Articles

Grapes grow well in a wide range of soil conditions but do best on well-drained soils. Horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach answer questions about growing and harvesting grapes.

Iowa Learning Farms, along with the Cedar River Coalition and Lime Creek Watershed Council, will host a field day on the Richard Sloan farm, near Brandon, Iowa, on Friday, Aug. 24, beginning at 10 a.m. The field day is free and open to the public.

Beginning in September, ISU Extension and Outreach is offering Sharpen Your Financial Coaching Skills in several Iowa communities. The course helps people who coach Iowans on financial matters to perform at the top of their game. Sessions are set for Ames, Cedar Rapids, Clinton, Council Bluffs, Iowa City, Nevada and Ottumwa.

The Denison Community School "Denison DeKalb" team  received first place in the 2012 Crop Scouting competition held by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Students gained corn and soybean scouting experience based on integrated pest management principles by participating in the competition.

Harvesting melons at the right stage of maturity results in high quality, nutritious products. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists tell how to identify ripe melons.

It’s going to heat up at the Iowa State Fair this summer and it’s not only the weather. Twenty-two teams of Iowa teens will compete in the 2012 “Cook This!” 4-H Culinary Challenge Aug. 12-14. All events will occur in the 4-H Exhibits Building.

Iowans will find healthy activities, educational events and family-friendly entertainment every day in the 4-H Exhibits Building at the 2012 Iowa State Fair. The 4-H Exhibits Building will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, Aug. 9 to 19, and will offer many exhibits that have been prepared by Iowa 4-H youth. The air-conditioned 4-H Exhibits Building is in the southwest corner of the fairgrounds.

In the early 1920s, Iowa 4-H was in its youth; today Iowa 4-H is thriving and in its prime, reaching one in every five Iowa school-age youth. Iowa State University has always played a central role with 4-H Youth Development in Iowa, and the university preserves early 4-H memorabilia through the Iowa State University Library’s Special Collections Department.

Harvest is a prime time for agricultural fires, even when the weather has not been warm and dry. This year, the normal harvest dryness will be intensified because of the drought conditions and the potential for agricultural fires has increased above normal as well.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach wants to hear from Iowans about how Iowa State in partnership with counties can best serve citizens. Five town hall meetings have been scheduled across the state.

The Iowa Learning Farms’ Aug. 15 webinar will feature a conversation with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey at the Iowa State Fair. Northey will discuss a variety of issues including the state of agriculture today and what the future holds for Iowa farmers.

A statewide training for commercial manure applicators will be conducted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday, Sept. 5, from 9 a.m. to noon. This training will be a reshow of the same program that was offered for training in January 2012.

An Aug. 25 pasture walk and tour in central Iowa will give owners of small farms and acreages with grazing animals an opportunity to view pastures designed for grazing beef, sheep and horses, and to hear from farm owners about water, fencing and pasture management systems.

Iowa Learning Farms, Practical Farmers of Iowa and Mitchell County NRCS/SWCD will co-host a field day at the John Schwarck farm near Riceville, Iowa, on Tuesday, Aug. 21, beginning at 10:30 a.m. The field day will highlight management options to successfully add cover crops to a row crop rotation.

Agriculture professionals who work with farm and ranch businesses on farm succession issues and want to offer a coordinated facilitation farm succession service to their agriculture clientele can receive training to become a certificated Farm Succession Coordinator. The International Farm Transitional Network is offering training on Sept. 10-12 in Madison, Wis.

Fair goers looking for healthier alternatives at the Iowa State Fair, or who want to track their calories and activity to balance their day, can turn to a new app available for the iPhone and as a mobile website.

Iowa crop and livestock producers are invited to attend an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach webinar Tuesday, Aug. 21 to learn about grain quality issues and marketing options related to drought. County extension offices will be hosting the webinar, which begins at 1 p.m. There is no charge to attend.

Chris Clark, the new Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef program specialist in southwest Iowa, said his background and experience will help him build a program that’s beneficial to all facets of the beef industry.

The Iowa State Fair, Aug. 9-19, is packed with rides, food vendors, entertainment, exhibits and other attractions. In addition, find Iowa State University Extension and Outreach all across the fairgrounds during the annual event.