Agriculture

Wed
09
Feb

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
Feb. 18: Dairy Margin Coverage Program
Feb. 25: Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program
Mar. 15: ARCPLC Program Deadline

Annual Forages for Grazing
by Jacob Hawes, Soil Conservationist

Wed
09
Feb

Soil Fertility Workshops to be held across Iowa

Maximize your fertilizer dollars

Farmers wishing to maximize the profits from their fertilizer dollars will want to attend one of 15 in-person workshops or a virtual workshop hosted by Iowa State University. The workshop series, called Soil Testing Interpretations and Recommendations: Maximizing Return on Investment, will be held in February and March. This series will address the profitable management of soil fertility in Iowa, as conditions continue to change with increased fertilizer input costs and a rising demand for nutrients from higher-yielding crops.

“These workshops will lead farmers through the basics of soil testing, analytical tests, calculating crop nutrient removal, understanding return on investment from fertilizer applications, how crop response correlates to soil test levels and what is known about crop response to micronutrients,” says Josh Michel, field agronomist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Wed
09
Feb

Farm Financial Planning Program helps producers analyze their numbers

Associates are available to help farmers study their numbers and plan ahead

As farmers begin to make financial projections for the new year, there are resources available from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach that can help. A popular choice is the Farm Financial Planning Program, which includes access to seven different farm financial associates, in addition to software and helpful publications and guides.

Nancy Brannaman, a financial associate from east central Iowa, said the program allows producers and the associate to take a broad look at what’s going on within an operation, where the operator would like to be in the future and what must be done for success.

Wed
02
Feb

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
Feb. 4: Organic and Transition Education Certification Program (FY20, FY21)
Feb. 18: Dairy Margin Coverage Program
Feb. 25: Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program
Mar. 15: ARCPLC Program Deadline

Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program
Are you a producer or handler of agricultural commodities that are certified organic? Or, are you transitioning your operation to certified organic? You may be eligible for financial assistance to cover expenses paid during the 2020, 2021, and 2022 fiscal years through USDA’s Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP). This new program is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.

Wed
02
Feb

Find answers for Farm Bill decisions in multiple ways

Variety of methods to access farm bill education in 2022

Crop farmers have until March 15 to make their annual election for Price Loss Coverage or Agriculture Risk Coverage (at the individual or county levels) under the 2018 Farm Bill.

This annual decision impacts the 2022 crop year, consistent with the 2018 Farm Bill. Similar annual decisions, for the 2023 crop year, will coincide with the final year of the bill.

In order to help Iowans understand their options for 2022, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is holding a variety of upcoming meetings, with support from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.

Wed
26
Jan

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
Feb. 4: Organic and Transition Education Certification Program (FY20, FY21)
Feb. 18: Dairy Margin Coverage Program
Feb. 25: Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program
Mar. 15: ARCPLC Program Deadline

Try Something New This Spring
by LuAnn Rolling, NRCS District Conservationist

As crop input prices continue to skyrocket and soil health continues to deteriorate, perhaps this spring is the time to consider making some changes to your operation.  While moving away from a traditional corn/soybean rotation can be daunting, it is one way to start your journey to improving soil health and reducing commercial inputs on your operation.

Indiana no-tiller Rick Clark presented the following rotations as ways to “shake up” what you have been doing at the 2019 National No-Tillage Conference.

Wed
26
Jan

Secretary Naig encourages Iowans to apply now for 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grants

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is now accepting applications for the 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. To qualify, the grants must be used to support projects that raise awareness about or drive demand for specialty crops grown in Iowa.

Eligible specialty crops include both fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.

Wed
26
Jan

Beginning Farmer Summit set for February 7

Practical Farmers of Iowa will host a Beginning Farmer Summit Monday, February 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center (7725 Kirkwood Boulevard SW) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The event is free, and is designed for both beginning farmers and experienced farmers and landowners looking to help the next generation get started and access land. Farmers from all enterprises are encouraged to attend.

Registration is required and open online until February 2. To register, visit practicalfarmers.org/beginning-farmer-summit. After February 2, please call the PFI office to register at (515) 232-5661.    

Beginning farmers face many barriers to getting started, from daunting land access challenges and high start-up costs to steep learning curves and lack of support to help them navigate these challenges.

Wed
19
Jan

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
February 4: Organic and Transition Education Certification Program (FY20, FY21)
February 18: Dairy Margin Coverage Program
February 25: Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program
March 15: ARCPLC Program Deadline

Conservation Reserve Contractors
With just over 17,000 acres in CRP throughout Allamakee County, contract holders are constantly looking for folks who can help complete establishment or maintenance activities. If you are someone who can help with these services (seeding, mowing, spraying, burning, pruning, etc.) please contact our office so we can get you added to our contractors list.

Wed
19
Jan

Farmers with visitors can manage risk with free online course

Learn what’s involved with bringing people onto your farm or enterprise

Bringing visitors onto the farm can be a great way to educate others about farm life, and it’s a critical part of the agritourism and agritainment industries.

However, there are important risk management considerations for those involved with on-farm visitors. In order to help educate farmers about the risks and how to prepare, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering a free, online training that covers the types of concerns these farmers might face.

The “Farmers with On-Site Visitors Course”, link at https://store.extension.iastate.edu/product/15787, takes six hours to complete and includes seven modules that can be completed individually or concurrently. The training is in partnership with North Central Extension Risk Management Education.

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