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  • Remember to Consider Pesticides When Trying Cover Crops – WFAN
    resistance to common herbicides That means farmers often choose herbicides that offer long term or residual control If the herbicide persists in your soil it may hinder emergence or growth of your cover crop The longer the delay between herbicide application and planting of cover crops the less problem you should have Some cover crops are more sensitive to herbicides than others Tillage radish for example can be killed by broadleaf herbicides Rye is tolerant to a wider range of weed killers Your decisions will differ depending on whether you plan to graze or harvest the cover crop or are using it primarily for erosion control If you want to plant a crop that will be harvested or the crop will enter the food or feed chain rotation or plant back restrictions must be followed Remember the herbicide label is the law says Liz Liz notes that herbicide companies have typically not done much testing of their products effects on cover crops and therefore you won t find much information on labels about rotations that include cover crops She adds that herbicide persistence depends on many factors not just on the amount of rainfall your fields have received The dominant mechanism for herbicide degradation in the soil is through microbial activity Conditions favorable for microbial populations such as warm temperatures oxygen good fertility and a medium soil pH will favor herbicide breakdown In contrast flooded soil conditions where oxygen is lacking will reduce microbial activity and herbicide degradation Climatic factors involved in the degradation or breakdown of herbicides include moisture temperature and sunlight Generally herbicide degradation rates increase with increases in temperature and moisture while cool dry conditions slow degradation Finally chemical properties of the herbicide affect the herbicide s persistence including the herbicide s water solubility soil adsorption vapor

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/remember-to-consider-pesticides-when-trying-cover-crops/?full-site=true (2016-04-30)
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  • Information on Conservation in Leases and Setting Rent – WFAN
    sample written lease agreements for several alternatives Ag Lease 101 is a project of the North Central Farm Management Extension Committee Visit the website at www aglease101 org You ll find information worksheets and sample leases including cash rent and crop share and leases for pasture farm building or livestock facility farm machinery non commercial and livestock Sustainable Agricultural Land Tenure SALT Initiative This site is intended to help landowners and farmers develop farm lease arrangements that are profitable and sustainable for the landowner the farmer the community and the land Visit www sustainablefarmlease org The site is created and maintained by the Drake University Agricultural Law Center Des Moines IA It offers various resources and tools including The Landowners Guide to Sustainable Farm Leasing available as a free PDF download at www sustainablefarmlease org the landowners guide to sustainable farm leases Chapters include The Basics Determining Priorities and the very helpful Talking To Your Tenant as well as how to assist a beginning farmer Here is a recent blog post from attorney Ed Cox who created the SALT guide about conservation in farm leases www moiafarmlaw com addressing conservation in a farm lease Setting rental rates One important piece of the puzzle in setting rental rates is knowing the going rate in your area In Iowa the Ag Decision Maker website at www extension iastate edu agdm wdleasing html provides annual survey data on rental rates by county along with leasing forms worksheets and articles on a variety of whole farm management topics Many state extension services offer leasing and rental rate workshops in the summer as landlords put together their leases for the following year In Iowa leases must be revised or terminated in writing no later than September 1 or they continue in effect for another year

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/information-on-conservation-in-leases-and-setting-rent/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Women, Chainsaws, and Fire – WFAN
    support from the Iowa Women s Foundation we are training a cadre of women to become entrepreneurs in ecological restoration Here is one of our mentees My name is Sarah Nizzi and I am 25 years old I am originally from Waukee Iowa I graduated from Adel De Soto Minburn high school and went to Des Moines Area Community College for two years to get my Associate of Arts before transferring to Drake University to pursue a Bachelor s of Science in Environmental Science I first became interested in our natural world because my dad was an avid outdoorsman He was a Boy Scouts leader for many years and loved to backpack camp hike canoe and hunt He introduced me to the outside world at a young age and I was immediately hooked When I was younger our family owned 42 acres of pasture and woodlands After my great aunt passed away the land was sold and a few years later was developed into residential housing Waukee has changed dramatically throughout my lifetime The urban sprawl has been extreme in the last ten to fifteen years Waukee s growth and constant need for more development and my love for the outdoors inspired me to pursue a degree in Environmental Science Today I am employed by Pheasant s Forever as a prairie specialist working with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources at the Prairie Resource Center I have been in this position for almost a year and have really enjoyed it I was first introduced to the idea of providing private landowners with ecological advice and labor through one of my college professors Danielle Wirth An ecological restoration business run by women has been an idea of hers for some time now I was chosen to be one of four eco

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/women-chainsaws-and-fire/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Carol Schutte Elected President of Iowa Academy of Science – WFAN
    held on the University of Iowa campus Outgoing president Nadine Weirather passed her the gavel Nadine and Carol are pictured at left Carol has been a member of the Academy for 27 years This was the 127th annual meeting of the Academy whose mission is to further scientific research science education public understanding of science and to recognize excellence in these endeavors The Academy accomplishes its mission through many programs

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/carol-schutte-elected-president-of-iowa-academy-of-sciences/ (2016-04-30)
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  • New to Farmland Management? You’re Not Alone. – WFAN
    to their tenant about creating or updating a written contract or about implementing some conservation practices on their land such as cover crops no till or buffer strips But I could NEVER do something like that you might be thinking My tenant has been farming my ground for years decades And I don t want him to think I m questioning his decisions That s an understandable first response If you haven t been involved in the decision making processes associated with the farm business before now it can seem like a daunting prospect to discuss management with someone who s been in the business of farming his whole life But if you don t have a contract do you know what you re getting for rent Is it fair to both of you Do you ever wonder if you could be doing more to keep livestock out of waterways Are the sides of your creek eroding Can you trace a trail of water through your fields every year Do you watch your bare topsoil blow away on dry and windy days or wash away in heavy spring rains These are just a few questions to think about as you begin to manage your land whether on your own or with other family members We know that Iowa farmers all want to protect the land and pass it along in better shape than they found it But productivity and the bottom line can sometimes trump leaving a lasting legacy Or do you have a tenant who s wanted to try some new practices and you just weren t sure you should spend the money or take the land out of production Maybe it s time to sit down with that tenant and talk about how you can work together to

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/new-to-farmland-management-youre-not-alone/ (2016-04-30)
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  • New Land Trust Offers Healthy Legacy Options to Women Landowners – WFAN
    SILT I ve waited 25 years for this to come along she said Now I can pass my farm on and make it mean something to the next generation Founder Suzan Erem created SILT to offer a solution for landowners wanting to keep their land as a farm SILT was created because its founder Suzan Erem couldn t find an existing organization willing to guarantee that her farm would stay in food production I called everyone in Iowa and then in the country and no land trust would promise to keep that land growing food she said It was a real wake up call Erem who had been a community organizer in Iowa the 1980s had only recently returned to the state but she dug up the names she remembered from long ago She approached WFAN founder Denise O Brien and former state senator Jean Lloyd Jones who had added the words Land Stewardship to the Iowa Department of Agriculture when she was a legislator Those contacts led to others and soon Erem had the Who s Who of Sustainable Agriculture on an advisory council The group held a founding retreat in Perry IA in December 2014 and then launched in January 2015 Since then 13 landowners have contacted SILT to investigate farmland protection Nine of these were women Erem says We re importing 90 percent of our food to Iowa said O Brien a SILT board member I think that s a real shame when we have young people here who want to farm SILT is going to give them that chance Farmland becomes more affordable for the next generation through SILT in two ways Donated land that SILT then owns will be leased to farmers for as long as they like Even their children will be able to

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/new-land-trust-offers-healthy-legacy-options-to-women-landowners/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Woman Land Owner Audrey Arner – WFAN
    met in the Twin Cities as young people involved in the development of the early food cooperatives there When they began farming they wanted to use their land to contribute to the healthy food system they envisioned They began transitioning their land to organic in the early 1990s and adopted holistic management practices see www holisticmanagement org for more information on this system Raising livestock to graze and fertilize the landscape is a crucial part of the management of the farm Taking a cue from its prairie history the entire 240 acre farm is now planted in continuous living cover including hay and grass and 40 acres of woody species including trees and shrubs The way we manage our farms can create habitat and improve water quality Audrey says The way we manage our farms can create habitat and improve water quality Audrey says Keeping soil covered with perennial plants prevents erosion and keeps nutrients in place rather than letting them run into nearby streams or ponds At Moonstone Farm a small pond is the focus of summer activities Because the surrounding landscape is primarily grasses the water remains clear throughout the summer Southwest Minnesota residents recently learned that none of the lakes in their area are considered safe for swimming due to nutrient runoff from farm fields A lot of black dirt was exposed around us all winter Audrey says The soil blew out of those unprotected fields filling the ditches It was sickening As a female landowner Audrey encourages other women to tell their tenants they want to keep the soil and nutrients in place on their land Review your rental agreement Express your conservation values and suggest using cover crops and extended crop rotations If the renter balks shop around for another one Many young farmers are

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/woman-land-owner-audrey-arner/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Cows Eat Weeds – WFAN
    goats and sheep to control weeds If they could do it why not cows She believes animals are a good solution for weed management and offers these four simple steps to training cows or other grazers to eat weeds Know your plant Begin by finding out about the nutritional value and the toxins in your target plant Many weeds are very nutritious but like all plants they contain toxins Prevent illness by knowing your toxins Choose the right animals to train Young animals are more likely to try new things females stay in the herd longer and teach their offspring Train only as many as you can handle They will teach everyone else for you Reduce the fear of new foods Setting up a daily routine of feeding animals something nutritious but unfamiliar gives them positive experiences with new foods and makes them comfortable trying new foods Feed them something new twice a day for four days When you introduce your target weed on the fifth day they ll eat it because it s just one more new thing in their routine of new things Practice in pasture Each new plant requires that your animal learn a new grazing technique

    Original URL path: http://www.wfan.org/cows-eat-weeds/ (2016-04-30)
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