COL Boswell honored by pork producers

WASHINGTON -- The National Pork Producers Council has given its "Friends of the Pork Producers'' award to U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell.

The award is given annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to create and increase economic opportunities for pork producers and whose support has helped the viability of the industry for the future.

Previous recipients include President Bush, Sen. Charles Grassley, Sen. Tom Harkin, Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana and Rep. Charles Stenholm of Texas.

Poultry manure is 'friendly fertilizer'

AMES, Iowa -- Poultry manure is an effective, environmentally friendly fertilizer, researchers at Iowa State University said.


A six-year study was done to show the impact of poultry manure on nutrients in crops and on surface and ground water quality. The testing was done on nine one-acre field plots at a research farm west of Ames. Samples were tested for nitrates, phosphates and bacteria.

"The key finding is that poultry manure applied at the 150 pound per acre rate resulted in lower nitrate, phosphate and bacteria concentrations in subsurface drainage water when compared with equivalent application rates of commercial nitrogen fertilizer," said Ramesh Kanwar, lead researcher on the project.

The study was funded by the Iowa Egg Council and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Testing will continue for another year.

Vilsack suspends weight limits

DES MOINES -- In response to Iowa's higher-than-expected corn harvest this year, and to help those regions of the state that are experiencing a slow harvest due to cool weather and heavy rainfall, Gov. Tom Vilsack has signed a disaster emergency proclamation that suspends for 30 days the Iowa law on transporting oversize and overweight loads of grains.

This proclamation will expire 30 days from the date of issue.

The emergency proclamation allows Iowa farmers and grain haulers to transport loads up to 90,000 pounds of soybeans, corn, hay, straw and stover on all highways within Iowa, excluding the Interstate system, for 30 days from the signing of the proclamation.

The Iowa Department of Transportation has been directed by the Governor's office to monitor the operation.


Scallons are Iowa Good Neighbors

IOWA FALLS, Iowa -- Joe and Linda Scallon of Iowa Falls have been chosen as September's Iowa Good Neighbor Award winner.

The Scallions have a hog and chicken operation and grow corn and soybeans.

In her nominating letter, Cecelia Hansen, owner of some of the land the Scallon's farm and also their neighbor, wrote, "Joe and Linda are very thoughtful friends and neighbors. My husband, Earl, a farmer, was stricken with rheumatoid arthritis, which not only left him handicapped but also forced him to give up many of his dreams about farming. Through Joe's kindness and thoughtfulness, Earl was able to continue dreaming and `keep in touch' with farming, which provided many hours of enjoyment. I'm honored to not only call Joe and Linda my neighbors, but also my friends.''

Neighbors of livestock producers who want to nominate a producer should write a nomination letter in care of: The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Attn: Good Neighbor Award, Henry A. Wallace Building, Des Moines IA 50319 or e-mail at telling why their livestock producer neighbors should win the award, and in essence, what makes them good neighbors.

West Delaware FFA wins dairy competition

WEST DELAWARE, Iowa -- A team of West Delaware FFA members captured first place in the Dairy Products competition at the Tri-State Youth Ag and Dairy Expo held at the Northeast Iowa Dairy Center near Calmar.

The competition was based on the team members' dairy product knowledge. Teams from throughout northeast Iowa were evaluated on their ability to detect and identify defects in milk quality and flavor, distinguish between real cheese products and imitations, and identify different cheese varieties. They also took a written test on their knowledge of dairy products, and the scores from the various competitions were combined to select the top team overall.


Members of the first-place West Delaware team included Jessica Reth, Michelle Thole, and Kristal Willie. North Fayette FFA placed second in the overall competition, and Tri Star FFA finished third.

Study finds pasture forage advantages

AMES, Iowa -- Recent field research shows that pastured cows produce healthier products than those finished on conserved forages.

The study, conducted by Iowa State University researchers, documented the concentrations of conjugated linoleic acid in beef and milk from farms in northeast Iowa and southwest Wisconsin. CLA is a fatty acid thought to help prevent cancer, diabetes and obesity. Beef and milk are two of the main sources of CLA in the human diet.

The study involved four beef and 12 dairy farms. Each farm was visited once a month. At each visit, the cattle's diet was recorded, and milk samples were taken. Beef samples were taken when the finished cattle were processed. The milk and beef samples were analyzed for CLA content.

Church draws people with country-western

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Pastors at St. John's United Methodist Church are drawing worshippers with a service that's geared to country-western music fans.

The Saturday evening service, called Jesus Country, features pastors and band members dressed in western attire, and songs by popular country singers such as Randy Travis, Josh Turner and Trisha Yearwood.


A cowboy hat is passed for the offering, and many who attend wear their western shirts and cowboy boots. After reviewing demographic information, officials learned that one-third of the Quad-Cities population listened to country music.

"So, we decided to go in that direction," Klink said.

Iowa sets records with tornadoes

DUBUQUE, Iowa -- Warm, humid air this year contributed to Iowa's record 110 tornadoes, weather experts said.

That compares with just 28 tornadoes in 2003, said Harry Hillaker, Iowa's state climatologist.

"To get tornadoes you need just the right conditions at just the right time," Hillaker said. "The main ingredient is very warm and humid air. If you don't have that, you aren't going to get them."

Iowa's high number of tornadoes trumped nearby states such as Wisconsin, which recorded 32, up from 14 in 2003. Illinois had 65 tornadoes after setting a record of 120 last year.

All three states recorded cooler-than-normal summers.

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