Agriculture

Wed
19
Aug

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
September 11: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Signup
September 30: PLC Yield Update
October 31: 2020 Organic Certification Cost Share Program Signup

Organic Certification Cost Share Program
Payment rates have been reduced for 2020 OCCSP.  All 2020 OCCSP payments, regardless of when an application is filed, will be 50 percent of the applicant’s eligible costs, up to a maximum of $500. Deadline to file a 2020 application is October 31, 2020.

Wed
19
Aug

Farmland leasing programs offered in multiple ways

Focus is on improving communication to benefit all parties involved

Iowa farmers entered 2020 with uncertainty regarding trade agreements with China and the uncertainty has escalated with the impacts of COVID-19.

In the midst of the turmoil, agricultural production continues and along with that, decisions regarding farmland rental arrangements. With ongoing concerns to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach farm management specialists will provide educational materials on farmland leasing in a variety of ways intended to reach individuals in the method most accessible.

Wed
19
Aug

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.

Each episode is about 15-20 minutes and is available on the ISU Extension and Outreach dairy team website, and producers can also subscribe to the free podcast on iTunes and Spotify. For more information, Jennifer Bentley can be reached at 563-382-2949, or jbentley@iastate.edu. Fred Hall can be reached at 712-737-4230, or fredhall@iastate.edu.

Wed
12
Aug

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
May 26 - August 28: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Signup
September 30: PLC Yield Update

Soil Organic Matter is Key to Soil Water Capacity
by LuAnn Rolling - NRCS District Conservationist

One benefit of increasing soil organic matter is to store more water in your soil because soil organic matter creates pores in a range of sizes. Exactly how much more water is stored due to soil organic matter will depend on soil texture.

Wed
12
Aug

Local farmer utilizes cover crops to prevent soil erosion and for additional forage benefits


Submitted photos.

Submitted by Eric Novey, Project Coordinator, Allamakee SWCD

A local farmer is breaking up his rotation, reducing erosion, and providing additional forage benefits for his cattle by planting cover crops.

Erik Helgerson, who farms near Lansing, tried a unique sequence of cover crops this year on 11 acres near his home. Helgerson has been no tilling for 8 years now. Last year he started to experiment with different cover crop species such as Japanese millet and turnips. He had experienced positive results so this year he decided to take it a step further.

Wed
12
Aug

COVID Ag Updates to be offered weekly through ISU Extension

The farming community is used to the stress that comes from the unpredictable and uncontrollable challenges that jeopardize their production and livelihood. Agricultural resilience is about equipping farmers with strategies and information that will enable them to absorb and recover from these stresses. Resilience is the ability to bounce back when things do not go as planned.

Wed
05
Aug

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
May 26 - August 28: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Signup
September 30: PLC Yield Update

Weather the Storm: FEMA Mobile App Provides Weather Alerts and Safety Tips
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently launched a free mobile app that will instruct the public on what to do before, during and after emergencies. The app is available for download for Apple, Android and Blackberry mobile devices.
Download the app to:

• Receive alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations
• Get safety reminders, read tips to survive natural disasters and customize your emergency checklist
• Locate open shelters and where to talk to FEMA in person (or on the phone)
• Upload and share your disaster photos to help first responders.

For more information about the FEMA app, visit fema.gov/mobile-app.

Wed
05
Aug

Farmland leasing and management webinars

Informational Online Workshops Offered Free to Iowans August 10 and August 14
 
Iowa farmers entered 2020 with uncertainty regarding trade agreements with China and the uncertainty has escalated with the impacts of COVID-19.  Farming continues – including decisions on farmland rental arrangements.

With ongoing efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will provide free webinars to reach individuals who prefer to avoid in-person gatherings.

The programs are offered to address questions from landowners, tenants or others with interest in leasing and managing farmland.

The free 90-minute webinars will be offered August 10 from 6-7:30 p.m.; and again August 14 from 9:30-11 a.m.  Pre-registration is required.

Landowners, producers and ag professionals in Allamakee County can pre-register for either webinar in several ways.

Wed
05
Aug

Drought webinars to continue

With most of western Iowa experiencing some form of drought, specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach are partnering with the United States Department of Agriculture and Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to offer a series of webinars on Thursdays.

With the first webinar July 30,  the group kicked off an initiative to help answer key questions regarding the development of drought in western Iowa, the expectation for continued hot and dry weather and impacts on row crops and forages. Attendees will be able to better manage livestock and drought-stressed forages, prepare for use of alternative forages, understand important crop insurance and marketing decisions, and plan for harvest of a drought-stressed crop.

Wed
29
Jul

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
September 30: PLC Yield Update

Consider Fall Cover Crops Now!
Submitted by LuAnn Rolling, District Conservationist

According to Dr. Jerry Hatfield, formerly with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Iowa, we’ve lost half of our topsoil. We’ve lost half of the carbon in the remaining soil leaving us with 25% of our original “filter”. We’ve also lost 50% of the inherent Nitrogen fertility in our soil. Due to climate change and loss of aggregation (soil structure) we are projected to lose the rest of our topsoil in 80 to 100 years.

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