Iowans are invited to nominate families in their communities for the Farm Environmental Leader Award. Farmers who voluntarily take actions, like planting cover crops or installing conservation infrastructure in their fields, are eligible for the award. The deadline to nominate a deserving farmer has been extended to June 25.
To qualify, individuals must make environmental stewardship a priority and incorporate best management practices into their operation. As true stewards of the land, they recognize that improved water quality and soil sustainability reaps benefits that extend beyond their fields to citizens of Iowa and residents even further downstream.
An appointed committee of representatives from both conservation and agricultural groups will review the nominations and select the winners. The recipients will be recognized on Wednesday, Aug. 14 at the Iowa State Fair.
Since the creation of the award in 2012, more than 500 farm families have been recognized. Winners are presented a certificate as well as a yard sign donated by Bayer. The nomination form, a list of previous awardees and other information can be found at iowaagriculture.gov/farm-environmental-leader-awards.
Growers, crop consultants, ag professionals and extension educators are encouraged to attend Nebraska Extension’s weed management field day from 8.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 26 at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s South Central Agricultural Laboratory near Clay Center.
The field day will include on-site demonstrations of herbicides for weed control in corn, popcorn and soybean. An early morning demonstration will focus on weed control in soybeans followed by a demonstration of projects for weed control in corn and popcorn.
A number of projects will be demonstrated during the field day, including weed control in XtendFlex soybean, Enlist Corn, and Alite 27 Soybean. New this year for participants to learn about research project aimed at terminating cereal rye before and after planting soybean and control of volunteer corn in Enlist Corn.
Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) continuing education units are available.
There is no cost to attend the field day, but participants are asked to register at http://agronomy.unl.edu/fieldday.
The South Central Agricultural Laboratory is 4.5 miles west of the intersection of Highways 14 and 6, or 12.4 miles east of Hastings on Highway 6. GPS coordinates of the field day site is 40.57539, -98.13776.
Openings are available for one-on-one, confidential farm finance and ag law consultations being conducted across the state each month. An experienced ag law attorney and ag financial counselor will be available to address farm and ranch issues related to financial planning, estate and transition planning, farm loan programs, debtor/creditor law, water rights, and other relevant matters. The clinics offer an opportunity to seek an experienced outside opinion on issues affecting your farm or ranch.
Clinic Sites and Dates
Norfolk — Thursday, June 27
Valentine — Friday, June 28
To sign up for a free clinic or to get more information, call Michelle at the Nebraska Farm Hotline at 1-800-464-0258. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture and Legal Aid of Nebraska sponsor these clinics.
The 2019 Iowa Swine Day will offer pork producers an agenda of expert speakers who will address current issues affecting the industry. Topics will include the status of and response to African Swine Fever, what makes a biosecurity program successful, improving company culture, precision pork production and feeding the high-producing sow. The event will be hosted by the Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State University, Ames, on June 27.
The morning session will feature Dr. Frank Mitloehner from the University of California-Davis, who will explore how improvements in livestock production efficiencies, genetics, nutrition and veterinary care can help meet the increasing demand for animal protein as the world’s population grows, without depleting natural resources.
Dr. Wes Jamison from Palm Beach Atlantic University will share how “Gen Z” consumers influence the pork industry, and Troy Van Hauen of Accelerated Performance Technicians will present a mini-workshop on how to improve your company’s culture by developing and exemplifying a standard of leadership principles.
The afternoon will be structured into four concurrent breakout sessions with 16 presentations to choose from. Some of the afternoon topics include nutrition for high-producing sows, precision pork production technologies, and causes and consequences of leaky gut. One afternoon session will be focused on foreign animal disease preparation, including an update on African Swine Fever worldwide from Dr. David Casey of PIC in China.
Registration is $65 and includes lunch and refreshments. Early registration ends midnight, June 14. Late or on-site registration is $90. Registration is free for students before the early registration deadline, and is $45 after the deadline has passed. Iowa Swine Day will be held at the Scheman Building, Iowa State Center, 1805 Center Drive, Ames. The full program, directions and online registration are available on the Iowa Swine Day conference website… http://www.aep.iastate.edu/iowaswineday/.
Iowa Swine Day is hosted by Iowa Pork Industry Center in collaboration with the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Iowa Pork Producers Association.
Flooding, volatile market swings, prevented planting, trade stalled—it seems this year more than ever before—the future is uncertain for many Iowa farmers. Long before this year’s crops are ready for harvest, Iowa farmers need to take proactive steps to manage their risk. Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) is bringing a variety of experts and resources to Des Moines June 28th to help farmers manage their way through yet another downturn.
“Managing Through Challenging Times” is the focus for the 2019 Iowa Farm Bureau Economic Summit at the Des Moines Marriott-Downtown. The one-day event features a variety of risk management, banking, trade and new market experts to help Iowa farmers remain sustainable.
IFBF Senior Economist Dr. Sam Funk says the featured speakers bring national expertise to Iowa to help farmers learn how they can remain sustainable. Farmers will hear from a variety of experts, including a Canadian farmer who grows industrial hemp who will discuss regulations, production, and what he’s learned along the way. Also coming to the 2019 IFBF Economic Summit is Ms. Debra Bauler, the chief information officer for Cargill Protein and Salt, who will examine the growing use of blockchain systems in the production of meat and other foods.
The full-day summit will feature a range of Iowa-based and national experts on other topics critical to agriculture today, including Jim Knuth, Iowa-based senior vice president of the Farm Credit Services of America, who will provide an update on the farm lending environment and factors to consider when working with your banker. Dr. Allan Gray, director of the Center for Food and Agriculture Business at Purdue University, is also on the agenda to provide attendees insight into technology use in agriculture, and how to best utilize technologies during a time of trade uncertainty for farmers. Additionally, Dr. Art Barnaby, Emeritus Professor at Kansas State University, will share his insight on farm risk management, particularly government crop insurance programs, which will likely be utilized by thousands of Iowa farmers following devastating spring flooding.
Summit registration, which includes access to all presentations and lunch, is $30 for Farm Bureau members and $150 for non-members before June 19. Tickets will be available at the door–$60 for members and $150 for non-members. Visit www.iowafarmbureau.com/EconomicSummit or contact Lavonne Baldwin (515-225-5633; firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Five sessions of the Stockmanship & Stewardship program will be conducted in 2019 to help bring cattle producers together for further education on proper stockmanship techniques, including local stewardship that is appropriate for their regions.
The two-day California, Iowa, Colorado, Louisiana and Kansas events are made possible through sponsorship from Merck Animal Health and will be coordinated by the producer education team at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and local host organizations. Additional funding and support for the program is provided by the beef checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance program.
Tour dates for the 2019 Stockmanship & Stewardship tour are:
Ames, Iowa June 28-29
Stockmanship & Stewardship events include live cattle demonstration and hands-on opportunities. They also include BQA training and classroom sessions highlighting issues that affect cattle producers in each region. In addition to cattle handling and effective stockmanship, possible elements of regional sessions include sustainability and environmental stewardship, animal health and regional issues and hot topics.
For more information on either the Stockmanship & Stewardship or BQA programs, contact DeCoite at email@example.com.
The Nebraska Cattlemen Farmer Stockman tour is set for Friday June 28th. The tour starts at 930am at Sysco in Lincoln, followed by stops at Ohnoutka Farms in Valparaiso, the UNL Rogers Memorial Farm in Lincoln, and ending the day at the NEW NE Cattlemen office in Lincoln for the Grand Opening ceremony. Those attending the tour can part at the NC office, 4611 Cattle Drive in Lincoln, and carpool from there. There is no charge to be on the tour, but an RSVP is very much appreciated, especially for a meal count. Contact Bonita at 402-450-0223 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information at to reserve your spot!
The Nebraska FFA Foundation is now seeking applications for 2019-20 local chapter grants and storm relief fund grants.
The local chapter grant program, in its third year, supports Nebraska agricultural education classrooms, FFA programs and individual student entrepreneurship Supervised Agricultural Experiences. Funds are provided by supporters of the Nebraska FFA Foundation and its general fund.
This year, grant requests may be any amount up to $10,000 each. Applications are being accepted until June 30, 2019. Successful proposals from 2018-19 varied from greenhouse repairs to a CNC router to grow towers to animal learning lab.
To learn more, visit www.neffafoundation.org.
Nebraska farmers and ranchers impacted by the “Bomb Cyclone” and raging flood waters this spring are working hard on cleaning up and assessing the damages to their ag operations.
One of the more significant losses experienced by landowners has been the death of livestock. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has financial assistance available to help landowners cope with the aftermath of livestock losses.
Through NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program – commonly referred to as EQIP farmers and ranchers can apply for financial assistance to properly dispose of dead livestock. Applications are being accepted now through July 1. This is an extension of the original sign up periods announced immediately following the flooding/blizzard.
Producers who have not already disposed of livestock can apply for EQIP now. Producers can then get a waiver to allow them to begin working to dispose of deceased livestock before having an approved EQIP contract.
Producers in the area who suffered other damages due to the blizzard and flooding – such as damaged fencing, water sources, or windbreaks – may also seek assistance from NRCS through general EQIP funding. The sign-up period for general EQIP is continuous and has no cut off application date.
For more information about the programs and assistance available from NRCS, visit your local USDA Service Center or www.ne.nrcs.usda.gov.
The most common cause of agricultural-related death in Nebraska is overturned tractors and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Employing anyone uncertified under age 16 is a liability risk for farmers if those children operate such equipment.
Nebraska Extension’s Tractor Safety & Hazardous Occupations Courses take place at 12 Nebraska locations this year for teens 14 or 15 years of age who will work on a farm. Anyone older than 15 is also welcome to attend, but those under age 14 are not eligible to take the class. Extensive training on tractor and ATV safety occurs during in-class lessons with hands-on activities. Instilling an attitude of safety and a respect for agricultural equipment is the primary goal of the course.
The first day of classroom instruction includes hands-on demonstrations, concluding with a written test. Classroom instruction will cover the required elements of the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program. Students are required to pass the test before taking the driving test on day two. The second day will include a physical driving test with equipment operation and ATV safety lessons. To receive certification, students must demonstrate competence in hitching and unhitching equipment and driving a tractor and trailer through a standardized course. In most locations, instructors will offer an ATV simulator experience to learn about safe behaviors and laws for ATVs and UTVs. Students will also complete homework assignments for the second day.
Instructors for the course include staff members of Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health: Aaron Yoder, PhD, Ellen Duysen, Daniel Kent, and UNMC student Jill Oatman.
All on-site classes begin at 8:00 A.M. and end times will vary, depending on the number of participants. Training site locations, Site Coordinator contact numbers, and dates of training includes:
July 1 & 2 – Fairgrounds, Weeping Water – (402) 267-2205
Cost of the course is $60, which includes educational materials, instruction, supplies, and lunches.
To register, print and complete a registration form and submit with payment to the appropriate Site Coordinator at least one week before the course (call the specific location number listed above for mailing address and instructions).
Farmers and ranchers interested in improving wildlife habitat on their operations are encouraged to apply now for funding available from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Those interested in receiving funding should apply by July 5, 2019.
Funding is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). EQIP has designated funding specifically for wildlife habit improvement through the Wildlife Initiative Nebraska. Funding can be used to plant native grass species, control brush on rangeland, conduct prescribed burns to improve grassland and much more.
EQIP is one of the most widely applied conservation programs in Nebraska. Through this program, conservation practices were installed on over 475,000 acres in Nebraska during 2018 with over 900,000 acres currently under contract statewide.
The goal of EQIP is to provide a financial incentive to encourage landowners to install conservation practices that protect natural resources, resulting in cleaner air and water, healthy soil and more wildlife habitat.
Individuals interested in entering into an EQIP agreement may apply at any time, but the application cut-off to be considered for funding through the Wildlife Initiative Nebraska will be July 5, 2019. The first step is to visit your local NRCS field office and complete an application.
For more information about the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and other conservation programs, visit your local NRCS field office or www.ne.nrcs.usda.gov.