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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

FC Afternoon Grain Market Commentary for 7/30/2013

Afternoon Comments 7/30/2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 3:06 pm
Submitted by: Kyle Lehman

Markets were mixed today with corn closing higher while soybeans closed lower. December corn has closed lower 8 of the last 9 sessions (the other was unchanged) so it is no surprise to see a minor snap back in the market like we saw today. There is probably still a little weather premium built into the market as they await to see what the weekend rains will do for eastern Nebraska and Iowa. If these rains are as advertised or more the market could pitch the weather premium as most traders will assume it’s enough rain to reach harvest. Temperatures are expected to warm slightly over the weekend but not to threatening levels.  Weather forecasts not only look favorable here but in much of the corn growing areas of China and Ukraine.
Soybeans traded lower on rains moving across Missouri and Illinois and the expectations of more rain for the corn belt over the weekend. Soybean development  should pick back up with warmer temps in the forecast for next week. There is still a significant long position by funds on fear of an early frost prior to soybeans reaching maturity.

FC Morning Grain Market Commentary for 7/30/2013

AM Comments 07/30/13

Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 8:17 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!
Our grain markets found a couple reasons to buy last night (or at least not sell), pushing futures prices a bit higher. The first story is about the crop ratings, U.S. soybeans dropped 1% in the good-to-excellent categories while corn held steady.  I think the market was expecting/hoping to see slight improvements in both. Also – there are plenty of rain chances for this week but totals in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin could be disappointing.  The best coverage is all pointed South, from Missouri to Southern Indiana & Ohio. 
On the flip side of that - as you saw in FC’s Monday Morning Alert on corn from yesterday (link: - these cooler nights are likely benefitting the U.S. corn crop. The general weather pattern over the next two weeks show a ridge parked over the Rockies – meaning that there is little to no threat of any extreme heat between now and the middle of August for the Midwest.  If the corn belt can catch a few rains over that time you’d have to assume we are adding bpa to this crop (you know that the market will assume that). 
Producer selling has been near non-existent since the break in prices last week.  That may not have a large influence on futures prices – but basis may start to come back around if it continues.  Harvest will be here sooner than you think and it sure feels like any sharp rallies in prices (whether due to basis or futures) are meant to be sold.
Opening Calls
Corn 3 to 4 cents higher
Soybeans 3 to 6 cents higher

Monday, July 29, 2013

FC Morning Grain Market Commentary for 7/29/2013

AM Comments 07/29/13

Monday, July 29, 2013, 7:56 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!
Today looks to be a mixed to lower trade with soybeans down while corn trades near steady.  Prospects for normal U.S. crops continue to offer resistance to futures prices.  A good portion of the Midwest was dry over the weekend although beneficial rain showers fell in KS, MO, IL, IN and OH.  Temps remained cool across the belt with the next rain scheduled for late this week.
Crop conditions will be out this afternoon with the markets expecting no change to maybe a slight improvement in ratings.  With cooler, non-threatening temps and an active weather patter projected, U.S. crop sizes are likely increasing in the eyes of the trade.
Opening Calls
Corn 2c lower to steady
Soybean 7 to 14 cents lower

Friday, July 26, 2013

FC Mid-day Grain Market Commentary for 7/26/2013

Mid-Day Comments 07-26-13

Friday, July 26, 2013, 11:42 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

It sure looks like the markets were ready to take a breather as we are experiencing a calm end to the week (about the only calm day we have had all week).  Dec corn on the board has so far been unable to break through yesterday’s low of 4.75 cz – which is a good thing for the bulls as they look for signs of a short term bottom.  The cash market on corn is still stunned after the 50c to $1 drop in basis yesterday.  So far it appears corn basis will stay where it is, at least for today.
The USDA did announce this morning the sale of 220k MT of new crop soybeans to China and 211k MT of new crop corn to unknown which is somewhat helping the market stabilize. 
August soybean meal – after being down the limit ($20) two days in a row is actually trading again, only down $18 right now.  Still a negative input on cash soybeans of course but it is nice to see it trade again.  Meal is currently around $90 off of Tuesday’s high.
Ethanol futures have lost 25 cents this week (a huge move), with most of it coming over the past two days.  This means that ethanol is now at its lowest level since January which could help explain some of the weakness in corn. 
The newest drought monitor came out, and the big change from last week is that Iowa jumped from 20% of the state being abnormally dry to 63% abnormally dry.  Note that this was as of Tuesday (before last night’s rain).

FC Morning Grain Market Commentary for 7/26/2013

AM Comments 07/26/13

Friday, July 26, 2013, 7:51 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!
Our corn and soybean futures seem to have calmed down this morning, with both commodities trading steady to a little higher as of this writing.  It has been a wild, volatile week for flat price corn and soybeans.  The old crop soybean market got smacked around for most of the week, thanks to strong producer selling last week, China rumors about them selling their reserve beans, and a soybean meal market than couldn’t find a bottom. Current cash bean prices for producers are over $2.50 lower than a week ago today.
Yesterday corn followed in the footsteps of the soybean market, and the cash prices imploded.  It was almost like the market just now started to realize that there is a corn crop growing in the U.S. – and it will be here relatively soon.  The southern part of the U.S. will be harvesting soon and some have already started (in the Delta for example).  As every week goes by, that corn harvest moves a couple hundred miles north which makes end users and processors less willing to step up and pay big bucks for old crop corn. Basis is a function of what someone is willing to pay for corn, and yesterday the demand sector’s ideas of what they were willing to pay changed dramatically.  They will now wait and see if people holding onto old crop corn sell into it at these levels – if they do, there could be more downside.  If not, we should see a recovery.   Current cash corn prices for producers are almost $1.50 lower than a week ago today. 
It is important to note that there is still an inverse between old crop and new crop.  Right now old corn is worth around $1.20 more than harvest corn.  Old crop soybeans are around worth around $1.40 more than harvest soybeans.  So while the massive inverses did get chopped in half this week, there is still a large incentive to bring old crop to market this summer and not drag it into the lower harvest prices this fall.
Opening Calls
Corn steady to 1 cent higher
Soybeans steady to 3 cents higher

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Crop Protection Chemical Safety

Crop protection chemicals are necessary to ensure the production of food from our nation's farms and ranches. They prevent unwanted weeds, insects, rodents, fungus and diseases. It is important to remember that these chemicals must also be handled with care to reduce potential worker exposure.

        Always read packaging labels. All crop protection chemicals include information on the proper use of the chemical; its proper handling, safe storage and first aid information.
        Obtain Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for the crop protection chemicals that you use.
MSDS contain additional health hazard data, spill or leak procedures and handling information. Be sure to keep a set separate from the storage area.

          Have on hand and wear the personal protective equipment (PPE) required by the label. These can include: chemical-resistant gloves, coveralls, boots, hat and apron, approved respirator with cartridges for pesticides, and chemical protection goggles and face shield.
          Keep crop protection chemicals in storage areas that can be locked to keep bystanders and children out. Be sure to label the storage area as containing pesticides.
          Launder chemical-soiled clothing separately from other laundry and triple rinse. 

By following these important tips, all of us can continue to safely produce food for the world's growing population.

FC Morning Grain Market Commentary for 7/25/2013

AM Comments 07/25/13

Thursday, July 25, 2013, 8:18 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!
For the third day in a row, the front end of the soybean market is crashing – led by nearby soybean meal.  August meal is locked down the limit for the second day in a row and the group of people willing to sell meal down the limit is growing – which means this may not be done.  Another limit move tomorrow and the soybean meal market will have lost almost $100 off of Tuesday’s high.  Wow.  Farmer movement in soybeans has pretty much shut off as cash beans have lost over $2/bu since Monday.
The weekly export sales report was out this morning, soybean sales were actually pretty good - coming in above the average trade guess with strong new crop sales in particular.  Old crop corn sales were dismal (not surprising) and new crop sales were decent, but still below expectations. 
The weather forecasts haven’t changed much from yesterday.  Small rains will roll through the Midwest today and tomorrow with another rain event coming early next week for mainly the Southern Belt.  A third event is also slotted for late next week with another half inch of rain. Safe to say that the weather outlook is nonthreatening so far this morning.
Opening Calls
Corn down 3 to 5 cents
Soybeans down 20 to 30 cents

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

FC Morning Grain Market Commentary for 7/24/2013

AM Comments 07/24/13

Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 8:09 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!
Nearby (cash) soybeans are under pressure again today with old crop beans down over 35 cents while new crop hangs in there around steady.  This rumor yesterday about China releasing its gov’t owned soybean reserves into their domestic market has triggered quite a bit of selling, including fund selling and farmer selling.  This selling helps the end user (the processor) narrow the gap until new crop is here.  As that gap narrows, their willingness to pay big $$ for beans goes away.
Weather… the next couple days look mostly dry for the corn belt with some chances for rain early this weekend (not much, maybe a half inch tops).  Next week the southern corn belt looks to get a good shot of rain while overall temps and precip forecasts for the belt are unchanged (normal to below normal in both).
Opening Calls
Corn down 2 to 6 cents
Soybeans down 30 to 40 cents (old crop) steady on new crop

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

FC Afternoon Grain Market Commentary for 7/23/2013

PM Comments 07/23/13

Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 3:25 pm
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good afternoon!
It was a wild day today, especially in soybeans.  Nearby cash beans (sq13) were down just shy of 58 cents while new crop (sx13) was down 28 cents.  This was all sparked by a rumor that China may release 3 million MT’s of their gov’t owned soybean reserves into its domestic market.  This would lower China’s import needs for soybeans and soybean meal (although they will most likely one day replenish those reserves).  This triggered massive selling in the futures markets and nearby soybean basis crashed as well.    
Corn and beans also found weakness from the rain that fell overnight in Iowa and the nice rains that hit Nebraska this morning.  The southern corn belt also received good precip (see 24 hour rainfall map below).  This all weighed heavy on new crop prices.  Extended weather forecasts look good for the growing US crop as temps the next two weeks look to be normal to below normal with normal rainfall projected.  The grain “longs” in the market may be getting nervous as the window to hurt the US corn crop is slowly closing…

FC Morning Grain Market Commentary for 7/23/2013

AM Comments 07/23/13

Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 8:08 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!
Some much needed rains fell across about 1/3 of Iowa last night – anywhere from 0.1” to 1” is being reported.  Some of these rains were surprising to the market, and both corn and soybeans are weaker this morning in part because of it. 
Yesterday afternoon’s crop condition ratings came out, the U.S. corn good-to-excellent ratings came out 3% lower than last week (down to 63% from 66% LW) – Iowa was down 2%.  U.S. soybeans were down 1% in the G/E categories (down to 64% from 65% LW) – Iowa was down 2%.  None of this was overly surprising although with corn being down 3% in G/E in one week, you’d expect prices to firm up – that didn’t happen last night likely due to the rainfall mentioned above.
Over the next 10 days most of the belt will see cooler (below normal) temps while the maps appear to stay mostly dry (70-100% of normal) with pop up rains like what Iowa saw last night still in the cards. 
Opening Calls
Corn down 5 to 7 cents
Soybeans steady to down 5 cents

Monday, July 22, 2013

FC Morning Grain Market Commentar for 7/22/2013

AM Comments 07/22/13

Monday, July 22, 2013, 7:39 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!
Our markets were mixed last night with soybeans higher and corn a lower.  The weather should be viewed as a friendly input this morning.  Rains over the weekend were disappointing, with Iowa being the leader on disappointment.  Almost 1/3 of the Corn Belt can be considered dry right now and wanting a rain.  The main troublesome dry areas are scattered across Iowa, NW Illinois and a few patches in Missouri. 
If you are wondering why corn isn’t higher on this weather news – you just need to look at the world markets.  For example, Japan bought corn over the weekend for Oct/Nov/Dec from Ukraine and Brazil.  Not from the US.  Why?  Because our new crop corn is too high priced, around $0.50 to $0.75 a bushel more expensive than other countries.  We may not have a bin busting crop across the whole U.S. but it isn’t a disaster either.  We did a great job last year of pricing ourselves out of the world markets (high prices) because we didn’t have the corn to sell -- but we will soon need to be competitive again in the world markets and today we are just too high priced on new crop corn. 
Opening calls
Corn 4 to 6 cents lower
Soybeans 5 to 15 cents higher
5-Day Precip Map:

Friday, July 19, 2013

FC Morning Grain Market Commentary for 7/19/2013

AM Comments 07/19/13

Friday, July 19, 2013, 7:58 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!
The markets are mixed this morning with corn weaker and soybeans stronger.  Corn is feeling the wrath of a cold front that is entering the Belt later today while soybeans seem to be getting strength from the tight old crop supplies.  Old crop bean basis is actually starting to weaken (in part thanks to a weaker meal basis) as the CBOT futures contracts and spreads are starting to do the job of rationing demand. 
Current weather forecasts suggest that decent rains (although they could be spotty) will fall over the next few days.  These rains are extremely important for many acres of corn as the crop slowly enters into pollination.  Over the next 10 days precip and temps are expected to be normal, but the 11-15 day does look a little dry.  With the heat and dryness we have experienced this week – Monday afternoon’s crop ratings could drop a couple points in the good and excellent categories.
Opening Calls
Corn down 3 to 6 cents
Soybeans steady (new crop) to 10c higher (old crop)
5-Day QPF

Thursday, July 18, 2013

FC Morning Grain Market Commentary for 7/18/2013

AM Comments 07/18/13

Thursday, July 18, 2013, 8:03 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!
Weather seems to have changed again – and this time it’s a change for the good.  The weather models basically took rains and shifted them just a little bit South and West, into some of the moisture starved areas of the belt.  Before today, the SW part of the corn belt was expected to get shut out on precip – that is not the case in this morning’s forecasts and the markets are a little weaker because of it.  Over the next 10 days: IA, IL, IN, OH and MO will see good rainfall with some amounts up to 2.00 inches while eastern NE, KS and western IA are slotted for amounts up to 1.50 inches.  The only states that are missing some of these heavier rains are the states that have been considerably wetter than the others (the far Northern/NW Corn Belt).
The USDA’s weekly export sales report was out this morning.  Old crop corn exports were as expected with better than expected new crop sales.  Old crop bean exports were at the top end of guesses while new crop sales we as expected.  If we weren’t trading pure weather today this would be friendly to new crop corn and old crop beans. 
Opening Calls
Corn down 2 to 4 cents
Soybeans down 3 to 7 cents
5-Day QPF:

Friday, July 12, 2013

FC Morning Market Commentary for July 12, 2013

Good morning!

The corn and soybean markets ended up mostly lower last night with no changes to weather forecasts.  Spotty rainfall is still projected for part of the Southern and Eastern corn belt this weekend while the rest remains dry.  The 7 day forecast is still void of rain which should keep new crop corn and beans supported.  The bright side is that next weekend a front is expected to move into the Midwest – bringing cooler weather and much needed showers & thunderstorms.  Current estimates (hard to put much stock into this just yet) are for .5” – 1.25” of rain across MN, IA and a good portion of the Eastern Belt.  If this system grows/shrinks the markets will adjust accordingly.

China was in again this morning buying some new crop U.S. corn – working to replenish their depleted domestic reserves.  Our corn is still pretty high priced for new crop – but it appears that China was ignoring cheaper offers out of Brazil and Ukraine, possibly basing their decision more on consistent/reliable operations than price (at least for today).  

This week has actually been pretty decent for growing conditions across most of the U.S. with warm sunny days and cool nights providing a heavy dew.  Monday afternoon’s crop conditions report could/should show an increase in good-to-excellent ratings.  To continue that trend though, we will of course need some rain.

Opening Calls
Corn 2 to 3 cents lower (although could pop higher with news on China)
Soybeans steady to 3 cents lower

Have a great day!
Dustin Weiner

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

FC Morning Grain Market Commentary for 7/10/2013

Morning Comments 7/10/2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 8:24 am
Submitted by: Kyle Lehman

The market has been relatively quiet overnight and most likely will chop around until the USDA  supply/demand report released tomorrow at 11 am. The rally over the past couple of days can be attributed to funds covering shorts as weather models suggest a high pressure ridge the last part of July and into early August will hold off rains around the assumed pollination time. The good news; temperatures for that same time frame are expected to be normal to slightly below with highs ranging in the mid 80’s to lower 90’s for most of the corn belt. Trade will really start to focus on the 11-15 day forecast which is currently calling for rains over the Midwest and western plains, if this rain fails to develop and the pressure ridge does form we could see some corn pollinating in some rough conditions.
Outside markets are supportive with the dollar trading lower while crude oil continues to make new contract highs. Unrest in the middle east has provided an $11  rally in crude over the past 11 trading days.
Corn and beans should open with a firmer tone after the USDA announced 120k MT of corn sold to China for new crop.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

FC Morning Grain Market Commentary for 7/9/2013

Good morning!

Our markets were higher again last night – all on perceived weather risk.  There is talk of a high pressure ridge developing late in the month (pollination time) – pushing the funds/specs off the sidelines and into the game.  The rest of this week looks nonthreatening with rainfall coming over the next couple days and a cooler/drier end to the week.  It is just the end of the month where the rumors/thoughts about a hot/dry ‘dome of doom’ come into play.  If that ridge fails to develop, expect this market to sell off.

The crop ratings were out last night and were viewed as a little friendly with U.S. corn gaining 1% in the good-to-excellent category (expected to be 1-2% higher) while soybeans were unchanged (expected 1-2% higher).  Indiana and Ohio look like the garden states with their G/E corn ratings both above 80%!

Yesterday we saw the latest Commitment of Traders report and it showed that the managed money (aka funds) were net short on corn – the first time since 2010 that the funds have been short the corn market.  This is a little friendly to corn prices as it shows they do have room to lift those shorts if the opportunity presents itself.

Outside markets… the equity markets continue higher, gold is higher, while crude and the $US are a little weaker.  Overall this is a neutral to slightly friendly input today.

Opening Calls
Corn up 9 to 11 cents
Soybeans up 18 to 23 cents

Monday, July 8, 2013

FC Morning Grain Market Commentary for 7/8/2013

AM Comments 07/08/13

Monday, July 8, 2013, 7:47 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!
Our markets started off lower last night, with Dec corn making new contract lows and Nov beans making new lows for the move.  Since then however they have bounced back and are now both trading higher.
Outside markets… the equity markets continue higher after Friday’s friendly jobs report.  The $US is a little weaker, crude oil is a little weaker and gold is a little stronger.
Weekly crop ratings will be out this afternoon after the close, the market is expecting the good-to-excellent category to be increased by 1-2% on both corn and soybeans.  The market is still driven by weather, and it does look a little warmer and drier for next week which supports futures prices, however mostly favorable conditions are seen in the short term as rains move across the belt the next few days. 
Opening calls
Corn 2 to 4 cents higher
Soybeans 2c higher old crop, 10c higher new crop

Friday, July 5, 2013

FC Morning Grain Market Commentary for 7/5/2013

Morning Comments 7/5/2013

Friday, July 5, 2013, 8:16 am
Submitted by: Kyle Lehman

Markets will open at 8:30 today after a 44 hour pause for the observance of Independence Day. Not much news being thrown around the grain world today as many traders will still be absent which may make today a quiet trade. Grains could see some pressure with the forecast still calling for warm wet weather to persist throughout next week. Long term forecasts show mild weather conditions around the assumed pollination time frame with no extreme heat or dryness. Informa (a private company) released crop estimates Wednesday tagging the US corn crop at 160 bpa vs. the USDA 156.5 giving a production estimate of 14.26 bln bushels. Informa estimates soybean production at 3.376 vs. USDA 3.390.
Opening calls 2-4 lower across the board.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Summer food safety tips -

Summer food safety tips -

  • Nutrition-wise blog

  • June 26, 2013

    Summer food safety tips

    By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D

As the temperature rises, so does our excitement over picnics and grilling. Unfortunately, cases of foodborne illness rise too. 

Most people know to keep potato salad cold. But there's more to food safety. Consider the following food for thought as you plan your summer outings. 

Check the forecast. You know to refrigerate perishable food within two hours. But did you know that drops to one hour when the temperature is above 90 F (32 C)? Serve, eat and get food back in the cooler. 

Come clean. If your picnic spot doesn't have clean running water, bring some with you. Bring wipes or sanitizing gel for surfaces and hands. Wash hands before food prep and after handling raw meats. 

Keep your cool. Use an insulated cooler with ice, ice packs or partially frozen items to keep food at 40 F (4 C) or cooler. 

Pack smart. Keep separate coolers for food and beverages. Chances are people will be in and out of the beverage cooler, which lets cold air escape. To keep food as cold as possible, keep that cooler closed until you're ready to cook. Pack meat in plastic and put it on the bottom of the cooler to prevent it from leaking on other foods. Pack two platters — one for raw meat and one for cooked meat. 

Use a thermometer. Don't rely on the color of meat to judge when it's cooked enough. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature. Safe minimum temperatures are:
  • 165 F (74 C) for any type of poultry
  • 160 F (71 C) for ground meat other than poultry
  • 145 F (63 C) for solid cuts, such as steaks, of meat or fish
Keep safety in mind as you pack your picnic cooler or fire up the grill.
To your health,

FC Morning Grain Market Commentary for 7/3/2013

AM Comments 07/03/13

Wednesday, July 3, 2013, 8:23 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!
The markets were a little firmer last night on what looks like a short-covering rally ahead of the holiday break.  The markets will be closed all day/night tomorrow, opening back up at 8:30AM on Friday. 
Weather… the temperature forecast for the next few weeks doesn’t appear to have an extreme heat in it – which is good.  In the short term, the Eastern Corn Belt will get moisture while the Western Corn Belt remains pretty dry, with no rain in the forecast until next Tuesday/Wednesday.  There are probably parts out West that could use a nice rain. 
Opening Calls
Corn 4 to 5 cents higher
Soybeans 10 to 12 cents higher

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

FC Morning Grain Market Commentary for 7/2/2013

AM Comments 07/02/13

Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 8:19 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!
Our corn and soybean markets were a little firmer last night with nearby corn spreads bouncing back after yesterday’s collapse (meaning old crop is gaining on new crop today, after losing ground to new crop yesterday). USDA crop conditions were out yesterday afternoon which didn’t give the market much for direction.  U.S. corn and soybean good-to-excellent ratings were both two percentage points higher.
Weather… the Eastern Corn Belt is expecting some scattered rains over the next couple days while the western corn belt remains dry and relatively cool.  The next major system is expected to slide in next Monday through Wednesday, bringing anywhere from a half inch to just over an inch of rain with 80% coverage.  All eyes are on the last half of July’s weather – currently the forecasts are hinting at cooler, wetter pattern for that time slot which sounds ideal for the late pollinating corn.
There are rumors in the marketplace that China bought a couple cargoes of new crop corn overnight, which is helping support Dec corn.  Yesterday’s low on Dec corn futures was $5.0050, last night’s low was $5.0025 (another new contract low).  Will $5 hold?  Some traders are projecting it to dip down to $4.50 although it is hard to project a market that is making new lows.  Pollination weather (as usual) will be key. 
Opening Calls
Corn 3 to 5 cents higher
Soybeans steady to 5 cents higher

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ag Clean Water Alliance differs with Des Moines Water Works Approach to Water Resource Protection

June 28, 2013


Despite a shared desire to protect the quality of Iowa’s water resources, representatives from
Agriculture’s Clean Water Alliance (ACWA) and the Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) differ on the path forward to achieve the most effective results.
The ACWA board of directors, meeting yesterday in Ames, invited DMWW General Manager Bill Stowe to share his perspective. Stowe, who earlier this spring publicly criticized farmers and the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, repeated his call for a regulatory scheme to impact water quality. 
ACWA members disagreed, emphasizing support for greater adoption and implementation of proven, farm-based efforts including those developed by the alliance. These practices, including the planting of cover crops, installation of bioreactors and utilization of conservation tillage, will be more fully adopted as part of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
“A regulatory scheme won’t bring us the results that we want and need,” said ACWA President Harry Ahrenholtz. “Our members are in the business that drives efficient food production and Iowa's economy.  Our members are also committed to achieving water quality that meets everyone's needs."
Ahrenholtz added that dramatic weather shifts – including a recent six-month transition from unprecedented drought to record-setting rainfall – combined with the organic richness of Iowa’s soil complicate progress. However, they should not be used to impose new standards, particularly at a time when Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy is ready for implementation.  
Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey said he has confidence in Iowa’s farmers, the conservation work that is being done and the new endeavors that will be put in action through the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
“Disagreements on the best path forward lie more in policy than in practices and the pace these practices can be implemented,” said Northey. “I believe the voluntary approach is the best and most-effective way to improve Iowa’s water quality.
“However, we can’t stop at policy differences.  It’s time to demonstrate action.”
The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy is the first-of-its-kind framework for reducing nutrient loads discharged from the state’s largest wastewater treatment facilities in combination with targeted practices to reduce loads from non-point sources, including agriculture. The plan establishes a goal of at least a 45-percent reduction each in total riverine nitrogen and phosphorous loadings.  
The ACWA consists of 12 ag retailers and three associate members operating in the Des Moines and Raccoon River basins. Since 1999, ACWA members have invested more than $1 million in funding for water quality monitoring in the Raccoon River and, since 2008, in the Des Moines River and their largest tributaries.
ACWA funded the first successful real-time, in-stream nitrate analyzer in Iowa in the Raccoon River near Van Meter. More than 10,000 water samples have been collected by nearly 200 certified and automated samplers during ACWA’s history. This monitoring data has led to the development of targeted projects and numerous partnerships with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Natural Resources Conservation Service and The Nature Conservancy. Farmers are implementing on-farm water quality improvement practices including bioreactors, wetlands, buffer strips, cover crops, conservation tillage and nutrient management.
CONTACT:  Heather Lilienthal, 515-334-1016 |