Agriculture

Wed
23
Nov

What's up at the FSA Office?

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

ATTENTION FARMERS - REMINDER:

November 24: Office closed due to Thanksgiving
December 1: Deadline: NAP application for Honey
December 5: Deadline: County Committee ballots returned to the Allamakee County FSA office
December 12: Deadline: ECP application sign up
December 15: Deadline: Acreage intended to be used for forage and pasture in 2017 needs to be reported to FSA
December 16: Deadline: 2017 MPP coverage election decision

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) Application Deadline Approaching for Honey Producers

Wed
16
Nov

What's up at the FSA Office?

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

ATTENTION FARMERS - REMINDER:

November 21: Deadline: NAP for Apples, Aronina Berries, and Grapes
November 24: Office closed due to Thanksgiving
December 1: Deadline: NAP for Honey
December 12: Deadline: ECP application sign up
December 15:    Deadline: Acreage intended to be used for forage and pasture in 2017 needs to be reported to FSA
December 16: Deadline: 2017 MPP decision

Wed
16
Nov

Practical Farmers of Iowa announces 2016 fall farminar series

No matter the farm enterprise, wintertime allows farmers a chance to reflect on the previous year and consider adjustments to improve their operation the following year. In order to support farmers’ efforts to continually improve, Practical Farmers of Iowa offers a free webinar series – called “farminars” – featuring practical knowledge on a range of topics for row crop, livestock and fruit and vegetable producers.

Beginning on Nov. 15 and continuing every Tuesday through Dec. 20, each farminar focuses on a unique production or business management topic. All presentations are led by an experienced farmer or subject-matter expert, and attendees are able to ask questions in real time using a chatbox while they listen and watch a slideshow. Farminars start at 7 p.m. CST on Tuesday evenings and last 90 minutes.

Wed
16
Nov

Shifting focus from crop yield to return on investment

by Sara Berges
Allamakee SWCD

Commodity prices are expected to remain fairly stable for the next few years.  These lower prices are forcing farmers to focus more on input costs and return on investment (ROI) rather than just yields and revenue. The ROI shows a ratio of money gained or lost on an investment relative to the cost of the investment. Another way to look at it is how to get the biggest bang for the buck when looking at input costs (chemicals, seed, fertilizer, equipment, etc.) and expected yields and profits.

Wed
09
Nov

What's up at the FSA Office?

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

ATTENTION FARMERS - REMINDER:

December 12: ECP sign up deadline.
December 15: Acreage intended to be used for forage and pasture in 2017 needs to be reported to FSA.
December 16: New deadline for the 2017 MPP decision.

Farm Storage Facility Loans
Farm Storage Facility Loans are now available for both new and used equipment, so if you are planning a big upgrade to your storage equipment or are considering adding any new equipment, stop in the office and inquire about the low interest loans that are available.

Wed
09
Nov

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 11/9/16


Denise Schwab ...

Denise Schwab
Extension Beef Specialist
dschwab@iastate.edu

PIT GASES POSE A DANGER IN BEEF BARNS
We have heard several reports of cattle deaths while pumping pits, but fortunately no human deaths. The following information comes from Dan Anderson and Jay Harmon from Iowa State University's Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. They discuss the dangers of gases that can be released when agitating and pumping liquid manure.

Hydrogen sulfide gas is a serious issue both in and around barns with liquid manure storage. The decomposition of organic matter in manure results in the release of several gases: ammonia, carbon dioxide, methane and hydrogen sulfide among them. Most of the time these gases are emitted at low levels, but any time manure is being agitated or pumped, or the surface is disturbed, hydrogen sulfide can be rapidly released.

Wed
09
Nov

Ag in the Classroom free workshop being offered January 20 at NICC

An Ag in The Classroom workshop is being scheduled for agriculture friends in northeast Iowa who respect farmers, love agriculture, enjoy being with kids and have some free time to work with children in the classroom. The Ag in The Classroom volunteer workshop is scheduled for January 20 at the Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) Dairy Center in Calmar.

Howard County Farm Bureau and Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation have partnered with the NICC Dairy Center in Calmar to host this Agriculture in the Classroom County Contacts Workshop. There will be a 9 a.m. optional tour of NICC Robotic Dairy Operation and the new Beef Learning Facilities. The workshop will begin at 10 a.m. and last until 2 p.m.  at the Northeast Iowa Community College Dairy Center located at 1527 Iowa 150 in Calmar.

Wed
02
Nov

What's up at the FSA Office?

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

ATTENTION FARMERS - REMINDER:
December 12: ECP sign up deadline.
December 15: Acreage intended to be used for forage and pasture in 2017 needs to be reported to FSA.
December 16: New deadline for the 2017 MPP decision.

Wed
02
Nov

Mitigating greenhouse gases through conservation cropping and grazing systems

by Sara Berges, Allamakee County Soil and Water Conservation District

With all the talk in the media about greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change, we may be missing discussions about the huge potential soils have for sequestering greenhouse gases.  Soil holds three times the amount of carbon dioxide currently in the atmosphere.  By increasing soil organic carbon, we can work to offset some of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by our dependence on fossil fuels as well as improve the ability of our soils to handle rainfall extremes.

Soils are natural carbon sinks but need to be managed to function as such.  A recent editorial in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation gives two recommendations for improving the soils ability to sequester greenhouse gases; keeping the soil covered year-round and having livestock out on the land. 

Wed
02
Nov

High yields, low grain prices: Manage phosphorus and potassium wisely


Figure 1. Net returns to P or K fertilization for different soil-test levels (Bray-1 P and moist ammonium-acetate K) in many Iowa soils for shown prices (interpretation categories Very Low to Very High are indicated).

Figure 2. Relationship between cumulative P and K removal with grain harvest and soil-test values over time for plots not fertilized with P or K (Bray-1 for P and ammonium-acetate for K from dried soil samples).

Figure 3. No-till corn grain yield response to P or K fertilizer broadcast or banded with the planter in five Iowa fields with varying soil types and soil-test values.

by Antonio Mallarino, Professor of Soil Fertility & Nutrient Management, Extension Specialist

Bumper grain yields are being harvested from most Iowa fields this fall. However, due to low crop prices producers are thinking of reducing phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) fertilizer application rates. A few important management options should be considered when making decisions with unfavorable crop/fertilizer price ratios.

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