News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Laurie Johns   
Tuesday, 06 November 2012 10:28

Iowa Farm Bureau and University of Iowa ANF Partnership Helps Elevate Issue of Hunger in Iowa

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – November 2, 2012 –As Iowans make their meal and travel plans for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, there are many in the state who are struggling to just put food on the table.  With winter weather approaching and needs increasing at food banks across the state, the America Needs Farmers (ANF) $21,500 donation comes at a critical juncture.

The Iowa Food Bank Association says $21,500 would help provide over 60,000 meals to hungry Iowans.  “This is the time of year when our food banks statewide see an increased need; we’re heading into winter and utility bills are starting to go up and with food prices also rising this year, that means food banks are critically low,” said Jordan Vernoy, director of the Food Bank Association of Iowa.

Iowa Farm Bureau and the University of Iowa Athletics Department began their partnership in 2011 to invigorate the ANF program, which was first started by former Hawkeye legendary coach, Hayden Fry, to show support of farmers impacted by the 1985 Farm Crisis.  “The ANF initiative brought in 5,040 pounds of food for area food banks during this year’s spring scrimmage.  We’re happy to help even more, with this joint IFBF and U of I donation of $21,500 for hungry families statewide,” said IFBF Executive Director Denny Presnall.

To date, the ANF initiative has contributed more than $41,000 to Iowa’s food banks since the program began last year.

“ANF is important on many fronts because it helps elevate not only the issue of farming, but also food and hunger to a nationwide audience,” said Presnall.

To see more ANF Game Day fun or to learn more about America Needs Farmers, visit   The Iowa Food Bank Association is a collaboration of eight food banks that collect and distribute food and essential supplies across the state.  To learn more, or to make a donation, go to: .

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About Iowa Farm Bureau

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to enhancing the People, Progress and Pride of Iowa.  More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve farm and rural prosperity.  For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online Newsroom page at

Gov. Branstad extends Disaster Emergency Proclamation PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Friday, 02 November 2012 09:02

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad signed a proclamation to allow the transportation of oversized and overweight loads of soybeans, corn, hay, straw, silage and stover. The proclamation takes effect on November 3, 2012 and expires after 15 days.

This proclamation applies to loads transported on all highways within Iowa, excluding the interstate system, and which do not exceed a maximum of 90,000 pounds gross weight, do not exceed the maximum axle weight limit determined under the non-primary highway maximum gross weight table in Iowa Code section 321.463 paragraph “5.b”, by more than twelve and one-half percent (12.5%), do not exceed the legal maximum axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds, and comply with posted limits on roads and bridges.

This action is intended to allow vehicles transporting soybeans, corn, hay, straw, and stover to be oversize and overweight, not exceeding 90,000 pounds gross weight, without a permit, but only for the duration of this proclamation.

The Iowa Department of Transportation is directed to monitor the operation of this proclamation to assure the public’s safety and facilitate the movement of the trucks involved.


Separating Fact from Fiction on Biotechnology PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Erin Hamm   
Thursday, 01 November 2012 15:53
By Vanessa Kummer, United Soybean Board Chair and a soybean farmer from Colfax, N.D.

Much is said about biotechnology in our food supply, otherwise known as GMOs. It’s sometimes hard to tell fact from fiction. The United Soybean Board wants to set the record straight regarding this important technology, which enables us to grow more on less land, using fewer inputs and conserving the soil better than conventional crops.

What is biotechnology?

Simply put, biotechnology takes the DNA from one organism and transfers it into another. For as long as humans have been raising crops, we have cross-bred plants in order to improve them. We’ve done this by taking the pollen from one plant and physically transferring the genes in the pollen to another plant in order to make offspring that produce more seed or that can fight off diseases and pests, for example. However, pollen contains many genes, some good and some bad. So, late in the last century, we identified a way to accomplish gene transfer in the lab. This made it possible to add only the good genes, or fix bad ones already in the plant, in order to improve its usefulness to farmers and mankind.

Is it safe?

Yes. To ensure they are safe, the U.S. government has established a rigorous approval process for biotech products that includes the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Moreover, ever since the first biotech crop hit the market in 1996, about 1 billion acres of U.S. farmland have been planted to biotech crops and trillions of pounds of U.S. soybeans and corn have been consumed worldwide, all with no credible reports of harm to human health. In addition, these organizations have come out in support of biotech foods:

·    American Medical Association
·    U.S. National Academy of Science
·    UN Food and Agriculture Organization
·    World Health Organization
·    International Council for Science
·    British Medical Association

Why is it important to know about the safety of biotech crops?

Some have questioned the safety of biotech crops. That is because there are people, some of whom are even from the academic world, who claim that research has been done that questions biotech’s safety. But it’s important to know that in order for any research to be credible, it needs to be reviewed by the authors’ peers and replicated in their labs. No such “peer-reviewed” research has proven GMOs to be unsafe. As a matter of fact, the opposite is true: Peer-reviewed research shows that GMOs are safe.



Ag Outlook Workshop Comes to Amana Including Discussion of the New CSR2 Ratings PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Thursday, 01 November 2012 15:46
Policymakers, agriculture lenders, agriculture suppliers, and producers all grow nervous when commodity prices, land values, and input cost become volatile. Add in a drought for good measure and you have plenty of excitement to manage for the 2013 farming year. Managing increased cost and decreasing margins is an area where today’s producer turns to their lender, input supplier, Extension, neighbor, and other agricultural business professionals for advice.
To gather the research based information you need to advise clients and make crucial agricultural decisions, register to attend Iowa State University Extension’s 2012 Pro-Ag Outlook Workshop at the Amana Colonies Clarion Hotel (Interstate 80, exit 225) on Tuesday, November 14th. Registration begins at 3:45PM. Dr. Chad Hart, ISU Extension Grain Marketing Specialist, will be discussing the supply and demand situation for grains. Another workshop speaker will be Lee Schultz, ISU Extension Livestock Marketing specialist. Lee will review the profit potential and survival techniques in the livestock sector. Gary Luebke, Sr. Risk Management Specialist for USDA-Risk Management Agency will discuss using insurance to reduce farming risks. The new CSR2 land quality ratings will be discussed by Jim Jensen, Extension Farm Management Specialist.

This workshop will prepare participants to make those important production decisions this winter. Advance registration is recommended by calling Henry County Extension Office at 319-385-8126. Registration includes workshop materials, breaks and a meal. Registration starts at 3:45PM, and the meeting concludes about 8:30 PM.


ISU Extension and Iowa Beef Center Offer Feed Management and Planning Meeting for Beef Producers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Thursday, 01 November 2012 15:44
Cow calf and feedlot operators continue to deal with drought related issues. ISU Extension and
the Iowa Beef Center have been and will continue to offer a series of educational opportunities
to address these issues. Drought – “A Game Changer for Beef Operations” Strategies to Move
Forward will be held on Nov. 13 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the Hurtsville Interpretative Center,

“These fall meetings will focus on managing feed costs and alternative feeds for winter
feeding of the cow herd or feedlot” says Denise Schwab, Extension Beef Program Specialist.
“Developing feeding programs that utilize available feeds and keep feed costs in check is the
goal.” With corn costs relatively high, producers are searching for ways to reduce corn use but
still maintain performance. Chemically treating lower quality forages and supplementing the
forage or drought stressed corn silage will also be a part of the discussion. A situation update on
beef outlook, current beef supply and demand, and feed price outlook will also be provided by
Lee Schulz, ISU Extension Livestock Economist via a recorded presentation. A short update on
precipitation outlook will be provided by Dr. Elwynn Taylor via a recorded presentation. The
meetings will also give an introduction to planning for next year and beyond for beef producers
and highlight factors producers should be considering.

Additional meetings are being considered for later in the winter. Topics for these meetings will
be determined as the weather and economic situation develop.

There will be a $10 person fee payable at the door to cover refreshments and other miscellaneous
cost. To find other meeting locations in the state contact your local county extension office,
Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, or go to to find a listing of all dates and

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