Agriculture

Wed
18
Nov

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
Dec. 11: CFAP 2 Signup; Dairy Margin Coverage Signup
March 15: 2021 ARCPLC Signup

Herbicide Resistance
by LuAnn Rolling, District Conservationist
The first synthetic herbicide was discovered in the 1940s. Scientists discovered new modes of action every few years through the 1980s. That changed with the introduction of glyphosate-resistant crops.  Roundup, paired with glyphosate-resistant crops, was so effective it overwhelmed most competition, contributing to a lapse in herbicide research.

According to the EPA, about 280 million pounds of glyphosate are used in the U.S. annually - three times more than all other pesticides.  Unfortunately the excessive use of this and other herbicides has led to crops “evolving” to be resistant to chemicals.

Wed
18
Nov

Interseeding cover crops early could solve fall establishment issues


Cover crop conversation ... Allamakee County farmer Brady Kruger (left) talks to Eric Novey (right) of the Allamakee County Soil and Water Conservation District about his 30” corn rows he planted in late April 2020 no-tilled into a living cereal rye cover crop. Submitted photo.

60” rows at Kruger farm ... Allamakee County farmer Brady Kruger also planted 60” twin row corn and interseeded a cover crop mix in June as part of a NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) in 2020. Submitted photo.

Success of 60” corn rows ... Postville farmer Aarik Deering (left) discusses the success of his 60” corn and interseeded cover crop mix with Eric Novey (right) of the Allamakee County Soil and Water Conservation District. Deering planted corn and cover crop trials through a USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG). Submitted photo.

Deering farm 30” rows ... Rural Postville farmer Aarik Deering also grew 30” corn rows interseeded with a cover crop mix as part of a Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) trial through USDA-NRCS in 2020. Submitted photo.

by Jason Johnson, State Public Affairs Specialist, USDA-NRCS, Des Moines

After years of struggling to consistently establish cover crops in the fall on cropland in Iowa’s northern tier counties, more than a dozen Allamakee County producers are participating in a new USDA-sponsored soil health demonstration project that - after one growing season - is showing promising results.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) awarded the Allamakee Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) $236,000 through a three-year grant to lead, manage and analyze a series of data from interseeding cover crops at the V4-V7 corn growth stages (June).

Interseeding allows cover crops to establish prior to corn canopy. After canopy, the cover crop can go dormant from being shaded out and then restart growth once the corn is harvested.

Wed
18
Nov

Farm financial associates through ISU Extension program can help producers in challenging times

The year 2020 brought many challenges and uncertainties to the world, and agriculture most definitely felt the impact.

Wild price swings, supply chain disruptions and economic hardships caused farmers across Iowa to review their finances and operating plan in great detail.

During these difficult times – and any time farmers are looking for financial advice, they can turn to the Farm Financial Planning Program with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Seven farm financial associates are available to help, and will work one-on-one to develop confidential financial plans that help producers across the state. The associates are part-time extension employees with career training in farm budgeting and financial analysis, with farm backgrounds and an understanding of the current farm situation.

Wed
11
Nov

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
Dec. 11: CFAP 2 Signup; Dairy Margin Coverage Signup
March 15: 2021 ARCPLC Signup

Enrollment Begins for Ag Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs for 2021
Agricultural producers can now make elections and enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2021 crop year. The signup period opened Tuesday, Oct. 13.  These key U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) safety-net programs help producers weather fluctuations in either revenue or price for certain crops, and more than $5 billion in payments are in the process of going out to producers who signed up for the 2019 crop year.

Wed
11
Nov

Pro-Ag Outlook Series to examine trade, financial status and market outlook

Registration is open for the annual Pro-Ag Outlook meetings

The annual Pro Ag Outlook and Management meetings will be held virtually this year due to COVID-19 concerns. With a virtual format, participants will be able to hear from five Iowa State University Extension and Outreach economists. There will be one speaker each day from 1-2 p.m. from December  7–11.

This webinar series will take an in-depth look into the outlook for agriculture in 2021 as producers, ag lenders, and suppliers start planning for next year. The webinar series is designed to provide participants with a concise evaluation of current market conditions, expected trends in crop and livestock income potential, and management implications. Time for participant questions will be included at the end of each day’s presentation.

Wed
11
Nov

Dairy News and Views Podcast made available

Dairy producers across Iowa have a new way of receiving information, thanks to a new podcast launched by dairy specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “Dairy News & Views from Iowa State University” began recording in April, featuring timely topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic and dairy production.

The podcasts are recorded every two weeks, and feature commentary by ISU Extension and Outreach dairy specialists Jennifer Bentley and Fred Hall, in conversation with other Iowa State dairy industry experts.

Wed
04
Nov

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
Dec. 11: CFAP 2 Signup; Dairy Margin Coverage Signup
March 15: 2021 ARCPLC Signup

Fall Tillage
by LuAnn Rolling, NRCS District Conservationist
We ended up with an earlier than usual fall harvest, this is a good thing. Using this window to till the soil is not a good thing.

Tillage degrades soil structure, causes erosion and compaction, kills earthworms and destroys the soil ecosystem. Tilling the soil is the equivalent of an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, and forest fire occurring simultaneously to the world of soil organisms. Simply stated, tillage is bad for the soil.

Wed
04
Nov

Farmers encouraged to keep the stubble during “No-Till November”

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is encouraging Iowa farmers to “keep the stubble” on their harvested crop fields and improve soil health during No-Till November.

First launched in 2017, the NRCS project is mirrored after the national cancer awareness No Shave November campaign that encourages people not to shave during the entire month. The NRCS campaign encourages farmers to keep tillage equipment in their machine sheds this fall and keep the crop stubble on their fields. The campaign has reached more than 1.5 million people through Twitter and local media since 2017.

“No-till farming is a cornerstone soil health conservation practice which also promotes water quality while saving farmers time and money,” says Iowa NRCS State Conservationist Jon Hubbert. “One of the first soil health principles is ‘do not disturb’. This campaign is a fun way to remind farmers about the important relationship between tillage and soil health.”

Wed
28
Oct

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
October 30: WHIP+ Signup; 2020 Organic Certification Cost Share Program Signup
Dec. 11: CFAP 2 Signup; Dairy Margin Coverage Signup
March 15: 2021 ARCPLC Signup

Wed
21
Oct

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
October 30: WHIP+ Signup; 2020 Organic Certification Cost Share Program Signup
Dec. 11: CFAP 2 Signup; Dairy Margin Coverage Signup

Conservation Opportunities - Buffer Strips, Windbreaks, Waterways
by LuAnn Rolling, Allamakee District Conservationist

This week I would like to discuss several opportunities that are currently available to advance soil health on your farms. The first would be installing contour buffer strips and there are two ways the NRCS and the Allamakee Soil & Water Conservation District, SWCD, can assist with these financially.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Agriculture