AG Mag Central Iowa
Online auctioneering brings cattle buyers from around the world to Central Iowa
Growing concern: A drop in price is just one reason less corn might be planted locally this season.
Finally, a bill: It took Congress 5 years to come up with a new Farm Bill. Was it worth the wait? A Publication of Shaw Media
Farmers Forum: The Renewable Fuel Standard might be changed. What do area farmers think? Spring 2014
AG Mag Central Iowa
Publisher Dan Goetz Advertising Director Jeff Holschuh Managing Editor Bob Eschliman Magazine Editors Larry Lough, Jeff Rogers
Page Design Jeff Rogers Reporters & Photographers Pam Eggemeier, Bob Eschliman, Stephani Finley, David Giuliani, Zach Johnson, Mandi Lamb, Kate Malott, Philip Marruffo, Matt Mencarini, Alex Paschal, Ty Rushing, and Kyle Wilson Published by News Publishing Co. 200 First Avenue East Newton, IA 50208 641-792-3121 Articles and advertisements are the property of Sauk Valley Media. No portion of the Central Iowa Ag Mag may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Ad content is not the responsibility of Sauk Valley Media. The information in this magazine is believed to be accurate; however, Sauk Valley Media cannot and does not guarantee its accuracy. Sauk Valley Media cannot and will not be held liable for the quality or performance of goods and services provided by advertisers listed in any portion of this magazine.
Digital dealings Central Iowa cattle producers and livestock auctions are increasingly going online. A look to the sky The weather was a bit more kind to Iowa farmers in 2013, but “catch-up” moisture would be a boost in 2014.
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A long time in the making There’s been a flurry of activity in Washington on the first new farm bill since 2008. Is that a good thing for Iowa farmers?
Cutting back on the corn
4 Spring 2014
Though she’s now retired, Jasper County resident Julie Trusler’s tasty recipes live on in her book, “JT’s Volume 1.”
Valuable lessons One of the most undervalued assets that Des Moines Area Community College provides is its agribusiness program.
As farmers prepare for the planting season, some are planning to plant fewer corn acres this year.
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While many are waiting for the next weather event to bring new crop corn and soybean prices higher there is still a
large risk lurking in the market… covering the high cost of inputs. It’s no secret that the AG boom has resulted in increases to the cost of seed, fertilizer, and especially land. We are now near or below breakeven levels for many producers across the Midwest. That doesn’t mean we are at rock bottom yet though, these price shakedowns can last through an entire growing season if the weather is favorable. This squeeze on margins has forced many farmers to rely on their insurance guarantee to ensure a profit. With December corn and November soybean prices trading near contract lows, it’s hard to get excited about a strong revenue guarantee. At AgYield we believe the spring insurance price and policy coverage is the first and most important choice for your marketing plan, it gives certainty and flexibility to selling your crop. With that there are many questions to ask during this time. Does my insurance policy truly protect my profitability? Do I need to increase my policy coverage? Do I need to make more cash sales on top of my insurance policy? Are puts a better decision? The truth is no one strategy fits all and what your neighbor does may not be in your best interest. For example, take a farmer who goes with a 70% insurance policy with the harvest exclusion. He may be a better candidate to supplement his insurance with put options since he needs more downside price protection but can’t count on that harvest readjustment to kick in if he has a yield loss and prices skyrocket as we saw in 2012. He also might be better off buying a better level of insurance protection. A farmer who buys a Cadillac policy may take a totally opposite approach and with more certainty of achieving a profit. The fact is the easy money appears to be over and it’s time to go back to work marketing. The next few years will likely separate the active farm marketers from the inattentive. Putting together a strategy without knowing how it will affect your operation can have severe consequences in today’s markets. AgYield combines your insurance, cash sales, futures/options, and unsold bushels to show how all of these pieces affect your bottom line at multiple yield and price scenarios.
Kyle Wilson/Central Iowa Ag Mag
Brandon Frey, auctioneer at Creston Livestock Auction, takes bids from people in the sale barn during a sale in January while also monitoring the desktop computer screen for bids being made online. “Last week, we had a registered bidder from Hawaii,” Frey said.
Cattle just a click away Producers, auctions see benefits of Internet marketing By Bob Eschliman and Matt Mencarini For Central Iowa Ag Mag
n Central Iowa, cattle producers and livestock auctions have been steadily moving to the Internet to market live-
stock. Marty Lewis of Monroe said 6 Spring 2014
he’s been using the Internet as a marketing tool for the past five years, but has used it more aggressively in the past three years. He calls it “the way of the future.” nnn Talking from the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Lewis said he
used an email blast function on the show’s website to reach out to a larger number of potential buyers. He said the email succeeded in getting more eyes to look at his bull, which sold to a producer in Arkansas. “I sold to a guy in Arkansas who had never seen it other than through photos and a YouTube video,” Lewis said. continued on 74
4Continued from 6 “It can take a lot of the phoniness out of the whole process. In the video, you can see the animal walking in its natural environment.” Lewis said more than 95 percent of his sales are to producers working on crossbreeding programs. He acknowledged that as more and more of the next generation of producers enters the market, online marketing will continue. “The exposure you get is terrific; your animals are being seen by a lot more people you don’t know are even out there looking,” he said. “But, it’s still a one-on-one arrangement at settlement time. So, there’s still some old-school ag relationships there.” Lewis said that helps to ensure his animals will go to producers who will care as much for them as he did while raising them. Technology, as in other areas of life and farming, is giving cattlemen newer tools to raise, track, market and sell their animals. From climate-controlled
hog buildings to computerized sale barns to online auctions, cattlemen have new ways to do things that have been done for generations. The growing popularity of online auctions means that livestock can be bought and sold nearly every day, from anywhere, said Marshall Ruble, who specializes in livestock as an agriculture research station manager at Iowa State University. Online auctions, including online exclusive auctions or bidding in a live auction on the Internet, has led to a more competitive market and put more eyes on cattle, he said. “Even 5 years ago, I go out and look at a lot of cattle, you could find a diamond in the rough,” Ruble said. “But they’re not hidden anymore. They’re all out there.” Even sale barns can take advantage of an online auction, Ruble said, when inclement weather may keep buyers away. If they can access an auction 5, 20 or even 100 miles away, there are more eyes and bids possible.
About 3 years ago, Ruble and his students started posting pictures and videos of livestock on Facebook and YouTube. They’d get calls from California and south Texas, he said, adding that the 19- and 20-year-old students are used to buying and selling online, while it took him some time to get comfortable with it. But each morning, the number of YourTube views increased, Ruble said. A year ago, he sold some cattle to someone on the East Coast, he said, and met the buyer face-to-face only when he came to pick up the cattle. Joe Wright of the Knoxville Regional Livestock Market said he will go out of his way to show his appreciation to buyers who take a seat at his auction. But like Marty Lewis, he knows the advantage of using the Internet for marketing. The KRLM website has offered live streaming of its auctions for about nine years. Continued on 84
Ty Rushing/Central Iowa Ag Mag
Farmers, ranchers and farm aficionados come from all over Iowa to visit and purchase from the Colfax Livestock Sales Co. The facility has live cattle, hog and sheep sales on Saturdays beginning at 10 a.m.
CONTINUED FROM 7 While anyone can watch the auction live from anywhere on the planet, the auction still requires a personal element in all of its sales. “We don’t accept online bids, but we do accept them over the phone,” Wright said. “So, you can watch live from the website, and then talk to one of our auction representatives, or an order buyer to make a bid. If I was buying and had to bid against the Internet, I’d fold up my cards and go home.” Wright said the use of the website has added transparency to the sale process, and opens the lines of communication. It also allows those who follow the market to see the actual highs and lows within a single sale. If there is a negative, Wright said, it is that business relationships are a little less personal. “The only negative is that it doesn’t create a business relationship bond between the buyer and the customer, like you would have if the customer was sitting right here at the auction,” he said. “The buyer has more confidence when he’s making that sale in person, which is very valuable. You really can’t put too high a value on it.” Selling online certainly brings with it new risks, such as Internet connection
and infrastructure issues, as well as the unfamiliarity between buyer and seller. Those are some reasons that Scott Cuvelier, 58, who runs live barn sales in Walnut, Ill., and Cascade, Iowa, has been hesitant to fully embrace online auctions. But Cuvelier isn’t opposed to using technology in his business. It’s a tool, he said, and like any tool, it’s useful only if there’s a need. “As far as sale barns go, we’re one of the more technologically advanced – fully computerized from the auction block to the office,” he said. The Walnut sale barn went computerized in 1991, Cuvelier said, streamlining the process, eliminating some errors, and speeding up the time it takes to print checks. Cuvelier bought the Cascade sale barn about 5 years ago, he said, when it had a few computers in the office and a sign that said, “Please wait 20 minutes for your check,” A week later, the sale barn was fully computerized without missing an auction, he said. Now, most checks are printed and ready to be picked up by the time a cattleman walks from the stands to the office window. Both Walnut and Cascade allow bids to be placed by phone, but not online. “I can hear the people’s voice on the
phone,, and I know who they are,” Cuvelier said.
It’s not just how livestock is sold Technology has affected more than just the way livestock is marketed. The ability to track and analyze information to put more precise economic values on livestock has also developed, said Dan Shike, an associate professor of animal science at the University of Illinois. “Now, if you were to go to a pure feed stock sale, there would be so much information that you would be given, besides just looking at the bull,” he said. “How the bull looks will make an impact, but there are tremendous amounts of info now available.” What started with tracking weights at different ages and comparing to the rest of the herd, Shike said, has now evolved to looking back at an animal’s ancestors to get a sense of how the animal should produce. “It’s pretty amazing how technology [is playing a role],” Shike said. “And certainly, we’re in a time period of rapid increase in that area. And I think there will be time when we will be able to take a blood sample of an animal and really be able to understand the genetic potential of that animal.”
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Crowdfunding the farm ISU economist, agribusiness chair are advisers to Fquare By Bob Eschliman For Central Iowa Ag Mag
In the business world, crowdfunding is the new buzzword for aspiring entrepreneurs who have struggled to find capital from conventional financial sources for their bright ideas. With the advent of websites such as IndieGoGo.com, KickStarter.com and GoFundMe.com, crowdfunding has provided new opportunities for small investors and small business owners. But, until recently, that hasn’t directly applied to agribusiness. Enter Fquare, where a farmer agrees to pay a “crowd” of investors a percentage interest in his operation in exchange for taking up ownership of the land. In essence, the farmer becomes the tenant and the investors the landowners.
Fquare collects rent from the farmer, distributing the rent payments to investors based on their individual levels of investment. Secondary trading, whereby investors sell their shares to other investors, was added in July. Fquare is the brainchild of New York investor Charles Polanco, the company’s CEO. He said Fquare’s mission is to “make farmland investments accessible to everyone through the web.” Two of his top advisers aren’t found in the trading pits or brokerages of Wall Street, but rather at Iowa State University. They are Dermot J. Hayes, the Pioneer Hi-Bred International Chair in Agribusiness, and Michael D. Duffy, Ph.D., director of Graduate Education in Sustainable Agriculture. Dr. Duffy joined the ISU staff as an Extension area farm management specialist in 1984 before he took up his current job at ISU in 1985. Before he joined Iowa State, he was an economic researcher for the USDA in Washington, D.C.
He is currently responsible for the annual land value survey, cost of crop production estimates, and Iowa farm costs and returns publication, and he is state leader for the Extension Farm Financial Planning Program. His research activities include determinants of farm profitability, small farms, soil conservation, integrated pest management, and sustainable agriculture. “Dr. Duffy’s deep understanding of the agricultural markets will help pave this future,” Polanco said when Duffy joined Fquare last November. “We are excited that he shares this vision and look forward to his advice now and into the future.” Hayes heads the Trade and Agricultural Policy Division at CARD, a position he also held from 1990 through 1998. He is co-director, with Jacinto Fabiosa, of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, a research center dually administered through CARD at Iowa State and at the University of Missouri at Columbia. He is also a leader of the Policy Task Force of the Plant Science Institute at Iowa State.
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10 Spring 2014
‘Catch up’ moisture hoped for in early 2014 By STEPHANI FINLEY For Central Iowa Ag Mag
A wet, cool spring and hot, dry period in late summer and early fall created a lot of speculation throughout the 2013 growing season. “Last year’s weather had a huge impact on our crops,” said Clarke McGrath, crop specialist at Iowa State University. “As growers know, weather is a primary factor every year, for better or for worse.” According to the final 2013 crop and weather report compiled by Iowa State climatologist Harry J. Hillaker, Iowa temperatures for 2013 averaged 46.5, or 1.6 degrees below normal, while precipitation totaled 35.41 inches, or 0.14 inches above normal. That ranks as the 25th coolest and 37th wettest year among 141 years of records for the state. But those figures might be a bit deceiving as the weather pattern went from cool and wet in the spring to hot and dry in late summer. “We needed to catch up on moisture from the 2012 drought,” McGrath said. “Unfortunately, Mother Nature decided to do that with late spring rains – and a May snowstorm – that delayed planting, negatively impacted early season plant
We needed to catch up on moisture [in 2013] from the 2012 drought. Unfortunately, Mother Nature decided to do that with late spring rains – and a May snowstorm – that delayed planting. Clark McGrath, crop specialist at Iowa State University
stands and health, and caused soil erosion across the region. Excessive heat and dry weather in the middle of the growing season further suppressed yields.” Moisture levels actually were better in 2013 than 2012. “Soil moisture estimates from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service indicate that moisture levels at the end of the 2013 growing season were generally much better than at the end of the 2012 season across southwestern Iowa and are just slightly better than at the end of the 2011 season,” Hillaker said. “However, soils remained drier than what has been typical for [that] time of year.” The late summer heat helped to speed crop maturity, which was greatly lag-
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ging the normal pace because of late planting and relatively cool summer weather. However, the heat also greatly increased moisture stress on the crops. Iowa farmers entered 2013 with drought concerns. “However, the first three months of the year each brought slightly more precipitation than normal,” Hillaker said. “The weather then turned exceptionally wet beginning April 8, with Iowa recording the wettest April among 141 years of records, as well as its wettest May.” The weather began to dry over portions of western and southern Iowa during June. Continued on 124
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CONTINUED FROM 11 Easily the driest months of the year, in terms of precipitation averages, are January, February and December‚ in that order,” Hillaker said. “Thus, this time of year rarely brings substantial moisture to Iowa. Also, soils typically are frozen across southern Iowa from early December to early March. Thus, any moisture that does fall is not likely to soak into the ground.” The relative lack of Harry Hillaker snowfall so far this Climatologist with winter is not a big Iowa State concern from a soilUniversity said moisture standpoint, the relative lack Hillaker said. of snowfall so far “However, having this winter is not a snowcover does help big concern minimize wind erosion of the topsoil during high wind events, of which we’ve had several recently. Snow cover also insulates the soil from the cold,” he said. “This winter has been unusually cold – and snow cover has been minimal, especially over western Iowa – and frost extends much deeper in the soil this year than is typical.
“The deeper frost depth may help reduce compaction in the soil – owing to contraction and expansion that occurs as soils freeze and thaw – but also can be a stressor to overwintering vegetation, especially alfalfa.”
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2014 forecast Hillaker said predicting long-range weather is not easy. “There isn’t much information to go on at all for the 2014 outlook,” he said. CONTINUED ON 13
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Easily the driest months of the year, in terms of precipitation averages, are January, February and December‚ in that order. Thus, this time of year rarely brings substantial moisture to Iowa. Harry Hillaker, Iowa State University climatologist
An indication of this are the National Weather Service seasonal weather outlooks. ... All of these outlooks give ‘equal chances’ of above- and belownormal temperatures and above- or below-normal precipitation for Iowa. In other words, there is no indication one way or the other through the 2014 growing season.” McGrath agreed. “Outlook for 2014 is anyone’s guess,” he said. “How often is the 10-day forecast accurate? So extrapolate that out further to try to predict the weather for a growing season; nobody can do that accurately,” he said. “Primarily, we need a good window this spring to catch up on work we couldn’t get done this fall. McGrath said he knows what growers need, but not what the future holds. “We need a little bit of ‘catch up’ moisture in many parts of the region since we were dry again for much of 2013, but it would be great it if came with an early thaw and didn’t impede spring work,” he said. “Of course, it would also be nice if it wasn’t muddy in late winter/early spring for the livestock guys, so maybe the best case is enough rain to get us started, ... then let us get our work done and give us the rains through the growing season. “Not asking for too much, are we?”
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IFB: Top 3 priorities addressed in new farm bill BY PAM EGGEMEIER For Central Iowa Ag Mag
resident Barack Obama signed a nearly $1 trillion farm bill Feb. 7, finally removing the uncertainty hanging over the heads of American farmers. Members of Congress had been at odds for years over proposed cuts to the nation’s food stamps program that provides assistance to one of every seven Americans. Last fall, House Republicans had fought to approve a plan to cut $40 billion from SNAP, but it was shot down in the Senate. 14 Spring 2014
This farm bill will cut the program by $8 billion over 10 years – about a 1 percent reduction. Some of the eligibility requirements also will be raised.
nnn Much of the savings in the food stamps program will come from the closure of what is known as the “heat and eat” loophole. This loophole allowed some states to artificially increase benefit levels when heating assistance is provided through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Iowa is not among the 17 states that are targeted by this reform. Continued on 154
CONTINUED FROM 14 The most significant piece of the $956 billion Agriculture Act of 2014 for farmers is the transformation of the agricultural safety net from one based on direct payments to a strengthened crop insurance system. The heavily criticized $5 billion direct payments program that gave subsidies to farmers whether they grew crops or not was eliminated. In return, $7 billion will be added to the crop insurance program, now the key to farmers’ financial security. The crop insurance gains were clearly the biggest win for farmers, said Adam Nielsen, director of national legislation and policy development for Illinois Farm Bureau. “Crop insurance was targeted by many groups on both sides of the aisle, and it survived intact,” Nielsen said. However, given the timing of the bill’s passage, insurance changes will not be implemented until 2015. Two new insurance programs are included: agriculture risk coverage, which will cover some losses before more extensive crop insurance begins; and price loss coverage, which sets specific target prices for different crops. If actual prices fall below those targets, farmers will be covered. Emily Pratt, crop insurance specialist for 1st Farm Credit Services and a representative on the new Agriculture Advisory Com-
What’s in the farm bill?
The five-year farm bill sets policy for SNAP (food stamps) and farm programs.
Where the money goes Costs in billions, over 10 years SNAP (food stamps), nutrition
$756.4 Crop insurance
Philip Marruffo/Central Iowa Ag Mag
Pigs gather around their feed on a cold winter day at a farm in Whiteside County in Illinois. mittee of Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger, said she was happy with the bill’s focus on strengthening the crop insurance system. “We survived the worst drought in our nation’s history because farmers took it upon themselves to insure their crops,” said Pratt, based in Rock Falls, Ill. “We were able to avoid a lot of turbulence in the economy without the help of ad hoc programs.” Pratt said she was relieved to learn that the changes will not be put in until next year. “We were getting anxious, wondering how quickly we could set up the crop insurance programs,” she said. The deadline for corn and soybean enrollment usually is March 15, but because that is a Saturday this year, it will be extended until March 17.
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It is estimated that the bill will bring $23 billion in federal spending cuts. The three biggest priorities the Illinois Farm Bureau had set for the bill came to fruition, Nielsen said. “We wanted to protect and enhance crop insurance, have choice in commodities programs, and see the conservation programs streamlined but maintained,” he said. “We got all of those things, so we’re very happy with this bill.” The direct payments for better crop insurance was a trade-off most farmers supported. “I think most farmers are in agreement that the direct payments could go,” said Donna Jeschke, a Grundy County farmer who is a former president of Illinois Corn Producers and now serves on Kinzinger’s ag
e r uc
8.1 Total $956 billion
57.6 Commodity programs
Highlights • Cuts SNAP by $8 billion, commodities by $14.3 billion • Increases crop insurance by $5.7 billion • Ends $4.5 billion a year in direct payments to farmers whether they farmed or not • Limits how much an individual farmer can receive in loans, payments • Ends dairy price supports; farmers can buy insurance that pays out when milk price gets too close to feed costs *Includes forestry programs, rural development, farmers markets promotion, organic agriculture research Source: Congressional Budget Office, AP Graphic: Judy Treible © 2014 MCT
committee. “We feel that having a strong crop insurance program gives us a good risk management program.” CONTINUED ON 16
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CONTINUED FROM 15 Nielsen said that everything except dairy and regulatory issues were a done deal before the holiday break in December. Without a deal by the end of January, decades-old milk support laws could have kicked in that farmers warned could cause milk prices to spike to $8 a gallon. A compromise sets up a dairy insurance program that offers protection against the huge fluctuations in feed prices that have challenged dairy farmers. Small dairy farms will catch a break on premiums. The government is authorized to address oversupply problems by purchasing dairy products for local food banks. Renee Sheaffer, a Lee County, Ill., dairy farmer, sells raw milk privately. She would have been one of the few dairy farmers to benefit from $8 milk. “My milk sells for about $5 a gallon, so that probably would have helped me,” Sheaffer said. “At that price, though, demand for milk would really go down, and I’m not sure that’s good for anybody.” Nielsen said the bill offered several benefits. “Farmers needed a bill that is updated for today’s needs versus a farm bill that was developed in 2006 and 2007,” he said. “This bill will result in a deficit
reduction that all taxpayers can benefit from.” One disappointment came in the area of federal regulatory policies. The Illinois Pork Producers Association and other livestock groups had urged Congress to change its mandatory countryof-origin labeling (COOL) law to avoid tariffs that could be imposed on U.S. pork by Canada and Mexico. The labeling law could still be dealt with, but many hoped it would be part of the farm bill. “There was no appetite for regulatory reform,” Nielsen said. “We were hoping COOL would be resolved, but it didn’t surprise me that Congress left it out.” The most significant regulatory win could be the creation of a permanent subcommittee within the EPA Science Advisory Board. The panel will conduct reviews of agency actions considered to have a negative impact on agriculture. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program will for the first time receive mandatory funding. The voluntary conservation program provides financial and technical assistance to producers who sign contracts of up to 10 years. The Livestock Disaster Assistance Program was made permanent in this farm bill. Its benefits also were made retroactive to 2012. The farm bill includes an amendment
sponsored by U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., to track the impact on agriculture of upgrades to river transportation infrastructure, including the aging locks and dams along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. “Waterway infrastructure is a vital component in our agriculture markets, and this amendment will strengthen the case for investments in river transportation improvement projects,” said Bustos, a member of the House Agriculture Committee. A bill that ends the business uncertainty for farmers is long overdue, the 17th district congresswoman said. “While not perfect, I’m encouraged that Democrats and Republicans have finally come together to pass a farm bill that will protect our region’s economy and critical nutrition programs,” Bustos said. Kinzinger, R-Ill., realizes that farmers must have parameters for running their businesses, and they need a strong arsenal for fighting the unknowns. “Ask any farmer, and he will tell you that being able to plan ahead to future harvests is crucial to his business,” Kinzinger said. This bill gives Illinois farmers the certainty they need to do that, while strengthening our farm safety net, and helping protect farmers against natural disasters.”
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16 Spring 2014
Wind tariff on list of ag issues for Legislature
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By Zach Johnson For Southwest Iowa Ag Mag
For months, legislators in both houses of Congress were at a standstill on farm policy as a result of the ongoing debate over the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program. “The most contention over the [House and Senate] proposals at hand could be overcome, with exception of nutrition title or food stamp provisions,” Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Hill predicted. He was right. The recent debate over the Farm Bill involved spending for SNAP. Hill said the difference between the House and Senate bills was about $35 billion over 10 years, but he was confident other “minor differences” could be resolved, and they were. “... [W]hen nutrition is negotiated, everything should fall in place,” Hill said in the weeks before the bill was passed. Nothing so monumental is on the Iowa Legislature’s agenda. In Des Moines, legislators said they had a few unfinished state issues to discuss during the current session, which began Jan. 13. Among them is the feed-in tariff for small wind-power generation projects, which are designed to accelerate investment in renewable energy technologies. The tariff would require all electric utilities in the state to buy power from customers’ wind turbines at a guaranteed price for up to 10 years. The program would apply only to wind projects built on agricultural land with a nameplate capacity of 20 megawatts or less. And power purchases would be capped at 50 percent of the utility’s sales growth in the previous year. The bill is supported by the Iowa Farmers Union, Iowa Environmental Council, and Iowa Wind Energy Association, among others, which argue it will help extend the state’s success with large utility wind farms to smaller farmer- and communityowned projects. State Sen. Dr. Joe Seng, D-Davenport, who is chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said his committee was still waiting for Gov. Terry Branstad to submit a proposed agriculture budget. One final piece of unfinished business, he added, is agricultural clean-up. “Agricultural clean-up is a major priority for us, especially with the news of the chronic wasting disease on deer farms under the Agricultural committee,” Seng said.
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“The Voice of Agriculture for Nearly 100 Years”
By Kate Malott and David Giuliani For Central Iowa Ag Mag
ast year’s planting season was full of the unexpected. From snowfall in May to a drought throughout August, farmers across Central Iowa had to adapt to the extreme changes in weather the entire season. This year, farmers in the area hope for the best as they prepare for the upcoming planting season “We have all of our crops pre-paid as well as our chemicals,” Mitchellville farmer Doug Brandhof said. “We bought a new anhydrous bar that we’re going to put together, so that will take a little time. And we have typically new equipment that we like to keep up on, not only with maintenance, but also with the new products being introduced.” Several local farmers said they will be planting slightly less corn and slightly more beans, although the rotation varies. nnn Cory Elkin of Dallas County said rotation – and price – will cause him to plant fewer corn acres this year and more soybeans. “The ROI of corn on corn planting just does not work out well once you break it all down,” Elkin said. “You generally spend more just to do this, and you rarely get even a standard yield on that ground.” For years, corn farmers have seen prices of $6 or $7 a bushel. In recent months, though, the price has fallen to just above $4. This situation could last awhile, an expert says. “Over the years, there tend to be periods of relatively ‘low’ prices that last longer than periods when prices are relatively ‘high,’” Daryll Ray, director of the University of Tennessee’s Agricultural Policy Analysis Center, said in an email. 18 Spring 2014
Price an rotation
Mitchellville farmer Doug Brandhof stands with a crop sprayer in the machine shed outsid cleaning. Brandhof and his father farm more than 2,600 acres of land. This year, Brandhof
Central Iowa farmers prepare for planting season
Kate Malott/Central Iowa Ag Mag
ed outside his father’s home in Jasper County as he does routine winter chores and Brandhof said, “We have all of our crops pre-paid as well as our chemicals.”
That’s because more acreage is brought into production relatively quickly – both domestically and internationally – during times of high prices, as has been the case in recent years and, earlier, in the 1970s, Ray said. “Once the acreage is brought into major crop agriculture, farmers tend to farm it even when the prices have declined considerably,” he wrote. “So it can take a number of years for farmDaryll Ray ers to move it back Director of University of out of production and Tennessee’s into more extensive use such as pasture or Agricultural Policy Analysis Center hay land.” says times of low What could break prices tend to last that trend? longer than times If climate changes of higher prices cause big reductions in annual crop yields or water for irrigation becomes increasingly tight, Ray said, prices might not follow the historical pattern but would allow corn to remain at relatively profitable levels. Many farmers, he said, switched to corn when its price jumped so fast, moving away from soybeans. “Many of those farmers went back to, or are going back to, their previous rotations, for a variety of reasons, including pest control,” Ray said. In recent years, planted soybean acreage in Illinois and Iowa has generally declined, according to numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Corn acreage, meanwhile, has risen since the 1990s in Illinois, but has stayed about the same in Iowa, with some exceptions. Just west of Colfax, Doug Brandhof and his father farm 2,600 acres in Jasper County and plan to add to that total next season. Brandhof continuously goes on a crop rotation regardless of the grain prices or input costs, planting beans one year and corn the next. “With farming, no year is ever the same, but this year will have its own obstacles,” Brandhof said. “The threat of drought isn’t really as prominent as it has been the last couple. The only threat that is in the back of my mind are commodity prices.” For some farmers, another hurdle to the coming planting season is the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which was established by Congress in 1935. It ensures that private lands are conserved and more resilient to environmental changes. Continued on 204 AG Mag
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Doug Brandhof performs routine maintenance on a crop sprayer in the machine shed outside his father’s home in Jasper County. CONTINUED FROM 19 However, some see land the NRCS has targeted for conservation programs as productive land that could be put in production to meet corn demand. “We have had ground that the NRCS has demanded go back into cover crops as part of their master plan for our ground, so we are losing some overall acres, and those would have been corn ground this year but are lost to government conservation plans,” Elkin said. Monroe County farmer John Ryan said he might plant a little less corn this year. “There’s no money in the four-dollar corn, and we’re more than likely to see a lower price for beans to keep crop rotation in check,”
Ryan said. “If neither corn or beans are profitable, farmers will keep the same rotation and hope for better prices next year. “I see more marginal land being put back into crop as the current prices are positive in our area,” he added. Brian Duncan, who farms north of Polo, Ill., is not letting the falling price change his strategy for the coming season. He plans to devote 90 percent of his acreage to corn. But Duncan said farmers will need to somehow stimulate demand to see prices like the last couple of years. “The old saying is that price is the greatest fertilizer,” Duncan said. “We’ve seen a lot of areas respond to the higher prices. We’ve got worldwide production increases.”
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Ty Rushing/Central Iowa Ag Mag
Emily Van Manen stands in front of the semitrailer owned by Van Manen Farms, her family’s farm and her childhood home. Emily participated in FFA in high school and won several awards last year at the Iowa State Fair in the Table Vegetable category.
Major change Emily Van Manen reflects on 2013 in FFA
By Ty Rushing For Central Iowa Ag Mag
his past summer, Emily Van Manen ended her tenure with the Lynnville-Sully High School FFA program – and she went out as a winner. Emily won reserve high point 22 Spring 2014
exhibitor, reserve champion in table vegetable category and became champion in the jumbo vegetable category at the 2013 Iowa State Fair FFA horticulture competition.
nnn “I brought a lot of vegetables to the fair, just through FFA, like a tomato and zucchini, and I just happen to get high
points,” Emily said. “I’ve been doing it since I was, like, in fourth grade or so; my brother had helped out a lot.” Although she has competed in that category for a number of years, Emily still gets a thrill out of it each year. “It was kind of exciting; it was something to look forward to every year,” said Emily, who is now a college freshman. Continued on 254
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Farmers Forum WITH KATE MALOTT/CENTRAL IOWA AG MAG
Question: How do you feel about the new RFS rule proposed by the EPA?
Jeremy Beukema “I don’t like it. If they cut down on ethanol, then it will cut down on the corn. If the price of corn goes down, then it affects not only farmers, but Iowa’s economy.”
Joey Van Kooten “I don’t like it. When you use fuel with ethanol in it, you support our local farmers rather than buying from other countries.”
“It’s a complicated answer. The state’s farmers want ethanol because it supports our crops, but the government can’t expect us to produce it when we’re throwing it away. Nobody’s using E-85.”
Galen Hammerly “We should be careful about using foreign oil and try to use the renewable fuel we can produce. Maybe our efforts should be concentrated on pipelines to transport renewable fuel, because transportation is getting increasingly expensive.”
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CONTINUED FROM 22 Emily, 19 and a native of Kellogg, attends the University of Northern Iowa, but she plans to transfer to Iowa State University in the fall semester. She has been on a farm her whole life, she said, and this semester away has made her realize how much she loves the agriculture lifestyle. “Right now I’m majoring in elementary education, but I’m thinking about changing to agriculture education,” Emily said. “I thought about it last year when I was deciding where to go, but I didn’t know if I wanted to teach high school students. “But then after [being away], I decided that I missed ag, and just being away this year made me realize how much I liked ag and how important it really was to me. I decided to change my major.” Becoming an FFA teacher is a primary opportunity for anyone with a degree in agriculture education, but Emily can see herself doing any number of things with her degree. “With an ag ed degree, you can do more than just teach,” Emily said. “You could work at a commodity group, so I don’t know if I want to do that or teach. I just want to do something ag related. I haven’t really gotten that far yet.” Although her high school FFA days ended once the state fair did, when Emily
Ty Rushing/Central Iowa Ag Mag
Emily Van Manen plays with a baby calf at the Van Manen Farm cowshed. Emily participated in FFA in high school and plans to transfer to Iowa State University to pursue a degree in agriculture education. transfers to ISU, she can participate in the college FFA program. She still has great memories of those high school day. “I just liked the atmosphere of the fair,” Emily said. “Getting ready for it
was a lot of fun. Like with pigs, it was just watching them grow, getting them ready for fair, and working with them. I enjoyed working with them more than I actually did showing them.”
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Recipes with inspiration Julie Trusler’s cookbook presents fine cuisine options BY MANDI LAMB For Central Iowa Ag Mag
Jasper County resident Julie Trusler is known countywide not only for her custom dinners offered through JT’s Cuisine, but also for her 2001 cookbook, “JT’s Volume 1: A Collection.” For several years, Julie offered four- and fivecourse meals in her home northwest of Newton. Although Julie has retired for health reasons, Iowans still have access to her original recipes through her cookbook. “We decided to record the recipes we use in the business with only a few of our family recipes added so the kids would have them,” Julie wrote in the introduction to her book. “The recipes come from everywhere. As I collected the recipes over the years, I tried to document the source. “In most cases, we were able to include the ‘inspiration’ for each recipe. Documenting gives you a history. Recipes from family and friends provide not only some of the best recipes but also memories that come alive every time you prepare the dish.” The cookbook begins with a section titled “Julie’s Ramblings,” which features general advice for dealing with various foods or techniques when cooking. CONTINUED ON 27
In the photo Julie Trusler’s cookbook is available on Amazon.com, and a limited supply is available at Mattingly Music and Book Store in Newton and at the home of Julie’s daughter, Sara Patkin, in Ankeny.
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CONTINUED FROM 26 They include toasted nuts, washing greens, soup bases, eggs, mayonnaise, thickening methods, cheese and flour. Another page offers information on equipment and helpful tools. The book is then divided into seven sections of recipes for the following: First Course; Salads & Dressings; Main Dish; Bread, Pasta & Rice; Vegetables; Desserts; and Miscellaneous. Her in-home dining business was so popular that, at one time, she hosted parties five nights a week and lunches three to four times a week. Julie’s cookbook is available on Amazon. com, and a limited supply are available available at Mattingly Music and Book Store in Newton and at the home of Julie’s daughter, Sara Patkin, in Ankeny. Call (515) 963-8664 to check for availability. For updates on JT’s Cuisine, visit www.jtscuisine.com.
Recipes Artichoke Cream Soup 1/2 cup sliced green onions 1/2-3/4 cup peeled and thinly sliced carrot circles 1/2-3/4 cup diced celery 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced 1/2 cup butter or margarine 1/2 cup flour 4 cups chicken broth
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, chopped, reserving juice 1 cup heavy cream 1/8-1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender (5-10 minutes). Add flour and stir so vegetables are coated with flour. Continue to cook for about a minute – keep stirring. Add broth and reserved artichoke juice. Heat until liquid comes to a boil and mixture thickens. Reduce heat, add artichokes, cream and hot pepper sauce. Taste for seasoning. Heat through and serve. Greens & Strawberries Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing Salad 4-6 cups greens — romaine, iceberg, butter lettuce or a combination, cut into bite-size pieces 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries 1/2 cup thinly sliced or chopped sweet onion Dressing 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons white vinegar 1/4 cup milk 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon poppy seeds Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl or divide among individual salad plates. For dressing, combine all ingredients and whisk briskly. Pour just
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enough dressing over salad to coat or drizzle over individual servings. Chicken with Herb & Garlic Cheese For each serving: 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast half, flattened sprinkle of garlic powder 1 tablespoon chive- and onion-flavored cream cheese 1 pat margarine Coating for 6 to 8 breasts 1 cup flour 2 eggs 2 tablespoons water 1 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning Preheat oven to 400 degrees Lay flattened chicken breast on counter, skinned side down, and sprinkle with a little garlic powder. Place cream cheese in the center and wrap the chicken around the cheese as tightly as you can so cheese is completely covered. In a small bowl, combine eggs and water. In another bowl, combine bread crumbs, garlic salt, seasoned salt and Italian dressing. Roll each chicken in flour then egg mixture then crumb mixture. Place on a greased or parchment-covered baking sheet and put a small pat of margarine on top or spray with vegetable spray. Chill if you have time. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
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Demand for Midwest farmland still strong By Central Iowa Ag Mag staff
Land prices and demand continue to be strong across a four-state area of the upper Midwest, but the latest data aggregated by Farm Credit Services of America suggest the market for crop production farmland could be leveling off or, in some cases, softening. “After years of a steady rise led by lower-than-average U.S. yields, strong domestic and international demand for commodities, low interest rates, and solid profit margins, we’re seeing the rate of price increases leveling off for farmland in some areas we serve,” said Mark Jensen, senior vice president and chief risk officer for farmer-owned FCSAmerica. The financial services cooperative is a leading ag lender to farmers and ranchers in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Jensen referred to two reports pro-
duced in January by the FCSAmerica appraisal team. The first is a semiannual update of its Benchmark Land Values study, in which the lender has tracked the values of 65 farms for more than three decades. The second report is a compilation and analysis of more than 3,500 agricultural real estate sales transactions – both auctions and private sales – in all four states during 2013. Both the benchmark report and the analysis of sales transactions suggest the market for farmland is leveling off and, in some areas, softening in FCSAmerica’s four-state region, Jensen said. “There’s evidence that farmland prices may be on a slight decline from record highs seen at the end of 2012 and for most of 2013,” he noted. “Based on our benchmark study, Iowa land
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prices were down 2.8 percent in the second half of the year, and our review of real estate transactions showed Iowa land prices down 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the third quarter. Nebraska benchmark farm value increases slowed to the lowest levels in several years, up just 0.7 percent.” Iowa survey highlights: • Land continues to sell at all-time highs with premium ground generally bringing from $12,000 to as much as $17,000 an acre. • The average price for unimproved cropland was $9,700 an acre in the fourth quarter, down from $10,100 in the second and third quarters. However, the average price of land was $9,800 for 2013, up 8 percent from $9,000 in 2012. • Iowa had about 30 percent fewer public land auctions than in 2012.
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New study: Corn ethanol reduces carbon emissions By Central Iowa Ag Mag staff
Corn ethanol is emitting fewer greenhouse gases at a time that crude oil and fracking are creating a greater carbon intensity. That’s the finding of a new study conducted by Life Cycle Associates, an independent business and environmental consulting company with experience in alternative fuels, fuel production processes, fuel certification, delivery logistics, and environmental impacts. The study compared greenhouse gas emission reductions of corn ethanol, crude oil production and fracking. It found that carbon impacts associated with crude oil production continue to worsen as more marginal sources of fuel are introduced into the fuel supply. According to the report, “As the average carbon intensity of petroleum is gradually increasing, the carbon intensity of corn ethanol is declining. Corn ethanol producers are motivated by
economics to reduce the energy inputs and improve product yields.” The study, commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), found that average corn ethanol reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 32 percent compared to average petroleum in 2012. This estimate includes prospective emissions from indirect land use change (ILUC) for corn ethanol. When compared to marginal petroleum sources like tight oil from fracking and oil sands, average corn ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 37percent to 40 percent. As more unconventional crude oil sources enter the U.S. oil supply, and as corn ethanol production processes become even more efficient, the carbon impacts of ethanol and crude oil will continue to diverge. The study predicts that by 2022, average corn ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 43 percent to 60 percent compared to petroleum. “The majority of unconventional fuel
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sources emit significantly more GHG emissions than both biofuels and conventional fossil fuel sources,” according to the study. “The biggest future impacts on the U.S. oil slate are expected to come from oil sands and fracking production.” In the absence of biofuels, “… significant quantities of marginal oil would be fed into U.S. refineries, generating corresponding emissions penalties that would be further aggravated in the absence of renewable fuel alternatives.” The study also reveals several fundamental flaws with the GHG analysis conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) regulations. Just one example: corn ethanol was already determined to reduce GHG emissions by 21 percent compared to gasoline in 2005, according to the analysis. Yet, the EPA’s analysis for the RFS2 assumes corn ethanol GHG reductions won’t reach 21 percent until 2022.
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Putting bookwork into actual practice
In 2010, the 60,000-square-foot FFA Enrichment Center opened on the Ankeny campus of Des Moines Area Community College. The building was a collaboration between DMACC and FFA. The Enrichment Center has classrooms, labs, meeting rooms and a conference center.
DMACC agribusiness program an undervalued asset BY TY RUSHING For Central Iowa Ag Mag
Des Moines Area Community College has strived for more than four decades to provide Central Iowans a place for an affordable education and the ability to learn a number of valuable trades. One of the most undervalued assets DMACC provides is its agribusiness program. Students who participate in this program can obtain a number of certificates or an associate degree in agribusiness. According to DMACC, this program
provides students with training in the latest developments in technical agriculture in both the classroom and in industry settings. DMACC also can provide its students direct on-the-job experience in agriculture. DMACC gives its students real-world agriculture experience, thanks to is 325-acre DMACC Dallas County Farm, which was started in 1999. On 200 of those acres, students grow corn and soybeans and harvest the final product themselves. “The farm itself is a great snapshot
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of an Iowa farm and kind of the daily adventures so to speak, ... and just an opportunity for more people to learn about where their food comes from,” DMACC Farm Coordinator Travis Lautner said. In addition to learning about crops, students get a chance to work hands on with both cows and pigs at the farm. The livestock facilities are capable of handling up to 60 cows and 20 pigs at one time.
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Iowa State University College of Agricultural and Life Sciences 138 Curtiss Hall, Ames, IA 50011 http://www.cals.iastate.edu/ Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences Wendy Wintersteen, email@example.com Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (515) 294-2518 Undergraduate Majors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Agricultural and life sciences education, environmental studies, agricultural biochemistry, food science, agricultural business, forestry, agricultural studies, genetics, agricultural systems technology, global resource systems, agronomy, horticulture,
animal ecology, industrial technology, animal science, international agriculture, biology, microbiology, culinary science, nutritional science, dairy science, public service and administration in agriculture, diet and exercise, seed science, dietetics, undeclared agriculture and environmental science.
associate degrees and certificates Associate of Arts in agriculture, associate in arts, sciences and certificates in entrepreneurial and diversified ag, and an associate of arts in pre-veterinary medicine.
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4Continued from 30 Students raise the livestock and keep it natural by avoiding the use of growth hormones. Once the stock has matured, it is processed at a local meat locker. “Basically, it’s just giving the students an opportunity to take that classroom time and turn it into some practical time,” Lautner said. “Basically, putting the bookwork into actual practice.” Besides the farm, DMACC has made another substantial investment in its ag program. In 2010, the 60,000-squarefoot FFA Enrichment Center opened on DMACC’s Ankeny Campus. The building was a collaboration of DMACC and FFA. The FFA Enrichment Center houses DMACC’s agriculture, horticulture and veterinary technician programs. DMACC believes its program is an attractive option for students looking to transfer to a four-year institution or find a job once they earn a certificate or degree. For more information visit: www.go.dmacc.edu
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The Langmaid farm has been featured in the past on a Central Iowa television station for a story about crops. The Langmaid farm has a yearly rotation of beans and corn.
A community mainstay Langmaid operation celebrates five generations on Jasper County land BY ZACH JOHNSON For Central Iowa Ag Mag
The Langmaid farm is a fifth-generation holding with many historical ties to Jasper County and Malaka Township. Through the years, the Langmaid family has made a name for itself in more
than agriculture, with tractor pulling and community development. In the early 1980s, the Langmaid family donated a barn to the Jasper County Historical Museum in Newton. Don and Pearl Langmaid were behind the donation of the barn, which is now part
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of the museum’s logo. “I remember them taking the barn down, board by board, taking it over to the museum land and rebuilding it,” Michelle Langmaid-Johnson said. CONTINUED ON 33
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Bud Langmaid travels to many fairs and festivals throughout the state to display his 1947 Massey Harris tractor. 4Continued from 32 The latest generation to operate the farm is Ross Langmaid, who produces a yearly rotation of beans and corn as well as raising breeding heifers and hogs on the land. The farm has been featured in multiple publications and has been profiled on local television. The older generation of the Langmaid family is still involved in the family farm, learning some of the new tech-
nology from the younger generation of the family. “Bud had to have Ross teach him how to run the planter so he could plant each spring, because our GPS plants by satellite, which the tractor automatically steers itself,” Langmaid said. “The satellite helps not to over-plant the crop, marking where the planter needs to go.” In addition to farming, Ross and his brother, Ryan, own a construction
company. Ross just recently returned from a tractor-pulling event, which has become a family hobby. Bud Langmaid has his prized 1947 Massey Harris tractor, which travels to many fairs and festivals around Iowa. Ross Langmaid’s father, Kirk Langmaid, tends to the hogs on the land. “The new hog houses were built by a corporation, which sold the houses back to us.” Ross Langmaid said. “It gave us a lot of hogs.”
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Iowa Soybean Association: Innovation key in 2014 For Central Iowa Ag Mag
Innovation will be the name of the game for farmers in 2014, say Iowa Soybean Association leaders. As soybean farmers look to the new year, innovation will define progress on the following issues: • Conservation: The ISA helped develop the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and will continue to invest in research and programs focused on improving the adoption and success of conservation measures. Since 2000, the association has invested nearly $3.5 million in soybean checkoff funds for environmental programs and services. The ISA also continues to monitor water quality, building on more than a decade of acquiring and analyzing data. The ISA’s Environmental Programs and Services and On-Farm Network teams work with industry and academic partners to help farmers use data to implement conservation practices that improve water quality and soil health. • Exports: When it comes to international business, the soybean associa-
tion hangs its hat on relationships: cultivating new opportunities and carefully maintaining current partners. Several ISA farmers and leaders serve on national export boards. ISA CEO Kirk Leeds was elected vice chairman of the U.S. Soybean Export Council last fall. Laura Foell of Schaller, who is also involved with the United Soybean Board, was elected USSEC secretary while John Heisdorffer of Keota and Past-USB Chairman Jim Stillman of Emmetsburg serve on the USSEC board. Heisdorffer is a current ISA board member, while Foell and Stillman have served on the ISA board of directors and are ex-officio members. • Value-Added: Iowa leads the nation in the production of biodiesel with 12 biodiesel facilities capable of producing 315 million gallons a year. The ISA was concerned when the Environmental Protection Agency offered a proposal to scale back the Renewable Fuel Standard by 16 percent. The agency recommended reducing the amount of biodiesel, ethanol and advanced
biofuels that must be blended in the nation’s fuel supply next year from 18.5 billion gallons to 15.2 billion gallons. Iowa Biodiesel Board Executive Director Randy Olson was one of nearly two dozen biodiesel representatives who testified to the EPA last month. Olson told EPA officials to evaluate the biodiesel industry for what it is doing today, and what it can do for the country in the future. RFS volume numbers will be finalized later this year. The ISA encouraged farmers to offer official comment. • Outreach: Nearly 40 Iowa farm groups, food retailers and dedicated partners are working together to increase the confidence of food purchasers in today’s farms and how food is grown. The Iowa Food and Family Project, launched in 2011 by the ISA, provides unique opportunities for farmers and their urban neighbors to become better acquainted while encouraging continuous dialogue about specific farming practices and food safety.
ICGA, Danforth Center partners in research For Central Iowa Ag Mag
The Iowa Corn Promotion Board and The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis have announced a formal research cooperation to explore opportunities for innovation in nutrient utilization for Iowa’s corn farmers. The research cooperation has a goal of developing traits that will be used to improve farmer productivity and manage nutrients responsibly, which ICPB has identified as a priority area for research. “We are very pleased to partner with the Danforth Center,” ICPB Director of Research and Business Development Rodney Williamson said. “We are confident this cooperation 34 Spring 2014
will further strengthen the role of corn as the major U.S. crop in a way that is environmentally sustainable. “Corn growers have a proven track record of impressive productivity gains from utilizing new technologies, and research through this cooperation has the potential to contribute to future corn production success.” The partnership offers reciprocal benefits. ICPB intends to commercialize results benefiting corn farmers while sharing technologies with the Danforth Center to support its efforts to improve the productivity and nutritional value of food security crops and to advance
delivery to underserved regions of the world. “We are grateful for this opportunity to participate in corn improvement research for the benefit of Iowa’s farmers, as well as to be able to leverage technol-
ogy for humanitarian-based improvement of orphan food security crops in African countries,” added Dr. Paul Anderson, director of the Danforth Center Institute for International Crop Improvement.
Family Owned & Operated in Colfax for 70 years I-80 Farms is a growing operation, producing quality crops using environmentally sound practices.
www.i80farms.com I-80 Farms 8647 Hwy F-48 W Colfax, IA 50054
Year-old coalition Index of Advertisers answers questions about animal care By Central Iowa Ag Mag staff
In its first year, the statewide network of farmers, animal well-being experts, veterinarians and industry leaders known as the Iowa Farm Animal Care Coalition responded to a wide-ranging series of farmer and consumer questions about farm animal care in Iowa through its help line and email address. IFAC was formed in 2013 to answer Iowans’ questions about farm animal care and assist farmers with farm animal care resources to help ensure all Iowa farm animals benefit from the latest science-based animal care standards. “In the inaugural year of IFAC, we received 15 calls, ranging from farmers seeking advice, to neighbors or people just driving by a farm, wanting to know more about animals being raised outdoors in inclement weather,” says IFAC Executive Director Denny Harding. “We have had farmers, sheriffs and veterinarians all weighing in on these questions and providing excellent follow-up and assistance as needed.” IFAC was modeled after the 20-year-old Alberta Farm Animal Care program, which has grown in scope to handle hundreds of calls a year. “Consumers have a lot of questions about where their food comes from, so it’s nice to have this resource available to them,” Harding said. “But it’s good to know they’re finding us, because until IFAC, there wasn’t a centralized place where Iowans could go to find out about how farm animals respond to extremes in climate like the cold temperatures we’re seeing now, or how diverse Iowa’s livestock
farms really are. Now, they can call if they see something they don’t understand or just to learn more about how responsible livestock farmers care for their animals.” In addition to providing information on farm animal care to consumers and referrals to farmers, IFAC also provides access to animal care experts who specialize in many aspects of animal care, including animal science experts and veterinarians from Iowa State University’s Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Iowa State Veterinarian office at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS). This independent team of experts makes up the OnFarm Evaluation Team and specializes in performing voluntary on-site evaluations to ensure appropriate farm animal care is being given. IFAC has a four-person Advisory Committee including Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, Animal Rescue League of Iowa Executive Director Tom Colvin, State of Iowa Veterinarian Dr. David Schmitt, and Iowa State Sheriff and Deputy Association President Jerry Dunbar. IFAC is a collaborative effort including farmers from the Iowa Farm Bureau, the Iowa Pork Producers, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. For more information about IFAC or farm animal care in Iowa, visit www. iowafarmanimalcare.org or call 1-800-252-0577.
ADM Grain .............................................................................17 AgriSource ..............................................................................32 AgriVision ................................................................................23 AgYield .......................................................................................5 American Family Insurance...................................................33 Bank Iowa ...............................................................................10 Baxter Oil Co. ...........................................................................2 Bruce Keith Trucking ............................................................15 Central Iowa Water Association ............................................27 Clemon-Maki Insurance...........................................................8 Colfax Livestock Sales ............................................................20 Dingeman Concrete...................................................................8 Farmers National Company ....................................................4 First Newton Natl. Bank ........................................................32 Gannon Angus ........................................................................12 Hawkeye Mutual Ins. .............................................................30 I-80 Farms ...............................................................................34 Iowa Family Farms ................................................................24 Iowa Grain Systems ...............................................................30 Iowa Soybean Association .....................................................36 Kellogg Lawn & Snow, Inc. ...................................................33 Key Cooperative .....................................................................12 Killduff Feed and Grain .........................................................25 Konek P.C. ..............................................................................26 Kubal Spraying .........................................................................3 Lowry Seed Sales.......................................................................3 Marshall County Farm Bureau .............................................17 Marshalltown Visitors Center ...............................................10 Midwest Biotech .....................................................................31 New Century FS .......................................................................9 Newton Health Care Center ...................................................28 Nutra-Flo .................................................................................21 O’Grady Chemical Corp. ...................................................... 11 Pella Motorworks ...................................................................29 Pella Motorworks ...................................................................16 Precision Concrete ..................................................................26 Rohrer Bros. Fertilizer ..........................................................24 Shawn’s Hay Grinding ..........................................................13 S.I. Distributing ......................................................................31 Stayner Agency Inc. ...............................................................28 Sully Farm Supply ..................................................................20 Tama County Mutual .............................................................25 Tama Livestock Sales .............................................................15 Unified Contracting ................................................................29 Van Ko Farms .........................................................................27
For nearly 50 years the Iowa Soybean Association has been like family for Iowa soybean farmers. We’ve persevered through droughts and floods. We’ve built markets here at home and across the globe. We’ve improved environmental performance while increasing soybean production and profitability. And we’re here for the long haul.
The Iowa Soybean Association stands ready to help provide those answers based on each individual farmer’s needs. Our goal is to consistently deliver relevant, informative resources to your doorstep — at no cost to you if you currently pay into the soybean checkoff. We call it, “Your ISA. Your Way.”
The benefits of becoming an ISA member are endless. You will have access to all the latest scientific research available in ag production — disease and pest management, soil management, environmental best practices, marketing expertise, updates on international trade and much more.
Become part of our family, join ISA today by visiting www.iasoybeans.com