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Sulfur has become an important crop nutrient applied to corn fields. Recent research has shown a benefit from applying sulfur in fields that need organic matter. It’s also of benefit in increased-residue situations where mineralization and release of sulfate sulfur from organic matter are limited.

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DES MOINES – “An unexpected complex of thunderstorms moved through the state on Saturday producing heavy precipitation. This put a damper on the annual Cy-Hawk game but helped improve conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig on Monday, commenting on the Iowa Crop Progress and Conditions Report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.

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The September 12 USDA Crop Report slightly lowered the projected U.S. average corn and soybean yields for 2019, as compared to the August National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) yield estimates. The USDA yield estimates were based on U.S. crop conditions as of September 1st; however, the NASS projections do not agree with that analysis of U.S. crop conditions by many private crop and marketing analysts. Many of the private analysts cite excess moisture and poor early season growing conditions in portions of Southwest Minnesota and South Dakota, along with a large portion of the Eastern Corn Belt, as reasons for concerns with the 2019 USDA corn yield projections.

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An estimated 45 to 60 farmers and other ag professionals gather under a tent Monday at the farm of host Roger Helgeson near Northfield. (Sam Wilmes/Northfield News)

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Tyler Fellows, of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, holds a trout during a demonstration on electro-fishing and habitat impacts Monday at a Northfield area farm. (Sam Wilmes/Northfield News)

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Water streams down to areas simulating field management practices Monday during the event. The impact of the rain on each section was then explained to the audience. (Photos by Sam Wilmes/Northfield News)

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fish Habitat Biologist & Fishers & Farmers Partnership Coordinator Heidi Keuhler shows the water flow of streams on Monday during a simulation.

Fly Control in concentrated animal feeding operations such as dairies is a challenge, especially in warm weather or late in the year and also if there is abundant moisture and organic matter available. Flies not only are a pest, but they also decrease production efficiency. Flies cause livestock to expend extra energy fending them off instead of resting, feeding and milking. Other issues directly associated with fly pest problems on dairies include increased medication costs, veterinary costs, increased potential for disease spreading, and possible increased public complaints. For example it is estimated that Stable flies (biting, blood-feeding fly) can lower milk production by 15 to 30 percent (Westbroek, 2002). Additionally, contagious mastitis is also spread by high fly populations. Flies also can hinder worker productivity along with spreading disease to humans.

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Protecting children from injury on farms, especially those who perform work on farms, is of paramount importance.

People who live in cities, exurbs or suburbs may not come across farms very frequently. But millions of people, including children, still live on farms. In fact, in 2009 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that more than one million children under the age of 20 lived, worked or had a regular presence on farms in the United States.

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OPINION  Since early 2018 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has undermined the Renewable Fuel Standard and granted 53 waivers to big oil companies, totaling 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel.