Agriculture

Wed
02
Jun

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
May 15-August 1: Primary Nesting Season
June 15: COC Election Ballots Mailed to Producers in LAA 3
July 15: Crop Certification

Cover Crops Promote Beneficial Insects
by LuAnn Rolling, District Conservationist

As we launch into the crop growing season producers are beginning to think about crop pests like insects. All good producers will use an integrated pest management system, IPM, that includes a variety of tactics to control pests. One control method that may go unnoticed is the introduction of cover crops.  

Wed
02
Jun

Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference goes virtual June 9-10

Learn the latest information in dairy nutrition and management by attending the virtual 2021 Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference June 9-10. The new format is designed to improve the participant experience.

June 9 and 10 will feature live morning sessions designed to promote interaction and discussion between participants and the speakers. All presentations will be pre-recorded and will be made available to participants for viewing before the conference and for 60 days after the conference.

Wed
02
Jun

Cover crops can offset risk and improve your bottom line

submitted by Eric Novey, Project Coordinator, Allamakee SWCD

Producing a profit over the past several growing seasons has been a challenge for most farmers. According to Iowa State University’s Department of Economics, “The financial situation of farm proprietors has been erratic over the past decade yielding both historic highs and historic lows. Volatility has been the most striking feature of Iowa agricultural sector performance.” The recent climb in commodity prices has been a welcome sight. However, producers should still seek to protect themselves from market volatility by finding innovative practices that add to their bottom line. Cover crops might be the answer.

Some benefits of cover crops include erosion control, weed suppression, improved soil structure, increased water infiltration, and nutrient capture from leaching. Many producers are aware of the benefits however, the added cost is still enough to deter many producers.

Wed
26
May

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
May 15-August 1: Primary Nesting Season
May 31: Office closed in observance of Memorial Day
June 15: COC Election Ballots Mailed to Producers in LAA 3
July 15: Crop Certification

Wed
26
May

New research predicts benefits to monarchs from habitat planted near crop fields

New research on monarchs by Iowa State University scientists offers important insights to those trying to boost populations by planting habitat close to corn and soybean fields.

The research indicates maximum increases in Iowa monarch populations are expected if habitat is established near crop fields, assuming that Integrated Pest Management recommendations are used and insecticide spray drift management practices are followed.

The research helps answer important questions related to the long-term sustainability of North America’s eastern monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), which is under consideration for listing as a threatened or endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Wed
19
May

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
May 15-August 1: Primary Nesting Season
July 15: Crop Certification

Soil Health during Drought
by Jacob Hawes, Soil Conservationist
In the last several weeks, many farmers have expressed a concern over the lack of precipitation received this spring and the looming potential for a drought heading into summer. Although drought is experienced by all farmers, those who no-till will have a big advantage. At the surface level residue from the previous year provides a layer of protection that prevents evaporation by shielding the ground from the sun and wind.  There is much more going on below the surface in no-tilled fields where the soils are able to better tolerate dry conditions and maintain moisture.

Wed
19
May

“Producing and Marketing in Today’s Era” Feedlot Forum 2021 registration is open

Issues critical to beef feedlot producers to be discussed at late June event

The Feedlot Forum 2021 will be held Tuesday, June 29 at the Terrace View Event Center in Sioux Center. Built grassroots up, the event focuses on issues critical to beef feedlot producers and cutting-edge technology available from agribusiness professionals.

This year’s theme is “Producing and Marketing in Today’s Era,” and the forum features the following nationally recognized speakers and their topics, including speakers from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach:

Wed
19
May

Century and Heritage Farm Applications due June 1

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig reminds eligible farm owners to apply for the 2021 Century and Heritage Farm Program now. The program was created by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation to recognize families who have owned their farms for 100 years and 150 years, respectively. To be included in the 2021 Century or Heritage Farm Program, completed applications must be received by June 1, 2021.

Wed
12
May

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
May 15-August 1: Primary Nesting Season
July 15: Crop Certification

Wed
12
May

Virtual Crop Scouting School now available

The 2021 Virtual Crop Scout School is now available and is free to the general public. The scout school consists of 22 webinars from crop protection specialists at 11 Midwest universities and is offered through the Crop Protection Network.

Crop scouts, farmers and other users can choose from a variety of diverse subjects to help them become more knowledgeable on crop scouting. Topics are split into digestible bits so crop scouts can interact with subject matter in a way that best suits their time and interest. Specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will present.

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