Articles

"How about 'Sweating in the Garden' this year at the 2012 Home Demonstration Garden Field Days?" asks Cindy Haynes, consumer horticulturist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Field days scheduled from July 24 to Aug. 11 will feature several themes, including: compact, space-saving plants; foliage plants; sweet corn; and several other new varieties of flowers and vegetables.

David Minner, turfgrass specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, offers lawn care practices Iowans should consider as local agencies enact voluntary water conservation programs to reduce water consumption and relieve strain on city water supplies. Minner will discuss this topic during a webinar July 20.

Seventeen young Iowans have received Hills Bank and Trust Leadership Grants. The scholarship is administered by the Iowa 4-H Foundation and can be used at any Iowa accredited university, college or community college beginning in fall 2012. Recipients are from Iowa, Johnson, Keokuk, Linn, Muscatine and Washington counties.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Plymouth County will be hosting a meeting Thursday, July 19 at 1:30 p.m. to discuss drought related issues at the Plymouth County Extension Office in the lower level of the Le Mars Convention Center. Meeting topics include those covered by extension specialists — crop growth and development under drought conditions, feeding drought damaged crops, and crop insurance considerations; and Jeff Davis, county executive director with Farm Service Agency will discuss government crop programs.

The Iowa Learning Farms’ July 18 webinar will feature young farmer Nathan Anderson. Anderson, from Cherokee, farms with his wife, Sarah, and family and serves as a Cherokee County Soil and Water District commissioner, involved in Practical Farmers of Iowa and other community and agricultural organizations.

Veterinarians and others in Iowa’s pork industry have the opportunity to become Pork Quality Assurance Plus® advisors during a training session Aug. 23 on the Iowa State University campus.

People who need to be recertified as Pork Quality Assurance Plus® advisors are invited to attend a session set for Aug. 23 at Kildee Hall on the Iowa State University campus in Ames.

As dry conditions continue, cattle producers need to look at numerous management practices to help stretch their feed supply and maintain performance and reproduction in the cow herd. Iowa State University Extension beef specialist Denise Schwab offers a few strategies that may help.

As the drought continues, cattle producers are asking how to stretch their pastures. There are two major techniques that may be pursued, according to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Denise Schwab.

A tour of Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program wetlands in Emmet County will be held on Tuesday, July 24, beginning at 1:30 p.m. CREP specialists with IDALS, will lead the tour and talk about the benefits, installation and financial incentives for these structures.

Due to this summer's extreme heat and dry weather, many pond owners are having issues with submerged plants, floating plants and filamentous algae, which are leading them to using aquatic herbicides that may be problematic for fish. Pond owners have a couple of aeration options according to Allen Pattillo, extension aquaculture and fisheries specialist.

Blue-green algae blooms are already being reported in Iowa lakes, ponds, rivers and streams this summer and creating a risk to livestock. During blue-green algae blooms, toxin concentrations can reach very high levels and can produce severe adverse reactions, including human and livestock fatalities, if that water is consumed.

A unique, new partnership in Dubuque, Iowa, hopes to strengthen development efforts in the area, as well as share successful strategies with other communities across Iowa and Wisconsin to support more sustainable economies.

Drought damage is an insurable loss under multiple peril crop insurance, which covers nearly 90 percent of the corn and soybean acres in Iowa.  Producers should consult with their crop insurance agents before harvesting or destroying any drought-damaged crops. 

Cayla Westergard Taylor participated in 4-H as a youth and continued involvement in college as a communications intern with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Now, she has joined 4-H Youth Development on the Iowa State campus as the newest state staff member of this pre-collegiate outreach program from ISU Extension and Outreach.

Iowans are noticing changes in their trees this summer and asking Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulture specialists about symptoms that may indicate stress or decline in the health of their trees.

A $25,000 gift from Ag Ventures Alliance is helping Iowa State University Extension and Outreach launch new research and training projects in 2012.

Dry conditions are putting stress on Iowa trees. Trees on marginal sites are dying all over the state, said Jesse Randall, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach forester.

Iowa’s Sales Tax Holiday is Aug. 3-4. Consumers should plan ahead to get the most for their money during this annual sales tax exempt shopping weekend, said Susan Taylor, a family finance specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.