Progress Agriculture

-Submitted photo

An aerial view of Seaboard Triumph Foods pork processing plant in Sioux City shows the facility nearing completion and ready to begin operations.

Seaboard Triumph Foods: Nearing completion

SIOUX CITY — The Siouxland area’s new state-of-the-art Seaboard Triumph Foods pork plant in the Bridgeport West Industrial Park south of Sioux City will be the largest employer in Sioux City proper. This is according to Irving Jensen, Seaboard Triumph Foods spokesperson, concerning the ...

-Submitted photo

Farnhamville is home to the nation’s largest farmer-owned cooperative research plot. The Farnhamville research plot is an outdoor agronomic proving ground where Landus Cooperative’s field sales agronomists, applicators and precision team members conduct crop production demonstrations. This site is critical in demonstrating and evaluating specific, real-time crop production inputs to determine their potential return per acre on the farms of Landus Cooperative members/customers.

LANDUS: A merger of equals

AMES — Two well-known cooperatives officially became one on April 1, 2016. West Central Cooperative and Farmers Cooperative Company merged last spring after a majority vote was met by both cooperatives’ memberships to form LANDUS Cooperative, making it the seventh-largest grain company ...

-Submitted photo

Steam rises from nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing plants at CF Industries’ Port Neal complex. Facilities included in the expansion are in the upper right half of this photo.

CF Industries switches on new plant

SIOUX CITY — A towering column of steam fanned by cold February temperatures punctuates CF Industries’ complex west of Interstate 29 and a few miles south of Sergeant Bluff. The sight speaks to the operation of CF Industries’ new approximately $2 billion expansion, a project heralded ...

-Photo by 
Larry Kershner

Jeff and Twila 
Longneckers, pose for a photo behind their booth at the 2017 Iowa Power Farming Show in Des Moines. The family business recently launched out on its own providing fertilizer mixes to clients primarily throughout the Corn Belt.

Longnecker Fertilizers: On their own, growing

DES MOINES — On Feb. 1, visitors at the Longnecker Fertilizers booth at the Iowa Power Farming Show were virtually non-stop through the morning and early afternoon. “We sell a high-orthophosphate starter,” Twila Longnecker said, and people are starting to look at their ...

-Photo by Larry Kershner

Craig Yeager, a salesman for GBC
Distributing, points out the conical underbelly of the snoots on this Mainero MDD-100 corn head allows a combine operator to harvest in any corn field regardless of row width and direction.

Mainero: Harvest any field?

DES MOINES — The design is simple. It makes one wonder why it wasn’t thought of before — to harvest any corn field, any row width, in any direction, with the same corn head. GBC Distributing, based in Canada, introduced the corn head at the Iowa Power Farming Show in Des ...

-Submitted photo

Work on the Wind X project began in spring 2016 and the new turbines were commissioned in December at MidAmerican Energy’s Ida Grove wind project located near Ida Grove.

MidAmerican Energy: Reaping the wind

During 2016, MidAmerican Energy completed work on two major wind farm projects in Ida and O’Brien counties, adding 551 megawatts of wind generation capacity for their customers. That project, Wind X, began in the spring, with turbines commissioned the previous December. They are now ...

-File photo

This new wind turbine was installed in September 2016 on the Iowa Lakes Community College farm, west of Emmetsburg. The turbine is designed to provide all of the farm’s electrical needs with excess going to the grid.

ILCC: The ‘art of wind’

EMMETSBURG — The winds are shifting at Iowa Lakes Community College in Emmetsburg. But the good news is that they know exactly what to do with that wind. The project began in the summer of 2015 when German-based windtest-na — a worldwide company specializing in wind turbine ...

-File photo

Transmission lines like these would have been erected across 16 Iowa counties, including seven in the Farm News coverage area, and three in The Messenger’s coverage area, but the Rock Island Clean Lines application for utility franchise in Iowa has been withdrawn, at least for now.

RICL: Opposition, for now

Supporters of the Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance have learned in the past three years that, “you can fight city hall.” The group opposed the construction of a 500-mile, high-voltage overhead direct current transmission line through 16 Iowa counties, which was to deliver 3,500 ...

Wine: Grape expectations

AMES — With approximately 105 wineries operating across the state, Iowa is reaping the benefits of its wine and grape industry, which pumps millions of dollars into the economy each year as the industry continues to mature. “The numbers show that 2016 was a good year for Iowa native ...

-Photo by Kriss Nelson

Kent Klemme, president of Hagie Manufacturing, poses beside a sprayer in Hagie’s manufacturing plant in Clarion.

Hagie Manufacturing: ‘Here to stay’

CLARION — When a small-town business has a change in ownership, it’s natural for the community to be concerned. Such as when the new joint venture between Hagie Manufacturing, from Clarion, and John Deere was announced last year. Kent Klemme, president of Hagie Manufacturing, wants to ...

-Photos by Larry Kershner

This is a view of Darren Fehr’s 2016 cornfield during a cultivation run over the fields. The dark green color is an indication of how rich the soil is in nitrogen.

Organic corn: It can compete

AMES — Darren Fehr announced Jan. 28 that organic corn yields can compete with conventional practices — and he has the numbers to back up the claim. But in the same breath, he indicates that it is not easy, that it requires a lot work — and he has the numbers of trips across the ...

Fehr: Organic is a risk, but rewards are worth it

MALLARD — “The visual part of organic looks likes it’s a failure, but we are proud of what we do,” said Darren Fehr. He and his wife, Nora, operate ScatterSeed farm near Mallard, 1,000 organic acres in a three-crop rotation. “You’ll either look like a fool or look like a ...

-AP file photo

The Iowa Soybean Association, in acknowledging that the production of grain in general has an impact on the environment, leads in the formatiion of educate farmers to keep the environment safe and informing consumers in efforts farmers are making to do so.

Soybeans: ISA eyes water quality

ANKENY — Kirk Leeds, chief executive officer for the Iowa Soybean Association, said of all the issues ISA is focusing on in 2017, water quality is the main one. Leeds said the organization currently has 30 ongoing projects that are specifically geared towards research of soil retention ...

-File photo

More than 300,000 people will visit the Clay County Fair annually. The 2017 fair, its centennial year, can potentially be a record-breaker for attendance.

Clay County Fair: Readying for a big show

SPENCER — It’s taken 100 years for the Clay County Fair to become what it is today, and it’s also taken some time to prepare to celebrate that milestone. That centennial celebration will take place during this year’s fair, running Sept. 9 through 17. The theme for this year’s ...

-Photo by Karen Schwaller

Alexia Graves feeds her goats a mixture of Purina goat chow mixed with cracked corn and oats. The family receives an average of 6 gallons of milk daily from five goats.

Goats: Holding their own

HULL — Mike Harman, Hull-area goat producer and past president of the Iowa Meat Goat Association, said Americans are taking baby steps toward trying goat meat, but it’s the ethnic market that is giving the meat goat industry its strong tailwind. “It’s like red meat, and is one of ...

-Photo by Dawn Bliss

This photo at Iowa Cage-Free LLP., near Goldfield, is looking east. The field in the foreground has had some site preparation done for the company’s planned expansion. Work is expected to resume this spring.

Iowa Cage-Free: Adding birds

GOLDFIELD — A Wright County cage-free egg producer and agribusiness is expanding its operations near Goldfield. “Consumer preferences and demands are changing,” said Craig Rowles, chief executive officer of Iowa Cage-Free LLP. “They are looking for greater transparency and ...

- Messenger photo by Dawn Bliss

The new pellet feed mill in Pomeroy, built and operated by NEW Cooperative, is the model design for another pellet mill in Rowan. Groundbreaking started in late-2016 near the Iowa Highway 3 intersection with Interstate 35.

NEW Cooperative: Building on capabilities

FORT DODGE — Ground work continues on a new pelleting feed mill being constructed near Rowan by NEW Cooperative Inc., of Fort Dodge. One of the recent projects undertaken by the cooperative to build on its capabilities, the feed mill is being built next to an existing grain facility on ...

-File photo

Ewes graze in a pasture near Coon Rapids. Although flock and ewe numbers are down in Iowa, flock sizes are reported bigger than in recent history.

Sheep: Lamb outlook strong

AMES — Lamb production in the U.S. remains strong and prices are holding their own despite the strong dollar, according to Iowa State University Extension sheep specialist Dan Morrical. With more than half of the lamb consumed in the U.S. being imported, he said lamb can come into our ...

-Photo by Kriss Nelson

Diana Cochran, an ISU Extension fruit specialist, looks at some hops plants she has growing in a greenhouse on the ISU campus. Currently, Cochran has an acre of hops in research.

Hops: A growing cash crop

AMES — While looking for a new crop to put into her research program, Diana Cochran, an Iowa State University Extension fruit specialist, said hops kept getting brought up in conversations, so she decided to dedicate some of her time to research them Cochran said her hops research began ...