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Faust100F
Advisor

Re: Doak: Where are we, and rural Iowa, headed? / half of Iowa counties are dying

I do not know how to tell you this . . . but . . Counties South of I-80 died during the farm depression of 1980's and never recovered, in fact it is reminds me of West River South Dakota.  If it were not for the deer hunters and the white collar boys in DSM owning all the billy goat country down here, there would be no population at all.  Kinda funny that someone finally realized what has happened . . . the only thing is that they are three decades too late.   Adios Amigos. John

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rswfarms
Senior Contributor

Re: Doak: Where are we, and rural Iowa, headed? / FAUST-ANY PLANTING IN SOUTHERN IOWA TODAY?????

 FAUST SAID::::::I do not know how to tell you this . . . but . . Counties South of I-80 died during the farm depression of 1980's and never recovered, in fact it is reminds me of West River South Dakota.  If it were not for the deer hunters and the white collar boys in DSM owning all the billy goat country down here, there would be no population at all.  Kinda funny that someone finally realized what has happened . . . the only thing is that they are three decades too late.   Adios Amigos. John

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Fuast, I believe you are 100% correct in your statement above and it is just the same that Northern Iowa will face in the next 30 years Maybe only 15 years!!!!! The Southern Iowa Counties never did fully recover from the 1980's Farm Crisis. Yes, very funny that they just realized that!!!!!! I believe that the Lower Land Quality such as 50-65 CSR Total Farm average CSR's helped bring a much quicker transformation. I have reasons for that, just related to lower corn.bean revenue/profit per acre. I believe. 

Say any planting going on today?? Just beautiful weather here today in the Twin Cities.  

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Doak: Where are we, and rural Iowa, headed? / FAUST-ANY PLANTING IN SOUTHERN IOWA TODAY?????

What you guys are talking about is the point t which certain areas become marginal, then not worth the trouble, after that. Just as a lot of oil fields wren't worth the cost of getting minute amounts of crude out of at cheap world prices, some have been renewed as worth drilling again. CRP land that wasn't good for anything but grazing, at $3 corn, are being broken out in rows again.

An area is marginal to live in when the middle class virtually abandons it. Very wealthy people can afford to live sntwhere, and very poor ones either cannot afford to move, or are provided the basics, regardless of location. You could probably pick an arbitrary CSR rating, and use it to track rural outmigration.

There are wads of counties, including ours in NC, where census data show shrinkage in population, especially in childbearing aged
population. Our county closes schools every year..Then, in what we taxpayers feel is ridiculous waste, turns and builds new ones, at exorbitant cost per student. It makes no sense, and the central office staff never gets any smaller, no matter how few kids attend anymore.
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Faust100F
Advisor

Re: Doak: Where are we, and rural Iowa, headed? / FAUST-ANY PLANTING IN SOUTHERN IOWA TODAY?????

rsw - like I always said, "if you can survive on two good crops every five years" then Southern Iowa is where you want to be.   There is a reason that land costs here are half what they are in Northern Iowa, and the main reason is weather conditions (more wet years than dry years) and of course it was always cheaper to purchase another farm,then it was to improve the one a person owned.  

 

No one believed in tiling down here, and most of the old farmers always said it would not work because of the class II soils were too tight.  Well let me tell you it does work, but like I said it was much easier to buy another farm to raise more corn, than to improve an acre to raise more corn.  But those days are a changin.  

 

A lot of corn went in yesterday, and they were pulling NH3 all night last night down here, I would say if the rain holds off, much of Southern Iowa will be planted by the end of this week.  

 

We are working on equipment, getting ready to go, but  we have a prediction that it will be 42 degrees in KC Thursday, so it is a little early for soybeans.   I will probably start putting beans in the ground around May 10th (our last freeze date). The bottom land I tiled out that was under four feet of water a week ago, is dried out and could be worked today.  But we sill start spraying bean fields next week, want the weeds to grow with this nice weather, so I get a good kill.  Adios Amigo.   John

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rswfarms
Senior Contributor

Re: Doak: Where are we, and rural Iowa, headed? / FAUST-ANY PLANTING IN SOUTHERN IOWA TODAY?????

Yes, Faust. You already know that us Northern Iowa corn farmers have a complete and utter LOVE AFFAIR for drain tiles!!!!!!!! LOL

Can't fool you guys about how we feel about tile, some of us NC Iowa guys would marry drain tiles if they would let us!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

and I am not kidding you!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

 

And yes, I believe that ALL of Iowa, and I mean even 55 CSR Dirt now pays better to pattern tile the farm, than go out and just buy another farm for increased corn production. Never use to be that way in Southern Iowa, but boy, with your current dirt prices, I think more than ever that the statement is true. That the guys will try and improve the yield on the current land they own and not just go out and buy another 55-60 CSR Dirt farm. Bet your tile guys will have enough business for them for the next 2-3 years with all the tile projects that you Southern Boys will be doing!!!!!!!!!

 

So the end of next week on planting to be finished, that's really putting the peddle to the metal, but you guys can get it done for sure. Good Luck and be safe!!!!!!!!!

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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Re: Doak: Where are we, and rural Iowa, headed? / half of Iowa counties are dying

As precision ag continues to take hold, with driverless machinery the next frontier, it will take fewer and fewer farmers to operate the land.  Physical strength will no longer be such a factor, so old men and young women may very well be the enxt generation of farmers.

The unrelieved banality of rural Iowa education does nothing to entice keeping bright young famillies local.  Not into sports or the occasional religious community?  You are an outsider and you have not expectation of getting an education remotely comparable to that in a town of say 60-80k.  One exception may be little towns with a college, but even they are often pretty parochial.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Doak: Where are we, and rural Iowa, headed? / half of Iowa counties are dying

Jim, that is a very grim assessment of rural culture...I feel quite the same way about rural NC. The tiny college ton 20 minutes east is, as you say, a tad moreprogressive, but it only goes so deep. You have to get up around Boone, or an enclave like Pittsboro, to find much of a different mindset.

Here in VA, Richmond has great museums and severl colleges and universities, as does Raleigh/Durham. While I think you can reach out, especially with the Internet as a relatively new and inexpensive tool, and learn quite a lot beyond your own backyard. It does take a good educational foundation to build upon, though.
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rswfarms
Senior Contributor

Re: Doak: Where are we, and rural Iowa, headed? / half of Iowa counties are dying

My assessment of where IOWA Corn Farming will be in the next 30 years:

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DELETED POSTER, this is one thing I agree 100% with you. In fact I am sending one of my boys to IOWA State University for the sole purpose to be trained in Agricultural Accounting and Economics to run my farm operation. He will never, ever, have to set foot in the cab of a combine if he and I do it right. And swear by God, the kid and I will not screw this up. If he ever does need to get in a tractor, that means he and I have not done our job properly. Part of his job is to make the Custom Operators do there job, along with running everything else that is required to run a middle-sized Iowa Corn Farm. I am surprised that you see this far into the future as I do. And I am not the only guys in my area to see this, all the BTO's, and I mean the BTO's that OWN 2,000 TO 6,000 acres and don't cash rent even 2 acres are doing this too with there kids, turning them into Farm Managers, not Farmers. I say in the next 30 years, that there will only be 2 types of people living in Rural Areas, 1) The BTO's that passed down a huge amount of debt-free farmland owners that "DAD" gave them to run by Custom Farming it. And 2) The poor guys that will make there entire yearly income off the $150/ACRE in a Custom Farming Fees.

Kind of like the old SLAVES and Plantation Owner system before the Civil War, except the SLAVES will be the Custom Operators, but get money as payment for there duties, rather than nothing. You know history allows repeats itself back into some form of the past. And the OLD SLAVES/PLANTATION SYSTEM was a perfect system, except not paying the slaves some sort of currency. Yes, that will be here in 30 years here in the cornbelt states.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Doak: Where are we, and rural Iowa, headed? / half of Iowa counties are dying

What would ypu say or do, if your kid told you he WANTS to drive a tractor or operate a combine?
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rswfarms
Senior Contributor

Re: Doak: Where are we, and rural Iowa, headed? / half of Iowa counties are dying

Kay- in a nutshell, a Farm Managers main job is to make sure the Custom Operaters get the crop planted, sprayed, fertilized, and harvested in a corect and timely manner. We have an incentive extra pay-scale if the Opterators gets the crop planted and harvested in a timely scale. This of course requires an informal agrreement around the weather and varies each year because of the unexpected weather conditions we are having in NC iOWA currently. Anyway on his FARM MANAGEMENT DUTIES, if the child can get ALL his farm MANAGERS duties completed ON-TIME and has a few spare man-hours of labor to spare. Yes, if he enjoys running the planter or combine, sure, go for it, if he has fun doing it, But I am not paying $30,000/year in tuition, room, food, and books to study the accounting and farm economics, so he can sit in a combine. I am paying the college to educate him in being a GOOD FARM MANAGER, not a tractor driver........Being a good Farm Manager is what I am paying Iowa State University for and I expect them to give me a TRAINED boy back to do these Farm Manager Job Duties, i am not being unfair to the boy or the Iowa State University system. I just want the boy to be the best Farm MANANGER TRAINER they can give me!!!!!!!!

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