Agriculture

Wed
11
Jan

What's up at the FSA Office?

by Cindy Mensen, Acting Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

ATTENTION FARMERS - REMINDER:
January 16: Office Closed
February 20: Office Closed

Reconstitutions
A friendly reminder to all producers who experience ownership or operating changes, purchasing or acquiring new land,  or establishing a trust or legal entity are asked to notify the FSA office as soon as possible after the change has occurred. The sooner this information is shared with the FSA office, the sooner the office can process and update the changes and prevent issues that may arise later in the year.

Wed
11
Jan

Iowa State Extension and Outreach will hold Dairy Days in January and February

Iowa dairy producers have the opportunity to learn about emerging dairy industry issues at the 2017 Dairy Days hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialists. The program is scheduled at seven eastern Iowa locations between Jan. 16 and Feb. 2.

“The ISU Extension and Outreach Dairy Team conducts this workshop to provide the latest research to Iowa’s dairy producers,” said Jennifer Bentley, ISU Extension and Outreach dairy specialist. “Our goal is to help producers make sound herd management decisions that are backed by current and relevant information.”

“This day-long program offers producers an opportunity to hear up-to-date information. They can also talk with our speakers for answers to their specific situations,” said Bentley.

Wed
11
Jan

Free veterinary feed directive lecture to be offered at Iowa’s Dairy Center January 18

Iowa’s Dairy Center and Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) are offering a free Veterinary Feed Directive lecture Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 1 p.m.

Iowa’s Dairy Center is located immediately south of the NICC Calmar campus at 1527 Hwy. 150 S., and the lecture will be held in Room 115.

Gerry VandeVorde, a livestock compliance investigator for the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, will present information about the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) final rule, which went into effect Jan. 1, and is an important part of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) overall strategy to ensure the judicious use of medically important antimicrobials in food-producing animals.

Wed
11
Jan

Iowa Cattlemen’s Association to hold educational forums

Continual improvement is an important part of farm management, especially when profitability challenges arise.

That is why the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) is holding two free educational events for cow/calf producers in northeast Iowa in January. The speakers at this year’s Cow/Calf Forums will focus on herd health including strategic deworming and vaccinations. The events will also include a question and answer session with area veterinarians.

“Anytime you can improve the health of your cattle, you’re also going to improve your profits,” says Eric Smith, who serves on the ICA board of directors, representing Winneshiek, Allamakee, Fayette and Clayton counties. “We’re excited to host this event for the second year in a row, and hope that it brings a lot of value to our area cattle producers.”

Wed
04
Jan

What's up at the FSA Office?

Farm Stored Facility Loans (FSFL)
Looking ahead to crop year 2017 and producers needing any additional storage or handling equipment may be eligible to apply for the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Farm Stored Facility Loan (FSFL) program.  The FSFL program provides low interest financing to eligible producers to build, upgrade, or acquire eligible storage facilities or equipment for the eligible commodities they produce.

Producer eligibility requirements must be met in order to be eligible to apply:

• producing an eligible commodity such as but not limited to grain, hay, honey, milk, and fruits and vegetables
• Demonstrates the need for storage
• Satisfactory credit rating and ability to repay
• No delinquent federal debts
• Applicable insurance (crop, flood, automotive etc.)
• Compliance with farming conservation plan  

Wed
04
Jan

Reminders about winter manure application

submitted by Sara Berges, Allamakee SWCD

Winter application of manure is generally not recommended due to potential nutrient losses and water quality degradation.  However, if you do need to apply manure this winter because of limited available storage capacity, there are several things to consider when applying to frozen or snow-covered ground in order to minimize runoff.  Snow-covered is defined as soil having one inch or more of snow cover or one-half inch or more of ice cover. 

Wed
04
Jan

Counties must sign up soon to evaluate animal confinement sites

Counties interested in evaluating construction permits for proposed animal feeding facilities must adopt and submit a construction evaluation resolution to the DNR between Jan. 1 and 31.

About 87 counties pass a resolution each year, which allows them to review construction permit applications required for larger totally roofed animal feeding operations (confinements).

The Master Matrix development, submittal and approval process allows applicants and county supervisors to discuss options for site selection, facility type and management.

“County supervisors review the master matrix items selected by the applicant and determine if a passing score for the matrix has been achieved. The county then submits a recommendation to the DNR on the permit application,” said Gene Tinker, the DNR’s animal feeding operations coordinator.

Wed
04
Jan

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey reviews key issues that faced Iowa agriculture in 2016

Iowa Ag Secretary also notes economic challenges, progress on water quality, expanded renewable fuel retail options

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has highlighted some of the top ag issues in Iowa in 2016.

“Iowa farmers saw record production for both corn and soybeans again in 2016, however low prices are making profitability a real challenge on both the crop and livestock side.  Despite the economic challenges, farmers are by nature optimistic and we continue to see investments in the future and new and innovative technologies that will allow them to be even more productive while also reducing environmental impact,” Northey said.
 
Record Production, Economic Challenges
Much of Iowa had a nearly ideal growing season that saw Iowa farmers produce record corn and soybean crops again this year.

Wed
28
Dec

What's up at the FSA Office?

by Cindy Mensen, Acting Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

ATTENTION FARMERS - REMINDER:
January 2: Office Closed for New Year’s Holiday

2017 ARC-Co Program Sign-up
Sign-up for the 2017 farm program, Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC-CO) has begun.  Farmers who have a risk in what is planted on the farm are eligible to sign contracts for their commensurate share.  These shares should match what you present to crop insurance agents when buying coverage for your 2017 crops.

Farm Loan Programs
The Farm Service Agency has a microloan program to better serve the unique, financial operating needs of beginning, niche and small family farm operations.  This program is designed to help farmers with credit needs of $50,000 or less.  The loan features a streamlined application process built to fit the needs of new and smaller producers.

Wed
28
Dec

Update NRCS Conservation Plans for land coming out of CRP

by Sara Berges, Allamakee SWCD Project Coordinator

Anyone who owns land that has expiring CRP, it is suggested that they (or their renter) update their NRCS Conservation Plan. Keep in mind that the ground hasn’t been farmed for at least 10 years and the plan that was written before might be different from the intended tillage and rotation.

The Allamakee County Soil and Water Conservation District can check the soils and slopes to ensure that desired management will meet compliance requirements. It is also wise to get an updated map showing where waterways and headlands are encouraged. With the large rainfalls this area has been experiencing the last few years, areas left in grass have the potential to provide significant protection from concentrated flow and erosion.

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