Agriculture

Wed
09
Sep

COVID Ag Updates to be offered weekly through ISU Extension and Outreach

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.

COVID Recovery Iowa, in collaboration with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will be hosting COVID AG UPDATES: Focus on Resilience; a 60-minute weekly update with agricultural specialists, to be held Mondays from 7:30 – 8:30 PM. The first 15 – 20 minutes will be informational, with the remaining time spent on answering questions.

Wed
02
Sep

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

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)
The CFAP signup deadline has been extended through September 11, 2020. Additionally, all sheep are now eligible for payment. Only lambs and yearlings (sheep less than 2 years old) were previously eligible. If you have additional eligible sheep, please contact our office.

To ensure availability of funding, producers with approved applications initially received 80 percent of their payments. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) will automatically issue the remaining 20 percent of the calculated payment to eligible producers. Going forward, producers who apply for CFAP will receive 100 percent of their total payment, not to exceed the payment limit, when their applications are approved.

Wed
26
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

Food Quality
by LuAnn Rolling, District Conservationist
You’ve all heard the phrase, “You are what you eat”, but in truth you are what your food ate!  Basically our health is a reflection of the nutrients available to the plants and animals in the food chain, starting with healthy soil. Food quality is critically dependent on clean and healthy air, water, and soil; and healthy soil microbes.

Wed
26
Aug

Grant awarded to further research in livestock genetic improvements

A research group led by Jack Dekkers, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University, has received a grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to further genetic improvement of livestock by integrating biological models of growth that have been developed by animal nutritionists.

The $500,000, two-year grant for Dekkers and his team will support the project, “Integration of Biological Models in Genomic Evaluation: Pig-Growth-Model Whole Genome Prediction (PGM-WGP),”as part of a national USDA initiative for Research in Tools and Resources for Animal Breeding, Genetics and Genomics Research.

Wed
26
Aug

COVID Ag Updates to be offered weekly through ISU Extension and Outreach

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
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.

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