HARTINGTON — A decrease in Cedar County building permits seems to reflect a slowdown of the ag economy here.
When ag land sales took a jump, along with the prices farmers could get for corn and soybeans a few years ago – the number of applications for the construction of farm buildings also increased.
The number of building permits for grain bins in Cedar County in 2010 was close to 70, which is a large number of permits when compared with the 10 permits secured for the construction of bins in 2016.
The number of applications for permits for buildings used for hay storage in 2010 was over double the number of permits filed for the same type of buildings in 2016.
The number of permits for farm buildings, which included sheds, shops, pole buildings and storage buildings, in 2010 was just over 85. Less than 20 applications for the same type of buildings were filed here in 2016.
One type of ag building did see an increase last year, although it was a slight increase. The number of permits for hog buildings in 2016 came in higher than applications made in 2010 for the construction of hog facilities. Eight permits, which included, two gestation, two finishing and two farrowing buildings, along with one nursery and one portable building were approved in 2016. In 2010, there were two permits involving hog buildings.
Cedar County Assessor Don Hoesing believes the construction of large commercial grain storage facilities, one north of Laurel and the other west of Randolph in Pierce County, and the expansion of some of the smaller commercial grain facilities could have made a big difference in the number of bins being put up by local farmers.
“We had two huge commercial grain storage facilities go up in the area. It is a lot easier to move grain the last few years than it used to be. Farmers just aren’t putting up as many bins,” Hoesing said.
The number of permits for the construction of new homes was also significantly higher in 2010 than they were last year.
There was also double the amount of permits for home additions, patios and three-season rooms in 2010 when compared with permits for similar construction projects in 2016.