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Discussing the current state of agriculture in Iowa

At farmland leasing meetings held by Iowa State Extension offices, farmers are getting an update on Iowa's state of agriculture, including issues like tariffs, cash rent rates, production costs, and even the new Farm Bill

Posted: Aug 2, 2019 1:05 AM

NORTHWOOD, Iowa - From tariffs to cash rent rates, production costs to a new Farm Bill, there's a lot going on in agriculture right now. And Iowa State University Extension Office's are hosting meetings with farmers across the state, including in Northwood Thursday morning, to give updates on the state of agriculture in the Hawkeye State with farmland leasing meetings.

Gene Severson grows corn and soybeans, and attended Thursday's meeting. He's heard some concerning news for farmers.

"The cash rent is falling with the yield. Not only with the yield, but the cost of production. That's what's bothering most farmers who are paying cash rent. Farmers have to make a profit."

With trade disputes between the U.S. and China involving commodities and products like corn, soybeans and pork, Dennis Johnson with the Worth Co. Extension Office says if trading slows or halts, it may be hard to find a country that buys as much as China.

"To try to replace them, it will be complicated. There will probably need a few countries here and there that will step up and maybe purchase more products from us and ag commodities from us. But I think it's a big void to fill, and I'm not sure we're going to find enough countries to really fill that demand that was there from China."

For farmers that have been affected by the tariffs, the USDA has started accepting applications for financial assistance.

ISU Extension is hosting similar meetings through the rest of the season. To find out where the next one will be, click here.

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