Live From China: U.S. Soybean Farmers Honor 30-Year Partnership PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Friday, 27 July 2012 12:00
One of every four rows of soybeans grown in the United States will travel to China, making it the largest international market for U.S. soy. A delegation of U.S. soybean farmers will travel to China to show their appreciation, and speak to U.S. reporters from there live.

Representatives of the United Soybean Board (USB), the American Soybean Association (ASA) and the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) will be available through a teleconference to discuss this mutually beneficial relationship and how American soybean farmers are helping China reach its food security and safety goals.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
9 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Central Time

To participate in the teleconference, please click here to register. 


Vanessa Kummer, USB chair, North Dakota soybean farmer

Steve Wellman, ASA president, Nebraska soybean farmer

Roy Bardole, USSEC chairman, Iowa soybean farmer

Livestock and Crop Options during Drought PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Friday, 27 July 2012 08:44
Eastern Iowa crop and livestock producers dealing with drought–related issues are invited to
attend an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach program Monday, July 30 to learn more
about options available to them. Jackson and Clinton County Extension will be hosting the 1- 3
p.m. program at Buzzy’s in Welton. There is no charge to attend the webinar.

Livestock issues covered during the program will include options to help producers manage
immediate needs related to stressed pastures and reduced hay supplies. Denise Schwab,
Extension Beef Specialist, will discuss early weaning to reduce cow requirements, supplemental
feeding on pasture, feeding value of drought stressed corn silage, proper ensiling and potential
for nitrate toxicity for corn harvested as silage or green chop.

Members of the Extension Crops Team will cover the topics of crop growth and development
under drought conditions and feeding drought damaged crops. “We will look at current
conditions, short-range and long range forecasts, impacts of drought on forages and crops, and
impacts on disease and insect development,” said Virgil Schmitt, Extension Agronomist.

In addition to the Jackson and Clinton County Extension Offices, Fidelity Bank & Trust and US
Bank at Clinton and Maquoketa are co-sponsoring this program.

For more information on the program, contact the Jackson County Extension Office at 563-
652-4923. Additional drought related materials can be found at the ISU Extension & Outreach
drought disaster web site


News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Laurie Johns   
Friday, 27 July 2012 08:05

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – July 26, 2012 – Audubon-Manning Veterinary Clinic (AMVC), long recognized by Iowa farmers as an industry leader in assuring livestock health and welfare, is credited with also providing a valued service to farmers in six other states.  The AMVC model of excellence and strong community commitment helped the Audubon business earn the July Iowa Farm Bureau Renew Rural Iowa Entrepreneur Award.

AMVC is a veterinary clinic, first and foremost, which offers services to small and large animals, but on a much larger scale.  Dr. Daryl Olsen, one of AMVC’s founders, says, “We offer services and management for 100,000 sows in seven states, which in turn, give birth to 2.5 million pigs and employ 450 people. We just listened to our customers and we tried to offer the services that they need.  It’s helped our business grow and find the best ways to serve our farmers,” says Olsen.  “We have grown to seven states now and we do that by hiring good people.  We have employees at management levels, CBA’s, PHd’s, agronomists, vets but also we get the typical person who will work directly on farms.”

Michelle Sprague, ISU grad, works at AMVC and oversees herd health. “I chose AMVC when I graduated because it seemed like a very progressive company that did a lot of things right, that cared about the community, the swine industry and the business as a whole.  You can also tell that the employees are happy and it’s fun to work here.  Since I wanted to end up in rural Iowa, this is a great fit for me personally as well,” says Sprague.

Randy Dreher, Audubon hog and cattle farmer, says AMVC’s commitment to farmers is unparalleled. “Not only do we look to them for insight, but it’s a valuable service for them to be a sounding board for my operation: to know what things I need to look for, not just for a profitability standpoint, but for livestock health as well,” says Dreher, a local Farm Bureau leader.

Renew Rural Iowa (RRI) is an IFBF initiative supporting new and existing businesses through education, mentoring and financial resources.   Visit with Renew Rural Iowa staff and partners at the Iowa State Fair on August 16 in Farm Bureau Park.  For more information, go to



Gov. Branstad issues Disaster Emergency Proclamation to assist livestock producers and farmers impacted by drought PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad   
Thursday, 26 July 2012 15:48

(DES MOINES)  - Today, Gov. Branstad issued a disaster emergency proclamation that will provide relief to Iowa farmers hit hard by the drought being experienced in the state.

This proclamation takes affect at noon today for the next 60 days.  The assistance comes in the form of a suspension of state laws and regulations affecting the transport of hay, straw and stover. The drought has destroyed or depleted sources of these products that are necessary for livestock production and feed.

Specifically, this proclamation allows for:

  • Overweight loads: Hay, straw and stover may be transported in loads weighing up to 90,000 pounds gross weight without obtaining an overweight permit normally required by the Iowa Department of Transportation. Overweight loads cannot travel on the interstate without a permit.  This proclamation applies to noninterstate roadways.  Specific axle weight limits do apply. Visit the Iowa DOT’s website to see the maximum gross weight table and determine the legal limits for your vehicle/trailer combination.  A vehicle that is overweight, but not overwidth, can travel at all hours.
  • Overwidth loads: A vehicle transporting these goods can be overwidth, without an Iowa DOT permit, if they do not exceed 12 feet 5 inches wide.  An overwidth load can travel on any road, including the interstate, as long as its gross weight does not exceed 80,000 pounds.  Movement must occur between the hours of 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset.  All flags, signs and lights normally required are still needed.
  • Overweight and overwidth loads: A vehicle transporting these goods can be both overwidth, up to 12 feet 5 inches, and overweight, up to 90,000 pounds.  However, these vehicles cannot travel on the interstate.
  • Driver hours of service: The driver hours-of-service regulations pertaining to persons transporting these specific agricultural goods are suspended. Certain rest periods must be provided to drivers to prevent fatigued or ill drivers from operating on the roadways.


For additional details, call 1-800-925-6469 or visit the Iowa DOT’s website at where a question and answer sheet can be found.

The proclamation reads as follows:




WHEREAS, The State of Iowa is in the midst of a severe drought; and


WHEREAS, the drought has destroyed and depleted sources and stores of hay, straw, and stover necessary for livestock production and feed; and


WHEREAS, the lack of hay, straw and stover threatens the health and viability of Iowa livestock and the economic health and well being of Iowa livestock producers and the State of Iowa; and


WHEREAS, strict compliance with the permit and fee requirements of Iowa Code sections 321.454, 321.463, and 321E.29 and 761 I.A.C. 511 allowing overwidth and overweight loads, and strict compliance with the hours of service requirements of section 321.449 of the Iowa Code will prevent, hinder, or delay timely transportation and delivery of hay, straw, and stover necessary to protect and preserve Iowa livestock and Iowa livestock producers from the effects of the drought.


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terry E. Branstad, Governor of the State of Iowa, by the power and authority invested in me by the Constitution, Article IV Sections 1 and 8 and Iowa Code section 29C.6(1), do hereby proclaim a state of disaster emergency for the entire State of Iowa.  Further, pursuant to Iowa Code section 29C.6(6), I hereby suspend the following regulatory provisions:


  1. I hereby suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code sections 321.463, paragraphs “5.a” and “5.b” and 321E.29  and 761 I.A.C. 511 to the extent that those provisions restrict the movement of overweight loads of hay, straw, and stover only and require a permit to transport such loads.  Suspension of these provisions 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 nonprimary 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.

  2. I hereby suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code sections 321.454 and 321E.29  and 761 I.A.C. 511 to the extent that those provisions restrict the movement of overwidth loads of hay, straw, and stover only and require a permit to transport such loads.  Suspension of these provisions applies to loads transported on all highways within Iowa and which are a width of 12 feet 5 inches or less, are of a length that complies with Iowa Code section 321.457, are of a height that is 13 feet 6 inches or less, and are within the weight restrictions set forth in paragraph “1” above.  This paragraph and paragraph “1” above are intended to allow vehicles transporting hay, straw or stover only to be overwidth but not overweight, not exceeding 12 feet 5 inches, on all highways within Iowa including the interstate system without a permit, and to be overwidth and overweight, not exceeding 12 feet 5 inches and 90,000 pounds gross weight, on all highways within Iowa, excluding the interstate system, without a permit, but only for the duration of this proclamation. 

    Persons transporting hay, straw, or stover without a permit under authority of this declaration are responsible for assessing and determining their route and should consult Iowa Department of Transportation travel information at to determine road closures and restrictions.

    Movement of vehicles operated without a permit under authority of this declaration that are overwidth shall be permitted only during the hours from one-half-hour before sunrise to one-half-hour after sunset, and shall comply with the flags, signs, and lights requirements applicable to overwidth vehicles set forth in 761 I.A.C. 511.15(3).

  3. I do hereby suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code section 321.449 pertaining to hours of service of motor carriers and drivers of commercial motor vehicles, only while transporting hay, straw, or stover during the duration of this proclamation.

4.       Nothing contained in this declaration shall be construed as an exemption from the controlled substances and alcohol use and testing requirements (49 CFR 382), the commercial drivers license requirements (49 CFR 383), the financial responsibility requirements (49 CFR 387), or any other portion of the regulations not specifically identified in this proclamation.

5.       No motor carrier operating under the terms of this proclamation shall require or allow a fatigued or ill driver to operate a motor vehicle.  A driver who informs a carrier that he or she needs immediate rest shall be given at least ten consecutive hours off duty before the driver is required to return to service.

6.       Upon the request of a driver, a commercial motor carrier operating under this proclamation must give a driver at least 34 consecutive hours off when the driver has been on duty for more than 70 hours in any eight consecutive days.

7.       Motor carriers that have an out-of-service order in effect may not take advantage of the relief from regulations that this declaration provides under title 49 CFR 390.23.

8.       This proclamation only applies to hours of service of motor carriers and drivers of commercial motor vehicles while transporting hay, straw, or stover only.

9.       Upon the expiration of the effective date of this proclamation, or when a driver has been relieved of all duty and responsibility to provide direct assistance to the emergency effort, a driver that has had at least 34 consecutive hours off duty shall be permitted to start his or her on-duty status hours and 60/70 hour clock at zero.

This proclamation of disaster emergency becomes effective at noon on the twenty-sixth day of July, 2012 and expires 60 days from the date issued.  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 vehicles involved.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto subscribed my name and caused the great seal of the State of Iowa to be affixed. Done at Des Moines this 26th day of July in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve.




Take Precautions When Feeding Drought Damaged Corn as Silage PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Thursday, 26 July 2012 15:42
AMES, Iowa ― When a corn plant is stunted, or not growing normally, nitrates can build up in
the plant. Typically, nitrogen that is taken up by the corn plant is converted to amino acids ―
the building blocks of protein ― but in the stressed plant this conversion does not occur. And
that’s why producers need to know how to handle and feed drought-damaged corn in silage form,
according to Steve Ensley, of Iowa State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic and Production
Animal Medicine (VDPAM) department.

“The nitrate level can be high enough in stunted plants that if harvested as silage the nitrate can
be toxic to livestock that consume the silage,” Ensley said. “The most common problem is when
drought stressed corn is green chopped and fed to livestock without going through ensiling.”

Ensiling will lower the amount of nitrate in the plant. Nitrogen availability to the plant, which
will depend on recent rain, fertilizer applied and other factors, will affect the level of nitrate in
the plant. If producers are planning on making silage from drought damaged corn, the only way
they can be sure about the level of nitrate is do some sampling and testing of the corn silage
before feeding.

“Producers have several options to help determine whether nitrate toxicity might be a problem,”
Ensley said. “Assess the corn field that will be harvested to determine how much of the field
has stunted corn that’s not developing a normal ear. Take samples either by taking grab samples
of silage cut by a forage chopper or by cutting several entire plants by hand that represent the
various types of corn in the field.”

A quick test that will screen for the presence of nitrates in stalks without having to chop the
stalk can be done by ISU Extension beef and dairy specialists. A drop of diphenylamine in
sulfuric acid on the surface of a stalk split in two will turn a blue-black color if nitrate is present.
However, this does not provide a concentration of nitrate. Availability of this screening test
varies. In some cases, the screening test may be a part of drought meetings where the beef or
dairy field specialists are present.

Other options include getting a representative sample of several stalks and performing a
strip test, which can help determine the concentration of nitrate by sending in a sample. ISU
Extension beef and dairy specialists also will have capability for this, but due to the time
required to prepare the sample for analysis the availability will be more limited than the
screening test. Samples also can be sent to commercial feed analysis labs, or your veterinarian
can send samples to the Iowa State veterinary diagnostic lab.

For more information on nitrate toxicity in drought damage corn silage, see the fact
sheet “Nitrate Toxicity” on the Iowa Beef Center website. Producers also can contact their ISU
Extension beef specialist or dairy specialist. Additional drought-related information is available
on the Extension and Outreach Dealing with Drought website and the Iowa Beef Center website.


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