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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

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

Category Archives: Ag legislation

As issues arise in livestock, grain, forage and equine industries, I compile the best information and send it our to local producers. If you are interested in receiving the update by email, please subscribe here:

I will continue to publish the Ag News blog. The updates contain additional weather information, calendar and more in-depth articles.


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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. Williamson County Extension will present this webinar series through Farm Commons over the winter of 2014-2015. The series will help farmers identify some common concerns. Webinars are hosted on Monday and Tuesday afternoons and be held at the Extension office. Topics will include: beginning farmers and farm law, putting your CSA on a solid legal footing, hosting legally secure farm events, adding value with liability to farm products and farm leases that are good for landowners and tenants.

The first program will be on Monday, December 8 from 12 noon to 1 p.m. The interactive webinar will be a preview of the many legal issues beginning farmers should consider when just starting out with farming. What business entity should a farmer choose? Which insurance policies are really important? What about that farmland lease- when should it be written down and what should it say? Is there anything to know about farmers market sales, volunteers, or working with family members? This webinar will touch on all of these questions and more.

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“Water rights and wrongs: What Every Rancher Should Know About Texas Surface and Groundwater Law” will be the topic of a May 1 webinar featuring Dr. Ron Kaiser, professor in the recreation, park and tourism sciences department at Texas A&M Universityand chair of the Texas A&M Water Program.

Water has become a very limiting resource, Kaiser said. This webinar will disclose information every landowner should know about both surface and groundwater laws and how they relate to them.

“Put rumors to rest and join us for this informative topic,” he said.

This webinar is part of the Texas Range Webinar Series conducted monthly by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Serviceecosystem science and management unit. Each webinar is scheduled from noon to 1 p.m., said Pete Flores, webinar coordinator in Corpus Christi.

Flores said the program has switched webinar software, so those planning to attend should go to to configure their computer prior to the webinar.

This webinar and others in the series can be accessed at .

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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 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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