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Agribusiness Report: August 5

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More than $6.75 million is now available to help landowners install conservation practices. Iowa’s Agriculture Secretary made the announcement yesterday. It’s part of a larger program that encourages farmers to create buffers, waterways and ponds. Farmers can receive aid up to 50 percent of their project’s total cost. They just need to apply at local soil and water conservation district offices.

Farmers are using data science to help them figure out when and what to plant. U.S. farmers spent more than $367 billion on agricultural production in 2013. One expert says roughly 66 percent of that money is focused on seed selection, fertility and land access. New technologies like aero imagery present new options for data collection. But those technologies also raise privacy concerns for some.

l Comments: (319) 365-9999; melissa.dawkins@kcrg.com