Agriculture

Wed
20
Oct

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Fall Considerations for Soil Health
by LuAnn Rolling, District Conservationist

There are several things that producers can do this fall when considering trying to improve their overall soil health. A dry fall and early harvest takes some of the pressure off emptying manure storage structures before winter. It’s tempting to want to apply as soon as possible. However, it pays to postpone land application until soil temperatures drop below 50 degrees. Cooler soils maximize nitrogen availability and minimize its loss - whether applying anhydrous ammonia or ammonia-laden manure. That saves money.

Wed
20
Oct

New resources examine economics of mortality in swine operations

Profitable pig production depends on getting finished pigs to market, with costs below market price.

Lowering mortality rates can improve potential profitability. However, experienced pig producers know that mortality is a cost — by its very nature and by efforts to reduce it.

In a recent article in Ag Decision Maker, Russ Euken, swine specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and Lee Schulz, extension livestock economist, take a look at some of the different factors that can affect the cost of mortality.

Wed
20
Oct

Pro-Ag Outlook and Management Webinar Series set for November

Five sessions on the issues affecting Iowa agriculture into 2022

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach farm management team will hold its annual Pro-Ag Outlook and Management program via five webinars, scheduled for Nov. 1-5.

The goal of the program is to provide agribusiness leaders a concise evaluation of current market conditions, opportunities and challenges, and expected trends in crop and livestock income potential and management considerations heading into a new year.

Producers will hear about the COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 impact on farm markets, and what might lie ahead as the U.S. and the world continue to recover.

Wed
13
Oct

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
October 15: Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers

USDA Offers Disaster Assistance for Producers Facing Inclement Weather
Severe weather events create significant challenges and often result in catastrophic loss for agricultural producers. Despite every attempt to mitigate risk, your operation may suffer losses. USDA offers several programs to help with recovery.

Wed
13
Oct

Soybean cyst nematode management involves good soil sampling


Soil testing ... Submitted photo.

Publication helps farmers understand how to check for soybean cyst nematode

Fall is always a good time for soil tests, and following the hot, dry summer of 2021, this is also a good time to test for soybean cyst nematode.

“Soybean cyst nematode, unfortunately, loves hot, dry soil so I am expecting higher than ever numbers from fall samples,” said Greg Tylka, professor in plant pathology and microbiology at Iowa State University.

SCN is a small, unsegmented plant-parasitic roundworm that attacks the roots of soybeans.

The nematode is the most economically significant pest of soybeans in Iowa and has been found in all 99 Iowa counties, according to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Infested soybean plants often show no symptoms other than reduced yield.

Wed
06
Oct

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
October 12: Coronavirus Food Assistance 2 (CFAP2)
October 15: Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers

Tar Spot in Allamakee County
by LuAnn Rolling, District Conservationist

Crop year 2021 has been subject to numerous stressors starting with an early drought and ending with tar spot on corn and army worms on forage. Tar spot has been slowly moving into Iowa and this year seems to have infected most corn fields in Allamakee County.  Depending on when the fungus started and the degree of infection yield loss seems to range from negligible to significant.

Wed
06
Oct

Results now available from 2020 Iowa Dairy Industry Survey by ISU

In 2020, the Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology – Survey Research Services at Iowa State University was contracted to conduct an online/mail survey with dairy farmers in Iowa to learn about their current operations, needs and expectations for the future.

The survey consisted of 903 Grade A and B dairy producers in Iowa and was part of a research effort coordinated by Jennifer Bentley, Fred Hall and Larry Tranel, dairy specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, who served as principal investigators on this project.

Results provide insight on the current state of the dairy industry in Iowa and will be summarized through reports for educators, industry collaborators, elected officials and the general public.

Wed
29
Sep

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
October 1: Start of Fiscal Year 2022
October 12: Coronavirus Food Assistance 2 (CFAP2)
October 15: Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers

USDA Offers Farmers.gov Features to Help Farmers Hire Workers
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced new features on the farmers.gov website designed to help facilitate the employment of H-2A workers.

USDA’s goal is to help farmers navigate the complex H-2A program that is administered by Department of Labor, Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department so hiring a farm worker is an easier process.

The primary new H-2A features on Farmers.gov include:

Wed
29
Sep

Research suggests flood-tolerant crops a better choice for farmed potholes in modeled weather scenarios


LAMPS field site ... Emily Heaton, Affiliate Professor of Agronomy at ISU, is pictured above with miscanthus at right and corn at left growing in a farmed pothole near the Iowa State campus at the Long-term Assessment of Miscanthus Productivity and Sustainability (LAMPS) field site. Submitted photo by Nic Boersma.

Farmers who want to increase the productivity and economic performance of their farmed potholes should consider more flood-tolerant crops, such as miscanthus.  

Recent research by Iowa State University scientists found expected increases in weather variability, especially more intense, frequent rainfall in the spring, are likely to adversely impact crop yields in areas susceptible to flooding and ponding. Their modeling, based on observed and predicted data, shows miscanthus, a grass species known for its high biomass production, is likely to have better survival and yields and could be more profitable.

“We wanted to look at this because what we’re doing with potholes is not working in many cases. This study gives more evidence that things are only going to get more difficult,” said Andy VanLoocke, associate professor of agronomy and one of the lead authors on the study published recently in the peer-reviewed journal GCB Bioenergy.

Wed
22
Sep

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
October 1: Start of Fiscal Year 2022
October 12: Coronavirus Food Assistance 2 (CFAP2)
October 15: Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers

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