County News

December 22, 2014

 In the wake of the recent financial crisis and economic slowdown, understanding their financial condition is more important than ever for Iowa local governments, particularly in rural communities. Given Iowa’s strong agricultural sector, financially sustainable rural communities are vital to the state economy.

December 22, 2014

Many Iowa farmers believe they have identified pesticide resistance on the land they farm, and most are concerned that herbicide-resistant weeds and pesticide-resistant insects will become a problem, according to a new report from the Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll.

December 22, 2014

Average Iowa farmland value is now estimated to be $7,943 per acre—a drop in value of $773, or 8.9 percent, per acre. Land values were determined by the Iowa Land Value Survey, which was conducted in November by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University. Results from the survey are similar to results found by the Realtors Land Institute and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

December 22, 2014

Live, fresh-cut Christmas trees add life and vibrancy to any home at this time of year. But they do come with some issues which should be addressed for maximum enjoyment and safety.

Here are some tips from horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach on how to handle your Christmas tree. To have additional questions answered, contact the ISU Hortline at 515-294-3108 or hortline@iastate.edu.

December 22, 2014

The quiet of winter is a time for holiday celebrations, family gatherings and managing Midwest winter weather on an acreage, but the cold and snowy weather often prevents acreage owners from making outside home maintenance. So, what can an acreage owner do in the winter to stay ahead of home maintenance? In the December issue of Acreage Living, experts at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach say there is plenty.

December 18, 2014

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host a Crop Advantage meeting on January 21, 2015 at the Best Western-Starlite Village Inn and Suites in Fort Dodge. The program is hosted by Mark Johnson and Angie Rieck-Hinz, Iowa State University Extension Field Agronomists serving north central Iowa. Crop Advantage provides the latest information to promote profitable and sustainable decision-making for the upcoming growing season. 

December 16, 2014

High Tunnel: Beyond the Basics” will be offered at the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association’s annual conference in Ankeny. The half-day program, set for Jan. 29 from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., will be led by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulture specialists Ajay Nair, Diana Cochran, Patrick O’Malley and Joe Hannan.

December 16, 2014

Emerald Ash Borer has been positively identified in Appanoose, Lucas, Mahaska, Marion and Monroe counties in southern Iowa. EAB kills all ash tree species and is considered to be one of the most destructive tree pests ever seen in North America.

December 15, 2014

Beef producers can learn about the sustainability of the beef industry and how it impacts their operation at the Driftless Region Beef Conference, Jan. 22-23, 2015 in Dubuque. The conference agenda includes speakers sharing industry research of interest to upper Midwest beef producers.

December 15, 2014

 Confinement site manure applicators and anyone interested in learning about manure issues should plan to attend a two-hour workshop offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in January or February 2015. These workshops are offered in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. There is no fee to attend the workshops, but applicators will need to pay certification fees to complete certification requirements.

December 15, 2014

 Commercial manure applicators can attend annual training Jan. 6, 2015, to meet commercial manure applicator certification requirements. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will conduct Commercial Manure Applicator training from 9 a.m. to noon at 72 Iowa locations, two Wisconsin locations and one location in Minnesota.

December 15, 2014

When Laura Elsinger of Guttenberg, Iowa, was considering a career change to organic agriculture last summer, an announcement for an Iowa State University online course claimed her attention.

December 15, 2014

Annie's Project is the agricultural business education program that empowers farm and ranch women who want to be more knowledgeable about their agricultural enterprises.

December 12, 2014

Whether you would like to start your own hive or just want to learn more about bees, this class is for you! 

December 11, 2014

 Iowans who want to learn to make better investing decisions can register for “Smart Investing@Your Library.” Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering three free courses completely online, as well as face to face at some Iowa libraries

December 11, 2014

 A Master Volunteer Robotics Training session is coming to northwest Iowa for adults with a desire to lead youth in robotics experiences. This 4-H STEM opportunity is Saturday, Jan. 24 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Buena Vista County AEA and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Building in Storm Lake.

December 11, 2014

The weather has grown colder, but that doesn’t mean Iowans should ignore their trees until spring. Quite the opposite, in fact. Winter is the best time to prune oak trees in Iowa.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists offer tips on how to safely and smartly prune oak trees. To have additional questions answered, contact the ISU Hortline at 515-294-3108 or hortline@iastate.edu.

December 10, 2014

This FREE online educational workshop will help you understand and make a smart choice about health insurance. Participate from your own computer.

December 9, 2014

This month’s Iowa Learning Farms webinar will be on Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 11:30 a.m. The presenter is Ingrid Gronstal Anderson with the University of Iowa’s Biomass Fuel Project. Anderson will talk about the exploration of biomass fuel sources as part of the University of Iowa’s institutional goal to obtain 40 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. This effort includes a project to plant 2,500 acres of miscanthus grass for use as a fuel in the UI main power plant.

December 9, 2014

Carrying out family traditions takes effort, but these rituals make families stronger. Human sciences specialists offer tips for creating family memories during the holidays and throughout the year in the Science of Parenting blog from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

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