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Agriculture

Wed
18
Nov

Workshops to maximize economic returns to fertilizer expense

With low commodity prices predicted through next year, many farmers are looking to trim costs. For fertilizer, don't simply trim overall costs but rather selectively maximize economic returns to fertilizer expense. ISU Extension is conducting small-group workshops for those wanting to understand soil tests and fertilizer recommendations.
"We will take a step-by-step approach on understanding what to test for, how labs provide test results, and how to turn those results into fertilizer rates", says Brian Lang, agronomist with ISU Extension. Even if you already have soil testing and recommendations hired out to an agri-business, in two hours you can still gain a very good understanding of how to manage one of the top three dollar per acre expenses on your farm.

Wed
11
Nov

Fumigation course is set for November 17

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Allamakee County office will host a Fumigation Continuing Instruction Course (CIC) for commercial and private fumigant pesticide applicators Tuesday, November 17. The program is offered at office locations across Iowa through the ISU Extension and Outreach Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP).
The local attendance site for the November 17 CIC is the Allamakee County Extension Office located at 21 Allamakee Street in Waukon. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. followed by sessions from 9 to 11 a.m. To register or to obtain additional information about the CIC, contact the ISU Extension and Outreach Allamakee County office at 563-568-6345.

Wed
11
Nov

Commercial pesticide applicator training set for November 18

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Allamakee County office in Waukon will offer the Commercial Ag Weed, Insect and Plant Disease Management Continuing Instruction Course (CIC) for commercial pesticide applicators Wednesday, November 18. The program is offered at office locations across Iowa through the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP).
The local attendance site for the November 18 CIC is the Allamakee County Extension Office located at 21 Allamakee Street in Waukon. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the course will be held from 9 to 11:30 a.m. To register or to obtain additional information about the CIC, contact the ISU Extension and Outreach Allamakee County office in Waukon at 563-568-6345.

Wed
04
Nov

Adding habitat important to growing pheasant numbers

Iowa pheasants have enjoyed a good two-year run of milder winters leading to the highest bird numbers since 2008, but that run of good luck can’t last forever. Weather and habitat are keys to bird survival and over the last eight years Iowa has lost 500,000 acres of CRP statewide.
“We’re trying to keep as many CRP acres as we can,” said Todd Bogenschutz, upland game bird biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  
Land in CRP is often cyclical - removed when crop prices are high and enrolled when prices are low. With corn prices in the mid-$3 range, Bogenschutz expects to see more interest in the program.
A general CRP sign-up is expected in December will have around 24 million acres available nationally, down from 32 million acres from previous signups, meaning landowners will likely need higher environmental benefits scores and have better cover types to get their offers accepted.

Wed
28
Oct

NRCS: Tillage will dry out soils faster

Very little rainfall in October throughout much of Iowa allowed most farmers to start and finish harvest without much delay. If conditions remain dry this fall, many farmers may be tempted to till the soil to allow any additional moisture to infiltrate. According to soil experts with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), however, that is a common misconception.
Doug Peterson, regional soil health specialist with NRCS in Des Moines, says tilling the soil will actually accelerate the drying process and cause soil to erode more easily. He says the combination of high winds and warmer than normal temperatures wastes water if soils aren’t covered.
“Ground cover, whether it’s living or crop residue, limits the drying effect of wind, shades the soil from the sun, and traps snow during winter,” said Peterson. “This all adds up to more water infiltrating into the soil and less evaporating into the air.”

Wed
28
Oct

What's up at the FSA Office?

by Joyce Davidshofer, Allamakee County Executive Director

Reminders
November 11: Office closed for Veteran’s Day.
November 20, 2015: Deadline to sign up for the 2016 Dairy Program.
December 15: Deadline to certify hay/grass acres.
October 1, 2015 – December 15: Forage (alfalfa), pasture, grass, and fall seed crops certification are required to be certified by December 15, 2015 for spring 2016 crop year. Late file fee will apply and no waivers will be granted. The late file fee will be $46 per farm.

Wed
21
Oct

Cover crop planting deadline extended

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Acting State Conservationist Richard Ellsmore with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced that the planting deadline for cover crops for farmers participating in state cost share programs and most federal financial assistance programs has been extended.
“We have seen significant growth in the number of farmers using cover crops and number of acres that they are used on. There are an estimated 236,000 acres of cover crops supported by just state cost share programs. Some crops were delayed by wet weather this spring and this extension will help farmers still be able to use this important water quality practice even if their harvest is delayed,” Northey said.

Wed
21
Oct

What's up at the FSA Office?

by Joyce Davidshofer, Allamakee County Executive Director

Reminders
November 11: Office closed for Veteran’s Day.
November 20, 2015: Deadline to sign up for the 2016 Dairy Program.
December 15: Deadline to certify hay/grass acres.
October 1, 2015 – December 15: Forage (alfalfa), pasture, grass, and fall seed crops certification are required to be certified by December 15, 2015 for spring 2016 crop year. Late file fee will apply and no waivers will be granted. The late file fee will be $46 per farm.

CRP Payments
The majority of the CRP payments have been issued as of October 14. There are some with problems and those are being worked on as a top priority. If there are any questions in regards to your CRP payment, give the office a call at 563-568-2148.

2014 ARC/PLC Payments
As of this date, the Allamakee County Office does not know when the 2014 ARC/PLC payments will be released.  

Wed
14
Oct

Farmers reminded to be fire wise during harvest season

With harvest accelerating farm activities, fire safety details can be hastily overlooked.
“It’s important to take time to incorporate some simple steps to keep your farm firewise,” says Gail Kantak, wildland fire supervisor for the DNR. “We encourage farmers and others working the land this time of year to follow six simple steps to not only save time and money, but prevent a tragic loss.”  
The six steps include:
1. Properly prepare machinery to reduce the chance of a field fire from an overheated bearing (check the manufacturer’s recommendations). A spark from an improperly lubricated combine can instantaneously ignite dry plants and field debris.
Check that all fire extinguishers carried on the machinery are fully charged with loose powder inside. If the powder is not loose, remove the extinguisher from its bracket then thump the canister with a rubber hammer until the powder moves when shaken.

Wed
14
Oct

What's up at the FSA Office?

by Joyce Davidshofer, Allamakee County Executive Director

CRP Annual Payments
The annual CRP payments are currently being issued. The process takes time. Hopefully all payments will be issued within the next couple of weeks.

Deadline to certify forage, pasture, grass and seed crops is December 15
Forage (alfalfa), pasture, grass, and fall seed crops certification are required to be certified by December 15, 2015 for the spring 2016 crop year. Late file fees will apply and no waivers will be granted. The late file fee will be $46 per farm.
If you have any questions in regards to this deadline,  contact the Allamakee County FSA Office at 563-568-2148.

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