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Agriculture

  • Ask the Experts: Watering outside plants

    AMES — Knowing when to water and how to water plants is one of the most important aspects of gardening and can make all the difference to the health of plants. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialists answer questions about watering plants in containers, gardens and lawns. To have additional questions answered, contact the experts at hortline@iastate.edu or call 515-294-3108.

    How often should I water plants in containers?

  • Publication illustrates energy used in row crop Production

    AMES – Each year, approximately three-fourths of Iowa’s farmland is planted with corn or soybeans. A new publication from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach shows the proportions of energy used to grow a typical corn or soybean crop in Iowa.

    “Energy Consumption for Row Crop Production” (PM 2089W) is available to download from the Extension Online Store, https://store.extension.iastate.edu.

  • Living mulch in corn rows discussed in webinar

    AMES — The Iowa Learning Farms’ June webinar featured Ken Moore, Iowa State University distinguished professor of agronomy.

    Moore shared the results of an ongoing Iowa State evaluation of perennial-established cover crops maintained between rows of corn. These perennial living mulches save soil moisture, slow soil erosion and sequester carbon. Preliminary results are promising. In addition to the soil benefits, higher corn grain yields are reported with the living mulch treatments.

  • Patch-burn grazing to be featured at field day

    KELLERTON — Iowa Learning Farms will host a field day near Kellerton beginning at 9 a.m.

    Saturday, June 23. The field day will focus on the benefits of patch-burn grazing and the multi-state Restoration Ecology in Working Landscapes project.

  • Ask the Experts: Japanese beetles

    AMES – Japanese beetles first emerged around the end of May in some parts of Iowa. As populations increase, gardeners around the state are asking how to deal with these very hungry garden pests. Japanese beetle adults feed on a wide variety of plants.

    Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialists answer questions concerning these difficult to control pests. To have additional questions answered, contact the experts at hortline@iastate.edu or call 515-294-3108.

    Japanese beetles are devouring my roses.  What can I do?

  • Workshop helps instructors teach about energy, agriculture

    AMES — Teachers from around the country learned about renewable energy relating to agriculture last week at a workshop at Iowa State University.

    “The production and use of energy is one of the most rapidly changing technology areas in the 21st century, and it can be difficult to stay abreast on the latest research,” said Thomas Paulsen, workshop coordinator and assistant professor of agricultural education and studies. “While this is one of the greatest challenges faced today, new opportunities also are being created.”

  • Ask the Experts: Bee balm care, needs

    AMES — Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to the red, white, pink, lilac and purple bee balm tubular flowers. Deadheading these late spring or early summer bloomers will encourage repeat blooms. Horticulture specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach answer bee balm questions this week. To have additional gardening questions answered, contact the specialists by calling or emailing the ISU Extension and Outreach horticulture hotline at 515-294-3108 or hortline@iastate.edu.

    What are the site requirements for bee balms?

  • Environmentally friendly lawn care to be discussed

    RED OAK — Environmentally friendly lawn care will be the focus of the June Master Gardner Meeting at the Montgomery County Extension Office in Red Oak.

    The meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, and is open to everyone.

    There is no charge to attend the meeting, which is sponsored by the Montgomery Co. Master Gardners.

  • Ask the Experts: Proper use of mulch

    Mulches are commonly used to enhance the beauty of landscapes, suppress weeds, conserve soil moisture and buffer plants from the damaging effects of traffic and lawn equipment.
    Organic mulches also can improve the soil structure and increase the fertility of landscape soils, which often are compacted and lacking in organic matter, especially around newly constructed buildings.

    Horticulture specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach answer mulch questions this week.

  • Burkhiser retiring after 35 years in soil conservation; open house July 2 from 1-4 p.m.

    RED OAK — Tom Burkhiser, District Conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Red Oak will retire July 3 after 35 years of service in soil and water conservation.  

    He has spent the last 26.5 years at the Red Oak Field Office.  

    Burkhiser began his career in Shenandoah as a district employee before working as a Soil Conservationist in Corning and then as District Conservationist in both Grundy Center and Marshalltown.