KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Ernst says EPA’s ethanol waivers ‘very damaging’ to Trump’s pro-farmer image

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 18th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — Republican Senator Joni Ernst says there’s a strong, negative reaction to the Reuters report indicating President Trump directed the E-P-A to grant oil companies waivers reducing the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline. “I’m very disappointed,” Ernst said during a news conference this morning. “Our farmers are angry.”

The E-P-A last week granted 31 so-called “hardship” waivers that exempt a refiner from blending ethanol into gasoline. The ethanol industry says the waivers are a back-door way for big oil to avoid the federal ethanol mandate — and experts say this year’s waivers already have reduced ethanol consumption by at least 10 percent.

Ernst says former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, who’s now the U.S. Ambassador to China, hopes to bring up the issue during a meeting with Trump. “This is a conversation that we will have to have with the president,” Ernst said. “I spoke to Ambassador Branstad two days ago and he will be spending some time in Washington, D.C. and so not only was he going to talk about the China trade issue and what’s happening in Hong Kong, but he was hoping to be able to speak directly to the president about the issue of the small refinery exemptions.”

Trump traveled to Iowa in June to announce E-P-A rules had been changed to allow year-round sale of gasoline with a higher, 15 percent blend of ethanol. And Trump has repeatedly talked about how loyal voters farmers are to him. Ernst suggests these ethanol waivers are endangering that. “It is very damaging to him,” Ernst said.

On Friday, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley bluntly said the E-P-A had “screwed” farmers by giving oil companies like Exxon and Chevron permission to avoid blending ethanol into gasoline.

2 Adair County residents to be inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame


August 17th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

Dr. Gary and Karen Schulteis will be inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame on Sunday, August 18th at the Iowa State Fair. According to “Who’s your Iowa Farmer” (On Facebook,) the Kansas transplants have dedicated their time and talents to the Adair County community since making Iowa their home. The couple have volunteered with the 4-H program for over 17 years.

Karen, a family and consumer science teacher at Nodaway Valley CSD, grew up as a member of the Hawk Husky Healthy Helper’s 4-H Club, then continued her 4-H career with Collegiate 4-H at Kansas State University. Exhibiting at the county fair, whether with cooking, sewing, home improvement, or photograpy projects, was always a summer highlight. In fact, she and two friends had a friendly competition when it came to who would have the most county fair exhibits each year, a number that was never less than 20 for each girl. With all this experience, it seemed only natural for Karen to begin judging county fairs after her days exhibiting as a 4-H’er ended. She has judged county fairs in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Iowa, as well as evaluated exhibits at the Iowa State Fair. Locally, Karen continues to apply the leadership and organization skills she first developed as a 4-H’er by serving as a Adair County 4-H and FFA Center static exhibits superintendent.

Karen and Dr. Gary Schulteis

Karen loves to help students explore the connection between food and fiber and agriculture. She recently organized a popular “from fiber to textile” station for the first ever NV Ag STEM Festival hosted by Ag 4 All. With help from her daughter and a friend, she provided students the opportunity to examine raw cotton and wool. They could then follow the process from fiber, to cloth, to garment construction by actually operating a sewing machine as they practiced sewing a seam.

A 12-year member of the county Extension council, Karen is an advocate of strong educational programming for youth development, agriculture, families, and community. The Adair County ISU Extension & Outreach Office is one of Ag 4 All’s six partner organizations. Karen is also active in her church and uses her musical talent to share the message of Christ.

Gary, a veterinarian, was never a 4-H member, but that hasn’t stopped him for being an enthusiastic supporter of the program. In the middle of winter, his clinic provides a dry, warm spot to perform the required retinal imaging of market calves 4-H’ers plan to exhibit at the Iowa State Fair. He has donated supplies to help 4-H members master the knowledge and skills required for YQCA (Youth for the Quality Care of Animals). In addition to providing treatment to animals belonging to 4-Hers, Dr. Schulteis instructs young people on preventive care of livestock, whether as individual clients or through day camps and workshops. When those hot, hot, hot days of the Adair County Fair-Iowa finally arrive, he can be found doing health checks and offering advice to concerned exhibitors.

Like Karen, Gary is a proponent of youth development. He volunteers with the Boy Scout program as well as 4-H and the county fair. As a leader at the Immanuel Lutheran Church, he advocates for Christian education programs for all ages. Gary’s vet clinic serves as a worksite for many high school students, hosting school programs designed to provide hands-on experience for teens exploring career options. The Adair County Veterinary Clinic is also a sponsor of Ag 4 All which helps provide agriculture literacy experiences across the entire age span.

Gary & Karen are parents to three adult children: Katrina, Ben, and Landon. The family always focused on nurturing a love of learning, generosity, and community involvement by supporting each of their children as active 4-H’ers and participants in a variety of extra-curricular activities.

If you plan to be at the Iowa State Fair on Sunday, August 18th, make sure to stop by the 4-H Exhibits Building that afternoon. Take time to recognize and congratulate all the new inductees into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame, including Adair County’s Dr. Gary & Karen Schulteis.

Deere sees sales dip 3% for the quarter, blaming uncertainty in ag sector


August 16th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — The farm economy can be fickle and Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer is seeing a drop in sales of three-percent for the quarter, blamed on continued uncertainty in agricultural sector. Quad Cities-based Deere and Company released its financial report today (Friday) in a conference call with reporters. Ryan Campbell, Deere’s senior vice president and chief financial officer, says momentum started building in 2017, indicating a rising demand from farmers for equipment replacement. “North American customer sentiment has since deteriorated not only due to uncertainty over market access, but also due to weather and the demand impact of African swine fever,” Campbell says. “As these challenges persist, we are now beginning more aggressive action on our cost structure to create a more efficient and nimble organization.”

Deere is reporting net income of 899-million dollars in the third quarter, compared to 910-million dollars at this time a year ago.  “Note that we’ve increased our dividends by 25% over the last two years and further increases will be under consideration as we demonstrate progress to our increased profitability goals,” Campbell says. “During the quarter, we repurchased 400-million of stock and will continue to buy when we can create value for long-term shareholders.”

A Deere statement says sales in the agriculture and turf divisions fell for the quarter, while operating profit also declined primarily due to lower shipment volumes, higher production costs, and the unfavorable effects of foreign-currency exchange.  “We’ve significantly invested in next-generation large ag products and accelerated our precision ag initiatives,” Campbell says, “all the while, diversifying our construction and forestry division with the Wirtgen acquisition. Additionally, we increased our infrastructure spending to gain efficiencies and modernized systems that enhance our dealer and customer engagement.”

Deere has completed the five-billion dollar purchase of the Wirtgen Group, a leading manufacturer of road construction equipment.

‘They screwed us,’ Grassley says of EPA’s ethanol waivers


August 16th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is using some blunt language to describe the E-P-A’s decision last Friday to grant waivers to big oil companies, reducing the amount of ethanol that must be blended into gasoline. “They screwed us when they issued 31 waivers compared to less than 10 waivers during all of the Obama years,” Grassley says. “And we thought that was bad.” Grassley says the waivers were intended for small refineries, but are now being granted to the likes of Exxon and Chevron. “What’s really bad isn’t a waiver,” Grassley says, “it’s that it’s being granted to people that really aren’t hardship.”

Last year the E-P-A granted 38 ethanol waivers to oil companies and this year has granted 31, but Grassley says there’s “no victory” here for farmers.  “And it’s no accomplishment whatsoever, so we’ve got to go back to the president,” Grassley said, “the same way we have in the past.” Grassley says he’s lobbied President Trump and Ivanka Trump on the issue — and Trump heard from farmers when the president visited a western Iowa ethanol plant earlier this summer. “I know that he knows about the ethanol issues,” Grassley says, “and he wants to be considered very pro-ethanol and he wants to be considered very pro-farmer.”

But Grassley says officials in Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency are blocking ethanol’s progress. Grassley made his comments this (Friday) morning during taping of the Iowa Press program that airs tonight (Friday) on Iowa Public Television.

Farmers to be sentenced in largest US organic fraud case

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 16th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Four Midwestern farmers who cheated organic food customers are scheduled to be sentenced for the largest fraud scheme of its kind in U.S. history.
Federal prosecutors say the farmers are responsible for a seven-year scheme that tricked thousands of customers into paying premium prices for products that were marketed as organic but were not.

Prosecutors are seeking prison sentences for the alleged leader of the scheme, Missouri farmer Randy Constant, and three Nebraska farmers who worked with Constant. All four have pleaded guilty to fraud charges. They admitted that they grew non-organic corn and soybeans, and a small amount of certified organic grains, and falsely marketed them all as organic. Most of the grains were sold as animal feed to companies that marketed organic meat and meat products.

Iowa pork queen lends sow a hand to deliver big piglet

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 16th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A piglet born at the Iowa State Fair has been touched by royalty. The 2019 pork queen for the Iowa Pork Producers Association, Gracie Greiner, kept her tiara atop her head as she reached inside a laboring sow Tuesday and removed the piglet at the fair’s Animal Learning Center. The 18-year-old lives a few miles outside Washington, a small eastern Iowa town, where her family breeds pigs to show at the county and state levels. She told The Des Moines Register that “helping pull pigs has come to be one of my favorite parts of the process.”

In this Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019 photo provided by Sandy Greiner shows her granddaughter, Gracie Greiner, the 2019 pork queen of the Iowa Pork Producers Association pulling a piglet from a sow in labor while wearing her tiara at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa. (Courtesy Sandy Greiner via AP)

This piglet was big and one of the last ones the sow delivered, which Greiner says meant the sow already was pretty tired. Her dad, Shaun Greiner, told The Associated Press on Friday that his daughter is about to start classes at Iowa State University in Ames and intends to major in animal science, with an eye toward going to veterinary school someday.

Posted County Prices 8/16/2019


August 16th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $3.54, Beans $7.88
Adair County: Corn $3.51, Beans $7.85
Adams County: Corn $3.51, Beans $7.87
Audubon County: Corn $3.53, Beans $7.90
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.57, Beans $7.88
Guthrie County: Corn $3.56, Beans $7.92
Montgomery County: Corn $3.56, Beans $7.90
Shelby County: Corn $3.57, Beans $7.88

Oats $2.81 (always the same in all counties)

(Information from the area FSA Offices)

Iowa Pork Producers leader says there’s ‘growing frustration’ about US/China trade impasse

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 15th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — China is the world’s largest consumer of pork products, but experts estimate by the end of the year, African Swine Fever will cut pork output in China in half. Mike Paustian, of Walcott, the president-elect of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, says farmers here could step in and meet Chinese demand for pork — if the Trump Administration strikes a trade deal with China. “I’m hoping it’s not going to turn into a giant game of chicken here and see who’s going to blink first and it’s certainly not sounding encouraging that there’s going to be a quick resolution to this and we’ve kind of been teased several times that something was going to happen and nothing’s happened yet and that’s where I think there’s some frustration building.”

Paustian says pork producers are having a hard time planning for the future when they don’t know whether China’s market will reopen to pork. “That’s kind of the most frustrating thing is everybody’s kind of playing the waiting game right now to see how things shake out,” Paustian says, “before they start pulling the trigger on some of their long-term investments.”

Paustian says the U.S. is starting to fall behind in other countries that are important markets for pork. He cites Japan’s recent free trade pact with the European Union. Paustian says there are other countries in southeast Asia where more U.S. pork could be sold if trade deals are struck — and sales to those emerging markets could help soften the blow of pork exports that aren’t going to China.

Farmland Leasing Arrangements meeting – August 21 in Greenfield


August 15th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

Adair County Extension will be sponsoring Farm Leasing Arrangements meeting on Wednesday, August 21 in the Warren Cultural Center Auditorium, 154 Public Square, Greenfield. The two hour program will begin at 9:00 a.m. with registration starting at 8:30 a.m. Patrick Hatting, ISU Extension Farm Management Specialist, will focus on various methods to determine a fair 2020 cash rental rate; the importance of good tenant/landlord communications; strategies for writing and terminating a farm lease and the current cash rental rate.

Participants will receive a 100-page booklet and meeting handouts designed to assist landowners, tenants and other agri-business professionals with issues related to farmland ownership, management and leasing arrangements. Pre-registration is requested by Monday, August 19. The registration fee is $20/person, $30/couples payable at the door. To register, contact the Adair County Extension Office: (641) 743-8412 or email krohrig@iastate.edu

Cass County Extension Report 8-14-2019

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

August 14th, 2019 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson.