Articles

Anyone who is involved with the rental market for Iowa farmland knows that rental rates have been pushed significantly higher by the favorable corn and soybean prices that farmers have enjoyed since 2010. This trend continued in 2012.

Communities and youth across the state have benefitted from Reach Out Iowa, a program that empowers youth to make a difference in their communities. This year, the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism, named Kayla De Weerd, 14, of Hull, and Hannah Jorgensen, 13, of Adair, Iowa’s top two youth volunteers for 2012. Both De Weerd and Jorgensen were part of their local 4-H clubs, and are completing their projects with Reach Out Iowa.

A three-day, three-state beef production bus tour is planned for July 16-18. Joe Sellers, ISU Extension and Outreach beef specialist, is working with agribusinesses to plan and host the trip through southern Iowa, northern Missouri and southern Illinois.

Proper care of roses from planting through pruning will show them off to their best advantage. To confront insect and disease problems in roses, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulture specialists say to correctly identify the pest and use appropriate control measures. 

Beef producers interested in learning how to optimize forage and livestock production while conserving natural resources will want to consider attending the popular southern Iowa Greenhorn Grazing series. The first session will be held May 24.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will participate in the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C., this summer.

USDA Rural Development and other lending agencies require first-time homebuyers to complete education from a certified provider to qualify for the agency’s rural housing loans. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers an online course, A Place of Your Own, to meet this need.

How parents handle their divorce affects how well their children will adapt to life with mom and life with dad. This month’s Science of Parenting podcast from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach examines what parents can do to help their children live through divorce.

Each summer, campers from all over the state visit the Iowa 4-H Center for a week of camp fun. This year, youth enrolled in two camps, Everything Camp and Counselors in Training Camp, will have the opportunity to participate in a research study conducted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach targeted toward lowering childhood obesity in the state.

The National 4-H Council and the Walmart Foundation are supporting 4-H Healthy Living programs across the country through Walmart Foundation Healthy Living Youth Voice, Youth Choice grants. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has received one of the 15 state grants and is using a portion of the money to provide mini-grants to Master Gardeners and 4-H youth to develop partnerships at the county level.

Great numbers of fuzzy brown moths made an appearance in Iowa this week, with many specimens and photos submitted to the insect diagnostic clinic. Affectionately referred to as FBMs by entomologists, they are a nuisance, but they will not cause damage to plants.

Learn how to emulate nature with permaculture during the May 3 Virtual Eco Family Conference taught by Fred Meyer, chair and executive director of Backyard Abundance. Meyer will teach about the principles of permaculture and how to mimic nature to produce food in small spaces.

Gardeners selecting and planting warm-season crops may include hills of watermelon and muskmelon along with rows of produce. Iowa State University Extension horticulture specialists offer planting tips and describe muskmelon and watermelon variety choices for Iowa.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is growing strong families in southern Iowa, and now has the credential to prove it. The Growing Strong Families Program has earned the Iowa Family Support Credential from the Iowa Department of Management and Public Health. The program is a comprehensive family experience for expectant parents as well as parents and caregivers of children from birth through age 5.

Buena Vista, Lee and Van Buren counties have added their 4-H history to Iowa 4-H History by County, a blog detailing the history of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development. Information also is available about Iowa 4-H legend C.J. Gauger and National 4-H Conference.

Warm spring weather brings out many critters, including some that homeowners may not like to see in their yards — snakes. While there is no 100-percent effective snake deterrent, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has tips on making a home landscape as “snake-free” as possible.

Chad Ingels, a watershed specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, helps farmers organize and secure funding for watershed groups. He also provides technical expertise and education on agronomic practices and environmental performance measures the farmers want to implement. What he doesn’t do is tell them what to do.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has developed a new plastic version as a replacement for metal swine identification tags. The tags are available from Iowa practicing veterinarians and are considered official ID for both intrastate and interstate transport of swine.

The 19th annual “Update for Veterinarians” will focus on topics of specific interest to beef practitioners. Register now for the  May 30 workshop at the ISU McNay Research Farm near Chariton.