Agriculture

Wed
06
Jan

Virtual Boots in the Barn offered for dairy women

Three-part series for women involved in the dairy industry begins January 22

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host Boots in the Barn virtually, a program for women dairy producers. Boots in the Barn is a three-part series for women involved in a dairy operation or industry and will be held as a webinar series.

The webinars will be held January 22 and 29, and February 5, via ZOOM from noon to 1:15 p.m.

The January 22 session will feature Sarah Adcock, assistant professor in animal welfare research/teaching at the University of Wisconsin. Adcock will discuss pain management for disbudding and steps producers can take to stay ahead of consumer concerns and changing industry standards for this procedure.

Wed
06
Jan

Trusts can serve as important estate planning tool

Understanding trusts can help guide your farm transition

Depending on your family situation and the value of your estate, forming a trust can be an important addition to your farm transition plan.

A will gives basic assurance of where farm and personal assets will go at death, but a trust can provide more detail and instruction, with the flexibility to transition your farm the way you want it to go.
In an article written for the December Ag Decision Maker, two experts with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach give an overview of what a trust is, the different kinds of trusts, who they benefit and what a person should consider before forming a trust.

“The trust is a very useful and flexible tool for estate planning, yet it is probably the most underused estate management technique,” according to Kelvin Leibold and Melissa O’Rourke, farm management specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Wed
30
Dec

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
January 1: Office Closed in Observance of New Year’s Day
March 15: 2021 ARCPLC Signup

Offseason Management of CRP
by Jacob Hawes, NRCS Soil Conservationist
As the harvest season is over and we have more time, landowners need to consider fall and winter management of lands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program or CRP. The next few months are an ideal time to begin scouting for weeds, trees, and shrubs that are beginning to sneak their way in. Although you may be required to burn or mow as part of your mid-contract management, these onetime practices alone often aren’t sufficient to remedy unwanted vegetation.

Wed
23
Dec

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
December 24 and 25: Office Closed in Observance of Christmas
January 1: Office Closed in Observance of New Year’s Day
March 15: 2021 ARCPLC Signup

Enrollment Begins for Agriculture 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. Enrollment for the 2021 crop year closes March 15, 2021.

Wed
23
Dec

Iowa land values show stability in turbulent year

Annual survey finds average overall value of Iowa farmland increased 1.7% per acre

Favorable interest rates, a strong demand for land and substantial government payments helped stabilize Iowa’s farmland market in a year in which Iowa’s farmers faced the destructive onslaught of a derecho, significant uncertainties in U.S. agricultural trade and a pandemic that significantly altered market demand.

“The land market faced downward pressure initially with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which lowered food demand and resulted in declines in livestock and ethanol prices,” said Wendong Zhang, assistant professor in economics and extension economist at Iowa State University.

This year’s Iowa Land Value Survey found that the average statewide value of an acre of farmland is $7,559, an increase of 1.7%, or $127, since 2019. The $7,559 per acre estimate, and 1.7% increase in value, represents a statewide average of low, medium and high-quality farmland.

Wed
16
Dec

What's Up at the USDA Office?


Figure 1 ...

Figure 2 ...

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
December 25: Office Closed in Observance of Christmas
March 15: 2021 ARCPLC Signup

Benefits of Cover Crop Growth Prior to Soybeans
by LuAnn Rolling, District Conservationist
According to a  study funded by the United Soybean Board (USB), winter cereal rye that grew an extra three weeks prior to soybean planting produced about 300-400% more biomass (Figure 1) with a 100% increase in nitrogen retention (Figure 2), when compared with early terminated cover crops.

Results from this study showed no difference in soybean yield following a cover crop killed 3 weeks prior to soybean planting compared to a cover crop that was killed one day before soybean planting.

Wed
16
Dec

Iowa State researchers find antibody response to vaccination helps predict swine reproductive success

Measuring antibody response to a commonly used vaccination against porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, or PRRSV, could better predict swine reproductive success than common genetic selection strategies, according to new research conducted at Iowa State University.

Reproductive performance is an important component of success for the swine industry - and genetic selection in purebred herds is the primary strategy the industry uses to improve litter size. However, reproductive traits are strongly influenced by the environment while genetics explain only about 10 percent of reproductive outcomes, creating challenges for rapid genetic improvements influencing litter size and survival.

Wed
09
Dec

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
December 11: CFAP 2 Signup; Dairy Margin Coverage Signup
December 25: Office Closed in Observance of Christmas
March 15: 2021 ARCPLC Signup

December 2020 FSFL Interest Rates
New rates were issued for the month of December and are as follows:
• 0.250% for 3 years
• 0.375% for 5 years
• 0.625% for 7 years
• 0.875% for 10 years
• 1.000% for 12 years

Wed
02
Dec

What's Up at the USDA Office?

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

Treat the Disease, Not the symptoms
by LuAnn Rolling, District Conservationist

We know that healthy soil is bursting with life, it is just that most of the life is at the microscopic level so we can’t readily see it. A single teaspoon of soil is estimated to include one billion microbes including bacteria, fungi, nematodes and more. All of these microbes serve a purpose in a very complex ecosystem that we cannot see.

We have heard some bad things about some of the microscopic life. The word “nematode” is considered bad. In truth the “bad” nematodes make up 5 percent of the nematodes and the rest are doing “good” things like eating bacteria and excreting plant available nitrogen because of it.

Wed
02
Dec

Welsh Family Organic Farm honored as Century Farm in 2020


Family pride ... The Welsh family of Welsh Family Organic Farms, rural Lansing. Left to right: Clinton, Brooke, Madelyn, Kelly, Clayton, Gabrielle, Easden, Emery, Ada, Oden, Kim, Gary and Esther. Submitted photo.

Early start ... This graphic was printed on a t-shirt the Welsh family had created for Bill Welsh. The Welsh family farm was certified organic in 1988. Submitted photo.

submitted by Welsh Family Organic Farm

Welsh Family Organic Farm of rural Lansing is a 2020 Farm Bureau Federation Century Farm honoree. To qualify for this award the farm has to be in the family for 100 years. The 200-acre farm was first purchased by Gary Welsh’s great grandparents, Fred and Mary Weber, in 1920 and later sold to their son, William Weber.
William (Bill) and Esther Welsh, Gary’s parents, purchased the farm August 15, 1963. The farm was then transferred March 16, 1994 to Welsh Properties, Inc., which was owned by William and Esther Welsh. July 22, 2005, Gary and Kim Welsh purchased Welsh Properties, Inc.

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