Agriculture

Wed
04
Dec

What's Up at the FSA Office?

by Jeremy Leitz, Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
December 6: Market Facilitation Program
December 11: ARC/PLC Decision Meeting
December 13: Dairy Margin Coverage Program for 2020

We Have Moved!
We have now moved into our new building located at 770 11th Ave SW, across from Fareway. We’re still getting settled in but are open normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We do plan to host an open house once our new furniture arrives, hopefully later this month.  Our phone number (563-568-2148) has remained the same.  Stop in and say hi.

Wed
04
Dec

Iowa study offers new insights on honey bee health in ag landscapes

Honey bees are facing tough times. Colonies of these pollinators are being lost at an unprecedented rate, and some are blaming farming practices, in particular, the intensive corn and soybean production systems in the Midwest. New research by Iowa State University and University of Illinois scientists offers a more nuanced view of the role of agriculture in honey bee health than what has been previously known.

Scientists placed honey bee hives next to soybean fields in Iowa and tracked how the bee colonies fared over two growing seasons. The bees did well for much of the summer, they found. The colonies thrived and gained weight, building up their honey stores.

But in August, the trend reversed. By mid-October, most of the honey was gone, the team discovered, and the bees themselves were malnourished.

Wed
04
Dec

Dairy Goat Management program to be held December 14

The Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach Dairy Team will host “Fine-Tuning Your Dairy Goat Management” as a part of their annual Dairy Directions program Saturday, December 14 at the Keystone Area Education Agency (AEA) in Elkader.

The program will focus on managing forages, utilizing health strategies, improving colostrum management, implementing business practices and dealing with the challenges of managing dairy goats. All dairy goat producers are welcome.

“We have over 250 licensed dairies producing goat milk in Iowa,” said Jennifer Bentley, Northeast Iowa Dairy Specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “The high level of interest by producers in improving production and quality prompted this program.”

Wed
27
Nov

What's Up at the FSA Office?

by Jeremy Leitz, Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
December 2: County Committee Election Ballots Due
December 6: Market Facilitation Program
December 11: ARC/PLC Decision Meeting
December 13: Dairy Margin Coverage Program for 2020

Wed
27
Nov

Considerations for continuous corn

by Dr. Mark Licht, Assistant Professor and Extension Cropping Systems Specialist, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Continuous corn is a “three strikes and you’re out” situation. And the first strike is automatic - high residue volume. This is how a farmer recently described it to me.

Making continuous corn work means knowing what you are up against. First, realize that the yield drag for continuous corn can range from 0% to 30% but is typically between 5% and 15%. Yield drag has been associated with cooler and wetter soils, nitrogen (N) immobilization, increased disease risk, and allelopathy - all of which are influenced by corn residue volume.

Tips to avoid strikes 2 and 3 with continuous corn:

Wed
27
Nov

Field days in 2019 reflective of difficult growing season

Faced with the same issues as farmers, researchers turned challenges into opportunities

A wet growing season caused challenges for farms across the state in 2019, including at Iowa State University’s Research and Demonstration Farms.

Faced with the same issues as farmers, most of the 13 research farms decided to include weather-related topics for their field days, including delayed and prevented planting, weed and nutrient management, cover crops and harvest considerations.

Despite the challenging year, field day attendance topped 15,300, on par with previous years.

“This past year was very wet, so the topics, to some degree, had to do with the weather,” said Mark Honeyman, associate dean for operations at Iowa State University. Many of the research farms experienced delayed planting, but by August and early September the state saw an extensive dry period, followed by the return of heavy rain in late September.

Wed
20
Nov

What's Up at the FSA Office?

by Jeremy Leitz, Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
December 2: County Committee Election Ballots Due
December 6: Market Facilitation Program
December 11: ARC/PLC Decision Meeting
December 13: Dairy Margin Coverage Program for 2020

Wed
20
Nov

Managing SCN for 2020 should begin now


Figure: Example sampling pattern in a field with different management zones. Each “x” represents the location from which a soil core was collected. Submitted graphic.

Table: Magnitude of possible soybean yield losses corresponding to SCN soil sample egg count results from the Iowa State University Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic. Submitted table.

Now that the 2019 corn and soybean harvest is in full swing, it is not too early to start thinking about and planning for the 2020 growing season as well. For soybean farmers in Iowa, a critically important fall activity that can pay large dividends is soil sampling to determine soybean cyst nematode (SCN) population densities in fields in which soybeans will be grown in 2020. Also, some farmers might consider sampling fields for SCN in which soybeans were grown in 2019 that produced disappointing yields for no apparent reason. Often, SCN infestations are found in areas of fields in which soybean yields were inexplicably low.

Wed
20
Nov

Cover crop workshop to be held in Luana December 5

Iowa Learning Farms, along with the Clayton County Soil and Water Conservation District, will host a cover crop workshop Thursday, December 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Luana Savings Bank. The event is free, open to the whole family and includes a complimentary meal.

Cover crops continue to grow in popularity in Iowa due to their many benefits including reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, and increased soil organic matter. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from local farmers about the benefits of cover crops, choosing seed varieties, innovative application methods, best management practices and opportunities for cost share.

Together with no-till and strip-till, cover crops can significantly reduce soil erosion and encourage infiltration of water during rain events. Converting to no-till and strip-till can also help improve profitability by reducing costs and time spent in the field.

Wed
13
Nov

What's Up at the FSA Office?

by Jeremy Leitz, Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
December 2: County Committee Election Ballots Due
December 6: Market Facilitation Program
December 11: ARC/PLC Decision Meeting
December 13: Dairy Margin Coverage Program for 2020

County Committee Election
Producers in Waterloo, Union City, Hanover, French Creek, Union Prairie, and Makee townships should have received their county committee voting ballots last week.  The final day to return completed ballots to the FSA office is December 2.  Committee members are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA. They work to make FSA agricultural programs serve the needs of local producers.

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