A new fact sheet series is available to help specialty crop growers prepare for and respond to possible dicamba and 2,4-D drift. The series provides detailed information on documenting and reacting to drift incidents, preventing and preparing for possible drift damage, and presents an overview of dicamba and 2,4-D drift issues.
Organic producers see an increase in demand for local sales.
Over the past two decades, scientists and beekeepers alike observed drastic declines in bee populations. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) offered through the USDA offers a promising mitigation strategy related to establishing more nesting and foraging habitat for bees.
Many gardeners like to get a head start on the gardening season by starting flower and vegetable seedlings indoors. Successfully growing seedlings indoors requires high quality seeds, a germination medium, containers, lights and other supplies, note horticulture specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. To have additional questions answered, contact the Hortline at 515-294-3108 or hortline @iastate.edu.
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.
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.
With respect to vegetable crops, recent flooding in western Iowa has created a tough situation for growers. Given the time of the year of this catastrophic event, there were no vegetable crops standing in the field, however, water/runoff from surface waters such as rivers, lakes, or steams could have overflowed and run into fields. This water most likely could contain chemical and biological contaminants that may be harmful to the health of humans and animals.
Connected devices are becoming the norm in households including everything from outlets and switches to light bulbs and sensors for water leaks. The horticulture industry has not been left out of the connected devices revolution. New irrigation and climate controllers offer remote management from your phone or tablet giving you the ability to irrigate a field or close up a high tunnel from anywhere with internet or cellular connection.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will offer the Iowa Master Conservationist Program starting May 21. The program will take place at different locations within Hamilton, Humboldt, Webster and Wright Counties, providing participants with hands-on interaction showing the diversity of the state's natural resources. The program teaches about Iowa's natural ecosystems and the diversity of conservation challenges and opportunities within the region.