Agribusiness
USDA Announces Low-Interest Emergency Loans Now Available to Producers in 172 Additional Counties due to Drought PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:33
Obama Administration Continues to Take Swift Action to Provide Assistance to Farmers, Ranchers and Businesses

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2012—As part of continuing steps by the Obama Administration to get assistance to producers impacted by the drought, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today designated 172 additional counties in 15 states as primary natural disaster areas due to drought and heat, making all qualified farm operators in the areas eligible for low-interest emergency loans. To date, USDA has designated 1,792 counties as disaster areas—1,670 due to drought.

Earlier this week, President Obama and Secretary Vilsack traveled to Iowa to announce USDA's intent to purchase up to $170 million of pork, lamb, chicken, and catfish for federal food nutrition assistance programs, including food banks, which will help relieve pressure on American livestock producers and bring the nation's meat supply in line with demand.

"USDA is committed to using existing authorities wherever possible to help the farmers, ranchers, small businesses, and communities being impacted by the drought," said Vilsack. "In the past month, we have streamlined the disaster designation process, reduced interest rates on emergency loans, and provided flexibility within our conservation programs to support struggling producers. In the weeks ahead, the President and I will continue to take swift action to help America's farmers and ranchers through this difficult time."

Vilsack also announced today the availability of up to $5 million in grants to evaluate and demonstrate agricultural practices that help farmers and ranchers adapt to drought. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is taking applications for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to help producers build additional resiliency into their production systems. NRCS is offering the grants to partnering entities to evaluate innovative, field-based conservation technologies and approaches. These technologies and/or approaches should lead to improvements such as enhancing the water-holding capacity in soils and installing drought-tolerant grazing systems, which will help farms and ranches become more resilient to drought. Visit www.nrcs.usda.gov for more information.

Additionally, in response to a request from five National Organic Program (NOP) certifying agents, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced that USDA will grant a temporary variance from NOP's pasture practice standards for organic ruminant livestock producers (Sections 205.237(c) and 205.240 of the USDA organic regulations) in 16 states in 2012. The following restrictions apply: this temporary variance applies to non-irrigated pasture only; producers must supply at least 15 percent of their dry matter intake (on average) from certified organic pasture; this temporary variance applies to the 2012 calendar year only; and this temporary variance covers only counties that have been declared as primary natural disaster areas by the Secretary of Agriculture in 2012. Granting a temporary variance for 2012 from the pasture practice standards is necessary in order to allow organic ruminant livestock producers to continue to be compliant with the program regulations after the severe drought ends and pasture forage becomes available. Temporary variance requests that are outside the scope of this variance will be considered on a case by case basis.

Last week, President Obama convened his White House Rural Council to review Executive Branch response actions and to develop additional policy initiatives to assist drought-stricken Americans. Following the meeting, the White House announced a number of new measures the Administration is taking. The President stressed the need for the entire Administration to continue to look at further steps it can take to ease the pain of this historic drought.

Within the last month, USDA has opened the Conservation Reserve Program to emergency haying and grazing, lowered the borrower interest rate for emergency loans, and worked with crop insurance companies to provide flexibility to farmers. USDA has also announced:

  • Authorized $16 million in existing funds from its Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to target states experiencing exceptional and extreme drought.
  • Initiated transfer of $14 million in unobligated program funds into the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) to help farmers and ranchers rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters and for carrying out emergency water conservation measures in periods of severe drought.
  • Authorized haying and grazing of Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) easement areas in drought-affected areas where haying and grazing is consistent with conservation of wildlife habitat and wetlands.
  • Lowered the reduction in the annual rental payment to producers on CRP acres used for emergency haying or grazing from 25 percent to 10 percent in 2012.
  • Simplified the Secretarial disaster designation process and reduced the time it takes to designate counties affected by disasters by 40 percent.

The U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that 63 percent of the nation's hay acreage is in an area experiencing drought, while approximately 73 percent of the nation's cattle acreage is in an area experiencing drought. Approximately 87 percent of the U.S. corn is within an area experiencing drought, down from a peak of 89 percent on July 24, and 85 percent of the U.S. soybeans are in a drought area, down from a high of 88 percent on July 24. On Aug. 10, USDA reduced the estimate for the 2012 U.S. corn crop to 123.4 bushels per acre, down 23.8 bushels from 2011. However, record corn plantings in 2012 have put the crop in position to be eighth largest in history. In 1988, when U.S. farmers were impacted by another serious drought, total production was 4.9 billion bushels. Today, total production is forecast at 10.8 billion bushels.

Visit www.usda.gov/drought for the latest information regarding USDA's drought response and assistance.

The Obama Administration, with Agriculture Secretary Vilsack's leadership, has worked tirelessly to strengthen rural America, maintain a strong farm safety net, and create opportunities for America's farmers and ranchers. U.S. agriculture is currently experiencing one of its most productive periods in American history thanks to the productivity, resiliency, and resourcefulness of our producers. A strong farm safety net is important to sustain the success of American agriculture. USDA's crop insurance program currently insures 264 million acres, 1.14 million policies, and $110 billion worth of liability on about 500,000 farms. In response to tighter financial markets, USDA has expanded the availability of farm credit, helping struggling farmers refinance loans. In the past 3 years, USDA provided 103,000 loans to family farmers totaling $14.6 billion. Over 50 percent of the loans went to beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

Primary counties and corresponding states designated as disaster areas today for drought and other reasons:

Illinois [drought]

Bureau

Cook

De Kalb

Du Page

Grundy

Henry

Kane

Kankakee

Kendall

Knox

Mercer

Putnam

Stark

Will

Iowa [drought]

Adair

Adams

Audubon

Buena Vista

Calhoun

Carroll

Cass

Cerro

Cherokee

Clay

Crawford

Dallas

Floyd

Franklin

Fremont

Gordo

Greene

Guthrie

Hancock

Harrison

Humboldt

Ida

Louisa

Mills

Monona

Montgomery

O'Brien

Osceola

Page

Pocahontas

Pottawattamie Sac

Shelby

Washington

Webster

Wright

 
Governor Quinn Signs Laws to Celebrate Agriculture Day at State Fair PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Erin Wilson   
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:18

Laws Support State’s Strong Agriculture Industry Currently Facing Drought

SPRINGFIELD – August 14, 2012.  Governor Pat Quinn today celebrated Illinois’ agriculture heritage by signing five new laws to support the state’s agriculture industry, which is currently facing record drought conditions. The governor signed the new laws on Agriculture Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, where agriculture producers from throughout the state are gathered to showcase livestock and other products made and grown in Illinois.

“As Illinois faces the worst drought in recent history, it is important that we do everything possible to support our farmers and support our agriculture industry,” Governor Quinn said.

House Bill 5540, sponsored by Rep. Donald Moffitt (R-Gilson) and Sen. Darin LaHood (R-Dunlap), formally names the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s (Ag) administration building the John. R. Block building in honor of the Illinois native's distinguished service. It passed the General Assembly unanimously.

Block, a Galesburg-area native and West Point graduate, served as Illinois agriculture director from 1977 to 1981. He was appointed U.S. secretary of Agriculture in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan and played an instrumental role in the development of the 1985 Farm Bill, legislation credited with restoring economic stability to the American farming industry. Governor Quinn recently urged Congress to renew the Farm Bill, which would provide vital aid to farmers in drought-stricken areas.

The governor also signed House Bill 5539, sponsored by Rep. Lisa Dugan (D-Bradley) and Sen. Michael Frerichs (D-Champaign). The law creates the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC), a program dedicated to enhancing the use of fertilizers and protecting water quality from losing nutrients. The new law will support important fertilizer regulatory programs and is designed to revitalize nutrient research through Illinois' universities and apply this knowledge in the farm field.

Governor Quinn also signed House Bill 5115, sponsored by Rep. Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville) and Sen. Pamela Althoff (R-Crystal Lake). The law is designed to protect cattle pastures from damage caused by wildlife. The new law amends the Wildlife Code to include cattle pastures specifically as a type of property that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) may investigate. In addition, it allows DNR to determine whether the wildlife causing the damage needs to be removed, and clarifies that DNR will issue a permit to address the species responsible for causing the damage.

In order to prevent the pollution of Illinois waterways, Governor Quinn signed House Bill 5642, sponsored by Rep. Michael Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) and Sen. Michael Frerichs (D-Champaign). The legislation establishes fees on livestock producers that will help the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency administer the federally-mandated National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. The law is supported by the Illinois Farm Bureau, the Illinois Pork Producers Association, the Illinois Beef Association and the Illinois Dairyman’s Association.

House Bill 4598, sponsored by Rep. Patrick Verschoore (D-Rock Island) and Sen. David Koehler (D-Pekin), was also signed today. The law is designed to increase traffic safety by requiring certain vehicles to display a slow-moving vehicle emblem before traveling on Illinois roadways. The new law requires all farm implements and tractors, non-highway vehicles, and special mobile equipment or animal-drawn vehicles to display the slow-moving vehicle emblem.

All of the laws signed today are effective immediately. Following the signings, Governor Quinn will preside over the annual Governor’s Sale of Champions taking place at the State Fair, during which champion livestock raised by youths interested in the agriculture industry will be auctioned. Proceeds will benefit agriculture education programs as well as the young producers.

For more information about the Illinois State Fair, please visit StateFair.Illinois.gov. To learn more about the state’s efforts to combat drought conditions, visit Drought.Illinois.gov.

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Ribbons Awarded for Farm Crops at Iowa State Fair PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Lori Chappell   
Tuesday, 14 August 2012 13:32

Farm crops took to the judging table in the John Deere Agriculture Building sponsored by Alliant Energy on Thursday at the 2012 Iowa State Fair.

Complete results below:

FIELD CORN

Single Ear

1) Red Corn Farm, Melvin

2) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

3) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

4) David Klindt, Bettendorf

5) James Klindt, Bettendorf

6) Kevin Glanz, Manchester

 

Longest Ear

1) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

2) Sterling Weeda, Holstein

3) Dillon Weeda, Holstein

4) Julie Weeda, Holstein

5) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

6) Paul White, Ames

 

Ten Ears, Yellow Corn

1) James Klindt, Bettendorf

2) Kevin Glanz, Manchester

3) Becky Poduska, Chelsea

4) Lynne Pfantz, State Center

5) David Klindt, Bettendorf

6) Jay Van Wert, Hampton

 

Ten Ears, White Corn

1) David Klindt, Bettendorf

2) James Klindt, Bettendorf

3) Lynne Pfantz, State Center

4) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

5) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

6) Red Corn Farm, Melvin

 

Ten Ears, Open-Pollinated Corn

1) Red Corn Farm, Melvin

2) James Klindt, Bettendorf

3) David Klindt, Bettendorf

4) Mary Zelle, Waverly

5) Ronald Zelle, Waverly

 

Thirty Ears

1) James Klindt, Bettendorf

2) David Klindt, Bettendorf

3) Ronald Zelle, Waverly

4) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

5) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

6) Jay Van Wert, Hampton

 

Full Gallon Shelled Corn

1) David Klindt, Bettendorf

2) James Klindt, Bettendorf

3) Red Corn Farm, Melvin

4) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

5) Jay Van Wert, Hampton

6) Kevin Glanz, Manchester

 

Standard Bushel Basket Ear Field Corn

1) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

2) James Klindt, Bettendorf

3) David Klindt, Bettendorf

4) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

5) Lynne Pfantz, State Center

6) Oxford Farms, Cambridge

 

First Time Exhibitors, Yellow Corn

1) Steve Murty, Gladbrook

2) Kevin Glanz, Manchester

3) Thomas Huck, Waverly

 

New Crop, Yellow Corn

1) James Klindt, Bettendorf

2) Lynne Pfantz, State Center

3) David Klindt, Bettendorf

4) Dean Stormer, Bridgewater

5) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

 

New Crop, White Corn

1) James Klindt, Bettendorf

2) David Klindt, Bettendorf

 

Ornamental Corn

1) Red Corn Farm, Melvin

2) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

3) Dwight Sanders, Vinton

4) David Klindt, Bettendorf

 

Sweepstakes: James Klindt, Bettendorf

 

First Place Overall: James Klindt, Bettendorf

 

FORAGES, GRASSES AND LEGUMES

Alfalfa

1) David Klindt, Bettendorf

2) James Klindt, Bettendorf

3) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

4) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

 

Alsike Clover

1) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

2) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

3) Ronald Zelle, Waverly

 

Birdsfoot Trefoil

1) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

2) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

3) Jay Van Wert, Hampton

4) Mary Zelle, Waverly

 

Smooth Bromegrass

1) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

2) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

 

Medium Red Clover

1) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

2) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

3) David Klindt, Bettendorf

4) Ronald Zelle, Waverly

 

Millet

1) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

2) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

 

Orchard Grass

1) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

2) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

3) Ronald Zelle, Waverly

4) Mary Zelle, Waverly

 

Reed Canarygrass

1) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

2) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

3) Mary Zelle, Waverly

4) Ronald Zelle, Waverly

 

Sudan

1) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

2) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

 

Sweetclover

1) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

2) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

3) Ronald Zelle, Waverly

4) Mary Zelle, Waverly

 

Timothy

1) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

2) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

3) Jay Van Wert, Hampton

4) Ronald Zelle, Waverly

 

Any Other

1) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

2) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

3) Jay Van Wert, Hampton

4) Ronald Zelle, Waverly

 

Sweepstakes: Ginger Werner, Chelsea

 

POPCORN

Commercial, White Hybrid Popcorn

1) Becky Poduska, Chelsea

2) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

3) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

 

Commercial, Yellow Hybrid Popcorn

1) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

2) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

3) Dawn Troutner, Melbourne

 

Commercial, Mushroom Hybrid Popcorn

1) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

2) Becky Poduska, Chelsea

3) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

 

Ornamental, Japanese Hulless/White Rice Popcorn

1) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

2) Red Corn Farm, Melvin

3) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

 

Ornamental, Strawberry Popcorn

1) Red Corn Farm, Melvin

2) Becky Poduska, Chelsea

3) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

4) Lynne Pfantz, State Center

 

Ornamental, Lady Finger Type Popcorn

1) Becky Poduska, Chelsea

2) Dawn Troutner, Melbourne

3) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

4) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

 

Ornamental, Any Other Popcorn

1) Red Corn Farm, Melvin

2) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

3) Becky Poduska, Chelsea

4) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

 

Ornamental, Shelled Popcorn

1) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

2) Lynne Pfantz, State Center

3) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

4) Becky Poduska, Chelsea

 

Sweepstakes: Ginger Werner, Chelsea

 

SHEAF GRAINS

Brome Grass for Seed

1) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

2) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

3) Jay Van Wert, Hampton

4) Ronald Zelle, Waverly

 

Millet for Seed

1) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

2) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

 

Early Oats

1) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

2) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

3) Mary Zelle, Waverly

4) Ronald Zelle, Waverly

 

Mid Season Oats

1) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

2) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

3) Jay Van Wert, Hampton

 

Late Season Oats

1) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

2) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

 

Orchard Grass

1) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

2) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

 

Rye in Straw

1) David Klindt, Bettendorf

2) Jay Van Wert, Hampton

3) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

4) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

 

Grain Sorghum

1) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

2) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

3) Casey Cortum, Norwalk

 

Spring Wheat in Straw

1) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

2) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

3) Ronald Zelle, Waverly

4) Jay Van Wert, Hampton

 

Winter Wheat in Straw

1) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

2) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

 

Sweepstakes: Chuck Werner, Chelsea

 

SMALL GRAINS AND LEGUMES

Early Oats

1) None Awarded

2) David Klindt, Bettendorf

3) James Petersen, Knoxville

4) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

 

Mid Season Oats

1) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

2) David Klindt, Bettendorf

3) Lynne Pfantz, State Center

4) Thomas Huck, Waverly

 

Late Season Oats

1) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

2) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

 

Oats - Any Other Officially Recognized Variety

1) Ronald Zelle, Waverly

2) Jay Van Wert, Hampton

3) David Klindt, Bettendorf

4) Dwight Sanders, Vinton

 

Red Clover Seed

1) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

2) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

 

Spring Wheat

1) None Awarded

2) Ronald Zelle, Waverly

 

Winter Wheat

1) David Klindt, Bettendorf

 

Any Other

1) David Klindt, Bettendorf

2) Willard Hoskin, Keosauqua

3) Steve Murty, Gladbrook

 

SOYBEANS

Early Soybeans

1) Mary Zelle, Waverly

2) Ronald Zelle, Waverly

3) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

4) Rick Baumhover, Chariton

5) Lynne Pfantz, State Center

6) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

 

Mid Season Soybeans

1) Ronald Zelle, Waverly

2) James Klindt, Bettendorf

3) Thomas Huck, Waverly

4) Mary Zelle, Waverly

5) Jay Van Wert, Hampton

6) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

 

Late Season Soybeans

1) Mary Zelle, Waverly

2) Oxford Farms, Cambridge

3) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

4) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

5) Ronald Zelle, Waverly

6) Dean Stormer, Bridgewater

 

Specialty Food Soybean

1) Kevin Glanz, Manchester

2) Mary Zelle, Waverly

3) Ronald Zelle, Waverly

 

Soybean Bundles

1) Jay Van Wert, Hampton

2) Mary Zelle, Waverly

3) Chuck Werner, Chelsea

4) Ronald Zelle, Waverly

5) Ginger Werner, Chelsea

6) Dean Stormer, Bridgewater

 

Sweepstakes

1) Mary Zelle, Waverly

 

First Place Overall (classes 37-39)

1) Mary Zelle, Waverly

 

First Place Overall (class 40)

1) Kevin Glanz, Manchester won

 

“Nothing Compares” to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines, and are open 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. each day of the Fair. Exhibit hours may vary. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit iowastatefair.org.

 

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Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Economic Development Funding to Create Jobs, Economic Opportunity and Strengthen Rural Communities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Tuesday, 14 August 2012 11:09

DES MOINES, Iowa, August 14, 2012 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that 41 community-based organizations have been selected for funding to create jobs and support rural business development.

"USDA has a strong partnership with rural citizens and communities to bring increased economic opportunity," Vilsack said. "These grants are investments that will help organizations build the capacity and expertise of local businesses, which in turn will spur economic activity and strengthen rural economies. "

For example, in Polk County, the Iowa Economic Development Authority is receiving a $200,000 grant to help revitalize the historical commercial district. The authority will work with businesses on ways to highlight local events and community attractions, take advantage of tax credits, and promote local attractions through branding and marketing campaigns.

In Longmont, Colo., the First Nations Development Institute has been selected for a $50,000 grant to provide training and technical assistance to a Native American non-profit organization and two tribes to assist with capacity building. Zender Environmental Health and Research Group is receiving a $183,862 grant to train unemployed, rural Alaskan members in of seven Federally recognized Tribes for environmental technician jobs.

The funding announced today is being provided through the Rural Community Development Initiative Program (RCDI). It helps community-based development organizations, federally recognized Indian tribes and other groups promote economic growth in low-income, rural communities. Recipients are required to obtain matching funds, which increase the value of the grants.

Funding for each project is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the grant agreement. For a complete list of projects, click here.

President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).


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Plump Pumpkin Pummels Competition at State Fair PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Lori Chappell   
Tuesday, 14 August 2012 11:07

DES MOINES, IA (08/14/2012)(readMedia)-- The giant pumpkin grown by David Miller of Riverside tipped the scales at 933 pounds to claim the top spot and a $1,300 prize in the Big Pumpkin Contest judged Friday at the 2012 Iowa State Fair.

Marc Petersen of Clinton took second place and $750 with a pumpkin weighing in at 928 pounds. Dan Boelman of Pella captured third place and $550 with a pumpkin weighing 903 pounds. Fourth place and $350 were won by Don Young of Des Moines for his 880 pound pumpkin.

Complete results below:

1) David Miller, 933 lbs., Riverside

2) Marc Petersen, 928 lbs., Clinton

3) Dan Boelman, 903 lbs., Pella

4) Don Young, 880 lbs., Des Moines

5) John Shepherd, 852 lbs., Charlotte

6) Chris Schultz, 848 lbs., Decorah

7) Joe Cristoforo, 832 lbs., Mount Pleasant

8) Martin Schnicker, 611 lbs., Mount Pleasant

9) Michael Otto, 565 lbs., Newton

"Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines, and are open 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. each day of the Fair. Exhibit hours may vary. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit iowastatefair.org.

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