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Northwest Iowa Crop Update Newsletter
by Todd Vagts
ISU Extension Crops Specialist
Counties Served:  Carroll, Calhoun, Crawford, Ida, Monona, Pocahontas and Sac.

[Home][Special Topics][Weather Data][Subsoil H20][PDF Info] [ISU Extension][IA State University]

Volume 5, Number 01

Northwest IA Crop Update, March 01, 2005
Print or view this newsletter in  PDF or Microsoft Word format.

In this issue

bullet Introduction
bullet New Web Address
bullet Soybean Rust Information
bullet Weather Update and information sources
bullet Upcoming meetings

Once again, it is hard to believe the next cropping season is quickly approaching.  It seams we have yet to experience the winter season following the fairly mild temperatures and small snow accumulations over the last couple of months.  As I look forward, many challenges appear to be looming on the horizon, such as soybean rust, soybean aphid, grain prices, and a higher risk for drought conditions (Benner cycle).  Yet I am excited (as usual) to get back into the field and watch a new crop emerge and progress towards maturity.  Thank you for joining me in this crop growth and management journey as a subscriber to the Crop Update newsletter.

This newsletter will follow a very similar format as in the past for the coming issues.  I plan to address and focus on local crop, soil and pest management issues.   So please let me know if content in this newsletter is not addressing your needs and let me know of issues that need to be covered.   I welcome any additional comments or suggestions you may have to enhance this document.  Please send comments to or call 712-792-2364.

New Web Address
Please note the new web address when you visit this newsletter online or browse the Crops web page.  This newsletter is posted at: and the homepage to the Crops Web page is:  Old links will be forwarded to the new URL for a limited time, so please update the links in your Favorites folder.

This newsletter is available via fax (in selected counties) or e-mail and can always be found on the web at   If you would like to receive this newsletter in a format (different than what you currently receive), please let me know by phone (712-792-2364) or email (

Soybean Rust
Issues and concerns related around soybean rust will most likely dominate the news and information needs this spring and summer.  The recent confirmation of over-wintering soybean rust in central Florida has increased this discussion in recent days.  The true assessment of risk for soybean rust in IA will begin to occur in late March through April as evaluations are made in the mid-south States for soybean rust that may have over-wintered in that region.  In the meantime, the best thing we can do is continually educate ourselves on soybean rust biology and management options.  Following are a few information sources that I look to for the most up to date information on soybean rust…

General information

Risk assessment and spore dispersal forecasts

Sprayer setup and equipment needs

More soybean rust links are provided in the soybean rust web page section of the Crops webpage:

Precipitation and temperature forecasts (and historical)

Weather Update
Keep up to date with local weather conditions at the Iowa Environmental Mesonet ( and the ISU Ag Climate Network (

View the U.S. drought situation from the U.S. Drought Monitor at:  Monitor drought conditions over time (last 12 weeks) with this animated map:

Winter Weather Summary from Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist.  Temperatures over the three mid winter months averaged 25.4º or 3.9º above normal while precipitation totaled 3.59 inches or 0.42 inches greater than usual. This ranks as the 23rd warmest and 49th wettest winter among 133 years of records. Snowfall so far this winter season has averaged 15.9 inches or 9.8 inches less than normal. This ranks as the 22nd lowest season-to-date snowfall total among 118 years of statewide snowfall averages.

Upcoming meetings…
Asian Soybean Rust The Iowa Soybean Rust Team is offering a video program on Asian Soybean Rust. It will air on Friday, March 11 from 10 a.m. to Noon.  The two hour program will feature several ISU crop experts, along with representatives from the Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Soybean Association.  The purpose of this program is to give Iowa soybean producers and ag professionals a "status report" on the disease and, most importantly, an opportunity to ask questions. Each expert will provide a short presentation and then answer questions.  The program is being offered via the web (see next paragraph) for individual viewing and at county Extension offices.  Please contact your local ISU Extension office if you plan to view the program there.

The program is being offered via Webcast, you can access it at

A live stream will begin at 9:45 a.m. in order to give you a chance to test it before the program begins at 10 a.m.  An archive of the program will be available at

CCA Credits -- Two hours of CCA credit is available for the program. To earn pest management credit, the crop advisor must attend the entire program at a participating ISU Extension county office. There is a $20 fee for credit.

Environmental stewardship meetings for crop and livestock producers will explain how the Phosphorus Index water quality and air quality issues will affect local producers.  The meetings will be March 17 in Spencer, March 24 in Sheldon, April 5 in Whittemore and April 6 in Carroll from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  For more information and to register, contact your local extension office. 



Print or view this newsletter in PDF or Microsoft Word format.

Todd Vagts
Iowa State University Extension
Field Crops Specialist
1240 D. Heires Avenue 
Carroll, IA 51401 
Office: 712-792-2364; Cell: 712-249-6025;  Fax: 712-792-2366

For questions or comments please respond to

The information given in this publication is for educational purposes only.
Reference to commercial products is made with the understanding that no
discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Iowa State University with
any specific product(s) used in this is implied

This page last updated on 03/07/05

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