Agriculture

Wed
30
Oct

Legislators address farmer suicide

Senators’ Seeding Rural Resilience Act praised by state-wide and national farming and mental health organizations

As the only farmers currently serving in the U.S. Senate, U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Jon Tester (D-Montana) are receiving praise from farm and mental health organizations across the country for the introduction of their Seeding Rural Resilience Act, which aims to curb the rising rate of farmer suicides in America.

“Farmers are increasingly feeling the pain of sinking commodity prices, devastating natural disasters and ongoing trade disruptions. That, coupled with the largely solitary nature of farming, has led more and more family farmers to desperation and feelings of hopelessness. This should not be the case. This bill continues important efforts to raise awareness about this issue and provide the assistance necessary to encourage farmers and their families during difficult times,” Grassley said.

Wed
23
Oct

What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
November 11: Closed in Observance of Veterans Day
December 6: Market Facilitation Program
December 11: ARC/PLC Decision Meeting
December 13: Dairy Margin Coverage Program for 2020

Dairy Margin Coverage Program (DMC)
Sign up for 2020 coverage runs from October 7 – December 13, 2019. Every operation that will participate in 2020 needs to stop in and sign a new application that certifies you are still marketing milk, including those producers who locked in for 5 years (even though you can’t change your coverage levels).

Wed
16
Oct

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 13: Dairy Margin Coverage Program for 2020

2019 Crop Commodity Loan Program Information
• Corn: $2.12
• Soybeans: $6.18
• Crop year commodity loan rate for October is 2.750%

October 2019 CCC and FSFL Interest Rates
New rates were issued for the month of October and are as follows:
• 1.500% for 3 years
• 1.500% for 5 years
• 1.625% for 7 years
• 1.625% for 10 years
• 1.750% for 12 years
• 1.750% for 15 years

Wed
16
Oct

Corn Maze event raises more than $2,400 for local FFA chapters ...

The Waukon Feed Ranch Corn Maze event held in early September helped raise more than $2,400 for the future of local farming, and those funds were recently distributed to local high school FFA chapters at a check presentation event held Friday, October 11 at the Waukon Feed Ranch Agronomy Center near Waukon. Waukon Feed Ranch created a corn maze for the public to try and navigate at its agronomy center location west of Waukon along Old Highway 9, taking a freewill donation to help raise funds for the local FFA chapters of Waukon High School and Kee High School. Along with the corn maze proceeds, the Allamakee County Cattlemen and Allamakee County Pork Producers hosted a grilling event, WW Homestead Dairy sold cheese curds and the Allamakee County Dairy Promotion Board had its dairy wagon on site, with additional proceeds from those offerings also being added to the donated funding.

Wed
16
Oct

Cattle marketing listening sessions scheduled

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association has been dedicated to improving market conditions for Iowa’s independent cattle producers since long before the Holcomb, Kansas Tyson plant fire. However, recent market conditions have added more urgency to the situation, and ICA’s volunteer leaders are actively searching for new solutions to the market problems faced in the upper midwest.

The ICA Feedlot Council has been working on specific policy proposals and invites cattle producers to attend one of the upcoming cattle marketing listening sessions.

Each meeting will include a history of ICA’s policy initiatives related to cattle marketing and an open forum to discuss new ideas with staff, Feedlot Council members and board members.

Members who are unable to attend one of the five meetings will be given an opportunity to voice their opinion through other avenues.

Wed
09
Oct

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; Dairy Margin Coverage Program for 2020

Market Facilitation Program (MFP)
Signup for the 2019 Market Facilitation Program began July 29 and continues through December 6, 2019.  For non-specialty crops such as corn, soybeans and alfalfa, payments are based on a single-county payment rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings of MFP-eligible crops in aggregate in 2019. Those per-acre payments are not dependent on which of those crops are planted in 2019. A producer’s total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings. The Allamakee County payment rate is $40 per planted acre.

Wed
09
Oct

Fall burndown treatments for winter annual weeds


Horseweed seedings ... Figure 1. Horseweed seedlings September 26, 2019 near Ames. Submitted photo.

by Meaghan Anderson, Field Agronomist, Dr. Bob Hartzler, Professor of Agronomy, Prashant Jha, Associate Professor, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

The plentiful rain in September has provided ideal conditions for establishment of winter annual weeds, thus many no-till fields will have dense stands of these weeds going into winter (Fig. 1). The wetter springs we have encountered recently complicate getting spring burndown applications made in a timely matter.

Fall burndown applications are an option that may be beneficial in fields with a history of problems with winter annuals (e.g. horseweed/marestail, field pennycress, henbit). The advantages of fall applications include more consistent control since winter annuals are smaller, and there will be less weed biomass next spring that may interfere with planter operations. Consider the following before choosing this management option:

Wed
09
Oct

Fall weed control in pastures


Controlling weeds in pastures ... Controlling weeds in pastures increases the quality of forage available for animals. Submitted photo.

Foliage of weeds ... Foliage of weeds must be in good condition to obtain effective control. Submitted photo.

by Dr. Bob Hartzler, Professor of Agronomy, Meaghan Anderson, Field Agronomist, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Fall is one of the best times for managing perennial and biennial weeds found in pastures or other areas maintained in perennial grass. As perennials prepare for the upcoming winter they move energy reserves from shoots to their perennial vegetative reproductive structures (e.g. rhizomes, perennial rootstocks). Systemic herbicides applied at this time are translocated along with the energy reserves to the reproductive structures, therefore providing more consistent control than applications made at most other times of the year. 

Wed
02
Oct

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

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Payments
We will soon be issuing payments for the Conservation Reserve Program.  CRP payments begin with those contracted prior to 2008. Barring no computer delays, those payments will begin being issued October 2. For CRP contracts that began after the 2008 Farm Bill, payments will be issued starting October 9. Remember that these take a few days to be deposited into your account.

Wed
02
Oct

Iowa farm income appears higher, but farm values decline

The Iowa farm costs and returns report compares income and cost data for 600 Iowa producers

The “2018 Iowa Farm Costs and Returns” analysis is now available, and despite a slight increase in net farm income last year, farmers saw another year of tight margins and a decrease in total farm assets and net farm worth.

The average accrual net farm income (adjusted for inventory changes and accrued expenses) increased by 6% in 2018, to $58,832.

“It wasn’t a huge increase in income, but at least we didn’t see a decline,” said Alejandro Plastina, assistant professor and extension economist at Iowa State University. “However, the rate of return on assets remains very low, compared to historical averages.”

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