Archive for May 15, 2008

Cold More of a Problem than Wet for Corn Crop

Cold More of a Problem than Wet
Compiled By Staff
May 14, 2008

USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says we have a temperature problem that is going to be a bigger problem than the rain over the next two weeks.

Over half the corn crop has been planted but the delays from wet weather has pushed progress far behind normal. Rippey says dryer weather is coming but low temperatures will present problems.

“A very chilly weather pattern is already in place and except for just a day or two ahead of this cold front coming through this week it looks like we’re set in for the long haul of below normal temperatures,” Rippey says. “Fields that are extremely wet are going to be very slow to dry with occasional rain and low temperatures, and the problem is that fields that are now planted are going to be very slow to emerge and develop.”

Source: Southern Farmer

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Hoeven Declares Drought Emergency for North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. n With extended dry conditions across the state and little significant rainfall in the forecast, Gov. John Hoeven today declared a statewide “early phase agricultural drought emergency.”

“We have the potential for continuing dry conditions that could cause real hardship to farmers and ranchers across the state,” Hoeven said. “We’ve had no appreciable precipitation in many areas of the state and this may pose a problem for crop production and for livestock water needs later on this summer.”

Source: Iowa Farmer Today

Too wet in one part of the grain belt and too dry in another.

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Fieldwork Nonexistent in South Central Iowa

ALBIA — Paul Belzer has seen farmers being busy this spring.

However, he hasn’t been busy planting or doing fieldwork this year in South Central Iowa.

Belzer says his family, who also runs Belzer Equipment here in Monroe County, has been busy doing work on tractors.

He says farmers have been coming in to get parts to fix a piece of equipment when they have the time or to avoid a breakdown during delayed planting.

However, Belzer is in the same situation as many other farmers in the area. He says they have not been able to get any fieldwork done this spring.

“We haven’t done anything,” he says.

Belzer says since the snow melt, it has rained every few days.

The soils in the area also are clay based that retain moisture, he notes.

That means the soils have never dried out to allow fieldwork and planting to be done.

Most corn planted in NW Iowa:

We are done planting our non-organic corn, but have not planted any organic corn yet. Most of the corn in our area went in last week. We had four really good planting days. There is no emergence yet, but we could see some if it stays warm. I have not heard of any beans being planted yet.

Source: Iowa Farmer Today

I believe I noted that I had spoken to an Iowa farmer recently and was astounded to hear that not only was the corn not yet planted, the only field he had managed to sow in oats was washed away the next day by another rainstorm. Per the Iowa State University Extension office “Nearly two-thirds of Iowa’s land surface (~23 million of 36 million acres) is annually dedicated to production of corn or soybean. ”

So why am I interested in Iowa’s weather? Because, even as a hobby livestock producer, my costs depend on costs of feed. Iowa is the largest producer of corn and soybeans.

Iowa has retained its title as the nation’s top corn and soybean producer. The state’s farmers produced 2.368 billion bushels of corn and 439 million bu. of soybeans.

That compares with Illinois farmers who produced the second largest crop at 2.284 billion bu. of corn and 350 million bu. of soybeans, according to USDA’s annual crop production report released this past week.

USDA officials said that U.S. farmers produced 13.074 billion bu. of corn and 2.585 billion bu. of soybeans in 2007.

Looks like feed prices will remain high over the next year.

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Immigration Raid Called Largest in Iowa’s History

POSTVILLE — Immigration officials raided the Agriprocessors Inc. meat processing plant in Postville on Monday, arresting as many as 300 people.

Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) entered the plant about 10 a.m. looking for evidence of identity theft, use of stolen Social Security numbers and for people who are in the country illegally, said Tim Counts, an ICE spokesman.

The raid was the largest such operation in Iowa history, said Matt M. Dummermuth, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Iowa. He said the raid came after months of planning. Agriprocessors is the world’s largest kosher meatpacking plant.

The detainees were taken to the National Cattle Congress (NCC) grounds in Waterloo, said Barbara Gonzalez, an ICE spokeswoman, where agents had set up a an “intake center.”

Male detainees were to be held there until at least May 15. Female detainees were to be housed in local jails.

An ICE spokeswoman said about 300 people were detained, but 40 were quickly released for “humanitarian reasons,” possibly so they could care for their children. Immigration proceedings are pending against those people, officials said.

Read the rest at Iowa Farmer Today

Looks like being massively overrun by illegal immigrants isn’t just a problem of the southern states anymore.

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