United Suppliers, Land O’Lakes’ crop inputs business to merge

The merger of Ames, Iowa-based United Suppliers and Land O’Lakes’ crop inputs business has been approved by the owners and members of both companies. According to a joint news release, the first step of the merger will be to combine the two companies’ seed and crop protection businesses under WinField US, LLC.  The second step… Read more »

Federal water rule takes effect this Friday

The Clean Water Rule, formerly called “Waters of the U.S.”, is scheduled to take effect this Friday. Late last week, a U.S. district court judge in North Dakota heard arguments as to whether implementation of the law should be postponed for at least nine months. But the judge did not indicate when he might issue… Read more »

Animal rights protestors interrupt Christie’s speech

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was confronted by animal rights protestors during a speech Saturday at the Iowa State Fair. The animal rights activists jumped on the stage with Christie. They held a sign with a picture of a sow in a gestation crate and shouted “animals want to live”. After the protestors were removed… Read more »

Nebraska Pork Producers exec is retiring

The executive director of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association (NPPA) for the past eight years is retiring. Larry Sitzman has informed the NPPA board of directors that he will retire on January 4th, 2016. Sitzman is a former director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

Tighter margins ahead

Managing for Profit copy

With falling commodity prices and input costs holding firm, there’s been a steady drop in the net farm income of crop producers. And with what appears to be pretty ample crops on the way, it’s possible that situation may not improve for some time. At a recent soybean management field day near Alda, Nebraska, we… Read more »

Clean Water Rule takes effect August 28

Rural Issues copy

Barring an injunction, which has been requested by Missouri attorney general Chris Koster, the Clean Water Rule (formerly known as “Waters of the U.S.”) will go into effect on August 28th. So what does that mean to farmers and ranchers? What about the lawsuits challenging the rule—do they have much chance of success? We put… Read more »

Egg industry exec says vaccine is needed

The president of one of the nation’s largest egg producers, Rembrandt Foods, says the egg industry is eager to use a new avian influenza vaccine. Speaking at a news conference during the Iowa State Fair, Dave Rettig said he hopes USDA approves use of the vaccine. “We would like to be allowed to use it. We need… Read more »

Water quality discussions continue in Iowa

Agriculture’s battle with Des Moines Water Works over water quality has widened the state’s rural/urban divide. But Iowa Soybean Association spokesman Aaron Putze says the news is not all bad.  Putze says a recent meeting with officials in Ottumwa was very encouraging. “The mayor of Ottumwa is wanting to have a really thoughtful and pragmatic… Read more »

Iowa cooperatives explore possible merger

Two of Iowa’s largest farmer-owned cooperatives are exploring a possible merger. According to a joint news release, the boards of directors of Ames-based Farmers Cooperative Company (FC Coop) and Ralston-based West Central Cooperative have signed a letter of intent to study the membership benefits of unification. In coming weeks, the companies will host a series… Read more »

Iowa Farm Bureau releases results of avian flu study

An Iowa Farm Bureau study shows the avian influenza outbreak is costing Iowa nearly 85-hundred jobs and 425 million dollars in lost income. Iowa Farm Bureau’s Dave Miller says the ripple effects of the lost jobs and revenue could last for up to three years. He says that will also impact egg and poultry prices,… Read more »