Agriculture

Wed
15
Jul

Extension specialists to continue Essential Row Crop Management Series through the next two weeks of July

Topics will focus on pest management for late summer

Extension specialists from Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota are collaborating to provide another series of webinars for farmers, ag professionals, extension personnel and other interested parties Tuesdays and Thursdays for two weeks in July. The theme will be “Essential Row Crop Management for Summer 2020,” with a focus on pest management topics for late summer.

The webinars are free and open to all, thanks to sponsorship by the Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, and the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.

“Each webinar will be limited to 10-15 minutes with lots of time for questions and answers because we know peoples’ time is limited and want to be sure questions are addressed,” said Meaghan Anderson, field agronomist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Wed
15
Jul

Weed suppression with cover crops: It’s all about biomass


Figure 1. Influence on cover crop biomass on weed suppression. Webster et al. 2013. Crop Protection.

Figure 2. No rye cover crop. Submitted photo.

Figure 3. 900 lb/A rye biomass. Submitted photo.

Figure 4. 10,000 lb/A rye biomass. Submitted photo.

Figure 5. Waterhemp seedling that emerged in high biomass treatment. Hypotocotyl needed to elongate 1.25 inches to get through the rye mulch. Submitted photo.

by Dr. Bob Hartzler, professor of agronomy and extension weed specialist, Meaghan Anderson, field agronomist, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

One important benefit of cover crops to our production system is providing an alternative selection pressure on weed populations. Cereal rye has the best potential to suppress weeds because it accumulates more biomass than other cover crop species.  Weed suppression is closely related to the amount of biomass at the time of termination (Figure 1).

Tue
07
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
July 15: Crop Certification
September 30: PLC Yield Update

Allamakee USDA Service Center Now in Phase 2 of Re-opening
Starting June 24, the Allamakee USDA Service Center is in Phase 2 of the re-opening plan.  While our doors are still locked, we can allow two producers in at a time, after they are screened for COVID-related symptoms. We have protective shields in place and wipe down the counter frequently. Masks are also available. We can still meet with you over the phone and in the parking lot. We’ve placed a picnic table in the parking lot that allows us to work outside with you as well. 

Tue
07
Jul

Corn rootworm egg hatch getting a late start in Iowa


Photo 1. Severe root pruning by corn rootworm larvae can dramatically impact yield. Photo by Erin Hodgson, Iowa State University. Submitted photo.

by Dr. Erin Hodgson, professor, Ashley Dean, extension program specialist, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Corn rootworm egg hatch in Iowa occurs from late May to the middle of June, with an average peak hatching date of June 6 in central Iowa. In 2020, the expected hatching date will be behind the average due to cool spring temperatures. Development is driven by soil temperature and measured by growing degree days. Research suggests about 50% of egg hatch occurs between 684-767 accumulated degree days (base 52°F, soil). Most areas in Iowa will reach peak corn rootworm egg hatch in five to seven days.

Tue
07
Jul

Liquidity remains a concern on Iowa farms

Mixed results show some farms improved in 2019, while others saw a decline.

Despite a higher average income in 2019, Iowa’s mid- to large-size farms actually saw a considerable decrease in farm liquidity and working capital over the past year.

Data from the Iowa Farm Business Association, collected from 401 farms, shows net farm income in 2019 at an average of $77,946 per farm. But that number only tells part of the story, according to Alejandro Plastina, assistant professor and extension economist at Iowa State University.

“A higher average income in 2019 did not translate into an overall improvement in financial liquidity for Iowa farms,” Plastina said. “Not only was the share of farms with vulnerable liquidity larger in December 2019 compared to a year earlier, but their working capital needs were also higher.”

Wed
01
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
June 30: 2020 ARCPLC Election
July 15: Crop Certification
September 30: PLC Yield Update

Allamakee USDA Service Center Now in Phase 2 of Re-Opening
Starting June 24, the Allamakee USDA Service Center is in Phase 2 of the re-opening plan.  While our doors are still locked, we can allow two producers in at a time, after they are screened for COVID-related symptoms.  We have protective shields in place and wipe down the counter frequently.  Masks are also available. We can still meet with you over the phone and in the parking lot.  We’ve placed a picnic table in the parking lot that allows us to work outside with you as well. 

Wed
01
Jul

Project promotes interseeding for cover crop establishment


Interseeding cover crops ... Mark Stock, who farms near Waukon, is pictured above with an air seeder custom built to plant a four species mix into V5 corn. Stock intends to also use the seeder as part of a relay crop system where he plans to fall seed rye then plant soybeans between in the spring. Submitted photo.

Earlier this year the Allamakee County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $235,907.00, for a three-year project, that involves interseeding cover crops into V4-V7 Corn. The funding for this project came from the USDA Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program. Short planting windows after commodity crop harvest has some producers frustrated and looking at other methods of getting cover crops established. One option is interseeding cover crops into corn between the V4-V7 growth stages. Doing this allows cover crops to get established prior to corn canopy. After canopy the cover crop will go dormant from being shaded out and then restart growth once the corn is harvested. The overall goal of this project is to get more producers to try interseeding as an option for cover crop establishment.

Wed
01
Jul

Corn growers may need to scout for European corn borer

Entomologists with ISU Extension and Outreach offer resources to help farmers scout for ECB

Corn growers may need to be on the lookout for a common insect pest this year, especially if they’re no longer using a transgenic Bt seed that is resistant.

In 2019, about 15% of corn grown in Iowa and 17% grown in the United States did not contain a Bt trait, according to an article by Ashley Dean and Erin Hodgson, extension entomologists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Not using a Bt trait makes the crop susceptible to certain insects, especially European corn borer. The European corn borer, often referred to as ECB, is an invasive insect that feeds on almost the entire corn plant except the roots. European corn borer can result in significant yield reductions caused by poor ear development, broken stalks and dropped ears.

Wed
24
Jun

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
June 30: 2020 ARCPLC Election
July 15: Crop Certification
September 30: PLC Yield Update

Wed
24
Jun

Checking corn fields for damaging levels of nematodes


Figure 1. Collecting a soil core from corn to determine the presence and number of plant-parasitic nematodes. Submitted photo.

Figure 2. Young corn plant collected to determine the presence and number of plant-parasitic nematodes in the root tissue. Submitted photo.

by Dr. Greg Tylka, professor, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Iowa State University professor and nematologist Dr. Don Norton found nearly two dozen species of nematodes feeding on corn in Iowa in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. These microscopic worms usually are present in low numbers and do not affect yields. But the potential for plant-parasitic nematodes that feed on corn to cause yield reductions is real and warrants attention. The wide diversity of species have varied feeding habits, lengths of life cycles, soil preferences, and other attributes, but one aspect that is consistent for all of the nematodes is that yield loss on corn always is preceded by development of above-ground symptoms such as stunting or chlorotic foliage. This means that sampling to determine if damaging nematode population densities are present need only be done in areas of fields where corn plants are showing symptoms.

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