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PNS Daily Newscast - April 20, 2018 


The DOJ delivers the Comey memos to Congress. Also on our rundown: More evidence that rent prices are out of reach in many markets; Wisconsin counties brace for sulfide mining; and the Earth Day focus this weekend in North Dakota is on recycling.

Daily Newscasts

New Iowa Landowners Want to Make Change

October 11, 2010

DES MOINES, Iowa - As more and more people inherit Iowa farmland, more and more of these new absentee landowners are uncomfortable with the way it is currently being farmed with conventional row crops. Practical Farmers of Iowa is hearing from some absentee owners who want to make a transition in order to be more diversified.

Harn Soper and his family own 1,000 acres of farmland near Emmetsburg and have decided to do just that. Last year, the change began with 400 acres converted to organic row crops, and now the plan is to expand.

"We all decided unanimously to take another 260 acres that we have and really dig into organic farming, producing livestock, chickens, and vegetables that we can actually eat out of the pasture."

He says that while the expense of making the switch can be daunting the prospect of high prices for organic products seems endless.

"Right now and for the foreseeable future the amount of farm ground that is producing organic products is one-fourth the demand. Demand is way outstripping supply, and so I think you can look forward to really good prices in this area for some time to come."

Soper says his five-year plan is to build a grass-fed cow/calf operation that will harvest 160 organic cattle and 9,000 organic pastured chickens per year. Their plans also include adding 80 acres of organic vegetable production to their operation.

Soper Family Farms is hosting a pasture walk from 3:00 to 5:00 pm on Monday, November 1. More information is available from Practical Farmers of Iowa at www.practicalfarmers.org.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA