Agriculture

Wed
01
Jul

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
May 15 – August 1: Primary Nesting Season – No MCM work on CRP acres
May 26 – August 28: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Signup
June 30: 2020 ARCPLC Election
July 15: Crop Certification
September 30: PLC Yield Update

Allamakee USDA Service Center Now in Phase 2 of Re-Opening
Starting June 24, the Allamakee USDA Service Center is in Phase 2 of the re-opening plan.  While our doors are still locked, we can allow two producers in at a time, after they are screened for COVID-related symptoms.  We have protective shields in place and wipe down the counter frequently.  Masks are also available. We can still meet with you over the phone and in the parking lot.  We’ve placed a picnic table in the parking lot that allows us to work outside with you as well. 

Wed
01
Jul

Project promotes interseeding for cover crop establishment


Interseeding cover crops ... Mark Stock, who farms near Waukon, is pictured above with an air seeder custom built to plant a four species mix into V5 corn. Stock intends to also use the seeder as part of a relay crop system where he plans to fall seed rye then plant soybeans between in the spring. Submitted photo.

Earlier this year the Allamakee County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $235,907.00, for a three-year project, that involves interseeding cover crops into V4-V7 Corn. The funding for this project came from the USDA Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program. Short planting windows after commodity crop harvest has some producers frustrated and looking at other methods of getting cover crops established. One option is interseeding cover crops into corn between the V4-V7 growth stages. Doing this allows cover crops to get established prior to corn canopy. After canopy the cover crop will go dormant from being shaded out and then restart growth once the corn is harvested. The overall goal of this project is to get more producers to try interseeding as an option for cover crop establishment.

Wed
01
Jul

Corn growers may need to scout for European corn borer

Entomologists with ISU Extension and Outreach offer resources to help farmers scout for ECB

Corn growers may need to be on the lookout for a common insect pest this year, especially if they’re no longer using a transgenic Bt seed that is resistant.

In 2019, about 15% of corn grown in Iowa and 17% grown in the United States did not contain a Bt trait, according to an article by Ashley Dean and Erin Hodgson, extension entomologists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Not using a Bt trait makes the crop susceptible to certain insects, especially European corn borer. The European corn borer, often referred to as ECB, is an invasive insect that feeds on almost the entire corn plant except the roots. European corn borer can result in significant yield reductions caused by poor ear development, broken stalks and dropped ears.

Wed
24
Jun

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
May 15 – August 1: Primary Nesting Season – No MCM work on CRP acres
May 26 – August 28: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Signup
June 30: 2020 ARCPLC Election
July 15: Crop Certification
September 30: PLC Yield Update

Wed
24
Jun

Checking corn fields for damaging levels of nematodes


Figure 1. Collecting a soil core from corn to determine the presence and number of plant-parasitic nematodes. Submitted photo.

Figure 2. Young corn plant collected to determine the presence and number of plant-parasitic nematodes in the root tissue. Submitted photo.

by Dr. Greg Tylka, professor, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Iowa State University professor and nematologist Dr. Don Norton found nearly two dozen species of nematodes feeding on corn in Iowa in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. These microscopic worms usually are present in low numbers and do not affect yields. But the potential for plant-parasitic nematodes that feed on corn to cause yield reductions is real and warrants attention. The wide diversity of species have varied feeding habits, lengths of life cycles, soil preferences, and other attributes, but one aspect that is consistent for all of the nematodes is that yield loss on corn always is preceded by development of above-ground symptoms such as stunting or chlorotic foliage. This means that sampling to determine if damaging nematode population densities are present need only be done in areas of fields where corn plants are showing symptoms.

Wed
24
Jun

Dairy Drive-Thru ScAGvenger Hunt scheduled for June 27

Celebrate National Dairy Month with a Dairy Drive-Thru ScAGvenger Hunt hosted by Iowa’s Dairy Center. The event will be held Saturday, June 27 from 1-4 p.m. at 1527 Hwy. 150 S, Calmar.

Visitors will get a close-up look at cows by driving their vehicle around the farm, even right through the maternity and freestall barns. Attendees will be given a scavenger hunt card at the beginning to look for agriculture-related clues throughout the experience. At the end, the Winneshiek County Dairy Promoters will be serving Moo Mobile shakes right to your vehicle. This family-friendly event is free to the public.

The event will be weather permitting with a rain date scheduled for Saturday, July 11. There will be no building access for restrooms during the event. All attendees must stay inside their vehicle at all times.

Wed
17
Jun

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
May 15 – August 1: Primary Nesting Season – No MCM work on CRP acres
May 26 – August 28: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Signup
June 30: 2020 ARCPLC Election
July 15: Crop Certification
September 30: PLC Yield Update

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)
www.farmers.gov/cfap
Between May 26 and August 28, FSA will be accepting applications from agricultural producers who have suffered losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Additional information and application forms can be found at www.farmers.gov/cfap. Documentation to support the producer’s application and certification may be requested.

Wed
17
Jun

Scouting for SCN; Time to get digging


Soybean root with white SCN females (white arrows) and nitrogen-fixing nodules (black arrows). Submitted photo.

White SCN females on roots of a resistant soybean variety. Submitted photo.

 by Dr. Greg Tylka, professor, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Iowa’s early planting season means that pests like the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) also are off to a quick start this year, which could result in a greater risk of severe damage from SCN throughout the growing season. This nematode is a major yield-reducing pathogen of soybean and is widespread across Iowa and other Midwestern states. Research conducted in recent years indicates that many fields have not been checked for SCN.

Wed
17
Jun

The impact of COVID-19 on Iowa farm communities and families

Farming can be stressful in the best of times. Financial worries, erratic weather, unpredictable commodity prices, plant pests, livestock diseases and isolation all contribute to farmers’ anxiety. Now Iowa’s rural communities and families are coping with the economic impact and unpredictability produced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has described the effect of COVID-19 on Iowa’s farm economy as devastating.

Gov. Reynolds and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig communicated that Iowa’s meatpacking plants are operating at only 80% capacity. In addition, the U.S. pork industry has lost about 25% of its processing capacity due to COVID-19. As a result, some livestock producers are having to euthanize animals.

“The economic impact is devastating. However, the personal and emotional impact also is taking a heavy toll,” said Tammy Jacobs, coordinator for Iowa Concern and other ISU Extension and Outreach hotlines.

Wed
10
Jun

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
May 15 - August 1: Primary Nesting Season - No MCM work on CRP acres
May 26 - August 28: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Signup
June 30: 2020 ARCPLC Election
July 15: Crop Certification
September 30: PLC Yield Update

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