Agriculture

Wed
03
Oct

Consider adding a small grain to rotation: Local wheat production

By Sara Berges, Allamakee SWCD

Adam Kramer, owner and operator of Black Sand Granary out of Prairie du Chien, farms ground just west of Waukon. He has been working for the past few years to improve the fertility and build up the soil health on the farm. As part of that effort, he decided to plant winter wheat at the beginning of October 2017 following soybean harvest. Adding a small grain to a rotation can help to break up pest cycles, improve soil health, spread out work load, and reduce input costs when compared to corn or soybeans. Another reason that Kramer wanted to plant winter wheat was so that he could follow it with a very diverse cover crop mix. His cover crop included turnips, radishes, Austrian winter peas, sunflower, red clover, soybeans, oats, and spring barley. 

Wed
03
Oct

Automatic milking systems tours feature precision management

The number of automatic milking systems used in dairy operations continues to increase with over five percent of farms now milking with robots.

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach dairy team will present a first-hand look at how fellow dairy farmers are managing automatic milking systems in new or retrofit facilities. Areas of focus will be facilities, economics and overall management of automatic milking systems.

Nine dairy facilities in northeast and eastern Iowa will be visited as a part of the tour. Two sites will be visited each day October 23, November 5, November 13, and three sites November 14.

Tuesday, October 23
10-11:30 a.m. - JoLane Dairy, 13254 Hickory Ave., Monona; two Lely robots installed in 2013
12:30-2 p.m. - Frieden Dairy, 19731/19733 Abbey Road, Elgin; three Lely robots installed in 2017

Wed
26
Sep

What's Up at the FSA Office?

by Jeremy Leitz, Allamakee County Executive Director 563-568-2148

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
• September 28: ARCPLC signup deadline; MPP-Dairy premiums due
• September 30: Last day to remove bales for those who requested managed haying on CRP grounds; End of fiscal year for FSA

Market Facilitation Program
USDA announced the trade mitigation program (Market Facilitation Program, MFP) earlier this month. This program will aid farmers who were impacted from trade retaliation. The Farm Service Agency will administer this program and provide payments to corn, dairy, hog, soybean, wheat, cotton, and sorghum producers.

Wed
26
Sep

Allamakee County Heritage Farm owners win Gator at State Fair..

Allamakee County Farm Bureau (ACFB) members Don and MaryLou Billhorn were winners of the Iowa Farm Bureau drawing at the Iowa State Fair for a John Deere Gator valued at $23,000. The Gator give-away was a special State Fair contest for Farm Bureau members. Having been Farm Bureau members since 1979, the Billhorns live in Readlyn and own a Heritage Farm (owned by the family for 150-plus years) in northern Allamakee County. Submitted photo.
 

Wed
26
Sep
Wed
19
Sep

What's Up at the FSA Office?

by Jeremy Leitz, Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
• September 28: ARCPLC Signup Deadline; MPP-Dairy Premiums Due

Market Facilitation Program
USDA announced the trade mitigation program (Market Facilitation Program, MFP) the other week.  This program will aid farmers who were impacted from trade retaliation.  The Farm Service Agency will administer this program and provide payments to corn, dairy, hog, soybean, wheat, cotton, and sorghum producers.

The signup period will run through January 15, 2019, and you are encouraged to apply after harvest is 100% complete.  We recommend you bring production evidence with you when you apply.  Payments will be issued on 50% of the production multiplied by the MFP rate for the specific commodity.  A second payment period, if warranted, will be determined by the USDA.

Wed
19
Sep

Silage making with 2018 weather challenges

Corn silage has always been a major feed component in dairy and beef rations. However, this year’s weather is making harvesting corn silage a challenge for many areas of the state. Northwest and northeast Iowa had excess rain early in the season making planting late so producers in northern Iowa may not be challenged as much with harvest, yet. Eastern Iowa was dry in the spring allowing early planting and now is challenged to harvest before the crop becomes too dry, especially with the heavy rains in September. Southern Iowa has been extremely dry all summer and is finally getting some needed rain but too late to impact grain crops.

While every area of the state has had different growing conditions all have been challenging. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist Denise Schwab said a few basic principles of corn silage harvest are critical to harvest and store a high quality corn silage feedstuff.

Tue
18
Sep

Century and Heritage Farms recognized during Iowa State Fair


Lloyd family farm recognized as Heritage Farm ... Bill and Sandra Lloyd were present at the Iowa State Fair August 16 to receive the recognition of the family’s farm located at 639 State Highway 76, Harpers Ferry as a Heritage Farm. Not pictured, Michael and Gwen Lloyd. Submitted photo.

Hitchins family farm recognized as Heritage Farm ... Members of the Donald and Dorothy Hitchins family were present at the Iowa State Fair August 16 to receive the recognition of the family’s farm located at 1498 Iowa River Drive, New Albin as a Heritage Farm. Submitted photo.

Seibert family farm recognized as Century Farm ... Elizabeth and Richard Seibert were present at the Iowa State Fair August 16 to receive the recognition of the family’s farm located at 1136 Ludlow Road, Waukon as a Century Farm. Submitted photo.

Powell family farm recognized as Century Farm ... Members of the Lawrence L. and Patricia Powell family were present at the Iowa State Fair August 16 to receive the recognition of the family’s farm located at 1081 Smithfield Drive, Luana as a Century Farm. Submitted photo.

Metz family farm recognized as Century Farm ... Members of the Deb M. Metz and Mark E. Schlitter families were present at the Iowa State Fair August 16 to receive the recognition of the family’s farm located on Scott Hollow Road, Monona as a Century Farm. Submitted photo.

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Farm Bureau celebrated families that have owned a farm for 100 years or 150 years

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig recognized Century and Heritage Farm families during a ceremony at the Iowa State Fair August 16. 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.

This year 359 Century Farms and 148 Heritage Farms were recognized. Among them were several Allamakee County farms, some of which are pictured below. The Adam and Kristy Anderson farm near Waterville was also recognized as a Heritage Farm but a photo was not available.

Tue
11
Sep

What's Up at the FSA Office?

by Jeremy Leitz, Allamakee County Executive Director (563) 568-2148

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
• September 28: ARCPLC Signup Deadline; MPP-Dairy Premiums Due

Market Facilitation Program
USDA announced the trade mitigation program (Market Facilitation Program, MFP) the other week.  This program will aid farmers who were impacted from trade retaliation. The Farm Service Agency will administer this program and provide payments to corn, dairy, hog, soybean, wheat, cotton, and sorghum producers.
The signup period will run through January 15, 2019, and you are encouraged to apply after harvest is 100% complete. We recommend you bring production evidence with you when you apply. Payments will be issued on 50% of the production multiplied by the MFP rate for the specific commodity.  A second payment period, if warranted, will be determined by the USDA.

Tue
11
Sep

African swine fever cases in China highlight importance of biosecurity, vigilance by Iowa farmers

Disease has no human health or food safety concerns, but could cause significant trade disruptions

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig highlighted the importance of strict biosecurity by pork producers following the confirmation of several cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) in China. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Pork Producers Association are encouraging pork producers to be on the lookout for clinical signs of the disease and to contact their veterinarian if they have herd health concerns.

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