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Since this year’s floods, Hamburg residents have criticized the Corps for previously forcing the town to reduce emergency levee protection added in 2011, saying the extra 8 to 9 feet could have protected the town, which still has a long road to recovery. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

Hamburg, IA — The Army Corps of Engineers in Omaha says it has awarded a $12 million contract to repair a Missouri River levee near Hamburg, Iowa, that broke during catastrophic flooding in March, reports the Des Moines Register. The Corps says that the breach repair should provide temporary flood protection of critical infrastructure, and that it has begun planning permanent levee repairs.

Since this year’s floods, Hamburg residents have criticized the Corps for previously forcing the town to reduce emergency levee protection added in 2011, saying the extra 8 to 9 feet could have protected the town this year. Flood damage in all of western Iowa is likely to top the state’s initial estimate of $1.6 billion, Gov. Kim Reynolds said last week.

Washington, DC — Farmers throughout Nebraska, the Dakotas and parts of Iowa were devastated by flooding in March. What meteorologists called a “bomb cyclone” overwhelmed rivers, swallowing farmland and grain bins in its path.

While there’s much speculation about how much grain was lost in the disaster, USDA officials this week said they would not be quantifying it until it’s reflected in the June Quarterly Grain Stocks Report.

“As of right now we don’t have any intention of collecting anything on grain that was lost,” Lance Honig, crops branch chief of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, said at a meeting in Chicago for USDA data users, according to Reuters.

Surveying for the amount of grain lost to flooding would be a challenge, Honig said.

“The stocks report will reflect (grain) inventories as of June 1, so any losses that occurred will no longer be represented in the stocks at that time,” he said.

While USDA will not indicate how much grain was lost, other companies like Indigo Ag have used satellite imagery to identify 832 on-farm grain storage bins within the area that received flood damage. Reuters reported those bins could hold upwards of $34.6 million of grain.

Washington, DC — President Donald Trump this week expressed optimism on negotiations with China.

“We're doing well on trade,” Trump said. “We're doing well with China. Things are going good.”

The White House says a U.S. delegation will travel to Beijing next week to continue trade negotiations, and a Chinese delegation will return to Washington for additional talks starting May 8.

“The subjects of next week’s discussions will cover trade issues including intellectual property, forced technology transfer, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, services, purchases, and enforcement,” the White House said.

Straits View, Singapore — A deal ending the trade spat between the U.S. and China would boost container shipments of grain, wheat and soybeans, according to the head of Japan’s largest container-shipping company.

While agricultural goods are typically transported in large volumes by bulk ships, there’s a rising trend toward using containers as they can move smaller quantities more efficiently and without the need for storage facilities, said Jeremy Nixon, chief executive officer of Ocean Network Express Pte.

“If there is a breakthrough in the tariff situation, there’s actually pent-up demand for U.S. exports to China,” Nixon said in an interview in Singapore on April 16. A more permanent pact could lead to “a return of U.S. exports on a stronger basis to China especially on agricultural products,” he said.

Washington, DC — A bipartisan group of House and Senate members will hold a rally on Capitol Hill next week stressing the need to pass biodiesel tax credit extension legislation.

Biofuel companies have relied heavily on the credit to pay for plant improvements and other projects, but have been without it for 16 months. The National Biodiesel Board has been pushing for an extension since the credit expired but has had an uphill battle.

In February, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa introduced the Tax Extender and Disaster Relief Act of 2019. In April, newly elected House Democrat Abby Finkenauer, also of Iowa, introduced the Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension Act of 2019 to extend the biodiesel tax credit for 2018 and 2019.

San Francisco, CA — Bayer has signaled it will not go down quietly while its signature agricultural product, Roundup, is on trial in California.

The company, whose Monsanto subsidiary is facing more than 11,000 Roundup lawsuits nationwide, has already lost two cases in trial court — one state, one federal — and is set to begin its defense on Monday in another state court case involving a married couple who allege exposure to the weed-killer caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

But on Wednesday, it fired the first volley in its appeal of a state court verdict awarding $78.5 million to Dewayne Johnson, a school groundskeeper who alleged exposure to Roundup caused his non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

"Bayer stands behind these products and will vigorously defend them," the company said in a news release Wednesday.

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Washington, DC — The Census of Agriculture is a complete count of America’s farms, ranches, and the people who operate them. Conducted once every five years, Census of Agriculture results provide valuable insights into the lives of America’s farmers and ranchers for people outside of agriculture as well as state and federal governing bodies. For producers, Census results can inform management decisions now and into the future. Here are just 10 key takeaways.

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released 2017 Census of Agriculture results on April 11. With their new Census Data Query Tool, accessing data is easier now than ever.

Are you interested in county-, state-, or national- level data detailing:

  • the number of operations in your selected area, broken down by size?
  • the number of new and beginning producers, or those who’ve served in the military?
  • a breakdown of farm production expenses, including dollars spent per expense type?
  • land use practices in your area of interest, such as acres managed with no-till?
  • a breakdown of selected crops harvested, or inventory and sales of livestock?

These are just a few questions the Census Data Query Tool can help you answer – all in five clicks or fewer.

If you’re interested in 2017 Census of Agriculture highlights, NASS has published two new fact sheets with national-level data on farm producers and farm economics.

For media inquiries, please contact Katie James, ISA Public Relations Manager at or Aaron Putze, ISA Communications Director at

For permission to republish articles or to request high-res photos contact Aaron Putze at Iowa Soybean Association | 1255 SW Prairie Trail Pkwy | Ankeny | IA | 50023 | US

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