Agriculture

Wed
11
Jan

Iowa Cattlemen’s Association to hold educational forums

Continual improvement is an important part of farm management, especially when profitability challenges arise.

That is why the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) is holding two free educational events for cow/calf producers in northeast Iowa in January. The speakers at this year’s Cow/Calf Forums will focus on herd health including strategic deworming and vaccinations. The events will also include a question and answer session with area veterinarians.

“Anytime you can improve the health of your cattle, you’re also going to improve your profits,” says Eric Smith, who serves on the ICA board of directors, representing Winneshiek, Allamakee, Fayette and Clayton counties. “We’re excited to host this event for the second year in a row, and hope that it brings a lot of value to our area cattle producers.”

Wed
04
Jan

What's up at the FSA Office?

Farm Stored Facility Loans (FSFL)
Looking ahead to crop year 2017 and producers needing any additional storage or handling equipment may be eligible to apply for the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Farm Stored Facility Loan (FSFL) program.  The FSFL program provides low interest financing to eligible producers to build, upgrade, or acquire eligible storage facilities or equipment for the eligible commodities they produce.

Producer eligibility requirements must be met in order to be eligible to apply:

• producing an eligible commodity such as but not limited to grain, hay, honey, milk, and fruits and vegetables
• Demonstrates the need for storage
• Satisfactory credit rating and ability to repay
• No delinquent federal debts
• Applicable insurance (crop, flood, automotive etc.)
• Compliance with farming conservation plan  

Wed
04
Jan

Reminders about winter manure application

submitted by Sara Berges, Allamakee SWCD

Winter application of manure is generally not recommended due to potential nutrient losses and water quality degradation.  However, if you do need to apply manure this winter because of limited available storage capacity, there are several things to consider when applying to frozen or snow-covered ground in order to minimize runoff.  Snow-covered is defined as soil having one inch or more of snow cover or one-half inch or more of ice cover. 

Wed
04
Jan

Counties must sign up soon to evaluate animal confinement sites

Counties interested in evaluating construction permits for proposed animal feeding facilities must adopt and submit a construction evaluation resolution to the DNR between Jan. 1 and 31.

About 87 counties pass a resolution each year, which allows them to review construction permit applications required for larger totally roofed animal feeding operations (confinements).

The Master Matrix development, submittal and approval process allows applicants and county supervisors to discuss options for site selection, facility type and management.

“County supervisors review the master matrix items selected by the applicant and determine if a passing score for the matrix has been achieved. The county then submits a recommendation to the DNR on the permit application,” said Gene Tinker, the DNR’s animal feeding operations coordinator.

Wed
04
Jan

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey reviews key issues that faced Iowa agriculture in 2016

Iowa Ag Secretary also notes economic challenges, progress on water quality, expanded renewable fuel retail options

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has highlighted some of the top ag issues in Iowa in 2016.

“Iowa farmers saw record production for both corn and soybeans again in 2016, however low prices are making profitability a real challenge on both the crop and livestock side.  Despite the economic challenges, farmers are by nature optimistic and we continue to see investments in the future and new and innovative technologies that will allow them to be even more productive while also reducing environmental impact,” Northey said.
 
Record Production, Economic Challenges
Much of Iowa had a nearly ideal growing season that saw Iowa farmers produce record corn and soybean crops again this year.

Wed
28
Dec

What's up at the FSA Office?

by Cindy Mensen, Acting Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

ATTENTION FARMERS - REMINDER:
January 2: Office Closed for New Year’s Holiday

2017 ARC-Co Program Sign-up
Sign-up for the 2017 farm program, Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC-CO) has begun.  Farmers who have a risk in what is planted on the farm are eligible to sign contracts for their commensurate share.  These shares should match what you present to crop insurance agents when buying coverage for your 2017 crops.

Farm Loan Programs
The Farm Service Agency has a microloan program to better serve the unique, financial operating needs of beginning, niche and small family farm operations.  This program is designed to help farmers with credit needs of $50,000 or less.  The loan features a streamlined application process built to fit the needs of new and smaller producers.

Wed
28
Dec

Update NRCS Conservation Plans for land coming out of CRP

by Sara Berges, Allamakee SWCD Project Coordinator

Anyone who owns land that has expiring CRP, it is suggested that they (or their renter) update their NRCS Conservation Plan. Keep in mind that the ground hasn’t been farmed for at least 10 years and the plan that was written before might be different from the intended tillage and rotation.

The Allamakee County Soil and Water Conservation District can check the soils and slopes to ensure that desired management will meet compliance requirements. It is also wise to get an updated map showing where waterways and headlands are encouraged. With the large rainfalls this area has been experiencing the last few years, areas left in grass have the potential to provide significant protection from concentrated flow and erosion.

Wed
28
Dec

Oat production in Allamakee County

by Sara Berges, Allamakee SWCD Project Coordinator

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Allamakee County was the largest oat-producing county in Iowa at an estimated 181,000 bushels. This was a slight reduction from last year’s 196,000 bushels.  Winneshiek County followed closely with 179,000 bushels, which was down from last year’s 243,000 bushels. Favorable conditions throughout the growing season resulted in generally higher yields. The average number of bushels per acre in Allamakee County was estimated at 88.3 with a statewide average of 76.0 bushels per acre.

The Allamakee County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is encouraging producers to consider planting more acres in small grains as they look to the 2017 crop year. There are many benefits to growing small grains. With the current corn and soybean prices and steady input costs, one of the biggest benefits to growing small grains is the lower input costs.

Wed
28
Dec

Ag in The Classroom volunteer free workshop January 20 at NICC Calmar

Attention agriculture friends in NE Iowa! Do you respect our farmers? Do you love agriculture? Do you enjoy being with kids? Do you have some free time to work with children in the classroom? Then this event is perfect for you! Join us for an Ag in The Classroom volunteer FREE workshop on January 20th at NICC Calmar Dairy Center.

Howard County Farm Bureau and Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation have partnered with NICC Calmar, Dairy to host an Agriculture in the Classroom County Contacts Workshop Friday, January 20, 2017. There will be a 9 a.m. optional tour of NICC Robotic Dairy Operation and the new Beef Learning Facilities. The workshop will begin at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Northeast Iowa Community College Dairy Center 1527 Iowa 150, Calmar, IA 52132.

Wed
21
Dec

What's up at the FSA Office?

by Cindy Mensen, Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

ATTENTION FARMERS - REMINDER:

December 26: Office Closed for Christmas Holiday
January 2: Office Closed for New Year’s Holiday

2017 ARC-Co Program Sign-up
Sign-up for the 2017 farm program, Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC-CO) has begun.  Farmers who have a risk in what is planted on the farm are eligible to sign contracts for their commensurate share.  These shares should match what you present to crop insurance agents when buying coverage for your 2017 crops.

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