Iowa State University

October 1997


Warm weather creates new challenges, opportunities for grain harvest

Producers should consider the effects of recent hot, dry and windy conditions on grain in preparation for long-term storage and future marketing, said Charles Hurburgh, agricultural engineer and extension specialist at Iowa State University. Generally, the crop quality is good, although lower moisture has reduced soybean yields.

Soybeans normally are harvested at 11 to 14 percent moisture in Iowa. This year, moistures below 9 percent were common. Every 1 percent reduction in moisture below 13 percent (the market trading basis) costs about 1.15 percent in weight. Overall, hot winds lowered Iowa's soybean crop by 5 to 6 percent over normal conditions, an economic loss of 30 to 50 cents per bushel, depending on price levels, Hurburgh said.

Processors will like the field-dried corn, Hurburgh added. Corn normally is dried to 14 or 15 percent moisture. This year, much of Iowa corn will be harvested near or below 15 percent moisture. Every 1 percent reduction in moisture by any form of drying will save 1 to 1.5 cents per bushel in energy and shrinkage costs. Total savings could be 10 to 15 cents per bushel, when compared to normal harvest moistures of 20 to 24 percent. Contact Hurburgh, (515) 294-8629, or Elaine Edwards, Extension Communication, (515) 294-5168.

Iowa pork industry wages higher than average

Wages and benefits in the Iowa pork industry are higher than average, according to an Iowa State University study. The average base salary for pork production workers in Iowa is about $2,000 higher than the state average for all wage and salary workers in 1995. The base salary also is more than $6,000 higher than the average salary of other Iowa agricultural workers. The higher- than-average salaries in the pork sector reflect the employees' higher-than-average educational levels, said ISU economists James Kliebenstein, Peter Orazem and Terrence Hurley.

The Iowa and Midwest pork industry offers good wages and supports economic development in nearby communities. The Midwest, however, lags behind the Southeast and the West in both average employee salary and technological adoption. The ISU economists believe Midwest pork salaries will need to rise if pork producers can successfully compete for skilled labor. Contact James Kliebenstein, (515) 294-7111; Peter Orazem, (515) 294-8656; Terry Hurley, (515) 294-6273; or Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294- 4778.

New lab will evaluate livestock ventilation systems

Research at a new ISU lab may help improve the performance of ventilation systems used in livestock and poultry buildings. The Air Dispersion Laboratory simulates livestock production conditions, providing ventilation companies with the means to evaluate entire systems, not just individual parts. "These evaluations may help to develop systems that save energy, and that create a healthier, more productive and more comfortable environment for animals," said Steve Hoff, agricultural engineer. Tests of eight companies' ventilation systems are scheduled for 1997-98. An open house and demonstration will be held 2 to 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 24. To get to the lab, take U.S. 30 west of Ames to V Avenue, turn left and go a quarter mile south. Contact Hoff, (515) 294-6180; Jay Harmon, (515) 294-0554; or Brian Meyer, Ag Information, (515) 294-0706.

World Food Prize to be announced Oct. 14; Des Moines events Oct. 16-18

A press conference announcing the 1997 World Food Prize recipients will be held Oct. 14 in Washington, D.C. The prize, endowed by Des Moines businessman John Ruan, is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. ISU's College of Agriculture is secretariat for the prize.

The award ceremony, during which the 1997 World Food Prize Laureates will formally accept the $250,000 award, will be held at the Des Moines Civic Center Oct. 16 at 4 p.m. Nobel Prize winner Norman E. Borlaug, American Red Cross president Elizabeth Dole and opera singer Simon Estes are scheduled to participate. The public is invited to attend. On Oct. 17, the World Food Prize Symposium will focus on food security in Africa (see item below). On Oct. 18, the prize's Youth Institute will convene at Drake University, with students from 27 Iowa high schools. The students also will tour the ISU campus.

Contact the World Food Prize Foundation, (515) 245-3783; Judith Pim, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, (515) 294- 1183; or Brian Meyer, Ag Information, (515) 294-0706. The World Food Prize web page is at .

Conference examines improving food security in Africa

Food security in sub-Saharan Africa will be the topic at the 1997 World Food Prize Symposium Oct. 17. Participants are international experts in food and agricultural issues, including leaders of several programs aiming to improve food production and distribution. Among the speakers are Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, chair of the Senate agriculture committee; Nobel Prize winner Norman Borlaug; former World Bank president Robert McNamara; and 1995 World Food Prize laureate Hans Herren. Participation in the symposium is by invitation only. Contact the World Food Prize Foundation, (515) 245-3783, or Brian Meyer, Ag Information, (515) 294-0706.

Lee County helps with waste-to-fertilizer effort

Lee County Extension is using test plots to determine the commercial viability and safety of applying phosphorous-rich byproducts from Chevron Chemical Company's solid waste ponds as a crop fertilizer. As many as 5,000 acres of crop land will be fertilized with the byproducts. The value of the byproduct fertilizer is estimated at $425 per acre. The extension office is working with CH2M Hill (an environmental engineering consulting firm) and Chevron. Contact Bob Dodds, Lee County Extension Education Director, (319) 835-5116, or Elaine Edwards, Extension Communications, (515) 294-5168.

Iowa-Ukraine high school exchange focus on agriculture

A group of Iowa high school students will travel to Ukraine to study environmental issues in farming in an exchange coordinated by ISU. The idea for the Iowa-Ukraine exchange came from high schools wanting to expand international experiences for their students. The exchange is based on an ongoing ISU environmental education program with Iowa FFA chapters. That program teaches young people about sustainable and profitable farming practices. The exchange begins next spring, when 30 students and nine teachers from Kiev will arrive in Iowa to stay with families in the Jefferson-Scranton, Northeast Hamilton and Wall Lake View Auburn school districts. The same number of Iowa students and teachers will fly to Kiev with the Ukrainian group at the end of May. The exchange is funded by a $190,000 grant from the U.S. information Agency. Contact David Acker, International Agriculture Programs, (515) 294-8454; Alfred Blackmer, agronomy, (515) 294-7284; or Brian Meyer, Ag Information, (515) 294- 0706.

Ag education reform in Ukraine topic of presentation

The reform of agricultural education in Ukraine will be the topic of an Oct. 15 presentation by the president of the National Agricultural University in Ukraine. Dmytro Melnichuk will speak at 3 p.m. in the Gold Room of the Memorial Union at ISU. The Ukrainian university and ISU collaborate on several research and educational projects. Contact David Acker, (515) 294-8454, or Brian Meyer, Ag Information, (515) 294-0706.

Exhibit shows ag contributions of Ukrainian immigrants

Coinciding with Dmytro Melnichik's visit (see item above) is an exhibit on the contributions that Ukrainian immigrants have made to American agriculture. The exhibit was produced by the Embassy of Ukraine and the USDA's National Agricultural Library. The exhibit may be viewed in the Memorial Union's Browsing Library, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Oct. 16. Contact David Acker, (515) 294- 8454, or Brian Meyer, Ag Information, (515) 294-0706.

The nose knows at upcoming odor demonstrations

At four upcoming field days, visitors are invited to use their noses to determine whether pit additives and land-application techniques are reducing manure odors on livestock farms. Almost 60 on-farm projects are demonstrating odor-reduction technologies in a program coordinated by ISU Extension. The four field days are Oct. 17 at Carmar Farms near Nevada, 2 p.m.; Oct. 23 at the Pat Probst farm near Alton, 1:30 and 5:30 p.m.; Oct. 24 at the Kevin Budden farm near Granville, 1:30 and 5:30 p.m.; and Nov. 4 at the Jim McKenna farm near Storm Lake, 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. For details on the Oct. 17 field day, contact Carolyn Manning, Story County Extension, (515) 382-6551. For the others, contact Kris Kohl, Buena Vista County Extension, (712) 732-5056; or Brian Meyer, Ag Information, (515) 294-0706.


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