Agriculture

Wed
06
Dec

What's up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
• December 15: Report acreages intended to be used for forage and pasture in 2018
• December 15: Sign up for, or opt out of, the 2018 Margin Protection Program
• December 25: Office closed for Christmas

Fall Forage Certification
Make sure you stop in and certify all forage and fall seeded crops by December 15! This includes all hay and pasture acres you are planning on cropping for the 2018 crop year. Also any cover crops that were seeded this fall will need to be reported. If reported after the December 15 deadline a $46 late-filed fee per farm can be assessed. 

Wed
06
Dec

Driftless Region Beef Conference features cover crops utilization

The upcoming Driftless Region Beef Conference will showcase utilization of cover crops for feed by Midwest beef producers, according to Denise Schwab, beef specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The conference will be held January 25-26, 2018, at the Grand River Conference Center in Dubuque.

“Cover crops have great potential to reduce erosion, improve soil health and protect water quality,” Schwab said.

“They also have the potential to produce high quality cattle feed if managed correctly. Our conference will feature several speakers presenting information on the value of cover crops in our diverse Midwestern farms.”

Jim Johnson from the Noble Research Institute will discuss how cover crops and cattle can improve soil health, and Morgan Hayes from the University of Kentucky will talk about how cover crops can be a compatible with manure application.

Wed
06
Dec

Northey requests additional $150,000 for animal disease emergency preparation; continued funding for renewable fuels infrastructure and ag drainage well closures

Iowa Ag Secretary also highlighted support for long-term water quality funding in meeting with Gov. Reynolds

Monday, November 27, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey requested an additional $150,000 for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Animal Industry Bureau to provide additional support for preparations for and potentially responding to a foreign animal disease outbreak. Northey also requested continued funding to support the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program and the Agriculture Drainage Well Closure Program.

Wed
29
Nov

What's up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
• December 4: Last day to return COC election ballots for eligible producers in LAA 2 
• December 15: Report acreages intended to be used for forage and pasture in 2018
• December 15: Sign up for or opt out of the 2018 Margin Protection Program

County Committee Election
Producers in Ludlow, Jefferson, Post, Franklin, Linton, and Fairview Townships should have received their county committee voting ballots last week.  The last day to return completed ballots to the FSA office is December 4.  If you’re an eligible producer in one of these townships, please be on the lookout for your ballot.  Committee members are a critical component of FSA operations.

Wed
29
Nov

Windbreaks have significant benefits

by Sara Berges,
Allamakee SWCD

The recent cold winds that have been blowing and snow that will soon be flying might get you thinking about the need for a windbreak. Windbreaks not only help to reduce wind speed, but can control snow drifting, provide wildlife habitat and create an aesthetic appeal. Reduced wind speeds can provide monetary benefits by reducing heating costs for homes or confinement buildings.

REAP cost-share is often available through the Soil and Water Conservation District office and will pay 75% cost-share up to $1,500. However, funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so you may not receive funds the same year you apply. Keep in mind that the maintenance length for cost-shared windbreaks is 20 years.

Wed
29
Nov

Is there an economic benefit to foliar application of fungicide to alfalfa?

by Sara Berges,
Allamakee SWCD

With fungicide application to any crop, it is important to select opportunities where the probability of economic return is greatest. Iowa State University has conducted six years (2012-2017) of research looking at the economic and yield impact of fungicide application to alfalfa. Harvest schedules followed a four-cut system.  On average, first crop provided a higher percent yield response to a foliar fungicide application than for later crops.   This is because spring usually favors alfalfa diseases due to higher rainfall and there is higher yield potential for first crop than for later crops. In dry years, disease incidence was low and application of fungicide provided little yield response and often resulted in an economic loss. 

Wed
29
Nov

Pro-Ag Outlook Forum set for December 8 in Decorah

Agricultural lenders and suppliers, producers and policymakers grow nervous when commodity prices, input costs, farmland values and lease rates become volatile says Melissa O’Rourke, Farm and Agribusiness Management Specialist for Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach. “Add in weather variables and there is plenty of excitement to manage for the 2018 farming year.”

That’s why O’Rourke recommends that all producers and ag professionals in the region attend a Pro-Ag Outlook Forum December 8 in Decorah.

“Iowa State University agricultural economists cautioned farmers to be prepared for a downturn in commodity values and land,” notes O’Rourke. “Especially in light of these continuing conditions, we’re offering opportunities for producers and ag business professionals to get updated information to help make decisions that need to be made during the post-harvest period,” says O’Rourke.

Wed
22
Nov

What's up at the FSA Office?

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

Upcoming Deadlines and Important Dates
• November 23: Office closed in observance of Thanksgiving
• December 15: Report acreages intended to be used for forage and pasture in 2018
• December 15: Sign up for, or opt out of, the 2018 Margin Protection Program

Wed
22
Nov

Trent Loos visits with Waukon High School FFA students


Radio host Trent Loos visits Waukon High School FFA ... Nationally syndicated radio host Trent Loos, famous for the “Rural Route” radio show and “Loos Tales” podcast, visited Waukon High School FFA students November 10 to discuss a variety of agriculture related topics. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

Trent Loos presented Waukon High School FFA t-shirt ... Nationally syndicated radio host Trent Loos was presented a Waukon High School FFA t-shirt during his visit with FFA students. Pictured left to right, FFA member and Waukon High School student Cayla Nolting, Trent Loos and FFA Advisor and Ag Instructor at Waukon High School Jessica O’Connor. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

by Joe Moses

Syndicated radio host Trent Loos, a sixth generation farmer from central Nebraska, visited Waukon High School November 10 to speak with FFA students regarding a variety of agriculture related topics.

Loos, famous for his nationally syndicated radio show “Rural Route” and his podcast “Loos Tales,” discussed misconceptions related to farming and agriculture. Loos questioned the FFA students about how they would define agriculture and received a range of answers dealing with the production of crops and livestock and in general terms, the use of nature for the continuation of mankind.

Loos expanded upon the general definition by commenting that agriculture is involved with or benefits most aspects of our lives. Loos discussed that beyond the food that we eat, agriculture is involved in most of the products that we use on a daily basis with components of many things coming from animals and agriculture.

Wed
22
Nov

Practical Farmers of Iowa to host beginning farmer retreat December 1-2 in Indianola

Practical Farmers of Iowa is organizing its 10th annual overnight retreat for beginning farmers, taking place this year December 1-2 at the Wesley Woods Retreat Center in Indianola (10896 Nixon St., about 8.5 miles south of town). The event starts at 1 p.m. Friday, December 1 and runs through 2 p.m. Saturday, December 2. The annual event welcomes individuals who aspire to farm as well as beginning farmers from all farm enterprises.

Registration fees include all materials and workshop costs, breakfast and lunch Saturday, snacks throughout and bunk-style lodging on-site. Attendees are encouraged to bring a dish to share for the Friday night potluck; Practical Farmers will provide the main dish.

Registration is required by Monday, November 27. Register at practicalfarmers.org or by calling Practical Farmers of Iowa at (515) 232-5661. Attendance is limited, so sign-up soon.

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