The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on May 10, 1970 · Page 90
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May 10, 1970

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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 90

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Des Moines, Iowa
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Sunday, May 10, 1970
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Turn \ By Don Muhm (Tfl»_R«OI»t»r'»'.£im 'f, tf.Cv ~ "fhere's no market for muscle po'toer today," states Dr. Grant Venn, high-ranking U.S. education official who shows conc e r n about p r o duction- orient§d agricultural training for the nation's youth. "It's just a f tr ndamental fact that we don't- need muscles like we once/, did^^Afld because-ef— cation in the U.S. Office of Education. Aftd he is a for-^ mer vocational agriculture- ; teacher. « In recent months, there have been Charges that vocational agriculture is or has been de-emphasized at the dl- rection of some federal and state officials. This charge has attracted widespread interest in vocational education programs, and has caused much comment — particular, ly from farm groups and ag- ricutture teachers. In Iowa, a reorganization at the state level has taken place and the name "career" education substituted for. such this, we have the highest youth unemployment rate of any country in the world — with 18 to 30 per cent of our young people ranging in age from 16 years to 22 years having trouble finding jobs." Dr. Venn is associate commissioner of vocational edu- "TTld program descriptions as vocational agriculture, home economics, etc. The number of men working with the vocational education program has been changed, with the position of state "chief" of vocational agriculture eliminated. Nationally, similar changes in staff numbers and : in job de- tiri ptions" haVe ttt&tf tis^ : Critics charge ttfat the name changes ljav$' been coupled with a cut A itt the number of men directing \ vocational agriculture tfain- \ irtg. this charge is generally denied — both in Iowa and nationally. But whatever the status, new interest in vocational agriculture and its. future has developed. U/H1LE Dft. VENN is quick ""• to give credit to this program for what 'IJMias done, he is also quick to point out what he feels are shortcomings in the current type training—being offered largely to rural youths. D r. Venn disputes the charge that Vocational agriculture is being de-emphasized by federal and state education officials. "This simply is not true— either in dollars or In the number of students enrolled," he declared here recently .at a meeting of farm editors. And. fte quoted figures to show i that federal funds appropriated for vocational education have increased,, and that- agriculture enrollments have advanced: He noted also the costs of sucH vocational training,, pointing out that vocational agriculture and similar programs are less costly than some of the programs financed in part by the govern' menj such as those used for disadvantaged or handicapped persons. About these changes, Dr. Venn said, "I don't think vocational agriculture has been hurt — in fact, I think it has been helped. There had existed isolation of agriculture from other fields, where now the changes can help ad. just to the new demands of agri-business. "Too many people in the U;S. have'been trained in production agriculture (farming) without enough training in igficuiturally-Telatetl fields." Dr. Venn said that there are some schools where voca- i tional agriculture should be eliminated, while there are also some schools, where this program should be expanded. " ABOUT THE Future Farm** ers of America (F.F.A.), the organization of students studying vocational agriculture, Dr. Venn said: "F.F.A.-has done for many young people what should be done for a lot of young people. We need to expand this concept to serve other youngsters. It's not a problem of yotlng people getting too little, but not having a chance to give. "F.F.A. ha s given the chance to build, and to do things. "I think F.F.A. has done a good thing, and we've got to expand this concept. About the future of such agricultural training in public schools, Dr.Venn said: , . : "Of the students we have studying vocational agriculture today, about 15 per cent are studying agri-business. I think there should be aboui 60 per cent studying.... in. this area." Dr. Venn said he feels thai some vocational agricultuve • instructors have not been as receptive to change as they>N|» might be, and then added: V/l "Some of the solution rests more with agricultural people — including the vocational agriculture teachers — than with us (the U.S. Office of Education) or anyone else. They must see what's ahead and identify their ,role with the future well in mind." Finds Healthy Profits in Veal Calf Project Cites Wide Gap Between High and Low Farm Income By Arlo Jacobson (Register Staff Writer) OWALEDALE, IA. - It's an ^ ill wind that blows no good and the Martin Meier family, operators of a dairy farm between here and clear Lake, are probably more aware of the fact than most. When wind destroyed one of the farm buildings, Meier talked his landlord.into using \ the insurance money to enclose and insulate another 36 by 120-foot building and equip it for feeding dairy calves for veal. It was difficult to tell MARTIN MINER y^o was more pleased—Martin, his landlord .or his-banker—when figures on th&f.Jirst.lpO caly^to go through the building'revealed a 21.3 per cent return on investment over the ' 12-weeek feeding period. When discussing the project with his banker, Meier had predicted a $20 per head return on investment. But even Meier was a little surprised to find that, when all costs except building and labor costs were deducted, he had realized a profit of $24.09 per head. Building and equipment costs were not figured because these come out of the landlord's 50-50 share- in the arrangement. But/*ieier had "held cost of/the building down by making individual stalls for^the calves himself. Cost of most of the equipment was reduced by using a n old bulk milk tank equipped with* 4 blade to mix the-rations. And less .than $100 was spent on the plumb* ing which allows using a nose to fill the feeding bucket for each calf, Biggest investment of the Meier family is in terms of ••• time, including -management and labor. This is largely ' REGISTER PHOTO Filling calf buckets with a metered nozzle are (from left) Mrs. Meier, LaDonna, 13, and LaRee, 17. handled by Mrs. Meier (Lois), and their five children. Since income from the veal operation is in addition to income from the. farm's regular dairy operation, profits are being funneied to a special educational account for the children: LaRee, 17, Bradley, almost 15, LaDonna, 13, Gregory, 10, and LaVon, 8. • It would-seem -that "hand- feeding and caring for 200 calves in individual stalls would be more than one family could handle in addition to farming 880 apres, and milking 80 cows twice a day in a Grade "* A dairy operation.. But, in addition, they have a . flock of frying chickens, some laying hens, and a variety of plumed birds to show at fairs. THE OPERATION, haw"* * ever, is* pretty'well ory ganized. A chart shows the proportions of dry milk-re- placer to add to so many gallons of water. The dry milk-is dumped into the former bulk tank, water is addQd.up, to a marked line on the dip gauge, a-od the ingredients a re i thoroughly mixed. '' " A gauge on the nozzle, used for^fUling the buckets at eaci} 'stall, shows how much each -calf 'gets' (the same "amount 'since all are of the same age.) Mrs. Meier checks each calf for scours and when any is'detected she snaps a colored clothespin on the stall. When the children come along with the hose, they automatically cut the ration of that calf in half to begin clearing up .the scours. Antibiotics are given as needed, VEALERS- , ;•;-"•••••••• Please turn to Page Two By Charlie Nettles IF VOU MAKE a statement these days as to whether "the farmer" is making money — or starving to death — you've got to qualify the statement with what farmer it is you're talking about. A c c o r ding to a farm in- .come esti- m a t e pub- 1 i s h e d re- c e n 11 y by USDA, the average realized net income per farm .in the U.S. last year was $5,401. Twenty-seven states ranked above this average, and 23 ranked below. Iowa farms fared well with an average of $8,331 — almost $3,000 above the national figure. But farmers in some states were not so fortunate. Alaska was at the bottom of the money pile with only $435 net income per farm. West Virginia was next to the bottom with $735. Comparing Alaska and West Virginia farm income to that of the highest ranking states is like comparing a gully to the Grand Canyon. Arizona topped the money heap with an average net income per farm of $29,471. Hawaii was second with $18,836; California ranked third with $17,319; and Florida was fourth with $16,510. Family income in the U.S. in 1968 — the average.of all .occupations — was $9,669. ' The 1SS9 figure is not yet available. ACCORDING to data pub• rt> lished by. Herbert Howeil and E. G. Stoneberg, Iowa State University economists, farm income can vary almost as much within a state as it does on the national scale. The LS.U. economics department has collected over 30 years of data on the business summaries of approximately '2,500 Iowa farms. Howeil presents some of these data to show the differences 45 Per Cent of Iowa's Corn Crop Planted IOWA FARMERS were * blessed with generally good planting weather last week and crop observers now estimate that between 45 and 50 per cent of the Iowa corn crop has been planted. -- Rough -estimates on -the amount of corn planting completed are 60 per cent in the southern belt; 40 per cent in the central belt and 30 per cent in the northern belt. Topsoil moisture is short in many counties and subsoil moisture is short in some. Cool weather has slowed growth of oats and pastures. Following are more detailed reports ef-e«>ps traditions in the northern, central and southern belts. Southern Belt R EPORTS FgOSl southern Iowa on planting progress are all optimistic, but those reporting preface their remarks with "if the weather holds." Henry County extension director, Richard Thuma, stated, "Conditions here^are about as near ideal as they could -be." He predicted that by today, corn planting would be virtually completed in his county, and some of the early-planted crop is already coming up. Similar - optimistic reports come from other southern counties, but the percentage of corn planted is less. Montgomery County reports 45 per cent of the corn planted, but none is up. Wapello reports up to 60-70 per cent of the corn planted with only a -very small amount up. There is still some plowing to be done in Union-itounty, but at least 50 per cent of the corn is expected to be planted by today. Reports from Adams County say that corn planted as early as Apr. 28 should be up by now. The extension director in -Lucas County predicted that up to 60 per cent of the corn crop would be in by today "if we don't get any rain." A similar report comes from Mahaska County. Soybean plajntjng^wjs estimated in all counties to be at a very minimum. "A few farmers who have all their corn in have started on beans," one crop reporter said- Hay, pasture and oat crops are said to be good in most counties. Northern Belt (Editor's Note: The Register's crop report is based on,<t series of telephone cote mode during the week to crop observers in scattered locations throughout Iowa. It is a general progress report and, as such, may not reflect a par' Ocularly local situation or the latest weather developments.) week. Generally, about 30 per cent of the crop is in -the ground but some farmers have 50 to 60 per cent planted and a few have finished. Although farmers were still plowing last week this work is~ virtually finished Thy ground has been working up exceptionally well in Clay and Winnebago Counties. In Plymouth; where very little fall ptawuig or M ferti- about ey- PROGRESS was made with corn planting in the northern belt last eryone had "about a day of plowing left" at midweek. Cold weather has slowed growth of pastures and warm weather is needed to bring them along. So far, most pasture 1 : have been too short for grazing. In Butler County bluegrass pasture is four to six inches high. Alfalfa is six to eight inches high. In A 1 1 a m a k e e , some cribbed corn is sailing be- cause it contained too much moisture when it was stored last fall. Some farmers are shelling and drying it to salvage; as much as possible. Approximately 15 to 20 per cent was jteft in the fields to be picked this spring. There are ^till a couple ®f fields left to be picked: This corn has stood up well during the winter, according to E. Lee Gruenhaupt, county extension director. Moisture content was 16 to 18 per cent when picking was resumed this spring. It is now about 10 to 15 per cent for some corn, which is in better shape than other corn that was cribbed. Allamakee's topsoil is dry but there's a fairly good supply of moisture; in the subsoil. TopsoU is aiso dry in Butler. In Lyon County, plowing was delayed earlier because the soil was too wet, but farmers were "plowing like mad" last week. Some early-plowed fields are cloddy. Topsoil moisture is fair but subsoil moisture is low. Farmers are being encouraged to shoot for a final corn stand of 16,000 to 16j5flO~plants per acre. Planting is about 10 per cent completed. . Central Belt A FIELD of corn planted ** Apr. 25 south of Montezuma in Poweshiek county is "out of the ground and showing three leaves, according to Chuck Wengert, Poweshiek county extension director. Corn planting in j;entral Iowa ranges, from one-third completed in ^western areas to 70 and 80 per cent in the Story county area. Some wags in Poweshiek county say farmers are praying for rain—not so much because the crops need it but because they need the rest after a long stretch of field work in near perfect weather Although showers have held back field wor.k to some western counties, subsoil moisture i* short. Oats seeding was still being doae early last week and corn planting was one-third completed at mid-week. In Carroll county, corn planting is 30-40 per cent completed and plowing all but done. Oats are reported coming along well although the topsoil is dry due to lack of a good rain this spring. Most Story county farmers started planting corn the week of Apr. 23 and have been at it steadily for two weeks except for a three-day delay caused by rain. More acres of corn were planted in April than in any previous year and the~bulk of planting was expected to be completed by this weekend. , -. Plowing at this stage is for soybean ground. Two inches of rain was reported during April, below the 2.5 inch average for the month and well below the five inches which fell in April, 1969. In Monona county, corn planting is in full swing with about one-third completed. Plowing is 80 to 85 per cent completed. Oats appear in good shape. Corn planting was reported 35 to 40 per cent completed in Linn county with plowing about finished. The ground is working jwell but the topsoil Is aJJJt dry. between Iowa's high and low- profit farms: Hlsh Profit Low Profit C/3 of farms) ('-3 of farm?) Acres ......278 269 Total Capital SI 50,801 SHI ,283 Net Income 20,446 5,701 Management returns 8,122 —s,59<< Captal earnngs ...11.1% l.<% Management returns were determined by subtracting from net income — wages for operator and family, and interest on land, improvements, feeds, livestock and machinery. The 2,500 farms are those whose operators take part in extension farm management programs and belong to farm business associations. For this reason, Howeil feels they may not be entirely representative of the average Iowa farm. Since farm size is approximately the same in the two groups, just what is it thai accounts for the wide income gap? According to Howeil, it can be anything from lousy weather to bad management. "It depends on what is important to a man," he says. "Some farmers are out vaccinating cattle while others are off on fishing trips."- Howeil also states that farmers do not consistently stay in one group. Some jump all the way from top to bottom from year lo year, but most of them seldom move more than one step — from top to middle, or from bottom to middle. "Most farms in Iowa continue to have a high proportion >of fixed costs," Howeil says. "As these costs increase, the economics of size and strength of the larger, well-managed farms becomes more and more important." Howeil and Stoneberg .present more data lo show how the larger Iowa farms have an advantage on the expense side of the ledger: EXPENSES PER ACRE BY FARM SIZI (ACRES) 160 32.0 600 Machinery ;$32 S25 JI9 Buildings. Taxes 16 13 11 c, "o Expense 16 15 17 Labor 37 22 M u.her 63 3 Total , $107 J78 S64 Other data presented by Stoneberg - tells the same story on the profit side: Farm Size 160 Acres 240 Acres . 320 Acres ., 440,Acres . ; 600 Acres . Gross Profit Per Man $18,901 23,558 28,153 ....... 31,849 V 37,364 But farmers counting on increasing their efficiency by using long-term credit to expand their operations may find the payments so high INCOME Please turn to Page Two 'Farmer's Daughter 5 Finals Near CEDAR RAPIDS, IA. Fifteen -Iowa girls were named last week as semi- . finalists in the 13th annual "Iowa's Favorite Farmer's Daughter Contest," sponsored by the Iowa Electric tight and Power Co. and the WMT Stations'of Cedar Rapids, The semi-finalists were se--- lected from 351 entries representing 91 Iowa counties, on the basis of pictures and information submitted on official entry blanks. They are: Janet Booth, 18, Marion; Nancy Boss, 19, Beaman; Deena Kay Carter. -17, Princeton; Joleen Caslauka, 18, Clutier; Terry Fender. 19, Hastings; and Eunice Heikens, 18, Wellsburg; Cindy Helm ers, Sibley; Cheryl Jackson, 20, Weldon; Deborah. Lockie'( 19, Riceville; Sharon McLeod, 18, Elberon; Eunice Schroeder, 18, Charter Oak; JoAnn Stewart, 17, Dunkerton; Joyce Stout, 19, 'Chariton; Carol Tielebein, 18, Independence; and Sandra Van Deest, ,17, Grundy Cen- ler.' Three finalists will he announced Tuesday and the winner will be named May 22 to succeed Andrea Ver Meer of Pella. Slow-Motion Corn Planter Corn planting has improved a lot in_ this century as this photo from Ellen R. F«m of Washington shows. This antifiue was used to plant corn about 70 years ago — usually to fill la bills where corn didn't come up. It is owned by Mrs. George Sojka oi Washington. Toe kernels of seed go into the box on the left. When the lop handles are pushed together, the Wnom metal plates separate to let the corn drop into the hill, u is thea stepped «a t* » tamp it dow|- J

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