COVID-19 Just The Latest Setback For Meat Industry

IARN — Certainly, a lot of focus is on the current COVID-19 pandemic, and the effects it is having on the agricultural sector. Even more attention is being paid to the effects specifically facing the meat industry. This is being watched by not only the producers but by the consumers. As plants shut down or slow down because of the virus, many people wonder how it will affect the food supply. However, this is just the latest in a string of challenges the industry has faced in the past months and years. Read more

USDA FSA Reminds Iowa Producers To Complete Crop Acreage Reports

IARN — USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices in Iowa are currently open to phone and virtual appointments only but can still work with producers on timely filing crop acreage reports. FSA staff can help over the phone, by mail, email, and through virtual meetings via Microsoft Teams. Read more

Perdue: Meatpackers To Open In “Days,” Not Weeks

IARN — Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says meatpacking plants that have been slowed or shut down due to coronavirus will open again in days, not weeks. Slaughterhouse employees are set to receive additional protective gear and will have access to COVID-19 testing “virtually immediately.” Perdue expects the shortfall in meat production is likely as high as 30 percent but will drop to between 10 and 15 percent within 10 days. Read more

Sheep Industry Taking A Hit They Cannot Afford

IARN — With so much focus on beef and pork and how those industries have been affected by COVID-19, it is easy to forget about some of our other commodities as well. Sheep is another red meat market that does not always get the attention that the others do, but those producers are facing the same trials. These challenges may be even harder on an industry that is two-sided with meat and wool. Read more

Biofuels Industry Finds Congressional Support Amid Global Crisis

IARN –Roughly half of ethanol production remains offline.

The current situation is “heartbreaking,” as the biofuels industry was “built by farmers, for farmers,” says Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy.

Ethanol production currently sits at 8.5 billion gallons compared to 16 billion gallons at this time last year. “We have never seen demand fall this far, or fast,” according to Skor. She predicts things to be a little different on the other side of COVID-19. Read more

Spring Planting Off To “Extremely Fast” Start

IARN — National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) officials deemed five-point-three days suitable for field work during the week ending April 26.

Iowa farmers planted over one-third of the state’s expected corn crop and nine-percent of the expected soybean crop during such time. Soybean planting came in 10 days ahead of last year and one week ahead of the average, as farmers move “extremely fast.” Read more