Agriculture

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

Wed
05
Oct

What's up at the FSA Office?

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

ATTENTION FARMERS - REMINDER:
Oct. 10: FSA office will be closed for Columbus Day
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

Wed
05
Oct

Harvest weight limit lifted on roads for Iowa farmers

State Representative Patti Ruff of McGregor has announced that the weight limit on roads has been lifted to help farmers bring in their crops. This will allow transportation of oversized and overweight loads of grain on Iowa roads until the fall harvest is complete.

“The weight limit lift on Iowa roadways is essential for farmers to get their crops to market as efficiently as possible,” said Ruff. “This will help ease the burden on Iowa farmers during their busiest time and expedite the harvesting process prior to the change in weather conditions.”

The proclamation signed by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad allows oversized and overweight loads of soybeans, corn, hay, straw, silage and stover to be transported on Iowa highways, excluding interstates. Loads may not exceed 90,000 pounds gross weight without a permit. The proclamation will expire November 19.
 

Wed
05
Oct

Funds available for adding small grains to row crops; deadline for priority consideration is October 21

Practical Farmers of Iowa encourages farmers thinking of growing small grains in 2017 to consider applying for financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Practice 328: Extended Crop Rotations and practice 340: Cover Crops are both covered under EQIP. This funding could make it profitable for farmers to diversify their corn-soybean acres with oats and red clover, or wheat followed by a diverse cover crop mix.

Applications for EQIP funding, which is administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, are accepted on a rolling basis. However, farmers who want to plant a small grain next spring must apply by Oct. 21, which is the cutoff date NRCS has set to rank applications that would be slated to receive EQIP funds at the start of 2017. The next cutoff date for new EQIP applications is March 17, 2017. To apply for EQIP or find more information, farmers should contact their local NRCS office.

Wed
28
Sep

What's up at the FSA Office?

by Cindy Mensen, Acting 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

Emergency Conservation Program
At the last FSA County Committee meeting, it was decided that the damage received from heavy rains and flooding warranted an application for Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) funding.  There is no guarantee that the funding request will be granted, as it is subject to the availability of funds at the national level. 
At this point, an application period has not officially been announced.  However, the Allamakee County FSA office is now accepting information regarding losses that you have experienced for the following areas:

Wed
21
Sep

What's up at the FSA Office?

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

ATTENTION FARMERS - REMINDER:
Sept 27: Allamakee County Committee meeting at the USDA Service Center  9:00 a.m. start
Dec 16: New deadline for the 2017 MPP decision

Wed
21
Sep

Local families among the Century and Heritage Farms recognized during the 2016 Iowa State Fair


Members of the Blake Family Partnership LLP were present at the Iowa State Fair August 18 to receive the recognition of the family’s farm located at 487 Bear Creek Drive, Dorchester as a Heritage Farm. Submitted photo.

Members of the Gail E. Dunning family were present at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines August 18 to receive the recognition of the family’s farm located at 985 Forest Mills Road, Waukon as a Century Farm. Submitted photo.

Members of the Evelyn Wild family were present at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines August 18 to receive the recognition of the family’s farm located at 1147 Hartley Drive, Lansing as a Century Farm. Submitted photo.

Members of the Duane and Joanne Leppert family were present at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines August 18 to receive recognition of the family’s farm at 2223 Lycurgus Road, Lansing as a Century Farm. Submitted photo.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recognized Century and Heritage Farm families during a ceremony at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines again this year. To qualify, a family must have owned at least 40 acres for 100 years or more in the case of Century Farms and 150 years or more for a Heritage Farm.

Among those farms recognized this year were four Allamakee County farms. Those farms included the Heritage Farm owned by the Blake Family Partnership, LLP of Dorchester and three Century Farms owned by the Gail E. Dunning family of Waukon, the Duane and Joann Leppert family of Lansing, and the Evelyn Wild family of Lansing.

This year, 320 Century Farms and 103 Heritage Farms were recognized. This year was the 40-year anniversary of the Century Farms program and the 10-year anniversary of the Heritage Farms program.

Wed
14
Sep

What's up at the FSA Office?

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

ATTENTION FARMERS - REMINDER:
Sept 27: Allamakee County Committee meeting at the USDA Service Center  9:00 am start
Sept 30: End of the fiscal year for FSA purposes
Nov 15: Deadline to certify all forage or grazed 2017 crops
Dec 16: New deadline for the 2017 MPP sign-up

Marketing loans are available in the Allamakee County FSA office.  2016 loan rates for Allamakee County is $1.87 and $4.99 for corn and soybeans, respectively.

There currently is a Hard Red Winter Wheat LDP, if you certified a HRW crop for the 2016 crop year, stop in or call the Allamakee County FSA office to find out more.

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