October 13, 2022


A five-minute summary of AAI, regulation, and industry activities for members of the largest state agribusiness association in the nation.

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Asian Copperleaf Found In Iowa - IDALS Urges Reports Of Sightings

A weed first discovered in Black Hawk County in 2016 has again been spotted in 2022, nearly 30 miles away in Grundy County. Due to its potential threat to row crops, the Iowa Department of Agriculture is asking Iowans to report any sightings to determine the potential scale of the infestation. 

Asian copperleaf was detected in both fields during crop harvest. Thus, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) is requesting that farmers and others in the agricultural industry keep an eye out for this plant as fields are harvested. 

Asian copperleaf (Acalypha australis) is native to China, Australia, Japan, and other countries in the region and was first discovered in Iowa in a corn field near Cedar Falls. Prior to this discovery in 2016, the only documented infestation in North America was within New York City. The plant was recently found in a soybean field in Grundy County, nearly 30 miles from the original infestation. In both fields, several dense patches of the weed were present throughout the field, indicating the weed was in the field for several years before being identified. It is unknown how the plant was introduced to Iowa, but it is likely the two reported infestations are related. The plant is a threat to row crops in its native range.


Asian copperleaf is in the spurge family but lacks milky sap common in many spurges. It is an erect plant that can reach heights of 2-3 ft, but most plants found in Iowa were less than 18” in height. Leaves are 2-3” long, lanceolate with serrated (finely toothed) edges. The distinguishing characteristic of Asian copperleaf are the bracts located beneath the flowers. The bracts are circular to heart-shaped with a dentate margin. Virginia copperleaf and three-seeded mercury, two other Acalypha species present in Iowa with a similar growth habit, have deeply-lobed bracts. It is unlikely that anyone could confidently differentiate between these species prior to flowering. Asian copperleaf seems to emerge late in the season and remains under the crop canopy throughout the growing season.

Contact IDALS If Found

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and Iowa State University are interested in determining how widespread the weed is across the state. By determining how much area is infested with this weed, a better estimate of the risk it poses to Iowa crop production can be made.

If you detect the plant, please contact the IDALS at 515-725-1470 or e-mail entomology@iowaagriculture.gov.

Complete Your Membership Renewal; Update Contact Information

The 2023 AAI Membership Year began on October 1 and dues investment information has been mailed out to current members.

Included in the mailing is a list of the additional contacts we have on record for your company. These contacts will receive important member information throughout the dues year and help us to interact with the appropriate person within your company when legislative, regulatory, or other agribusiness issues arise, and be made aware of various educational and training events. Please be sure to update these contacts to maintain the most efficient avenues of sharing information within your organization. 

Membership investments are due by December 31, 2022. 

If you do not receive your membership information letter, or if you need to follow up to see who the letter was sent to, please contact the AAI office at 515.262.8323 or aai@agribiz.org.

Want to renew your membership online? Follow this link:


Have questions about membership? Wondering how your company can be a member and participate in the Agribusiness Association of Iowa? Contact Membership Director Reilly Vaughan at reilly@agribiz.org or 515.868.0311.

Election Information - Vote November 8

The upcoming mid-term elections will take place on Tuesday, November 8.

Below are a few resources for getting registered, finding your voting location, and absentee voting.


If you are not currently registered to vote in the state of Iowa, the following link provides information and access to voter registration options:



As part of redistricting, your polling place may have changed. Visit the following website to find your polling location:



Wednesday, October 19

  • First Day of Absentee Voting

Monday, October 24

  • Pre-registration Deadline
  • Deadline to Request Absentee Ballot to be Mailed

Saturday, November 5

  • Auditors’ Offices Open for Absentee Voting

Monday, November 7

  • Absentee Ballot In-Person Deadline

Tuesday, November 8

  • General Election Day
  • Absentee Ballots Receipt Deadline


Visit https://voterready.iowa.gov/ to find detailed information and answers to voting and election questions.

Visit your county auditor site to find sample ballots and detailed election information specific to where you live: 


Iowa Nitrogen Initiative Seeks Participants for Rate Trials

learning blocks nitrogen initiative

We encourage AAI members to identify farmers, crop advisors, and variable rate applicators willing to take part in this initiative. Contact Melissa Miller, Project Director for the Iowa Nitrogen Initiative, at millerms@iastate.edu or INREC Executive Director Ben Gleason at bgleason@agribiz.org if you know someone interested in participating.

Using the latest advances in precision agriculture, the Iowa Nitrogen Initiative is seeking the help of farmers, crop advisers, and variable rate applicators to deploy hundreds of on-farm, scientifically robust trials every year.

Participating in the nitrogen trials is easy. Farmers commit to reserving a small portion of their farm field (four to seven acres) for a personalized variable rate nitrogen prescription. All other farming decisions, including the nitrogen application for the rest of the field, remain with the farmer. A well-calibrated yield monitor and variable rate nitrogen application are required.

Farmers, crop advisers, and variable rate applicators interested in participating should contact Melissa Miller, Project Director for the Iowa Nitrogen Initiative, by emailing millerms@iastate.edu or calling 515-567-0607. Learn more at agron.iastate.edu/ini.


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Rail union rejects Biden-backed deal

Source: Feedstuffs

A majority of almost 12,000 unionized railroad workers voted to reject a tentative labor agreement brokered in part last month by President Joe Biden, the first dismissal by members of a dozen labor groups that must accept the deal or risk a strike. 

More than 6,600 members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes voted against the tentative agreement compared to 5,100 votes in favor, the division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters said in a statement Monday. 

The vote results in a “status quo” period in which no strike can take place while the union resumes bargaining with freight railroads, according to the statement. No “self help” may occur until after Nov. 19 at the earliest, it said. 

The result signals continued discontent over compensation, working conditions and sick-leave policies among some of the more than 100,000 union-represented workers of US freight railroads. Lengthy, contentious labor talks were at an impasse until a hands-on push by Biden and his administration helped secure a preliminary accord with just hours to spare before a work stoppage that risked halting the flow of some 40% of long-haul US cargo.

The National Carriers’ Conference Committee, which represents freight railroads in the labor talks, said it was disappointed by the outcome of the vote. The rejection does not “present risk of an immediate service disruption” because both sides have agreed to maintain the status quo as they discuss next steps, it said in a statement. 

[...] Read Full Story

Recap of the historic Prop 12 oral arguments before SCOTUS

Source: AgDaily

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument on NPPC v. Ross from a lawsuit challenging California’s Proposition 12, a law that bans the sale of pork from hogs that don’t meet the state’s production standards.

The arguments remain two-sided. While the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Pork Producers Council challenge the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12, largely based on the impact it would have on interstate commerce, supporters maintain that the law, passed by voters in 2018, protects animals from “cruel” and “extreme” confinement.

Although California accounts for 13 percent of the nation’s pork consumption, the state is home to relatively few pig farms. Pork producers have been pushing back since the proposition’s earliest days, worried about the costs to both farmers and consumers and the lingering questions of whether it would increase animal health at all. The law, which was to go into effect Jan. 1, 2022, requires more space for breeding pigs and will force a $26 billion-per-year increase in costs to pork farmers.

In 2021, the California Department of Food and Agriculture admitted that the self-titled Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act would increase pig mortality on breeding farms and had no positive impacts on human health and welfare, worker safety, or the environment.

“October 11 is a historic day for both my fellow pig producers and me. Operating with a constant backdrop of uncertainty, new and pending legislation makes it difficult to run any business, let alone a farm. Prop 12 is not good for my animals, it’s not good for the consumers, and it’s definitely a challenge for the future of farming,” said Terry Wolters, president of the National Pork Producers Council during a media briefing following the SCOTUS hearing.

Here are some of the conflicting arguments:

[...] Read Full Story

What Does It Take to Get Out of Drought?

Source: Progressive Farmer

20221011_conus_text image

Though it is seven letters long, drought has become a four-letter word to most farmers and ranchers across the country this year. Very few spots around the country have remained out of some sort of category of dryness or drought on the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) this year.

It is a favorite map of mine to look at, and most producers as well. The map is a partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), USDA, and NOAA and does a good job of creating a single, simple map that can point to various groundwater issues that impact so many industries, not just agriculture.

Drought has been increasing in recent weeks across a lot of the U.S. due to below-normal rainfall. Outside of the rain from Hurricane Ian on the East Coast and an upper-level low in the Southwest, dryness and drought have expanded from the Pacific Northwest through most of the Plains, Midwest, and Southeast over the last month.

The latest update to the USDM issued on Oct. 13 paints a whopping 81.78% of the Continental U.S. in some category of dryness or drought. That is up about 10% from the start of the year and the most expansive coloring on the map in their records going back to the beginning of 2000. Speaking specifically about drought, at 55.41% of the Continental U.S., it is the highest coverage of drought since April 19. The drought coverage peaked this year in early March at 61.11%, which was the most expansive drought since 2012.

[...] Read Full Story

IDALS announces new farmer mental health support programs

Source: Wallaces Farmer

As part of National Farm Safety and Health Week, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced last week (Sept. 23) that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) has been awarded a $500,000 grant to expand farmer mental health support programs in Iowa. The department will partner with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to help raise awareness about mental health and wellness resources, and help make them more accessible to farmers and rural communities.

“We all need help from time to time and farmers and landowners are no exception. Some of the challenges they face are unique, like long-term financial stress, unpredictable weather and market uncertainty. We want anyone dealing with added stress and mental health challenges to know that they are not alone,” Naig said. “We are proud to partner with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to help make mental health and wellness resources more accessible to farmers and our rural communities.”

“While commodity prices have improved over the last year, the derecho a year ago and the drought that has spanned both years has impacted many Iowa farmers. These resources can help farmers and farm families deal with the added stress,” said John Lawrence, ISU vice president for Extension and Outreach. “Those who work with farmers will have access to tools to help them recognize mental health concerns and offer appropriate assistance.”

Through this grant, ISU Extension and Outreach staff will offer community outreach and programming to individuals involved in agriculture and those who support them. ISU Extension and Outreach will also conduct facilitator training for programs focused on strengthening families. Farmer resource packets will be available with information on how to access stress assistance, wellness and family finance programs.

[...] Read Full Story

Related Links:

Iowa Concern Hotline Website | Hotline Number 1-800-447-1985

Extension and Outreach Strengthening Families Program

Extension and Outreach Mental Health and Wellbeing

Be Engaged. Be Informed

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