Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Says Thank You to America's Farmers, Ranchers, and Rural Communities for Helping Strengthen Our Nation's Economy PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Communications   
Thursday, 19 April 2012 15:43

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, April 19, 2012 - Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighted the importance of agriculture and rural America to the economic recovery and the strength of the nation. Vilsack touted America's farmers, ranchers and growers as some of our nation's greatest assets, responsible for one out of every 12 jobs: providers of our food, feed, fiber, and fuel while helping to drive our national economy. He highlighted ways the USDA and the Obama Administration have worked to improve the lives of rural Americans and grow the agricultural economy over the past three years by developing new markets at home and abroad, maintaining a strong safety net, investing in conservation and research, and encouraging the next generation of farmers.

"Thanks to the productivity of America's hardworking farmers, ranchers and producers, U.S. agriculture continues to be a bright spot in America's economy and a driving force behind export growth, job creation, and our nation's competitiveness," said Vilsack. "U.S. agriculture accounts for 1 in 12 jobs, provides American consumers with safe and affordable foods, contributes to record incomes for farm families, and is helping reduce our reliance on foreign oil. Through our efforts at USDA and the work of the White House Rural Council, the Obama Administration is supporting farmers, ranchers, and rural communities as they help strengthen our nation's economy."

Vilsack noted USDA's work to strengthen the rural economy over the past three years, including:

  • USDA is maintaining a strong safety net to help keep American agriculture profitable and keep farmers on the farm. Over the past three years, USDA's crop insurance program has paid out almost $16.2 billion to more than 325,000 farmers who lost crops to natural disasters. Other programs have provided nearly $3.5 billion in aid to help more than 250,000 farmers and ranchers recover from natural disasters.
  • USDA has provided 103,000 loans to family farmers and has worked with over a half a million farmers to pursue conservation agreements and easements - enrolling a record number of acres in conservation programs and contributing hundreds of millions of dollars to the rural economy that supports many jobs.
  • USDA has made historic investments in America's rural communities, financing 50,000 rural small and mid-sized businesses - helping to create or save 266,000 jobs.
  • USDA has invested in broadband service for nearly seven million rural residents and helped to build or renovate over 6,200 community facilities including hospitals, schools, fire and police stations and libraries.
  • USDA has helped 456,000 rural families in more than 21,000 communities buy or refinance a home.

Vilsack also touted the work of the first-ever White House Rural Council, that was established by President Obama in June 2011. Chaired by Secretary Vilsack, the Council gives the Administration the ability to cut across large federal agencies to deliver results for rural families and businesses and provides a unique opportunity to hear directly from people across the country on how to grow the economy and create jobs in rural America.

Since its launch, the White House Rural Council has supported a broad spectrum of rural initiatives including a $350 million commitment in SBA funding to rural small businesses over the next 5 years, launching a series of conferences to connect investors with rural start-ups, creating capital marketing teams to pitch federal funding opportunities to private investors interested in making rural investments, making job search information available at 2,800 local USDA offices nationwide, making HHS loans available to help more than 1,300 Critical Access Hospitals recruit additional staff, and helping rural hospitals purchase software and hardware to implement health IT. USDA and Navy have also announced a partnership to advance the use of next generation biofuels in Navy operations.


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News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Heather Lilienthal   
Thursday, 19 April 2012 15:43

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – April 19, 2012 – Beginning and young farmers face many challenges as they start their farms and work to expand their operations; from rising costs of land and feed to changing regulations and rules. But many are excelling at their careers in agriculture and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) honors the top young farmers in the state at the organization’s annual meeting each December.

IFBF encourages young farmers, ages 18-35, to apply for the Young Farmer Achievement Award, which recognizes successful young farmers who excel in managing their farms and demonstrate outstanding leadership in their industries and communities. The Achievement Award is sponsored by John Deere. Applications for the award must be submitted to the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation by May 11.

The winner receives a year’s lease for a John Deere Tractor/loader combo or a TX Gator, John Deere Financial certificate, video, plaque and trips to the annual meetings of the American Farm Bureau Federation, GROWMARK and the IFBF Young Farmer group. All applicants receive up to three hours of farm financial planning assistance.

“Being recognized with this award was so gratifying for my wife and me,” explained Justin Dammann, a Page County farmer and 2011 award winner. “I knew that we were on the right track with our management, environmental practices and balancing work and family. Farm Bureau has been an important part of our professional development and we wanted to strive for this recognition.”

Applications can be downloaded at in the Young Farmer section. All applications are confidential.


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 media center at

ISU Extension and Outreach Scott County Calendar PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Thursday, 19 April 2012 15:39

Tips for growers on a quest for high-yield soybeans PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Leandra Grissom   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 14:10
Top management practices to maximize soybean acres from BASF

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, April 18, 2012 -- Many high-yielding growers across the Midwest have mastered the art of corn production. They’ve uncovered the secrets to maximizing yield in corn to produce a profit, and now they are looking to soybeans as their next opportunity.

A.J. Woodyard, an Illinois-based Technical Service Representative for BASF, said he believes growers are putting more effort into soybean production than ever before.

“Growers have corn production down to a science – they know what it takes to produce a high-yielding, profitable crop,” Woodyard said. “They’re ready for their next challenge and are looking for ways to push yields in soybeans, a crop that generally isn’t as profitable as corn.”

Across the Midwest, growers are excited about the challenge ahead. There’s a rising interest in intensively managed soybeans and the quest to uncover the production secrets that will put more money in a grower’s pocket.

Though soybean profit potential may not be as high as corn this season, there’s still plenty of room to make a profit with soybeans.

Rotation is key
Because of high commodity prices, many growers are moving a portion of their acreage to corn-on-corn in the hopes of meeting record profit potential. But the switch is a double-edged sword, as research shows corn-on-corn acres often yield less than corn planted on a rotational field.

According to research conducted by Iowa State University, growers can expect to see a yield drop of 5 to 15 percent for second-year corn compared to first-year corn. Thanks to dry, hot weather and limited water during the latter part of the past two seasons, growers have experienced an even larger yield drag with corn-on-corn, leading to an increasing interest in producing high-yielding soybeans to keep profits high year-after-year.

“Growers are interested in ways to grow high-yielding soybeans so they can maintain consistent profits in a corn-on-soybean rotation,” Woodyard said. “Our goal is to help them find a profitable way to do it.”

Disease control and Plant Health
A well-timed fungicide application effectively protects soybeans from the damaging diseases that threaten yield potential and also provide Plant Health benefits. In turn, the crop can produce higher yields and more profit.

BASF research shows an increase in soybean yields of 4-6 bu/A with an application of Headline® fungicide at R3, or early podset. This equates to an ROI of nearly 3:1.

Synergies with an insecticide
Additional benefits have been witnessed across the Midwest when growers pair their fungicide application with an insecticide application. There’s a combined positive effect when applying Headline with an insecticide, Woodyard said.

“Soybean growers recognize that pairing their Headline application with an insecticide makes sense,” he said. “We see an advantage when both products are used – some years the fungicide provides the primary benefit, and other years it’s the insecticide. Either way, we see improved consistency with the combination of Headline and an insecticide at R3.”

Prepare for 2013
Because of the increase in corn acres this year, some market experts forecast a shift in commodity prices, causing an increase in soybean prices during the next year. With an increase in profit potential in soybeans, some growers may readjust their approach and grow more beans in 2013.

“Now’s the time for soybean growers to try new things on their fields and challenge themselves to uncover what it takes to grow higher-yielding soybeans,” Woodyard said. “We encourage growers to take advantage of the 2012 season and learn from their successes and mistakes to push yields in the coming years.”

For more information on BASF Crop Protection products, visit, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

For more information contact:

Leandra Grissom
BASF Corporation
Tel: (919) 547-2936

About the Crop Protection division

With sales of 4.1 billion in 2011, BASF's Crop Protection division is a leader in crop protection and a strong partner to the farming industry providing well-established and innovative fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. Farmers use these products and services to improve crop yields and crop quality. Other uses include public health, structural/urban pest control, turf and ornamental plants, vegetation management, and forestry. BASF aims to turn knowledge rapidly into market success. The vision of BASF's Crop Protection division is to be the world's leading innovator, optimizing agricultural production, improving nutrition, and thus enhancing the quality of life for a growing world population. Further information can be found on the web at or follow us on twitter:

BASF — The Chemical Company

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 16,000 employees in North America, and had sales of $19.9 billion in 2011. For more information about BASF's North American operations, visit

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to Highlight How Agriculture and Rural America is Strengthening the Nation’s Economy PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Communications   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 14:09

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2012 – TOMORROW, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will deliver remarks on the importance of agriculture and rural America to our economic recovery and the strength of the nation. Vilsack will discuss how agriculture is a formula for what is working in the economy, as farmers have reduced their debt, adopted innovative farming techniques, and are producing products that the rest of the world wants and needs.  He will also highlight the Administration’s accomplishments for American agriculture over the past three years including developing new markets at home and abroad, maintaining a strong safety net, commitment to conservation and research, and efforts to help the next generation get started in farming.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

1 p.m. CDT


WHAT: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will highlight the importance of agriculture and rural America to our economic recovery and the strength of the nation.


WHERE: Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation

324 3rd Street SE

Cedar Rapids, IA



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