Carroll County

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach: Carroll County

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Carroll County Fair will be held July 13-19, 2020


Office will be closed on Monday, May 25th for Memorial Day

Office Closed to public through May 31, 2020

Iowa State University has asked that all divisions, colleges, departments and units accommodate flexible work arrangements to maintain university operations while maximizing social distancing – a CDC mitigation strategy to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 cases.

The Carroll County Extension Office will be closed to the public through May 31 unless otherwise notified by ISU or the Board of Regents. Please check this website or our Facebook page for updates.

The Carroll County Extension Office is still maintaining operation remotely. Phone messages will be checked daily and all employees are available via email. You may contact our office at
712-792-2364 to leave a message. If you need immediate assistance, please contact us at 712-790-4774.

We appreciate your understanding and patience during this time.

County News

large planter in field
May 11, 2020
AMES, Iowa – Despite another difficult year in agriculture, cash rents still posted an increase of about 1.4%, according to this year’s Cash Rental Rates for Iowa 2020 Survey, released earlier this month.  Rates across the state averaged $222 per acre, compared to $219 per acre in 2019, the fourth year of relatively stable rates, but at levels about 18% lower than the historical peak reached in 2013, of $270 per acre.  “It’s surprising for me to see that cash rents are pretty stable and have not gone down,” said Alejandro Plastina, associate professor and extension economist at Iowa State University. “And that’s likely a reflection that government programs last year were injecting enough liquidity.”
The survey included nearly 1,600 responses from farmers, landowners, professional farm managers, realtors and others with knowledge of land rents, reportedly familiar with 1.6 million acres of cash-rented land across Iowa. The percentage of increase varied across the state, with the lowest quality land showing the largest increase, at 2.7% per acre, compared to the .4% increase for high quality land.  According to Plastina, most cash rents for 2020 were determined by September 2019, during expectations of federal Market Facilitation Program payments and expectations of higher soybean exports to China.  He said the challenges of 2020 were mostly not yet considered, and could lead to some future renegotiations and softening of rates. Those challenges include economic losses from the coronavirus, delays in the Phase 1 trade deal, and decreased demand for biofuels, due to plummeting oil prices.
Plastina said the poor economic condition in agriculture will continue to pressure cash rents and land values, and that barred strong government assistance, it’s possible both land values and rent could see future declines.  “It will remain to be seen whether there will be enough support to maintain the cash rents going into 2021,” Plastina said.
Plastina reminds Iowans that information in the survey is “intended to serve as a reference point” for negotiating an appropriate rental rate for the next year. Rents for individual farms should be based on productivity, ease of farming, fertility, drainage, local price patterns and other factors.
April 28, 2020

DES MOINES, IOWA (April 27, 2020) Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today announced a new “Pass the Pork” program to connect Iowa pig farmers with food insecure Iowans. The program is an initiative of Gov. Reynolds’ Feeding Iowans Task Force led by Lt. Gov. Gregg. Through “Pass the Pork,” Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship are helping Iowa pig farmers donate pigs to Iowa food bank feeding programs. Local meat processors are extending their hours of operation to process and package the pork donations to help meet the growing demand for food bank and food pantry resources. Iowa food banks are getting the pork into the hands of those in need.

Hand cleaning with rag and soap
April 15, 2020
As they try to protect themselves and others from contracting COVID-19, Iowans may feel overwhelmed by information about using various chemicals for cleaning and sanitizing. Food safety and nutrition and wellness specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offer tips to help Iowans sort through the information overload and safely use disinfectants to clean and sanitize their homes.  Whether using commercial or homemade products, Iowans need to follow the guidelines outlined by reputable agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other governmental organizations, say Anirudh Naig, Shannon Coleman and Angela Shaw.
April 9, 2020
Social distancing, self-isolation, quarantine: the changes from COVID-19 can be hard to handle. However, Iowans can turn to Iowa Concern for help, says Tammy Jacobs, coordinator for the long-time service from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

With a toll-free phone number, live chat capabilities and a website, Iowa Concern services are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week at no charge. Iowa Concern provides access to stress counselors and an attorney for legal education, as well as information and referral services for a wide variety of topics.

To reach Iowa Concern, call 800-447-1985; language interpretation services are available. Or, visit the website,, to live chat with a stress counselor one-on-one in a secure environment. Or email an expert regarding legal, finance, stress, or crisis and disaster issues.
March 12, 2020

Custom farming can provide an additional source of income for those with machinery and experience, or alleviate a farmer of a particular task that they do not wish to do on their own. Whether the farmer is performing or receiving the custom work, the question always comes up over what to charge. And while rates vary from one operator to another, a new report by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach provides a look at projected averages for 2020.  The 2020 Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey is available in the March edition of Ag Decision Maker, and provides custom prices for common farm tasks in Iowa, compiled from 106 respondents.

According to the report, there was a 3% decline across all categories, with complete harvesting and hauling declining by 4%, and bin and machinery rental increasing by 2.3%.

The average price for custom combining corn in Iowa in 2020 is $36.70 per acre, compared to $35.95 per acre in 2019. Spraying, per acre, is $6.70 in 2020, a slight decline from $7.25 per acre in 2019.In addition to field activities, the report also includes prices for commodity storage, snow removal and farm maintenance, equipment rental and labor prices.


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