The Iowa Corn Growers Association has announced its 2014 farmer roundtable meetings for this July as part of its annual policy development process. The sessions at all roundtable meetings will include a free dinner. "The farm roundtable is where any ICGA member can bring up an issue or a policy we should pursue," says Roger Zylstra, current Iowa Corn Growers Association president and a farmer from Lynnville. "Ideas that get a thumbs-up from the roundtable will go on to the ICGA policy conference and can even end up as policy for the National Corn Growers Association. This is your chance to make things happen through ICGA."
Roundtables give farmers the opportunity to discuss and influence the policy positions adopted by ICGA each year at the annual meeting. "The issues discussed at our roundtable sessions in July pertain to topics that impact your business and bottom line as a farmer," says Zylstra. "Recommendations and input from farmers gathered at the roundtables will be discussed further at the ICGA annual meeting and policy conference in August in Des Moines."
The 2014 roundtable schedule and locations are:
July 9: Four locations
* Arnold's Park, Arnold's Park Majestic Pavilion, 37 Lake St., 5 to 8 p.m.
* Mason City, Historic Park Inn, 15 West State St., 6 to 9 p.m.
* Denison, Hillside Grille, 169 Oak Ridge Dr., 6 to 9 p.m.
* West Liberty, West Liberty Community Ctr., 1204 North Calhoun St., 6 to 9 p.m.
July 10: Four locations
* Fayette, Upper Iowa University, 605 Washington St., 6-9 p.m.
* Ames, Holiday Inn Conference Ctr., 2609 University Blvd., 6-9 p.m.
* Red Oak, Red Coach Inn, 1200 Senate Ave., 6-9 p.m.
* Bloomfield, Southfork, Jct. Hwy 2 & Hwy 63, 6-9 p.m.
July 14: Virtual Roundtable Webinar (Please note: this will be held from 12 noon to 2 p.m. High speed Internet required). The webinar is for the convenience of growers who can't attend one of the previous roundtable discussions in person.
To attend a roundtable, all growers are asked to register online by July 6. ICGA is a membership organization lobbying on agricultural issues on behalf of its 7,800 farmer members. The organization works on the joint mission to create opportunities for long-term Iowa corn grower profitability.
ICGA files comments on State of Iowa's proposed deer rule
In other ICGA news, on June 17 the Iowa Corn Growers Association filed comments on the 2014 Iowa Resident Deer Rule. ICGA sent comments to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. ICGA argues in its comments that the deer harvest rule will likely increase the deer herd in the state, resulting in greater crop damage. The letter also points out the DNR is relying far too heavily on the depredation program which is little used. For more information go to the ICGA website.
NRCS conservation compliance field checks are underway
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service is conducting its annual checking of fields for conservation compliance on Highly Erodible Land, which is required if farmers and landowners want to participate in USDA programs such as crop insurance subsidies. NRCS staff check farmers' fields for the amount of crop residue cover, presence of ephemeral gullies and if the field has properly maintained grass waterways. These checks are conducted after crop planting and before the crop canopies. Fields are selected at random or if a whistleblower reports a violation. NRCS will contact the farmer before visiting fields and farmers are encouraged to meet with the NRCS staff person while that person is checking the farmer's fields.