Acreage Living Newsletter

The USDA announced on May 23, 2019, that there will be a second Market Facilitation Program in 2019. This comes on the heels of the $12 billion MFP program implemented in 2018. The USDA announcement states that the administration is allocating up to $16 billion for the 2019 program, with up to $14.5 billion of that money used for direct payments to producers.

There have been reports of potato leafhopper in Iowa alfalfa, and it's time to think about assessing alfalfa stands. Potato leafhoppers do not overwinter in Iowa, but they are persistent alfalfa pests every growing season. Storms along the Gulf of Mexico bring adult potato leafhoppers north and drop into fields every spring.

Many rural residents in Iowa rely on private wells as their source of water for drinking, cooking, washing clothes, and watering livestock.  Even if your well and the area around it have remained unchanged, it is important to test water annually for indicators of contamination, including nitrate and bacteria, to ensure the water is safe to drink.  

The fruit and vegetable research taking place at Iowa State University's Horticulture Research Station will be on full display for the Fruit and Vegetable Field Day Aug. 5. Specific projects include high tunnels, organic vegetable production, pepper and sweet potato production, pest management in cucurbit crops, hops, peaches and beneficial insects such as bees, wasps and pollinators.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced an extension of the deadline to determine whether the monarch butterfly is warranted for listing under the Endangered Species Act. The new deadline, December 15, 2020, was originally June 30, 2019. Despite the delay, conservation efforts to help the monarch survive and thrive are important as ever.

Small Farm Sustainability

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach program in Small Farm Sustainability exists to open the door to relationships and resources relevant to sustainability for Iowa’s smaller-scale, entrepreneurial farm enterprises. By sharing science-based information, providing program leadership, and facilitating collaboration, we will promote planning and profit potential in specialty ag ventures that tend to increase stewardship, diversity, and resilience on the Iowa farmscape.

Date of Publication: 
April, 2019

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