Agriculture

Wed
16
Dec

Iowa Cattlemen's Assoc. supports Country of Origin Labeling Repeal

At this week’s Iowa Cattle Industry Convention, the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) members adopted new policy supporting a full repeal of Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling.
ICA currently has three policy-making committees that deal with legislative or regulatory issues and work to recommend policy for the ICA. These committees are all chaired by volunteers who are knowledgeable about the issues and have a strong desire to improve the environment for the Iowa cattle industry.

Wed
09
Dec

What's up at the FSA Office?

by Joyce Davidshofer, Allamakee County Executive Director

Meeting
The next Allamakee County Committee meeting will be December 10 at 9 a.m. at the Allamakee County FSA conference room.

Reminders
December 15: Deadline to certify hay/grass acres.
December 25: Closed, Christmas Day.
January 1, 2016: Closed, New Years Day.

October 1 through December 15: Forage (alfalfa), pasture, grass, and fall seed crops certification are required to be certified by December 15 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
02
Dec

What's up at the FSA Office?

by Joyce Davidshofer, Allamakee County Executive Director

Meeting
The next Allamakee County Committee meeting will be December 10 at 9 a.m. at the Allamakee County FSA conference room.

Reminders
December 15: Deadline to certify hay/grass acres.
December 25: Closed, Christmas Day.
January 1, 2016: Closed, New Years Day.
October 1 through December 15: Forage (alfalfa), pasture, grass, and fall seed crops certification are required to be certified by December 15 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
02
Dec

Ag Secretary Northey encourages Iowans to consider an Iowa-grown Christmas Tree this season

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey again encouraged Iowans to consider choosing a fresh, Iowa grown Christmas tree to decorate their home this holiday season.
“Selecting a fresh Christmas tree can be part of a great family tradition and is an opportunity to connect with an Iowa farmer and support the local economy,” Northey said. “Iowa is fortunate to have more than 100 Christmas tree farms in all parts of the state, so everyone has the opportunity to get their own fresh tree to help celebrate.”
A directory of tree farms across Iowa is available on the Iowa Christmas Tree Grower’s website atwww.IowaChristmasTrees.com. On the site there is a “Find a Farm” link on the top left-hand corner of the page. Besides the location of the farms, the directory also includes a phone number and hours of operation for each farm to assist in planning.

Wed
18
Nov

Registration open for Midwest Dairy Day

Register today for the Midwest Dairy Day Genomics 101: Putting Genomics to Work held Friday, December 4 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Iowa's Dairy Center located at 1527 Highway 150 S, Calmar, IA 52132.
The annual Midwest Dairy Day is a collaborative effort between Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, The Northeast Dairy Foundation, and Northeast Iowa Community College. The program will provide information on the use and application of genomic technology. Dairy producers, students and industry members are encouraged to attend.
"Improvement of dairy herd genetics can affect herd health, longevity, reproductive traits and many other vital aspects of dairy cattle production. It can also lead to increased milk production, milk quality and overall animal performance," said Jennifer Bentley, dairy field specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

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.”

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