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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

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

Monthly Archives: February 2014

This week the United States Department of Agriculture released the preliminary report for the 2012 Census of Agriculture. From this early information I am not surprised that the nationwide number of farms continues the trend downward started in 1982 with a 4.3 percent drop since 2007. However, the number of Texas farms has increased from 247,437 in 2007 to 248,810 in 2012 while the average size has remained fairly constant at 523 acres.

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The law affects sustainable, local food producers in many ways, and farmers need information on how to deal with these concerns. Over the past three months a Williamson County Extension series has discussed a wide range of topics including: hosting on-farm events, workers and employees, selling products to larger buyers, and starting a farm.

The final two programs are set for Monday, March 17 and Tuesday, March 25. The programs are held at the Extension office beginning at 6 p.m. and usually conclude by 8:30 p.m.

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The Patio Lecture Series brings experts and citizens together to visit about topics of interest to homeowners you live where nature and the city meet. Each program will be at the Williamson County Extension Office Training Room. The cost of the series will be $25 or $10 at the door if you only want to attend a single program.

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The 2014 Farm Bill contains significant changes to the farm safety net that include new options for producers. It will be important that growers educate themselves on all the facts in order to make informed risk management decisions that best suite their operation.

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The sixth in the 8-webinar series on Farm Law is on Tuesday, February 25 at 6pm. We are talking about the legal issues that come along with starting a farm: buying land and equipment, leasing, forming a business, buying insurance, and protecting the farm.

The program will be held in the conference room at the Williamson County Extension office.

Pre-registration is required by calling the office at: 512.943.3300

 

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 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protected the Georgetown and Salado salamanders this week under the Endangered Species Act. The decision was spurred by litigation involving the Center for Biological Diversity in 2011 that is forcing federal protection decisions for 757 species across the country.

The Georgetown and Salado salamanders live in springs in Bell and Williamson counties in central Texas.

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Training and testing for Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) private pesticide applicator licenses will be held at the Williamson County Extension office on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Training begins promptly at 8 a.m. and will be completed by 12 noon. Testing will be available after the training. Pre-registration is required by calling the Williamson Extension office at 512.943.3300.

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