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May 28, 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 IN ACTION
AAI Calendar of Meetings & Events
AAI Board of Directors
Conference Call
June 10
1:00 PM

AAI Board of Directors
Conference Call
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 .

  • Details from the crop progress report as Iowans finishing planting

  • Equipment company sees 2019 losses in latest quarterly report

  • Trade expected to help out the ag economy during the pandemic

  • New program to teach Iowa's veterinarians to stop foreign animal disease

Watch episodes from the past week anytime online!

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NEWS
Fifteen years of wetlands research by Iowa State University – a study thought to be the largest and longest running project of its kind in the country – clarifies their performance as highly beneficial systems for reducing nitrogen loading.

“Even under highly variable conditions over many years, the wetland systems we studied worked as expected and removed significant amounts of nitrate,” said William Crumpton, the lead researcher and University Professor of ecology, evolution and organismal biology.

Now, during National Wetlands Month, it’s a good time to consider the benefits wetlands can provide. The Iowa State research outlines the potential of wetland systems to improve water quality in agricultural landscapes and provides extensive data to better assess their costs and benefits.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is launching a disposal assistance program to help pork producers who are unable to harvest pigs due to COVID-19 supply chain disruptions.

“COVID-19 has caused unprecedented, ongoing disruptions to the food supply chain,” said Secretary Naig. “Pork producers are going to extraordinary lengths to donate pork to food banks and identify other markets for their animals but, in many cases, it’s not enough to make up for the backlog happening on farms. Producers are being forced to make very difficult decisions and this is one way the state is working to support them during these extremely challenging times.”

COVID-19-related worker shortages are causing meat processing facilities to drastically reduce production. Iowa State University estimates that, as of mid-May, approximately 600,000 pigs in Iowa were unable to be harvested.

Producers are working with the Resource Coordination Center, operated by the Department, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Pork Industry Center and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, to explore every option to harvest livestock. This includes changing the animals’ diets to slow the rate of growth, contacting other meat lockers, and making donations to the Pass the Pork program.

Non-operating landowners rate conservation and stewardship as a top priority – ranking closely with ownership of land being a source of income and a desire to keep the farm in the family, according to a Hertz Farm Management, Inc., survey of its clients. Landowners recognize farms that are managed using 4R Plus practices are more productive and valuable, said Ryan Kay, a farm manager with Hertz.

“When practices that impact nutrients, soil health and soil erosion are implemented properly, buyers take notice,” Kay said. “It’s important that permanent structures like waterways and terraces are kept up, that the health of the soil is managed and 4R nutrient management practices are used. When that’s accomplished, farmland is more productive and also more desirable to buyers.”

When Kay works with non-operating landowners, he outlines strategies to keep the farm productive for years to come and takes pride knowing conservation is one of their top priorities. With more than half of Iowa’s farmland owned by non-operating landowners, he says it’s important for tenants to keep in mind that farmland owners care how the land is managed.

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