Tag Archives: Iowa

For the first time in two years, the Beef Improvement Federation’s annual meeting and research symposium will be held in person. Dan Loy, Iowa Beef Center director and beef specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, said Iowa State University faculty and staff are excited to host this year’s event, set for June 22-25 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

“We’ve been working for nearly two years on the program, speakers, tours and logistics of this great event,” Loy said. “Especially because COVID forced the in-person aspect to be withdrawn in 2020, we know people are ready to gather for timely and useful information from experts and to learn about the Iowa beef industry through tours.”

The symposium features two-and-a-half days of educational programming and a full day of tours, with a special young producer symposium during the first afternoon.

General sessions are set for Wednesday and Thursday mornings, and panel discussions on a variety of beef production and genetic improvement topics begin late each morning and continue through those afternoons.

Following the second full day’s sessions, participants will attend an evening social and dinner at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center on the Iowa State campus in Ames.

“We’re looking forward to hosting the group and showing them the facility,” Loy said. “It will be a great ending to the day’s events.”

Registration is open and hotel information is now available on the symposium website https://beefimprovement.org/symposium.
Early registration (May 14 deadline) is $345; $125 for students.
Full registration (May 15 and after) is $395; $145 for students.

Tours: $45, East Tour capacity is 52; West Tour capacity is 40.



For the fifth straight month, the Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) climbed above growth neutral. According to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy.

Overall: The overall index for April slipped to a still healthy 69.0 from a record high 71.9 in March. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with a reading of 50.0 representing growth neutral. Approximately, 37.9% of bank CEOs reported that their local economy expanded between March and April.

“Strong growth in grain prices, the Federal Reserve’s record-low interest rates, and growing exports have underpinned the Rural Mainstreet Economy. Even so, current rural economic activity remains below pre-pandemic levels,” said Ernie Goss, PhD, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.

Fully 100% of bank CEOs indicated that export markets were important, or very important, to their local economy.

Farming and ranching: For a seventh straight month, the farmland price index advanced above growth neutral. The April reading climbed to 78.6, its highest level since 2012, and up from 71.9 in March. This is first time since 2013 that Creighton’s survey has recorded seven straight months of farmland prices above growth neutral.

Bankers reported that approximately 9.1% of farmland sales over past six months have gone to nonfarmer investors.

The April farm equipment-sales index rose to 67.5, its highest level since 2013, and up from March’s very strong 63.5. After 86 straight months of readings below growth neutral, farm equipment sales bounced into growth territory for the last five months.

Below are the state reports:
Nebraska: The Nebraska RMI for April slipped to77.1 from March’s 78.8. The state’s farmland-price index rocketed to 82.6 from last month’s 76.1. Nebraska’s new-hiring index declined to 67.5 from 78.4 in March. Despite recent solid job gains, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate that Nebraska’s Rural Mainstreet nonfarm employment remains more than 800 jobs, or 0.3%, below its pre-COVID-19 level.

Iowa: The April RMI for Iowa decreased to 69.8 from March’s 71.6. Iowa’s farmland-price index rose to 78.6 from 72.4 in March. Iowa’s new-hiring index for April fell to 63.5 from 72.7 in March. Despite recent solid job gains, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate that Iowa’s Rural Mainstreet nonfarm employment remains more than 27,000 jobs, or 4.2%, below its pre-COVID-19 level.

Each month, community bank presidents and CEOs in nonurban agriculturally and energy-dependent portions of a 10-state area are surveyed regarding current economic conditions in their communities, and their projected economic outlooks six months down the road. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming are included.

This survey represents an early snapshot of the economy of rural agriculturally and energy-dependent portions of the nation. The Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) is a unique index covering 10 regional states, focusing on approximately 200 rural communities with an average population of 1,300. It gives the most current real-time analysis of the rural economy. Goss and Bill McQuillan, former chairman of the Independent Community Banks of America, created the monthly economic survey in 2005 and launched in January 2006.