Journal Issue:
Fall 2005 Iowa Ag Review: Volume 11, Issue 4

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Are More Livestock in Iowa’s Future?
( 2015-07-22) Babcock, Bruce ; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

S oaring energy prices, continued strong hog and cattle prices, and consecutive bumper crops have created a unique economic climate for Iowa agriculture. Margins for livestock producers are at record high levels thanks to cheap feed and strong product demand. And despite less-than-optimal growing conditions, Iowa’s corn crop will be the second largest ever and soybean yields look to rebound for a second straight year, reversing a series of disappointing yield years. On the downside, high energy prices translate into higher crop production costs because of higher fertilizer, chemical, diesel, and propane prices. And bumper crops mean lower corn and soybean prices.

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Corn Prices, Basis, and Transportation
( 2015-07-22) Hart, Chad ; Yu, Tun-Hsiang (Edward) ; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

Corn prices in Iowa are being beaten down by consecutive years of exceptional production, high fuel prices, and the effects of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Last year’s record national and Iowa corn production has been followed by the second-highest corn production for both the nation and the state. In 2004, the United States produced 11.8 billion bushels of corn, with Iowa producing 2.24 billion. In 2005, the United States is projected to produce 10.9 billion bushels of corn, with Iowa producing 2.15 billion. This increased production has translated into larger corn stocks. In September 2004, national corn stocks stood at 960 million bushels, with Iowa holding roughly 25 percent of the total. By September 2005, corn in storage nationwide had jumped to 2.11 billion bushels and corn stored in Iowa had risen to nearly 500 million bushels.

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Are We Underestimating Corn Production Potential?
( 2015-07-22) Hart, Chad ; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

As Figure 1 shows, the 2004 and 2005 corn crops in Iowa are the two highest yielding corn crops the state has ever seen. But producers had questions about both crops going into harvest. Precipitation was below average over both growing seasons and the 2004 and 2005 summers were at the extremes for temperature. In fact, since 1993, Iowa corn yields have not fallen below 120 bushels per acre. For the last eight years (counting 2005), state-average corn yields have exceeded 140 bushels per acre. While Iowa has not experienced a statewide drought or weather disaster over this period, the weather conditions have not been what is typically considered ideal for crop production

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Beef Packing Concentration: Limiting Branded Product Opportunities?
( 2015-07-22) Babcock, Bruce ; Clemens, Roxanne ; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

Programs to differentiate beef products based on geographic indications (GIs) include Nebraska Corn-Fed Beef, South Dakota Certifi ed Beef, and Iowa-80 Beef. An unexpected diffi culty in developing these types of brands will be a lack of federally inspected small- to medium-size packing facilities best suited for processing segregated cattle and beef products. South Dakota has eight small or very small federally inspected meat packing facilities. South Dakota Certifi ed Beef is using a number of small packers. Currently four are licensed for the program and others have applied. Iowa has one major beef kill plant in Denison, but no processing is done on site. Nebraska-based brands have a major advantage in that the state has several large and small plants— some of which have experience in dealing with relatively small batches of different sizes. In developing Iowa- 80 beef, we have found it diffi cult to develop a brand that can certify beef that comes from cattle born, fed, killed, and processed in Iowa so that it can be exported to other states and overseas. The lack of ideally sized facilities is a direct result of the increased concentration in the beef industry.

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Recent CARD Publications
( 2015-07-22) Center for Agricultural and Rural Development
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