Acreage Living Newsletter

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Dickcissel An Ode to the Dickcissel: Rural Iowa's Most Unremarkable Remarkable Bird
July, 2019

Wild turkey. Ring-necked pheasant. Trumpeter swan. Turkey vulture. Northern bobwhite. These are the remarkable birds of Iowa's rural landscapes. They're large, conspicuous, and broadly recognized. These species, and a few more, are those most associated with rural life and synonymous with our experience on the farm. However, I submit that to the trained eye, and ear, the bird that most symbolizes Iowa's countryside is not these charismatic familiar species, but rather, the unremarkable yet fascinatingly remarkable Dickcissel.

Cucumber Beetles Understanding and Managing Striped Cucumber Beetle
July, 2019

The striped cucumber beetle is a common pest of cucurbit crops in the Midwest. The spotted cucumber beetle, also known as the southern corn rootworm, is also a pest of cucurbit crops, but the striped cucumber beetle has more economic impact due to its ability to transmit bacterial wilt.

Monarch Butterfly Despite Delays, Monarch Conservation Efforts Continue in Iowa
July, 2019

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.

Broccoli in the field Fruit and Vegetable Field Day Planned for Aug. 5
July, 2019

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.

Drinking water Maintaining Safe Drinking Water in Your Private Well
July, 2019

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.  

Potato Leafhopper Managing Potato Leafhoppers in Alfalfa
July, 2019

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.