Agriculture

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.

Wed
26
Oct

What's up at the FSA Office?

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

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

Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) - Official Application Period Announced
Due to the recent flooding in Allamakee County, farms suffering severe damage may be eligible for assistance under the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) administered by the Allamakee County Farm Service Agency (FSA) if the damage:

Thu
20
Oct

What's up at the FSA Office?

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

ATTENTION FARMERS - REMINDER:
Nov. 15: Acreage intended to be used for forage and pasture in 2017 needs to be reported to FSA
Dec. 16: New deadline for the 2017 MPP decision
Nov 15: Acreage intended to be used for forage and pasture in 2017 needs to be reported to FSA
Dec 16: New deadline for the 2017 MPP decision

Price Support
As you harvest your grain and are looking for some additional income this fall, consider putting your grain up as collateral for a Marketing Assistance Loan (MAL) at the FSA office.  Loans disbursed during the month of October are at an interest rate of 1.625%.  Grain must be harvested and stored in a safe farm-stored structure or in a warehouse to be eligible for loan. Loan rates for Allamakee County are:

Thu
20
Oct

Suggestions for managing flooded fields for next year’s crop

submitted by Sara Berges
Allamakee SWCD

One big question many farmers have as a result of the recent flooding is how to mitigate damage to crop fields and their soils. The floods likely left behind debris, scour holes, and sand deposits. If the crop was under water, it will likely need to be destroyed using a brush hog, tillage or other approved method. Contact a crop insurance provider with questions.

If fields were under water for a while, much of the beneficial soil biology may have been destroyed. One way to improve soil health would be to plant a cover crop. It is too late in the year to plant a winter-kill species, like oats, and have enough growth to provide much benefit. Instead, a winter-hardy species like cereal rye or winter wheat would help to develop soil structure through their fibrous root systems. They will also help to protect the soils from spring rains.

Thu
20
Oct

Tips for managing and minimizing post-harvest field ruts in fields

More often than not, harvest will yield field ruts in addition to grain, especially after Iowa’s record-setting September rains. Before managing these ruts with tillage, farmers should consider several factors, said State Agronomist Barb Stewart of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Des Moines.

Before performing any tillage, first double check if this operation would still meet highly erodible land conservation compliance requirements. “When in doubt, please visit your local NRCS office,” said Stewart.

Second, wait as long as possible to start tillage operations, so the soil can dry out as much as possible. Perform tillage operations when the soil at or just above the tillage operating depth is dry enough to prevent soil smearing and compaction. Iowa State University Agricultural Engineer Mark Hanna recommends the following for assessing soil moisture conditions:

Wed
12
Oct

What's up at the FSA Office?

by Cindy Mensen, Acting Allamakee County Executive Director

ATTENTION FARMERS - REMINDER:
Nov. 15: Acreage intended to be used for forage and pasture in 2017 needs to be reported to FSA
Dec. 16: New deadline for the 2017 MPP decision
Oct 4-18: Annual CRP Rental payments to be issued
Oct 5-7: Payments issued for ARC-Co and PLC programs
Nov 15: Acreage intended to be used for forage and pasture in 2017 needs to be reported to FSA
Dec 16: New deadline for the 2017 MPP decision

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