Agriculture

Wed
08
Mar

Cover Crop Workshop in West Union rescheduled for March 28

Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Consortium for Cultivating Human And Naturally reGenerative Enterprises (C-CHANGE), will host a cover crop workshop Tuesday, March 28 from 12-2 p.m. at the West Union Event Center. We welcome farmers and landowners to attend the free event, which includes a complimentary meal catered by the West Union Event Center.

Cover crops offer many benefits to farmers and landowners, including reduced soil erosion, weed suppression potential, reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, increased organic matter in the soil and forage potential for livestock. When paired with no-tillage or strip-tillage, additional benefits include increased water infiltration to further reduce erosion during heavy rain events. Workshop attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about these opportunities, ask questions, and share their experiences.

Wed
01
Mar

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
March 15: ARCPLC Sign-up

Farm Loan Presence in Allamakee County
The USDA/FSA Farm Loan team will have a Loan Officer in our office every Tuesday during normal business hours (8-4:30). If you would like to visit with the loan officer, please call or stop in.

Rolling Out Revenue Based Disaster, Pandemic Assistance Programs
Beginning January 23, 2023, agricultural producers can now apply for two new important programs for revenue losses, from 2020 and 2021 natural disasters or the COVID-19 pandemic. Both programs equitably fill gaps in earlier assistance.

First, you may be eligible for assistance through the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) Phase Two if you experienced revenue losses from eligible natural disasters in 2020 and 2021. ERP Phase Two is for producers who didn’t receive assistance from ERP Phase One.   

Wed
22
Feb

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Dates
March 15: ARCPLC Sign-up

Cover Crop Nitrogen Release During Corn Growing Season
According to researchers at the University of Nebraska, well managed cover crops offer nutrient cycling benefits. They say grass cover crop species such as cereal rye can scavenge nutrients such as nitrogen (N) from deeper soil layers, avoiding losses by leaching and releasing them as residues decompose. They add that legume cover crops, such as hairy vetch biologically fix atmospheric N in addition to releasing N during decomposition, which can help supply the N to the subsequent cash crop and cover crop mixtures can diversify agroecosystems and optimize the characteristics and functions of different species.

Wed
22
Feb

Iowa State University (ISU) Extension to host Buying and Selling Manure information workshops next week

Fertilizer prices have nearly doubled in the past two years, causing more Iowa farmers to consider the value of manure for maintaining high-yielding crops.

Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach will host two educational workshops for farmers and landowners who are considering buying or selling manure. These workshops are designed to provide timely topics for farmers looking to find agreeable ways of working together to utilize manure as a nutrient resource.

The first will be held Monday, February 27 at the ISU Extension and Outreach Grundy County office, located at 703 F Avenue, Suite 1, in Grundy Center. The second workshop will be held at the ISU Extension and Outreach Mitchell County office, located at 315 Main Street in Osage.

The workshops will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. each of their respective dates. There is no cost to attend; however, pre-registration is required.

Wed
15
Feb

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
March 15: ARCPLC Signup

Guide Available for Underserved Farmers, Ranchers
A multi-agency guide for USDA assistance for underserved farmers and ranchers is now available. If you are a farmer or rancher and are a minority, woman, veteran, beginning, or limited resource producer, you can use this booklet to learn about assistance and targeted opportunities available to you. This includes programs offered through the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Risk Management Agency. Download the guide here. The guide is also available in Spanish, Hmong, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese on farmers.gov/translations.

Wed
15
Feb

Crop producers need to act on Farm Bill decisions by March 15

Crop producers must make some important and timely decisions if they want to participate in the Farm Bill programs for 2023.

The deadline to make an election and enroll is March 15, according to Ann Johanns, education extension specialist and manager of the Ag Decision Maker with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

For program year 2023, producers have three options: Agriculture Risk Coverage-County (ARC-CO), Price Loss Coverage (PLC) or Agriculture Risk Coverage-Individual Coverage (ARC-IC). Even if producers have enrolled in the past and want to keep the same program, they still need to enroll this year, by March 15. Enrollment is an annual decision.

“To be eligible for payment, producers must complete the enrollment contract for each of their farms,” said Johanns. “Every situation is unique, so we need to make the best decisions for individual farm operations and take the opportunity to make changes if necessary.”

Wed
15
Feb

Register now for Soil Health Workshop at NICC in Calmar

Farmers and industry persons are invited to attend the 2nd Annual Soil Health Workshop in conjunction with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Thursday, February. 23, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Wilder Business Center on Northeast Iowa Community College’s (NICC) Calmar campus. The workshop will feature a variety of speakers focused on unlocking nutrients with soil health.

Jimmy Emmons of Leedey, OK is the first presenter with “Grazing Beyond the Yield.” An international leader in the soil health movement, Emmons served as the regional coordinator for USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation Program. He recently joined the Oklahoma Conservation Commission as its soil health mentoring coordinator.

Wed
08
Feb

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
March 15: ARCPLC Signup

submitted by Matthew Welsh, Resource Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA
It’s that time of the year again when our attention is focused on a particular Sunday in early February to see who will be crowned world champion in the Super Bowl. At the end of the game there is no doubt the winning team has reached the pinnacle of success and achieved its objectives through teamwork, having built a great foundation. Like a Super Bowl champion football team, a healthy functioning soil has the same superior foundation and teamwork aspects.

Wed
08
Feb

Cover Crop Workshop to be held February 22 in West Union

Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Consortium for Cultivating Human And Naturally reGenerative Enterprises (C-CHANGE), will host a cover crop workshop Wednesday, February 22 from 12-2 p.m. at the West Union Event Center.  We welcome farmers and landowners to attend the free event, which includes a complimentary meal catered by the West Union Event Center.

Cover crops offer many benefits to farmers and landowners, including reduced soil erosion, weed suppression potential, reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, increased organic matter in the soil and forage potential for livestock. When paired with no-tillage or strip-tillage, additional benefits include increased water infiltration to further reduce erosion during heavy rain events. Workshop attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about these opportunities, ask questions, and share their experiences.

Wed
08
Feb

USDA announces additional assistance for dairy farmers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the details of additional assistance for dairy producers, including a second round of payments through the Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program (PMVAP) and a new Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program (ODMAP). The update to PMVAP and the new ODMAP will enable USDA to better support small- and medium-sized dairy operations who weathered the pandemic and now face other challenges.

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