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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

Monthly Archives: April 2011

This week Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon announced that USDA’s child nutrition programs are implementing new rules designed to encourage use of local farm products in school meals. The rule will let schools and other providers give preference to unprocessed locally grown and locally raised agricultural products as they purchase food for the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Special Milk, Child and Adult Care, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable, and Summer Food Service programs. The rule is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 President Obama signed in December and one of the key provisions to bolster farm to school programs across the country.

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“How much risk can I tolerate?” This question is on the minds of many producers and the answer will partially depend on the producer’s financial condition and whether crop insurance has been purchased.

For some, crop insurance will cover production costs and may make up some of the gross income loss says Oklahoma Extension Economist Kim Anderson. An option to generate more income is to plant a summer crop. This option’s risk is the production costs. And, since most wheat is already at the heading stage, crop insurance is probably not available to cover the risk.

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I’ve had several questions on the pecan nut casebearer this past week. The pecan nut casebearer is one of the most important nut infesting insect pests of pecans. Casebearer larvae tunnel into nutlets shortly after pollination, often destroying all of the nutlets in a cluster. The most effective and reliable method of control is a well-timed insecticide application(s) made in the spring to kill hatching larvae before they tunnel into the nutlets. However, insecticides should only be applied if infestations and nut load justify treatment.

Typically, we will start looking for PNC around May 10 and spraying will progress late in the month, but it is all based on scouting for the first egg hatch.

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Plan to attend the Southwest Dairy Day and the Grand Opening of the Southwest Regional Dairy Center at Stephenville on Thursday, May 5, 2011. The event will be held at the Southwest Regional Dairy Center off Hwy 281 just north of Stephenville starting at 9:30 a.m. and concluding at 4 p.m.

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 Brent Bean, Texas AgriLife Extension Agronomist notes there are no good chemical options to kill drought stressed wheat. Glyphosate has proven to be the most effective material, however for glyphosate to be most effective, the wheat must be actively growing. Tillage is not a particularly good option since tillage in dry soil will tend to produce large clods resulting in very poor soil conditions for planting an alternative summer crop.

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Yesterday Texas Forest Service responded to 10 new fires for 435 acres. Since April 6th, Texas Forest Service has responded to fires that have burned more than one million acres.

The Wichita County Complex fire has burned 11,785 acres and is contained at this time. The complex was made up of three fires – Iowa West, Holiday, Missile – all burning around Wichita Falls. Shepard Air Force Base was threatened, as were hundreds of homes and apartment complexes around the area. Seven homes are destroyed. A FEMA Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) was received.

After working with FSA Director Albert Lopez yesterday we find agreement on these losses for producers at this time: 12-13 miles of perimeter and cross fence plus 11 barns damaged or destroyed.

While the sheriff reported many calls on lose cattle, we find no reports of mortality from the fire on production animals; media has reported many pets lost.

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According to VegNews, the “premier magazine to focus on a vegetarian lifestyle”  has been using real meat photos to accompany its recipes, as vegan blogger QuarryGirl (blog tagline: “Meat is Murder”) discovered and documented. QuarryGirl has posted several examples of stock photography of meat dishes in which VegNews has used as an image of a vegan dish. So a greasey burger is the look that a vege-burger is going for to appeal to consumers?

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