Agriculture

Wed
10
Jun

Waterville area farmer uses alternative farming practice to improve soil

Submitted by Eric Novey, Project Coordinator, Allamakee SWCD

Nick Rolling, who farms near Waterville, recently tried a different farming practice. He band applied herbicide (1 ½ pt Dual and 1 qt Roundup) on corn and soybeans while planting into fall seeded rye cover crop. His goals were to suppress weed growth, capture nitrogen from leeching, reduce soil erosion, increase water infiltration, and to increase his overall soil health by getting as much root growth as possible from the rye. Rolling plans to terminate the rye soon.

Research done through the United Soybean Board has shown when cereal rye grew an extra three weeks prior to soybeans, they produced about 300-400% more biomass with a 100% increase in nitrogen retention, compared to early terminated cover crops, with no yield reduction.

Wed
10
Jun

Virtual Spring Field Day Webinar Series to be held June 23-26

Farmers, ag professionals and other interested parties are invited to participate in a virtual field day webinar series being hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in conjunction with the Southeast Iowa Agricultural Research Association from June 23-26.

“This virtual field day webinar series is being offered this year instead of the annual face-to-face spring field day that is held at the Iowa State Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm due to the current COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rebecca Vittetoe, field agronomist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

Each webinar will start at 8 a.m. with a 20-minute discussion on the day’s topic, and will include time for a questions and answers session at the end. Sessions will be limited to 30 minutes.

Wed
03
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

Sign Up for the 2020 ARCPLC Program by June 30!
We mailed out the remaining ARCPLC contracts earlier this spring for farms that still need to be enrolled for the 2020 program year.  A postcard reminder was mailed to those folks that we were still waiting for theirs to come back.  So if you received a postcard, please review the previous letter and contract to ensure everything is completed correctly. If you have any questions, or need the contract modified, please call our office. The deadline to get these approved is June 30, so please don’t delay in getting these back to us. 

Wed
03
Jun

New videos explain how to inspect seed emergence

Good yields begin with proper seed emergence and stand, and to help producers understand how to check for both, the crops team at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has developed a new YouTube channel with timely updates.

The first four videos focus on stand assessments, poor stand and uniformity, assessing emergence and conducting stand counts.

Each video is recorded in a recently planted field, with instruction by Mark Licht, assistant professor in agronomy and cropping systems specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Stand assessment is important every year and should be done for each field, according to Licht. He said it’s even more important this year, for those who planted early and experienced cold, wet conditions soon after that planting.

Wed
03
Jun

Farm financial associates available to help

Farmers face financial uncertainty almost each year, with unexpected changes in the markets and unpredictable weather events.

Last year, farmers across the Midwest dealt with record rainfall and flooding. This year, they’re dealing with low commodity prices that have crept even lower amid the market disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

One trusted resource available to help producers gain a clearer understanding of their farm financial situation is the Farm Financial Planning Program at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Wed
27
May

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
27
May

Iowa cash rents show slight increase

Cash rent per acre up over last year, but economic challenges could influence the future

Despite another difficult year in agriculture, cash rents still posted an increase of about 1.4%, according to this year’s Cash Rental Rates for Iowa 2020 Survey, released earlier this month.

Rates across the state averaged $222 per acre, compared to $219 per acre in 2019, the fourth year of relatively stable rates, but at levels about 18% lower than the historical peak reached in 2013, of $270 per acre.

“It’s surprising for me to see that cash rents are pretty stable and have not gone down,” said Alejandro Plastina, associate professor and extension economist at Iowa State University. “And that’s likely a reflection that government programs last year were injecting enough liquidity.”

Wed
27
May

Dairy News and Views Podcast keeps Iowa producers informed

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 in general.

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.

“The podcasts offer another way for dairy producers and the dairy industry in Iowa to receive current and timely information and resources on dairy production practices, financial management and practical strategies in dealing with farm stress,” said Bentley.

Wed
20
May

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
May 15 – August 1: Primary Nesting Season – No MCM work on CRP acres
June 30: 2020 ARCPLC Election
July 15: Crop Certification
September 30: PLC Yield Update

2020 Crop Certification
The on-going COVID-19 situation has changed the way we operate at the office.  We are conducting much more business through phone and email.  Unfortunately, at this time, it appears we will not be able to certify crops face-to-face at the office.  Our office has mailed out farm maps to the operator for them to mark the crops planted, date planted, and shares.

Wed
20
May

To spray or not to spray?


Frost damaged pennycress (April 2007). Reduced control would be likely if spraying weeds with this extent of frost injury.

by Dr. Bob Hartzler, professor of agronomy and extension weed specialist

Although most crop fields have not reached the stage for regularly planned POST herbicide applications, there likely are situations where people would like to get weeds controlled prior to the rain forecast later this week.  The question is what impact will this weekend’s frost have on herbicide performance.

Herbicides perform best on actively growing weeds, thus weeds damaged by the frost will have decreased sensitivity.  If the target is small summer annuals (2 or less true leaves) I suspect effective control can still be achieved.  If summer annuals are bigger than this and showing signs of frost damage, it probably would be best to delay applications until new growth is present.

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