County News

clover
June 10, 2020

The 2020 Carroll County 4-H Livestock and Static shows will go on with social distancing guidelines in place.

large planter in field
May 11, 2020
AMES, Iowa – Despite another difficult year in agriculture, cash rents still posted an increase of about 1.4%, according to this year’s Cash Rental Rates for Iowa 2020 Survey, released earlier this month.  Rates across the state averaged $222 per acre, compared to $219 per acre in 2019, the fourth year of relatively stable rates, but at levels about 18% lower than the historical peak reached in 2013, of $270 per acre.  “It’s surprising for me to see that cash rents are pretty stable and have not gone down,” said Alejandro Plastina, associate professor and extension economist at Iowa State University. “And that’s likely a reflection that government programs last year were injecting enough liquidity.”
The survey included nearly 1,600 responses from farmers, landowners, professional farm managers, realtors and others with knowledge of land rents, reportedly familiar with 1.6 million acres of cash-rented land across Iowa. The percentage of increase varied across the state, with the lowest quality land showing the largest increase, at 2.7% per acre, compared to the .4% increase for high quality land.  According to Plastina, most cash rents for 2020 were determined by September 2019, during expectations of federal Market Facilitation Program payments and expectations of higher soybean exports to China.  He said the challenges of 2020 were mostly not yet considered, and could lead to some future renegotiations and softening of rates. Those challenges include economic losses from the coronavirus, delays in the Phase 1 trade deal, and decreased demand for biofuels, due to plummeting oil prices.
April 9, 2020
Social distancing, self-isolation, quarantine: the changes from COVID-19 can be hard to handle. However, Iowans can turn to Iowa Concern for help, says Tammy Jacobs, coordinator for the long-time service from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

With a toll-free phone number, live chat capabilities and a website, Iowa Concern services are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week at no charge. Iowa Concern provides access to stress counselors and an attorney for legal education, as well as information and referral services for a wide variety of topics.

To reach Iowa Concern, call 800-447-1985; language interpretation services are available. Or, visit the website, https://www.extension.iastate.edu/iowaconcern/, to live chat with a stress counselor one-on-one in a secure environment. Or email an expert regarding legal, finance, stress, or crisis and disaster issues.
March 12, 2020

Custom farming can provide an additional source of income for those with machinery and experience, or alleviate a farmer of a particular task that they do not wish to do on their own. Whether the farmer is performing or receiving the custom work, the question always comes up over what to charge. And while rates vary from one operator to another, a new report by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach provides a look at projected averages for 2020.  The 2020 Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey is available in the March edition of Ag Decision Maker, and provides custom prices for common farm tasks in Iowa, compiled from 106 respondents.

According to the report, there was a 3% decline across all categories, with complete harvesting and hauling declining by 4%, and bin and machinery rental increasing by 2.3%.

The average price for custom combining corn in Iowa in 2020 is $36.70 per acre, compared to $35.95 per acre in 2019. Spraying, per acre, is $6.70 in 2020, a slight decline from $7.25 per acre in 2019.In addition to field activities, the report also includes prices for commodity storage, snow removal and farm maintenance, equipment rental and labor prices.

Cattle
April 28, 2020

Cattle producers are searching for acceptable ways to stretch the finish window.  The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt cattle markets. Cash sales for the week of April 13-17 were depressed as packing plants operated at reduced capacity or shuttered their doors due to labor issues spurred by the pandemic.  Having a market that will take finished cattle at a suitable date has become a concern. In addition, the current live market prices, and limited sale opportunities for fat steers have left many cattle feeders searching for solutions to reduce their economic loss.  In times of depressed markets many cattle feeders lean toward the “hold and hope” method of selling fed cattle, where they retain their cattle longer than is ideal with the hope of waiting out the down turn in the market.

 

Dad and Daughter at kitchen table
March 25, 2020

It's a common image: harried adults racing from workplace to home and back again, trying to fulfill work responsibilities, but wanting to be home with family. What happens when working adults have no place to race to, since work and home are the same place? As the COVID-19 pandemic turns homes into workplaces, how can Iowans best cope with the consequences?  

Pantry with food
March 19, 2020

The outbreak of Covid 19, a disease caused by the new coronavirus, has many Iowans thinking about emergency supplies and kits, if they should need to self-isolate or quarantine. Nutrition and wellness state specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offer tips for stocking the pantry, without panic buying. 

June 1, 2018

Jacy McAlexander was a State 4-H Council Member with a big heart who was passionate about helping others through the Ronald McDonald House.

October 6, 2015

4-H members must attend 4 meetings during the 4-H year to be able to exhibit at the 2020 Carroll County Fair.

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