Agriculture

Wed
18
Dec

Women landowners improve knowledge at Agronomy in the Field

Extension program helps educate women landowners on current agronomic issues

Women landowners, farmers and ag retailers will have the opportunity to meet again this fall and winter to learn more about agronomy and related agricultural topics through distance-learning sessions of Agronomy in the Field.

This is the fifth year Agronomy in the Field for Women has been offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach at several locations across Iowa. The goals of Agronomy in the Field are to strengthen agronomic skills for women that allow for better decision-making, provide a better understanding of inputs for crop production, see and understand different conservation practices and increase confidence in communication with a spouse, farming partner, ag retailer or tenant. 

Wed
11
Dec

What's Up at the FSA Office?

by Jeremy Leitz, Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
December 11: ARC/PLC Decision Meeting at 1 p.m.
December 13: Dairy Margin Coverage Program for 2020
December 25: Closed for Christmas Holiday

Dairy Margin Coverage Program (DMC)
The sign-up deadline for 2020 coverage is this Friday, Dec. 13, 2019.  Every operation that will participate in 2020 needs to stop in and sign a new application that certifies you are still marketing milk, including those producers who locked in for 5 years (even though you can’t change your coverage levels). 

Wed
11
Dec

Corn residue breakdown as affected by tillage and nitrogen application


Figure 1 ... Rate of CO2-C released as an indicator of residue breakdown/decomposition from control (bare soil) and Bt and non-Bt corn residue mixed into the soil or un-mixed with soil (left on soil surface). Asterisk represents CO2-C released rates from treatments that were significantly different from control for the corresponding days at the 0.05 probability level using the least significant difference.

by Mahdi Al-Kaisi, professor of soil management/environment, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Crop residue serves an important role in physically protecting soil from erosion during rain events or high winds, as well as enhancing the soil biological activity by providing sources of organic carbon and nitrogen for its energy needs. In order to understand how residue decomposes, we need to understand how the degradation processes are influenced by environmental and soil conditions; namely, air and soil temperatures, soil moisture availability, soil pH, oxygen, and type of microbial community. The composition of crop residue includes lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose, and macro and micronutrients. Certain biological and enzymatic processes, controlled by a wide range of microorganisms and influenced by other factors, must occur in order to release most of these organic forms.

Wed
04
Dec

What's Up at the FSA Office?

by Jeremy Leitz, Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
December 6: Market Facilitation Program
December 11: ARC/PLC Decision Meeting
December 13: Dairy Margin Coverage Program for 2020

We Have Moved!
We have now moved into our new building located at 770 11th Ave SW, across from Fareway. We’re still getting settled in but are open normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We do plan to host an open house once our new furniture arrives, hopefully later this month.  Our phone number (563-568-2148) has remained the same.  Stop in and say hi.

Wed
04
Dec

Iowa study offers new insights on honey bee health in ag landscapes

Honey bees are facing tough times. Colonies of these pollinators are being lost at an unprecedented rate, and some are blaming farming practices, in particular, the intensive corn and soybean production systems in the Midwest. New research by Iowa State University and University of Illinois scientists offers a more nuanced view of the role of agriculture in honey bee health than what has been previously known.

Scientists placed honey bee hives next to soybean fields in Iowa and tracked how the bee colonies fared over two growing seasons. The bees did well for much of the summer, they found. The colonies thrived and gained weight, building up their honey stores.

But in August, the trend reversed. By mid-October, most of the honey was gone, the team discovered, and the bees themselves were malnourished.

Wed
04
Dec

Dairy Goat Management program to be held December 14

The Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach Dairy Team will host “Fine-Tuning Your Dairy Goat Management” as a part of their annual Dairy Directions program Saturday, December 14 at the Keystone Area Education Agency (AEA) in Elkader.

The program will focus on managing forages, utilizing health strategies, improving colostrum management, implementing business practices and dealing with the challenges of managing dairy goats. All dairy goat producers are welcome.

“We have over 250 licensed dairies producing goat milk in Iowa,” said Jennifer Bentley, Northeast Iowa Dairy Specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “The high level of interest by producers in improving production and quality prompted this program.”

Wed
27
Nov

What's Up at the FSA Office?

by Jeremy Leitz, Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
December 2: County Committee Election Ballots Due
December 6: Market Facilitation Program
December 11: ARC/PLC Decision Meeting
December 13: Dairy Margin Coverage Program for 2020

Wed
27
Nov

Considerations for continuous corn

by Dr. Mark Licht, Assistant Professor and Extension Cropping Systems Specialist, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Continuous corn is a “three strikes and you’re out” situation. And the first strike is automatic - high residue volume. This is how a farmer recently described it to me.

Making continuous corn work means knowing what you are up against. First, realize that the yield drag for continuous corn can range from 0% to 30% but is typically between 5% and 15%. Yield drag has been associated with cooler and wetter soils, nitrogen (N) immobilization, increased disease risk, and allelopathy - all of which are influenced by corn residue volume.

Tips to avoid strikes 2 and 3 with continuous corn:

Wed
27
Nov

Field days in 2019 reflective of difficult growing season

Faced with the same issues as farmers, researchers turned challenges into opportunities

A wet growing season caused challenges for farms across the state in 2019, including at Iowa State University’s Research and Demonstration Farms.

Faced with the same issues as farmers, most of the 13 research farms decided to include weather-related topics for their field days, including delayed and prevented planting, weed and nutrient management, cover crops and harvest considerations.

Despite the challenging year, field day attendance topped 15,300, on par with previous years.

“This past year was very wet, so the topics, to some degree, had to do with the weather,” said Mark Honeyman, associate dean for operations at Iowa State University. Many of the research farms experienced delayed planting, but by August and early September the state saw an extensive dry period, followed by the return of heavy rain in late September.

Wed
20
Nov

What's Up at the FSA Office?

by Jeremy Leitz, Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
December 2: County Committee Election Ballots Due
December 6: Market Facilitation Program
December 11: ARC/PLC Decision Meeting
December 13: Dairy Margin Coverage Program for 2020

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