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AGRICULTURE: 365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed

A Supplement to The Vinton Livewire & Cedar Valley Times NATIONAL AG DAY: MARCH 25, 2014

March 2014



Cedar Valley Times —March 19/21, 2014

Agriculture big business in Benton County by Jim Morrison News Editor VINTON -- Agriculture is big business for Benton County. In fact, it is the largest sector of the county’s economy and ranks in the top quarter of most segments of the commodity groups. In 2007, the most recent data available, the market value of Benton County farm products sold was $263 million -- up from $147 million five years earlier a 78 percent increase. The county had 1,251 farms -- up five percent from five years earlier. These farms comprise 400,934 acres, an average of 320 acres per farm. This ranks the county 25th of Iowa’s 99 counties and 195th out of the United States’ 3,076 counties in 2007. Grains, oil seeds, dry beans and dry peas comprised $154 million of Benton County’s commodity products. This ranks the county 13th in the state and 55th in the nation. Corn for grain comprises $186 million and ranks Benton County 28th in the state and 76th in the nation. With soybeans raised for beans, the total is $130 million, again 13th in the state and 72nd in the nation. Cattle and calves ranking Benton County 13th in

the state. No total was available. Benton County produced $63 million of poultry and egg products, 13th in the state and 178th in the nation. Hog and pig production was at $19 million. This was 66th in the state and 220th in the nation. The economic impact of production of commodities has tremendous ripple effects throughout the Benton County communities. Production Agriculture provides economic opportunities for numerous businesses that provides services to farmers such as local grain elevators and cooperatives, trucking, agronomists, veterinarians, livestock nutritionists, seed companies, implement dealers, construction and much more. Government agencies also provide support to agriculture such as the USDA Farm Service Agency, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and the list goes on. A very recent study by Dr. David Swenson, ISU economist, showed “Iowa’s agriculture sector, as measured on a direct basis, accounted for 125,889 total jobs, $5.2 billion in labor income to workers and proprietors, and $11.3 billion in value added.� Undoubtedly, agriculture is of vast importance to Benton County and the state of Iowa.

Iowa second in value of ag sales DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today said the recently released 2012 Census of Agriculture preliminary data show Iowa has seen dramatic increases in the value of agriculture production, value of crops sold and value of livestock sold. The growth has allowed Iowa to move in to 2nd place nationally in each category since the last Census of Agriculture. “The impact of Iowa’s agriculture industry is tremendous, and it continues to grow,� Northey said. “The growth over the last five years is a testament to the hard work, creativity and persistence of our farmers. Even with the recent softening

of commodity prices, Iowa agriculture is well positioned to continue to be a key driver of the state’s economy.� Iowa’s value of agriculture production increased from $20.4 billion in 2007 to $30.8 billion in 2012. The value of crops sold in Iowa increased from $10.3 billion to $17.4 billion. The value of Iowa livestock production increased from $10.1 billion to $13.5 billion. Iowa moved from 3rd nationally in each category in to 2nd place national, passing Texas in the value of production, passing Illinois in the value of crops sold and passing California in the value of livestock sold.










Cedar Valley Times —March 19/21, 2014

Agriculture in the classroom


Learning lab allows students a different perspective by FAITH ANN BROWN able, Orth also explained that the mechanics of the Managing Editor classroom (furnace, water heater) would be housed in VINTON -- Following Monday evening’s meeting a smaller mechanical mezzanine up off the floor. of the Vinton Shellsburg school board, plans for the “For safety reasons, maintenance staff would need district’s Animal Learning Lab took a big step forward. to bring a ladder to reach those areas,� Orth stated. Kristopher Orth, an architect with Design Alliance Orth shared that while the facility will be a ‘pole showed the board members the plans for the building, building, it will be fully insulated and heated with a which will be adjcanent to the high school. forced air furnace with the possibility of air conditionHe explained that the plans would be sent to pro- ing.� spective bidders and that sealed proposals would be Windows along the sides of the building will allow returned to the district central office and opened Tues- for natural lighting in the classroom. “Speaking with day, April 1. Mrs. Fleming (instructor “... bidders will be aware that the Louise Fleming) we have The schedule calls for the board to receive bid project needs to be completed so the put the windows up higher summaries and make a de- district can hold class in the building to allow for bookcases and cision at the board meetdry erase boards to hang this fall.� ing Monday, April 14. on the walls,� he said. -- Kristopher Orth “Work on the project The location of the Design Alliance would commence immebuilding, will allow the diately upon receipt of nodistrict to run electric and tice to process,� Orth said. “And bidders will be aware gas lines from the high school, so the district would that the project needs to be completed so the district only have one meter at the location. “But water lines can hold class in the building this fall.� would have its own separate meter,� Orth said. The new learning lab would include the classroom He added that while working on the plans, the firm area but also a wash area and collapsible stalls. learned that the city had sewer lines located near St. “The thought being, that while large animals may Mary’s Catholic Church, 250 feet from the facility, as be brought into the classroom for a day, they would opposed to running a line around the school building not be spending the night,� Orth shared with board to hook up to the city system. members. “Have we talked to neighbors,� Kathy Van SteenBeing conscious of the space that would be avail- huyse, board member, asked. /LFHQVHG


“We’ve been working with the city and also made sure that neighbors know we won’t have animals staying overnight,� Mary Jo Hainstock, district superintendent, told the board. “We want to be good neighbors,� she said. Both Hainstock and Fleming indicated that animals coming into the classrooms will be calm and relatively tame animals. “We don’t foresee any animals loose running around the school grounds,� Hainstock stated. Board member Rob Levis asked about the cost of the project. Orth shared the original estimate for the shell, along with HVAC and lighting would optimistically be around $150,000. “I’ve done some estimates since our original plans and am comfortable with that number,� he said. Hainstock reminded the board that the entire cost of the project did not rest on the district. Fundraising from the district’s ag council was continuing and would help pay for the project. “We have some individuals who had indicated that they would be donating, but have not sent their contribution,� John Holst, committee member, shared with the school board. “We’ll be happy to continue accepting money for the project,� Henkle, ag committee member, added at the meeting. The board meeting in April, when the bid will be accepted, is scheduled to be held at the district’s central office.


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Cedar Valley Times —March 19/21, 2014

Siela donates to Aiming for a cure

VINTON, Iowa -- Austin Siela and America’s Farmers Grow Communities organization will be donating and presenting a $2,500 check to the Aim for a Cure Foundation. America’s Farmers Grow Communities works with farmers to help support nonprofit organizations, such as the Aiming for a Cure Foundation, that do important work in rural communities. The Monsanto Fund sponsors it and for those of you who don’t know Monsanto is a sustainable agriculture company that sells products to farmers all over the world. They have a seeds and trait business as well as manufacture Roundup and other herbicides used by the farming communities. Monsanto believes in giving back to the lifeblood of their consumer base, the farmer, which is why they started this initiative back in 2011. Austin Siela was approached last fall about participating in the program and was awarded the $2,500 to the charity of his choice in late December. He has been a customer of Monsanto for years and was chosen to represent Benton County. Siela said there were a couple loopholes to jump through in decided which charity the money went, but knew off

the bat that Aiming for a Cure was one of the few he was considering. “We do a lot of business with Hubbard’s and Interstate Grain in Center Point, IA and one of their nutritionist Steve Ries, he is a really good friend of mine, son, Ben Ries, passed away from cancer,” Austin Siela said. “Steve has always been a big supporter of Aiming for a Cure, well it’s a nonprofit organization and something that helped people so I called Steve and we had it set up. They were one of the easiest charities to work with.” Siela couldn’t be happier with his choice and is proud that it is going to help people in the Benton County Area directly. “It means a lot. It’s nice to give something back to people who are going to use it. It’s nice to see that all the money we spend on chemicals is given back to a good cause and just doesn’t pad pockets. It feels pretty good (to represent Benton County). I think it is good for

Benton County to represent and stand by Aiming for a Cure. The Steve and Jody Ries family started the Aim for a Cure Foundation in 2003 a couple years after their son, Ben Ries, was diagnosed with cancer. Steve and Jody are originally from Shellsburg, IA and currently reside in Alburnett, IA. Ben was diagnosed in April of 2000 and fought the hard fight for five and a half years before succumbing to this terrible disease on June 1, 2005. “It was always his interest to help when he was going through his five and a half years of treatment. It was always his interest to help the child in the room next door,” Steve Ries said. The foundations mission state is: “The mission of the Aiming For a Cure Foundation is to raise funds to benefit pediatric oncology patients and families dealing with difficult times and decisions in our local communities. Our goal is to improve the quality of care and quality

of lives of these children and families through the funding of research, noninsured expenses and patient care,” their website said. They raise money to help children and families that are going through difficult times at the children’s hospital in Iowa City. The money raised goes towards thing not covered by medical insurance that can be as simple as meals for the parents to gas money for them to get to and from the hospital. According to their website they have raised $1,480,000 to go to causes like this as well as to fund research. 100 percent of the money raised goes back into the communities as the staff is made up entirely of volunteers. “It’s been an honor to be able to do this. The one thing that when you are going through cancer that we found is the support you receive from others is what carries you through the day. If we can take that financial burden off these families at that time, if we can help them with gas for back and forth and parking there then it’s an honor to know Ben’s wishes are being fulfilled,” Ries said. Austin was presented the check at a ceremony at the Sheraton in Iowa City Friday, March 14.

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Cedar Valley Times —March 19/21, 2014


New Farm Bill gives farmers direction

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Cedar Valley Times —March 19/21, 2014

Rescue fund receives matching grant JAMESTOWN, ND, March 4, 2014 - Farm Rescue, Foundation trustee. “It provides an important structure a nonprofit organization that provides planting and for volunteers to help farm families avoid economic harvesting assistance free of charge to farm families hardship. who have experienced a major illness, injury or natural About Farm Rescue disaster, received a “one for one” grant from the Otto Farm Rescue was founded in 2006 and has helped Bremer Foundation. The Otto Bremer Foundation will 252 families since its inception. The organization’s award one dollar to Farm Rescue for each dollar do- mission is to help farmers who have experienced a nated by new sponsors, grantors and individual do- major illness, injury, or natural disaster by providing nors, up to $35,000. the necessary equipment and manpower to plant or Farm Rescue helped a record number of farm fami- harvest their crop. Farm Rescue provides assistance to lies in 2013 and plans for another successful year of farm families in North Dakota, South Dakota, Monhelping farm families who have experienced major tana, Minnesota, and Iowa. Applications are currently injury, illnesses or natural disasters. 50 farm families being accepted for the 2014 planting season, which were helped in 2013, bringing the total number of fam- can be obtained at 701-252-2017 or www.farmrescue. ilies helped since the inception of Farm Rescue to 252. org . The Otto Bremer Foundation and About the Otto Bremer FoundaFarm Rescue helped a tion Bremer Bank were one of the first sponsors of Farm Rescue and continCreated in 1944, the Otto Bremer record number of farm ue to be strong supporters of helping Foundation assists people in achievfamilies in 2013 and farm families through the nonprofit ing full economic, civic and social plans for another organization. In 2013, Bremer Bank participation in and for the betterment donated $25,000 and the Otto Bremer of their communities. The Foundasuccessful year of Foundation donated $75,000, for a helping farm families. tion strives to help build healthy, vicumulative donation of $100,000. brant communities in the places that “Farm Rescue is pleased to anare homes and neighbors to Bremer nounce one-for-one matching funds from the Otto banks—communities where basic needs are met, muBremer Foundation, “ said Bill Gross, Farm Rescue tual regard is prized and opportunities for economic, president and founder. “We are asking potential donors civic and social participation are within everyone’s to step forward and help us maximize the full poten- reach. The Otto Bremer Foundation owns 92 percent tial of the available funding so we may help additional of Bremer Bank, and receives an equivalent share of farm families who have experienced unexpected crises the bank profits that are paid out as dividends. This in 2014.” means that a large portion of bank profit is invested “The Otto Bremer Foundation is pleased to support back in local communities through grants and proFarm Rescue,” said Charlotte Johnson, Otto Bremer gram-related investments.

Where does your food come from? If you're like many Americans, the answer is the grocery store. And frankly, that disturbs me. The grocery store isn't where food comes from - it's just from where it's distributed. In reality, far too many people are unaware of the role of American agriculture in their daily lives . . . and what it really takes to have food on their dinner table. Just a few generations ago, most people were a part of - and had friends or relatives involved with agriculture. Today, that's no longer the case. That's why I'm writing, because agriculture is responsible for providing the necessities of life . . . food, fiber, clothing, and shelter. And it's about time Americans recognize that contribution! American farmers are working harder than ever, and it shows. Today, each American farmer feeds more than 144 people. And the need for food produced in the United States is dramatic. Agriculture is this nation's #1 export and vitally important in sustaining a healthy economy. And it's not just the farmer who makes our food possible. The entire agriculture industry, all the way to the grocery store, are vital links in a chain that brings food to every citizen - and millions of people abroad. Frankly, it's easy to take agriculture for granted in America. Our food is readily accessible and safe. For this, we're unbelievably fortunate . . . but that doesn't mean we don't have an obligation to recognize how it's made possible. This March 25, 2014, is National Ag Day, hosted by the Agriculture Council of America. Ag Day is a good time to reflect - and be grateful for - American agriculture!




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Cedar Valley Times —March 19/21, 2014


Students present research to legislators BROOKINGS, S.D. - March 3, 2014 - State legislators learned about research to combat colon cancer and to determine the material properties of corn stalks as a value-added agricultural product from two South Dakota State University students at the annual Student Poster Session in Pierre. Taylor Suess, a senior in mechanical engineering, and Alex Olinger, who is in his third year of the pharmacy professional program, explained their projects in the Capitol Rotunda. Suess and Olinger, who were members of the SDSU football program, received Joseph F. Nelson scholarships to support a portion of their research. Examining properties of corn stover Biofuels research has focused on the thermo-chemistry behind production, but assistant professor Stephen Gent, Suess’s research adviser, said “feeding the material into any type of chemical reactor presents another set of challenges that will literally make or break whether this technology can be commercialized.” Suess, who is originally from Columbus, Neb., explained: “Corn stover is low density, soft material.” When it’s fed through a conveying system, auger or any pneumatic system, he pointed out, “It will plug pretty easily.”

Suess worked with graduate student Ozan Ozdemir who used the equipment at the Materials Evaluation and Testing Lab, or METLAB, to test the corn stover, a mixture of stalks and leaves. The two researchers did hardness and 3-point bending testing on the corn stalks. Suess found that the material from the top of the stalk is stronger than that from the base. “Corn stover is a composite material,” he said. “It has different fiber resistances at different parts of the stalk.” In addition, the stalk’s properties will vary, even from field to field, based on growing conditions and the corn variety. Suess said the project has given him “a pretty wide perspective on taking scientific research and applying it to topics that have a high impact in our state.” When engineers design feeding systems, they will model the flow of the materials. To do this, they consult the American Society for Testing Material, ASTM, manual of standards that gives them guidelines for how a material behaves. None exist for corn stover, according to Suess. When it’s finely ground, corn stover “could be representative of a soil sample.” Essentially, Suess and Ozdemir vali-

STUDENTS Continued on B9

Senior Taylor Suess pours corn stover—ground stalks and leaves—into a bin in preparation for testing at the SDSU Mechanical Engineering Department’s Materials Evaluation and Testing Laboratory. His research project focuses on determining the material properties of corn stover.

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Agriculture Soybean growers: coexistence efforts working


Cedar Valley Times â&#x20AC;&#x201D;March 19/21, 2014

ST. LOUIS (March 5, 2014) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; In comments submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture this week, American Soybean Association (ASA) President and Iowa farmer Ray Gaesser urged the Department to take both a practical and a scientific approach to enhancing agricultural coexistence. He also urged USDA to consider the already extensive work on coexistence underway in the industry. In Gaesserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s comments, ASA, which provided separate recommendations to USDA both as part of the

AC21 Committee and as a member of the AgBiotech Alliance, reinforced its position that â&#x20AC;&#x153;there is no real evidence that current efforts to achieve coexistence between neighboring producers are not workingâ&#x20AC;? and pointed to the failure of the AC21 Committee to identify any data that shows contamination between IP, conventional and organic farming has occurred or is a significant problem warranting additional steps beyond enhanced communication and education. â&#x20AC;?Farmers of many kinds of different cropping sys-

tems have a long and successful history of coexistence,â&#x20AC;? Gaesser commented. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some farmers grow crops for high-quality seed production, some grow specialty varieties within conventional crops, some grow ornamentals or vegetables, and others grow nonGMO and organic crops. All require that the grower hoping to raise one of these premium crops take prudent management steps and communicate with neighbors. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen no data to suggest that such management and communication isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t working.â&#x20AC;?

Innovation helps improve production, water quality ANKENY, Iowa â&#x20AC;&#x201C; On-farm innovation developed and implemented by the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) is helping farmers improve production and water quality. The assessment, made by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey at ISAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s On-Farm NetworkÂŽ Conference in Ames last week, coincides with growing interest in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy funded last year by the Iowa Legislature. The stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ag leader said farmers play a key role in the success of water quality improvement efforts underway.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The strategy is built on farmers wanting to become better and to reduce their environmental impact, which is also a goal of the On-Farm Network,â&#x20AC;? said Northey, who farms near Spirit Lake. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have many watershed projects and tools being implemented across the state allowing farmers to learn from each other, build on that knowledge and take their production and conservation efforts to the next level.â&#x20AC;? The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, developed by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Natural Resources


and Iowa State University, seeks to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous loads to Iowaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waters and the Gulf of Mexico from point and non-point sources by at least 45 percent. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s supported by the ISA and other farm and environmental stakeholders. Momentum behind the strategy is growing, Northey said. Last fall, nearly $3 million in cost-share funds were snapped up by nearly 1,100 farmers and landowners to adopt water quality improvement practices --- cover crops, conservation tillage and nitrogen stabilization --- on nearly 120,000 acres.



More recently, $4.16 million was provided for projects in targeted priority watersheds throughout Iowa. Eight watersheds were selected from 17 applications and an additional $8 million-plus in partner and landowner matches were secured. A second request for applications is open through March 31. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a strong commitment among many partners, including the Iowa Soybean Association, to identify and deploy practices that can make a difference in

INNOVATION continued on B10


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Cedar Valley Times â&#x20AC;&#x201D;March 19/21, 2014


USDA census shows RFS revitalizing rural Iowa

JOHNSTON, IOWA â&#x20AC;&#x201C;The Iowa wRenewable Fuels Association (IRFA) wnoted today that based on the U.S. Deepartment of Agricultureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (USDA) Preliminary 2012 Farm Census data, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reasy to see that increases in the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) have revitalized rural Iowa. The USDA data shows that since the increase in the RFS in 2007, Iowa has experienced nearly a 51 percent increase in the value of Iowa farm products, with a more than 67.7 percent increase in crop values and a more than 33.5 percent increase in livestock values. These value increases took place during a time when the amount of land being farmed

in Iowa actually dropped 132,193 acres to 30.6 million acres. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no coincidence the increases in the RFS since 2007 have coincided with the most impressive run of rural prosperity in Iowa history,â&#x20AC;? stated IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Throughout history, farmers have been so innovative and productive they usually produce themselves out of profitability. This time, the growth in renewable fuels provided new markets for increased production, resulting in the positive economic results detailed by the USDA. However, if the Obama Administrationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proposal to slash the RFS is allowed to move forward, we could

see a complete reversal in this rural revitalization.â&#x20AC;? Iowa was not the only state to benefit from the growth in renewable fuels. Nationally, farm product values increased 32.8 percent from 2007 to 2012, with crop values increasing 47.9 percent and livestock values increasing 18.7 percent. Meanwhile, U.S. land devoted to farming declined by nearly 7.5 million acres. The USDAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2012 Farm Census Full Report is scheduled to be released in May 2014, according to the USDA website. Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 42 ethanol refin-

eries capable of producing over 3.8 billion gallons annually, with three cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually. The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.

Students: Corn stover is low density, soft material Continued from Page B7 dated previous experiments with the goal of â&#x20AC;&#x153;understanding the structural properties of corn stover so it can be considered a material like metal or wood.â&#x20AC;? Gent said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Taylor is an inherently talented engineering student.â&#x20AC;? In the long run, Suessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s research will contribute to the development of a materials standard for corn stover. From this research project, Suess said heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s learned that ag-related work might be his focus as a career or in graduate school. Increasing effectiveness of chemo Olinger, a native of Ames, Iowa, investigated how a drug called 2-deoxyglucose, or 2DG, can improve the effectiveness of the chemotherapy medication 5-fluorouracil. Used in combination with 2DG, the chemotherapy dosage can be decreased by 30 to 50 percent, yet kill the same percentage of cancer cells, he explained.


â&#x20AC;&#x153;Using that much less chemo helps lower the side effects for these colon cancer patients who are already under such stress,â&#x20AC;? Olinger added, and that leads to â&#x20AC;&#x153;a better quality of life after chemo and after they beat their illness.â&#x20AC;? Essentially, colon cancer cells live in what Olinger calls â&#x20AC;&#x153;a challenging environment, low in oxygen.â&#x20AC;? Consequently, they take in more sugar molecules and make more enzymes to utilize sugar. That makes them vulnerable to 2DG which the cancer mistakes for sugar. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the same as a sugar molecule with one chemical group changed,â&#x20AC;? he said. The cancer cells take it in as glucose but canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t use it to make energy. Thereby, 2DG helps weaken the cancer cells and make them more susceptible to 5-fluorouracil. Olinger worked with cell cultures under the supervision of assistant professor Hemachand Tummala, but the drug combination is now being evaluated in animal

Thinking crop protection products?



studies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I gained insight on how the research model works,â&#x20AC;? Olinger said, noting he will use the techniques and problem-solving skills he learned the rest of his life. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d also like to be involved in clinical research during his pharmacy career. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Alex is so hardworking and disciplined,â&#x20AC;? commented Tummala, who is also his honors program mentor. In summer 2011, Olinger began his research work, continuing beyond his scholarship funding until the project was completed, even working on weekends when necessary. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so dedicated,â&#x20AC;? Tummala added.


Compressed Air & Equipment 707 Hwy 218 N. La Porte City â&#x20AC;˘ 319-342-2440




1689 63rd St., Garrison  RU

Atkins Savings Bank & Trust A Farmer Mac I Approved Lender Locally owned & operated since 1973


â&#x20AC;˘ Long term ďŹ xed rate ďŹ nancing â&#x20AC;˘ Local in house servicing â&#x20AC;˘ No prepayment penalties For agricultural real estate purchases, debt reďŹ nance and livestock. Contact Andrew Jones for more information at 319-446-7700.


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319â&#x20AC;˘472â&#x20AC;˘2111 Monday-Friday 7am-5pm â&#x20AC;˘ Saturday 7am-Noon 215 1st Avenue â&#x20AC;˘ Vinton

THREE RIVERS INSURANCE 120 E. Fourth St., Vinton, IA Dave Vermedahl, Deb Christianson, Ashlyn Christianson, CIC




Cedar Valley Times —March 19/21, 2014

The following businesses say thanks to all those in our local agriculture industry

Dr. Shawn Beilby, Optometrist 1113 West 3rd St., Vinton 319-472-3848

5391 31st Ave., Urbana 319-443-3800

Center Point Family Dentistry

CARQUEST OF VINTON 1008 West 4th St., Vinton 319-472-2361




81 First Ave., Atkins 319-446-7654

405 W. 3rd St., Vinton • 319-472-2930 312 Main St., La Porte • 319-342-2850

Country Floors & Interiors 23 Main St., Newhall 319-223-5744

907 Bank Ct., Center Point 319-849-1171

Charles Peddicord DVM 76 Main St., Keystone 319-442-3452

1700 West D St., Vinton 319-472-3046

Atkins Savings Bank & Trust 97 Main Ave., Atkins 319-446-7700 Member FDIC

Center Point Farm & Auto 806 Rosedale Dr., Center Point 319-849-2119

Blairstown Veterinary Hospital 7624 21st Ave., Blairstown 319-454-9020

Compressed Air & Equipment 707 Hwy. 218 N., La Porte City 319-342-2440

Eden Mutual Insurance 106 Cedar St., LaPorte City 319-342-3013

301 North K Ave., Vinton 319-472-2381

Randy Stein, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF 1105 West 9th St., Vinton 319-472-5231

704 C Ave., Vinton 319-472-3384




711 South 8th Ave., Vinton 319-472-3253

102 East 5th St., Vinton 319-472-9000

Hwy. 218 North, Vinton 319-472-4734

Flickinger cking ger Ag


Garrison, IA Cell: 319-540-2717

207 West 3rd St., Vinton 319-472-5201

Henry’s Welding & Repair 2170 55th St., Mt. Auburn 319-472-4561

copyright 2014

501 A Ave., Vinton 319-472-2861 Grocery 319-472-3068 Meat

Grovert Chevrolet

7300 28th Ave. Hwy. 30, Newhall 319-223-5141

i Tcking 911 East Washington St., Center Point 319-849-1541

owa Land Management and Real Estate Co.

1705 E St. West, Vinton 319-472-5224

415 A Ave., Vinton 319-472-5353

814 C Ave., Vinton 319-472-5137

215 1st Ave., Vinton 319-472-2111

Support Our Area Businesses


Cedar Valley Times —March 19/21, 2014

Innovation: Improving production, water quality


Quality of U.S. Soybean Crop Even Higher

continued from B8

ST. LOUIS (February 18, 2014) – The average protein and oil levels in the 2013 U.S. soybean crop ticked upward, according to the soy-checkoff-funded Crop Quality Survey. Average oil levels jumped to 19 percent, a 0.5- point increase from 2012 levels, while average protein levels grew by 0.4 percentage points to 34.7 percent. U.S. soy’s biggest customer, the global animal agriculture sector, takes note of the protein content in the soybeans it uses, says Laura Foell, chair of the United Soybean Board’s Meal Action Team. “Our customers buy our soybeans for the components: protein and oil,” says Foell, who farms in Schaller, Iowa. “The animal agriculture sector uses protein to feed animals, and the food industry uses the majority of soybean oil for human consumption and the rest for industrial-like biodiesel.

these watersheds,” Northey said. “We have a limited amount of cost share dollars for what we’re trying to accomplish. So we want to get a saturation of activities in smaller watersheds so we can monitor results and determine if they can be applied on a broader scale.” Sharing information about “farmer champions” who have embraced water quality improvement practices have increased awareness of the strategy, Northey said. So has the endorsement of Gov. Terry Branstad and the Iowa Legislature. “Our governor is absolutely supportive of the strategy, as are both chambers,” Northey said. “They’re excited to see the work that’s being done and the progress that’s being made. No one is spending time blaming each other. It’s about all folks addressing water quality rather than using others as an excuse not to engage.” Success won’t be achieved overnight, Northey said, but farmers and industry stakeholders are committed to continuous improvement and progress. “There will always be those who think agriculture cannot be successful on this strategy,” Northey added. “Our job is to overwhelm that argument by showing and demonstrating what we’re doing and that we’re serious about results.”

The more protein and oil we have in our soybeans, the more product we have for our end-customers. And more demand could lead to a better price for our crop.” The study found less regional variation in protein and oil levels in 2013 than in previous years. These typical regional differences result from climate events and other factors outside of farmers’ control. Foell says farmers should talk with their seed representatives about soybean varieties that will produce higher levels of protein and oil without sacrificing yield. The U.S. soy industry provides its customers with a total quality experience: high-performing products delivered by a reliable, consistent and sustainable soy supply chain. And the checkoff’s international arm, the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC),

will use the results of this year’s crop quality survey to help build and maintain a preference for U.S. soy products in the international market. The 70 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.

Bill: gives farmers direction continued from page B5

surance program, private-sector insurance companies sell and service the policies, and USDA’s Risk Management Agency develops and/or approves the premium rate, administers premium and expense subsidies, approves and supports products, and reinsures the companies. Highlights The new Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) creates a new insurance product for crop producers that provides area-based coverage in combination with coverage offered by traditional crop insurance policies, beginning with the 2015 crop year. The Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) replaces traditional commodity program coverage for producers of upland cotton, beginning with the 2015 crop. The Noninsured Crop Assistance Program (NAP) (Title XII), which provides weather-related coverage for commodities for which crop insurance policies are not available, is expanded. Additional “buy-up” coverage above catastrophic loss levels will be allowed for commodities that otherwise would not have additional coverage available to them. USDA’s Risk Management Agency is directed to move toward expansion of the Federal crop insurance program by developing a peanut revenue insurance program to be available beginning with the 2015 crop and by studying new insurance products for a range of commodities, including livestock, bioenergy crops, and specialty crops. New methods for establishing insurable yields allow producers to drop years in which the county or adjacent county yield is 50 percent or more below the 10-year county average. New Programs and Provisions The Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) offers producers additional area-based insurance coverage in combination with coverage by traditional crop insurance policies. The program provides coverage based on county average yield or revenue and will be made available beginning with the 2015 crop. The program will provide subsidies to producers of 65 percent of their premiums. SCO coverage is not available to producers who elect to participate in either the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program under Title I

or the Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX). SCO, like traditional crop insurance, is not subject to payment limitations or adjusted gross income (AGI) eligibility limits. The Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) provides revenue insurance policies to producers of upland cotton beginning with the 2015 crop, in place of coverage for cotton under the new Title I Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) programs. To provide support while the new program is being implemented, upland cotton producers will receive transition payments for crop year 2014 and also for crop year 2015 in any areas where STAX policies are not yet available. STAX policies can supplement insurance coverage available through the Federal crop insurance program, or be purchased as a stand-alone policy. Federal subsidies will cover 80 percent of producers’ premiums. STAX, like traditional crop insurance, is not subject to payment limitations or adjusted gross income (AGI) eligibility limits. The Noninsured Crop Assistance Program (NAP), which provides weather-related loss coverage for situations where crop insurance coverage is unavailable, is expanded to allow for additional “buy-up” coverage above the catastrophic loss level. Payments under NAP cannot exceed $125,000 per individual for a single crop year. USDA’s Risk Management Agency will offer peanut revenue insurance coverage starting in crop year 2015, subject to the development of an actuarially sound product. The Federal Crop Insurance Board is authorized to consider and offer privately developed index-based weather coverage for commodities not well served by existing products. Research and development activities are also authorized to study new insurance products for bioenergy crops, catfish, alfalfa, livestock diseases and business interruptions, wholefarm diversified operations, and food safety for specialty crops. Economic Implications The subsidy rate of SCO premiums is fixed at 65 percent, while the subsidy rate of premiums for traditional crop insurance ranges from 38 to 80 percent, depending on the coverage level and other options

chosen by the producer. As a result, the introduction of SCO to protect against shallow losses could lead to changes in the level of traditional crop insurance coverage chosen by producers. SCO coverage is based on county average yield or revenue, rather than individual farm losses. Thus, the closer a producer’s farm yields and revenues are to county averages, the better the fit of SCO coverage. The STAX program, for which only upland cotton producers are eligible, seeks to address U.S. obligations under the WTO ruling that U.S. upland cotton subsidies under previous Title I programs affected world prices and thus distorted trade. Because the benchmark price for cotton coverage under STAX will be the expected price for the current year, the program will reflect market conditions more rapidly than Title I commodity programs, for which benchmark prices are either fixed reference prices or multi-year averages. Participation in the STAX program is expected to be strong, but even with the 80-percent premium subsidies offered by the program, government outlays for upland cotton support as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office will be lower than levels under the repealed direct and countercyclical payment (DCP) programs. Allowing producers to drop very bad years in calculating insurable average yields addresses the problems of isolated severe losses and of systemic disasters that make county-based yield alternatives ineffective. Since this solution increases producers’ insurable yields, it will increase indemnities in years when losses are incurred, although to the extent indemnities increase, premium rates will increase as well. Movement under the 2014 Farm Act toward expansion of crop insurance and NAP coverage for underserved commodities reflects efforts to broaden the range of commodities eligible for Federal support. That expansion, however, comes not in the form of direct price or income support as Title I commodity programs had provided, but rather through additional coverage or access to programs more oriented to managing risk. This approach underlines the growing emphasis on risk management, and especially Federal crop insurance, in Federal programs for agriculture.



Cedar Valley Times —March 19/21, 2014

The following businesses say thanks to all those in our local agriculture industry Keystone Insurance Agency, Inc. 1501 West D St., Vinton 319-472-5656

90 Main St., Keystone 319-442-3303 877-442-3303


La Porte City Insurance Agency



2851 71st St., Newhall 319-223-5191

502 Main St., La Porte City

1112 West 4th St., Vinton, IA

PICKERING BACKHOE SERVICE Darris and Devin Pickering PO Box 275 • Keystone 319-228-8152 • 319-442-3325

1405 Hwy. 218 South, Vinton


6FKPLQNH Equipment

Shellsburg • 319-436-2215 Brian 319-560-4566 Mitch 319-560-9206

Three Rivers Insurance 120 East 4th St., Vinton



The Watkins Savings Bank 202 First St., Watkins 319-227-7773

1105 Hwy. 218 North, La Porte City 319-342-3495




Building Materials & Rental Center 420 2nd Ave., Vinton • 319-472-2363

P&J Equipment Corp.

Newhall Feed Service


108 East 5th St., Vinton 319-472-2311

2293 58th St., Vinton 319-472-9869

11200 Dysart Rd., La Porte City 319-342-3542 • 800-779-7823

Van Horne 319-228-8231

Blairstown 319-454-6433

Shear Design 209 3rd Ave., Keystone 319-442-3636


1006 West 4th St., Vinton 319-472-4701



16 1st Ave., Newhall

302 M Ave., Vinton 319-472-2394

81 Main St., Keystone 319-442-3218 Member FDIC

Brandon Electric Motors SALES • SERVICE • REPAIRS VFD’s & Electric Motors

SPECKNER INSURANCE 111 Pearl St. SE, Shellsburg (319) 436-2254 Lonnie M. Speckner

1101 W. 8th St., Vinton


PAUL’S SEED 103 West Main St., Garrison 319-477-6132 • 319-442-7439

Dysart - 319-476-3666 Vinton - 319-472-4791 Clutier - 319-479-2500

VINTON AUTO BODY 124 Main St., Shellsburg 319-436-2224

Way’s pair 613 West 4th St., Vinton 319-472-9008

Support Our Area Businesses

2293 58th St., Vinton 319-472-4022 Craig A. Schwartz, Owner

108 East 5th St., Vinton 319-472-3303

Heating, Plumbing & Air Conditioning Hwy. 21 21, D Dysart 411 H 319-476-2590

315 Main St., Dysart 319-476-7070

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