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May 21, 2020
A five-minute summary of AAI, regulation, and industry activities for members of the largest state agribusiness association in the nation.
REMINDER: The main office in Des Moines is closed to visitors. AAI staff is still available to help you with your member needs via phone or email. Phones are still being answered during normal business hours. If you'd like to reach a specific member of the staff please visit our staff listing online.

AAI Member

The AAI office is closed on Monday, May 25 to observe the Memorial Day holiday. Normal business hours will resume on Tuesday, May 26. Please have a safe and happy holiday weekend.

AAI Staff & Board Members

AAI IN ACTION
AAI Calendar of Meetings & Events
Office Closure
Memorial Day
May 24

AAI Board of Directors Meeting
July 9
10:00 AM

Golf Tournament #1
July 21
Fox Ridge Golf Course
Dike, Iowa
(tentative)
Golf Tournament #2
July 22
Emerald Hills Golf Course
Arnolds Park, Iowa
(tentative)

Golf Tournament #3
August 10
The Legacy Golf Club
Norwalk, Iowa
(tentative)

Golf Tournament #4
September 17
TBA Location
(tentative)
Note: Until further notice, all committee and board meetings will be held via conference call. Conference call access information will be listed in calendar invitations. View calendar online here .

  • The next aid package for farmers and local Iowa processors can sell across state lines

  • Planting is almost over according to the latest progress report

  • DOJ making it easier for hog producers to coordinate during tough times

  • USDA is investing dollars into rural Iowa broadband

Watch episodes from the past week anytime online!

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NEWS
A new agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture makes Iowa the seventh state where some small meat lockers can sell products in other states.

Almost a year ago, some small, state-inspected meat lockers approached the Iowa Department of Agriculture about joining the USDA cooperative interstate shipment program. It lets lockers with fewer than 25 employees apply for permission to sell their meat across state lines. Currently, those lockers are held to the same food safety and other standards as federally-inspected meat processors, but state employees are on-site during operations.

“We have a program that’s already jointly conducted with USDA,” says Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, “and this really takes it to the next level.”

PFI Holds Agronomists In the Know Calls Through August
Practical Farmers of Iowa are again hosting the "Agronomists in the Know" phone calls in 2020. The calls run from 12:10 pm - 12:40 pm. Any ag industry professional is welcome to join. Iowa CCAs can receive 0.5 CEU credits for each 30 minute phone call you attend.
The Schedule is announced: 

  • Thursday, June 4 Nitrogen and Cover Crops, Angie Rieck-Hinz, Iowa State University
  • Thursday, June 25 Conservation Agronomy, Betsy Bower, Ceres Solutions Cooperative
  • Thursday, August 6 Cover Crops & Weed Seeds, Gina Nichols, Iowa State University
  • Thursday, August 27 Farmer Customer and Cover Crop Plan, Betsy Bower, Ceres Solutions Cooperative and David Beard, Indiana farmer

To attend these calls use the following information - Call-in information: 605-313-5404 and use passcode: 522097. For more information regarding the calls, please contact Sarah Carlson at sarah@practicalfarmers.org 515-232-5661 or visit www.practicalfarmers.org.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a mixed forecast for crops. The monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates predicts farmers will have a good year for corn and soybean harvests, but prices are likely to drop as much as 10% for corn compared to last year.

Iowa State University ag economist Chad Hart says that could attract some new uses for the grain and oilseed crops. “As prices drop, suddenly you’re like, ‘Okay I didn’t use to use corn before in this, but I can, and corn is now inexpensive enough that it makes sense for me to do that,'” Hart says, “so you would see other uses pop up.”


Bipartisan legislation was introduced May 19 in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, which would provide assistance to biofuel producers adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and the economic fallout from the health crisis.

The legislation, titled the “Renewable Fuel Feedstock Reimbursement Act of 2020,” would require USDA to reimburse biofuel producers for their feedstock purchases made Jan. 1 through March 31 through the Commodity Credit Corporation.

“The biofuels industry works directly with our farmers,” Grassley said. “And the current disruptions from the pandemic have created ripple effects, including steep declines in corn and soybean prices. We need to continue to support those farmers who feed and fuel our country and the world. This bill will help ensure biofuel producers survive this economic downturn and also ensure corn and soybean farmers have a place to sell their products.”

Animal activists infiltrated a facility on Tuesday used by Iowa Select Farms and proceeded to taunt, harass and videotape their team members, says Jen Sorenson, director of communications for Iowa Select Farms.

“Not surprisingly, animal activists are trying to exploit this current challenge in agriculture to advance their own agenda,” Sorenson says. “It is disappointing that these individuals would try to use what is a profoundly difficult time to undermine the mission of every farmer.”

The significant number of processing plants temporarily shutting down or reducing their capacity due to employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 has created a backlog of hundreds of thousands of pigs staying on farms. 

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