The central Iowa town of Boone is gearing up to welcome many thousands of visitors to the 63rd annual Farm Progress Show. Event spokeswoman Dena Morgan says the nation’s largest outdoor farm show is scheduled to open this morning (8 A-M). Morgan says it will feature the latest ag technology, including new products to be unveiled by many of the industry’s largest manufacturers.
“We’ve got a great lineup, of course, lots of things happening out in the demonstration fields,” Morgan says. “We’ve got corn combining at 11 every day, tillage at 1. If you’re a livestock producer and you’re in the market for a chute or some other kind of cattle-handling equipment, we have working cattle demonstrations every day at 10 and at 2.”
The show will host more than 600 exhibitors displaying new farm equipment, seed and crop protection products, farm supplies and services. Since the last day of the 2014 show had to be cancelled due to lightning, Morgan says there are two ways you can be updated, by using the website Farm Progress Show-dot-com, or by using a free smart phone app.
“All you have to enter is ‘Farm Progress Show 2016’ and that should bring up the current year app,” Morgan says. “You can search for exhibitors, you can look at the show fields, all kinds of things.” For about 50 years, the show rotated between locations in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, but now, it’s held every other year in Boone or Decatur, Illinois.
“We started the rotation that we have now in 2005 when we moved the show up into August,” Morgan says. “It used to be later in September and we moved it almost a month earlier and went to the rotation of just two sites and then having permanent sites.” The show runs three days, closing on Thursday.
Iowa’s corn and soybean crops, on average, are ahead of their normal stages of growth. The USDA’s latest crop conditions report (issued today/Monday) states above normal rainfall last week left Iowa farmers with just over four days that were suitable for field work. Record flooding occurred in portions of northeast Iowa as more than eight inches of rain fell in a 24 hour period in a few locations.
The report places 83 percent of the state’s corn and 82 percent of soybeans in good to excellent condition. Ninety-four percent of the corn crop has reached the dough stage, which is eight days ahead of the five year average. Soybeans setting pods reached 96 percent, or about four days ahead of the five year average.
The report notes heavy rain and winds last week damaged some Iowa crops, while sudden death and white mold are causing problems in some soybean fields.
PELLA, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad says he’ll authorize the Iowa State Patrol to deal with protesters who could try to stop construction of a $3.8 billion oil pipeline. The Des Moines Register reports Branstad told reporters at his weekly news conference, held this Monday in Pella, that the state patrol would ensure the safety of those building the pipeline, and that could helping local law enforcement respond to protests. The Iowa Utilities Board has approved construction of the pipeline, which will run 1,172 miles through Iowa, Illinois, North Dakota and South Dakota.
The route will cut through 18 Iowa counties. Pipeline opponents have promised to engage in civil disobedience to stop the construction, but Branstad says they should accept the board’s approval of the project and not break the law.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says agriculture is a “vital component” of the U.S. economy and he’s promising to protect the ethanol production mandate and reign in federal farm regulations. “Family farms are the backbone of this country, remember that,” Trump said Saturday. “And I know what’s happening to you.” Trump used part of his speech at Senator Joni Ernst’s event this weekend to speak directly to farmers.
“We’re going to make America grow again. Grow — that begins with supporting our family farms right here in Iowa. Do we have any farmers in the room? Stand up! Beautiful,” Trump said, as the crowd erupted in applause and cheers. Trump is singling out the Waters of the U.S. rule, calling it “a disaster” that must be eliminated. “We are going to end the EPA intrusion into your family homes and your family farms for no reason,” Trump said. “What they’re doing to you is a disgrace and we’re going to get rid of a lot of those regulations that don’t mean anything except cost you a lot of money and a lot of the time and in many cases you lose your farms over the regulations.”
And Trump is accusing President Obama of “lying” about his support of the Renewable Fuels Standard. “You can trust Hillary Clinton far less,” Trump said. “…Hillary Clinton wants to shut down family farms just like she wants to shut down the miners and the steel workers…She will do this not only through radical regulation, but also by raising taxes on family farms.”
Clinton has proposed raising the federal estate tax and people would have to pay if they inherit from any married couple whose estate is worth more than seven million dollars. According to Bloomberg Politics, Clinton’s estate-tax proposals would affect four out of every thousand estates in the country. A Clinton spokesman also says a year ago Clinton offered “a comprehensive plan” to “build a more vibrant rural America” and “Donald Trump will only work to build an economy that works for people like himself.”
On August 26th of last year, Clinton called for “strengthening” the Renewable Fuels Standard and reducing federal regulations on community banks that serve farmers and rural customers. She also promised to “change the formula” for key federal farm programs so “family operations” get crop insurance subsidies, but “big businesses” don’t.
Some common August threats are showing up in Iowa soybean fields. That’s according to agronomist Randy Kool, with Syngenta, in Adel, who says spraying for insects is coming to an end for most growers. “Usually R5.5 to R6 (development stage) is about the end of any application treatments for insects. We’ve had some spraying for soybean aphids and we’re starting to hear about the second generation of bean leaf beetles,” Kool said. Kool’s territory includes parts of western Iowa where excessive rainfall has disease pressure mounting.
“I would say (we’re starting to see pockets of) SDS in the western half of Iowa, but it’s not as prevalent as on the eastern side of the state.” Kool says variety selection and seed treatments are ways to manage Sudden Death Syndrome and other diseases moving forward. And late emerging weeds like water hemp are causing problems again. “That’s a little bit more of an issue this year since beans were a little slower to canopy. We’ve got good bean height now, but its been a challenge to take care of some of those weeds earlier,” Kool said.
Kool recommends cleaning harvest equipment before switching fields to limit the spread of weed seeds. The most recent report from the USDA placed 82-percent of Iowa’s soybean crop in good or excellent condition.
(Radio Iowa/Brownfield Ag News)