March Margin Triggers Dairy Margin Coverage Payment

IARN — The Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced this week that the March triggered the first payment to dairy farmers enrolled in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program. The March income over feed cost margin was $9.15 per hundredweight. Current projections indicate that a DMC payment is likely to trigger every month for the remainder of 2020, a different expectation from last July when some market models had forecast no program payments for 18 months. FSA Director Richard Fordyce says the payment “comes at a critical time for many dairy producers,” noting it is the first payment to dairy producers in seven months. Read more

Rep. Finkenauer: “We Must Remain Vigilant To The Needs Of Rural Areas”

IARN — Congressional leaders offered financial support for small business owners under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Lawmakers now weigh the value of appropriated funding, which is filtered through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).

Representative Abby Finkenauer (IA-01) on Wednesday chaired a virtual forum on the economic challenges facing rural communities amid the coronavirus pandemic Read more

Ernst Questions EPA’s Wheeler Over RFS In Committee Hearing

IARN — Yesterday the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee heard testimony from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Wheeler on a wide variety of topics. Iowa Senator Joni Ernst sits on that committee, and she tells us she had a few questions for Administrator Wheeler about the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). Read more

Senator Grassley Introduces Biofuels Relief Bill

IARN — The biofuels industry has been suffering during this pandemic. People are not driving as much, so the price of gasoline tanked. That means the profits for ethanol were non-existent. Several plants had to either severely restrict production or shut down completely. This affected the economy of Iowa as a whole, but also the economies of the rural towns where these plants are located. Yesterday, Senator Chuck Grassley helped introduce a Biofuels Relief Bill in Congress. Read more

Sheldon City Council Meeting 5-20-20 – VIEW HERE

Sheldon, Iowa — When many businesses had to close or greatly restrict the amount of business they could conduct because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sheldon Chamber and Development Corporation created a promotion to encourage people to support their local Sheldon businesses.  That promotion resulted in the SCDC paying out twenty thousand dollars to people who had turned in about two hundred thousand dollars worth of receipts from Sheldon purchases during the 4 week term of the promotion.  At Wednesday’s city council meeting the city agreed to contribute forty thousand dollars to another program called “Comeback Cash”, which will provide a savings of thirty percent on purchases up to $500 per family.  The “Comeback Cash” will be sold over a two or three day period once the businesses get back to one hundred percent operation. Read more