Iowa group seeks farm runoff limits
DES MOINES, Iowa - An environmental group is hoping to pressure lawmakers into considering legislation that would limit runoff of fertilizer from farm fields by setting state standards.
Environment Iowa rallied at the Capitol last week to deliver a petition with 5,000 signatures to Sen. Dick Dearden, a Des Moines Democrat who chairs the Senate Natural Resources Committee.
The group says city water treatment plants can't keep up with the record levels of nitrate flowing into rivers from farm fields.
Farm groups oppose standards or strict enforcement, saying managing runoff on each farm is different.
USDA: U.S. soybean planting nearly done
ST. LOUIS - Farmers across the nation's midsection are making up for lost time, and are almost done planting soybeans after a soggy spring that put them weeks behind.
The weekly U.S. Department of Agriculture crop progress update released last Monday shows that 96 percent of the nation's soybean crop is in the ground. That's just 2 percentage points behind the pace over the previous five years.
The USDA says that Illinois growers are 97-percent finished with their soybean planting, while Missouri growers have 93 percent of the crop sown. In both, that's a dash ahead of the trend of the previous half decade.
The USDA says roughly half of the corn crop is judged to be good, 11 percentage points higher than a year ago before a punishing drought settled in.
Controlling flies can help cattle producers
LINCOLN, Neb. - Flies can be more than a pest for cattle producers because the insects can cause cattle to lose weight.
That's why University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension expert Dave Boxler says ranchers and feedlots should try to control flies.
Boxler says he's expecting a fairly normal fly population this year in Nebraska.
One kind of fly that causes problems is the horn fly. Groups of flies gather around cattle and feed off their blood around the horns and neck.
Stable flies also feed on cattle blood, but they attack the animal's legs.
Another pest is called the face fly, which can irritate the eyes of cattle and cause blindness.
The Associated Press