Agriculture

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.

Wed
07
Oct

Branstad signs proclamation to increase truck weight limits during harvest season

To help haul in this year’s harvest, Governor Terry Branstad recently signed into effect a proclamation granting a temporary weight limit exemption for trucks on Iowa roads. The proclamation specifically increases the weight allowable for shipment of corn, soybeans, hay, straw and stover by 12.5 percent per axle (up to a maximum of 90,000 pounds) without the need for an oversize/overweight permit.

Wed
07
Oct

What's up at the FSA Office?

Reminders
October 12: Office closed- Columbus Day.
November 11: Office closed - Veteran’s Day.
November 20: Deadline to sign up for the 2016 Dairy Program.
December 15: Deadline to certify hay/grass acres.
Forage (alfalfa), pasture, grass, and fall seed crops certification must be certified by December 15, 2015 for spring 2016 crop year. A late file fee will apply and no waivers will be granted. The late file fee will be $46 per farm.

Wed
30
Sep

Iowa farmland values drop 11 percent

The Iowa Chapter of REALTORS® Land Institute announced the results of its September 2015 Land Trends and Values Survey today, showing a statewide average decrease of cropland values of 3.7 percent from March 2015 to September 2015. This, combined with the 7.6 percent decrease reported in March 2015, indicates a statewide average decrease of 11.3 percent from September 1, 2014 to September 1, 2015.  All nine Iowa crop reporting districts showed a decrease in the average farmland value. The districts varied from a 1.9 percent decrease in the west central district to a 5.4 percent decrease in the south central district since March 2015. These estimates are for bare, unimproved land with a sale price on a cash basis.
Factors contributing to current farmland values include: lower commodity prices, increasing interest rates, lack of stable alternative investments, cash on hand, and a limited amount of land on the market.

Wed
30
Sep

What's up at the FSA Office?

by Joyce Davidshofer, Allamakee County Executive Director

Reminders
• June 15 - September 30:  ARC/PLC sign-up for 2014/2015 program. The deadline is fast approaching and with the fall harvest the FSA Office does not want producers to miss this deadline. Some producers think they signed everything since they came to the FSA office several times. Give the office a call to see if you have everything signed or to set up an appointment.
After September 30, 2015 producers will not be able to sign up for the ARC/PLC contracts for 2014/2015.

Wed
23
Sep

Free online Beef Quality Assurance certification

Thanks to a partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., the beef checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program is offering free online BQA Certification for approximately two months. This opportunity is open to all beef and dairy producers, veterinarians, allied partners, agricultural friends, and students from September 15-November 20, 2015.
BQA provides cattlemen with the tools they need to produce the safest, highest quality beef in the world while also looking at ways to make their operations more efficient and productive. The BQA Program is the gold standard of livestock handling and animal welfare programs to demonstrate the industry’s commitment to continually improve the sound production practices most cattlemen use every day to build beef demand.

Wed
23
Sep

Sign up for ICA Carcass Challenge by Oct. 1

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association is on the hunt for 2016 ICA Carcass Challenge entries. The Carcass Challenge, now in its fifth year, is an ICA sponsored contest that provides Iowa cattlemen the opportunity to test the genetic performance of their feeder cattle. Proceeds generated from feeding Carcass Challenge steers help drive educational and leadership opportunities for ICA members, such as the Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Program and ICA feedlot and cow-calf forums.

Wed
09
Sep

Century and Heritage Farms recognized

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey recognized Century and Heritage Farm families during a ceremony at the State Fair 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.
This year 366 Century Farms and 101 Heritage Farms were recognized. Among those farms were several Allamakee County farms, including Pat and Mary Curran of Lansing, Don and Michelle Dee of Waukon, Clark Kolsrud of Waukon, Roger and Mary Reed and Ronald and Frances Manderscheid of Lansing and Dean Schellhammer of Lansing being recognized for their Century Farms, and Pat and Mary Curran of Lansing, Roger and Connie Halvorson of Waterville, Clark Kolsrud of Waukon and Larry and Julie Magner of Waukon being recognized for their Heritage Farms.

Wed
09
Sep

What's up at the FSA Office?

by Joyce Davidshofer, Allamakee County Executive Director

The next Allamakee County Committee meeting will be Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 9 a.m. in the Allamakee County FSA conference room.

2015 Marketing Assistance Loan (MAL)
Harvest is fast approaching and the Allamakee FSA Office will be administering the loan program. The following are the loan rates for the crop year 2015:
Corn - $1.87
Oats - $ 1.43
Barley - $1.70
Soybeans - $4.99
MALs provide producers interim financing at harvest time to help them meet cash flow needs when market prices are typically at harvest-time lows. MALs for covered commodities are nonrecourse because the commodity is pledged as loan collateral and producers have the option of delivering the pledged collateral to the CCC as full payment for the loan at maturity. For more information, contact the Allamakee County FSA office at 563-568-2148.

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