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Despite disease issues, hog profits running strong in 2014 BY TOM BLOCK Lower feed costs and strong consumer demand have returned profitability for hog farmers des­ pite challenges from a virus that has killed millions of pigs, livestock economist Steve Meyer said last week at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines. “It’s one of those ironic situations,” said Meyer, president of Par­agon  Econ­omics in Adel.

“There are individual producers, especially those that sell weaned pigs, that are going to be hurting. But as an industry, it’s going to be a MEYER great year financially.” With this year’s corn and soybean crops off to a good start,

feed costs are expected to be significantly lower this year. Meyer projects breakeven carcass prices for hogs next year at $77 per hundredweight, down from $82 this year and $94 last year. “From the cost side, the hog business is poised to have a couple of very good years this year and next,” he said. “There’s a lot to go between here and a good harvest, obviously, but it certainly looks good on a feed cost

outlook right now.” Meanwhile, hog futures remain strong due to the combination of robust consumer demand and supply reductions caused by porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), which has killed an estimated 8 million hogs, Meyer said. Carcass prices are unlikely to reach the record levels above $130 per hundredweight seen in March, but profitable opportunities exist through the end of the

IFBF summit to focus on shifting China food demand

year, he said. “We think the run-up in March and April was overdone. I think the high for the year is in. I’d be very surprised if we challenged those highs again the rest of the summer,” he said. He anticipates slaughter numbers will be down about 10 percent in July and August due to PEDV losses, although the reducHOG MARKET PAGE 2

Regulatory overreach burdens the economy Regulatory plans, like the EPA’s water rule, are stifling economic growth. STORY ON PAGE 3

BY DIRCK STEIMEL China’s food demand is changing as the country’s economy evolves and millions of people move from rural to urban areas. Those changes, which are expected to boost demand for higher value agricultural products, will be major factors in the farm economics of Iowa and the entire United States in the coming years, according to Dave Miller, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) director of research and commodity services. “As farmers, we need to know what our customers need, and we need to sync our production up to those needs,” Miller said. “And for the foreseeable future, there is no customer as important for U.S. farmers as China. It will create both challenges and opportunities, and we need to be prepared for them.” The 2014 IFBF Economic Sum­­mit will offer participants a unique opportunity to understand how China’s market is changing, Miller said. The third annual IFBF Economic Summit is set for July 21 and 22 at the Iowa State Center at the Scheman Building on the Iowa State University campus in Ames. It will be moderated this year by Mike Pearson of public television’s Market-to-Market and is patterned after the popular summits from 2012 and 2013.

Dramatic changes During the first day of the IFBF Economic Summit, Des Moines Area Community College professor Will Zhang will discuss the dramatic changes in China and how they will affect demand for agricultural imports. Zhang is also chair of the Iowa Sister State program with China’s Hebei province, which has coordinated a SUMMIT PAGE 2

Young eastern Iowa couple open hog barn The Ditches of Linn County are realizing their dream of raising hogs. STORY ON PAGE 4

Nolan Hoge, 6, of Good Hope, Ill., already a show veteran, shows at his fifth World Pork Expo last week in Des Moines. He started when he was only 2. Judge Kade Hummel advanced Hoge to the next division with first place, and the youngster went on to win top honors in the Duroc gilt competition. PHOTO/GARY FANDEL

USDA, industry boost efforts to fight PEDV

BY BETHANY BARATTA

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overnment and in­­ dustry leaders last week pledged a m a j­­o r  e f f o r t  t o track and control the devastating porcine epidemic diarrhea

virus or PEDV. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines a federal order requiring the reporting of new detections of PEDV and the porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) to the U.S. Department

of Agri­culture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) or state animal health officials. The order includes $26.2 million to combat the diseases. The National Pork Board’s PEDV PAGE 2

Southern Iowa raked by rough weather Very heavy rains, hail and high winds hit fields last week and could force some replanting. STORY ON PAGE 4

Soybean center gets Regents approval The Iowa Board of Regents approves a soybean research center to be housed at Iowa State University. STORY ON PAGE 5

COPYRIGHT 2014

CHINA-IOWA INK DEAL FOR SOYBEAN EXPORTS

CRP SIGN-UP OFFERS PLAN TO AID YOUNG FARMERS

A purchase agreement signed last week in Des Moines will send four Panamax-class ships full of U.S. grown soybeans to China during the next marketing year. The contract signing ceremony was hosted by Iowa Economic Development Authority at the state capitol. China Jiusan, one of the largest soybean crushers in China, agreed to buy 200,000 metric tons of soybeans from Zen-Noh Grain Corp., a grain trading company based in Mandeville, La. The deal is worth an estimated $100 million and was one of several contracts and memorandums of understanding (MOU) signed between Chinese government and business representatives and Iowa agriculture and business officials. U.S. soybean farmers exported a record 1.58 billion bushels in 2013, valued at nearly $28 billion.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced another sign-up period for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) beginning June 9. The USDA also announced that retiring farmers enrolled in CRP could receive incentives to transfer a portion of their land to beginning, disadvantaged or veteran farmers through the Transition Incentives Program (TIP). “CRP is one of the largest voluntary conservation programs in the country,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This initiative helps farmers and ranchers lead the nation in preventing soil erosion, improving water quality and restoring wildlife habitat, all of which will make a difference for future generations.” The Conservation Reserve Program provides incentives to producers who utilize conservation methods on environmentally-sensitive lands, such as grasses or trees (known as “covers”) to control soil erosion, improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat.


2 JUNE 11, 2014 IOWA FARM BUREAU SPOKESMAN

PEDV FROM PAGE 1

board of directors last week approved an additional $866,500 to go toward additional PEDV research. Since the first reported case of PEDV in the United States in April 2013, it has spread to 30 states and caused an estimated 8 million piglet deaths.

Spreading quickly

Last year at this time, there were only about 100 farms infected with PEDV. “In the last year, that number of nearly 100 has grown to nearly 4,700 operations,” Vilsack said. “We’re looking at increases of between 150 and 200 operations a week. This is obviously an expand-

ing issue, and one we have to come to grips with. We have to deal with it and deal with it aggressively.” In the $26.2 million allocated to the federal order, $3.9 million is budgeted to support the development of vaccines, $2.4 million will be put toward cooperative agreement funding for states to support management and control activities, $500,000 to herd veterinarians to help with development and monitoring of herd management plans and sample collection, $11.1 million in cost-share funding for producers of infected herds to support biosecurity practices, $2.4 million for diagnostic testing and $1.5 million to National Animal Health Laboratory Net­ work diagnostic laboratories for genomic sequencing for newly positive herds. The federal order requires pro-

he’s heard. “Then they all come home sooner or later,” he said. Phil Gauger, Iowa State Uni­ versity veterinary pathologist, said there are currently two strains of PEDV in the United States. The original strain was detected last April and continues to be the majority of the cases. The variant strain was detected earlier this year and has been found in 14 states including Iowa. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, left, and Dr. John Clifford, USDA Chief Veterinary Officer, discussed measures to control the impact of the PEDV virus on the U.S. pork industry. PHOTO/ GARY FANDEL

ducers, veterinarians and diagnostic laboratory to report all cases of PEDV, including re-breaks, and other new swine enteric coronavirus diseases to the USDA and state animal health officials. “This does not involve a re­­ striction of movement. It does not involve a quarantine,” Vilsack added. “It does involve reporting and a need for a monitoring plan and a management plan.”

Information essential

Judge Justin Rodibaugh congratulates Lincoln Martin, 8, of Bucklin, Kan., after a first place in the crossbred breeding gilt show at the World Pork Expo.

PHOTO/GARY FANDEL

Though some question how reporting the disease will make a difference in learning about PEDV and the efforts in preventing a further spread, USDA Chief Veterinary Officer John Clifford said the information is essential. “I know confidentiality is a concern for you all, but I cannot do my job without good, solid data. And it has to be in real time,” Clifford told farmers at the World Pork Expo. “This is beginning to have a much greater impact than what any of us initially thought it would.”

Searching for sources

HOG MARKET

Demand surprises

FROM PAGE 1

SUMMIT FROM PAGE 1

number of economic and cultural exchanges between Iowa and the Chinese provinces. Miller will also report on the IFBF market study trip to China, which is set for the first two weeks of July. “We hope to gather a lot of insights into the changes in the Chinese market and will bring them back to the Economic Summit,” he said. Over the past decade, China has grown to be the dominant player in the soybean market, dwarfing all other importers. But that surge in importing soybeans could be peaking as the country’s wealth rises and diet changes, he said. “The Chinese have essentially had a policy that they would import protein, in the form of soybeans, and grow their own carbohydrates or corn,” Miller said. “But now it’s clear they want to ramp up meat production, and that could lead to more corn imports, as well as imports of pork and other meats.” Iowa continues to build economic and trade ties with China, putting the state in a good position to access Chinese markets, Miller noted. That was underscored last week when the country’s Ministry of Commerce signed a contract at the Iowa Capitol to buy $100 million worth of soybeans. Iowa officials also signed a contract to build closer trade and investment ties with the Chinese ministry and Hebei and three provinces in the northeast part of China. That follows a historic visit to

Iowa in 2012 by current Chinese President Xi Jinping that boosted soybean exports and strengthened trade ties. For an agenda of scheduled speakers and information on registration and lodging, visit www. iowafarmbureau.com. The cost of the summit is $50 for Iowa Farm Bureau members and $150 for nonmembers.

The United States, Mexico, Canada and Japan have all reported the virus, and it’s expected that Colombia and Peru also have the virus, Clifford said. To date, 11 countries have placed restrictions on live swine exports from the U.S. ranging from unofficial restrictions to complete bans, Clifford said. He said researchers have been looking extensively into the pathways in which PEDV may have entered the United States. “We’re looking at food products, garbage; we’re looking at people, feed ingredients, vitamin and mineral supplements; we’re looking at all of these things. But it is truly looking for a needle in a haystack,” he said.

tions will be offset 3 to 4 percent as farmers feed hogs to heavier weights. “That could still get us into the $115 to $120 range on the highs for the summer,” he said. Fall futures, especially the December contract that was trading around $94 last week, appear to be underpriced, Meyer said. “We’ve seen this wave of high prices push through the futures complex and it hasn’t gotten that far out yet,” he said.

Butch Baker, interim director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center, said looking at human travel may be a key into understanding the pathway. About 55 Americans enter China every day to do something with the pig industry there,

Consumer demand for pork has stayed surprisingly strong despite higher prices at the meat counter and a lackluster economy, Meyer said. “People are willing to pay very good prices for meat products out there,” he said. “All the evidence I’ve seen is it’s a real shift in consumer preferences, especially about protein in the diet. We hear a lot of talk about protein, and we don’t hear much about fat and cholesterol any more. A lot of that’s been debunked, so folks are coming back to the meat side

Control methods

Gauger and Tom Burkgren, executive director of the American Association of Swine Veter­ inar­ ians, said sow immunity and effective methods of control of the virus are still challenges they face. Few vaccines are currently available, though Ames-based Harrisvaccines has released two: iPED, which is sold through veterinary prescription, and iPED+, which is being used in the United States and Canada. The company has sold more than 1.5 million doses over the last year, and it expects to receive a USDA conditional license for the product within one month. For now, researchers continue to study the virus as producers work to ensure tight biosecurity measures on their farms. “The virus continues to be a particularly nasty one,” Burkgren said. He said the warmer weather has caused the number of cases to slow a bit. “But don’t let your guard down,” he told farmers. “Our veterinarians are telling producers it’s not time to compromise your biosecurity. Now’s the time to leverage the heat.” of things, and it’s paid great dividends.” Pork demand has also benefitted from troubles in the beef and poultry industries, which has kept a lid on expansion and raised prices of competitive meat products, Meyer noted. Pork exports slipped last year, but have rebounded the past couple of months and long-term trade prospects are solid, he said. “We’re still shipping more than 20 percent of our product overseas, and there’s still a lot of opportunities for growth because consumer incomes are growing in those countries,” he said.

IFBF market study trip to China

A group of Iowa Farm Bureau members, who will travel to China in early July to learn about the changing economy and shifts in food demand for the world’s most populous country, met last week to prepare for the study trip. Pictured are, back row, from left: Larry Alliger, Webster County; Arlyn Van Zante, Jasper County; Paul Bodensteiner, Fayette County; Edmund Ruff, Clayton County; Mark Kerndt, Allamakee County; George Beardmore, Allamakee County; Gary McCall, Monona County; Dean Darling, Winneshiek County; Mark Buskohl, Iowa Farm Bureau (IFBF) District 5 director; Karen Appleton, O’Brien County; Dave Miller, IFBF director of research and commodity services; Heidi Gansen, Jones County; and Joe Heinrich, IFBF vice president. Front row, from left: Hayley Muff, Cerro Gordo County; Darren Luers, Keokuk County; William Frazee, Montgomery County; Rolsea Johnson, Madison County; Jana Hamlett, Fayette County; Hilary Lanman, Jefferson County; and Dirck Steimel, IFBF news services manager and Spokesman editor. Not pictured: April Hemmes, Franklin County. PHOTO/GARY FANDEL


IOWA FARM BUREAU SPOKESMAN JUNE 11, 2014

Editorial

3

Water rule another prime example of regulatory overreach Reagan’s, including the Obama administration, has expressed a desire for regulatory reform, but the results have been slow to materialize. Cost-benefit analysis is done on only a fraction of new regulations. The Competitive Enterprise Institute estimates the annual cost of regulations to be about $1.8 trillion. On a household basis, regula­ tions cost more than every budget item except housing; that’s more than health care, food, transpor­ tation, etc. Cutting regulations in half, as Zell suggests, would indeed cause the economy to go wild.

BY STEWART TRUELSEN

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illionaires don’t al­ ­ ways say the smart­ est things, but one of them has a smart idea. At the Forbes Reinventing America Sum­ mit, billion­ aire real estate developer Sam Zell said, “If you want to see the economy go wild, just cut all TRUELSEN the regulations in half.” Zell is known for his contrarian views and more often than not has been a successful investor. Cutting regulations is certainly contrary to what generally takes place in Washington. Regulations, espe­ cially environmental regulations, just keep piling up and up. “We’re in a society where we think all risk can be regulated out,” said Zell. “There are just unending interpretations, revi­ sions, legal fees to the sky — when you’re focused on that, you’re not focused on growing and getting new customers.” Farmers know that feeling all too well. When they should be focused on growing this sea­ son’s crops and tending live­ stock, their attention is diverted by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Waters of the U.S.” proposed rule. The rule broadens federal jurisdiction

A proposed rule would extend federal permit requirements to any field that conveys water, like this one in southern Iowa. FILE PHOTO

un­­­­der the Clean Water Act and could extend permit requirements to ditches, small ponds and even depressions in fields that are only wet during a heavy rain. Farms, ranches, businesses and new con­ struction could be affected.

Certain words stand out

The EPA claims the proposed rule is a clarification of which waters fall under its jurisdic­ tion. But in tracing the history of major regulatory acts like the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, the words that stand out on EPA’s own time-line are “expand­ ed,” “increased,” “authorized” and “established.” The Office of Management and Budget reviews pending federal

regulations, and it comes as no surprise that the EPA has the most regulatory activities under review at the present time. It is only a natural tendency for federal regulatory agencies to extend their reach by adding more and more regulations to the laws that Congress writes. The last president who real­ ly tried to stop them and tackle regulatory overkill was Ronald Reagan. A reduction in regula­ tions was one of the major policy objectives of his 1981 economic recovery program. Deregulation was applied primarily to regu­ lations that restricted economic activity, like price controls on oil and natural gas. Every administration since

There are alternatives

There are alternatives to regu­ lations that can get the same or better results. The American Farm Bureau Federation advocates mar­ ket-based solutions and incentives as preferable to government man­ dates. Incentives have proved suc­ cessful with conservation efforts. Regulation can also be accom­ plished without the government through competition, reputation, contracts, insurance and other means. Sam Zell probably won’t get his wish, but he is correct about the need to throttle back govern­ ment regulations. They are stifling innovation and economic growth. Truelsen, a food and agriculture freelance writer, is a regular contributor to the Focus on Agriculture series.

Washington Post editorial strongly backs GMOs Around the world, responsible people are starting to see through the smokescreen of misinfor­ mation spread by opponents of crops with genetically modified organisms or GMOs. The latest example of that is a lead editorial printed June 1 in the Washington Post. The Post’s editorial starts with this sentence: “Genetically modified crops have increased the productivity and improved the lives of farmers — and the people who depend on them — all over the world.”

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

However, the editorial laments, several states are moving in the wrong direction by demanding mandatory labels for foods made with GMOs. And some towns and counties in Oregon, Hawaii and Maine have banned the technol­ ogy outright. First, the editorial asserts that there is no mainstream scientific evidence showing that foods con­ taining GMOs are any more or less harmful for people to con­ sume than anything else in the supermarket. And mandatory labels are not needed because people who want to avoid GMOs can simply buy food bearing the

EDITORIAL STAFF [515] 225-5413 or dsteimel@ifbf.org

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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.

“organic” label. “There is no need for the government to stigmatize products with a label that suggests the potential for harm,” the edito­ rial says. Outright bans, the editorial says, are even worse than gratu­ itous labeling because they would choke off the potential to add a wide array of benefits of GMOs. Smart use of genetic modifica­ tion, it said, is an important tool to help feed the world’s growing population.

Opposition is well fed

Opposition to GMOs, the edi­ torial notes, tends to be centered 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.

in parts of the world that are very well fed. “The prospect of helping to feed the starving and improve the lives of people across the plan­ et should not be nipped because of the self-indulgent fretting of firstworld activists,” it said. The editorial states that it’s always important to use reasonable caution and real science when test­ ing technology. But, it said, “there is nothing reasonable about antiGMO fundamentalism. Voters and their representatives should worry less about ‘Frankenfood’ and more about the vast global challenges that genetically modified crops can help address.”

Water rule is really about control of land

BY DIRCK STEIMEL It’s called the water rule, but the controversial proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is really all about land and who gets to decide how it is managed — landowners or the federal bureaucrats. That’s why Farm Bureau members and others are working so hard to ditch it. The proposal, first published in April, seeks to clarify the defi­ nition of what is considered a navigable water or “water of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. The agencies have taken a very expansive view. The EPA and Corps contend that navigable waters subject to regulation should extend to ditch­ es, small “headwater” tributaries riparian areas, adjacent waters and other areas far away from rivers, lakes and private ponds that would not come close to floating a boat. The regulations are in order, the agencies say, even if these areas may only hold or convey water for a short time after a heavy rain. The agencies don’t stop there. They also add a provision that they can regulate “other waters” on a case-by-case basis. In a state like Iowa, which gets its fair share of rain, the proposal appears to cover nearly every acre in the state. If that happens, farm­ ers would have to obtain a federal permit for many farming activities because it could cause a discharge into this greatly-expanded uni­ verse of regulated waters.

A flood of permits

Fertilizing and pesticide appli­ cations would likely require per­ mits. Putting in a fence would require one, too. Installing any type of conservation structure, such as a terrace, a sediment basin or pond, would need a permit. These aren’t small matters. A farmer found out of compliance with the Clean Water Act faces potential fines of $37,500 per day and possibly activist lawsuits. In the end, the proposed rule poses a clear threat to landowners’ right to farm. It could also jeop­ ardize the encouraging progress on conservation and water quality that Iowa farmers have made over the years. This proposal is bureau­ cracy gone amok, and it needs to be dumped. To find out more about the proposed water rule, go to the American Farm Bureau Federation webpage, http://ditchtherule.fb.org. The EPA is taking comments on the proposed water rule through July 21. For more information on how to make comments, go to the Iowa Farm Bureau link: http:// tinyurl.com/n6ecqdk.


4 JUNE 11, 2014

IOWA FARM BUREAU SPOKESMAN

Iowa Agriculture AG BRIEFS

Farmer realizes his dream with new hog barn BY BETHANY BARATTA

Fertilizer prices

A new Rabobank report on the global fertilizer industry finds a deteriorating trend in the price of fertilizers. China has exported significant volumes in its high tax season, and phosphate and urea prices will feel downward pressure as China exports even more in its low tax season, Rabobank said. Fertilizer prices in the United States will be under downward price pressure from fading demand, the report said. Firstquarter prices were elevated due to supply chain bottlenecks and a compressed ap­­­plication  window. Increased side-dressing demand and supply chain filling ahead of the autumn application will not be enough to provide significant upside to global fertilizer prices in the second quarter.

Non-land costs rising

Summaries of farms enrolled in Illinois Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM) indicate that 2013 non-land costs for producing corn were $615 per acre for high-productivity farmland, an increase of $34 per acre from 2012. Non-land costs for producing corn more than doubled from $302 per acre in 2006 to $615 per acre in 2013. The report said non-land costs may decrease in 2014 due to fertilizer price declines. However, non-land costs in the high-$500 and low-$600 range likely will occur for the foreseeable future.

Farm bill funds

The U.S. Department of Agri­ culture has awarded $6 million to universities and cooperative state extension services to develop online decision tools and train experts to educate producers about key farm bill programs. The new resources will help farmers and ranchers make an educated choice between the new Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program. Using the new online tools, producers will be able to use data unique to their farming operations combined with factors like the geographical diversity of crops, soils, weather and climates across the country to test a variety of financial scenarios before officially signing up for the new program options later this year.

Renew Rural Iowa winner

Fat Baggers Inc., a cust­ om Harley Davidson builder in Chariton, has been named the latest winner of the Iowa Farm Bureau Renew Rural Iowa Entre­ preneur Award. Gary Chipp, founder of Fat Baggers Inc., said the business started from a single customer request, working out of his dad’s Harley dealership. Today, the company has 30 employees and plans to launch a European dealership later this year.

After more than a year of researching, communicating and defending their plan to construct a new hog barn in Linn County, a dream has become a reality for one eastern Iowa family. Matt and Melissa Ditch of Center Point recently completed construction of their hog barn. “This is what he’s always wanted to do is be a farmer,” Melissa said of her husband, Matt. Matt is the third generation in the Ditch family to own and manage the farm. As the assistant vice president of Keystone Savings Bank in Center Point, Matt said he missed the opportunities and experiences the farm provided. “I missed being out and helping my dad with the pigs,” said Matt, 32. “We had to look into what we needed to do to update our facilities or build new so I could continue having that kind of experience on the farm; that my kids could grow up with that,” he said.

Working with neighbors

The Ditches’ efforts to construct the new wean-to-finish barn weren’t without opposition, though. And when some neighbors and others in the community raised questions about the site, Matt called the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) for help. “Based on comments we got in the beginning, we understood that we didn’t do a great job communicating our plan,” Matt said. “Once we got them (CSIF) out here, we realized the benefits they bring as far as helping understand distance separations, rules and

Matt and Melissa Ditch held an open house last week to give neighbors a look at their new hog barn near Center Point. The young family sought help from the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers to work with their neighbors and help Matt realize his dream of returning to his family’s livestock farm. PHOTO/BETHANY BARATTA

regulations.” Matt and Melissa have also committed to CSIF’s Green Farm­ stead Partner Program, which connects farmers to landscape professionals. They will be working with Kelly Tree Farm in Clarence to develop a plan to plant trees around their site this fall. “Getting set up with CSIF has been huge,” Matt said. “Going that stuff alone is really hard, and having someone who has those contacts has been great.” When planning the site, the Ditch family took into consideration neighbors’ concerns about the environment and odor emis-

sions. Builders have installed a Juerg­ ens Environmental Control System to help significantly re­­ duce odors. The pipes for the system run inside the barn and, through nozzles, emit a fine mist designed to neutralize odors and dust particles. In collaboration with the Juergens Environmental Control System, three probes were installed in the barn that measure emissions. Every 15 minutes, the probes will measure the levels of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, which are two of the gasses that emit odors, Matt said. “On other farms

that use this technology, they’ve been running at 0-4 parts per million. A typical hog barn runs about 15 to 25. So you’re talking about a significant reduction in those particle matter emissions.” Matt and Melissa will raise pigs for The Maschhoffs. They’re also committed to farming and being good neighbors. “We’re not here to be obtrusive to anybody; we’re here to raise animals the right way,” Matt said. “We still want to make sure we’re good neighbors, regardless of what other people think. We’re going to strive to be good neighbors, and that’s our goal.”

Hail, heavy rains whip crops across southern Iowa Farmers in southwest and south-central Iowa spent late last week assessing damage to crops, equipment and farm buildings after a strong storm produced very heavy rains, hail and high winds across the region. The heaviest official rain totals from the June 3 storm were reported in Lamoni, which had 5.65 inches at the airport, and in the Omaha area, said Harry Hillaker, Iowa’s state climatologist. “These were the official totals, but there was likely some heavier rains in some places,” he said. Lamoni farmer Mike Quick said he had about 70 acres of beans under water and his corn had been pushed over by 60- to 70-mileper-hour winds. The heavy rain also damaged terraces in the area, he said. “If we get a break from the rain in the next couple of weeks, we could replant,” Quick said. Rainfall totals of 4 inches or more were also common in many other parts of southern Iowa, Hillaker said. Lynn Stamp’s farm near Persia in western Iowa was drenched with 4 to 4.5 inches. But the Harrison County Farm Bureau member felt lucky he missed the hail storms, which were common on the

Decatur County farmer Jim Anderson surveys the damage from last week’s storms, which brought hail and heavy rains that pelted crops and washed debris across corn and soybean fields. PHOTO/GARY FANDEL

Nebraska side of the Missouri River, and didn’t lose farm buildings from the high winds. “We are blessed that we missed that,” he said.

Stamp said he didn’t think he would have to replant any corn or soybean fields, but many farmers won’t be as fortunate. “There’s lot of replant talk

going on in the area for both corn and soybeans,” he said. In far western Harrison County, Randy Olsen’s farm took a hit from the hail storm, and he figures he’ll have to replant about 200 to 300 acres of corn and soybeans after they were destroyed. He was out of the state when the storm hit, but headed back to the farm to survey the damage. “Guys back home say you can’t even tell those 200 to 300 acres were even planted,” he said. “They just disintegrated.” He said 17 irrigation spigots were blown over due to high winds in the area and a neighbor’s grain bin blew away and was found in a small creek. Olsen said he’ll look at his records to determine which corn acres can be replanted with soybeans. As farmers surveyed damage from the June 3 storm, farmers were also eyeing forecasts. Any additional storms, they said, could add to their problems. “Everything’s pretty saturated,” Stamp said. “Another large amount of rain; and we could see some damaged terraces.” Reported by Bethany Baratta, Gary Fandel and Dirck Steimel.


IOWA FARM BUREAU SPOKESMAN JUNE 11, 2014 5

Board of Regents approves soybean research center The Iowa Board of Regents last week approved the formation of the Iowa Soybean Research Center at Iowa State University (ISU) in Ames. T h e   c e n t e r,   a   p a r t n e r­ ship be­­tween the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) and ISU, will focus on soybean research and disseminating information. It will facilitate collaboration between public and private entities aimed at meeting the needs of Iowa soy­ bean farmers. Ultimately, the center will en­­ able producers to profitably pro­ vide the highest yielding, high­ est quality soybeans and soybean products to a growing global mar­ ket in a sustainable way. “It will bring the industry together,” said Brian Kemp, ISA president who farms near Sibley. “The Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa State University and private industry will work together with a singular focus — improving com­ petitiveness of soybeans.” The center will provide a more disciplined approach when it comes to funding and identify­ ing priority-driven research, ISA officials say. Goals include: • Forge strong public-private partnerships. • Sustain extension and out­ reach communication and col­ laboration with growers and in­­ dustry. • Increase training of students and other personnel for soybeanrelated research, education and production. • Increase public and pri­ vate funding of soybean-related

Tylka said ISU is the perfect place for the center given the university’s reputation as a leader in soybean research. “We want to help Iowa farmers increase yields and preserve them,” he said. Dr. Ed Anderson, ISA senior director of supply and production systems, said the center will pro­ vide more relevant, deeper and timely communications between

State agricultural leaders said they were disappointed by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s recent veto of water quality and soil conserva­ tion funding that was approved by the Iowa Legislature. But, the ag leaders said, farmers, their sup­ pliers and others would continue efforts to reduce soil loss and improve water quality through the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. “We are disappointed to learn of the executive veto that strips fund­ ing approved by a large bipartisan majority of lawmakers to advance conservation efforts in the state,” said Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Hill. “Iowa farmers are com­ mitted to voluntary conservation efforts; that’s why requests for matching conservation cost-share dollars have outpaced funds avail­ able for several years.” Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey echoed those comments, saying the veto was disappoint­ ing, but that work on conservation and water quality would remain a priority. “Iowa remains a national lead­ er in using voluntary, sciencebased practices to better protect water quality,” Northey said. “The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship did receive some additional funding, and we will continue to work hard to help farmers better protect our soil and water.”

The center will be housed in Agronomy Hall on the ISU cam­ pus, the hub of soybean research programs and supporting faculty and staff. Funding will be pro­ vided by ISA via the soybean checkoff, ISU via state funding to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Agriculture Experiment Station and industry contributions.

New website highlights soy research results Iowa State University plant pathology professor Greg Tylka will serve as director of the new Iowa Soybean Research Center.

research and education. “It’s providing an organization for innovation,” said Greg Tylka, who will serve as center director. Tylka is professor of plant pathol­ ogy with extension and research responsibilities in management of plant-parasitic nematodes. “One major new thing that will come from the center is to create new, stronger partnerships with indus­ try.” ISA officials approached ISU more than a year ago about form­ ing a center, with the goal of increasing soybean acres and profitability. As  international de­­­mand for soybeans escalates, focus on soybean research will only increase. Since Iowa traditionally leads the nation in soybean production (411 million bushels last year, according to government records),

Ag groups disappointed by veto; vow to continue water quality efforts BY DIRCK STEIMEL

the public and private sectors per­ taining to soybean management and emerging disease and pest issues. Anderson believes it will soon be recognized for excel­ lence in soybean research, teach­ ing and outreach. That will attract even more funding, he said. “I envision it being a model, if not the premier soybean research center, in the country,” Anderson said.

Citing reduced state revenues, Branstad vetoed Senate File 2363 in its entirety, which allocated nearly $140 million for one-time projects and debt reduction. Ex­­ penditures for conservation and water quality programs adminis­ tered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship were eliminated by the veto. The bill would have provided $3.5 million for the Water Quality Initiative, $5 million to help clear the backlog of state cost-share conservation projects and $1.2 million for ag drainage well clo­ sures. Branstad reiterated his contin­ ued strong support for conserva­ tion and noted that he approved an increase in funding for nutri­ ent reduction to $4.4 million, up from $2.4 million in fiscal 2014. However, he said he vetoed these additional expenditures because Iowa’s tax revenues are coming in slower than expected.

The North Central Soybean Res­­e arch  Program  (NCSRP) re­­ cently launched the Soybean Research and Information Ini­ tiative (SRII), designed to pro­ vide easy access to information and news about soybean pests, diseases and agronomics. The new website, www.soy­ beanresearchinfo.com, replaced the Plant Health Initiative. SRII, funded by the soybean checkoff, is a one-stop-shop for farmers to quickly find the latest research and information about ongoing projects in the 12 soybean-pro­ ducing states that encompass the NCSRP. “When you do have questions, there’s now a website that serves as a central location for soybean information,” said Trevor Glick, NCSRP president who farms near Columbus, Ind. “It’s nice to have a resource with accumu­ lated, unbiased research on the same subject.” With an increase in soy­

bean checkoff-funded basic and applied research by NCSRP and at the national level, NCSRP Director Ed Anderson said it became clear a new, expanded website was needed with better capabilities and functionality to disseminate information. The primary improvements are consolidating information and pictures of soybean pests and diseases to readily find informa­ tion and help with identification. Drop-down menus featuring those two subjects, and diagnos­ tic tools are easily found at the top of the SRII home page. The menus consist of dozens of top­ ics ranging from soybean aphids and sudden death syndrome to soybean growth stages and sug­ gestions of where farmers can contact their nearest diagnostic clinic. “The Plant Health Initiative served its purpose, but we want­ ed to take the soybean research and information to a whole new

level,” Anderson said. “We’ve expanded content and utility to go way beyond just disease and insects. There’s now an agro­ nomic section and a resource library ­— we’re providing every­ thing soybean to farmers, aca­ demia, government, industry, farm organizations, etc.” The new agronomics section contains tips and information concerning a variety of topics such as variety selection, plant­ ing, cover crops, organic pro­ duction and more. Results from all land grant university soybean variety trials conducted in the region are available on SRII. The website also provides information about NCSRP, the latest soybean news and topics, videos and a complete library with brochures and field guides from land grant universities and extension services covering more than three dozen issues soybean growers deal with in the Midwest.

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JUNE 11, 2014

IOWA FARM BUREAU SPOKESMAN

AFBF: EPA climate change proposal will harm rural economy The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest greenhouse gas proposal will harm the nation’s economy, rural communities and America’s farm and ranch families if implemented, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) said last week. The agency’s plan is to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent over the next 15 years. This would be achieved largely by reducing reliance on existing coal-powered electric generation. That includes shifting to natural gas, wind and solar power and increasing energy efficiency so power plants burn less coal.

The EPA’s attempt to impose a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide on the nation’s power plants will lead to higher energy prices, the AFBF said. Farmers would face not just higher prices for electricity, but any energy-related input such as fertilizer. Many rural electric cooperatives that rely on old coal plants for cheap electricity would be especially hard hit, Stallman said. “U.S. agriculture will pay more for energy and fertilizer under this plan, but the harm won’t stop there,” AFBF President Bob Stallman said. “Effects will espe-

cially hit home in rural America.” Last week’s announcement follows the EPA’s April “Waters of the United States” proposal that would unlawfully increase the agency’s role in regulating America’s farms

under the Clean Water Act. AFBF responded with a formal campaign to “Ditch the Rule.” “The greenhouse gas proposal is yet another expensive and expansive overreach by EPA into

the daily lives of America’s farmers and ranchers,” Stallman said. “Our farmers and ranchers need a climate that fosters innovation, not unilateral regulations that cap our future.”

Wheat innovations needed to meet demand Sixteen organizations in Australia, Canada and the United States, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, last week confirmed support for innovation in wheat, including the future commercialization of biotechnology. The statement comes five years after an original document was signed and welcomes broad-based organizations like Farm Bureau in addition to wheat millers and producers. “Representing about 20 percent of human calorie intake, wheat is an essential part of the global diet and critical to food

security,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman in a statement. “Unfortunately, wheat production is on a downward trend around the world because net returns per acre often favor other crops. Wheat demand could very well outstrip the supply in the not-so-distant future.” Further innovation in research and biotechnology is key to realizing the promise of improved products, more sustainable production and environmental benefits, Stallman said. AFBF supports the effort to synchronize the commercialization of biotech

traits in wheat as well as traditional breeding efforts, he said. “While acknowledging the importance of commercializing biotech wheat, we are equally adamant that customer choice is paramount. Where there is demand for non-biotech wheat, we will work to see it is met,” he said. “In addition, we are urging the governments of wheat growing and importing countries to maintain sound, science-based regulatory systems, as well as to adopt reasonable low-level presence policies to keep trade flowing. ”

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Iowa State Sen. Joni Ernst won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in a statewide primary last week and will face U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley this November. Ernst and Braley are vying for the seat of five-term U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, who earlier announced his retirement. In the primaries for Iowa’s seats in the U.S. House, the very competitive third district

will be decided by a convention later this month in Creston. The Republican field for the nomination to succeed retiring U.S. Rep Tom Latham is Brad Zaun, Robert Cramer, Matt Schultz, Monte Shaw, Joe Grandanette and David Young. The winner will face Staci Appel, who is the Democratic nominee. In Iowa’s first district, state Rep.

Patrick Murphy of Dubuque won the Democratic nomination over several opponents. He will face Dubuque businessman Ron Blum. The first district seat is open because Braley is running for Senate. Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa won the nomination to face Rep. Dave Loebsack in Iowa second district. The general election will be held Nov. 3.

Iowa artists invited to enter third annual ag art competition Iowa artists of all ages are invited to participate in the third annual “Celebration of Iowa: Ag­­ricultural Art Award” sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF). The theme for this year’s exhibit is “Global Stewards,” and the deadline for submissions in July 15. “We’re proud to recognize the talents of Iowa artists through this program while honoring Iowa’s agricultural legacy,” Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie said. The “Celebration of Iowa: Ag­­ riculture Art Award” is a juried art exhibit that recognizes Iowa artists and celebrates our state’s role as a global leader in agriculture. Artwork will be judged on innovation of concept, execution of contest theme and the aesthetic and technical quality of the work. There is a youth division with a $1,000 first-place prize and an adult division with a $1,500 grand prize. Second, third and honorary award winners will also receive monetary awards. “This year’s theme is a great opportunity to show the many contributions our farmers make, not just to this state, but far beyond our borders. Leaders, farmers, scientists and stewards from across the globe turn to Iowa as a role model for food, fuel, fiber and innovation. This agriculture art contest is a way to celebrate the beauty of that innova-

This photo by Allison Mosbeck of Fairfax was last year’s winning exhibit in the youth division at the Iowa State Fair Agricultural Art Award competition. The competition is sponsored by Farm Bureau, along with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Arts Council.

tion and stewardship,” said Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Hill. Exhibit entries will be evaluated by a panel of judges arranged by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Eligible participants must be Iowa residents working in 2D. (3D, film, video or installation work will not be accepted.) All artwork must be original. Applications must be submitted via the Iowa Arts Council’s SlideRoom, an online application portal. Only one application may be submitted per individual. The online application can be found at www.iowaartscouncil.slideroom. com.

Two divisions

The exhibit features $5,000 in cash prizes in both a youth division (ages 17 and under) and an adult division (ages 18 and over). The adult division will award

$1,500 to first place, $1,000 to the second place and $750 to third place. The youth division will award $1,000 to first place, $500 to second place and $250 to third place. The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is sponsoring the awards. Additional information and re­­quirements, including artwork specifications, are available by visiting www.culturalaffairs. org or www.IowaAgriculture. gov. Inquiries regarding the contest may be directed to Veronica O’Hern, Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, at veronica. ohern@iowa.gov. Last year, entries were received from 55 artists representing 31 Iowa communities. Lori Miller of Eldridge and Allison Mosbeck of Fairfax were the winners of the contest last year.


IOWA FARM BUREAU SPOKESMAN JUNE 11, 2014 7

DUPPEC14005VB_040914_IS


8 JUNE 11, 2014

IOWA FARM BUREAU SPOKESMAN

“It’s looking a little more optimistic now that we’re getting some rain,” Rehder said June 5. Two inches of rain over one week helped the crops. “The beans are a little uneven, but they’re growing.” He was waiting for fields to dry to finish spraying his corn. With rain in the forecast, Rehder was debating on getting his alfalfa mowed or waiting until this week to do so.

Corn is about V4 to V5, and soybeans have emerged, Siefker said June 5. “This last week, (corn) really took off. It seems like it jumps a leaf collar overnight,” he said. He received under an inch of rain from two events. “Once it dries off, there will be a lot of corn sprayed,” he said. Weed pressure is minimal, but there has been some corn injury from Flexstar herbicide carryover, he said.

“Things look pretty good here. We’re getting timely rains and no flooding like some areas of the state,” Haeflinger said June 5. Corn is growing well and is mostly in the V1 to V2 stage, he said. Most area farmers are done planting soybeans, and the crop is starting to emerge, Haeflinger said. Many farmers are working on their forage crops, he said. “I’ve seen some grass hay that’s been mowed, and a lot of alfalfa is about ready.”

Two inches of rain in two weeks helped progress for corn and soybeans in Bennett’s area. Corn was at the V4 growth stage as of June 5. Bennett hoped to get in the field soon for a fungicide application. Soybean emergence looks good, he said. “We’re waiting on the soil tests to see if we need to side-dress any corn,” he said. “It’s sit and wait at this point.”

Black wrapped up planting Memorial Day weekend and said crops are growing rapidly. “Everything looks like it emerged good,” he said. “We finally got some heat.” Last week’s rain totaled about 1 inch. There has been some post-emergence spraying and side-dressing nitrogen. “We’re getting ready to do our first cutting of hay as soon as it looks like we’ll get a window of dry weather,” he added.

“We’ve been getting little shots of rain, but nothing too heavy,” Russell said June 5. Most of the corn fields are in the V3 or V4 stage, and soybeans have emerged well. Farmers are starting their post-emergent spraying programs, he said. “We’re planning to cultivate a couple of fields to take care of some volunteer corn; we haven’t done that in a few years,” Russell said. Forage mowing is starting in the area, he said.

Most of the corn on Nelson’s farm was at the five-leaf stage, and soybeans had between 3-6 leaves, he said June 5. His farm escaped the strongest parts of the storm last week and had about 2-3 inches of rain. Hay was getting made in the area, and as soon as it was dry he was going to start mowing his hay. “Pastures have really grown in the past couple of weeks with the heat,” he said.

Carson received about 2 inches of rain June 3, and there were much heavier amounts to the south and west, he said. Frequent rainfall has limited field work the past couple of weeks. He still has soybeans to plant, and hay is ready to cut as soon as the weather clears up. “Weeds are growing like a sun of a gun,” he added. “If we ever have some decent weather, we have to get corn sprayed.”

Vogel’s area missed the heavy rains and rough weather that tracked across southern Iowa last week. “We got about 1.25 inches of rain and no hail or high winds,” Vogel said June 5. The heat and humidity have helped spur crop growth, he said. “Some of the early planted cornfields are about knee high,” Vogel said. Farmers are side-dressing fertilizer and applying postemerge herbicides, he said. Forage cutting has started.

Evaluating weed management and sprayer adjustments BY JOHN GRANDIN June is an excellent time to evaluate early season weed management. There have been lots of fields with heavy in­­ festations of winter annuals or early emerging summer an­­ nuals. These weeds not only make it more difficult to est­ ablish an ade- GRANDIN quate crop stand but also provide an excellent environment for insect infestations. It may be worthwhile to consider a fall burn-down application with a residual after harvest.

Sprayer considerations

Post-herbicide  applications are well under way on many corn acres. As the corn is starting to grow, and beans are coming up, the spray season will become hectic. Despite these crunches, take time to assess wind speed before applying herbicides. It’s a simple step that should be taken to cut the potential for spray drift and offtarget crop injury. Also, thoroughly clean spray tanks between applications, especially when alternating from corn to soybean applications and vice versa. Remember that even small

CROPS TODAY amounts of certain herbicides can severely injure or kill susceptible crops. Even if a small amount of herbicide is left in the tank, some adjuvants can scour the sides, removing remaining residues. These herbicide residues can contaminate the current or following

loads. A few extra minutes taking precautions today may save trouble, time and money tomorrow.

Drop nozzles

Slow down when using drop nozzles. If the demands of this crazy season cause you to agree to spray herbicides with drop nozzles, please slow down! Most crop response issues (these often aren’t reported until the fall) usually occur when the post-emergence application was made with drops and some of the product is acci-

dentally placed down in the whorl or at the developing ear shoot. Take some precautions now to avoid these costly complaints. Check to be certain that the spacing is correct with the drop nozzles. Also check where the height of the nozzle is positioned on the corn plant. Our goal is uniform and accurate herbicide coverage of the weeds. The most important factor with use of drop nozzles is to slow down. Excessive speed causes the drop nozzles to swing

and place herbicide where we don’t want it. Consider compensating your applicators in a different way when they apply products with drop nozzles, so they don’t feel so tempted to speed up. Also consider charging more for application with drop nozzles. The work is tedious, and the temptation to drive faster is high. Grandin is a Growmark senior field sales agronomist. His email address is jgrandin@growmark. com.

Pioneer partnering with universities to collect nutrient data DuPont Pioneer has announced a collaboration with soil nutrition management experts at eight Midwestern land-grant universities to help growers more sustainably maximize crop yields. The collaboration will pull together expertise in different soil nutrition areas and generate field data to improve crop models used to create more efficient production practices. Each university will be able to significantly expand its field data collection and analysis. The universities involved are Iowa State University, North Dakota State University, Purdue University, the University of IllinoisUrbana, the University of Minnesota, the University of Missouri, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Each university has a three-year agreement with Pioneer. “We’re proud to be involved in this unprece-

dented public-private collaboration with these prestigious universities,” said Steve Reno, DuPont Pioneer vice president, regional business director – U.S. and Canada. “We believe this collaboration will result in high-tech field modeling with crop and soil sensing that will be second-to-none in the agricultural industry. Growers stand to benefit greatly from this effort through improved productivity, profitability and environmental stewardship.”

Targeting nitrogen management

The collaboration centers on nitrogen management practices. Pioneer agronomists estimate that farmers in the U.S. Corn Belt currently lose $50 to $60 an acre as a result of nitrogen management inefficiencies — with much greater losses occurring during heavy rains. Results of data collection and research

from the collaboration offer opportunities to improve crop nitrogen management, both in pre-plant and in-season fertilizer applications. Pioneer officials said the information will significantly narrow the nitrogen profit loss gap by giving farmers a new ability to plan, monitor and adapt nitrogen management practices to maximize profitability and improve environmental quality in the face of climatic uncertainty. The field data generated through the collaboration will also enhance Pioneer’s Encirca services, a new whole-farm decision solutions program. “Encirca Yield is our new input management offering that helps growers use their data, combined with these new models to make real-time decisions that impact their productivity, profitability and sustainability,” said Reno.


IOWA FARM BUREAU SPOKESMAN JUNE 11, 2014 9

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IOWA FARM BUREAU SPOKESMAN

Early crop ratings good; but crop not yet made

A

s everyone expected, the first condition rating for the new corn crop was very good. In fact, some were forwarding the argument that this year’s corn yield could be as high as 170 bushels per acre if the growing season proves to be as good as the early expectations. Some of these same analysts had derided the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 165.4 bushel projection first released at their Outlook Forum in February. Much of the skepticism was based on the slow-to-develop spring and lack of significant early planting. As we have said recently, early planting doesn’t necessarily correlate to good yields. The same can be said of these early condition ratings. Some were quick to point out that the corn crop started out with the same rating in 2012, but we ended with an extremely poor crop, one matching yield parameters in 1988, 1983 and 1974. But we could just as quickly point to a year like 1994 that started with a high initial rating and ended with a new record yield. While this early rating suggests the crop has good potential, it’s far from guaranteed. As we all know, the most critical parts of the growing season lie ahead: pollination and kernel filling. We tend not to make too much of the weekly crop condition numbers until middle/late July. Only then do they start to have some meaningful impact. Even then, it’s a correlation that is loose at best because these condition estimates are based on a subjective view of the crop. The summer/fall USDA crop reports are mostly based on hard data collected in the field. We tend to watch the trend of the condition numbers starting midsummer; they are more meaningful than the actual levels. On average, from now until the end of July, the condition ratings have a tendency to decline, even for good crop years. We expect the initial rating for soybeans to be good as well. But like corn, the early ratings don’t correlate well with the final yield. Until mid-summer, there will be a lot of talk about the condition ratings, and they will bring some short-term volatility. But in the end, many times, it’s just useless chatter.

600

new-crop price decline has gotten overdone. Even though the early crop ideas are very good, we’d expect weather concerns to lift prices at some point during the growing season. Wait for December futures to get back to $4.70 before making sales.

525 500 20-week cycle lows

475 450 425

When prices do turn up, and we think they will, look for rallies to stall at resistance ranging from $4.76 to $4.85.

400 6/6/13

9/5/13

$4.45-$4.50 support $4.35 low

12/4/13

3/7/14

FUNDAMENTALS: To no one’s surprise, the initial crop rating was very good. It sparked some talk that the national yield could reach 170 bushels if the remainder of the growing season is reasonably good. The good pace of planting, and lack of a major issue anywhere in the world, is undermining export interest. 1325

basis levels deteriorated as futures declined. That is a sign the oldcrop move up has come to an end, unless something significant comes along to change the picture. With the premium still in spot position, it’s increasingly important to price old-crop bushels

9/5/14

200 160 120 80 40 0 Basis Chicago Futures

-40 6/24/13

9/18/13

12/12/13

3/12/14

6/6/14

with 50-day moving average The breakdown this past week may have been significant with the close below the 50-day moving average and the uptrend prices had mostly traded in since the January low.

1225

1175

6/6/14

November 2014 Soybeans

1275

2013 CROP: This past week,

ing is the primary feature supporting new-crop prices. Production expectations are high, if not rising. New-crop export sales continue to accumulate at a slower pace than the last two years. If you are comfortable with new-crop potential, use small rallies to get sales 60 percent complete.

with 50-day moving average When December dropped through support at $4.66, it opened the door for prices to potentially slide to the $4.35 contract low. Nevertheless, the market is in the window to put in its 20-week low, and they are in last winter's $4.45 - $4.50 support band.

550

SOYBEAN STRATEGY

2014 CROP: Spread unwind-

December 2014 Corn

575

2013 CROP: New-crop expecta-

2014 CROP: Like old crop, the

11

Cash Strategist Hotline: 1-309-557-2274

CORN STRATEGY

tions and a slower pace of old-crop export sales kept old-crop prices on the defensive. Even though there’s little fundamentally positive, the price decline has gotten a little overdone. Target a move to $4.75 on July futures to resume selling. Get basis locked up on hedge-toarrive (HTA) contracts and other un-priced inventory.

JUNE 11, 2014

A close under $12 would drop prices under psychological support and a parallel trend off the January low. That would suggest the mid-May low was the 16to 18-week low, enhancing the odds the trend has turned down, positioning prices to trend lower through summer.

16- to 18week cycle lows

1125

1075 6/6/13

9/5/13

12/4/13

FUNDAMENTALS: The emotions surrounding the good planting pace may have finally caught up with the soybean complex. More in the industry are starting to note the slower pace of newcrop soybean export sales too. Last week’s 7.1-million-bushel April imports were thought to be a little positive, but most of the

3/7/14

6/6/14

9/5/14

320 280 240 200 160 120 80 40 0 Basis Chicago Futures

-40 6/24/13

9/18/13

12/12/13

3/12/14

6/6/14

imports from Brazil are scheduled for summer.

Iowa Corn & Soybean Basis CORN: (basis vs. July futures, 6/4/14)

SOYBEANS: (basis vs. July futures, 6/4/14)

NW $4.30 -0.26 SW $4.32 -0.24

NW $14.48 -0.34 SW $14.55 -0.27

NC $4.37 -0.19 SC $4.43 -0.13

NE $4.47 -0.09 SE $4.54 -0.02

NC $14.49 -0.33 SC $14.48 -0.34

NE $14.49 -0.33 SE $14.61 -0.22

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.

Cash Strategist Positions CORN

2013

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

5-13-13

— 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

BEANS

20% unsold

2013

2014

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 11-11-13 — 10% sold @ $13.00

3-3-14

— 10% sold @ $11.72

5-12-14 — 10% sold @ $12.23 6-2-14

— 10% sold @ $12.24 40% unsold

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. iowafarmbureau.com. The AgriVisor link is on the homepage under the Daily Market chart.

ISU’s Taylor sees potential for record yield BY TOM BLOCK U.S. farmers are poised to break a streak of four straight years of below-trend corn yields, Iowa State University Extension Climatologist Elwynn Taylor said last week at the World Pork Expo. Taylor is projecting the U.S. corn yield at a record 169 bushels per acre based on current conditions and the anticipated arrival of an El Nino weather pattern, which is favorable for crop growth in the Corn Belt. The current U.S. record corn yield of 164.7 bushels per acre was set in 2009. The most recent data suggest El Nino will emerge by July and there is a 60 percent chance of it becoming “strong,” Taylor said. El Nino’s effect on Iowa weather will begin to appear in August, he said. “That will help the beans — not the corn that much — but I expect

corn to be OK based on the way it looks now,” he said. “Mostly, it will make the outlook really great for 2015 yields.” Under El Nino conditions, there is a 70 percent chance of above-trend U.S. corn yields, Taylor said. Not coincidentally, the past four years of below-trend yields came while La Nina was more dominant, he said. It was the second-strongest La Nina on record, Taylor said. Recent weather patterns producing above-normal moisture in the Corn Belt and below normal moisture west of the Rockies are also a good sign for corn and soybean growers, Taylor added. “When you see weather dividing along the Continental Divide, it often stays with us for an entire season,” he said. “If it still looks the same in three weeks, it probably will stay with us for the

whole season.” A more “stable” weather pattern would definitely be welcome, Taylor said. “We’re due for a few good years after four years of belowtrend corn yield in the U.S. That followed six years of above trend (yield), which got everybody spoiled. People would like to see a return to at least trend, if not above,” he said. While El Nino may bring good weather to Midwest growers the next couple of years, Taylor advised farmers to prepare for significant weather volatility over the next two decades. “Climate risk in agriculture will likely be higher in the coming 20 years than it was in the past,” he said. “All of your risk management practices in the last six to eight years have been just that — practice.”


12 JUNE 11, 2014 IOWA FARM BUREAU SPOKESMAN

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Spokesman june 11 2014