Due to lower prices for corn and soybeans and less money coming from Uncle Sam, a report from the U-S Department of Agriculture predicts a gloomy financial year ahead for farmers. It shows farm income will fall in 2014 as much as 27-percent when compared to last year. U-S-D-A chief economist Joe Glauber says net cash income for farmers is expected to plummet.
Glauber says, “Crop receipts for 2014, we’re projecting those at about $189-billion, that’s down almost 27-billion from 2013, the lowest level since 2010.” For Iowa farmers, if the forecast is correct, it would be the third straight year of declining farm incomes, following lower grain prices last year and the drought in 2012. Glauber says there are a few positive elements in the new forecast, mainly for livestock producers.
“Livestock receipts are up, marginally,” he says. “They’re up at $183.4-billion. It’s the first time in a long while we’ve seen livestock and crop receipts around the same magnitude. Expenses are actually down. We’re forecasting those at $310-billion. That’s down almost 5-billion from last year and that’s largely lower feed costs.” He says part of the reason for the drop in overall farm income is due to changes in the Farm Bill. Farmers won’t receive direct payments any more, while safety net payment guidelines in the new Farm Bill won’t be made, if needed, until 2015.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is hosting public meetings over the Iowa Communications Network on February 26th, from 6 to 9 p.m., to listen to the public’s thoughts on the hunting and trapping regulations for this fall. The nearest meeting locally will be held at the Creston High School. Another meeting will be held in Council Bluffs, but the location has yet to be determined. The meetings are part of the process for making rules in state government.
Dr. Dale Garner, chief of the wildlife bureau says “Any rule changes must be discussed with Iowa’s citizens who might be impacted by the changes before the rule changes are proposed. The process helps ensure that rule changes serve the public’s wishes and do not impact Iowa’s economy.”
At each meeting DNR staff will facilitate a discussion about what went well last fall, what didn’t, and what changes hunters and trappers would like to see for this fall. The discussions along with the data that the wildlife bureau collects on harvest and population numbers will be used to develop recommendations for any rule changes this fall. Any changes must be approved by the Natural Resource Commission and then go back to the public for further comment before taking effect next fall.
A complete list of the ICN meeting locations are available online at www.iowadnr.gov/hunting
Iowa’s new Travel Guide is due out this month. It contains 175 pages of destinations, maps, and ideas for things to do and see across the state. Iowa Tourism office spokesperson Jessica O’Riley says a new section this year attempts to inspire travel with categories like outdoor adventures, wineries and breweries, restaurants, or, living like a local.
Although many vacationers have gone digital, printed copies of the travel guide are still available. “Pre-Internet days, we were printing probably 500,000 travel guides,” O’Riley said. “Now, with the use of our website increasing, were down to 125,000 (printed copies). That’s probably about where we’ll stay because we still see a demand for those from people who want a hard copy in their hands as they’re traveling the state.”
Travelers across Iowa determined the cover design of the 2014 Iowa Travel Guide, as sightseers provided the pictures and Facebook fans voted on the final photo montage. The new Travel Guide will be available next week at Iowa’s Welcome Centers or you can order one online at traveliowa.com.
The Cass, Crawford, and Shelby/Audubon County Conservation Boards has CANCELLED the guided tour out to Kearney, Nebraska March 20-21ST, due to lack of signups. The corresponding informational program on February 15th 1-PM at the Atlantic Public Library is also cancelled.
If you have any questions please call 712-769-2372.
Iowa farmers expect to plant 11-percent more soybeans this spring compared to 2013. That’s according to a new survey by AgriSource — a grain marketing, commodity brokerage and crop insurance company. Keith Gehling of AgriSource says the plans by Iowa farmers to plant 10.3 million acres of soybean are based on several factors. “We saw some pretty poor corn yields in 2012 and 2013 in parts of Iowa. Some producers are facing rootworm issues, high input costs, and cheaper corn prices on the Board of Trade,” Gehling says. “Some of these guys see an opportunity to break their corn on corn rotation and possibly raise some pretty good bean yields on those acres in 2014.”
Iowa farmers expect to plant 13.3 million acres of corn, down 2.2-percent compared to last year. However, Gehling says many farmers will wait until later this spring to make final planting decisions. “We put a question on the survey at the Farm Power Show about what their confidence level is and this year, confidence is about 50-percent in their planning intentions. The last several years, it’s been 75-percent. That tells us that guys are possibly waiting until March or April to see how the markets and rainfall play out,” Gehling says.
Across the country, farmers are expected to plant 93.2 million acres of corn, marking a 1.8-percent decline from 2013. U.S. farmers expect to plant 82 million acres of soybeans, an increase of 7-percent. The AgriSource survey was conducted in large part during the Iowa Power Farming Show in late January in conjunction with the Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association.
The death of a 13-year-old boy in a snowmobile accident in northwest Iowa is bringing attention to off-road vehicle safety. The teenager, Raymond Gatzemeyer of Fonda, died last Wednesday when he hit a rope suspended between the pillars of a bridge. David Downing, with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says such dangers are common when crossing someone’s property. “Often during the year those landowners make changes to the property, they may put up a cable between a gate, they may have a suspension wire coming down off a corner post, and those types of hazards are unmarked,” Downing says.
There are plenty of places to ride in Iowa that are safe, according to Downing. “We have more than 8,000 miles of designated snowmobile trails in the state,” Downing says, “and those trails are groomed and they’re marked so you know where the hazards are. That’s why we always recommend that folks stay on those trails.” At the time of the accident, Gatzemeyer was with three other people, two who were on snowmobiles and one who was operating an ATV. They were not injured. It’s unclear why there was a rope attached to the bridge pillars. Gatzemeyer was wearing a helmet. Downing made his comments on Iowa Public Radio’s “River to River” program.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is preparing to send President Barack Obama a massive, five-year farm bill that provides food for the needy and subsidies for the nation’s farmers.
The Senate is expected to pass the almost $100 billion-a-year compromise bill Tuesday after the House passed it last week. The bill provides a financial cushion for farmers who face unpredictable weather and market conditions and makes a limited cut to food stamps, which supplement meal costs for 1 in 7 Americans.
The final bill would get rid of controversial subsidies known as direct payments, which are paid to farmers whether they farm or not. Most of that program’s $4.5 billion annual cost would be redirected into new subsidies that would kick in when a farmer has losses.
The Shelby County Cattlemen had a successful night on Saturday during their annual banquet. This year the banquet was held inside the new St. Mary’s Hall in Panama in front of a packed crowd. Before handing out their annual awards, the cattlemen gave out 18 $1,000 scholarships to area youth.
Kevin Goshorn, member of the cattlemen’s association, told the crowd over the last two years, the association has given out $84,000 between their scholarships and heifer programs. Steve Leinen then handed out the awards starting with the friends of the industry. Normally, this award would be handed out to a certain individual but this year the Shelby County Cattlemen recognized several local banks in the area.
The banks were Shelby County State, Farmer’s Trust and Savings, United Bank of Iowa, Farm Service Credit of America, Midstates, Defiance State, Landmands, Community Bank, Town and Country Credit Union, Templeton Bank and Bank of the West. The award for beef backer of the year was Mike Thraen and then the biggest award was presented to Bob Schechinger of rural Panama. Schechinger was surprised with the cattlemen of the year award. He said “I really didn’t catch on what they were saying, something about Korea and seven kids and Jeff was right there so I figured I better get out there. I didn’t think it would be anything. I was surprised put it that way.”
Bob and wife Norene have been farming northwest of Panama for 40 years and have raised cattle as well. Schechinger is a veteran who fought in Korea has since helped with area youth and participates at the Shelby County Fair each year. Together they have seven kids, five of whom were in attendance to congratulate Schechinger on the award. He thanked his wife for always being there and said he would not be the man he is today without her.
And, here in Atlantic approximately 250-people attended the annual Cass County Cattleman’s Banquet, Saturday night. One of the highlights of the even held at the Cass County Community Center was the presentation of awards. Jim Pellett, of Atlantic, received the “Hall of Fame” award. Randy Euken, of Lewis was named “Producer of the Year,” and Cullen and Associates, of Atlantic received the “Business of the Year Award.” It was also announced that the Cass County Cattleman’s group grilled over 5,500 units of meat during this past year at various events throughout the area.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — One of the six men from China charged with conspiring to steal patented seed corn from two of the nation’s leading seed developers has appeared in federal court in Des Moines. Mo Hailong, also known as Robert Mo, appeared Thursday before Magistrate Judge Ross Walters. He entered a plea of not guilty to one count of conspiracy to steal trade secrets. Walters set a trial date for March 31 and ordered Mo held until trial.
A lawyer based in Beijing was approved to represent Mo. Mo was arrested in Miami on Dec. 11. FBI investigators say highly valuable seed corn owned by Pioneer Hybrid and Monsanto was being taken from test fields.