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P E R I O D I C A L S : T I M E VA L U E D

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Hill: Proposed water rule clear intrusion of property rights BY DIRCK STEIMEL Opposition is rising quickly to a proposed water rule that threat­ ens to greatly expand the federal government’s regulatory authority over how farmers in Iowa and all over the country can manage their land. Farmers, lawmakers and others are all pushing hard to stop the new rule, which was published in April by the U.S. Environmental

Protection  Ag­­ e n c y   ( E PA ) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). Spec­ ifically, the rule w o u l d   r ev i s e the definition HILL of what is con­ sidered a “navigable water” or “water of the United States” that is subject to federal regulation

under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Under the proposal, the gov­ ernment regulations would be extended to ditches, gullies, ripar­ ian areas, adjacent non-wetlands and other areas that are away from navigable waters, even to the extent of a provision for “other waters” determined on a case-bycase basis. The rules would also extend federal jurisdiction to areas that may hold or conduct water for

only a short period of time after a rain storm. The expansive language in the proposed rule would mean that farmers could be forced to apply for federal permits and work through government red tape to do normal activities, such as building a terrace, constructing a water­ way, applying fertilizer or even planting a tree, according to Craig Hill, president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.

Ag exports on track to set a new record U.S. agricultural exports are projected to reach $149.5 bil­ lion in fiscal 2014, an estimated $6.9 billion higher than previous estimates. If realized, the exports would set a new record, accord­ ing to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The projection indicates that the record growth is due not just to rising prices, which have driv­ en export numbers in the past, but also to an increase in the vol­ ume of U.S. agricultural exports, which is projected to increase by 31 percent between fiscal years 2013 and 2014. The export total for the peri­ od from fiscal 2009 to fiscal 2013 represented the strongest five years in history for agricul­ tural trade, with U.S. agricultural product exports totaling $619 bil­ lion over those five years, USDA said. There is a growing global appe­ tite for high-quality, Americangrown products, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement. “USDA will continue to focus its efforts on tapping into new markets for what is grown and made in rural America. Today, only one percent of U.S. compa­ nies export, and yet 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the borders of the United States, creating significant oppor­ tunities for U.S. food and agricul­ ture,” Vilsack said. The 2014 farm bill will help the USDA continue to support trade promotion and market ex­­ pansion for U.S. agricultural pro­­ducts overseas, Vilsack said. In addition, the Made in Rural America initiative will help rural businesses connect with new cus­ tomers and markets abroad. “Collectively, these efforts will ensure that America’s farm­ ers and ranchers are well posi­ tioned to capitalize on emerging export markets and continue to drive economic growth in rural America.”

The rule proposed by the two regulatory agencies goes well beyond the navigable waters that Congress cited when it passed the CWA in 1972, Hill said. And it also appears to be an end run around two U.S. Supreme Court decisions that decided the Clean Water Act does not give the fed­ eral government control over all water, he said. WATER RULE PAGE 2

No fish tale: Iowa’s fish numbers jump Reports show that farmers’ conservation efforts are help­ ing Iowa fish populations. STORY ON PAGE 3

NE Iowa dairy goes into the yogurt business Yogurt made on the farm is the specialty of Country View Dairy in Hawkeye. STORY ON PAGE 4

Larry Shover pushes feed to his dairy cows at his farm near Delhi in northeast Iowa. Shover, president of the Iowa State Dairy Association, says that export promotion work over the years has paid off in strong demand from many parts of the world. PHOTO/GARY FANDEL

Export demand for U.S. dairy grows, propelling milk prices



his June Dairy month, dairy farmers have extra reasons to cel­ ebrate. Dairy farmers have been enjoying some of the best prices in years. A big reason

is a surge in demand for dairy exports, industry experts say. “The export market has been extremely strong the first quarter,” said Katelyn McCullock, dairy and forage economist for the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC).

The total value of all dairy exports was $717 million dur­ ing March 2014, up 46 percent from last year, the most recent data from the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) shows. DAIRY PAGE 9

Pork Expo takes PEDV precautions Exhibitors are being cautioned to take steps to keep from spreading the disease. STORY ON PAGE 5

Soybean imports raise rust concerns As U.S. processors import soybeans Brazil, there are ques­ tions whether rust disease may come along for the ride. STORY ON PAGE 6




Nominations for the 2014 Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award, which recognizes the efforts of Iowa’s farm­ ers as environmental leaders committed to healthy soils and improved water quality, are due by June 15. “It is important to recognize the many farmers that are tak­ ing significant voluntary steps to protect the soil and improve water quality here in Iowa and lift them up as examples for other farmers to follow,” said Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey. “Iowa farmers take great pride in caring for the soil and water, and this award is an opportunity to highlight their conservation efforts.” Nomination forms can be found on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.IowaAgriculture. gov under “Hot Topics.” The recipients will be recognized at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 13 at the Penningroth Center.

The Iowa Board of Regents will consider plans to create a new soybean research center at Iowa State University (ISU) at its meeting this week in Ames. The proposed Iowa Soybean Research Center would be a public-private partnership designed to improve the productivity and profit of soybean farmers. The mission of the proposed center is to “advance under­ standing of soybean plant biology, increase soybean produc­ tion and make production more profitable and environmentally sustainable in the future,” according to plan details released last week. Researchers at the center would look at ways to diversify production and manage pests in Iowa, which is the nation’s leading producer of soybeans. The cost of funding the center would be $148,164 for the first year, with funding from ISU and the Iowa Soybean Association. The center’s director would be an existing ISU faulty member.



“This proposed rule really goes beyond burdensome and would present a clear intrusion on property rights of landowners,” Hill said. “It could also really set back all of the renewed efforts to increase the amount of conservation work that farmers are doing to reduce erosion and improve water quality under the Iowa Nutrient Strategy.” In an interview with the Spokesman last week, Hill spoke about the proposed water rule and the need to oppose it. Here are some excerpts of that interview: What do you see as the biggest potential problems for farmers if the rule proposed by the EPA and the Corps is enacted? In my career in farming, there has probably never been a greater threat to our ability to farm than this proposed rule. It is a tremendous expansion from where we are today, and I don’t think that we can really understand all of the problems or the level of control that the federal government could have over farmers if it is enacted. The agencies have really launched a major offensive to rewrite existing law and change long-held definitions and practices. What they are saying is that the government can regulate any land that could serve as a conduit for water flow into streams. Any inch of land that conveys water, even for a very short time, would be under federal regulatory control. It goes way beyond streams, rivers, wetlands and other things we usually think of as wet areas, and really covers an entire state like Iowa. It means the federal government can regulate things like ditches and puddles, and even areas where puddles once existed. I don’t think that’s what Congress intended when they wrote the Clean Water Act. The rule is relatively short, but with explanations and definitions the document goes on for 370 pages and the bottom line is that it opens the door for the government

to force farmers to seek permits for activities such as conservation practices or spraying. It could potentially deny landowners economic use of their property. What’s the problem with requiring farmers to obtain federal permits? First off, Congressional action and the Supreme Court rulings don’t authorize this broadening of the CWA. The other big problem is that permits would likely be required for every typical farming activity, such as building a fence, applying fertilizer or spraying weeds. That’s because any of those could be determined to be an illegal dredge and fill of soil or cause a discharge into an expanded universe of waters of the U.S. Some of these permits could take months, or even years, to obtain and there is no guarantee the permit would be granted. This jeopardizes important conservation projects and can hinder a farmer’s efforts to improve our soil and water resources. And if a farmer is found to be out of compliance, fines of $37,500 per day can be assessed, and farmers could be subjected to citizen lawsuits from activists who want to expand CWA jurisdiction. The agencies have said they have made exemptions to protect farmers. So why are you so concerned? The new exemptions that the agencies have cited narrow current exemptions, and they really only apply to one aspect of the CWA, the dredge and fill permit program. Many farming activities would come under their proposal if they are done on land that holds rainwater or contributes flow to a stream. The exemptions are available only to farmers who have been farming that particular farm continuously since 1977. In addition, the exemptions require mandatory compliance with Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) standards, which have been voluntary and are usually only followed verbatim when costshare is provided. Additionally, the NRCS has authority to change the standards at any time they deem necessary.

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Economist says water rule flawed

Any land that conveys water, such as this newly planted corn field, could become federally regulated under a new water rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. That would trigger the need for permits to build a fence, apply fertilizer or many other normal farming activities. FILE PHOTO

Finally, there is nothing stopping the EPA and the Corps from changing or removing some or all of the “so-called” exemptions without public notice. EPA and the Corps say they don’t intend to expand their jurisdiction, but after reading the rules, even I can tell that it will dramatically expand their reach into Iowa landscapes. You noted that the proposed federal rule could hurt progress on Iowa farmers’ efforts to conserve soil and improve water quality. Why? Farmers will have to get permits to do any type of conservation work when it might touch on or impact a newly defined federal water, such as a terrace, establishing a waterway or planting a sediment basin. Many farmers are putting in conservation measures such as grassed waterways on their own dime without federal help. They aren’t going to spend $30,000 for a permit in order to install a $5,000 conservation practice. The rule discourages farmers from doing needed work and forces resources to be spent on red tape instead of conservation practices. And farmers will need to document and prove that they installed the practices in accordance with NRCS specs. This will require someone, likely a NRCS techni-

cal advisor, to check the work at a time when the agency is short staffed. This rule is going to delay and possibly prevent some very good conservation work. We’ve seen some that in Iowa as the agencies have already begun requiring reviews of conservation work, and it would be a lot worse if this rule is enacted. It will also remove incentives for farmers to innovate and improve conservation practices, because everyone will be forced to make sure they adhere to the strict rules to stay compliant with federal law. If you don’t like this rule, what’s a better answer to protecting water? Meaningful progress from voluntary programs that are run by states are far better than a onesize-fits-all mandatory federal program like the one being proposed. Congress, not federal agencies, writes the laws of the land. When Congress wrote the Clean Water Act, it clearly wrote that the law applied to navigable waters. Is a small ditch navigable? Is a stock pond navigable? Is a puddle in your back yard navigable? How does that improve water quality? The principles of private property and land ownership instill in an individual the responsibility and the desire to improve property

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Water Act rule is rife with errors, lacks transparency and would greatly expand strict federal control over land that was previously not regulated by the federal government, according to a report by economist and University of California-Berkley faculty member Dr. David Sunding. Sunding’s report, Review of 2014 EPA Economic Analysis of Proposed Revised Definition of Waters of the Unites States, raises the blinds on the controversial proposal by detailing how EPA failed to provide a realistic explanation of the scope, costs and benefits of the rule Sunding has concluded that the errors in the EPA’s analysis are so extensive as to render it useless for determining the true costs of this proposed rule. for an owner’s good and the rest of society. We’ve seen the past decades’ conservation work beginning to show results with improved fisheries and improved water quality. It’s always better when farmers and landowners install conservation work out of a self-desire to make the property the best it can be, rather than being dictated by somebody in Washington who doesn’t understand Iowa farming. What can Iowa farmers do to oppose the proposed water rule? First, it’s important to learn about the rule and its potential consequences. The American Farm Bureau Federation has a very good website, which provides a lot of information on the proposed rule and its potential consequences. Then it’s important to tell the federal government why you oppose it. The comment period for the proposed rule runs through July 21. Comments can be submitted through this IFBF link: http:// Every citizen in Iowa, farmers and non-farmers, should be very concerned about this proposal.

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Stephen Burke mows a field of alfalfa near Delhi in Delaware County. After idling for weeks in the cool weather, warmer conditions have brought forage crops along around the state, according to Spokesman crop reporters, and many farmers have already started mowing, or even putting up, their first cutting of hay. Go to page 6 for the complete report from Spokesman crop reporters. PHOTO/ GARY FANDEL




Mandatory GMO labeling is a recipe for consumer confusion

ing about the threat of labels for GMO food, but she might as well have been. Vermont’s latest action undermines the clear, national standards we need. Other states may add to the chaos. The National Conference of State Legislatures counts 84 bills in 29 states involving GMO food labels. Although voters in California, Oregon and Washington State have rejected ballot initiatives to require special labels, more referenda may be on the way. At some point, one may succeed.



have a big family — and be­­ tween me, my kids and my grandkids, we’re spread out across America. We live in Florida, California, Illinois, North Carolina and Texas. We’re constantly traveling back and forth. As we visit each other, we’re also preparing and shar­­ing meals. S o m e t i m e s KEISER it feels like I spend as much time making trips to grocery stores as I do relaxing in homes! Should food labels look different everywhere we go? Of course not. Americans need easy to read and understandable standards that reveal pertinent information, no matter where we buy our food. I’m a label reader. When my grandchildren are grocery shopping with me — whether it is 21-year-old Kellee or 4-year-old Faith — I’m often asked: “Why are you reading the label?” or “What does this label mean?” I depend on accurate and reliable labels for nutritional information and assume that labeled food products are safe and in compliance with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards. I don’t want labels to push me or my family away from safe and healthy food.

Consumer confusion

Unfortunately, a step in the wrong direction was taken this month when Vermont became the first state in the country to demand special labeling on food packages that contain genetically modified (GMO) ingredients. Signed by Vermont’s governor into law, the rules are due to take effect in two years.

49 labels too many

If other states decide to go down that path, now we’re on the verge of a confusing and dysfunctional food-labeling system, with 50 sets of rules in our 50 states. That’s 49 too many. The food labels already ap­­ proved by the FDA are pretty good. Soon, they may become even better. In February, the FDA announced plans to fine-tune them. The last thing we need are a

bunch of legislators striking out on their own, thinking they can fix a system that isn’t broken. Patchwork looks good on a quilt, but it doesn’t make sense for a regulatory regime. When it comes to food labels, we should expect consistency across state lines. My grandchildren in Houston should be able to understand food labels when they go to my local grocery store near Tampa Bay. Their shopping experience should not demand an act of decipherment. At a recent White House event, First Lady Michelle Obama des­ cribed the problem of poorly conceived food labels: “So you marched into the supermarket, you picked up a can or a box of something, you squinted at that little tiny label, and you were totally and utterly lost.” She wasn’t talk-

Tax extender bills are starting to move in Congress, but at a snail’s pace Nearly half way through 2014, farmers are still waiting for Congress to reinstate a list of tax provisions that are very important to farmers. And progress has been slow, according to Pat Wolff, American Farm Bureau Federation tax policy specialist. The House Ways and Means Committee last week marked up legislation dealing with bonus depreciation, the deduction for conservation easements and the deduction for charitable contribu-

Spokesman Editor DIRCK STEIMEL News Coordinator TOM BLOCK Senior Features Writer TERESA BJORK Ag Commodities Writer BETHANY BARATTA Photographer/Writer GARY FANDEL

tions of food. Another of the key tax provisions for farmers and ranchers is enhanced small business expensing, which helps them upgrade to more efficient and environmentally friendly equipment, purchase livestock and build certain farm structures. Also in the tax extenders are tax credits for renewable energy production, including wind power. But big differences remain be­­ tween the House and Senate. One if the biggest is that the

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To place a free exchange ad, contact your county office for information. The Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman (ISSN 0021-051X) is published weekly by the Iowa Farm Bureau, 5400 University Avenue, West Des Moines, IA 50266. Subscription price of $2 per year for mailing in the continental USA included in the dues of Farm Bureau members in Iowa. Additional subscription fee required for mailing outside the continental USA. Periodical postage paid at Iowa Falls, Iowa. Members please send change of address to your county Farm Bureau office. Postmaster send address changes (POD FORM 3579) to Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman, P.O. Box 670, Iowa Falls, Iowa 50126. Letters to the editor and statewide news articles should be sent to Editor, Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman, 5400 University Avenue, West Des Moines, Iowa 50266. Reprinting of Spokesman articles and photographs is not allowed without permission.

House wants to make the expired provisions a permanent part of the tax code, but the Senate only wants to extend them for two years, Wolff said. “It’s just really difficult to deal with a tax code that changes every year or every two years, but the Senate is dug in on their two-year extension, and how they’re going to figure it out, no one knows,” she said. “They need to get together and work out the differences so that we can have these important tax provisions now rather than later.” Iowa Farm Bureau Federation: Craig Hill, President; Joe Heinrich, Vice President; Denny Presnall, Secretary-Treasurer and Executive Director; Edward G. Parker, General Counsel. Board of Directors: District 1 - Carlton Kjos, Decorah. District 2 - Charlie Norris, Mason City. District 3 - Phil Sundblad, Albert City. District 4 - Doug Gronau, Vail. District 5 - Mark Buskohl, Grundy Center. District 6 - Nick Podhajsky, Traer. District 7 - Andrew Hora, Riverside. District 8 - Calvin Rozenboom, Oskaloosa. District 9 - Jim McKnight, Afton.

This is a recipe for bewilderment among consumers. Moreover, these laws are bad on the merits. GMO foods are safe and healthy. They don’t need warning labels, as organizations ranging from the American Medical Association (AMA) to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) have said. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather entrust my food labels to the experts who work at the FDA and listen to the advice of the AMA and the NAS — and not to a few politicians in Vermont. Labels should educate, conveying reliable information rather than propaganda. We must honor their basic purpose, not let them become marketing devices for favored groups. A bill in Congress offers a solution. Introduced last month, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act would make the FDA the final authority on labels for GMO food, preventing states from complicating matters. Its author is Rep. Mike Pompeo from Kansas, and the bill already enjoys bipartisan support from Democrats and Republicans. Food labels should serve consumers, not ideological agendas and special interests. Let’s keep labels simple, clear and understandable to all age groups and generations, regardless of where they shop for their food. We need a single standard that makes sense for everyone. Keiser owns and operates cattle feeding operations in Kansas, Nebraska and Illinois. This was reprinted with permission from the website of Truth About Trade & Technology

Conservation efforts help Iowa fish thrive

BY DIRCK STEIMEL Iowa’s environmental activists just love to trash the quality of the state’s rivers, lakes and streams and blame farmers for it. But it appears that for all their chatter, the activists have not convinced one very interested group: Iowa’s fish population. Our finned friends seem to like Iowa’s water. In a front-page report during the Memorial Day weekend, the Des Moines Sunday Register found that Iowa’s fish population is leaping higher. It’s no fish story. The number of trout streams in the state that support reproduction are up eightfold from only five streams in the 1980s to more than 40 today, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Walleye populations have also expanded. Indeed, one fishing expert told the Register the biggest problem for walleye fisherman today is that the fish are getting so big that you can’t reel in too many in a day to before exceeding the daily limits. That’s led to strong sales of fishing licenses in Iowa, especially from non-state residents, who pay more than double the price that in-state anglers do. And there’s been a sharp jump in the number of fishermen and women who have opted to pay for a trout stamp in Iowa, hoping to land a brook or brown trout from a cool, clear Iowa stream. That means the state snags more money for its coffers, and more Iowans earn an income supplying campgrounds, tackle, food and other supplies to anglers.

Farmers efforts

So why is Iowa fishing on the rise? A big reason is improved fish habitat, thanks to the efforts of Iowa farmers and landowners, aided by the DNR, soil and water conservation districts and others. I saw the improvement firsthand a year or so ago on the Tete des Morts Creek in beautiful northeast Iowa. Farmers there have stepped up to reduce sediment in the stream by planting cover crops, buffer strips and grass waterways, as well as controlling manure runoff with covered feeding operations. Those practices have helped the Tete des Morts evolve from a creek that was once a site of fish kills to one that is healthy enough to support trout reproduction and attract fishermen. The same things are happening all over Iowa as farmers embrace the state’s water quality initiative. So when activists spout their line about our state’s water quality, don’t bite. Tell them to check facts or, in this case, the fish.


JUNE 4, 2014


Northeast Iowa dairy specializes in farmstead yogurt BY TERESA BJORK Imagine tasting a spoonful of creamy, fruity yogurt that’s so fresh you can hear the cows mooing as you’re eating it. At Country View Dairy in northeast Iowa, the Rapson family milks their 150 Holstein cows just a short walk from the processing facility where their farm-fresh yogurt is cultured, chilled and packaged. Country View Dairy isn’t just the first on-farm yogurt shop in Iowa; it’s also one of the first in the United States. And business is growing. In the last year, the number of retail stores offering Country View Dairy yogurt has grown from 15 stores in Iowa to 200 retail locations in seven states today. Yet back in 2011, when Farm Bureau members Dave and Carolee Rapson first started making yogurt on their dairy farm, they weren’t sure if there was a market for their unique product, Dave explains. “We’ve had tremendous support from the local community,”

says Dave, as he took a break from chores on his family’s dairy farm, located east of Hawkeye on Highway 18. “If it wasn’t for the local (food) movement, I probably wouldn’t have tried this ...,” he adds. “It hasn’t been easy. You really have to be committed.”

difference; you could have runny yogurt. We’ve worked and worked and worked on it,” Dave says. Country View Dairy also offers a line of Greek yogurt, another trendy item in the dairy aisle, particularly for folks looking for high-protein foods.

Greek yogurt

Adding value

The Rapsons and their five children moved to Iowa from Michigan in 2002. Dave had worked with dairy herds since he was 17 years old, and the couple had always wanted to run their own dairy farm. Then in 2009, dairy prices dropped to record lows, and feed prices rose, putting Iowa dairy farmers in a tight financial squeeze. “We don’t own a lot of ground here. When feed prices went up, we ended up realizing that buying feed hardly worked, and getting more ground is really tight in this area, and most everywhere,” Dave says. “So we decided to work at the other end and value add.” So they did a lot of research

Country View Dairy yogurt is Iowa’s first farmstead yogurt. The yogurt is made fresh daily on the farm. Flavors include traditional fruit and Greek yogurt varieties. Lemon custard Greek yogurt is the current best-seller. PHOTOS/GARY FANDEL

and visited other dairies that were processing milk on the farm, including Hansens’ Dairy, owned and operated by Jay and Jeanne Hansen and their family in Hudson. The Hansens bottle their own milk on the farm and also make ice cream. Jay Hansen suggested that the Rapsons look into making yogurt since it was a relatively untapped market. He referred the Rapsons to Sugar River Dairy, a family-run yogurt company from Wisconsin. The Rapsons worked with Sugar River Dairy and Iowa State University Extension, and they did a lot of taste-testing, to come up with their own recipe for yogurt.

Farmstead yogurt

Carolee Rapson and employee Galen Koehn fill the yogurt cartons at Country View Dairy near Hawkeye. The milk is piped from the Rapson’s milking parlor to the yogurt-processing facility next door.

If you’ve ever tried Country View Dairy yogurt, then you know it’s like nothing else in the dairy aisle. The yogurt is smooth, creamy, not too sweet yet not too tart. Because the milk is nonhomogenized, the cream rises to the top of the carton. The yogurt is also made without gelatins, thick-

eners or preservatives. Ever heard of artisan cheese? Well, Dave likes to call his yogurt “artisan” as well. And while cheese and bottled milk sales have declined in recent years, consumer demand for yogurt continues to soar. “It’s the fastest-growing dairy product ..., and nobody else around is doing farmstead yogurt in the Midwest,” Dave says. The entire yogurt-making process takes 24 hours, from cow to finished carton. The Rapson family milks their cows three times a day, and the milk is sent through a 200-foot pipe that connects the milking parlor to the processing building. There, the milk runs through a pasteurization tank, and probiotic cultures are added. The yogurt is still in liquid form when it is cartoned and sent to the incubator room, where the yogurt sits for a precise time and temperature in order to set. The probiotics thicken the yogurt naturally. “It’s really hard working with active cultures. Five minutes here or five degrees there make a huge

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The only thing that works harder than me is my tractor

Most U.S.-made Greek yogurt is made by straining the whey from the yogurt to make it thicker and up the protein content, Dave explains. Country View Dairy doesn’t strain its Greek yogurt, but instead adds milk protein concentrate. Dave says the family worked with an Iowa State University food scientist to develop their Greek yogurt. The specialist explained that the whey-straining process can make yogurt taste acidic, or dry, which isn’t how it’s supposed to taste. “But our Greek yogurt doesn’t have the after-taste or chalkiness,” Dave says. “That’s why on our sign, we started saying, ‘The way yogurt should taste.’” In addition, Country View is getting into the frozen yogurt business. The dairy is making frozen yogurt mixes for Yotopia, a locally owned yogurt shop in Iowa City and North Liberty, and for the Target headquarters dining center in Minneapolis, with 8,000 employees.

Room to grow

The dairy hopes to expand into other frozen yogurt shops and restaurants, especially now that school is out for the summer, when local school cafeterias won’t be buying yogurt until classes resume. Currently, the Rapsons only use about 10 percent of their dairy’s total milk production to make yogurt, so Dave says they have room to expand into more markets. This spring, the Rapsons opened an on-farm store. So if you’re in the Hawkeye area, stop by and grab a few cartons of yogurt for the road, and sample their newest frozen yogurt flavor — chocolate — for just 50 cents a cup. You can listen to the cows moo and peek through the observation window to see Carolee and her staff making the next batch of yogurt. Eating doesn’t get much more local than that. For a list of stores in Iowa where you can find Country View Dairy yogurt, visit

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Pork Expo takes steps to reduce risk of PEDV exposure BY BETHANY BARATTA There’s no doubt that the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) will be top of mind for producers attending the World Pork Expo at the Iowa State Fairgrounds this week in Des Moines, both at seminars and in the live shows. Cambridge hog farmer and National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) President Howard Hill estimates the virus has killed about 7 million hogs in 30 states since it was discovered last year. Hill hopes the extra biosecurity measures that have been put into place at this year’s expo will reduce the risk

of exposure to the virus. “We don’t want to discourage people from viewing the show and judging, but if they are going to the show, they need appropriate downtime before having contact with their own livestock,” he said.

Health checks

Those exhibiting pigs in the live shows have been notified that they are not able to show pigs that had showed signs of the virus. Hill said veterinarians will do health checks of the pigs that are to exhibit during the expo to make sure they are healthy. Producers and visitors to this year’s

expo who do not plan on showing their animals, should take precautions too, Hill said. “Don’t wear the clothes and the boots that you’re going to wear around your farm. When you go back to your place, make sure those don’t go to the farm. Use good judgment, and think about biosecurity,” he said. He said several disinfection stations will be located near the live shows so visitors can disinfect their shoes and boots after attending the shows. For more information about the World Pork Expo, including a schedule of events, go to www.worldpork. Officials at the World Pork Expo, which will be held this week at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, are taking precautions to prevent org/events-activities. the spread of PEDV, a deadly swine virus. FILE PHOTO

Wide variety of seminars for pork raisers at 2014 World Pork Expo 4 and 5. The business luncheons will be held in the Pork Checkoff Hospitality Tent located on the north side of the Varied Industries building. The World Pork Expo, hosted by the National Pork Producers

Council, also features the world’s largest pork-specific trade show, with more than 375 commercial exhibits, and at least 310,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibit space. Trade show hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 4 and

5, and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 6. The swine shows begin Tuesday, June 3 and conclude with the breeding-stock sales on Saturday, June 7. Additional T:8”information is available by con-

necting with World Pork Expo on Facebook, following World Pork Expo on Twitter (#NPPCWPX) or downloading the official app by searching for “World Pork” in the Apple Store, Android Market or Blackberry’s App World.

Drought. Market fears. Damaged crops. And that’s just in the first episode. T:10”

Pork producers can gain valuable insights from a wide range of free seminars at the World Pork Expo June 4 and 5 in the Varied Industries Building on the Iowa State Fairgrounds. From on-farm management ideas to research updates and technology insights, the seminars provide useful information that Expo attendees can apply to their pork-production businesses back home. “The seminars provide valuable information and address the most current and pertinent topics that pork producers face,” says Howard Hill, National Pork Producers Council president and Iowa pork producer. Kicking off the business seminars at 9 a.m. on June 4, DSM will present a session on eubiotics. The discussion will center on how these feed ingredients enhance nutritional welfare and promote profitable pig production. Also on June 4, Purina Animal Nutrition, Zinpro Corporation and DSM will present “Feeding for 30 — A focus on sow longevity.” Producers, nutritionists and industry experts will share advice on consistent parity structures and achieving the goal of 30 pigs per sow per year. On June 5, SFP will sponsor two sessions, at 9:30 a.m. and again at 10:45 a.m., featuring a panel discussion on cost-efficient manure management. Panelists will talk about minimizing phosphorus and nitrogen loss, and maximizing the agronomic benefits of applied manure. At 3 p.m. on June 5, Purina Animal Nutrition will present tips for getting pigs off to the right start. Experts will share new research and proven strategies for employee training, piglet health and organizing a pre-weaning toolbox. The Pork Checkoff will sponsor PORK Academy seminars on both Wednesday and Thursday. These seminars will cover timely topics including tips on safe pig handling, PEDV research updates, sow management and economics of world markets. All seminars will take place in the Varied Industries Building. More details about the business seminars and PORK Academy are available at The Pork Checkoff will also host business luncheons with speakers Elwynn Taylor of Iowa State University and Steve Meyer of Paragon Economics presenting the market and weather outlook beginning at 12:30 p.m. on June

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6 JUNE 4, 2014


“The corn and beans are doing real well. They’re liking the warmer weather and starting to take off,” DeJong said May 29. “There are some nice stands out there.” Spraying will come into focus within the next week, he said. Water levels are really low in his watering holes in his pasture, he said. “We haven’t seen it this dry, this early,” he said. “Pastures are nice and green right now, but there’s not much reserve out there.”

A week of cooperative weather made a world of difference, Hassebroek said May 29. “We got the last of the corn in and got our beans in,” he said. “The irony is we could use a shot of rain. We essentially have no subsoil moisture.” Farmers are turning their attention to spraying and crop scouting, he said. Hay fields are still short after a late start and may only produce two cuttings this year, he said.

Most row crops in the area are planted and have emerged, with only a few wet spots to finish, Tritz said May 29. “They really look pretty good so far,” he said. The area was battered by a severe hail storm on May 20 that damaged forage crops, Tritz said. “We were lucky the corn wasn’t emerged yet, or it would have been caught too,” he said. Oats are growing well, and winter wheat is headed out, Tritz added.

The moisture, combined with hot, humid weather, has encouraged crop growth in Stamp’s area, he said May 29. The area had between 1.5 and 3 inches of rain in the past few weeks. “The weeds are growing as fast as the crop,” he said. Post-application spraying has begun, he said. “The moisture has helped the beans come through the crust, and the corn seems to be coming around after the cold snap.”

“We finished up planting a week ago today,” Feldpausch said May 30. “Every field is up or starting to poke through. They could use a shot of rain. Some of them were planted in dry dirt.” He had only a trace of rain last week, but rainfall amounts were greater to the south. “It was pretty spotty,” he said. “We’ve got the first cutting of hay down and hope to get it baled before it rains again.”

“I’d say about 90 percent of everything is planted around here, and the first round of spraying is wrapping up,” Whitman said May 29. Most of corn is in the three- to four-leaf stage and stands look good, he said. Pastures are taking off, and grass is growing well, Whitman said. “This is starting to look like it could be a good year for pastures,” he said. Area farmers are starting the first cutting of alfalfa.

“Most of the stands look real nice, so at this particular stage, things look pretty fine,” Zanker said May 29. Some farmers replanted some corn and soybeans after frost damaged some plants, but a lot of the crop had recovered. Farmers delayed some spraying in the area after nearly 2 inches of rain last week. “There seems to be a little bit of volunteer corn and grass because of the moist and cool conditions,” he said.

Stevenson wrapped up planting just before Memorial Day and said there were only a few soybean fields yet to plant in the area. “Corn looks really good. We haven’t had to replant anything,” he said May 29. “Most of the beans are up. It only took them 5-1/2 days to come out of the ground.” Herbicide applications were in progress, and some hay was cut, he said. He had 0.3 inch of rain the previous weekend.

Corn in the area has emerged, as have most of the soybean fields, Hollingsworth said May 29. “It doesn’t look like we will have much replant this year,” he said. Rains in the area have been spotty, with some areas of the county getting more than 2 inches while others get nothing, Hollingsworth said. The first round of herbicide spraying is complete, and many farmers are preparing for the first cutting of alfalfa, he said.

Soybeans show little response to nitrogen applications BY TIM BERKLAND In recent months, there has been much discussion about nitrogen applications to soybeans. Nitrogen application to soybeans has been researched in the Midwest with very little data supporting this practice. However, the interest in this topic seems to be growing. BERKLAND Soybeans need  about  5 pounds of nitrogen per bushel produced, and about 75 percent of that is removed during harvest. So to raise a 65-bushel soybean crop, we will need about 325 pounds of nitrogen per acre. So where does all this nitrogen come from? It mainly comes from three different sources. The first is a symbiotic relationship with Bradyrhizobium bacteria, which infects the soybean root and forms nodules. The soybean plant provides sugars to the bacteria and, in turn, the bacteria fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and provide it to the soybean plant for growth. It is estimated that 50 to 60 percent of the soybean nitrogen needs come from this. The second source of nitrogen is atmospheric deposition, which is a very small part. The rest of the nitrogen comes from the soil,

CROPS TODAY either through mineralization or from what is left from the previous crop.

Yield studies

Research from Iowa has shown that nitrogen applications at planting don’t increase yield and can reduce the formation of nodules, thereby limiting nitrogen production later in the growing season. Recent research by Dr. Emerson Nafziger at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign saw very little response to in-

season applications of urea and ESN usually applied around July

to soybean. Nafziger also reported that

there was no relationship between yield level and response to fertilizer. Conversely, research from Kansas State reported a yield response to soybeans from midseason application of urea to highyield soybeans under irrigation and nitrogen-stressed soybeans in low yield environments. Overall, soybean yield responses to nitrogen applications have been very inconstant and rarely provide an economic return. Therefore, it is not recommended to adopt this practice on a significant amount of acres. Rather, smaller strip trials should first be implemented to gain a better understanding. Berkland is a Growmark field sales agronomist for the Western Region. His email address is

Soybean imports bring soybean rust worriers back into news With Brazilian soybeans coming into the United States for crushing, questions about the transmission of soybean rust (SBR) in plant material are being renewed. The U.S. Department of Agri­­­­culture (USDA) continues to track soybean rust and posts regular updates online at sbr. Currently, SBR has been detected in a few counties in Florida, where conditions are con-

ducive for disease development. Soybean rust, which was first detected in the United States in 2004, is an airborne pathogen that infects soybeans when environmental conditions are conducive for disease development. A 2004 assessment of risks associated with soybean rust on imported soybean grain, seed and meal concluded that soybean meal poses a negligible risk for the introduction of SBR, accord-

ing to the American Soybean Association. The processing as­­ sociated with producing soybean meal includes heat and other treatments that kill spores. The same risk assessment found that soybean grain and seed were found to pose a low risk. According to the USDA, the pathogen is more likely to spread from locations where soybean rust is already established in the U.S. In 2013, SBR was detected

in 408 counties in 13 states in the U.S., including 107 counties in Georgia, 82 counties in Mississippi, 67 counties in Alabama, 59 parishes in Louisiana, 22 counties in Florida, 20 counties in Arkansas, 13 counties in South Carolina, 10 counties in North Carolina, nine counties in Tennessee, eight counties in Virginia, four counties in Illinois, three counties in Kentucky and two counties in Texas.


Weather pattern looks favorable for summer crops IOWA’S WEATHER OUTLOOK



he month of May finished on a warmer than normal note in most of Iowa, and it appears that monthly temperatures in a

Iowa biotech group says tech can boost jobs BY DIRCK STEIMEL Biotechnology has grown to be a strong part of Iowa’s economy and has a bright future in the state as an economic development engine and job creator, the new executive director of the Iowa Biotech Association said. Biotech can also create the high-skilled jobs needed to keep young people interested in living and working in the state, said Joe Hrdlicka, who was named executive director of Iowa Bio earlier this year. “Iowans are really educated about biotechnology and the value that it brings to our state,” Hrdlicka said. Iowa is known primarily for agricultural biotechnology done in the world-class laboratories of the numerous seed genetics companies in the state. But, Hrdlicka said, there is a wide range of other entities in Iowa that are working in the biotech sphere, he said. “Our group has a very diverse group of members, but the main categories are health care companies, bio-renewables companies and crop genetics companies,” he said. In addition, the Iowa Biotechnology Association is a state affiliate of the nationwide Biotechnology Industry Organizations or BIO. Iowa Bio works with the Iowa Economic Development Authority and local development groups to grow existing biotech businesses and attract new ones to the state, Hrdlicka said. There is more interest in many Iowa communities using biotech as a tool to spur economic development and create high-quality jobs, he said. One example of that, he said, is the recent announcement of the Cultivation Corridor, a central Iowa public-private partnership designed to promote economic development through agriculture technologies. Other examples developing are in many Iowa communities, such as Fort Dodge, where ethanol and grain processing plants are helping to spur development of companies that use biotech processes, he said. Iowa Bio is also working closely with the State of Iowa’s initiative to promote science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM in education. “Our members really see this effort as their succession plan, because they know they will continue to need talented young people,” Hrdlicka said. “And they know that biotechnology companies have the potential to create good jobs that will keep our young people in Iowa.”

large part of the state will average fairly close to normal. May precipitation varied widely across the state, but it looks like the trend will be for near- to belownormal amounts in most areas, and smaller areas of above-normal amounts. After a slower than normal start to spring planting, the weather later in May allowed more rapid progress in most areas. As we neared the end of May, there were parts of Iowa in need of rain. The table with this article shows April and May precipitation values for the crop districts of Iowa along with the departure from normal. It appears that we will end the month of May and begin June with an active weather pattern across the Midwest, with fairly frequent chances for showers and thunderstorms and the potential for significant rainfall in many areas.

Iowa Spring Precipitation Data


(In inches) CROP DISTRICT Northwest ....................... 2.74 North-Central ............... 6 Northeast ........................ 6.23 West-Central .................. 3.37 Central ............................. 5.69 East-Central .................... 5.79 Southwest ....................... 3.59 South-Central................. 5.63 Southeast ........................ 4.48 STATEWIDE ...................4.83



-0.48 +2.42 +2.53 -0.06 +2.07 -2.4 +0.13 +1.98 +0.90 +1.32

(Data from Iowa State Climatologist and the Midwest Climate Center)

At this time, I am still looking for generally favorable weather for summer crops in most of the Midwest as we head into June. Based on U.S. weather this past winter into a portion of this spring, I have still been using the years of 1958-59, 1977-78 and 1981-82 as possible analogs for this year. None of these years is a solid analog year, but some similarities continued, especially for the December through April U.S. temperature patterns.

El Nino easing in

In the Tropical Pacific, officially neutral conditions continue as of

2.03 3.19 2.4 4.22 3.14 2.52 3.75 3.27 1.93 2.95

DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL - 1.4 -0.61 -1.25 +0.14 - 0.97 - 0.54 - 5.6 -1.01 - 2.40 -1.02

late May, but sea-surface temperatures have warmed above normal and are around the threshold for weak El Nino. It appears that a slow overall warming will continue, but anything more than weak El Nino conditions may not occur until fall. Officially, sea-surface temperatures have to be 0.5 degrees centigrade, or more, above normal in the Nino 3.4 region of the Tropical Pacific for several months before the Climate Prediction Center officially classifies it as El Nino. I have also been looking at some past years when conditions in the Tropical Pacific were similar to the trends we have seen going back into the latter part of 2013.

A composite of summer weather years showed a tendency for Midwestern summer temperatures to average a little below normal overall. Strongest trends in rainfall were for below-normal amounts in the eastern Midwest and abovenormal amounts in the southwestern areas. For June as a whole, I look for temperatures in most of Iowa to average within a few degrees of normal. I expect June precipitation to average near to at little above normal in most of Iowa. Normal June precipitation is between 4.5 and 5.5 inches in most of the state. A few locations from southwestern into central, north-central and northeastern Iowa have normal amounts slightly over 5.5 inches, while a few locations in far western Iowa have normal amounts of less than 4.5 inches. Hicks is a meteorologist with Freese-Notis Weather Inc. in Des Moines. Freese-Notis offers daily forecasts, long-range outlooks and other services. For more information, call 515-282-9310 or go to

Here’s to bringing up the sun. Here’s to muddy boots and grease-stained hands. Here’s to caring for this great land.

Here’s to protecting what you live for. We’re proud of our agricultural roots, and proud to be the insurance company so many families rely on to protect them from the unexpected. Here’s to protecting you and all you do. FB09 (4-14)

IA-Here’sTo…(4-14).indd 1

5/14/14 2:56 PM

8 JUNE 4, 2014


Iowa Agriculture Planting nearing end

Earlville farmer Rick Mormann checks seed depth while planting soybeans last week in Delaware County. Farmers said warm temperatures and below-normal precipitation during the last two weeks allowed soybean planting and crop progress to advance rapidly. “It seems like I’m one of the last farmers planting beans,” said Mormann, who had about 20 percent of his soybeans left to plant as of May 28. PHOTO/GARY FANDEL

Kinze launches field testing of multi-hybrid planter in Iowa SHOP & FIELD BY TOM BLOCK


inze Manufacturing took a significant step forward with its multi-hybrid planter project this spring, deploying several of the planters for trial runs in Iowa and other Midwest states. The electric-drive planters give farmers the ability to change seed hybrids automatically as the planter moves through the field to suit different management zones. Kinze conducted performance testing in Texas in February to prepare for the Midwest planting season, said Rhett Schildroth, senior product manager at the Iowa-based manufacturing company. Kinze has also been working with seed companies to refine the new technology, he said. “Multi-hybrid planting won’t just change things for farmers but also the seed companies providing the hybrids,” said Schildroth.

Yield gains

One of those companies is Beck’s Hybrids, which has been working with multi-hybrid planters since 2012. Two years of Beck’s research shows yield gains between 2 to 10 bushels per acre in fields planted with the multi-hybrid planting setup, Schildroth said. With the multi-hybrid planter, two hybrids with different genetic backgrounds can be loaded into the planter’s bulk tanks and will switch

on-the-go based on a prescription map loaded into the monitor. The key to the multi-hybrid concept is Kinze’s electric drive 4000 series meters, which allowed the company to place two meters on every row of the planter, Schildroth explained. The two meters feed a single seed tube and can automatically switch from one hybrid to another. Variable hybrid planting technology will allow for more effective placement of multiple hybrids in a single field as well as more efficient use of time, said Amy Bousley, communications coordinator for AgriGold Hybrids, which is collaborating with Kinze to conduct on-farm testing of the multi-hybrid planter in Iowa. “When making seed placement decisions, farmers often choose hybrids that perform well on the soil type that makes up the majority of the field, leaving pockets of untapped yield potential in areas that vary from the majority,” she said. “Additionally, due to time restrictions during planting, it is not efficient to stop progress to clean out a planter and change hybrids multiple times in the same field.”

Soybeans, too

Burrus Hybrids is using the Kinze technology for soybeans, as well as corn. Burrus’ soybean test plots will involve planting soybeans with defensive and offen-

sive traits based on soil productivity. The offensive product will be planted on the more productive soils, while the defensive product will be placed on the tougher, more drought-prone soil types. “Soybeans react differently, when compared to corn, so we will be increasing the population of the defensive soybean and decreasing the planting rate of the offensive products,” said Matt Montgomery, sales agronomist for Burrus. Schildroth said the response from farmers has been positive, but Kinze hasn’t yet decided when it might begin commercial production of the multi-hybrid planters.

Prairie Brand expands

Prairie Brand Seed of Story City last week announced an expansion of its territory with the integration of Renze Seeds under the Prairie Brand Seed identity. Both companies are owned by Dow AgroSciences. The alignment under a single brand provides growers in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dak­ ota and South Dakota with access to a full agronomy staff and more marketing support, said Prairie Brand Seed General Manager Dan Kallem. “Adding Renze Seeds increases our critical mass and allows us to provide even more information and resources to the customers we serve,” he said. Kallem said the company will continue to focus on delivering seed solutions that address growers’ needs. “Prairie Brand is committed to connecting the worldclass genetic research, trait development and other seed innovations of Dow AgroSciences with the specific seed needs of each customer we serve,” he said.

USDA, partners usher in ‘new era’ of conservation A new USDA conservation initiative launched last week will allow local communities, businesses and non-profit groups to invest in projects specifically designed for their region. The focus on public-private partnerships marks a new era in conservation that will have an impact “well beyond what the federal government could accomplish on its own,” said U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This is an entirely new ap­­ proach to conservation,” Vil­sack said. “We’re giving private companies, local communities and other non-government partners a way to invest in what are essentially clean water start-up operations.” The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) was authorized in the 2014 farm bill and streamlines conservation efforts by combining four programs (the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program, Cooperative Conservation Part­ nership Initiative, the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative and the Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil Erosion) into one. The RCPP will competitively award funds to conservation projects designed by local partners to improve soil health, water quality and water-use efficiency, wildlife habitat and other related natural resources on private lands. “Local decision making is empowered through this program — bringing together conserva-

tion groups, cities and townships, sportsmen groups, universities, agricultural associations and others — to design conservation projects that are tailored to our needs here in Iowa,” said Jay Mar, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) state conservationist in Iowa. With the investments of participating partners, the USDA’s $1.2 billion in funding over the life of the five-year program can leverage an additional $1.2 billion from partners. The USDA has $400 million in funding available in the first year. Priority watersheds for the RCPP program include the Great Lakes Region, Chesapeake Bay, Mississippi River Basin and four others. Iowa farmers and communities stand to benefit from the program as a result of the Mississippi River basin’s priority status, said Roger Wolf, director of environmental programs and services for the Iowa Soybean Association. “Soil and water quality are the primary concerns addressed by this program, just as they are with the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy implemented last year,” Wolf said. “This alignment is meaningful and timely, with the RCPP providing additional funding that will bolster not only the success of the RCPP, but local, state-based efforts like the (nutrient) strategy.” Pre-proposals for the RCPP are due July 14, and full proposals are due Sept. 26.

Iowa funds five watershed demonstration projects Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey last week announced that five watershed demonstration projects have been selected to receive $1.7 million in funding through the Iowa water quality initiative over the next three years. In addition to the state funds, the eight projects will NORTHEY provide an additional $2.2 million in matching funds to support water quality improvement efforts as well as other in-kind contributions. “We are excited to get these five new water quality demonstration projects going so they can continue the momentum we are seeing on improving water quality,” Northey said. “These projects serve help us learn what works and show farmers how water quality practices can work on their land and within their farming operation.” The five projects are within the large priority watersheds prioritized by the Iowa Water Resources Coordinating Council (WRCC), which include the East and West Nishnabotna, Floyd and Skunk watersheds.

The demonstration watersheds selected cover 345,449 acres. The projects will implement and demonstrate the effectiveness and adaptability of a host of conservation practices including, but not limited to: cover crops, nutrient management, wetlands, terraces, bioreactors, buffer strips, notill, strip-till, nitrogen inhibitors, extended rotations, conservation cover, drainage water management and manure management. More than 30 partners from agriculture organizations; institutions of higher education; private industry; the local, state and federal government; and others are working together on these projects with the Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) serving as the project leaders. The Iowa Department of Agri­ culture and Land Stewardship re­­ ceived a total of eight project applications for this round of funding. The selected projects will join eight water quality demonstration projects selected to receive $4.1 million in funding last December. Another round of funding for new watershed demonstration projects may be available later this year depending on funding availability.

IOWA FARM BUREAU SPOKESMAN The worry comes after more than 6,000 infants were sickened by a batch of tainted milk powder in 2008 that was contaminated with melamine illegally added to boost protein content. “Their own milk sells for $8 per gallon; this (ultra-high temperature milk) sells for $10 over there, and it sells well,” Larry added. The packages of the ultra-high temperature milk also include a QR code that allows consumers to scan the code and link to a web page that shows consumers a video of the U.S. dairy farm where the milk may have originated.


China, Mexico, Southeast Asia and the Middle East/North Africa regions have proven to be strong markets for the U.S. dairy industry. These four customers accounted for nearly two-thirds of U.S. exports during March, according to the USDEC’s data.

More than adding cheese

McCullock said selling more dairy products is more than just adding a little more cheese on a pizza; it’s about determining which avenues are best for which export market. “Pizza places are going to open in markets where they’re probably already consuming some fresh dairy products,” she said. “Those are more mature markets where maybe they didn’t eat mozzarella, but maybe they had yogurt.” She said other customers may not be able to import refrigerated products because they lack the technology and/or refrigeration to do so. “If you’re talking about countries or rural areas where electricity and refrigeration isn’t something everyone has, then you’re primarily talking about dairy products being consumed in shelfstable products,” she said. Therefore, McCullock said that creates two kinds of markets where exports can grow: “One is pushing more products they already consume, and the other is the general increase in total dairy consumption via the cold chain,” she explained.

First-hand look

Delaware County Farm Bureau member Larry Shover got a firsthand look of export opportunities when he and others from the U.S.

Larry Shover and his wife, Nancy, at their farm near Delhi. Shover, who recently returned from a market development trip to the Middle East, said it is important for the dairy industry to continue developing new products to meet the demand from foreign consumers. PHOTO/GARY FANDEL

dairy industry met with export partners in the Middle Eastern country of Dubai last November. Shover and his wife, Nancy, raise Holsteins on their dairy farm near Delhi. “They have the ninth largest port in the world,” Shover, president of the Iowa State Dairy Association, said of Dubai. “A lot of products that go into the Middle East go through the Dubai port.” Shover said the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a part, imports about 90 percent of their food and nearly all of their dairy products. “They don’t necessarily buy a lot of finished products, although we saw some of their shelves. They buy a lot of our ingredients from us,” he said. Shover said Dubai buys ingredients like milk powder, butter, butter oil and some cheeses.

Building partnerships

Shover said the dairy industry has worked harder at gaining export partnerships since he started in the dairy business in the late 1960s.

“I really think the jump start was when the milk promotion dollars started the U.S. Dairy Export Council,” he said. The council was founded in 1995 by Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), the farmer-funded marketing, promotion and research organization. Shover said the trip to Dubai reaffirmed the world’s trust in U.S. dairy products. “U.S. products are in high de­­ mand and regarded as very safe,” Shover said. He said Dairy Farmers of Am­­ erica (DFA), the cooperative that buys his milk, has been making extra efforts to expand dairy products and exports. For example, DFA has created ultra-high temperature milk that’s shelf stable for one year, which decreases shipping costs and allows global customers without refrigeration to have shelf-stable milk. “The Chinese customers want to buy it because they’re afraid their own milk will make them sick,” said Nancy Shover.

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Meeting market needs

Shover said the keys to keep®

JUNE 4, 2014

ing export markets will be understanding what trading partners want and finding ways to keep up with the demand. Partnerships and opportunities to increase dairy consumption will also remain top-of-mind, he said. “All farms in the United States are focused more and more on quality and safety,” Shover said. “Dairy has always been the most highly regulated food there is. And that will continue.” Shover knows it’s important to continue to tell dairy’s good story not just during June Dairy month in Iowa, but throughout the world. “Worldwide they value dairy very highly,” he said. “We have to work hard to keep it that way.”


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Indiana farm confirms second outbreak of PEDV


epeat incidences of deadly Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus on the same farm can happen, an Indiana veterinarian told Reuters last week. Speaking on behalf of his farmer clients, who did not wish to be identified, Matt Ackerman said a secondary incidence of the disease, which has killed an estimated 7 million pigs in North America, was identified. The American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) has stated that PEDv outbreaks appear to recur on about 30 percent of farms nationwide. Earlier efforts to eliminate the disease were based on the assumption that infected pigs develop immunity and can’t contract the disease again for several years. Ackerman said he did not know why the sows on the Indiana farm were re-infected after being exposed to the virus during the original outbreak last year. At the time, they were about six months to a year old. The sows are having piglets and passing limited immunity on to their offspring, he said. The AASV says repeat cases tend to be not as severe the second time, with a piglet death rate of 30 percent, compared to the near total

loss of initial outbreaks.

China, Iowa pact

Iowa officials will sign an agreement this week with China’s Ministry of Commerce and four provinces to expand trade and investment opportunities. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and five other state departments will sign the memorandum of understanding on Thursday at the state Capitol in Des Moines, according to the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Private purchase agreements for value-added agricultural products from Iowa will also be signed by representatives of the Iowa Soybean Association.

Japan, U.S. trade talks

The National Pork Producers Council joined dairy, wheat and rice groups last week in calling on the Obama administration to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations without Japan

unless that nation agrees to provide significant market access for the United States. The demand came as Japan and the United States resumed talks aimed at narrowing differences over Japan’s tariffs on beef, pork and other farm products. According to reports from the recent TPP trade ministerial meeting in Singapore, Japanese Minister of the Economy Akira Amari said Japan will not abolish tariffs in the agricultural sectors it considers “sacred” – dairy, sugar, rice, beef, pork, wheat and barley. The groups noted that Japan is not honoring the promise “to pursue an agreement that is comprehensive and ambitious in all areas” that it agreed to when it joined the TPP negotiations. The affected groups also outlined reservations about the precedent the negotiations could set for the future, saying “the broad exemption that Japan is demanding will encourage other partner countries to withhold their sensitive sectors as well.”

Mixed effects of El Nino

Fear over the effects of El Nino is working its way into commodity price predictions. Currently, U.S. investment managers are expecting increased prices in all 16 major agricultural futures markets, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data. Historically, El Nino has led to dry conditions in Australia, India, Malaysia and Indonesia, while

Weekly Average Price Comparison Sheet 05/30/2014 05/02/2014 05/31/2013 Price comparisons: Week ending: Cattle - National 5 Area Confirmed Sales 102,721 5,351 1,897 5 Area 65-80% Choice Steers: Wtd Avg. $145.30 NA NA Average Weights (Estimate) Cattle 1300 1312 1288 Boxed Beef Choice 600-750 (5 day avg.) $232.66 $228.38 $206.65 Boxed Beef Select 600-750 (5 day avg.) $221.90 $217.47 $187.20 Five Day Average Hide and Offal Value $15.69 $15.82 $14.31 Cattle - Interior Iowa - Minnesota Supply: 25,812 4,494 1,654 Average Price Choice Steer: Live Basis $145.15 $150.00 $124.81 Average Price Choice Steer: Dressed Basis $231.02 $236.46 $197.00 Feeder Steers at River Markets (Neb. Feedlots) #1 Muscle Thickness 500-600# NA $234.96 $151.89 #1 Muscle Thickness 700-800# NA $186.41 $139.12 Hogs -- Interior Iowa - Minnesota ISM Friday Weighted Average Carcass Price $106.33 $112.33 $91.15 Average Weights (Estimate) Hogs 286.7 287.5 275.4 Sows 1-3 300# and up: Average Price $77.58 $90.94 $58.21 Pork Loins 1/4” trimmed 13 - 19 pounds $141.51 $138.85 $123.12 51-52% 185 pound Pork Carcass (5 day avg.) $113.59 $114.60 $94.72 Feeder Pigs: National Direct Delivered Feeder Pigs 10 Pounds Basis - Wtd Avg. $70.77 $79.74 $25.65 Feeder Pigs 40 Pounds Basis -- Wtd Avg. $110.37 $128.82 $45.92 Sheep -- National Slaughter Lambs Negotiated Sales 3,600 5,400 1,800 Choice & Prime Wooled and Shorn 130-150 lbs. 158.50 No Test $117.50 Iowa Large Eggs (cents per dozen) $1.10 $0.92 $0.83 Young Hen Turkeys: 8 -16# - Eastern (cents/lb.) 105.30 106.45 97.76 *Iowa Ethanol Prices $/gal $2.43 $2.23 $2.62 Futures: Corn $4.65 $5.07 $6.62 State Average Cash Corn Price $4.46 $4.78 $7.06 Basis -$0.19 -$0.29 +$0.44 Futures: Soybean $14.94 $14.61 $15.10 State Average Cash Soybean Price $14.71 $14.31 $14.99 Basis: -$0.23 -$0.30 -$0.11 Slaughter Under Federal Inspection Estimates Estimates Actuals Hogs: 1,672,000 1,997,000 1,694,000 Cattle: 480,000 591,000 509,000 Sheep: 34,000 39,000 36,000 Estimated Numbers through Saturday Cash Corn and Soybean prices are the Iowa Average Prices as reported by IDALS. NA-No report at time of publication. Source: USDA Livestock and Grain Market News

wet conditions tend to be seen in South America, Central America and parts of the United States. In extreme El Nino years, drought has ravaged Australian wheat and barley crops. “Past experiences have taught us that El Nino years tend to be favorable for the central U.S. corn and soybean growing areas,” said Jay O’Neil, Kansas State University senior agricultural economist. “We can take solace in the belief that El Nino should not have a substantial negative impact on our crop production.”

Biodiesel downturn

A recent survey conducted by the National Biodiesel Board found that nearly 80 percent of U.S. biodiesel producers have scaled back production this year and more than

half have idled production at a plant altogether. Two-thirds of producers said they have already reduced or anticipate reducing their workforce as a result of the downturn, which they attribute to the weak RFS proposal and the expiration of the biodiesel tax incentive.

Ethanol plant uses sugar

The Aventine  Renewable Energy ethanol plant in Aurora, Neb., has resumed production, using surplus sugar purchased from the Department of Agriculture. This is probably the first in­­ stance of an ethanol plant in Nebraska using sugar, said Todd Sneller, administrator of the Neb­ raska Ethanol Board. The plant will shift back to corn in August.

CME Class III Milk Futures Closing prices May 30, 2014 Contract May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014

Settle $22.63 $20.83 $20.62 $20.30

Spot Prices Block Cheese Barrel Cheese Butter NFDM Grade A

Last Week $22.58 $21.06 $20.58 $20.23

$1.9600 $1.9325 $2.3000 $1.8450

Contract September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014

Settle $20.34 $19.98 $19.52 $19.01

Milk Prices May Class III May Class IV

$20.58 $22.55

Last Week $20.31 $19.99 $19.49 $18.94

Iowa Hay Auctions Dyersville, May 28

Hay, large squares, supreme, $260; good, $140-210; fair, $110-140; utility, $72.50110; large rounds, premium, $165-170; good, $100-145; fair, $65-100; utility, $50-105. Mixed, large squares, good, $205. Oat hay, large rounds, good, $92.50. Cornstalks: large rounds, $32.50.

Ft. Atkinson, May 28

Hay, small squares, 1st crop, $100-140; 3rd crop, $190-200; large squares, 1st crop, $60-145; large rounds, 1st crop, $50-135; 2nd crop, $60-150; 3rd crop, $110-150. Oat hay, large rounds, $90-100. Cornstalks: large rounds, $15.

Perry**, May 24

Alfalfa, small squares, premium, $6-7; good, $5; large squares, premium, $70; good, $55; large rounds, premium, $110; good, $65.

Grass, small squares, premium, $4.50; good, $3.50; fair, $2.50; large rounds, premium, $65; good, $50; large squares, good, $54; fair, $50. Straw, small squares, $3.50.

Rock Valley, May 29

Alfalfa, small squares, supreme, $240; large rounds, good, $130-155; fair, $120-122.50. Grass, small squares, premium, $200; large rounds, good, $110-140; fair, $95-105. Mixed: large rounds, premium, $120-150. Oat hay: large rounds, good, $75. Cornstalks: large rounds, $45-50.

Yoder**/Frytown, May 28

Grass, large rounds, $37.50-60. Alfalfa, large squares, $50-65; small squares, $5.40-6.30.

**Perry and Yoder hay auction prices are per bale. All other prices are per ton. Contacts: Dyersville, 563-588-0657; Ft. Atkinson, 563-534-7513; Perry, 515-321-5765; Rock Valley, 712-476-5541; Yoder, 319-936-0126

After starting the year projecting negative returns, new-crop soybean futures have rallied to a level that indicates a return above costs. The solid blue line represents gross revenue using the close of November soybean futures, less a 45-cent basis estimate multiplied by an anticipated yield of 50 bushels per acre. The dashed red line represents the estimated costs of production per acre from Iowa State University Extension for 50 bushels per acre. Even with recent weakness, 2014 estimated returns are greater than the estimated $557 per acre cost. These returns may not be there at harvest; make sure to have a marketing plan in place to capture your acceptable prices.


Many factors will impact final 2014 planting mix


s we acknowledged last week, planting has gone much better this spring than the industry anticipated at the outset. But until the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) June 30 acreage report is released, there should be a debate about the final mix of acreage because of the delays across the northern tier of states. Consistently, the band from North Dakota through Michigan has been the wettest over the last month, with cool temperatures slowing drying on those short, dry periods. Corn and/or spring wheat planting has lagged in those areas, Michigan being the most delayed of all. The other critical element in the equation is the final plant dates for crop insurance. For spring wheat and corn, it is May 31 in most areas. For soybeans, it’s June 10 for much of the region, with Michigan and parts of Wisconsin June 15. We assumed some progress was made this past week, boosting progress to 75-80 percent in the affected areas for corn and wheat, with lesser amounts for soybeans. That still leaves about 11 million acres to be planted in the region we are focusing on for the three crops we are concerned about: spring wheat, corn and soybeans. Most of that is in the Northern Plains, and much of that is soybeans. In Minnesota, we are only looking at the west-central and northwestern crop-reporting districts. The evolution of the situation is going to depend upon how producers react to the passing of the insurance dates. Normally, we have found they will plant crops five to 10 days beyond the dates with the insurance guarantees only dropping 1 percent per day. With soybeans being high priced relative to corn and spring wheat, there may be more willingness to switch to soybeans if seed is available. We believe spring wheat and corn could lose 500,000 acres each because of the delays. Soybean plantings could grow to 83 million acres, up 1.3 million from the USDA March forecast, with June weather being important. We can see prevent plant growing to 4.5 million acres from our earlier expectation of 2.5 million. Even using those assumptions, total plantings, conservation reserve acres and prevent plant numbers are still 2.3 million acres less than last year. That leaves room for the final total planting to grow, the prevent plant to grow, or both. In this year of talk about larger crops, that’s not to be dismissed. Weather the next couple of weeks could shed a lot of light on the situation. Total U.S. Crop Plantings


thousand acres

320000 318000

major corn production areas








310000 Prevent Plant



Planted & CRP








thousand acres


300000 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

Cash Strategist Positions CORN


at a glance 2014

7-16-12 — 10% sold @ $6.35

3-10-14 — 10% sold @ $4.82

8-21-12 — 10% sold @ $6.50

3-10-14 — 15% sold @ $4.78

4-29-13 — 10% sold @ $5.36

3-31-14 — 10% sold @ $4.95


— 10% sold @ $5.33

65% unsold

6-3-13 — 10% sold @$5.27 2-10-14 — 10% sold @$4.42 1/4 3-10-14 — 20% sold @ $4.85


20% unsold



7-11-12 — 10% sold @ $12.92

12-23-13 —10% sold @ $11.72

8-1-12 — 10% sold @ $12.90

12-31-13 — 10% sold @ $11.35

2-4-13 — 10% sold @ $13.35

2-18-14 — 10% sold @ $11.38

4-22-13 — 10% sold @ $12.06 6-3-13 — 10% sold @ $13.25 10-28-13 — 10% sold @ $12.78


— 10% sold @ $11.72

5-12-14 — 10% sold @ $12.23 50% unsold

11-11-13 — 10% sold @ $13.00 12-9-13 — 10% sold @ $13.34 1-21-14 — 20% sold @ $12.99

Iowa Farm Bureau members have free 24/7 access to AgriVisor daily updates through the Members portion of the IFBF website: www. The AgriVisor link is on the homepage under the Daily Market chart.


2013 CROP: Softening demand and good new-crop weather are continuing to work against the corn market. Still, we believe short-term downside risk is limited, in part because of price cycles. Target a move to the middle $4.80s on July futures to resume selling. Use current weakness to lock in the basis on any hedge-to-arrive (HTA) contracts.

Central IL Daily Cash Corn


The break in prices over the last month ended the move up off the January low.




The depth of the correction 20-week cycle lows into the 20-week low might offer some clues on the longer term picture. But in any case, the break down may be hinting at a longer lasting correction. The key lies with cash prices ability to get over $4.75 when they turn up out of the 20-week low.

375 6/25/12


$4.48 -50% retracement $4.36 -62% retracement

due anytime



though corn planting is not yet complete, progress has been much better than feared earlier this spring. Along with the weather, it has instilled a perception that a big crop is realistic. That has moderated end-user anxiety about the need to cover old- and new-crop




200 150 100 50 0 Basis Chicago Futures

-50 7/3/13





needs. Until that changes, the price structure could remain weak.

1800 Cash soybeans are still in a topping process, completing the move up off the fall low.

1700 1600

2013 CROP: Even though con-

cerns about tight U.S. inventories persist, the speculative interest in owning soybeans continues to subside. More ships have arrived at U.S. ports with Brazilian soybeans/ soybean meal. Price old-crop bushels.

2014 CROP: Strength in the old-crop prices is the primary feature supporting new-crop prices. Production expectations are growing slightly. New-crop export sales are still not as robust as last year. If you are comfortable with new-crop potential, make another 10 percent sale, boosting your total to 60 percent priced.


Cash Strategist Hotline: 1-309-557-2274


2014 CROP: The persistent lag in planting across the northern tier of states could result in a slight decline in acreage. But that is being partly offset by optimistic yield expectations. We’d still expect a weather scare sometime to bring another marketing opportunity. Refrain from making sales for now.

JUNE 4, 2014

A break below the bottom of the channel will be the first sign the trend is turning down.

A close under the mid-May 16to 18-week low ($14.56) sets in motion a decline that should last into the next 16- to 18-week low due in September. At a minimum it should be below $12, and could be substantially lower.

1500 1400

Central IL Daily Cash Soybeans

16- to 18week cycle lows

1300 1200 6/25/12



interest continues to support the soybean complex, but we steadily see that enthusiasm deteriorating. At the same time, we see weather steadily bolstering new-crop potential from both an acreage and yield potential. The Chinese picture remains confusing at best,




275 225 175 125 75

25 -25 Basis Chicago Futures

-75 7/3/13





but import expectations continue to decline, which should bolster world stocks this summer.

Iowa Corn & Soybean Basis CORN: (basis vs. July futures, 5/28/14)

SOYBEANS: (basis vs. July futures, 5/28/14)

NW $4.42 -0.31 SW $4.42 -0.31

NW $14.68 -0.30 SW $14.82 -0.16

NC $4.50 -0.23 SC $4.54 -0.19

NE $4.58 -0.15 SE $4.66 -0.07

NC $14.69 -0.29 SC $14.80 -0.18

NE $14.78 -0.20 SE $14.87 -0.11

Neither AgriVisor LLC nor the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is liable for any damages that anyone may sustain by reason of inaccuracy or inadequacy of information provided herein, any error of judgment involving any projections, recommendation or advice or any other act of omission. This publication is owned by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation with advice provided by and copyrighted by AgriVisor Services LLC, 1701 Towanda Avenue, Bloomington, Ill., 61701. No reproduction of any material in whole or in part of this page may be made without written consent.

Bidding war breaks out to buy Hillshire Brands A bidding war for Hillshire Brands broke out last week as Tyson Foods and Pilgrim’s Pride both made unsolicited multi-billion dollar offer for the company. Pilgrim’s Pride, a subsidiary of meat-packer JBS, initially offered to buy Hillshire for $45 a share in a deal valued at around $5.5 billion. Tyson topped that offer a couple of days later with a bid of $50 per share, or around $6.2 million. Either deal hinges on Hillshire abandoning its offer earlier this month to buy Pinnacle Foods Inc., maker of Birds Eye frozen vegetables and Vlasic pickles, for $4.3 billion. Hillshire is most known for its Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs and also owns a

turkey processing plant in Storm Lake. The takeover would continue a string of aggressive growth for JBS, which spent $17 billion on acquisitions in the past decade. JBS bought Smithfield Foods Inc.’s beef-packing business in 2008 and gained control of chicken processor Pilgrim’s the following year. Tyson executives on a conference call with reporters last week said the Hillshire offer fits into their company’s strategic growth plan that targets prepared foods, value-added poultry and international markets. “The combination of Tyson and Hillshire would reposition Tyson as a clear leader in the retail sale of prepared foods,

with a complementary portfolio of well-recognized brands and private label products, including Tyson, Wright Brand, Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, State Fair and Hillshire Farm,” Tyson Foods said in a press release. Analysts said the potential mergers reflect consumer demand for more animal protein. “Both Tyson and Pilgrim’s are enjoying very good profitability today, but Hillshire would help secure future earnings growth for both companies, because at some point, the chicken cycle will turn,” Farha Aslam, analyst for Stephens Inc., told the Wall Street Journal. “Whoever gets Hillshire will be a more formidable player in the marketplace.”


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