Agriculture

Wed
07
Aug

Regional Soil Fertility Workshops planned across Iowa in August

Producers can gain valuable fertility management knowledge and learn more about soil testing

The cost of managing soil fertility in Iowa continues to change, with increased fertilizer input costs and a rising demand for nutrients from higher-yielding crops.

To help producers understand the changes, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is hosting four workshops in August called “Soil Testing Interpretations and Recommendations: Maximizing Return on Investment.”

The workshops will lead farmers through the basics of soil testing, analytical tests, calculating crop nutrient removal, understanding return on investment from fertilizer applications, how crop response correlates to soil test levels and what is known about crop response to micronutrients.

“These workshops provide producers the skills to best allocate fertilizer input dollars on their farms,” said Terry Basol, field agronomist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

Wed
07
Aug

Fall Field Day on price risk management for the 2019 crop plus research updates on crop pests and soil fertility

The Annual Fall Field Day at the ISU Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm will run from 1-4:20 p.m. Wednesday, August 28. Steve Johnson, Farm Management Specialist, will kick off the program in the Borlaug Learning Center, and will cover “Crop Price Risk & Cash Flow Management”. He is followed by Prashant Jha, Weed Specialist, with a discussion of the “ISU weed science research and extension program: 2019 and beyond”. Then the program heads to the field with the on-farm wagon tour featuring Antonio Mallarino, Soil Fertility Specialist, and Erin Hodgson, Entomologist. Antonio will explain “How results from long-term PK rate studies influence soil tests and interpretations”. Whereas Erin will discuss “Concerns with corn and soybean insect pest resistance to insecticides and Bt-traits, and update us on 2019 Soybean gall midge research”.

Wed
31
Jul

What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
May 15 - August 1: Primary Nesting Season. No MCM activities on CRP acres.
June 3 - August 23: CRP Continuous Signup 52 
June 17 - Sept. 20: Dairy Margin Coverage Program Sign-Up
August 1:Last day to file a COC nomination form

Dairy Margin Coverage
Signup for new Dairy Margin Coverage program began June 17 and runs through September 20, 2019. Coverage is retroactive to January. 

Coverage levels range from $4 to $9.50 per cwt, in $0.50 increments. Coverage percentage of the dairy operation’s production history ranges from 5 percent to 95 percent, in 5 percent increments. You have the option to receive a 25% discount on your annual premiums if you lock in for five years. You cannot change your coverage if you lock in.

Wed
31
Jul

Organic training for farmers who want to transition

Producers who were prevented from planting conventional crops this past spring may have a head start on going organic

The historically wet spring of 2019 prevented many conventional and organic farmers in Iowa and across the Midwest from planting corn and soybeans.

However, those who ended up planting a cover crop on their prevented planting acres may have an advantage if they want to transition to organic.

“The cover crop year will provide a good opportunity as your first year in the three years of organic transition (T-1; organic certification in 2021),” said Kathleen Delate, professor and extension organic specialist in horticulture and agronomy with Iowa State University.

Wed
31
Jul

Financial associates help Iowa farmers plan ahead

The extension Farm Financial Planning Program has resources that can help farmers with their numbers

Knowing your numbers is key to the profitability of any farm operation, and whether you’re struggling to make ends meet, or simply looking to improve or do something differently, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has an experienced group of associates and specialists who can help.

The Farm Financial Planning Program with ISU Extension and Outreach offers producers one-on-one financial counseling, a computerized analysis of the farm business, and referrals to other extension programs and outside services that may be useful.

Mark Olsen, one of six trained associates who help administer the program across the state, said more than half of the referrals he gets are from farmers who are struggling financially, especially in this time of tight profit margins.

Wed
24
Jul

What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
May 15 - August 1: Primary Nesting Season. No MCM activities on CRP acres.
June 3 - August 23: CRP Continuous Signup 52 
June 14: COC Nominations Begin
June 17 - September 20: Dairy Margin Coverage Program Sign-Up
August 1: Last day to file a COC nomination form

County Committee (COC) Election
FSA is now accepting nominations for county committee members.  Agricultural producers who participate or cooperate in an FSA program may be nominated for candidacy for the county committee. Individuals may nominate themselves or others as a candidate. The last day to file a nomination is August 1. Forms can be obtained online or at our office.

Wed
24
Jul

Dairy Design Workshops to show producers some options

Robotic milking, ventilation and manure management all on the agenda

One of the most critical aspects of a productive dairy farm is the design and setup of the buildings. A good design saves energy, increases cow productivity, and provides comfort and ease of access for the farmer and the herd.

To help dairy farmers evaluate their design, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering two Dairy Design Workshops in August, with a focus on robotic milking setups, ventilation and manure handling facilities.

Both workshops are the same, but are held at different farms in northeast Iowa. The first will be held August 27, at Iowa’s Dairy Center, Room 115, located at 1527 State Highway 150, Calmar. The second will be held August 28, at Pattison Dairy, located at 22127 Highway 52, Garnavillo.

Both workshops are from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Wed
24
Jul

Dairy pasture walk slated for August 21 to feature NE Iowa grazing farm

Participants will get an up-close look at pasture renovation, brush control and the overall economics of dairy grazing.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program will co-host a pasture walk August 21 near Garnavillo, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Andy Schaefer dairy farm.

Andy has been grazing and dairying for 31 years, and today he has 118 cross-bred cows on 160 acres.

ISU Extension and Outreach Dairy Field Specialists Dr. Larry Tranel and Jenn Bentley will provide information on economics of grazing and calf management in a pasture-based system.

Following lunch, Andy Schaefers will lead attendees on a walking tour with a focus on pasture renovation, brush control and sidewalk-style cattle lanes, along with ISU Extension Agronomist Brian Lang, who will provide information on soil fertility.

Wed
17
Jul

What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
May 15 - August 1: Primary Nesting Season.  No MCM activities on CRP acres.
June 3 - August 23: CRP Continuous Signup 52 
June 14: COC Nominations Begin
June 17 - September 20: Dairy Margin Coverage Program Sign-Up

Wed
17
Jul

USDA rule change gives farmers more forage options

By relaxing the prevent plant restricted harvest date, farmers have two more months to harvest forages from cover crops

Grain and livestock farmers can both benefit from the recent rule change by the United States Department of Agriculture, which allows farmers who planted cover crops on prevented plant acres to harvest those fields beginning September 1.

With the change, farmers can hay, graze or chop those fields, and USDA also has determined that silage, haylage and baleage should be treated the same as haying and grazing for this year.

The adjustment allows farmers to harvest cover crops on prevented plant acres two months earlier than most years, which will be beneficial in a year when both grain and forage crops are limited.

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