Dry weather stresses Iowa’s crops

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Iowa’s corn crop deteriorated under dry weather last week, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture lowering its good to excellent rating for Iowa’s corn crop from 63 percent a week ago to 59 percent for the week ended Sunday. Nationally, the good to excellent rating for the corn crop fell from 57 percent last week…


60,000 corn plants per acre? Seed firm works toward goal

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Adel, Ia. – Since the commercial advent of hybrid corn in the 1930s, Iowa farmers have increased populations of corn plants from about 8,000 an acre to 25,000 by the 1980s and to an average of 34,000 to 36,000 today. What is corn’s equivalent of Mach 4 jet speed: 60,000 plants per acre? Maybe 75,000…


Iowa corn rating dips slightly

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The percentage of Iowa’s corn crop rated good to excellent by the U.S. Department of Agriculture dipped slightly from 75 percent a week ago to 73 percent for the week ending Sunday. The good to excellent condition rating for soybeans dropped from 76 percent last week to 75 percent in the latest report. “Soybean aphid…


Heat wave takes toll on Iowa crops, livestock

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The heat wave continues to take a toll on Iowa’s crops and livestock. In the weekly crop report on Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said 75 percent of the corn crop is in good to excellent shape, a decrease from 80 percent the week before. Seventy-three percent of the soybean crop is in good…


July heat reduces Iowa corn’s quality

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The hottest July since 1955 has taken its toll on Iowa’s corn crop, with one forecast calling for a national corn yield this year no better than last year’s smaller yield. Iowa State University meteorologist Ellwyn Taylor said Monday that "with heat and humidity, the likely U.S. corn yield is likely to be about like…


July heat reduces Iowa corn’s quality

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The hottest July since 1955 has taken its toll on Iowa’s corn crop, with one forecast calling for a national corn yield this year no better than last year’s smaller yield. Iowa State University meteorologist Ellwyn Taylor said Monday that "with heat and humidity, the likely U.S. corn yield is likely to be about like…


Green Fields: Iowa farmers outproduce China, Canada in grain

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If Iowa wants to think of itself as an agricultural superpower, it can go right ahead, based on a study by the Earth Policy Institute showing that Iowa farmers produced more grain, in tonnage, than either Canada or China, despite fewer acres. In 2010, Iowa produced 55 million tons of grain, mostly corn, on about…


Prices drop on improved weather

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CHICAGO (Dow Jones)–U.S. grain and soybean futures slid Monday as heavier-than-expected rains benefited crops that had been stressed by heat and dryness. Corn for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, fell 11 cents, or 1.6%, to $6.74 1/2 a bushel. Soft red winter wheat for September delivery lost 3 3/4 cents, or 0.5%, to…


Dip in land and shares puts cloud over farm sector

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Farmland prices have slipped for a third successive month in the US, and share prices in agricultural groups markedly underperformed the market, raising a question mark over the sector’s standing with investors. Farm values, while continuing this month a rise in prices stretching back to the start of 2010, rose more slowly than in June,…


Iowa ag secretary hears switchgrass update

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Iowa secretary of agriculture Bill Northey visited the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee this week.  He was attending his first meeting as a director of the 25 X 25 Group, a national organization focused on renewable energy.   Northey says they heard presentations on research involving switchgrass and other cellulosic materials to produce biofuels. “We’ve…


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