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Newscast 11.24.22: COVID hospitalizations up in Iowa; Agland prices remain high

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The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Iowa was back on the rise, and new reported cases also increased, according to data released Wednesday by the Iowa Department of Public Health and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

There were 172 people hospitalized in Iowa with COVID-19 as of Wednesday's update, including 19 who required intensive care. That's slightly fewer than the week prior. The state health department reported an additional 23 COVID-19 deaths this week, raising Iowa's pandemic death toll to 10,276.

An Iowa State University ag economist says the recent sale of 73 acres of northwest Iowa farmland, for $30,000 an acre, indicates Iowa farmers are seeing fairly good profit margins. However, Chad Hart tells Radio Iowa he is also hearing of less land being put on the market because folks are worried that those prices may be weakening,

Higher interest rates are a factor, plus Hart says agland that’s not rated as excellent ground for raising corn isn’t selling for especially high prices, He says the middle and low-quality land may be starting to see some erosion in those values as we look forward.

On November 11, a tract of farmland near Sheldon appears to have set an Iowa sales record of $30,000 an acre. It was purchased by a local farmer according to the auctioneer who handled the sale.

Visitors at Lewis and Clark Lake State Recreation Area are urged to use caution after a waterfowl die-off was reported Tuesday.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission said in a news release that staff members have collected the dead birds, which are being tested to determine cause of death. Because of the lake's size and the number of snow geese currently at the lake, more birds may be affected or found during the Thanksgiving weekend.

The Game and Parks Commission did not say what kind of birds have died or give an estimate on the number. The lake attracts all kinds of waterfowl in addition to gulls, bald eagles and other migrating birds.

Visitors should avoid contact with sick or dead birds and report them to Game and Parks staff.

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