COMPILED BY PETE TEMPLE — SPORTS/AG EDITOR
The Iowa Barn Foundation is conducting a state-wide barn tour Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 22-23 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
This is a free, two-day, self-guided tour of historic restored barns that will be open to the public.
The closest one to Monticello is the Dighton Barn, 3344 – 120th Ave. in Coggon, a round barn that was built in 1914 by Rob Kirkpatrick, grandfather of the current owner.
The complete list of barns on the tour, with photos, can be found at www.iowabarnfoundation.org.
The corn condition statewide showed slight improvement recently, with 22 percent rated very poor, 30 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 15 percent good and 1 percent excellent.
Soybeans continue to fare better, with 13 percent very poor, 24 percent poor, 39 percent fair, 23 percent good and 1 percent excellent.
Ten percent of the corn crop has been harvested for grain or seed, three weeks ahead of normal.
Topsoil moisture statewide is 84 percent short or very short, with only 16 percent adequate. In the East Central District, it is 49 percent adequate, 51 percent short or very short.
Subsoil moisture in the East Central District isn’t nearly as good; 84 percent short or very short, and only 16 percent adequate. Statewide, those numbers are 93 and 7.
This information comes from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, in a report released Sept. 10.
• In other NASS news, average cash rent for non-irrigated cropland in Iowa during 2012 was $235 per acre, an increase of $39 from 2011.
A total of 79 counties had non-irrigated cropland cash rents of $200 per acre or more, compared with 31 counties in 2011.
In Jones County, rent increased from $194 in 2011 to $222 this year. The highest-priced county was Grundy County, at $299. The lowest was Appanoose County near the Missouri border, at $143.
Cash rent paid for pasture in Iowa, at $46 per acre, was unchanged from 2011 at the state level. In Jones County, however, it increased from $43 to $55.
• In terms of crop production, the NASS released its September crop production forecast. It calls for corn production of 1.90 billion bushels, 19 percent below 2011 production. Iowa’s corn crop is forecast to yield 140 bushels per acre, down 32 bushels from 2011.
The soybean yield forecast is 368 millions bushels, down 21 percent from last year’s 466 million bushels.
Nationwide, corn production is forecast at 13 percent below 2011, and soybean production is predicted at 14 percent lower.
• Soybean growers are remaining optimistic despite the predicted decline in production, according to the Iowa Soybean Association.
“I actually think that when harvest is completed, statewide soybean yields will be higher than in (the USDA) report,” said ISA president Mark Jackson of Rose Hill, Iowa. “Several parts of the state did receive some much-needed rain in early August that improved the yield potential of soybeans. The variable maturity of the 2012 crop will keep so-called experts guessing until this crop is in the bin and perhaps beyond.”
Kirk Leeds, ISA’s chief executive officer, said overall demand remains strong for soybeans.
“Current prices have not rationed demand, as evidenced by additional recent purchases from China,” Leeds said. “Given such strong global demand, we anticipate the market this winter to continue to send signals to farmers to grow more soybeans.”