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Iowa State University Extension

December 2013 -- From Cathann Kress

The impact of science and technology in agriculture is a key component of success -- and this is obvious if you spend time behind the wheel of a combine. I had this opportunity thanks to Don Latham, one of Iowa State’s CARET representatives (the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching). With precision ag technology, you let go of the steering wheel and this massive piece of machinery runs with incredible accuracy. GPS guidance displays and steering systems, satellites and software come together. This information network provides farmers with the data they need to fine-tune their practices. It’s a partnership that boosts efficiency, productivity and profitability -- which reminds me of ISU Extension and Outreach.

The whole point of a land-grant university like Iowa State is to offer access to highly qualified faculty who investigate issues and analyze data for learning and discovery. Then Extension and Outreach engages with Iowans, sharing that knowledge to drive economic activity, enhance productivity and improve the quality of life for our citizens. We thank you for your support in 2013 and we look forward to our continuing partnership. All of us in ISU Extension and Outreach wish you a happy, safe and prosperous new year.

-- Cathann

Farmland value reaches historic $8,716 statewide average

Land Value Survey

Average Iowa farmland value is estimated to be $8,716 per acre, an increase of 5.1 percent from 2012, according to results of the Iowa Land Value Survey. Values increased in 2013 for the fourth year in a row and achieved historic peaks.

“The 2013 land value survey shows a market in flux, with strong and weak price sales occurring at the same time,” said Michael Duffy, Iowa State economics professor and extension farm management economist who conducts the survey.

CIRAS helps LDJ add jobs, increase sales

LDJ Manufacturing

When rapid growth created challenges for LDJ Manufacturing Inc., the company turned to the Extension and Outreach Center for Industrial Research and Service. CIRAS helped the family-owned manufacturer of fuel and service trailers work through a transformation plan to handle continued growth and create jobs.

With changes in production processes and inventory policy, along with capital improvements, LDJ has reported a 30 percent increase in sales and added 30 jobs. See the story in CIRAS News.

Updated Corn Field Guide reduces uncertainty

Corn Field Guide

Identifying pests, diseases, disorders and developmental stages in Midwestern corn crops just became easier. Updated information and more than 200 photos and illustrations are packed into the second edition of Iowa State University’s popular Corn Field Guide, available for purchase from the Extension Online Store. The guide also includes new environmental criteria to help identify diseases.

Updating the pocket-sized guide was a collaborative effort of ISU Extension and Outreach, Integrated Pest Management and the Sustainable Corn Project.

Learning part of fun at Iowa 4-H camps

4-H campers

Adventures in nature are only part of the experience young people will have at camps offered through ISU Extension and Outreach’s 4-H program. They’ll also have fun, make friends and learn.

Four statewide themed camps for middle school-age youth will be offered at the Iowa 4-H Center. In addition, 4-H day and residential camps will be conducted locally around the state.

‘Families Extension Answer Line: How may I help you?’

Answer Line

That’s what Iowans hear when they call 1-800-262-3804 and reach Families Extension Answer Line from ISU Extension and Outreach. Answer Line staff answer home and family questions with research-based information, and that translates to more than 20,000 calls and email messages per year.

“We provide immediate answers to questions that are related to home economics and family living,” said Liz Meimann, Answer Line’s coordinator. Nearly three-fourths of the calls are related to food and nutrition, food safety and food preservation.