Agriculture

Wed
07
Apr

ISU Extension Dairy Technology Field Day to be held April 14

Two dairy farms will be featured for tours in northeast Iowa

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach dairy team is hosting a field day focused on dairy technology on the farm. The April 14 field day will feature two farm visits where attendees can see automated feeding and milking system technology in action and learn about calf barn management, ventilation and feeding calves with a milk taxi.

The first farm visit will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Honey Creek Dairy, 1636 400th St., Strawberry Point, Iowa. Honey Creek Dairy recently installed a Lely Vector automated feeding system as well as three Lely Astronaut automated milking units. Co-owner Dan Venteicher will be on hand to explain how the automated feeding system works and answer questions about the new facilities and equipment.

Wed
31
Mar

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
April 9: Quality Loss Adjustment Program
May 15: August 1: Primary Nesting Season
July 15: Crop Certification

USDA Offers Disaster Assistance for Producers Facing Inclement Weather
Most of the nation is facing unusually cold weather, as a winter storm moved coast-to-coast over the weekend. Winter storms create significant challenges and often result in catastrophic loss for agricultural producers, especially for those raising livestock, row crops and vulnerable crops like citrus. Despite every attempt to mitigate risk, your operation may suffer losses. USDA offers several programs to help with recovery.

Wed
31
Mar

Custom Rate Survey shows costs for Iowa farming

New data shows what Iowans charge and pay for custom farming

Many Iowa farmers continue to hire at least some of their fieldwork and livestock work to be done by others, and new data from a popular survey provides ranges and averages of what is being paid.

The “2021 Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey,” conducted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, covers the amounts charged and paid for common crop and livestock services. Tillage, planting, harvesting, manure hauling and livestock transportation are all included, along with dozens of other tasks and data points.

Wed
24
Mar

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
April 9: Quality Loss Adjustment Program
May 15: August 1: Primary Nesting Season
July 15: Crop Certification

Small Grains and Planting into Green Covers Can be the Answer
by LuAnn Rolling, District Conservationist
I believe that every farmer I work with wants to be profitable, take care of the soil, water and wildlife and make sure their children and grandchildren can keep farming in the future. How do farmers find profitability with the many different kinds of uncertainty right now, none of which we can control?  

Wed
24
Mar

Achieves 300 bushels per acre adding to history of improving yields and family ties ...

George Beardmore of Dorchester was recently honored for his third-place finish in the 2020 National Corn Grower Association Yield Contest for Iowa with a yield of 300.39 bushels per acre using Pioneer 1366AM. The photo above represents a 68-year history of yield improvement from that same field where this year’s yield award was won and an even longer history of family ties to the same farm.

Wed
24
Mar

Aerial drone cover crop planting


Successful aerial drone seeding ... The photo above was taken March 11, 2021 and shows excellent germination as a result of aerial seeding. Submitted photo.

Harpers Ferry farmer Jon Kruse utilized a unique method of planting cover crops this past fall - a drone. September 16, Kruse hired a private contractor, to fly a drone over standing soybeans to seed red clover as a cover crop.

Aerial cover crop application is growing in popularity across Iowa because of the upsides. A big advantage of aerial seeding is that more acres can be seeded in less time than with ground equipment. Aerial application also allows seeding to be done when it is physically impossible to use ground equipment such as when crops are present, or the soil is too wet for regular equipment.

Wed
17
Mar

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
April 9: Quality Loss Adjustment Program
May 15: August 1: Primary Nesting Season
July 15: Crop Certification

Wed
17
Mar

Volunteer corn and weed resistance highlight the 2021 Herbicide Guide for Corn and Soybeans

Timely guide helps growers plan weed management strategies

Following a year that included both drought and derecho, Iowa’s crop producers may face some unique challenges in 2021 related to weed management.

The recently updated 2021 Herbicide Guide for Iowa Corn and Soybean Production, published by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, offers some timely information and guidance.

The guide is updated every year, but this year’s version gives special attention to the issue of volunteer corn, which could be more severe in 2021 following the germination of storm-damaged corn from last year’s derecho.

Millions of acres of mature corn across Iowa were flattened or badly damaged, and the potential for volunteer seed germination remains high.

Wed
17
Mar

Fly control strategies the topic of upcoming dairy webinar

Learn about fly control strategies for dairy cattle

The I-29 Moo University 2021 Dairy Webinar Series continues Friday, March 26 from Noon to 1 p.m. This month’s topic is fly control strategies.

Roger Moon, retired veterinary entomology expert from the University of Minnesota, will identify common pest flies and how to manage them on confinement dairies.

“Different kinds of flies can bother your cows, workers and neighbors,” said Fred Hall, dairy specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “Stable flies bite, cause cows to bunch, reduce milk production, breed mainly in soiled cow and calf bedding, and pretty much stay on the premise. House flies breed in wetter manure, annoy people and spread off premise to bother neighbors.”

Wed
10
Mar

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
March 15: 2021 ARCPLC Signup
May 15 – August 1: Primary Nesting Season
July 15: Crop Certification

Better Soil Health Means Less Fertilizer
by LuAnn Rolling, Allamakee County District Conservationist
One-third of the fertilizer applied to grow corn in the U.S. each year simply compensates for the ongoing loss of soil fertility, leading to more than a half-billion dollars in extra costs to U.S. farmers every year, according to new research from CU Boulder published in Earth’s Future.

Using fertilizer doesn’t just cost farmers money. It also comes at an environmental cost. A large portion of the global greenhouse gas emissions caused by agriculture - 24% of global emissions in 2010 and 10% of U.S. emissions in 2018 - comes from fertilizer production. This means that steps taken to reduce fertilizer use also helps address rising greenhouse gases.

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