Caswell has joined the cooperative's management team as Vice President of Member/Corporate Relations and Government Affairs.  Caswell, who most recently served as Director of Federal Government Relations for Syngenta in Washington D.C. started with AGP on February 4.

"With over 12 years of leadership experience in the areas of Agribusiness and Governmental Affairs, Matt brings a strong level of expertise consisting of governmental advocacy, regulatory affairs, and membership relations to AGP," said Keith Spackler, CEO and General Manager.

Caswell's career also includes Regulator Affairs Director for BP PLC in Washington D.C. for four years and Public Affairs Director with the Iowa Soybean Association for seven years.

Originally from Perry, Iowa Matt received his law degree from Drake University in Des Moines.  He and his wife, Sarah, and son James, are in the process of relocating from Arlington, Virginia to Omaha, Nebraska.

AGP (www.agp.com), the largest farmer owned soybean processor in the world, is owned by 179 local and regional cooperatives representing over 250,000 farmers from 15 states throughout the United States.  Corporate headquarters are located in Omaha, Nebraska.

 

 

   

Farmers Can Apply For Energy Grants

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - Farmers with small to mid-sized operations may apply for grants to incorporate energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable energy measures into their
farms.
Grants of up to $2,000 are offered through the Farm Energy Working Group at the Center for Energy & Environmental Education which is located at the University of Northern Iowa. The money for
the grant comes from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, a research and education based at center at Iowa State University.
The grant funding can pay for the farmer's time for installation, administration, and report writing. Grants cannot cover equipment purchases.
Past projects have included a robotic milking machine in Monona, wind and solar projects, and biogas heaters and generators.
The deadline for application is Feb. 28.

   

ISU Extension To Host Crop Advantage Seminar

(Le Mars) -- Area farmers wanting to get a glimpse of what the next crop year will feature will want to attend the Crop Advantage Seminar scheduled for Tuesday.  Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is hosting the day-long seminar that will be held at the Le Mars Convention Center.  Joel DeJong, Extension Crops Specialist says farmers will learn about the two topics of general agricultural interests...markets and weather.
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DeJong says northwest Iowa is still very short on moisture levels.
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Many farmers are concerned about the lack of moisture and some are adjusting their crop production and selection of hybrids and varieties in anticipation of another dry year.
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DeJong says the afternoon sessions will focus on corn rootworm management, nutrient reduction strategy, and cover crops.  He says the registration fee is $45 and that covers materials plus lunch.

   

Pork Producers Concerned About Country of Origin Labeling

(Des Moines) -- The state's pork producers while attending  the annual Iowa Pork Congress... were discussing possible scenarios that could hurt pork exports.  Bill Tentinger of Le Mars has just completed his term as president of the pork organization.  He says producers are talking about the country of origin labeling requirement, and how it may have the potential to disrupt pork exports.  The pork official says the new rule violates the terms of the World Trade Organization, and he says the U-S currently exports up to 28 percent of its pork product.
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It is estimated the pork industry contributes nearly $5 billion annually to Iowa's economy.

   

Steve Nogel Promoted At AGP

(Omaha, NE) -- Steve Nogel has been promoted to Vice President of the Renewable Fuels Group at Ag Processing Inc., a cooperative (AGP).  Nogel, who has over 35 years of experience in the petroleum and renewable fuels business including 14 years at AGP, most recently served as Senior Director of the Renewable Fuels Group.  He joined AGP as Director of Sales and Marketing.

"Steve Nogel has provided AGP with many years of dedicated service, commitment and increasing responsibility in our renewable fuels business," said Cal Meyer Group Vice President, Processing, Refined Oils and Renewable Fuels.  "We look forward to his leadership and business expertise in his new position as Vice President of the Renewable Fuels Group."

Prior to joining AGP, Nogel served as Vice President of Sales for Power Service Products, a chemical company based in Texas, where he worked for 21 years.  He holds a Master's Degree in Business from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

AGP (www.agp.com), the largest farmer-owned soybean processor in the world, is owned by 179 local and regional cooperatives representing over 250,000 farmers from 15 states throughout the United States.  Corporate headquarters are located in Omaha, Nebraska.

   

Iowa Farm Bureau Establishes Legislative Priorities

(West Des Moines) -- Iowa Farm Bureau Federation members take on property tax reform, water quality, and infrastructure improvements in the 2013 legislative session.

Farm Bureau members say Iowa's unprecedented property tax growth impacts all Iowans.  "Property taxes have increased by over $2 billion since the the year 2000, an increase of over 75 percent," said Craig Hill, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation president.  "Farm Bureau members believe the primary objective of property tax reform should be to reduce the property tax burden on all classes of property.  As lawmakers address issues such as commercial property tax reform, Iowans need to be assured that any reform affecting one class of property would not bring a shift to other classes of property.  In addition, reasonable property tax growth limitations are needed so property tax collections do not continue to outpace the economy and family wages," Hill said.

Controlling growth of property taxes is just one of several priorities named by IFBF.  Members also support using the state's one-time ending fund balance, which will total hundreds of millions of dollars on one-time expenditures such as property tax relief or infrastructure, as opposed to being used for ongoing expenses.

Hill says, "We're at the point where more and more local governments are turning to bonding as an alternative source of revenue to pay for deteriorating rural roads.  Last year alone, rural property owners paid over $140 million in property taxes to their local roads and bridges," said Hill.  IFBF policy calls for an increase in the fuel tax to bring additional revenue for road improvements.  "Iowa's fuel tax hasn't been increased since 1989 and would insure that users of the roads, including out-of-state motorists, are paying directly for the infrastructure repairs.  A user fee is definitely the most equitable and fair method of funding.

   

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