Agribusiness
IOWA FARM BUREAU TO FEATURE TEMPLE GRANDIN AS KEYNOTE FOR 94TH ANNUAL MEETING PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Laurie Johns   
Monday, 12 November 2012 13:24

Governor Proclaims Dec. 2-8 as “Iowa Farm Bureau Week”

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – Nov. 8, 2012 – Members of the state’s largest grassroots farm organization will gather with renewed vigor to hear nationally-acclaimed animal welfare expert, Temple Grandin,  keynote the 94th Annual Meeting of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF), Dec. 4 and 5 at the newly- remodeled Veterans Auditorium in Des Moines.

Governor Terry Branstad has also declared Dec. 2-8 as ‘Iowa Farm Bureau Week’ to honor the many accomplishments and contributions of the 94-year-old grassroots farm organization.

“This year our annual meeting theme, ‘People, Progress and Pride,’ celebrates the accomplishments, challenges and potential of our many diverse family farmers.  Today’s responsible farmers are strong members of their communities and are focused on the future; they’re always looking for better ways to provide safe food choices for today’s consumers, so they embrace innovation and the expertise of others,” said IFBF President Craig Hill.  “That’s why we’re bringing together a diverse, high caliber group of speakers like Dr. Temple Grandin, noted animal welfare expert and livestock-handling equipment designer, who also consults for firms such as Burger King, McDonald's, Swift and others.”

Temple Grandin’s challenges as an autistic young woman and the unique perspective it gave her with animals was profiled in the 2010 HBO Emmy Award-winning movie, “Temple Grandin,” starring Claire Danes.  Since the movie’s success, Grandin’s perspectives and livestock facility designs have won international acclaim.

Another nationally-recognized keynote speaker will provide unique insight for attendees, Dr. Lowell Catlett.  The ‘futurist’ economist and engaging speaker will take the stage at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 5 to discuss ‘Food for the Smart Planet.’ Dr. Catlett helps national and international organizations do futuristic planning on the impacts of technology on careers, lifestyles and the economy.

The author of numerous books, Dr. Catlett also works with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Labor, Interior, Defense, Education, Energy and the World Bank.

In addition to innovative speakers, the 94th IFBF annual meeting also features several ‘hands-on’ educational seminars to help Farm Bureau members navigate challenging markets, rules and regulations as well as the most current best management practices for water quality.  This year the access to expert advice from noted leaders has been expanded to include three separate sessions on Tuesday, Dec. 4.

Also, Iowa’s best and brightest young farmers will take the stage for the IFBF Young Farmers Discussion Meet Dec. 4, competing for the state title and a John Deere X320 riding lawn mower and the chance to advance to the national competition, January 13-16, in Nashville.

IFBF President and Milo farmer, Craig Hill, will address members and special guests on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 8:30 a.m. The organization will celebrate the contributions of dedicated Farm Bureau members with a recognition banquet Tuesday, Dec. 4, at noon and a young farm leaders’ achievement luncheon on Dec. 5.

Farm Bureau’s voting delegate session and elections will be held Wednesday, Dec. 5.   The following directors are up for re-election this year: IFBF District 1 board member Carlton Kjos, District 3 board member Phil Sundblad, and District 5 board member Morey Hill and Vice President Joe Heinrich.

Members can register for the 2012 IFBF annual meeting at their county Farm Bureau offices. For a complete listing of events and activities, visit www.iowafarmbureau.com.

 
FOOD, FEED PRICE INCREASES TO AFFECT CONSUMERS, FARMERS ALIKE PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Heather Lilienthal   
Tuesday, 06 November 2012 13:45

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – November 6, 2012 – Whether you’re feeding your family or your livestock next year, you’ll feel a pinch in your pocketbook. After dealing with the worst drought in 50 years, Iowa farmers found corn and soybean yields down across the board, causing crop prices to increase due to the weather’s pressure.

The increase in corn prices will affect farmers’ feed prices for their livestock and that will trickle down to consumers as early as January at the grocery store.

“These higher grain prices continue to put pressure on grain users, from ethanol plants to livestock farmers,” explained Dave Miller, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) director of research and commodity services. “In the past few weeks, ethanol production is running 12 percent below last year’s levels. Cattle, hog and poultry farmers are trimming back production expectations for the coming year.”

These adjustments aren’t causing concerns for consumers just yet. As farmers bring livestock to market sooner and at lighter weights, meat supplies are strong. Miller warns that this will change at the beginning of the year.

“Lowered production levels are expected to support beef and pork prices in 2013,” said Miller. “Consumers can expect higher meat prices in the coming year as livestock farmers continue to make adjustments due to the continued strength and increases in feed costs.”

Despite dry conditions throughout the growing season and reduced yields, Iowa farmers continue to lead the nation in corn production. According to Miller, the statewide corn yield is estimated to be 140 bushels per acre, down 32 bushels per acre in 2011. Iowa farmers raised 1.9 billion bushels of corn this year, accounting for nearly 18 percent of U.S. corn production.

Iowa soybean fields weathered the drought better than expected and Iowa farmers will have harvested an estimated 399 million bushels of soybeans this year, representing 14 percent of U.S. soybean production. Soybean yields were also down from last year, coming in at an estimated 35.3 bushels per acre.

The drought brought stresses not only to farmers, but to the markets, as well; tightening supply estimates and raising prices.  Miller said prices for corn and soybeans are higher than a year ago, with corn prices 23 percent higher and soybean prices 20 percent higher. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) releases its monthly crop production report Nov. 9 and Miller says the mid-range of the USDA estimate of season-average prices is $7.80 for corn and $15.25 for soybeans.

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AMERICA NEEDS FARMERS 2012 BRINGS $21,500 DONATION TO IOWA FOOD BANKS DURING CRUCIAL TIME OF NEED PDF Print E-mail
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  www.americaneedsfarmers.org.   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: www.iowafba.org .

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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 www.iowafarmbureau.com.

 
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.

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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.

 

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