The Ottumwa Courier

AP Iowa

October 7, 2013

Shutdown spawns vacuum in farm market information

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — When Tim Peterson finished planting his 900 acres of winter wheat last week, the usually market-savvy Kansas farmer unexpectedly found himself struggling to make critical marketing decisions without being able to access to vital agricultural reports, casualties of the federal government shutdown.

"We have no clue what is going on in the market," said Peterson, who farms near Monument in northwest Kansas. He typically protects his investment in seed and fertilizer by "locking in" the price his wheat crop will fetch next July with a futures contract, which shields farmers from market fluctuations by guaranteeing a price while the crop is in the ground.

Farmers and livestock producers use the reports put out by the National Agriculture Statistics Services to make decisions — such as how to price crops, which commodities to grow and when to sell them — as well as track cattle auction prices. Not only has the NASS stopped putting out new reports about demand and supply, exports and prices, but all websites with past information have been taken down.

"It is causing a direct void in information that is immediate," Peterson said.

This worries him far more than his other problem: When will his $20,000 subsidy check from the government, which usually comes in October, arrive?

Since the U.S. Agriculture Department's local farm services offices also have been shuttered, farmers can't apply for new loans, sign up acreages for government programs or receive government checks for programs they're already enrolled in. And at a time when researchers who are seeking new wheat varieties and plant traits should be planting experimental plots, all work has ground to a halt.

Kansas Farmer's Union president Donn Teske, a grower in the northeast Kansas town of Wheaton, worried about payments he's owed for idling some environmentally sensitive land under the Conservation Reserve Program.

Text Only
AP Iowa
  • Southeast Iowa's Lake Darling State Park reopens BRIGHTON, Iowa (AP) — Lake Darling State Park has reopened after around six years of restoration work in southeast Iowa's Washington County. The $16 million project began in 2008 and included draining the 300-acre lake and replacing a dam. The park n

    July 25, 2014

  • University of Iowa bans restroom videos suspect IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — University of Iowa police have identified a university employee as the person suspected of placing a video camera on the floor of a restroom and recording scenes there. The camera was found June 4 in the University Capitol Cent

    July 25, 2014

  • Iowa panel sued for rejecting Cedar Rapids casino CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Former Linn County Attorney Eugene Kopecky has sued the Iowa Racing Gaming Commission over its rejection of the proposed Cedar Rapids casino. Kopecky says he wants a court to force the commission to reconsider its decision a

    July 25, 2014

  • Manure odor biofilters topic of Iowa conference AMES, Iowa (AP) — The latest technology designed to reduce the odor from hog manure will be the focus of a conference next month at Iowa State University. The Biofilter Conference on Aug. 20 is aimed at producers and managers of animal feeding operat

    July 25, 2014

  • Northwest Iowa man dies in hay bale accident WESTFIELD, Iowa (AP) — A northwest Iowa man has died after being hit with a hay bale. The Le Mars Daily Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/1lyRu37 ) 76-year-old Barry E. Knapp, of Westfield, died Tuesday while stacking hay bales. The Plymouth County She

    July 24, 2014

  • Hearing set for Iowan held as deaths case witness AKRON, Iowa (AP) — A detention hearing has been scheduled Aug. 4 for a 44-year-old man held as a material witness in the deaths of an elderly couple. The man has been held since he was taken into custody in La Crosse, Wisconsin, on July 10, the day a

    July 24, 2014

  • Five charged after eastern Iowa police chase SOLON, Iowa (AP) — A two-county police chase in eastern Iowa has ended in the backyard of a house in Solon. Deputies say two teenagers and three men from Cedar Rapids were taken into custody Wednesday night. They face a variety of charges. The five w

    July 24, 2014

  • 2012 fatal boat pilot offers insurance money DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A man facing lawsuits involving a jon boat crash that killed four people and injured six others on the Mississippi River in 2012 has agreed to hand over $300,000 from an insurance policy, but he wants a judge to absolve him of

    July 24, 2014

  • Spontaneous combustion causes Cedar Rapids fire CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Cedar Rapids fire officials say a fire at a local bar was caused by spontaneous combustion of rags and towels containing animal fat. An early morning fire Wednesday at the Chrome Horse Saloon and Slop House damaged the first

    July 24, 2014

  • Fired Iowa editor claims religious discrimination NEWTON (AP) — The former editor of the Newton Daily News has filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming he was fired for expressing his religious beliefs.In the complaint filed Wednesday, Bob Eschliman claimed re

    July 24, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National