Agriculture

Wed
17
Apr

USDA NASS Census of Ag report proves agriculture is vital to Iowa’s economy

“Thank you to all the farmers who participated in the 2017 Census of Ag. This data gives us a valuable snapshot of the crop and livestock production happening right here in Iowa, and it reaffirms that agriculture is vital to the state’s economy,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “We generated almost $29 billion in crop and livestock sales in 2017, and livestock sales now exceed crop sales by 4 percent. Iowa remains number one in corn and pork production, and planted cover crop acres increased 256 percent since the 2012 census.”

Wed
17
Apr

PFI’s online platform connects farmland owners with land seekers

Practical Farmers of Iowa is pleased to announce the launch of its newly redesigned land-matching website, FindAFarmer.net, a free tool that aims to connect farmland owners with land seekers to preserve family farms. Practical Farmers first developed the tool in 2011 as a way to help Iowa’s aging farmland owners find possible successors, and to support beginning farmers facing the difficulty of accessing land.

The most recent Farmland Ownership and Tenure Survey, released last summer by Iowa State University, shows that 60 percent of Iowa farmland is owned by someone 65 years or older, and 35 percent is owned by someone 75 years or older. In addition, more than half of Iowa’s farmland is farmed by someone other than the owner. FindAFarmer can help retiring farmers find a non-family successor to continue the farm and non-farming landowners find a tenant for a rental arrangement. The site can also help facilitate many other unique land access situations.

Wed
10
Apr

What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
May 14: Deadline to complete mid-contract management (MCM) activities on CRP
May 15 - August 1: Primary Nesting Season.  No MCM activities on CRP acres.

April 2019 CCC and FSFL Interest Rates
New rates were issued for the month of February and are as follows:
• 2.500% for 3 years
• 2.500% for 5 years
• 2.500% for 7 years
• 2.625% for 10 years
• 2.750% for 12 years
• 2.750% for 15 years
Crop year commodity loan rate for April is 3.500%

Wed
10
Apr

Impact of cover crops on weed management


Figure 1. Relationship between cover crop biomass and weed suppression. Adapted from Webster et al. 2013.

Figure 2. Cereal rye biomass at termination as affected by planting and termination date. Adapted from Nord et al. 2011.

by Bob Hartzler, Iowa State University Professor of Agronomy and Meaghan Anderson, ISU Extension Field Agronomist in Central Iowa

One benefit of planting cover crops is their contribution to weed management.  While several factors contribute to the inhibition of weeds by cover crops, the physical barrier of cover crop residue on the soil surface is most important. Research has shown a strong relationship between the amount of cover crop biomass at termination and the level of weed control provided by the cover crop (Figure 1 above).

Because of the importance of cover crop biomass, it is essential to manage the cover crop to maximize growth when using cover crops to aid weed management. The following practices have a major influence on cover crop biomass:

Wed
10
Apr

Research helps farmers succeed with prairie

More landowners are interested in planting strips of deep-rooted prairie within crop fields or on marginal land as an effective soil conservation and water quality practice. But they need reliable answers about the costs and benefits, the best seed mixes to use and how to establish a prairie that resists weedy invasion.

Answers to practical questions like these are coming out of projects led by University of Northern Iowa researchers and funded by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University.

“Restoring prairie at strategic locations in agricultural landscapes is a practice that can gain huge improvements in water quality and bring other benefits, like reduced weed pressure and valuable habitat for pollinators and wildlife,” said Justin Meissen, Research & Restoration Program Manager at the University of Northern Iowa’s Tallgrass Prairie Center and principal investigator on one of the projects.

Wed
03
Apr

What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
May 15 - August 1: Primary Nesting Season.  No MCM activities on CRP acres.

Marketing Loans - Reminder
Grain that is under loan, or “sealed” as many producers call it, must be repaid or released for sale prior to moving the bushels out of storage for sale or feed use.  Unauthorized disposition results in possible penalties and administrative actions.  Remember to “call before you haul” and we can discuss your options and forms that you may need to sign.  Phone the FSA office at (563) 568-2148. Routinely monitor the quality of this grain. Changes in weather, frequent rains, wind, temperature fluctuations can cause grain quality to decrease. It’s important that sealed grain maintain its quality.

Wed
03
Apr

Allamakee County 4-H’ers expand their knowledge in the swine project area ...

The Iowa 4-H Youth Development Program provides opportunities for youth to develop skills that they can use now and throughout their lives. Iowa 4-H builds upon a century of experience as it fosters positive youth development that is based on the needs and strengths of youth, their families, and communities. With the Allamakee County 4-H/FFA Swine Weigh-In scheduled for April 6, youth are working to select their swine projects for the 2019 Allamakee County Fair. 36 youth and parents recently participated in a Swine Workshop, pictured above, to learn more about the project area. The workshop was held Monday, March 25 at the Allamakee County Extension Office. The goal of the event was to provide exhibitors education on swine selection, swine nutrition, daily care and management, pre-show preparation, showmanship, and judging. AJ and Kim Lewis of Center Point presented on these topics. Ellingson Elevator sponsored the workshop and provided supper.

Wed
03
Apr

Monetary grants available to fund conservation research and demonstration projects

Projects must prevent soil erosion and improve water quality in Iowa

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced the State Soil Conservation and Water Quality Committee Research and Demonstration Fund has grant money available to support research, education or demonstration projects focused on reducing erosion and improving water quality. Funds are available to collaborative teams of scientists, farmers, institutions, soil and water conservation districts, and educators in the state of Iowa.

Projects must help improve and sustain Iowa’s natural resources, like the fertile soil and fresh water, on which our state’s agriculture-based economy depends to qualify.

Wed
27
Mar

What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Mid-Contract Management (MCM) on CRP Acres
Now that temperatures are starting to feel more like spring, and the snow is really starting to melt, please start thinking about your MCM, if you are scheduled for this year. Those that are scheduled for this year would have received a packet from our office this past fall detailing what needs to be done. You do have until May 14, 2019 to complete the work, but now is a good time to start lining up contractors if you haven’t already done so, buy seed if needed, and get equipment ready.  If you have technical questions, need a seeding plan, or contractor list please contact the NRCS office.  Any other questions can be directed to FSA.

Wed
20
Mar

What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Mid-Contract Management (MCM) on CRP Acres
As we start to see warmer temps and melting snow, please start thinking about your MCM, if you are scheduled for this year. Those that are scheduled for this year would have received a packet from our office this past fall detailing what needs to be done. You do have until May 14, 2019 to complete the work, but now is a good time to start lining up contractors if you haven’t already done so, buy seed if needed, and get equipment ready. If you have technical questions, need a seeding plan, or contractor list contact the NRCS office. Any other questions can be directed to FSA.

Once you complete your MCM, notify the FSA office, sign the FSA-848B form, and provide acceptable evidence of practice completion to determine proper cost share payment.

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