ISU Extension Offers RUSLE2 and P Index Introductory Workshop for Manure and Nutrient Plan Writers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Joy Venhorst   
Thursday, 30 June 2011 12:32

AMES, Iowa – Livestock producers and service providers can receive training on how to use the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation 2 (RUSLE2) and the Iowa Phosphorus Index for use in nutrient management and manure management plans at a workshop scheduled by Iowa State University Extension and the Iowa Manure Management Action Group (IMMAG), in collaboration with the Iowa USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The workshop will be held July 26 at the Polk County Extension Office in Altoona, Iowa. The workshop starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.

This workshop is an introductory level, hands-on workshop that will provide the participant with software orientation. It will also introduce participants to the operating parameters for RUSLE2, selection of input values for RUSLE2, and developing and saving management operations for RUSLE2. In addition, real field examples will be used in the workshop to determine risk calculations of the Iowa Phosphorus Index and how to incorporate these numbers into manure and nutrient management planning requirements. Also included will be parameters for RUSLE2 and P Index calculations on snow-covered or frozen ground. Soil sampling requirements for manure management plans also will be discussed.

“Many livestock producers in Iowa have manure management plans that will need to be revised in 2011 to meet the requirement to update plans every four years,” says Angie Rieck-Hinz, ISU Extension program specialist. “The four-year plan requires new RULSE and P-Index calculations and this workshop will be a great refresher for those producers who develop their own plans or for consultants who only develop a few plans.”

The cost of the workshop is $200 if registered on or prior to July 22; the late fee is $225 after July 22. The workshop fee includes handout materials, a CD with software, refreshments and lunch. Because software will be provided, participants are required to bring a MS Windows compatible laptop equipped with a CD-ROM drive and Microsoft Excel Software. Participants must have their administrator password to the computer they bring in order to install software. The workshop is limited to 30 participants.

Online registration, program information and directions to the workshop are available at: Questions regarding the workshop should be directed to Angela Rieck-Hinz at 515-294-9590.


Yard and Garden: Vegetable Pests PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Joy Venhorst   
Thursday, 30 June 2011 12:30

When it gets warm in the garden, the garden pests — worms, bugs and beetles — begin to feed and become a nuisance. Iowa State University Extension specialists offer a variety of ways to control some of the more common garden pests. Vegetable gardeners with questions about the management of other pests may contact the experts by emailing or calling the ISU Extension horticulture hotline at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 515-294-3108.

How can I control squash bugs?

Squash bugs can be serious pests of summer and winter squash. Squash bugs have piercing-sucking mouthparts. Heavy feeding causes entire leaves to wilt, turn brown and die. Several methods can be used to control squash bugs in the garden. Brick red egg masses on the undersides of leaves and squash bug adults can be removed by hand. Adults can also be trapped under boards or shingles placed under the plants. Turn the objects over daily and collect and destroy the hiding squash bugs. Small, immature squash bugs (nymphs) can be controlled with insecticides, such as Sevin, permethrin or insecticidal soap. Sprays are generally more effective than dusts. If the squash plants are blooming, spray in the evening after the honey bees have quit foraging for the day. In fall, remove and destroy garden plant debris to deprive squash bugs of overwintering sites. (photo by Whitney Cranshaw,

There are tiny holes in the foliage of my eggplants. What should I do?

The tiny holes are likely due to flea beetles. Flea beetles are the most common pest of eggplant in the home garden. Adults are tiny, shiny, black beetles. They possess large hind legs that enable them to jump. Flea beetles eat small, round holes in the eggplant foliage, resulting in “shothole” damage. Minor flea beetle damage will have little effect on crop yields. If significant damage begins to appear, treat plants with an insecticide. As always, carefully read and follow label directions when using pesticides.

How can I control Colorado potato beetles?

The Colorado potato beetle is difficult to control. Hand picking has been used since before the development of modern pesticides. Hand-pick beetles, eggs and small larvae from infested plants as soon as possible (practical for a few insects on a few plants, but impractical for larger gardens). It’s especially important to remove overwintering beetles that appear on young plants in spring.

In large gardens, insecticides are often the best option. When insecticides are necessary, consider timing, coverage and insecticide choice. Timing is critical. Small larvae are much easier to control and spraying when the larvae are small is much more effective than spraying when the larvae are large. Early treatment is also necessary to prevent crop loss. Complete and thorough coverage of infested plants is necessary for good control. Control is generally more effective with liquid sprays than with dust applications. (photo by Whitney Cranshaw,

Because of decades of repeated insecticide use, the Colorado potato beetle is resistant to many widely used garden insecticides, such as Sevin. The first-choice products are the synthetic pyrethroids, such as permethrin, cyfluthrin and esfenvalerate. Look for products labeled for use on potatoes in the home garden and apply according to label directions. Spray early and spray often. Biorational pesticides, such as spinosad, Bt tenebrionis and Neem (azadirachtin) are only effective on very young larvae.

How do I control cabbageworms?

Cabbageworms are greenish caterpillars that eat large, irregular holes in the foliage of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts. Cabbageworms can be controlled with biological or chemical insecticides. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a biological insecticide (a bacterium) that specifically targets caterpillars. Bt products include Dipel, Thuricide and others. Home gardeners can also use chemical insecticides, such as permethrin (e.g. Eight) or carbaryl (e.g. Sevin).

There are large green caterpillars with horn-like projections on my tomato plants. What are they and how can they be controlled?

The large green caterpillars are tomato hornworms. Tomato hornworms can be 4 to 5 inches long and nearly as big around as your thumb.

Tomato hornworms feed on the leaves and fruit of tomatoes and other vegetables including eggplant, potatoes and peppers. They can quickly defoliate portions of a plant, reduce its productivity and heavily damage the fruit.

In regards to control, one option is to pick them off by hand (they won’t hurt you). Another option is to use a biological insecticide known as Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) or a synthetic home garden insecticide available at garden centers. Be sure to follow label directions.


Plan Ahead to Avoid Heat Stress in Cattle PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Joy Venhorst   
Thursday, 30 June 2011 12:28

AMES, Iowa – With the weather forecast of temperatures in the mid-to upper 90s and heat index expected to top 100 degrees in Iowa this week, Iowa State University (ISU) Extension beef veterinarian Grant Dewell reminds beef cattle producers that preparing for these weather conditions is vital to maintaining herd health.

Here are five steps to avoiding heat stress in your herd.

Plan ahead. After cattle get hot, it’s too late to prevent problems.

Don’t work cattle when it is hot. Finish working cattle before 9 to 10 a.m. in summer, and remember that during a heat wave it’s best to not work cattle at all.

Provide plenty of fresh, clean water. When it’s hot and humid, consuming water is the only way cattle can cool down. Make sure the water flow is sufficient to keep tanks full, and ensure there’s enough space at water tanks (3 inches linear space per head). Introduce new water tanks before a heat event occurs so cattle know where they are.

Feed 70 percent of the ration in the afternoon. Heat from fermentation in the rumen is primary source of heat for cattle. When cattle are fed in the morning, peak rumen temperature production occurs during the heat of day when they can’t get rid of it. By feeding 70 percent of the ration in late afternoon, rumen heat production occurs when it is cooler.

Provide ventilation, shade and/or sprinklers. Environmental temperatures compound the heat load for cattle during a heat wave. Remove objects that are obstructing natural air movement. Indoor cattle will benefit from shade provided by the building as long as ventilation is good. Outdoor cattle will benefit from sprinklers to cool them off. Make sure cattle are used to sprinklers before employing them during a heat wave.

Factsheets on dealing with heat stress, resources and ISU Extension staff who can help are available on the Iowa Beef Center (IBC) website. Dewell offers more details on heat stress in a longer article on the ISU Veterinary Medicine Beef Extension website. Keep an eye on the 7-day heat stress forecast for your area at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service website.



Iowa Pork Industry Center Offers PQA Plus Advisors Recertification Session PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Joy Venhorst   
Thursday, 30 June 2011 12:26

AMES, Iowa – A few spots remain for the July 12 Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus®) Advisors recertification session in Ames. The Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC) at Iowa State University (ISU) is offering the session, which is specifically for those who became certified during the initial training period in 2007-08.

James McKean, IPIC associate director and ISU Extension swine veterinarian, said the session will be taught by ISU animal science and veterinary medicine faculty members who are certified PQA Plus trainers.

"The session is limited to the first 30 participants who preregister and pay the recertification fee of $50 per person and there are spots available,” McKean said. “However, preregistration is strongly encouraged to ensure the new PQA Plus materials will be available for each participant. No walk-ins will be accepted.”

The session is filled on a first received, first accepted basis, so people should submit their preregistration and payment as soon as possible. The preregistration form is available online at It also is available by fax by calling IPIC at 515-294-4103.

PQA Plus was developed by the Pork Industry Animal Care Coalition to be a continuous improvement program. The coalition, made up of pork producers, packers/processors, restaurants and food retailers, dedicated itself to finding a food-industry solution that would give confidence to consumers that U.S. pork is produced in a way that respects animal well-being. PQA Plus merges the food safety and animal well-being concepts of the original PQA program into three steps: individual certification through education, farm site assessment and the opportunity for project verification that gives customer credibility. For more information on PQA Plus, contact the National Pork Board at 800-456-PORK or go to

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Soybean Checkoff Works to Get Information to Farmers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Friday, 24 June 2011 12:25

State and national checkoff organizations fund numerous research projects each year to protect yields from diseases and pests. But, in order for this research to achieve its maximum benefit, farmers need to know about the results.

That’s why USB recently began stepping up its efforts to get more checkoff-funded research results into the hands of U.S. soybean farmers.

Click here to download an audio news report with checkoff farmer-leaders Jimmy Sneed, of Mississippi, and John Butler, of Tennessee, on how they expect this project to help farmers.

If you would like to conduct additional interviews, please call Erin Hamm at 888.235.4332 or e-mail your request to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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