Ethanol Industry Losses Could Reach $9 Billion

IARN — The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) says the industry has lost more than $3.4 billion in revenue stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. An industry analysis released by the association this week also found that pandemic-related damages in 2020 and 2021 could reach nearly $9 billion. The data is based on the latest projections from the Energy Information Administration and Agriculture Policy Research Institute. Between March and June of 2020, the study by RFA found the cumulative decline in ethanol production and consumption exceeded 1.3 billion gallons, and nearly 500 million fewer bushels of corn were used in ethanol production during the period. Read more

Extension Staff Emphasize Importance Of Scouting For Aphids

IARN — Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach staff have discovered foundational colonies of soybean aphids in research plots and commercial fields in northern Iowa.

Such thresholds do not warrant treatment. However, continuous scouting efforts suggest growing populations. Extension staff offer recommendations on how to best approach this decades old pest.

Extension entomologist specialist Erin Hodgson encourages producers to begin scouting for soybean aphids, which have popped up across Iowa’s rural landscape.

Photo courtesy of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

“She is a small, asexual clone in the summer, about one-and-a-half millimeters from tip to tail. She normally has a bright green body, dark cornicles, or tail pipes at the tip of her abdomen. She’s pear-shaped, has a little head and pear-shaped body, (and) is capable of flight. Normally you’re going to see the wingless version, but when things get crowded, you’re going to see this winged morph,” Hodgson said.

Soybean aphids can be mistaken for potato leafhoppers, also commonly found in Iowa. The potato leafhopper, however, is structured differently. It presents a big head and tapering abdomen. Hodgson emphasizes the importance of scouting, especially when it comes to this little pest.

“The odds of making a profit on that crop decrease, if you’re not scouting. There has to be some level, or insect density worth treating to protect that to make a breakeven point,” Hodgson said. “The more you scout, the less often you’ll have to spray, especially for an erratic pest. And the odds of profit go up.”

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

Iowa Working To Keep Foreign Markets Strong During Pandemic

IARN — Trade was the biggest agricultural topic for the past two years. Negotiating trade deals with Japan, China, and the United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement were all things the Ag industry was excited about at the beginning of the year. Iowa really stood to benefit from the better flow of our agricultural products to our strongest markets. Read more

NCGA Recognizes Senator Ernst With President’s Award

IARN — National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross recognized Iowa Senator Joni Ernst with NCGA’s 2020 President’s Award. The President’s Award is given annually at NCGA’s Corn Congress meeting in Washington, D.C., to a leader who has worked to advance issues important to corn growers and agriculture. Due to COVID-19, this year’s Corn Congress was held as a one-day online meeting. Read more

Kent Excited For New ISU Extension Role

IARN — Since June 1st, five new regional directors have been working for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Among the new directors is Julie Hering Kent, who serves as director for ISU Extension Region 22 covering Mills, Montgomery, Fremont, and Page counties. Kent says she was previously the executive director of the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce since 2008. Prior, she served as Cass County Extension’s youth program coordinator and interim county extension education director. Read more