Environment

Local Highlights

July 31, 2020

Farmland Leasing Meeting to be held at the Swan Lake Education Center in Carroll, Iowa on August 13 from 6:30-8:00 pm. Both rooms in the Education Center are available, so there will be plenty of room to socially distance. 

Topics Include: Current cash rental and land value survey results, methods for determining fair rents for 2021 Farm Bill update,legal aspects of farmland leases, including strategies for writing and terminating a farm lease and tenant /landlord communication and ISU Extension web-based and other resources.  

Workshop is 2 1/2 hours, with a 100-page leasing arrangements book provided, one per registrant. Registration fee includes one book.   Registration: $20/person or $30/couple

Pre-register at least two days before the meeting .No walk-ins or late registrations allowed. Face coverings are advised, and social distancing will be adhered to.

July 27, 2020

Register now for a five-part webinar series on swine building maintenance, provided by ISU Extension with assistance from Iowa DNR and several sponsors. Topics range from concrete pit construction to roof to moisture management and everything in between. Presenters are extension ag engineers and DNR environmental engineer. Sessions will be held Aug. 19-28, all from 1 to 2 p.m. CDT. You must pre-register and pay to receive webinar access info, and payment must be completed by midnight, Aug. 17. Cost is $20 for all sessions and is payable by credit card only through the webinar website. Contact any ISU extension ag engineer with questions.

Corn Stalks
July 27, 2020

Drought meetings to be offered in central and west-central Iowa- sponsored by Iowa Corn Growers Association

Much of western Iowa is currently under a moderate to severe drought. The drought conditions are causing major concerns for both crop and livestock producers. To help address those concerns, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will be hosting ten free drought meetings at the following locations. 

  • August 4, 5:30 p.m.– Swan Lake State Park (22676 Swan Lake Trail, Carroll). Please contact the Carroll CountyExtension Office to pre-register at 712-792-2364.

    Meeting topics and speakers include crop growth and development under drought conditions covered by Mike Witt, Meaghan Anderson, Paul Kassel or Aaron Saeugling, extension field agronomists; feeding drought damaged crops, including issues with drought silage, and other cattle management considerations by Erika Lundy, Beth Doran or Chris Clark, extension beef specialists; and crop insurance considerations covered by Steve Johnson, Gary Wright, Patrick Hatting or Tim Christensen, extension farm management specialists, or local FSA Office staff . Meetings will last approximately 90 minutes. Starting approximately 45 minutes before each meeting, producers will have the opportunity to bring five corn stalk samples for a quick nitrate assessment conducted on site either prior to the start of the meeting or after the meeting. Producers are encouraged to sample corn stalks from multiple, representative areas of the field to accurately estimate conditions.
  • Due to Covid-19 and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s commitment to doing our best to keep the community safe certain restrictions and requests will be required to attend the meetings.Please do not attend if you are sick or have been exposed to anyone in the past 14 days who has tested positive for COVID-19. Most meetings will be held at outdoors venues and social distancing requirements will apply. Attendees should bring their own chairs as seating may be limited and to help with maintaining social distance. Attendees are strongly encouraged to wear face covering when in the presence of others and unable to maintain a six-foot physical distance. Pre-registration is requested at least 2 days prior to each meeting by contacting local county extension office of meeting to allow staff to prepare the venue. If pre-registration is not completed, walk-in attendees will be required to provide contact tracing information at the meeting or will be unable to attend.

    Those not comfortable with attending the in-person meetings they are welcome to join the statewide webinar series: http://www.aep.iastate.edu/drought/. Additional drought resources can be found at www.extension.iastate.edu/topic/recovering-disasters

    For questions about the meetings, please contact Mike Witt at 641-430-2600 or witt@iastate.edu.

     
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.

Agriculture and Natural Resources has many resources to help Iowans. Get a list of them all here.

Statewide Resources

  • Publications and resources covering fish farming to pond management.

  • Providing Iowans with an independent, authoritative voice on water resource issues affecting Iowa.

  • A management approach for environmental enhancement of intensively modified agricultural landscapes.

  • Research-based information and current Extension and Research projects on tillage and cropping systems, soil carbon sequestration, residue management, and cover crops.

  • Information on Pesticide Applicator Training, Integrated Pest Management, and related environmental programs.

  • The Iowa Soil and Land Use site provides data related to the agricultural and non-agricultural uses of Iowa land to help you determine the right use for your soil.

  • Providing extension services on topics such as water quality and pollution control, hydrology and drainage, and remote sensing and modeling.

  • Tree identification, care and maintenance, and timber management resources.

  • Educating people about Iowa's wildlife resources so that Iowans can make informed decisions that impact wildlife and their habitats.

  • Establishing watershed groups in impaired sub-watersheds throughout Iowa implemented through partnerships of farmers, extension specialists, Iowa State University Extension and agencies at the state and local level.

  • Building institutional partnerships and increasing the capacity of citizens, educators, agencies and community leaders to better address water quality concerns.

  • Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation, calling attention to the importance of improved water and soil quality through conservation farming practices.

  • Developing new ways to farm profitably while conserving natural resources.

  • Comprehensive information on manure management, research and application for Iowa.

  • Find resources on soil nutrients, nutrient management, soil sampling and testing, interpretations and recommendations.

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