Agriculture

Wed
16
Sep

ISU leads new project to build genome to phenome research community across crops and livestock

A new federal grant will support an Iowa State University-led effort to spur development of a “genome to phenome” infrastructure for scientific collaboration across crops and livestock.

The three-year, $960,000 project will provide guidance and lay the groundwork for a larger federal Agricultural Genome to Phenome Initiative (AG2PI) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture.

Researchers working from “genomics to phenomics” explore how genomes (organisms’ complete set of DNA) influence the expression of observable, phenotypic traits. With sufficient understanding of these relationships, it becomes possible to predict phenotypic traits based on an organism’s genome/DNA sequence. The USDA’s goal is to foster a broad community of researchers to use genome to phenome approaches as a foundation for improving the efficiency and resilience of US agriculture.

Wed
09
Sep

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
September 11: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Signup
September 30: PLC Yield Update
October 31: 2020 Organic Certification Cost Share Program Signup

Input Reductions Based on Improved Soil Health
by LuAnn Rolling, District Conservationist

As producers look at yet another year of small corn and soybean profit margins I would like to talk about some ways to reduce inputs and increase profits, all while improving soil health.  I’m going to use the example of Rick Clark, a farmer from Williamsport, Indiana, because he has been dabbling in soil health for many years and keeps detailed records of his 7,000 acre farm.

Wed
09
Sep

Grain quality concerns abound as Iowa enters harvest seasons

The combination of drought, derecho and hot weather has Iowa crops maturing earlier than usual, and with a host of grain quality concerns.

“Storm damaged corn is on the ground and it is quickly becoming moldy which creates food safety hazards,” said Charles Hurburgh, professor and grain quality specialist in agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University. “The whole idea here is to get the producer and the crop insurance and the grain market together on determining value for the severely damaged grain, and how can we either take that as a total loss or direct it to another use, but not put it into the grain market.”

Wed
09
Sep

COVID Ag Updates to be offered weekly through ISU Extension and Outreach

The farming community is used to the stress that comes from the unpredictable and uncontrollable challenges that jeopardize their production and livelihood. Agricultural resilience is about equipping farmers with strategies and information that will enable them to absorb and recover from these stresses. Resilience is the ability to bounce back when things do not go as planned.

COVID Recovery Iowa, in collaboration with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will be hosting COVID AG UPDATES: Focus on Resilience; a 60-minute weekly update with agricultural specialists, to be held Mondays from 7:30 – 8:30 PM. The first 15 – 20 minutes will be informational, with the remaining time spent on answering questions.

Wed
02
Sep

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
September 11: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Signup
September 30: PLC Yield Update
October 31: 2020 Organic Certification Cost Share Program Signup

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)
The CFAP signup deadline has been extended through September 11, 2020. Additionally, all sheep are now eligible for payment. Only lambs and yearlings (sheep less than 2 years old) were previously eligible. If you have additional eligible sheep, please contact our office.

To ensure availability of funding, producers with approved applications initially received 80 percent of their payments. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) will automatically issue the remaining 20 percent of the calculated payment to eligible producers. Going forward, producers who apply for CFAP will receive 100 percent of their total payment, not to exceed the payment limit, when their applications are approved.

Wed
26
Aug

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
September 11: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Signup
September 30: PLC Yield Update
October 31: 2020 Organic Certification Cost Share Program Signup

Food Quality
by LuAnn Rolling, District Conservationist
You’ve all heard the phrase, “You are what you eat”, but in truth you are what your food ate!  Basically our health is a reflection of the nutrients available to the plants and animals in the food chain, starting with healthy soil. Food quality is critically dependent on clean and healthy air, water, and soil; and healthy soil microbes.

Wed
26
Aug

Grant awarded to further research in livestock genetic improvements

A research group led by Jack Dekkers, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University, has received a grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to further genetic improvement of livestock by integrating biological models of growth that have been developed by animal nutritionists.

The $500,000, two-year grant for Dekkers and his team will support the project, “Integration of Biological Models in Genomic Evaluation: Pig-Growth-Model Whole Genome Prediction (PGM-WGP),”as part of a national USDA initiative for Research in Tools and Resources for Animal Breeding, Genetics and Genomics Research.

Wed
26
Aug

COVID Ag Updates to be offered weekly through ISU Extension and Outreach

The farming community is used to the stress that comes from the unpredictable and uncontrollable challenges that jeopardize their production and livelihood. Agricultural resilience is about equipping farmers with strategies and information that will enable them to absorb and recover from these stresses. Resilience is the ability to bounce back when things do not go as planned.

Wed
19
Aug

What's Up at the USDA Office?

Upcoming Deadlines/Dates
September 11: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Signup
September 30: PLC Yield Update
October 31: 2020 Organic Certification Cost Share Program Signup

Organic Certification Cost Share Program
Payment rates have been reduced for 2020 OCCSP.  All 2020 OCCSP payments, regardless of when an application is filed, will be 50 percent of the applicant’s eligible costs, up to a maximum of $500. Deadline to file a 2020 application is October 31, 2020.

Wed
19
Aug

Farmland leasing programs offered in multiple ways

Focus is on improving communication to benefit all parties involved

Iowa farmers entered 2020 with uncertainty regarding trade agreements with China and the uncertainty has escalated with the impacts of COVID-19.

In the midst of the turmoil, agricultural production continues and along with that, decisions regarding farmland rental arrangements. With ongoing concerns to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach farm management specialists will provide educational materials on farmland leasing in a variety of ways intended to reach individuals in the method most accessible.

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