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Farmers Encouraged to Update Hay and Straw Directory

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship offers a free directory to connect farmers who sell hay or straw with local producers who are interested in purchasing it. Organizations associated with promoting and marketing hay and straw can also access the free, online tool. The Department encourages users to update their listing every year.


Prairie Strips and Cover Crops Field Day in Des Moines

Iowa Learning Farms, along with Science-Based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips, Des Moines Water Works, and Landus, will host a prairie strips and cover crops field day on Thursday, Aug., 4 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Lauridsen Amphitheater at Des Moines Water Works Park in Des Moines. The event is free and includes a complimentary meal.

Biostimulants 101

Biostimulants are a fast-growing class of agricultural additives that may increase nutrient and water uptake, tolerance to stress, and improve root growth by supporting a variety of biological processes. Biostimulants have especially caught the attention of organic farmers and those interested in sustainable food production as a substitute for more conventional synthetic fertilizers, but many conventional farmers utilize biostimulants for their beneficial properties.

New Video Series Demonstrates Terminology and Techniques for Tree Identification

As nature begins to awaken from its winter slumber, those looking to identify backyard Iowa trees can consult a new video resource from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach forestry specialist Billy Beck. This series of five videos can be found on YouTube, or through the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach video website.

Estimating First Crop Alfalfa Harvest using PEAQ

Alfalfa growth and development is affected by many factors, including temperature, soil moisture, stand age and even cultivar. Alfalfa growth has been slow this spring due to cooler than normal weather. This is a reminder that using the calendar date to determine when to harvest the first crop of alfalfa may not be the best method. In order to accurately predict the optimal time for the first cutting, the University of Wisconsin developed the Predictive Equations for Alfalfa Quality (PEAQ) method.

Movement Risks Checklist for Organic and Alternative Livestock

Items moving on and off your farm or ranch can bring disease. Recognizing movement risks can help you prevent them. The Livestock Project has created a Step 1: Movement risks checklist that can help you recognize and think about the types of movements that happen on your operation. In addition, the checklist can help you take the necessary steps to make those movements as safe as possible. The movements themselves and how often they occur are the key ideas to keep in mind. Major categories of movement risks are – animals and animal products, vehicles and equipment, visitors and personnel, and wildlife and pests.