Farming is nation’s deadliest industry

Agriculture is the deadliest industry in the United States based on the number of deaths per 100,000 workers.

While the total number of farm-related fatalities in Iowa remained fairly constant during the past several years, most accidents are preventable.

"More than one-third of all agricultural fatalities reported in Iowa involved a farm tractor,’’ said Charles Schwab, Iowa State University Extension safety specialist. "These are Iowans who lost their lives while driving, riding or working around a tractor, which is significant considering the addition of protective equipment would have prevented a majority of these deaths.’’

Of the 16 fatal accidents involving tractors in Iowa in 2005, 12 happened when a tractor overturned.


Wheat producers may increase acreage

The generally high level of 2007 crop wheat futures suggests that wheat producers may be motivated to increase acreage this year, says Darrel Good, a University of Illinois Extension marketing specialist.

"Cash bids for harvest delivery of soft red winter wheat, however, reflect a very weak basis and lower cash prices than historically implied by future prices at current levels,’’ said Good. "Will soft read winter wheat producers increase acreage in response to relatively high future prices? Or will acreage be limited by relatively low cash bids for the new crop?’’

Good said the answer has important implications in an environment where a significant increase in corn acreage appears to be needed in 2007.

Board of Health offers Avian flu testing

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health is offering free Avian flu testing for small flock owners.

As part of the increasing statewide surveillance, free avian influenza diagnostic testing is being offered to producers, 4-H members, organic poultry producers, poultry show and exhibition participants and other bird enthusiasts.

If your flock shows signs of respiratory disease, including coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, unusually quiet birds, or sudden death loss, contact the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory, Board of Animal Health, 622 Business Highway 71 NE, Willmar, Minn. 56201; phone (320) 231-5170.


IRS makes capital gains tax ruling

Cattle producers around the country who are forced to sell animals because of drought won’t have to pay capital gains taxes for a year after the parched conditions end, the Internal Revenue Services says.

If the producer replaces an animal, his or her tax liability for the sale won’t exist.

Previous legislation gave cattle producers four years — beginning in 2002 — to replace the livestock sold because of drought without recognizing a capital gain.

Iowa big in corn output worldwide

Iowa continues to play a dominant role in corn production.

In most years, Iowa’s corn crop is four times the size of Argentina’s output. In fact, only one country — China — grows more corn than Iowa.

Iowa produces more than 7 percent of the world’s corn and provides a large share of U.S. export shipments.


The Iowa Corn Promotion Board also plays a big role. It collects $7 million annually to promote the grain.

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