Agriculture

Wed
01
Apr

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
June 30: 2020 ARCPLC Election
July 15: Crop Certification
September 30: PLC Yield Update

USDA Service Centers
As of March 25, USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While our program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with our producers by phone, and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. Contact the Allamakee County USDA Service Center at 563-568-2148. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

Wed
25
Mar

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
June 30: 2020 ARCPLC Election
July 15: Crop Certification
September 30: PLC Yield Update

USDA Launches New Conservation Pilot Program for Prairie Pothole Producers to Plant Cover Crops
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced a new pilot program that enables farmers in Prairie Pothole states to receive payments for planting cover crops on their land for three to five years. The new Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP) pilot is available to producers in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. The signup for this pilot starts March 30, 2020 and ends August 21.

Wed
18
Mar

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
June 30: 2020 ARCPLC Election
July 15: Crop Certification
September 30: PLC Yield Update

Glomalin, Holding it All Together
by LuAnn Rolling, District Conservationist, Allamakee County
We’ve been talking about healthy soil and soil microorganisms.  One of these is mycorrhizal fungi and how important it is for healthy plant function. This fungi attaches to the plant roots and can grow out from the roots to assist in obtaining nutrients and water. What we haven’t discussed is that this fungi is covered with a special coating called glomalin. This is a sticky compound that keeps water and nutrients from getting lost on the way to and from the plant.

Wed
11
Mar

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
March 16: 2019 ARCPLC Election
June 30: 2020 ARCPLC Election
July 15: Crop Certification
September 30: PLC Yield Update

Deadline Just Days Away to Sign Up for the 2019 and 2020 ARCPLC Program
Producers now can enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2019 and 2020 crop year. ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guaranteed level. PLC provides income support payments on historical base acres when the effective price for a covered commodity falls below its reference price. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized and updated both programs.

Wed
11
Mar

Mike Hutjens slated as keynote speaker at Dairy Foundation Annual Meeting

Join the Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation in celebrating 20 years at the 2020 Annual Meeting Thursday, March 12, starting at 10:30 a.m. at Iowa’s Dairy Center located just south of Calmar at 1527 Highway 150 South.

The keynote speaker for the event will be Dr. Mike Hutjens. He will speak on the changing dairy industry, focusing on the U.S. and Midwest dairy industry and the impact of the 2019 forage and feed production year challenges related to weather. Hutjens is a professor of animal science at the University of Illinois in addition to being the editor of the National Dairy Database and Illinois Dairy Report.

He has spoken at hundreds of meetings across the country and globally, and writes feed columns for Hoard’s Dairyman, Dairy Today, Dairy Japan, Western Canadian Dairy Magazine, Wisconsin Agri-View and Dairy Herd Management.

Wed
11
Mar

Ten-year study shows corn, soybean yields not affected by cover crops

Iowa Learning Farms, a hands-on education and outreach program for Iowa landowners and agricultural producers based at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and Practical Farmers of Iowa, a statewide organization working to equip farmers to build resilient farms and communities, have published the final results of their 10-year, field-scale study of the effects of winter rye cover crops on corn and soybean yields.

With consistent results across the full decade of recording and measurements, the final report notes no significant improvement or decline in cash crop yields attributable to the use of cover crops.

Wed
04
Mar

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
March 16: 2019 ARCPLC Election
June 30: 2020 ARCPLC Election
September 30: PLC Yield Update

Plants and Their Relationship to the Soil
submitted by LuAnn Rolling, District Conservationist, Allamakee County

As we dive deeper into the topic of healthy soil we have to understand the relationship that plants create with the soil.  As a plant grows it excretes “food” called exudate into the area around the root.  Exudates are secretions of sugars along with a little protein and carbohydrates.  A plant can release as much as 50% of the sugars they make from photosynthesis to attract bacteria and grow fungi which eat the exudate.  One very important fungi is called mycorrhizal fungi.  This fungi actually grows with the roots and in return delivers nutrients and trace minerals back to the plant.

Wed
04
Mar

Women in Agriculture Conference to be held in Washington, Iowa

Topics will include managing stress, preparing for success and understanding the current grain market

“Setting the Table for Success” is the theme for the fourth annual Women in Agriculture Conference, to be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Washington, Iowa March 28.

The event is being hosted by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Washington County office, along with the Washington County Women in Agriculture Advisory Board.

The goal of this year’s conference is to show women of all ages how they can set their table for success in agriculture by surrounding themselves with the right people and resources to make informed decisions.

The conference will feature four speakers: Scott Siepker, Iowa Nice Guy; Elaine Kub, grain market economist; Delaney Howell, host of Iowa Public Television’s “Market to Market,” and Kay Frances, a humorous and motivational speaker.

Wed
04
Mar

Managing residual herbicides with cover crops


Figure X ... Effect on cover crop termination timing on sulfentrazone soil concentration.

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

A common question when incorporating cover crops into a production system is, will the cover crop interfere with the performance of residual herbicides included with the burndown treatment? This article will discuss the fate of residual herbicides applied to crop residue and living cover crops, and how this may influence herbicide effectiveness.

Wed
26
Feb

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
February 28: CRP General Signup
March 15: 2019 ARCPLC Election
June 30: 2020 ARCPLC Election
September 30: PLC Yield Update

Stop in Soon to Sign Up for the 2019 and 2020 ARCPLC Program
Producers now can enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2019 and 2020 crop year. ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guaranteed level. PLC provides income support payments on historical base acres when the effective price for a covered commodity falls below its reference price. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized and updated both programs.

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