Agriculture

Wed
04
Apr

Cover Crop and Manure Field Day set for April 9

The Allamakee SWCD will be hosting a cover crop and manure use field day Monday, April 9 at the Weymiller Bottoms Farm near 1261 Hartley Drive, New Albin.  The event will start at 11 a.m. and should be done by 1 p.m. We will be looking at fields that were planted with cereal rye right before or right after manure application. Part of one field was slurry-seeded where the seed was mixed directly in the manure tank and seeded with the manure application. Neil Sass, NRCS Area Agronomist, will talk about how cover crops work with manure to improve soil health as well as cover crop termination. Sara Berges, Project Coordinator with the Allamakee SWCD, will talk about cost-share for cover crop seeding. The cover crop demonstration sites were established with assistance from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

Wed
28
Mar

What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

CRP Participants Must Maintain Approved Cover on Acreages Enrolled in CRP and Farm Programs
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) participants are responsible for ensuring adequate, approved vegetative and practice cover is maintained to control erosion throughout the life of the contract after the practice has been established. Participants must also control undesirable vegetation, weeds (including noxious weeds), insects and rodents that may pose a threat to existing cover or adversely impact other landowners in the area.

Wed
28
Mar

Field day will explore cover crops in corn and soybeans April 4, near Postville

Practical Farmers of Iowa and farmer Don Elsbernd will host a cover crop field day Wednesday, April 4, from noon to 3 p.m. on Don’s farm near Postville (809 Pole Line Road, about 7.5 miles north of town). The field day - “Cover Crops for Corn and Soybeans” - is free to attend and will start with lunch. RSVPs are requested for the meal to Debra Boekholder, debra@practicalfarmers.org or (515) 232-5661.

The event is part of Practical Farmers’ 2018 spring cover crop “caravan” field day series, which features events at locations across Iowa exploring cover crop issues in grazing and row crop systems.

Don farms with his son, Eric, raising corn, soybeans, cover crops and some alfalfa hay on 1,150 acres in Allamakee and Winneshiek counties. Cover crops are an important part of the Elsbernds’ strategy for protecting soil health on their farm.

Wed
28
Mar

Nominations open for 2018 Iowa State Fair Way We Live Awards

The Iowa State Fair, along with DuPont Pioneer with media sponsors Iowa Farmer Today, WHO Radio and The BIG SHOW are seeking nominations for 2018 Way We Live Awards. The Way We Live Award, celebrating 10 years, will recognize 10 outstanding Iowa families who exemplify hard working farm values and a love for the occupation of farming. Over the past 9 years, Way We Live Awards have been given to 53 well-deserving Iowa families.

To enter or nominate someone you know, submit an entry form along with a 500-1500 word essay describing how living on a farm and choosing the occupation of farming has shaped the family’s life. All entries must include a family picture that illustrates the family’s commitment to their farming operation. Entry forms can be downloaded from the Iowa State Fair website: http://www.iowastatefair.org/participate/way-we-live-award/. All entries must be postmarked or emailed by May 15.

Wed
21
Mar

What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Mid-Contract Management (MCM) on CRP Acres
As we start to see warmer temps and melting snow, please start thinking about your MCM, if you are scheduled for this year.  Those that are scheduled for this year would have received a packet from our office this past fall detailing what needs to be done.  You do have until May 14, 2018 to complete the work, but now is a good time to start lining up contractors if you haven’t already done so, buy seed if needed, and get equipment ready.  If you have technical questions, need a seeding plan, or contractor list please contact the NRCS office.  Any other questions can be directed to FSA.

Once you complete your MCM, please notify the FSA office, sign the FSA-848B form, and provide acceptable evidence of practice completion to determine proper cost share payment.

Wed
21
Mar

On-farm research quantifies value of grazing cattle on cover crops

A three-year on-farm research project by Practical Farmers of Iowa is putting a price tag on the forage produced by cover crops. Two years of data from an on-going study show that the practice of grazing cover crops, combined with cost-share funding, provides positive returns within the same year cover crops are planted.

This finding is significant because some of the benefits of cover crops may take a few years to manifest – and the costs can be hard for farmers to justify in the short-term, when profit margins are shrinking.

The PFI data, however, shows that with proper management, grazing cover crops is a prime means by which farmers can realize sizeable profits within the first year.

Wed
21
Mar

Iowa State University study finds return on investment a stumbling block for widespread adoption of cover crops

Despite farmers’ positive perceptions about cover crops and the availability of cost-share programs to incentivize their use, an Iowa State University study shows the return on investment may be the biggest hurdle to overcome for widespread adoption of the practice.

In 2017, Iowa fields planted to cover crops grew to 760,000 acres, with less than half receiving federal or state cost share. But with millions of acres of crops, Iowa - and other Midwestern states - has yet to see widespread adoption of cover crops to reduce nitrates in water from crop fields and to conserve and build healthy soils.

Wed
21
Mar

Nominations open for 2018 Iowa State Fair Way We Live Awards

The Iowa State Fair, along with DuPont Pioneer with media sponsors Iowa Farmer Today, WHO Radio and The BIG SHOW are seeking nominations for 2018 Way We Live Awards. The Way We Live Award, celebrating 10 years, will recognize 10 outstanding Iowa families who exemplify hard working farm values and a love for the occupation of farming. Over the past 9 years, Way We Live Awards have been given to 53 well-deserving Iowa families.

To enter or nominate someone you know, submit an entry form along with a 500-1500 word essay describing how living on a farm and choosing the occupation of farming has shaped the family’s life. All entries must include a family picture that illustrates the family’s commitment to their farming operation. Entry forms can be downloaded from the Iowa State Fair website: http://www.iowastatefair.org/participate/way-we-live-award/. All entries must be postmarked or emailed by May 15.

Wed
14
Mar

What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Submit Loan Requests for Financing Early
The Farm Loan team in Allamakee and Winneshiek Counties are already working on operating loans for spring 2018 so it is important that potential borrowers submit their requests early so they can be timely processed. The farm loan team can help determine which loan programs are best for applicants. 

FSA offers a wide range of low-interest loans that can meet the financial needs of any farm operation for just about any purpose.  The traditional farm operating and farm ownership loans can help large and small farm operations take advantage of early purchasing discounts for spring inputs as well expenses throughout the year. 

Wed
14
Mar

Ventilation Workshop for Swine Producers offered in Postville and Cresco in March

The Iowa Pork Industry Center with Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) and Iowa State University (ISUEO) Extension and Outreach are offering ventilation workshops designed to help teach producers about the proper use of swine building ventilation equipment to improve pig well-being and minimize operating costs.

The workshop will be held March 20 at the Postville Veterinary Clinic, 110 Hyman Dr., Postville and offered March 21 at the Featherlite Center, 220 7th Street West, Cresco.

Jay Harmon, Iowa State University agricultural and biosystems engineering professor, said The workshop ‘Managing Your Unseen Employee: The Ventilation System’ provides a two-pronged approach to understanding issues and consequences of decisions by combining classroom instruction with hands-on trials and application of knowledge gained in a real-world setting”.

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