Agriculture

Wed
06
Apr

2022 Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year nominations now open

Winner receives use of new John Deere 6E utility tractor for one year

Nominations are now being sought to recognize the 2022 Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year.  Now in its 70th year, this prestigious honor has been awarded to celebrate conservation progress and Iowa farmers who are committed to exceptional environmental stewardship and conservation efforts.

The statewide and regional awards, co-sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF), honor Iowa farmers who have distinguished track records of commitment to soil conservation and water quality improvement efforts. The grand prize winner will receive the use of a new John Deere 6E utility tractor for one year.

Wed
06
Apr

Solving the complex puzzle of dissolved phosphorus loss from farmland is topic of research project from Iowa State University

A research project by Iowa State University soil scientists provides new insight into the complex picture of phosphorus loss from farmland and evidence proving phosphorus runoff is often underestimated.

One of the project’s primary objectives was to determine how much dissolved phosphorus (P) in surface runoff may not be accurately measured by common methods. The work was conducted over three years with funding from the Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State.

“Conventional views of P loss are that most of it is tightly bound to soil particles, so P is not a problem as long as erosion is controlled. Our study shows this is not necessarily the case,” said Antonio Mallarino, professor of agronomy and ISU Extension and Outreach soil fertility and nutrient management specialist. He led the project, working with Mazhar U. Haq, research specialist in agronomy, and former graduate student John D. Jones, Jr.

Wed
30
Mar

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
April 15: Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program
May 15 – August 1: Primary Nesting Season
July 15: Spring Crop Reporting

Wed
30
Mar

ISU Extension answers common questions about Avian Influenza

Biosecurity and producer awareness are top issues

Avian influenza continues to be confirmed across Iowa and the nation. Here are some common questions and answers from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to help inform consumers, bird owners and poultry producers.

Wed
23
Mar

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
Mar. 25: Dairy Margin Coverage Program

Manure and Soil Health
by LuAnn Rolling, NRCS District Conservationist
Ruth Blomquist, the Southwest Iowa Soil Health specialist for the NRCS, says she was recently asked  about manure application and soil health. The question was, “Are we doing more harm than good if manure is applied with a high disturbance method like injection or if it is surface applied with incorporation?”  She did some research and found that the answer isn’t a simple yes or no, and it depends on multiple factors.

Wed
23
Mar

Prevent avian influenza by promoting good biosecurity

In a recent episode of the Small Farm Sustainability Podcast, Yuko Sato, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach poultry veterinarian and associate professor in Iowa State’s College of Veterinary Medicine, discusses avian influenza and how good biosecurity practices can help prevent outbreaks in poultry.

Avian influenza, explains Sato, is a viral disease of poultry and other birds caused by type A influenza virus. There are two primary types of the virus, distinguished by their capacity to cause disease. The first, Low-Pathogenic Avian Influenza, results in mild respiratory symptoms. The second, and more concerning, is Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, which spreads rapidly through chicken and turkey populations and has a high fatality rate.

Wed
16
Mar

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
Mar. 25: Dairy Margin Coverage Program

Mid-Contract Management (MCM) on CRP Acres
Now that temperatures are starting to feel more like spring, please start thinking about your MCM, if you are scheduled for this year.  Those that are scheduled for this year would have received a packet from our office this past fall detailing what needs to be done.  You do have until May 14, 2022 to complete the work, but now is a good time to start lining up contractors if you haven’t already done so, buy seed if needed, and get equipment ready.  If you have technical questions, need a seeding plan, or contractor list please contact the NRCS office.  Any other questions can be directed to FSA. Once you complete your MCM, notify the FSA office, sign the FSA-848B form, and provide acceptable evidence (receipts, invoices, etc.) of practice completion to determine proper cost share payment.  

Wed
16
Mar

Iowa State University part of study exploring links between health of soils, plants and humans

Iowa State University is part of a new study funded by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) to explore possible links between soil health, the nutritional value of plants and human health.

The overall goal of the four-year, $1 million project is to investigate how management practices may alter nitrogen-related nutritional content of grains, such as protein, amino acids and B vitamins, and affect indicators of chemical, physical and biological soil health.  

Wed
09
Mar

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
Mar. 11: General CRP Signup
Mar. 15: ARCPLC Program Deadline
Mar. 25: Dairy Margin Coverage Program

Is Wasted Hay the Best Way to Build up Fertility?

by LuAnn Rolling, NRCS District Conservationist

We have all heard that unrolling hay and feeding it is a good way to build fertility in poor areas of pastures. While this may be good advice if hay is used efficiently, due to concentrating manure and urine, according to Jim Elizondo from Real Wealth Ranching, some producers have mistaken this for building a fertility program based on wasteful hay feeding.

Wed
09
Mar

Carbon storage and marketing highlighted at Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm near Nashua

Topics include carbon storage and sequestration

Carbon storage and marketing will highlight the discussion at the annual meeting of the Northeast Iowa Agricultural Experiment Association, to be held March 16 at the Borlaug Learning Center at Iowa State’s Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm near Nashua.

Speakers include Keith Schilling, state geologist and director, Iowa Geological Survey, University of Iowa, and Ann Johanns, education extension specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Schilling will discuss “Challenges and Opportunities of Carbon Storage and Sequestration in Midwest Landscapes,” followed by Johanns’ talk, “Carbon Market Options for Producers.”

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