Agriculture

Wed
05
Aug

Producers reminded to file sodbust plans before breaking new ground

Producers bringing land into production that has not been previously cropped need to complete a sodbust plan at the Farm Service Agency (FSA) before doing any ground-breaking activity.  Producers should also check with FSA before removing any trees or shrubs from fence lines to ensure that those areas are considered part of existing fields or a sodbust form will need to be filled out. Failure to complete a sodbust plan could jeopardize farm program payments. Producers will also need to revise their NRCS conservation plan to ensure that the planned tillage and rotation will meet the soil loss requirements.  
The Allamakee County District Commissioners have decided that they will not approve sodbust plans for the following reasons:
• If sodbust paperwork is not filed at the FSA office before breaking ground;
• If the ground has a class 6 or higher;
• If the ground is predominantly an E slope or greater;

Wed
05
Aug

Father-son duo invests in conservation


The Lamborns (pictured above, Larry, left, Mark, right, and Brock) stand on their farm near Luana in Allamakee County. The Lamborns keep busy milking cows and farming 1,000 cropland acres.

by Jason Johnson, Public Affairs Specialist, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service

Wed
29
Jul

Deadline to terminate farm leases is Sept. 1

submitted by Sara Berges, Allamakee SWCD

Now is a good time to think about your farm lease for next year.  According to Iowa law, if you want to terminate your rental agreement or make changes in your current lease terms, you must properly serve a notice of termination by September 1. This applies to both cash and crop-share leases, but not custom farming contracts.
 
In 2013, the Iowa Legislature made a change in state law regarding lease termination. The previous law exempted termination notice for parcels under 40 acres.  Now, a written notice of termination is required on all tracts of rented farmland, regardless of size. Farm leases automatically continue as written from year to year unless either party gives a notice of termination. Even an oral lease is automatically renewed if it is not properly terminated.

Wed
29
Jul

What's up at the FSA Office?

by Joyce Davidshofer, Allamakee County Executive Director

Reminders
June 15-Aug. 3: Nominations for COC elections.
June 15 - September 30: ARC/PLC sign-up period for 2014/2015 program.
July 1 - September 30: 2016 MPP (Dairy) Program sign-up.
August 1: Last day to request reconstitution for 2015.

Wed
22
Jul

What's up at the FSA Office?

The next Allamakee County Committee meeting will be Tuesday, July 28, at 9 a.m. in the Allamakee County FSA conference room.

Reminders
June 15 - August 3: Nominations can be received for the COC elections.
June 15 - September 30: ARC/PLC sign-up for 2014/2015 program.
July 1- September 30: 2016 MPP (Dairy) Program sign-up period.
August 1: Last day to request a reconstitution for 2015.

Wed
15
Jul

Protect Iowa’s habitat - observe mowing restrictions in highway right of ways

On many stretches of state highway, the Iowa Department of Transportation allows land owners and others to harvest hay out of the roadside by permit. The permitting process begins in the spring, but mowing for hay is not allowed until July 15 by Iowa law, with some exceptions. The Iowa DOT requires a permit for several reasons, one of which is the protection of habitat.
“By delaying haying until July 15, we lose a little on hay quality, but gain much benefit for wildlife,” said Joy Williams, an Iowa DOT agronomist. “Roadsides are important corridors of habitat for many species. Leaving the roadside undisturbed during early summer not only benefits nesting wildlife, but also leaves cover and flowers for bees and other pollinators, including the Monarch butterfly, whose populations are declining.”

Wed
15
Jul

What's up at the FSA Office?

by Joyce Davidshofer, Allamakee County Executive Director

Reminders
June 15 - August 3: Nominations can be received for the COC elections.
June 15 - September 30: ARC/PLC sign-up for 2014/2015 program.
July 1 - September 30: MPP (Dairy) Progam sign-up
July 15: Deadline to certify all crops and CRP acres for FSA purposes.
August 1: Last day to request a reconstitution for 2015.

Wed
08
Jul

Conservation funding available for targeted Iowa watersheds

Private landowners in nine Iowa watersheds that cover portions of 19 counties have until July 17 to sign up for conservation practices to help reduce nutrient loading in focus watersheds across the state.
Through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering higher than normal payment rates on conservation practices such as cover crops, grassed waterways, nutrient management, and terraces.
“There are more than a dozen conservation practices available for adoption through this sign-up,” said Paul Goldsmith, who coordinates RCPP for NRCS in Iowa. “We are offering higher payment rates through RCPP than we do for most of our other programs.”
The nine selected watersheds currently have water quality improvement projects. Goldsmith said the assistance through RCPP will help build momentum toward completing those efforts. Private landowners in the following watersheds are eligible:

Wed
08
Jul

What's up at the FSA Office?

by Joyce Davidshofer, Allamakee County Executive Director

Reminders
June 15 - August 3: Nomination period for the COC elections.
June 15 - September 30: ARC/PLC sign-up for 2014/2015 program deadline.
July 1 -  September 30: 2015 2016 MPP (Dairy) Program.
July 15: Deadline to certify all crops and CRP acres for FSA purposes.
August 1: Last day to request a reconstitution for 2015.

2015 Crop Certification
Currently the county office is certifying crops. The deadline to certify is July 15. After July 15, it will cost $46 per farm to late file certifications. CRP, ARC/PLC and other programs require crop certification before any payments will be issued in the programs. For more information, call the FSA Office at 563568-2148.

Wed
01
Jul

Iowa Legislature approves $9.6 million for Water Quality Initiative

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recently highlighted the Iowa Legislature’s continued commitment to partnering with farmers to make significant long-term progress in protecting Iowa’s soil and water resources. The Legislature approved $9.6 million to support the Iowa Water Quality Initiative in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1. The legislation now goes to Governor Branstad and must be signed before going into effect.
“Farmers have greatly increased their financial commitment to improving water quality in recent years and I appreciate our state’s leaders doing the same. Iowa is a model nationally for the progress that can be made on this important issue. These funds will allow us to continue to expand our water quality efforts and engage more Iowans,” Northey said.

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