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Business Briefs - Oct. 10, 2012
 
Survey shows Iowa farmland prices up 7.7 percent
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The damaging drought apparently hasn’t dried up demand for farmland in Iowa, where prices continue to soar.

A new survey by the Iowa Farm and Land Chapter of the Realtors Land Institute says farmland prices have risen an average of 7.7 percent since March and 18.5 percent in the past 12 months to hit nearly $7,900 an acre. The institute surveyed 300 of its members.
The institute’s Kyle Hansen said much of the increase in demand has come since July, when the severe drought became apparent in Iowa and much of the Midwest. Realtors say high corn and soybean prices, relatively low interest rates and the lack of land for sale helped lift prices.

Ohio State signs energy agreement with wind farm
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio State University has signed an agreement with a northwestern Ohio wind farm to provide enough energy to meet as much as 25 percent of the Columbus campus’ electrical needs.

The university said the 20-year purchase agreement with Blue Creek Wind Farm in Van Wert and Paulding counties is one of the country’s largest non-utility purchases of wind power. OSU said the deal will also create new opportunities for research between OSU and Iberdrola Renewables LLC, a U.S. division of Spanish energy company Iberdrola SA.

The university said the purchase is the equivalent of approximately 25 percent of the entire Columbus campus electricity load. The agreement will also help OSU diversify its energy portfolio and reach a goal of becoming a carbon-neutral institution.

Drought causes changes in fall corn mazes

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — This year’s drought not only destroyed corn crops, it’s even hurt the fall tradition of corn mazes. In western Kentucky, corn maze owners told The Paducah Sun the heat and lack of rain have left them without fields that can be turned into mazes because the stalks are too low.

Sam Brown of A-Maizeing-Farms in Mayfield said his corn didn’t grow tall enough. Instead of having a 20-acre corn maze, the farm is offering other activities such as a petting zoo and paintball shooting for youngsters.

The owners of Paducah’s Blooms `N Gardens eight-acre maze said they would have lost their season too if it hadn’t been for an irrigation system.

Bomgaars buys 5 Shoppers Supply stores in Iowa

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Bomgaars has bought all five Shoppers Supply stores in Iowa. The deal took effect Oct. 1. Terms were not disclosed. The locations are in Fort Dodge, Webster City, Eagle Grove, Humboldt and Des Moines.

Sioux City-based Bomgaars sells home and farm merchandise and now will have 66 stores in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota, Colorado and Wyoming.

Bomgaars Senior Vice President Dave Meyer said the five stores will keep the Shoppers Supply name through the holiday season.
Shoppers Supply President Jim Schmidt said Bomgaars will retain most of the store workers.
10/10/2012