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FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

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FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa



























Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

2012 Year In Review — Our top stories, photos

Volatile markets lead ag news (Editor’s note: Farm News kept readers updated on the unstable volatility of commodity markets, especially corn and soybeans, during 2012. More than weather and farmland prices, the market kept farmers’ attention as it affected the 2012 and 2013 marketing year, as well as feed costs for livestock producers. The following recap consists of excerpts from six issues — Jan. 13, Feb. 17, March 16, May 18, Aug. 17, and Nov. 16. The full articles can be read at Not your father’s grain market Today’s markets are subject to various outside forces and the law of supply and demand seems to have been relegated to lower importance in predicting prices. During a Jan. 5 webinar, conducted by DTN, senior analyst Darin Newsom said those outside factors have made commodities “predominantly an investment market. This is not your father’s grain market.” A primary concern of the first quarter of 2012 will be the dollar index. “It lays ground for commodities later on,” said Newsom. It is currently breaking through 80 and headed for the next level which is 84, according to Newsom. — Jan. 13. Handi cappi ng markets GlIDDeN—Gaining an edge in today’s high-stakes ag industry requires timely information, a global perspective and a willingness to play the basis, said a long-time Chicago Board of Trade professional, who spoke in Glidden recently. “These are not the markets of old, and volatility

-Farm News file photo

Kevin van trump, a professional commodities trader and founder of Farm Direction, offered his tips in the Feb. 17 issue to help farmers improve their marketing know-how, during a Feb. 1 seminar, hosted by Iowa savings Bank in glidden. He predicted corn would reach $8 if the national corn yield average was at 150 bushels. has been extreme since 2006,” said Kevin Van Trump, who was invited by Iowa Savings Bank to share his top marketing tips with approximately 100 local farmers and other guests during an agricultural marketing seminar. — Feb. 17 Markets remai n focus ed on endi ng s tocks May 2012 corn futures have traded in a range of about $1 per bushel since last fall, according to University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good. “Since late January, the trading range has been about 40 cents per bushel and the current price is near the top of that range,” he said. The narrowing of the trading range for old-crop corn prices may point to a breakout from the longstanding sideways trend.

The question is whether consumption has slowed enough to ensure a minimum level of year-ending stocks. — March 16. S oybean s tocks may be at record l ow The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week issued its report on annual U.S. crop production, resulting in a bearish outlook for corn and a bullish soybean market ahead. ending stocks for old crop soybeans came in at a decreased 210 million bushels, and on the new crop side, the 2012 national soybean yields is estimated at 44 bushels per acre, while increased exports are slated to bring ending stocks down for next year to145 million bushels, a mere 4.4 percent. The new crop soybean ending stocks of 145 mb is

one of the tightest on record. Newsom said that leaves little margin for error when it comes to new crop soybeans. “This number could be the most bullish number we see all year because we are expected to see increased double crop acres;” Newsom said, “and particularly with the speed of maturity of the winter wheat crop, it’s going to be coming off faster” leading to expanded double crop acres. “If so, this production number could climb, and that could add slightly to our ending stocks number. But for now, this could be the lowest ending stocks to use number that we see over the rest of the marketing year.” — May 18.

ture’s Aug. 10 crop production report was expected to come down to demand, and the report didn’t disappoint. “It looks like we’re seeing the initial movement of a demand slowdown in all three major categories, including feed, ethanol and exports,” said Darin Newsom, a DTN senior analyst. “This is exactly what has to happen in this type of market.” even so, the report painted a bleak outlook for supplies. According to USDA’s projections, U.S. corn production for 2012 is forecast at 10.8 billion bushels, down 13 percent from 2011’s 12.4 billion bushels and the lowest production since 2006. “This is the first time since the full-fledged demand market of recent years that we’ve dropped below 11 billion bushels in production,” Newsom said.

Expect hi gh grai n pri ces through Jul y FORT DODGe — That assessment came from Chad Hart, an Iowa State University extension grain markets specialist. Hart was speaking on Nov. 7 to a packed house at the Webster County extension office during the annual Pro Ag Outlook meeting. The audience was comprised mostly of ag lenders and commodity brokers. Because he anticipates that demand for corn cannot ramp up fast enough to sustain $7 corn if 2013 yields hit trend line, he said, “There’s good incentives for 2013 to plant soybeans,” which he thinks How l ow wi l l comwill still be averaging at modi ty markets go? The impact of the U.S. $13 per bushel. — Nov. Department of Agricul- 16.

January headlines Few U.S. vets treat organic livestock DeS MOINeS — The lack of chemicals used in organic production has created a challenge for farmers in caring for their animals: Few veterinarians are trained to treat livestock without antibiotics or other modern drugs. The shortage of veterinarians trained in organic practices has become more noticeable as the industry has boomed. — Jan. 6 US DA closing 259 sites DeS MOINeS (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture will close 259 domestic offices, labs and other facilities as part of an effort to save $150 million per year, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Monday. While the closures and other cost-cutting steps will affect the USDA headquarters in Washington and operations in 46 states, the savings will be relatively small in the context of the agency’s $145 billion budget. — Jan. 13. Biofuels awarded bulk of state aid DeS MOINeS (AP) — New figures show biofuels companies owned by some of the nation’s largest corporations made up more than half of the top 50 recipients awarded state aid since 2003, when Iowa began tallying all public assistance meted out. Biofuels plants in Albert City, Charles City, Fort Dodge and Hartley that are now owned by Texas oil giant Valero energy topped the list. — Jan. 20.

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa


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Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa


FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

2012 Year In Review — Our top stories, photos

Drought ravaged state’s corn yields (Edi t or’s not e: Even more then pests, hebicide resistant weeds, and dieases, the extreme hoyt and dry season plagued corn yields in 2012, and cause concern for 2013. The following are excerpts of eight articles — March 16,, April 20, July 13, July 27, Aug. 10, Aug. 13 and Oct. 19. The complete articles can be read on Weather to be crop story in 2012 DUNCAN — According to elwynn Taylor, ISU’s climatologist, the outcome of the 2012 growing season is likely to be more dominated by the weather, as it was in 2011, than other management influences. If the la Nina weather pattern continued through the summer, he predicted the national corn yield average would be less than 148 bushels per acre, with Chicago December corn priced at $6.60. — March 16. Frost cripples grape crop FARNHAMVIlle — Richard Black said he knew the killing frost was possible, even to be expected, but some part of him was hoping it wouldn’t happen. But it did. last week, with the first primary grape buds out and a month ahead of schedule, temperatures dipped at official measuring sites to 29 degrees and to 24 degrees on April 10. At 28 degrees for four hours is considered a hard frost in farming terms. But according to Black, his thermometer read 17 degrees overnight on April 9, 16 degrees overnight April 10 and and in the 20s overnight April 11. That was enough, he said, to cause significant yield losses to his grapes, especially his

hammering out disaster relief measures for farmers, was getting a first-hand look at the damage on the Triple U Ranch, which straddles the northeast corner of Woodbury and southwest corner of Cherokee counties in Northwest Iowa. “When you drive by the corn fields and you see them literally turn white before your eyes,” farm owner Craig Utesch told King, who serves on the House ag committee. “It does something to your psyche. You know that you could lose it all.” — Aug. 10. -Farm News file photo Pro Farmers deem 2012 Jim mcDermitt, representative from DeKalb, displays ear development from corn ‘one of most mavarious corn fields in Kossuth county, to show pollination success, or lack of it, ture crops’ based on planting dates. a total of 110 people attended a drought discussion SPeNCeR — The westmeeting in rural swea city. —July 27. ern leg of the 2012 Procrop numbers early-budding varieties. demand as much as expect- Farmer Midwest Crop Tour stopped at the Clay County While surprises can ed. — July 13 “It was bad,” Black said, Regional events Center in who manages 1,600 grape abound in the U.S. DepartDrought talk offers Spencer on Aug. 22 to upvines in a three-acre site ment of Agriculture’s quarbleak news around his rural Farn- terly grain stocks and SWeA CITY — even 10 date area farmers of crop hamville home. “It was dev- acreage update this time of inches of rain between now conditions found within year, there weren’t many and corn reaching “black Iowa and surrounding states. astating.” —April 20. It was no surprise to hear surprises in the June 29 up- layer” will not make much Corn Belt disaster date. of a difference, said Paul that Iowa yields are down looms in wake of heat “While this is one of the Kassel, an Iowa State Uni- this year. Northwest Iowa wave bigger reports we’ll see all versity extension agrono- corn yields are estimated to STATe COlleGe, PA. year, weather trumps the mist Friday morning at a be down 10 percent, while — re- numbers this time,” said drought meeting in Swea soybean predictions are ports even though the recent Darin Newsom, a DTN sendown 12 percent, according heat wave has ended, weeks ior analyst. “The unrelenting City. If that comment was not to data collected by the Proof drought and days of 100- heat and limited rains that wholly unexpected by the Farmer scouts. — Aug. 13. degree temperatures have al- have been widespread as ready taken a toll on this corn begins to pollinate are 110 people who attended, it Drought still clouding year’s corn crop in a large far more important than at least confirmed that trendnext crop outlook part of the Midwestern Unit- what the USDA said in its line yields are not expected ST. lOUIS — The nato be reached this growing ed States. report.” season even if the drought tion’s worst drought in The corn crisis from sevThe grain stocks report breaks and adequate rains decades showed no signs of eral weeks ago is now be- showed reduced corn stocks improvement last week in start falling. —July 27. coming a disaster. compared to last year. Corn parts of the Midwest and Many farmers in parts of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana stocks were estimated down Rain too late for corn Plains where the corn harvest is about two-thirds comand Kansas are facing a crop to about 3.15 billion CORReCTIONVIlle failure and ITS financial im- bushels, compared to pre-re- — Brown pastures, wilted plete, clouding the prospects port estimates that averaged corn and furrowed brows for the winter wheat crop, pact. Ultimately, the consumer 3.18 bb. were the things Rep. Steve according to an Oct. 11 “This is the smallest supwill likely feel the heat from King, R-Iowa, saw on Aug. drought report. In terms of dryness, said the upcoming corn shortfall. ply of corn we’ve had left as 4 while touring a droughtthis point since 1995-96,” Bryce Anderson, DTN’s — July 13. stressed farm. said Newsom, who added King, who had been in senior metoerologist, the that USDA did not reduce Washington two days earlier summer dryness is likely to Weather trumps

February headlines McDonald’s seeks ban on gestation crates DeS MOINeS (AP) — McDonald’s Corp. said Monday it will require its U.S. pork suppliers to provide plans by May to phase out farrowing crates that confine pregnant sows, a move that one animal rights group predicted would have “a seismic impact” on the industry. — Feb. 17 Summit highlights importance of ag to Iowa FORT DODGe — State Rep. Helen Miller, DFort Dodge, told a room of 40 listeners on Feb. 18 that most Iowans are unaware of agriculture’s impact on the state’s economy. “People need to understand,” Miller said at an ag summit at the Webster County extension office, “the reason Iowa did well (during the recession) is due to its agriculture economy. “One in seven jobs in Iowa and one in 12 nationwide are tied to agriculture.”— Feb. 24. EPA: Water quality improving throughout Iowa DeS MOINeS — There’s a good-news message to share about Iowa agriculture, said, Karl Brooks, a regional administrator with the U.S. environmental Protection Agency, who said the state’s water quality is improving. Brooks noted that some of the highest officials in the ePA, including Administrator lisa Jackson, have seen first-hand the many success stories of Iowa agriculture. “You show in a very practical way how you are protecting our most precious resources.”— Feb. 24.

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa



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FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

2012 Year In Review — Our top stories, photos

C.J. BioAmerica launches plant 170 new jobs planned (Editor’s note: The following are exerptsx of our May 18 coverage of the groundbreaking ceremonies of the CJ BioAmerica plant, which is an over-the-fence agribusiness with Cargill. Cargill has purchased the former Tate & Lyle wetmilling plant in Webster County and BioAmerica is geared to process co-products from the Cargill plant.). FORT DODGe — About 170 new jobs, better prices for farm commodities, and deeper ties between Iowa and South Korea were celebrated on May 14 with a groundbreaking ceremony that formally launched construction of the CJ Bio America plant in Webster County. The event began with traditional music performed by a six-member percussion group from the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center in Chicago, Ill. It ended with clumps of dirt flying off the ends of golden-colored shovels. About 200 people gathered in a large tent at the plant site in the North Central Ag Industrial Park for the ceremony. Between the music and the actual groundbreaking, a series of business and government leaders talked about the importance of the $323 million plant where corn starch from the nearby Cargill facility will be turned into amino acids,

-Farm News file photo

tae Jin Jeong, chief operating officer for cJ cheildang, spoke on may 14 during the grounbdbreaking ceremony for the company’s new plant west of Fort Dodge. principally lysine, for use in livestock feed. ‘‘It is our first manufacturing plant in the United States of America,’’ said Tae Jin Jeong, the chief operating officer of the bio division of the local plant’s parent company, CJ CheilJedang Corp. That parent company is based in South Korea. ‘‘2,000 years ago, the proudest thing was to say I am a citizen of Rome,’’ Tae added. ‘‘Now, today, for CJ and me the proudest words we could say is we are part of Iowa community.’’ lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds greeted the company’s leaders by saying ‘‘welcome to the great state of Iowa,’’ in Korean during her remarks. ‘‘We are so proud that you chose to build here and make a substantial invest-

ment in Iowa,’’ Reynolds added. ‘‘This is truly a testament to our communities, to our work force and the hard work and dedication of so many people in this state.’’ The CJ Bio America plant is the first of what local leaders hope will be many companies that will set up shop in the Ag Industrial Park to use byproducts from the Cargill plant. Cargill will use a wet milling process to turn corn into sugars, such as dextrose, and ethanol. That process will generate byproducts and opportunities for other companies Cargill leaders call over-the-fence customers to use those byproducts to make even more things. Gov. Terry Branstad said the industrial park will become a bioscience com-

plex. ‘‘We are very excited about what this bioscience complex is going to mean,’’ he said. ‘‘The strength of our agricultural economy comes from Iowa farmers and from companies like Cargill and CJ which will produce safe and reliable products to help us feed the growing world population,’’ he added. Dallas Tonsager, the U.S. undersecretary of agriculture for rural development, said agriculture creates one of every 12 jobs in the country. ‘‘Thanks to the hard work of America’s farmers and ranchers, we’re able to count on agriculture and rural America to help drive this nation back from the deepest recession many of us have ever seen,’’ Ton-

sager said. Greg Page, the chairman and chief executive officer of Cargill, said the corporate culture and values of CJ Bio America are very much like those of Midwesterners. ‘‘We look forward to a long and prosperous partnership together,’’ Page said. Fort Dodge Mayor Matt Bemrich thanked the City Council and Iowa Central Community College for their roles in economic development. When it came time to actually break ground, one of the ceremonial shovels was handed to a man who is neither an executive or an elected official. Don Jordison, of Fort Dodge, was chosen to participate in the ceremony because he is an Army veteran of the 19501953 Korean War. Chul Huh, the South Korean consul general based in Chicago, called Jordison a symbol of the close relationship his country has with Iowa. During the groundbreaking, dirt was tossed toward a field where the heavy duty groundbreaking has been going on for a little over a month. earthmovers have been preparing the ground there since the last week of March. The plant is to open in early 2014. The company will hire 50 to 60 people this year, and hire another 100 people in 2013. Dennis Plautz, the chief executive officer of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, was the master of ceremonies at the groundbreaking. People were brought to the site by buses that departed from the Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites.

March headlines Io wan ey es Brazi l ’s ag o ppo rtuni ti es FORT DODGe — Freshly returned from his fourth visit to Brazil, Bill Horan, a Knierim-area producer, said the Brazilians are gearing up to be an ag powerhouse, once that country develops its infrastructure to get farm products to major markets and shipping points. — March 2. Debate intensifies on undercover videos DeS MOINeS (AP) — Animal welfare groups reacted with outrage on Feb. 29 after the Iowa legislature made the state the first to approve a bill making it a crime to surreptitiously get into a farming operation to record video of animal abuse. — March 9. Po rk: A wi de-o pen i ndus try FORT DODGe — Kyle larsen, of Clare, said last summer’s pork youth leadership camp with Texas showed him “opportunities I never knew, like how big is swine genetics and all the production that goes on behind the scenes.” — March ??. Io wa-Chi na: A mo del fo r do i ng bus i nes s . BeJING — The latest trade delegation by the Iowa Soybean Association to China is under way and those on the mission are finding that Iowa’s biggest soybean foreign customer deeply appreciates the relationship. — March 23.

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa


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Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

2012 Year In Review — Our top stories, photos

Agribusiness expansions (Editor’s note: Throughout the Farm News coverage area, the expansioins of agribusinesses gained headlines for POET, Koch Nitrogen, Calcium Products, DuPont, New Cooperative and others. The following are excerpts of our reports. The full stories can be read at POET breaks ground on Project Liberty eMMeTSBURG — It has been said that before one can enjoy success, one must endure trials, tribulations and have great patience. For POeT/DSM, patience was rewarded on March 20 when a party of officials including the Governor of Iowa donned hard hats and drove shovels into the earth to turn the first soil for the construction of Project liberty. The six-year long odyssey to the production of commercial scale cellulosic ethanol began for emmetsburg and Palo Alto County in 2007, with the announcement of the selection of POeT-emmetsburg as the site for the first cellulosic facility. — March 23.

April headlines Wins irrigated yield contest WeST BeND — Joel Schmidt, who lives in West Bend, was named on March 2 as the Iowa yield contest winner in the irrigated division with a 235.0256 bushel-per-acre yield in the National Corn Yield Contest. He also finished in the top 10 in the nation in that category. April 20. Frost cripple grape crop FARNHAMVIlle — Richard Black said he knew the killing frost was possible, even to be expected, but some part of him was hoping it wouldn’t happen. But with the first primary grape buds out and a month ahead of schedule, a hard frost hit that would whittle 2012 yields. — April 20.

-Farm News file photo

WorKerS at tHe Project LIBertY site in emmetsburg build concrete forms for pouring the bases of the new fermentation tanks at the cellulosic ethanol plant. ground was broken in march to start the project. Production is set to start in late-2013.

work, and more construction is anticipated there this year, according to Mark Schraeder, the plant manager. ‘‘We’re really reinvesting in it to position ourselves for solid growth in the future as Koch Nitrogen plant well as potential expansees big investments sion,’’ Schraeder said on FORT DODGe — Tons April 5. — April 17. of nitrogen-rich fertilizer are produced every year by the Calcium Products people who work in the launches expansion maze of tanks and pipes that FORT DODGe — Calciis the Koch Nitrogen Co. um Products Incorporated Fort Dodge plant. held a groundbreaking on To make that work more April 20 to celebrate the exeffective, the company in- pansion of its Fort Dodge vested about $20 million in plant. control systems upgrades at The company, which prothe plant last year. duces pelletized lime and That was in addition to an gypsum for growers in agriestimated $40 million of culture and horticulture, is other recently completed expanding in response to

“double-digit growth” over the past five years. “Today we’re breaking ground on our third production plant,” Craig Dick, CPI vice president of sales and marketing, said. “This is the largest production project Calcium Products has undertaken.” — April 27. Nevada plant considering stover harvesting NeVADA — DuPont Cellulosic ethanol announced earlier this year plans to break ground on a commercial biorefinery in Nevada. A Central Iowa corn stover harvest meeting was held Aug. 13 at the Story County extension office in Nevada in order for DCe and Iowa State University

extension to present new and a new fleet of equipfindings of ongoing research ment to service these prodinto harvesting corn stover. ucts. — Oct. 12. An estimated 100 people attended the meeting. — Project LIBERTY Aug. 24. taking shape eMMeTSBURG — “It’s NEW Co-op’s agrono- fun to see this taking shape,” my services expand said Adam Wirt, regional lANYON — NeW Co- biomass coordinator for POoperative has recently pur- eT Biomass llC. He was chased land to the west of talking about the structures lanyon in southern Webster that are rising from the County. ground that will eventually This land is home to become Project lIBeRTY, NeW Cooperative's newest a commercial-scale celluagronomy location, which losic ethanol plant. will serve the growing cusThe $200 million plant is tomer base in the lanyon scheduled to begin producarea. tion in late 2013. At peak The lanyon location is capacity, the plant is exbeginning operations this pected to produce 25 milfall with the completed in- lion gallons of ethanol, all stallation of 120 tons of an- from corn stover — stalks, hydrous ammonia storage leaves and cobs.

Iowa FFA’ers pack 250, 000 meals AMeS — They saw the need, volunteered to roll up their collective sleeves and went to work. An estimated 300 FFA members worked in onehour shifts to bag, tag and box the meals with the Iowa organization Meal from the Heartland, earmarked for Haiti. — April 27. Calcium Products begins expansion FORT DODGe — Calcium Products Incorporated held a groundbreaking Friday to celebrate the expansion of its Fort Dodge plant. The company, which produces pelletized lime and gypsum for growers in agriculture and horticulture, is expanding in response to “double-digit growth” over the past five years. — April

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa


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Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

2012 Year In Review — Our top stories, photos

Rents, land values climb high Both reach historic levels

S wi ne g ro up pens co mi ng at bi g co s t MINNeAPOlIS (AP) — As pork producers build new barns and retrofit old ones to give hogs more space, they say consumers opposed to keeping pregnant sows in tight cages can expect to pay for their clearer consciences with higher food prices. — May 4.

(Editor’s note: As commodity prices climb, so does the demand for acquiring more land and for those who rent out acres to find a fair price for the value of their land.). Rental rates show conti nued strength i n 2012 AMeS (ISU) — Anyone who is involved with the rental market for Iowa farmland knows that rental rates have been pushed significantly higher by the favorable corn and soybean prices that farmers have enjoyed since 2010. This trend continued in 2012. Results from the most recent Iowa State University extension rental rate survey estimated that the average cash rent for corn and soybean land in the state for 2012 was $252 per acre, an increase of $38 per acre or 18 percent from last year. This is the largest oneyear increase since the statewide survey was started in 1994. The second largest increase was in 2011, with an increase of $30 per acre. Average rents were higher in all nine crop reporting districts, with increases ranging from $57 per acre (26 percent) in north central Iowa to $16 per acre (9 percent) in south central Iowa. High quality land showed the largest increase in rents. estimated rents for land in the high third of each county increased by an average of 20 percent, but estimated rents on low third quality row crop land in-

May headlines

Farm neWS’ editorial artist rick Friday’s cartoon submission for June 1, 2012. creased by 15 percent. In many counties respondents indicated that typical rents were $400 to $500 per acre or more for the higher quality land. Typical rental rates for land growing oats and hay were also reported, as well as rental rates for grazing pasture and corn stalks. This year rental rates for letting people hunt on farmland were included, too. The intent of the Iowa State survey is to report typical rents in force, not the highest nor the lowest values heard through informal sources. Rental values were estimated by asking more than 3,000 people familiar with the land market what they thought were typical rates in their county. The number of responses received this year was 1,419. Of the total responses, 37 percent came from farmers, 28 percent from landowners, 16 percent from professional farm managers, 16 percent from

lenders and 3 percent from other professionals. — May 11. Farm sal es keep toppi ng the charts Within the past few weeks farmland sales made headlines as the dash for more tillable acres has spurred buyers to pay more than the average value of surrounding farms. During October a record farmland sale was set in Sioux County when bidders launched an auction selling prime acres that fetched a final $21,900 per acre; another in Wright County saw a sale for $10,600 per acre and a third in Taylor County saw 860 acres in a variety of tillable and recreation acres sell for an average of $3,666 per acre, about $700 per acre over the average for low-tillable land. — Nov. 2.

Overall average cash rents 2007-2011 for corn and soybean acres District 1 District 2 District 3 District 4 District 5 District 6 District 7 District 8 District 9 state

2007 $149 155 157 151 157 166 135 126 134 $148

2008 $174 183 190 179 191 186 161 155 161 $176

2009 $187 196 186 196 197 193 170 146 173 $183

2010 $188 192 192 195 195 196 176 151 169 $184

2011 $224 220 223 227 226 219 213 177 198 $214

-Source USDA

tHe u.S. Department of agriculture reported in may that the state average for farm land rents reached $214 for prime tillage soil. District 1, comprised of the counties of Lyon, osceola, Dickenson, emmet, sioux, o’Brien, clay, Palo alto, Plymouth, cherokee, Buena Vista and Pocahontas, led the Farm News coverage area with an average of $224 per acre.

ers worried about tax increases that would take effect Jan. 1 if Congress can’t compromise on the socalled fiscal cliff have helped lead to a frenzy of farmland sales this fall. The worries about possiFarm sal es bri sk due ble increases in capital gains to tax l aw changes and estate taxes are adding DeNVeR (AP) — Farm- to the normally busy time

for farmland sales after harvest in Iowa and Nebraska. “If there is a chance that you may want to sell your farm, then you should think hard about getting it done before the end of 2012,” Des Moines lawyer Bill Hannigan of the Davis Brown firm said. — Nov. 30.

BPI to cl o s e three pl ants lINCOlN, Neb. — Beef Products Inc. will close processing plants in three states, including one in Iowa, this month because of the controversy surrounding its meat product that critics have dubbed “pink slime,” a company official said Monday. About 650 jobs will be lost when the plants are closed in Waterloo, Amarillo, Texas; and Garden City, Kan. — May 11. Co ns erv ati o n practi ces earn waters hed di s ti ncti o n ClARION — Contrary to the negative mindset Iowans have been accustomed to when hearing about their waterways, the May 2 designation of the Boone River as a 2012 Water to Watch was something positive. The National Fish Habitat Partnership included the Boone River in its list water bodies across the U.S. most likely to benefit from locally driven, strategic conservation efforts..— May 18.

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa



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Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa


FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

2012 Year In Review — Our top stories, photos

Pests, weeds and diseases (Editor’s note: Row crop producers had more on their minds than the drought and volatile markets this year. Their usual concerns — pests and diseases, nutrient shortages and emergence problems — were also present. Included are excerps from five issues throughout the year from May 25, June 8, July 27 and Nov. 2. The complete articles can be read at Black cutworm moths started their work early MOORlAND — On March 11, Bob Streit, an independent crop consultant from Ames, was traveling from Fort Dodge to Ames when he saw “the air was full of the big moths.” These were black cutworm moths, migrating winged pests from Mexico and the Gulf Coast States hitching rides on southern thermals and finding their way to Midwest fields. He expected producers would “pull the trigger” on spraying for the pests this year, but the availability of pesticides could possibly be short this year. Iowa State University said the migrations started three weeks earlier than usual due to the unseasonably warm temperatures earlier this year. The migrations have been moving farther up the state, Streit said, with moths reaching I-80 within the past two weeks, and now U.S. Highway 20 on May 11. — May 25. S ome fields also showing nutrient deficiencies MOORlAND — With just two weeks of growth, corn fields within the Farm News coverage area are showing a lack of dark green coloring.

June headline Schools turn noses up at LFTB NeW YORK (AP) — The nation’s school districts are turning up their noses at “pink slime,” the beef product that caused a public uproar earlier this year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the vast majority of states participating in its National School lunch Program have opted to order ground beef that doesn’t contain the product known as lean finely textured beef. — June 8.

-AP file photo

BoB Streit, an independent crop consultant, uses a knife tip to show where a corn plant near moorland has sustained early cutworm damage.cutworms started their work earlier than usual in 2012, streit said, adding that 2012 may see the heaviest investation of black cutworms and army cutworms as “the most we’ve seen in quite a while.” Bob Streit, an independent crop consultant from Ames, noted many fields already a yellow-tint at the V4 stage, with leaves revealing a striated light-green/darkgreen streaking “ They are showing (nutrient) deficiencies,” Streit said. “We are seeing these fields with yellowish tints as fields that Goss’ wilt is hitting hard. It’s a direct correlation.” — May 25. Agronomists discuss rootless corn syndrome, emergence problems FARNHAMVIlle — In the past three weeks, Randy Souder’s farms have only received sixth-tenths of an inch of rain. A lack of moisture has been common this spring and early summer in the lake City and lytton area where he farms. “I can’t remember too many times it has been this

dry, other than one year back in the 1950s and again in 1977,” said Souder, 61, who attended a field day Monday at FC Cooperative in Farnhamville. These dry conditions are contributing to a number of complications in cornfields across west-central Iowa and beyond, said Steve Barnhart, a regional agronomist with Winfield Solutions, who spoke at the Answer Plots during the field day. — June 8. Dry weather ideal for spider mites in row crops FOSTORIA — extreme dry conditions in the state have growers not only scouting their fields for signs of drought stress, but also for possible infestations of spider mites in their soybeans. “I’ve seen some spider mites around the Fostoria

area, but by Friday (of this week) we may be seeing quite a bit more of them if it stays dry,” said Kurt Metzger, seed solutions specialist for Maxyield Cooperative. Metzger said spider mites originally came in on the wind from the south. They suck the sap and juices out of the plant. “The plants will turn a yellowish color” Metzger said. “You’ll see them around the edges of the field and around waterways first if they are there.” — July 27. S tink bug confirmed in Iowa AMeS (ISU) — entomologists at Iowa State University have confirmed that Scott County has the first breeding infestations of brown marmorated stink bugs reported in Iowa. earlier in October, an

Iowa State Univerisy-trained master gardener trained to watch for new invasive species took a stink bug specimen to the Scott County extension office. County extension horticulturist Duane Gissel made the tentative identification based on training materials provide through ISU extension and the Iowa Master Gardener program. The specimen was submitted to the ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic and confirmed as brown marmorated stink bug. Additional samples of stink bugs have been reported in the Davenport and Bettendorf area. The timing of the collections (mid-autumn on warm, sunny days) and the location of the live specimens indicates there are now established populations of BMSB in Scott

Farmers, others hope farm bill passes in 2012 Whether they are farmers trying the settle inter-industry squabbling over the new farm bill’s crop safety net provisions; or they are conservationists looking for the best they can get from a scaled-down program, all observers share one goal: Get the farm bill passed in 2012. — June 8. Exports may maximize pork profits DeS MOINeS — While hog profits reached $19 per head in February, dipped this spring and rebounded recently, now’s the time to assess the market-moving factors that likely lie ahead. “You’ll have opportunities to lock in profits in the months ahead,” said Steve Meyer, president of Paragon economics, in Adel, who spoke at the 2012 World Pork expo in Des Moines. — June 15.

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa



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Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa

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Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

2012 Year In Review — Our top stories, photos

What? No farm bill this year? (Editor’s note: As of Dec. 20 the lawmakers in Washington, D.C. had failed to extend the 2008 farm bill, or hammered out a new bilkl altogether. Following are excerpts of our stories from June 8, July 13, Aug. 3 and Oct. 5 as we tracked the proposal of a new farm bill and failure of Congress to approve it so far this year. The full versions of these stories can be read at Farmers , others hope farm bi l l pas s es i n 2012 Whether they are farmers trying the settle inter-industry squabbling over the new farm bill’s crop safety net provisions; or they are conservationists looking for the best they can get from a scaled-down program, all observers share one goal: Get the farm bill passed in 2012. A farm bill not passed this year, said Chuck Conner, chief executive officer for the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, would create uncertainty in farm programs. At the same time, Steve Kline, director for the Center for Agricultural and Private lands, a division of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, is equally hoping for farm groups to work out their safety net differences so the new bill can become law before presidential election races gear up for their final run up to election day. — June 8. Hous e rel eas es draft of 2012 farm bi l l WASHINGTON — The House Agriculture Committee on July 5 unveiled its approach for a long-term farm and food bill that would reduce spending by

A 60-foot, 60-row planter

-Farm News file photo

tHiS SpeciaLLY BuiLt corn planter is 60 feet long and plants 60 rows of 12-inch corn. It was commissioned by stine seed and assembled by Bauer Built in Paton. the planter was on display at the 2012 Farm Progress show in Boone. the photo appeared with our feature on stine seed’s experimenting with 12-inch row corn, planting upward to 50,000 plants per acre. the company said initial results after two years shows the concepts is worth pursuing further. the apparent success of planting corn with each plant in a 12-inch grid pattern, said David thompson, national marketing and sales director for stine, is that each plant has its own 1-square-foot of space to grow and draw moisture, while still planting high populations. the downside would be needing to purchasing new row crop iron for corn and a combine head set for 12-inch rows. $3.5 billion a year, almost half of that coming from cuts in the federal food stamp program. The legislative draft envisions reducing current food stamp spending projections by $1.6 billion a year, four times the amount of cuts incorporated in the five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill passed by the Senate last month. Food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, look to be the most contentious issue when the Agriculture Committee begins voting on the bill Wednesday and when the full House begins debating it in the future. Conservatives in the Republican-led House are certain to demand greater cuts in the food stamps pro-

gram, which makes up about 80 percent of the nearly $100 billion a year in spending under the farm bill. Senate Democrats are equally certain to resist more cuts in a program that now helps feed 46 million people, 1 out of every 7 Americans. — July 13. Farm bi l l s tal l ed i n Hous e FORT DODGe — Among the farming interest groups calling for the U.S. House to pass its version of the farm bill before the August recess, add the voice of Rep. Steve King, (RIowa), who said he’s not sure why the Republican leadership refuses to debate the bill on the House floor. “As I have said for months, we need a farm bill,” King said. “Farmers

and producers rely on the predictability that a farm bill provides to make decisions about their operations for next year. “Current authorization for federal farm programs will expire on Sept. 30. This would be a troubling situation in any year, but with the record drought that’s currently scorching Iowa and so many other states, the need for a farm bill — and the disaster assistance programs contained within it — is critical.” — Aug. 3. Pos t-2008 farm bi l l : Ti me to worry? WASHINGTON — Will the earth open and swallow us whole, or can life after the farm bill be sustained? Congress has allowed the 2008 farm bill to sunset,

without a new measure to replace it. That means that farm supports automatically revert back to 1949 levels, which could be a boon for dairymen, at $38 per hundredweight; and a bust for soybean growers, whose commodity wasn’t support in 1949. In all reality, most commentators and agriculture organizations don’t expect the effects of zero farm bill will be felt until at least Jan. 1, 2013, and then other effects not until next spring. “We aren’t giving up,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. “As soon as Congress comes back, the farm bill needs to be a top priority in the

July headlines Fuel lab at ICCC takes off Iowa Central Community College’s biofuels testing lab has become a success in less than five years. With only four personnel employed, the fully accredited lab has more than 100 clients and is now self-sustaining. According to Donald Heck, director, the program began as an offshoot of the college’s biofuels technology program, with the Two Million Haul B20 biodiesel field trial for Decker Trucking of Fort Dodge. — July 6. U.S. House releases farm bill draft WASHINTON — The House Agriculture Committee on Thursday unveiled its approach for a long-term farm and food bill that would reduce spending by $3.5 billion a year, almost half of that coming from cuts in the federal food stamp program. — July 13. Unofficially, corn checkoff wins DeS MOINeS — The Iowa Department of Agriculture and land Stewardship and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board released Friday the preliminary results from the referendum to increase the corn checkoff that was held July 10. The preliminary results show a solid positive vote in favor of increasing the Iowa corn checkoff rate. — July 20.

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa



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Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

2012 Year In Review — Our favorite feature stories, photos

Where the milk comes from tory, and a full view of the milking parlor allowed attendees to watch cows being milked. While there visitors enjoyed samples of milk, By KRISS NELSON cheese, yogurt and ice cream. AMeS — Adults and After viewing the parchildren of all ages had lor, the tour moved into the opportunity on June 8 the bulk tank holding area to not only learn, but see where milk is cooled firsthand that their milk quickly, from 101 dereally comes dairy anigrees to 38 to 40 demals and not just the gro- grees, with the use of cery store. cool water. The water is An open house at the used to cool the milk effiIowa State University ciently and quickly, dairy farm was held to which becomes warm is help celebrate June Dairy directed to the cows to Month. drink. The ISU dairy farm The pipe lines are opened its doors at 6 a.m. cleaned every four hours, The open house included and the milk is collected tours, free dairy samples every other day. and a discovery center for Howard Tyler, profeschildren. sor of animal science at The tour began in the Iowa State University, led milking center; a building a tour group through the featuring a state-of-theoutside facilities of the art classroom and labora- farm, to view where the (Editor’s note: An excerpt from our June 15 issue. The whole article can be reviewed at

-Farm News file photo

JuStin Happe, 2 1/2, from Nevada, takes some time during the IsU Dairy Farm open house to watch cows being milked. 1,100 animals at the facility are kept.

Barns on the tour included the breeding barn;

the transition barn where pregnant heifers are placed within two months before calving; and the nursery barn, where newborn calves, separated instantly from their mothers and bottle fed until they can be moved on to the heifer barn. The heifer barn is where 2-month-old calves are brought in, Tyler said, as soon as they are weaned off milk. The heifer barns keep the calves together in groups from 2- to 8-months of age; 9- to 15-months and then 16- to 22-months. In the lactation barn, Tyler said, cattle are separated by age and the stage of lactation. lactating cattle, he said, always have feed available and will typically eat five hours a day. The cattle will lie down approximately 14 hours a day.

Threshermen held yellow tractor reunion (Editor’s note: An excerpt from our Aug. 13 issue. The whole article can be reviewed at

Crop insurance agents urge farmers to be proactive MASON CITY — Crop insurance agents held a series of meetings across Iowa to help farmers understand what was required of them as the 2012 drought dried up yields and caused early maturing of row crops. Aug. 3. Half of U.S. counties in disaster areas St. louis — The USDA announced that half of the counties in 32 states were listed as disaster areas, as a result of the drought. A total of 1,584 counties in 32 states were listed. — Aug. 10. At 1 , 3 3 5 po unds , bi g bo ar to ps IS F reco rd DeS MOINeS. —A new heavy hog record was set at the Iowa State Fair, when Reggie, an Indiana-raised hog tipped the scale at 1,333 pounds. Reggie also won the Indiana State fair contest. Aug. 17. Boone woman honored at ISF DeS MOINeS — Mary Maybee, of Boone, was honored with the “Iowan for the Day” award at the Iowa State Fair. Aug. 23.


AlBeRT CITY — A gathering of farmers often produces good-natured ribbing about the superiority of the tractor colors red or green. To a Charles City man, it’s all about the yellow. Harold Swartzrock is a soft spoken man. But underneath a quiet and friendly exterior is a man with an avid and active passion for Minneapolis-Moline tractors. He has 25 of the antique tractors in a shed at his home, in 50 years of collecting.

August headlines

-Farm News file photo

tHe 2012 aLBert citY threshermen and collector’s show featured the minneapolis-moline tractor. the show featured 230 tractors, 226 featured minneapolis-moline tractors, 105 antique automobiles, 28 horses, 172 gas engines and other implements and machines. attendance during the three-day show tallied 10,168. Though he’s not out track“The shed ain’t full yet,” ing them down anymore, he he joked with a quiet laugh. Swartzrock, 84, brought said, he’s always up for looktwo Minneapolis-Moline ing.

pieces to the Albert City Threshermen and Collector’s Show on Aug. 10-11. He brought a 1943 “Mathis,”

and an NXT Jeep 4x4 — one of many different kinds of military vehicles produced by the Minneapolis-Moline, he

It’s all about the yellow AlBeRT CITY — The 2012 Albert City Threshermen’s and Collector’s Show featured Minneapolis-Moline tractors and other farm iim-

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa




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FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

2012 Year In Review — Our favorite feature stories, photos


September headlines

(Editor’s note: ???) ???


Hagie rolls out Tall Corn Package BOONe — Hagie Manufacturing was one of scores of ag businesses showcasing their new products at the 2012 Farm Progress Show. Sept. 7. Banker: Grai n pri ces won’t stabi l i ze soomn FORT DODGe — Farmers can expect commodity prices to fluctuate more often in the future, according to a area businessman with extensive experience in the futures markets and banking. ‘‘While the boom times won’t go away, there will be more ups and downs,’’ C. Richard Stark Jr., president of Iowa Commodities ltd. and chairman of the board of First American Bank Group ltd., said on Sept. 4.— Sept. 14 56 years showi ng at Cl ay County Fai r SPeNCeR — Not only did this year’s dairy show at the Clay County Fair continue a 56-year stint for Gary Wolter and his family of Allendorf, it also marked Wolter’s 75th birthday. Wolter has made showing his Jersey cattle a family affair since purchasing his first cow as a teen in the early 1950’s. .— Sept. 21. Farm Rescue effort harvests Mi l ford farmer’s crops MIlFORD. — Farm Rescue, an organization designed to assist farmers with planting and gharvesting when they can’t, brought in Tom Soat’s crops on Sept. 21. Sept. 28.

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa

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Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

2012 Year In Review — Our favorite feature stories, photos


October headlines

(Editor’s note: ???)



Are y o u ready fo r CS R2 ? The old corn suitability rating system, formulated in the 1970s by Iowa State University, has been overhauled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is expected to be released officially later this year. Called CSR2, most farms can expect their ratings to go up slightly, although some may drop. — Oct. 5.

-Farm News file photo


Io wa i s Mex i co ’s pri mary s o urce fo r i mpo rti ng co rn ROlFe — Members of a trade mission from Mexico visited the farm of Curt Sindergard, of rural Rolfe. The Mexican buyers included representatives of companies that import grain for distribution primarily for livestock feed; while others are livestock managers, processors, including one company looking for quality soybeans for human consumption. — Oct. 12. Io wa farmers , ag l eaders ho s t 2 0 1 2 fo o d bl o g g er to ur DeS MOINeS — There were 10 nationwide food bloggers who attended the CornQuest 2012 farm tour in Iowa. — Oct. 19. Popcorn helps Decker family farm’s diversity ROCKWell CITY — Popcorn is a cash crop grown, processed and retailed, under the brand Farmers Best, by the Tom Decker family . Oct. 26.

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa


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Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa

FrIDaY, 30, 2012

2012 Year In Review — Our favorite feature stories, photos

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November headlines Farm s al es keep to ppi ng the charts During October a record farmland sale was set in Sioux County when bidders launched an auction selling prime acres that fetched a final $21,900 per acre; another in Wright County saw a sale for $10,600 per acre and a third in Taylor County saw 860 acres in a variety of tillable and recreation acres sell for an average of $3,666 per acre, about $700 per acre over the average for lowtillable land. — Nov. 2. Pro ject LIBERTY taki ng s hape eMMeTSBURG — Project lIBeRTY, a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant, with a $200 million price tag is scheduled to begin production in late 2013. “It’s fun to see this taking shape,” said Adam Wirt, regional biomass coordinator for POeT Biomass llC., concerning the structures that are rising from the ground. — Nov. 9. 5 0 , 0 0 0 pl ants per acre ADel — David Thompson, national marketing and sales director for Stine Seed Co., said the company has been experimenting with 12-inch corn rows, equidistant plant spacing and corn genetics able to withstand 50,000 plants per acre. He said, the results showed it’s an experiment worth pursuing. — Nov. 16.

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa

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Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

2012 Year In Review — Our top stories, photos

Farm values jumped 24 percent

December headlines Duffy: Historic boom expected to slow over next few years

A $200 mi l l i on refi nery NeVADA — Nevada Mayor Gearold Gull II welcomed a new neighbor to this Story County community on Nov. 30. The DuPont Co. of Wilmington, Del,. will earnestly push construction on its $200 million cellulosic ethanol facility several miles west of town. Joining Gull were Gov. Terry Branstad, lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Jim Collins, president, DuPont Industrial Biosciences in a ceremony adjacent to grain ethanol facility lincolnway energy, several miles west of Nevada. — Dec. 7

(Editor’s note: On Dec. 18, Mike Duffy, an Iowa State University economist, released the 2012 land value assessment which confirmed that the historic bookm in farm land sales is still in full swing in Iowa. The following is a summary of the report published Dec. 21.) DeS MOINeS (AP) — The value of Iowa farmland has jumped again, hitting a record of nearly $8,300 an acre. It was driven higher by record high corn and soybean prices, which rose amid fears that this year’s severe drought could cause supply shortages. The value of Iowa farmland rose 24 percent over the past year, according to the annual land value survey compiled by Iowa State University. It marks the third straight year that farmland value had risen more than 15 percent. The 2012 ISU survey covered 486 responses from Iowa land brokers. Iowa State extension’s Mike Duffy, who oversees the survey, said the boom likely will fade over the next five years as corn and soybean prices moderate from the record levels they reached this year. Duffy said that within two years, farmers in other graingrowing nations including Brazil, Argentina, Russia, and South Africa will respond to high prices. The greater production, absent more drought problems, will lower corn and soybean prices worldwide and cool off the red-hot land values. “It won’t be a crash like we saw in the 1980s but a slow decline,” Duffy said. Values dropped by two-thirds between 1981 and 1986. Duffy said that because farmers are in better cash positions today

“It won’t be a crash like we saw in the 1980s but a slow decline.” —Mike Duffy Iowa State University economist

than three decades ago, he didn’t think Iowa farmland values were vulnerable to a steep dive. “High land prices kept going higher in the 1970s, even when farm profits narrowed,” Duffy said. “That won’t happen this time.”

Higher corn and soybean prices in recent years have meant more cash for farmers, who have bid up land prices and bought new tractors and combines. While farmland prices have soared more than 60 percent just since 2009 farm input costs have

more than doubled since the middle of the last decade. The high cost of diesel fuel, fertilizer, and seed means farmers must make at least $5 per bushel for corn to break even. They’ve gotten those prices through the last three harvests. On Tuesday, corn sold for $7.24 per bushel. Sioux and O’Brien counties in northwest Iowa showed the highest averages, both over $12,000 per acre. The lowest values are along the Iowa/Missouri border, with Decatur, Wayne and Appanoose counties showing averages under $3,500 per acre.

DuPont pl ans checks on soybean seed use JOHNSTON (AP) — Their mission may lack the gritty urban drama of “law and Order” or “CSI,” but investigators for Johnston-based DuPont Pioneer will be patrolling farm fields in Iowa next summer to see if farmers are complying with soybean seed patents. They’ll want to know if farmers are replanting soybean seeds a second year, in violation of a contract they sign when they purchase bags of soybean seeds for planting. — Dec. 14. ??? ??? — ???. — Dec. ??. ??? ???. — Dec. ??. ??? ??? — Dec. ??. ???

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa

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Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa

2012 Year In Review â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Our top stories, photos

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FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

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Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa

2012 Year In Review â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Our top stories, photos

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FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa


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2012 Year In Review â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Our top stories, photos

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FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

FrIDaY, Dec. 28, 2012

Farm News / Fort DoDge, Iowa


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A publication of Farm News depiciting all of the major agricultural events from 2012