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Flood Recovery for Pastures

Flood waters are receding, but the challenges in recovery for farmers and livestock producers are just beginning. Beth Doran, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist, recommends producers get out in their fields as soon as possible. "Beef producers should assess the damage to pastures and hay ground, then check out possible disaster assistance," she said. Doran advised cattlemen to look for three things in their assessment - debris, silt on the forage, and thinned or dead forage plants.

Fencing for Horses

One major investment for a horse farm are installation and upkeep of fences. The fence should be safe and keep horses on the property. Fencing decisions should be based on the age of the animal, breed and temperament of the animal, production system, and situation.


Establishing a Backyard Poultry Flock

One fast growing trend among small farms is raising poultry. Typically, poultry offers a small-scale livestock enterprise without requiring large amounts of capital, land, time or equipment. Careful planning and preparation prior to your poultry's arrival will help ensure the establishment of a healthy flock for your family's enjoyment and food production.

Biennial Thistles of Iowa

Biennial thistles are commonly found in Iowa's pastures, roadsides, CRP and other un-tilled areas.  Musk (Carduus nutans ) and bull (Cirsium vulgare) thistle are exotic species (originate from outside of North America) and are responsible for the majority of problems caused by this group of plants. Read more about identification, characteristics and removal methods.


Sheep & Goats

Sheep and goats offer a low-cost entry for beginning livestock farmers and can be stocked at higher rates on smaller pastures than cattle. Sheep and goats provide meat, milk and fiber products, as well as brush control and pasture improvement services.