March 28, 2024


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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Economic Data Shows Impact of Iowa Ag

Feeding the Economy has released their 2024 economic impact report for agriculture in the US. The report shows agriculture and food industries directly support more than 15 percent of the US economy and provide 20 percent of the country's economic output at $9.6 trillion. That represents growth of more than $1 trillion since 2023.

Closer to home, Iowa's economy is supported by more than 330,000 jobs that are directly within the ag and food industry. That number more than doubles to 810,000 when all economic impacts across all sectors of the economy are taken into account, resulting in $254 billion in total output for the state of Iowa.

The full report from Feeding the Economy, including state and county level information, can be found at:

On the export front, Iowa Department of Economic Development released numbers on Iowa's major agricultural exports including corn, pork, soybeans, beef, and liquid eggs.

By far, the number one exporter of pork in the US is Iowa. Fresh and chilled pork exports from Iowa represent more than half of all exports from the top five pork exporting states - in other words, more than the next four states combined. And, Iowa exports far surpass the total amount of pork imported by Mexico, the number one US pork importing country.

While US corn exports were down $5.3 billion year over year, it continues to remain at levels above 2020 numbers. Iowa numbers reflect this drop at $2.4 billion, down from $3.3 billion in 2022. Despite that drop, Iowa is the number one exporter of corn in the US representing 30 percent of the top five exporting states. Corn exported to Mexico and Columbia, two the top five importers of corn from the state, continues to increase.

Of the other commodities in the report, Iowa ranked fourth largest in beef exports, second largest in soybean exports, and second largest in liquid egg exports.

A PDF of Iowa agriculture export highlights from IEDA can be downloaded at the following link:

2023 IEDA Ag Export Highlights

Feed Manufacturers Should Revisit Biosecurity Practices in Light of HPAI Detections in Dairy Cattle

Reprinted from: American Feed Industry Association

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) identified the mysterious illness that has been affecting dairy farms across the Texas Panhandle, along with Kansas and New Mexico over the past few weeks, as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Now, the USDA, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state agencies are conducting tests and other research to better understand the situation and minimize the possible impacts to other cattle farms, farmers and consumers. There is no risk to the public, and milk is safe for consumption after pasteurization, USDA said. 

Additional information from the USDA:

HPIA In Dairy Herds


At this time, the virus is believed to spread through contact with infected wild birds. Feed manufacturing facilities should revisit biosecurity best practices in their mills and when completing deliveries to reduce the chances for exposing their people or products to infected wild birds or other pests. A document on best practices from AFIA can be found at the link below:


Alan Parnell Named Director of Field Extension Education Laboratory

Reprinted from: Iowa State University Extension & Outreach

parnell_4-400x267 image

Alan Parnell is passionate about helping to educate farmers and the public about agricultural research.

The Oklahoma native spent more than 30 years as an ag educator for the Oklahoma State University Extension Service. In February, he accepted a position to lead Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Field Extension and Education Laboratory, located southwest of campus.

The FEEL facility is comprised of 29 acres and more than 400 demonstration plots, where research is conducted related to insect, weed, disease management, crop fertility, tillage, climate and more. The property also includes climate-controlled classrooms within walking distance of the demonstration plots.

“I feel at home with the position, because I will be working with research and education,” he said. “The FEEL facility provides information to producers and companies that can better peoples’ livelihoods or their production practices, and I enjoy being involved with the process.”

While in Oklahoma, Parnell served as the livestock superintendent at the Tulsa State Fair, and worked closely with people of all ages, including 4-H youth. One of the places they enjoyed vacationing was Iowa.

“Iowa is a beautiful place and it changes with the seasons,” he said. "If you enjoy agriculture, Iowa is especially beautiful to see.”

Mark Licht, associate professor in agronomy and cropping systems specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, said FEEL is in good hands under Parnell. 

“Alan brings many years of experience to FEEL and we look forward to seeing the new ideas that experience can provide,” Licht said. “Alan brings experience to FEEL that can meet the needs of farmers and agronomists through a wide variety of educational opportunities.”

Parnell said he looks forward to working with the faculty and staff who use FEEL, and he plans to take full advantage of its outreach potential.

“I would like to make it more visible to the public and get more people and companies involved,” he said.

The FEEL facility is located approximately five miles west of Ames, at 1928 240th Street near Boone.

Thank You For Your Membership!

As a member of AAI, you are the driving force of the organization Where Agribusiness Matters. Thank you for your membership and your commitment to the success of agribusiness in Iowa.


The following companies have recently joined or renewed their membership for the 2024 Membership Year.

  • AMVAC Chemical

Not currently a member? Click Here to send us an email so we can follow up with your company and help you get connected to AAI.


April 4

AAI Board of Directors Meeting

10:00 AM | Northey Building Board Room

July 25

AAI Golf Outing - Okoboji

Emerald Hills Golf Club

August 15

AAI Golf Outing - Amana

Amana Colonies Golf Club

September 11

AAI Golf Outing



Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Crop Scout School - May 16, 2024

The Iowa State University Extension Crop Scout School prepares individuals with little or no previous crop scouting experience, providing a foundation of basic skills for crop scouting in the Midwest. Correctly identifying pests in the field is critical for selecting the correct tools to economically manage the issue.

Students will rotate through sessions and have the opportunity to have one-on-one interactions with specialists. Live corn and soybean plants and weed samples will be provided to give students the opportunity to look at living plants, rather than pictures, and practice with their field guides and other resources before they go to the field.

Cost is $150, and includes lunch, refreshments, and course materials including hard copies of the ISU Corn and Soybean Field Guide, Field Crop Insects Guide, Corn Disease Guide, and Soybean Disease Guide as well as a digital version of the ISU Weed ID Guide and other course materials.

For more information and to register, visit:


Rapid expansion of U.S. soybean processing capacity risks overbuild

Source: FeedStuffs

Demand for soybean oil as a feedstock in the production of renewable diesel is rising as the U.S. aims to increase adoption of cleaner burning fuels. Renewable diesel has emerged as the preferred low carbon replacement for traditional diesel, and U.S. production is projected to increase sharply in the years ahead. To meet the growing demand for soybean oil, U.S. soybean processors are ramping up their production capacity, which is expected to increase by 23% over the next three years.

While soybean processors have benefitted from record-high profit margins in recent years, margins are expected to moderate as the market adjusts to the increase in domestic soy crush capacity and growing global competition. Soybean oil prices have come under pressure due to increasing competition from alternative renewable diesel feedstocks including imported vegetable oils, beef tallow and used cooking oil. And persistent weakness in soybean meal prices is likely as surplus grows.

According to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange, multiple years of record margins have left U.S. soybean processors well-prepared to weather the inevitable downturn in margins. However, overbuilding U.S. soybean crush capacity, combined with sustained levels of low processing margins could threaten the viability of new, high-cost plants in the long term.

“Legacy processing plants with low debt levels will still find profitability in an environment of sharply lower crush margins,” said Tanner Ehmke, lead grain and oilseed economist for CoBank. “But new crush plants built at substantially higher costs and interest rates will have higher breakeven costs. And destination plants located outside of soybean-growing regions are at greater financial risk due to increased reliance on transportation to acquire soybeans.”

[...] Read Full Story

Port of Baltimore’s closure may be costly for agriculture industry

Source: AgDaily

The Port of Baltimore is the nation’s largest port for farm equipment, and it is a significant throughway for raw sugar, meat, and timber, as well as soybeans, grains, and other agricultural products. Experts say that the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge earlier this week, which has halted all vessel traffic, is likely to have a ripple effect that will negatively impact the ag sector.

“Now’s the time that a lot of farmers are getting going,” Alice Kassens, an economics professor at Roanoke College in Virginia, told TV news station WDBJ. “It’s when people are likely going to be buying this type of equipment. And so, there’s going to be shortages, which push up the price of those items.”

Maryland’s government’s website explains that Baltimore’s proximity to the Midwest’s major farm and construction equipment manufacturers has helped it become the leading U.S. port for combines, tractors, and hay balers, with more than 1.3 million tons of roll on/roll off equipment handled in 2023 alone. It is also a key port for light-duty pickup trucks.

According to DTN, customers at the port include Case IH, New Holland Agriculture, John Deere, AGCO (Fendt, Massey Ferguson), and CLAAS. 

Kassens warned that the equipment issues could be costly for farmers and others involved in agriculture because delays in machinery and parts arrivals could negatively impact planting timelines, as well as drive up the price of the equipment itself that has to be rerouted and face unexpected transportation needs.

While the collapse is a concern for machinery companies, it’s too early to predict the overall effect the port blockage will have, Megan Tanel, the president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, told Lancaster Farming.

[...] Read Full Story

Iowa State Releases 2024 Custom Farming Rate Data

Source: AgWeb

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has released the data from their 2024 Custom Farm Rate Survey, which provides average pricing for common agricultural services such as tillage, spraying and fertilizer application.

The data is based on 130 responses and 2,805 custom rates provided by Iowa farmers, custom operators and farm managers.

According to the survey responses, the average rates for field spraying via ground application varied between $7 per acre for broadcast, not incorporated spraying with a tractor and $8.35 per acre for broadcast, self-propelled spraying on a tall crop. These numbers were relatively the same in the 2023 survey.

Aerial spraying averaged $10.70 per acre, down slightly from $10.95 in 2023. The study did not specify between drone and plane applications.

Moving outside the field, the rate for spraying road ditches with a ground application method averaged $77.60 per hour, though the range of responses varied between $30 to $120. This number is also down from 2023, which had an average rate of $80.45 per hour.

These prices do not include the cost of materials.

As for fertilizer rates, dry bulk fertilizer averaged $7.25 per acre applied. This is up a tick from 2023, which had an average rate of $7.20. Liquid application ranged from $7.65 per acre for spraying and $12 per acre for side dressing – both down from 2023. 

Injecting anhydrous without a tool bar had an average rate of $13.25 per acre and increased to $15.10 per acre with the tool bar. These rates have increased since last year’s survey from $12.10 and $14.70 respectively. 

Spreading lime ran $7.25 per ton – up a quarter from $7.50 in 2023. 

[...] Read Full Story

Scientists discover that the natural purification of groundwater is enhanced by nitrate


In recent years, the world has been experiencing floods and droughts as extreme rainfall events have become more frequent due to climate change. For this reason, securing stable water resources throughout the year has become a national responsibility called "water security," and "Aquifer Storage Recovery (ASR)", which stores water in the form of groundwater in the ground when water resources are available and withdraws it when needed, is attracting attention as an effective water resource management technique.

A team of researchers including Dr. Seunghak Lee, Jaeshik Chung, and Sang Hyun Kim from the Water Resources Cycle Research Center has discovered that the natural purification of groundwater is enhanced by nitrate, a known pollutant.

In order to apply ASR techniques in practice, it is very important to predict and manage the quality of recharged water, and this research is expected to mark a turning point in the water quality management strategy of ASR systems. The study is published in the journal Water Research.

In addition to storing water resources, ASR techniques have the added benefit of improving water quality through various reactions in the ground. The organic pollutants in the recharged water are degraded by the interaction of microorganisms in the aquifer soil with the iron oxide minerals, and in general, the iron oxide minerals are gradually transformed and the effective surface area is reduced, causing the natural attenuation of organic pollutants to stop.

[...] Read Full Story

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