Agriculture

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”.

Wed
14
Mar

Cover crop field day series to start at the end of March

For the second year, Practical Farmers of Iowa has planned a series of spring field days focused on cover crop issues in grazing and row crop systems. Farmers and community members are invited to see cover crops in action on working farms around Iowa, and learn about cover crop basics as well as practices used to maximize the financial return from cover crops.

All field days in the series run from noon to 3 p.m., and are free and open to everyone. Each field day starts with a complimentary lunch. RSVPs are requested for the meal to Debra Boekholder at (515) 232-5661 or debra@practicalfarmers.org.

Many events include stops at multiple farms and locations. Specific details about each field day will be announced closer to the date. Host details and locations – along with a map of events – are also available at practicalfarmers.org. Events in the series include:

Wed
07
Mar

What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Changes to the Margin Protection Program
A few weeks back a spending bill to further fund the government was signed by the President. Part of that bill contained changes to the Margin Protection Program, a USDA program for dairy producers. While at this time we do not know specific changes, we do know the following:

• There will be a new sign-up for the 2018 calendar year in the very near future, but we don’t know when yet
• Payment periods will be calculated 12 times a year instead of 6
• First tier production level has increased from 4 million to 5 million pounds
• Premium fees for the first tier have been substantially reduced.
• The $100 administrative fee has been waived for the socially disadvantaged, beginning, veteran, and limited resource producers.

Wed
28
Feb

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
28
Feb

Iowa State University economists outline benefits of reducing nitrates

A study conducted by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University explores the potential economic benefits to drinking water, recreation and health through meeting the targets of Iowa’s statewide strategy for reducing nutrients.

The study highlights that reducing nitrates and improving water quality in rivers and lakes would increase recreation benefits, and may reduce adverse health outcomes for people exposed to high nitrates in drinking water.

The study was led by Chuan Tang, a postdoctoral researcher, and Gabriel Lade, Assistant Professor of Economics, along with: David Keiser, Assistant Professor of Economics; Catherine Kling, Director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development and a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences in the Department of Economics; Yongjie Ji, an Assistant Scientist; and Yau-Huo Shr, a Postdoctoral Researcher.

Wed
28
Feb

Producers can learn how to file manure management plans online

Some 7,000 poultry and livestock producers who must file a manure management plan can now file their MMP electronically three years out of four.

Producers can learn how to “Save Money and Time - File your MMP Online,” at a 1 p.m., February 28 webinar.  Pre-register now on the DNR’s eMMP webpage.

DNR staff will discuss the benefits of online filing (including filing and paying fees from home, office or smart phone), creating a login ID, submitting the plan, paying fees and assigning rights to their consultants. Farmers and their consultants can file and pay fees for multiple plans at one time.

“One of the big benefits is eliminating the drive to county offices to get a signature in each county where manure will be applied,” said Ted Petersen, DNR supervisor. “If everyone uses the eMMP, DNR estimates the online solution will save driving at least 178,000 miles per year.”

Wed
21
Feb

What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Conservation Reserve Program: Mid-Contract Management Meeting
When: Thursday, February 22 - Two Sessions: 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Where: Famers and Merchants Savings Bank (Basement) 201 W Main St., Waukon IA 52172

CRP mid-contract management (MCM) information will be provided by staff from FSA, NRCS, and the IADNR. The focus will be on MCM policies, practices, cost-share, invoice details, and programmatic dates.  Staff will also address any CRP-related questions folks have.

You are welcome to attend either session, and we ask that you bring your MCM (FSA-848) packet with you. If you don’t have MCM scheduled for this year, but would like to learn more about it, please attend!

Snacks and refreshments will be provided.  If you have any questions, contact the Allamakee County FSA office at (563) 568-2148.

Wed
14
Feb

What's Up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
• February 19: Office closed in observance of George Washington’s Birthday

Transitioning Expiring CRP Land to Beginning, Veteran or Underserved Farmers and Ranchers
Retired or retiring landowners or operators are encouraged to transition their Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres to beginning, veteran or underserved farmers or ranchers through the Transition Incentives Program (TIP). TIP provides annual rental payments to the retiring farmer for up to two additional years after the CRP contract expires, provided the transition is not to a family member.

Wed
14
Feb

Northey: Century and heritage farm owners encouraged to apply

Applications must be postmarked by June 1, 2018 to be recognized at Iowa State Fair

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today encouraged eligible farm owners to apply for the 2018 Century and Heritage Farm Program. The program is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and recognizes families that have owned their farm for 100 years in the case of Century Farms and 150 years for Heritage Farms.

“Century and Heritage Farm recognitions at the Iowa State Fair are a great celebration of Iowa agriculture and the families that care for the land and produce our food,” Northey said. “I hope eligible families will take the time to apply and then come to the State Fair to be recognized.”

Applications are available on the Department’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov by clicking on the Century Farm or Heritage Farm link under “Hot Topics.”

Wed
14
Feb

Master matrix adopted in 89 counties

In January, 89 of 99 Iowa counties notified the DNR that they plan to evaluate construction permit applications and proposed locations for animal confinements by using the master matrix.

With 10 exceptions, all counties will use the matrix during the next 12 months. The following counties will not use the matrix in 2018: Davis, Des Moines, Keokuk, Lee, Mahaska, Osceola, Plymouth, Wapello, Warren and Washington.

Animal producers in these counties must meet more requirements than other confinement producers who need a construction permit. Producers qualify by choosing a site and using practices that reduce impacts on air, water and the community.

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