KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Nominations being accepted for IA Conservation Farmer of the Year

Ag/Outdoor

February 16th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today encouraged Iowans to nominate deserving farmers for the 2016 Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year Award. The award is given out each year to one statewide winner who is making outstanding contributions towards soil conservation and water quality. The award is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.

“The award recognizes a farmer who has gone above and beyond in their conservation efforts. It is important that we recognize the continuous voluntary improvements made by all Iowa farmers and help raise awareness about the efforts by farmers to conserve our valuable soil and protect water quality,” Northey said.

The statewide winner again this year will have free use of a John Deere 6D series utility tractor or its equivalent for up to 12 months (or up to 200 hours). The Van Wall Group and John Deere are providing the use of the tractor to the state winner.

To nominate a deserving farmer, the nominator needs to write a brief letter (100 words or less) and submit it to their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) office. Nominations must be submitted by June 5. Upon receipt of the nomination letter, the District will then help complete the full application.

The local SWCD will select one nomination to advance for consideration for the Conservation Districts of Iowa (CDI) Regional Conservation Award. The nine regional award winners will then be considered for the statewide Conservation Farmer of the Year award. Representatives from the Department, ISU Extension and Outreach, CDI, State Soil Conservation Committee, USDA NRCS and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation serve on the award selection committee.

Farmers, farm managers, Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs), agribusiness and financial professionals, ag organizations, and other interested Iowans are encouraged to nominate deserving farmers. The local SWCD office will have all the nomination details. A SWCD directory is available on the Department’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov under “Hot Topics.”

The winner will be honored August 30 at the Conservation Districts of Iowa Annual meeting in Altoona.

Ag researcher: row crop farmers who raise cattle should be using cover crops

Ag/Outdoor

February 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A research specialist with Practical Farmers of Iowa is calling on all row-crop farmers who raise cattle to use cover crops. Sarah Carlson has been studying cover crops since 2008. “There’s multiple places where cover crops and cattle just make so much sense,” Carlson said. “For example, in the fall, you fly on a cover crop into standing corn. You harvest that corn and have the green material out there with those corn stalks. That green material is really lush, so it’s going to help that cow eat even more corn stalks.”

The corn stalks are full of carbon and the green, nitrogen-rich cover crop helps cattle digest and eat more stalks, therefore saving on hay costs. Carlson says, as the cow processes all the carbon, that leads to more benefits. “It deposits its manure, so the end credits that you could take going back to corn (like corn following corn) you could be able to reduce nitrogen and not take the yield hit we see in corn on corn because the cow would’ve processed all that carbon,” Carlson explained.

She says fall grazing of cover crops should be a “no-brainer” for cattle producers, and there are ways to work around some of the challenges of spring grazing, like compaction from the cows.

(Brownfield Ag News)

1 person injured in snowmobiling accident near Boone, Sunday

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say a Grand Junction man was seriously injured Sunday afternoon while snowmobiling west of Boone along U.S. Highway 30. 35-year old Damion Louk was third in line of five snowmobiles traveling eastbound in the median of the highway,when the left front ski caught deep snow near a culvert snapping the connections and sending him and the snowmobile air born.

Louk was traveling at an estimated speed of 60 miles per hour and was thrown approximately 150 feet before landing near the shoulder of the highway. Authorities say they believe his helmet may have not been fastened, as it came off during the incident and landed separately. Louk was transported to Boone County Hospital where he was later transferred by helicopter to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines.

The incident remains under investigation. Deputies with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, members of the Iowa State Patrol and Iowa Department of Natural Resources assisted at the scene.

Ornamental and Turfgrass Applicators Course Offered March 2

Ag/Outdoor

February 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

ISU Extension and Outreach Montgomery County will offer the Ornamental and Turfgrass Applicators Continuing Instruction Course (CIC) for commercial pesticide applicators Wednesday, March 2, 2016. The program can be seen at locations across Iowa through the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) team.

The local attendance site is Montgomery County Extension, 400 Bridge Street. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the course runs from 9 to 11 a.m. The registration fee is $35 on or before Feb. 24 and $45 after Feb. 24. To register or to obtain additional information about the CIC, contact Jodie Smith at the ISU Extension and Outreach office in Montgomery County by phoning 712-623-2592.

The course will provide continuing instructional credit for commercial pesticide applicators certified in categories 3O, 3T, 3OT, and 10. Topics to be covered include: pesticide applications and impacts to sensitive areas, pests, pest management, and pesticides with discussions on ornamentals, home lawns, golf course turfgrass, and sports turfgrass; pesticide labels; and restricted entry intervals.

Additional information and registration forms for this and other courses being offered by the PSEP team can be accessed at www.extension.iastate.edu/psep.

Seed Treatment Course Scheduled for Feb. 24

Ag/Outdoor

February 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County will host a Seed Treatment Continuing Instruction Course (CIC) for commercial pesticide applicators, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. The program will be shown at locations across Iowa through the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP).

The local attendance site is 906 6th St., Harlan. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the course runs from 9 to 11 a.m. The registration fee is $35 on or before Feb. 17 and $45 after Feb. 17. To register or to obtain additional information about the CIC, contact the Shelby County Extension and Outreach office by phoning 712-755-3104.

The course will provide continuing instruction credit for commercial pesticide applicators certified in categories 4 and 10. Topics to be covered include neonics in groundwater, seed treatments and pollinators, evaluation of seed applied nematicides on soybeans, seed treatment IPM, seed treatment stewardship, and seed treatment labels.

Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be offered. Interested participants should bring their CCA number to the program. Additional information and registration forms for this and other courses offered by the PSEP team can be accessed at www.extension.iastate.edu/PSEP/.

Conference will highlight benefits of local food for schools

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

NEBRASKA CITY, Neb. (AP) — A regional conference in Nebraska next month will focus on ways to encourage schools to get their food from local farmers and the benefits of that. More than 200 people are expected to attend the March 2 event in Nebraska City. The conference will attract a mix of farmers, ranchers, school food service officials and others concerned about the issue.

Throughout the day, speakers will offer advice on ways to increase the amount of local food served in schools and ways to teach students more about healthy food. The event is sponsored by the Center for Rural Affairs, Iowa Department of Agriculture and University of Missouri Extension.

More information is available online at http://www.cfra.org/midwest-farm-school .

Wallace Foundation 25th Annual Meeting

Ag/Outdoor

February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The public is invited to attend the 25th annual meeting of the Wallace Foundation for Rural Research and Development scheduled for Wednesday, March 2, 2016, at the Learning Center located at the Armstrong Research Farm near Lewis.

This year’s program will begin at 9:45 a.m. with Steven Bradbury and Richard Hellmich, ISU environmental toxicologists, presenting “Update on the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium” followed by Lee Schulz, ISU extension agricultural economist, speaking on “Crop and Livestock Market Situation and Outlook.”

Following a complimentary lunch, the annual business meeting will be conducted.

The Armstrong Research Farm is located 12 miles southwest of Atlantic on Highway 6, half a mile south on 525th Street, and a half mile east on Hitchcock Avenue; or, 13 miles east of Oakland on Highway 6, half a mile south on 525th Street, and half a mile east on Hitchcock Avenue.

For more information contact the Wallace Foundation at 712-769-2650 or paulette@iastate.edu.

2016 Grassroots Grazing Program for Young and Beginning Graziers

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A new grazing education and networking program intended for young and beginning graziers will be offered this year by the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University, in Adams County. ISU extension beef program specialist Joe Sellers said Grassroots Grazing is a three-part series that was started in 2015, with a southwest Iowa program offered in Corning, on February 22nd, 2016.

The grazing management series is designed primarily for young and beginning graziers but anyone interested in basic forage management is welcome to attend. All participants will receive a resource manual for use throughout the course and at their farms. The first session includes discussions on controlling feed costs, setting goals for your grazing system, and pros and cons of various grazing programs. The February meeting is part one of a three part series, with pasture walks and additional meetings later in the year (dates to be determined by the participants).

The series is sponsored by the ISU Extension and Outreach and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and sessions will be led by local ISU extension beef program specialists with assistance from other producers and volunteers. Local sponsors in Corning include the Southern Iowa Forage and Livestock Committee and the Adams County Cattlemen’s Association.

Joe Sellers say “There is no fee to attend, but we strongly encourage pre-registration to plan for the meal and ensure adequate materials for everyone. Please register by February 19th.”

The date, start time and address for the initial session at each location are listed below, along with the contact person for each site.

Corning, Iowa: February 22, 2016 – 6:30 pm at the St Patrick’s Church Parish Center (607 6th Street, 4 blocks west of Casey’s).

Cass County Extension Report 2-10-2016

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

February 10th, 2016 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson.

Play

Tree-killing pest found in Iowa City; bug now in 30 counties

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – State officials say an invasive insect that kills ash trees has been confirmed in Iowa City. The Iowa Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that a specimen collected from trees that appeared to be under attack on the University of Iowa campus was confirmed as an emerald ash borer. With Johnson County added to the list, there are now 30 Iowa counties where the pest has been confirmed.

The insects are native to Asia and were first spotted in the U.S. in 2002, when they showed up in the Detroit area. Authorities say the insects have spread to at least 25 other states, killing millions of trees. Once infected, trees typically die within five years. University of Iowa officials estimate there are 560 ash trees on campus.