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A special supplement of The Standard Newspaper, Waukon, IA

NATIONAL
AGRICULTURE DAY
March 20, 2018

Agriculture: Food for Life

National Ag Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture.
Every year, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies
and countless others across America join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture.
Page 2 March 14, 2018

NATIONAL AG DAY 3-20-18


To bee or not to bee? A local beekeeper talks bees
by David M. Johnson gan employment at a grocery
in Illinois. He purchased some
Nothing makes a morn- acres by the local river, bought
ing breakfast more enjoyable some bee hives “because he
than a little honey on buttered wanted something to do,” and
toast. Thanks to the passion his inconspicuous dabbling in-
and interest of a few individu- duced more than a hobby but a
als involved in beekeeping, the focused participation in an an-
American public will continue to cient partnership with another
have the opportunity to patron- creature of this world’s shared
ize one of nature’s sweet tast- environment.
ing treasures. The labor of one Walters was dealing with an
of planet Earth’s most industri- insect that, directly or indirect-
ous creatures provides an end ly, is responsible for approxi-
product that continues to find mately one-third of all the food
a home on the meal time table Americans eat due to its polli-
due to the diligence of these nation efforts. Not deterred or
honey brokers. overwhelmed by this fact, this
Bob Walters near Dorchester future apiarist approached his
is one of those brokers who en- newfound interest by invest-
sures that the sweet nectar of ing in a quest to increase his
his “livestock” has a pipeline to knowledge that would enhance
meet the appetite of a consumer his abilities to be successful in
craving for a natural break from future endeavors. He moved to
the many other distractions of Ohio and enrolled at Ohio State
processed offerings. His inter- University, graduating with a
est in the apiary was something degree in entomology.
by chance more than anything Bob Walters is shown with his inventory of honey for sale he harvests on his rural Dorchester
planned. After leaving military Bees property in Allamakee County. What began as a hobby for him after leaving the military in the
service in 1971, Walters be- Continued on page 11 1970s has developed into an annual venture involving about 50 bee hives.

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March 14, 2018 Page 3

NATIONAL AG DAY 3-20-18


Conservation strategies for the countryside
by David M. Johnson of those areas are now return- graduating from Iowa State the landowner before they get will work if a windbreak is cho-
ing to wetlands once again. University with a Forest Man- down to the nitty-gritty. They will sen instead of a standard tree
Iowa’s past was a landscape With the government CRP agement degree in 1993. He look over the site and compare plot planting. Asche strongly
where prairie grass was plen- (Conservation Reserve Pro- was previously employed in how the goals will comply with suggests that when choosing
tiful and trees lined the banks gram), landowners are con- forestry jobs with both private program specifics. A number of trees for a timber tract, diversity
of the many streams that criss- verting some if not all of their firms and urban areas. Begin- ingredients come into play to is highly important, wanting to
crossed over terrain that would properties to non-crop produc- ning in 2000, Asche took an determine if the goals will be mix in oaks, maples and any
later welcome farmsteads and tion. CRP acreage is found active role with the Iowa DNR met to the satisfaction of the other hardwoods so not only
urban communities. Corn and throughout Allamakee County and has never looked back. He landowner. What type of soils is the appearance aesthetical-
bean fields have replaced the with numerous owners of rural has used his experience and are involved, is the site north ly pleasing but to ensure that a
grasses and flowers that dot- landholdings choosing to go education to help guide and facing or south facing, does solid mixture of species allow
ted the valleys and hills of this the route of planting grasses advise the many people who the ground flood or erode, and for a healthy stand.
great state, trees were cut to and trees. are concerned with the devel- what type of tree or shrub will Different trees have different
make homes, barns, schools There are experts out there to opment of their land, wishing a best survive and flourish in the enemies, as there is the emer-
and churches. It is said that assist with choosing and then more positive natural approach different plots? These are just ald ash borer, burr oak blight,
Iowa has lost 97 percent of its developing these acres to meet to enhance their land and the some of the considerations that chestnut blight and Dutch elm
forests and little remains of the the goals and desires of these surrounding environment. come into play when creating a disease. As one can likely see,
vast fields of the wild grasses. landowners. Dave Asche, a De- Also taken into account are CRP contract. it is not advisable to want a
Today, there is a resurgence partment of Natural Resources the CRP guidelines so the “A white oak will not do well in stand with just one or two spe-
to conserve the soils and clean (DNR) District Forester, and landowner and the government bottomlands, “observed Asche, cies that may be vulnerable.
up the water. Individuals are Allie Rath, a Farm Wildlife Biol- have a solid partnership. A CRP adding, “Sycamores are much Elm is still the most abundant
planting grass plots and trees ogist with the U.S. Department contract usually runs 10 years better as a species for the bot- tree in the state because of nat-
as a measure for the desired of Agriculture, are two “experts” in this cost-sharing endeavor, toms.” ural regeneration, not planting.
return to a more balanced ap- who can lead landowners down thus encouraging a landowner If there is a particular species The tree will not have the girth
proach between row crops and the road where their travels will to “get it right” before every- that can grow in Iowa, it can be as a fully mature tree due to
a more natural setting. Where bring them to their destination thing is finalized. planted. If there is going to be the disease, but it will still grow.
there once were wetlands for of nature’s finest offerings. When this district forester a harvest of trees in the future,
migrating waterfowl, the land Asche has been in the busi- meets with a landowner, he planning for that option is dis- Conservation
was drained and plowed. Some ness of trees and shrubs since listens to the goals chosen by cussed as well as what plan Continued on page 6

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Page 4 March 14, 2018

NATIONAL AG DAY 3-20-18


Don’t treat your soil like dirt Take the 1% Challenge to improve soil health
by Kurt Simon, NRCS state utes to overall soil fertility. And that’s a one-percent increase. increase in organic matter NRCS staff. “After discussing
conservationist for Iowa, it happens to be a very good in- can hold nine or 10 inches of your goals and evaluating your
based in Des Moines dicator of improved soil health. WHY IS IT WORTH IT? plant-available water, reducing current operation, we can rec-
While each farming opera- the potential for erosion due to ommend the types of practices
Many of the benefits from INCREASE ORGANIC tion’s expenses are unique, run-off by 15%. and changes in management
improving soil health don’t hap- MATTER 1% IN 10 YEARS these estimates illustrate the   that will help you improve soil
pen overnight. They build over How much will it take to in- economic impact of improving WHERE TO START health and build organic mat-
time, as farmers consistently crease your soil organic matter soil organic matter: Establish a baseline by com- ter,” Rolling says.
implement soil health practices by one percent? Soil organic • Each year, one percent of pleting a routine soil test with Finally, monitor and docu-
like no-till, cover crops and crop matter is increased through soil organic matter per acre an organic matter calculation. ment progress each year. Items
rotations. But there is a way to substantial increases in organ- releases $15.70 worth of nutri- In addition, conduct a soil to record include crops planted,
monitor your progress: measur- ic materials, like roots, residue, ents. health assessment in the field fertilizer and pesticides ap-
ing the amount of organic mat- compost and manure in the soil. • Eliminating tillage will save by recording soil temperatures, plied, weed pressure, yield and
ter in your soil. Only 10% of the organic mate- about $3.50 in fuel costs per counting earthworms, calculat- soil health assessments re-
First conceived by the late rial added each year remains acre per year. ing water infiltration rates and sults (temperature, earthworm
Brad Harrison, with the Natural in the soil. Because of this, • Using cover crops may re- testing for compaction. counts, infiltration rates, etc.).
Resources Conservation Ser- building a one percent organ- duce the need for herbicides by LuAnn Rolling, District Con- Then in year four or five, con-
vice (NRCS) in Adel in central ic matter increase will require about $16.20 per acre per year. servationist for Allamakee duct another soil test battery.
Iowa, the 1% Challenge en- 200,000 pounds of material, • An average increase of five County, says she and her staff Did soil organic matter increase
courages farmers to commit or the equivalent of 167 round bushels per acre in soybean will meet with producers on by a half percent? If so, the pro-
to a long-term plan to increase bales of cornstalks per acre. yields following cover crops their farms to assist with con- cess is on the right track. If not,
their soil’s organic matter by Depending on your original can earn an additional $50 per ducting these tests. She also take time to evaluate soil man-
one percent. Soil organic mat- organic matter levels, soil types acre per year. recommends having a certified agement (NRCS can help) and
ter is decomposed plant and and crop rotations, it is possible Based on these calcula- lab conduct a soil health analy- adjust, if necessary.
animal material in the soil. This to increase organic matter at an tions, in an average year of a sis, such as the Haney test or Anyone interested in taking
material gives soil good tilth, a average rate of 0.1% per acre corn-soybean rotation, a pro- the Cornell Soil Health Test. the 1% challenge is encour-
dark color, better water-holding per year through no-till farm- ducer’s bottom line could im- The next step is to devel- aged to visit the Allamakee
capacity and improved water ing and planting a mixed cover prove by more than $60 per op a soil health management County NRCS office in Wau-
infiltration rates. It also contrib- crop each fall. After 10 years, acre. Plus, this significant plan with the Allamakee County kon.

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March 14, 2018 Page 5

NATIONAL AG DAY 3-20-18


Will cover crops grow in conjunction
with manure application? We Salute The Agriculture Industry
Conservationists working with northeast Iowa producers to show it B & K Heating & Plumbing Inc.
works, and offering special USDA incentives for farmers willing to try 285 E. Greene St.
Postville, IA
(563) 864-3332
by Jason Johnson, Public manure drowns the seed or Allamakee Soil and Water
Affairs Specialist, USDA-Natural due to the timing of the manure Conservation District (SWCD)
Resources Conservation application. Project Coordinator Sara Berg- Owners: Brian Bohr & Ken Klepper
Service, Des Moines Allamakee County ranks in es is working with a handful of
the top five Iowa counties for farmers on a project funded
Soil and water conservation number of dairy cows, and is through the Leopold Center
leaders in Allamakee County in in the top ten for number of for Sustainable Agriculture to
far northeastern Iowa are work- beef cows. “Manure is a natural find what method, timing and
ing with local livestock produc- fertilizer source we encourage cover crop species work best.
ers to find the best methods for farmers to utilize on ag lands,” “We want to see as much cover
growing cover crops and uti- said Rolling. “Manure helps crop growth in the fall as pos-
lizing manure fertilizer on crop increase organic matter in the sible,” said Berges, “and we
fields, while minimally disturb- soil, and it has significant ener- want farmers to use a winter
ing the soil with no-till. LuAnn gy savings.” hardy cover crop like cereal rye
Rolling, district conservationist
for the United States Depart-
Rolling says cover crops
provide water quality bene-
that will survive and continue to
provide benefits in the spring We
fits when used in conjunction
ment of Agriculture’s (USDA)
Natural Resources Conserva- with manure. “Cover crops can
before planting.”
The following three Allama- Proudly
tion Service (NRCS) in Alla- scavenge nutrients and pro- kee County farmers worked
makee County, says one of the
challenges for cover crop im-
vide cover and ground surface
protection during the fall and
with Berges and the local
NRCS office to plant cover
Support
plementation is overcoming the
mindset that cover crops can-
early spring when warm sea-
son crops like corn and soy-
crops in conjunction with in- Our Area
not be used on acres with ap-
plied manure - either because
beans are not growing,” she
explained.
Cover crops
Continued on page 16
Farmers.

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Page 6 March 14, 2018

NATIONAL AG DAY 3-20-18


Conservation
Continued from page 3
Asche acknowledges there are pine, which is a popular tree but nature can provide with trees. Rath provides technical as- are some of the many consider-
a few advertised disease resis- has a short life. This is one “expert” who feels sistance to CRP contract-hold- ations that have to be factored
tant elms, but they are usually As a district forester, Asche that there is always a future for ers, that assistance and advice in decisions of how and where
planted as a single tree in a believes there is a great de- trees and he is always ready to being determined by the goals to establish a native-seeded
yard and not for CRP. mand for forestry in Iowa as he help and assist if that direction or objectives of each individual. plot. This biologist will oversee
If hardwoods are not part is booked solid with customers is chosen for a conservation CRP practices are taken into and assist in planning for the
of the goals for a tree plant- wanting to plant trees on their plan. account when choosing a plan management of the landown-
ing, then conifers are anoth- land. He sees all age groups There are, however, other and that plan might include the er’s native vegetation stands
er choice for the landowner. and has witnessed a very re- choices other than trees. Those introduction of native vegeta- with an emphasis on the first
Again, the same criteria is uti- ceptive public anxious to be choices include the many tion, something that Rath feels three to five years to ensure
lized to determine a plan of ac- part of a scheme that partners grasses planted and found in would make that plan success- a healthy, suitable and viable
tion. Soil is looked at, as well the landowner with nature. CRP plots. ful in the following years. stand for wildlife.
as what particular species will The high price of corn and Allie Rath, a farm bill wildlife Her directing attention to As the plot evolves, she rec-
best suit the needs and desires beans sometimes puts a damp- biologist, graduated from the controlling species, like smooth ommends burning as a man-
of the landowner. er on farmers choosing trees University of Northern Iowa bromegrass, has shown that agement tool to remove old
Is the area chosen for a wind- over a more lucrative commod- (UNI) with a Biology degree with natives provide more for wild- plant material, help control un-
break or for wildlife cover, ther- ity. If trees are planted, man- an emphasis in Ecology. Start- life habitat. Her education and desirable species and to jump-
mal cover for deer and other aged woodlands are very sus- ing in college, she has worked experience is valuable to the start the species in the spring.
species of animals traversing tainable. It is important that the for several conservation agen- landowner as it provides the This course of action is a posi-
about in the wild? The eastern owner focus on maintenance of cies and groups including the information to successfully es- tive for upland chick movement
red cedar is the more popular his or her trees along with weed National Park Service, Iowa tablish a solid seeding. There and development. Rath strong-
species, as it is hardy and is not control enabling an aggressive, Natural Heritage Foundation, is concentration on seedbed ly believes that if the landowner
as attractive to the nibbling of healthy growth of any trees Tallgrass Prairie Center at UNI, preparation, seeding methods, chooses native, perennial veg-
the whitetails that will encoun- planted. the Nature Conservancy, Iowa seeding mixes, seeding tim- etation, it is beneficial if planted
ter each tree in the planting. A sustainable tree plot pro- DNR, Florida Park Service and ing and the maintenance after in edge areas where row crops
The Norway spruce is next vides cover for the abundance Pheasants Forever. She has seeding. may be less productive. She
as the most popular, followed of wildlife that is found in the been employed or worked as When planting into row crops, has the philosophy of “Farm the
by the fast growing white pine county, is beneficial for the a field intern, technician, work- watershed proximity, slope of
along with other species like many songbirds and offers er and biologist, a tenure of at the field, species of concern Conservation
the white spruce and Scotch the natural beauty that only least 12 years in conservation. in the area, soils and field size Continued on page 7

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March 14, 2018 Page 7

NATIONAL AG DAY 3-20-18


Conservation
Continued from page 6
best and conserve the rest.” crops. the high diversity of the differ- effusion of factors that will ex- the same opportunity to enjoy
What are edge areas? These If a landowner decides they ent species of native grasses ponentially induce the vitality of an environment where the soils
are strategically chosen ar- want to go the direction of and wildflowers blooming will what is found below as well as have not eroded away, where
eas where conservation of the planting a native vegetation more than offset the labor and found above the ground. Both the water quality is safe and
land will be best optimized. The plot, what are the different fac- other management factors that plants and animals, plus the vibrant, where insect and wild-
edges of fields, areas next to tors that are to be considered a landowner had to deal with in farmer/landowner, will achieve life thrive, and where men and
streams, rivers, wetlands and other than what has previous- the initial stages of the planted positive benefits as nature women have the opportunity
those corner areas of fields are ly been discussed? Rath rec- plots. works its course. The infusion to experience an environment
some of the leading candidates ommends that different grass/ Rath suggests that frequent of native vegetation will regen- where the farm and Mother Na-
for planting areas. When con- wildlife mixes are incorporated monitoring be employed to con- erate the soils which have been ture are partners and not an-
sidering native vegetation over in the plan, depending on soil trol any noxious weeds or un- drained of nutrients after de- tagonists. This gentleman and
corn or beans, locating poor moisture categories, like me- wanted tree issues that might cades of row crop agriculture. lady believe there is a place
soil versus soils conducive to sic, hydric and xeric. Planting a start if the plot is not managed Both Asche and Rath are in communities and neighbor-
optimum corn development native vegetation plot with the properly. A well-managed plot passionate about their occu- hoods where a natural cohe-
and growth is part of the dis- native grasses and wildflowers will not only keep the plot via- pations. Yes, agriculture has siveness between making a
covery quest for CPR seeding may take two or more years but ble and healthy, but will provide made great strides in conser- living and living a full life can be
sites. when established, it will provide a positive brood-rearing envi- vation with no-till, crop rotation, realized, if the people work for
Rath believes the farmer will many benefits, such as reduc- ronment for upland birds with pesticide and nitrogen man- a mutual commitment to both
prosper long term by seeding ing erosion as the native plants the abundant insects and other agement, cover crops and a working the land and allowing
down the areas with soils that establish a deep, penetrating wildlife attracted by quality di- greater attention to being good the land to share what it has to
are marginal. If there is ques- root system that binds the soil versity. stewards of the land. Farmers offer if given the chance. Both
tionable ground for row crops, and feeds the soil. Rath wants everyone to real- can still make money while be- forester and biologist are there
then there is possible financial Whether it is drought or a ize that she still endorses wise- ing that good steward. and waiting for local landown-
loss as the nutrients, fertilizers, bout of above normal precip- use management, farmland for ers and their neighbors to invite
fuel and labor will lead to high itation, the soil is rejuvenated crops but there still should be But Asche and Rath believe them in and share their “expert”
input costs with low yield. That with the vegetation that has a consideration with a dichot- that it is imperative that this offerings, to offer and share
is why there is the advantage been planted and maturing as omy of traditional crops plant- generation take a greater role their experience to ensure
of planting native vegetation on it grows. With management, ed alongside plots of native than has been taken previously good conservation strategies
these areas versus utilizing the such as mowing and prescribed grasses and wildflowers. With so future generations will have for the countryside.
same ground for planting field burning in the first few years, dual vegetation there will be an

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Page 8 March 14, 2018

NATIONAL AG DAY 3-20-18


We salute the Agricultural Industry during
St. Patrick students
National Agriculture Day. help fight sinkhole pollution
Brodahl
Veterinary Service
by David M. Johnson

Allamakee County has al-


ways had the reputation as
system and sinkholes at the
surface.
Inhabitants of Allamakee
County like to think that Karst
runs unimpeded to the water
pulled up by local residential,
agricultural and business wells.
Surface streams and rivers
an area with some of the most and sinkholes are something may be carelessly or inten-
– Mark V. Brodahl, DVM – beautiful scenery, not just in special to the area, but Karst tionally polluted by the people
Iowa but in the Upper Midwest. topography is found throughout living by these water systems,
Large & Small Animal Medicine • Small Animal Boarding Little Switzerland and God’s the world. Australia and Serbia and so can the waterways in
460 11th Ave. SW, Waukon, IA • Office (563) 568-2175 Country are just some of the are two of the more prominent Karst topography. Pollution
many nicknames given to de- regions with this feature. from sinkholes used as dump-
scribe the woods, streams and Karst topography has its rep- ing grounds by the landowners
rivers, hills and valleys that are utation as something a little who own the property where
part of the county’s landscape. different compared to other re- the sinkholes are has escalat-
From our legendary Also unique to the county is gions of the state and country. ed to the degree where local
its Karst topography. Karst to- It also has a reputation that de- groundwater has been deemed
meats to our farm-fresh pography is topography that is mands residents living in areas unsafe to drink.
characterized by shallow top- dominated by this topography There has been much de-
produce and dairy, soil on top of water soluble bed- to be very diligent with some- bate which has led to legisla-
Fareway is dedicated to rock, such as limestone. Water thing that is very important to tion to combat this unfortunate
erodes the limestone bedrock the health of those residents. situation, a situation that has
providing you and your following the natural cracks and The dynamics of this type of to- inspired local kids to go that
family with fresh items. widening them to form crevices, pography, water moving freely extra mile to bring attention to
fissures and underground cave underground, eroding the rock the matter and develop a via-
Grocery Dept. 563-568-5017 systems. Karst topography ex- around it and ending up in the ble solution. A team of fifth and
Meat Dept. 563-568-5018 ists in this area because a pe- drinking water for local resi- sixth grade students at St. Pat-
WAUKON, IA • WWW.FAREWAY.COM © 2018 riod of glaciation missed north- dents has a cause and effect rick Elementary School in Wau-
east Iowa (The Driftless Area). which influences the health of kon felt they might have some
The running water will continue individuals. answers and solutions to con-
to widen the already opened The problem is that the wa-
underground drainage system, ter bypasses the filtering that Sinkhole
which makes for a larger cave occurs in a porous aquifer and Continued on page 9
Thanks to all those
involved in American
Agriculture! We understand how busy and
hectic farming life can be.
Village Farm & Home Schedule your appointment online -
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March 14, 2018 Page 9

NATIONAL AG DAY 3-20-18


Sinkhole
Continued from page 8
front and combat the pollution
from sinkholes.
The First Lego League (FLL)
tion in sinkholes. The FLL pro-
gram provides opportunities to
learn beginning computer pro-
When the teams become in-
volved they are challenged with
building a competition board
Thank You Farmers
Hydrodynamics challenge was gramming, to apply math skills, set-up, building and program-
the catalyst for this St. Pat’s to think about engineering chal-
RoboCats Team to begin re- lenges, to learn responsibility, Sinkhole

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search on the problem of pollu- and how to work as a team. Continued on page 10

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Members of the St. Pat’s RoboCats team. Left to right - Front row: Isabel Nesseim, Jack O’Neill,
Ryley Burington and Jaxon Brinkman. Back row: Ethan Lewey, Coach Loretta Schafer,
Annie Ellingson, Ethan Palmer, Kyrie Snitker, Ezra Sweeney and Lucas Byrnes.

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Page 10 March 14, 2018

NATIONAL AG DAY 3-20-18


Sinkhole
Continued from page 9
ming a robot, researching, de- County Soil and Water Conser- at Ames where their project
Supporting veloping and presenting the vation water quality specialist
project when everything falls Sara Berges, who encouraged
competed with about 28 other
teams to advance to the inter-
the Ag into place. Students have to the students to consider a nat- national competition sponsored
Industry fo r conduct fundraising to pay for ural solution to the problem of by XPrize Corporation. While
the challenge building materials pollution in sinkhole. the team did not advance any
9 2 Ye a rs ! plus the computer and robotic Debating and comparing further, it did receive recogni-
parts needed for the competi- the negatives and positives of tion from both the audience and
“Proudly tion that is part of the program. possible solutions would lead judges.
Serving This past year the program to development of a bio-filter. The team has made presen-
23 MP G was called Hydrodynamics, a Visiting local sinkholes and tations to the Allamakee Coun-
Northeast project that focused on water communicating with people
Highway Iowa for
ty Soil and Water Conservation
with the emphasis on solv- that owned the sinkholes, the District office staff and the Beta
www.torkelsonmotors.com 92 Years.” ing water-related problems. students were able to separate Alpha Chapter of Delta Kappa
Through their Earth Science and identify several sources Gamma teachers’ organization.
Studies and Iowa Studies at that exacerbate the intensity The students hope to continue
St. Patrick School, SAVthe fifth and of the pollution. ToVEconstruct to inform and educate by mak-
SAVE E
06 sixth graders $
had2 learned
,7 about a bio-filter, it wouldSAhave 0 tocost be ing presentations in the future
“Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful, $3 ,1 30
Karst topography and how it af- effective, practical $5,86and to civic groups and organiza-
fects local ground water. The efficient. Using an Augmented tions interested in this topic. Lo-
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FLL team felt that this feature Reality Sand Table, tests on cal farmers have indicated they
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would allow their participation the practical application of the
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in the Hydrodynamics project bio-filter and studying water
might be interested in treating
their sinkholes with the bio-filter
8 speed trans., 20” wheels, power windows & locks 5.7 hemi, powertowindows
be one& locks,
step cast
ahead of others6.4 V8
wheels flows,
Hemi, the
Auto, students were able
Backup camera plan. The team’s motto, “Keep
in the state competition due to to design their bio-filter, which
MSRP $36,815 Sale Price* $33,709 MSRP $34,310the Sale that $31,580
factPrice* Karst topography MSRPemployed
$43,120 Sale Price* $37,260
a natural filtering
your junk in the trunk…not in
your sinkholes!” seems to have
is almost exclusively found in of pollutants by incorporating resonated with those individ-
northeast Iowa and especiallyPG grasses, trees, shrubs and uals lucky enough to witness
SAVE in Allamakee County. 28 M rocks of various sizes. their enthusiasm and endorse-
$3,1 64 With the concern for ground- Highway The St. Pat’s RoboCats Team
ment of reversing the trend of
water safety and to fight con- collected an array of different sinkhole pollution.
Agronomy Center, 615 Old Hwy. 9, Waukon, IA tamination of local drinking presentation materials, includ- There was a lot of hard work
water, the St. Pat’s RoboCats ing a diorama, photos and oral and time consumed by these
Are you looking to bring the next generation into the family farm Team was primed and ready to sharing of information. First, kids while struggling but suc-
or need additional income for your farming operation? meet this challenge head on. the team competed in FLL dis- ceeding in a project that they
Waukon Feed Ranch has FULL AND PART-TIME POSITIONS in agriculture. They built a case to support trict competition in Dubuque. deemed worthwhile. “If we
2015 Jeep Compass
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Power Windows and Locks, Remote start with them from Allamakee9-spd. totrans.,
advanceBackuptocamera
state competition environment in the future when
MSRP $26,085 Sale Price* $22,921 MSRP $33,625 Sale Price* $32,659 MSRP $27,690 Sale Price* $25,817 we are older and in charge of
things,” commented sixth grad-
er Jack O’Neill. Another sixth

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clude fifth graders Jaxon Brink-
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Top of the line package, Loaded! Ryley Burington, Ezra Swee-
Power windows & locks, remote start Backup Camera, Full power, Heated Seats ney and Ethan Lewey. Coach
MSRP $46,485 Sale Price* $43,842 MSRP $25,290 Sale Price* $21,858 MSRP $29,240 Sale Price* $25,741 Loretta Schafer and assistant
coaches and mentors Patricia
Novak and Nina Van Gorp were
SAVE SAVE instrumental in guiding and ad-
36 MPG $3,857 $3,916 vising this group of caring stu-
Highway dents.
Over the years, the public
has been gradually introduced
0% for to the knowledge that what
75 months they do with their trash and
and $2,500 other pollutants may come
Rebate back to haunt them - if not now,
2015 Chrysler 2015 Dodge definitely in the future. The St.
Pat’s RoboCats Team has not
2015 Chrysler 200 Limited Town & Country Touring Grand Caravan SXT gone just that extra step to ad-
Power Windows, Power Locks, 9-speed auto trans. Heated leather, back up cam, remote start dress that issue, but has gone
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MSRP $32,290 Sale Price* $28,433 MSRP $28,975 Sale Price* $25,059 tive approach to do something
563-538-4207 now to save this little corner of
the world in Allamakee County.
March 14, 2018 Page 11

NATIONAL AG DAY 3-20-18


Bees
Continued from page 2
After graduation, Walters
worked in Ohio, and then, af-
ter attending a convention in
Orlando, FL, became involved
with a beekeeper in this south-
ern region. His experiences in
Florida, Mississippi and Louisi-
ana taught Walters the dynam-
ics of how to properly manage
honey bee colonies. Walters
would transport bees across
state lines, so there was a
need to know the different laws
dealing with such movement as
there were interstate laws reg-
ulating movement of bees be-
tween states.
Knowledge to improve and
continue the colonies’ health
and well-being, plus what es-
sentials are required so the
honey bee hives are striving
and productive, were just some
Bob Walters of rural Dorchester offered a sneak peek
of the beekeeping erudition
acquired by this beginning en- inside one of the hives used in his honey operation
thusiast. The beekeeping op- while the bees inside are dormant for the winter months.
erations that employed Walters Walters uses around 50 such hives in his current
had a networking connection operation, with each of the hives producing between
35-40 pounds of honey during last year’s production
Bees
season. The dormant hives are housed inside a retaining
Continued on page 12
building from December to March each year.

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Page 12 March 14, 2018

NATIONAL AG DAY 3-20-18


Bees
Continued from page 11
between numerous states that brood, guarding the hive and
eventually witnessed Walters heating and cooling the hive.
moving to the Dorchester area The remaining members are
in 1978. the drone bees, males that start
This Allamakee County res- out as unfertilized eggs that
ident was to farm not cattle, later develop into bees whose
hogs or poultry but a creature only purpose is to mate with the
that can be a little ornery at queen, but only about one in a
times, but when left to its own thousand have that opportunity
devices is almost a seventh to mate. The queen, in turn, re-
wonder of the animal kingdom. leases a pheromone scent that
Still, this “animal” demands the encourages males to mate. A
attention and time of the pro- healthy and prolific queen can
ducer just like the other live- lay between 2,500 and up to
stock populating the hills and 3,000 eggs per day.
valleys of the county. With numerous hives and
With an established popula- thousands of bees under his
tion, Walters increased num- care, Walters purchased equip-
bers by slowly purchasing the ment and remodeled a building
hives of smaller operators, on his property to accommo-
obtaining at peak some 1,600 date his swarming partners in
hives. A normal hive has a pop- his growing operation. As this Pictured above are some of the hives used
ulation of 85,000 bees. The res- enterprise grew, so did pro- in the honey operation of Bob Walters in
idents of each individual hive duction of honey. A prosperous rural Dorchester as they are stored in the
consist of one queen, a fertile operation will oversee about an retaining building on his property during
female that produces future average of 90 to 100 pounds of the dormant winter months. Pictured at left,
residents. There are worker honey per hive. Walters displays some of the individual
bees, infertile females whose frames that are placed in the hives for the
responsibility is food prepara- Bees bees to use in their process of producing
tion for the queen, drones and Continued on page 13 their honey and wax.

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March 14, 2018 Page 13

NATIONAL AG DAY 3-20-18


Bees
Continued from page 12
“When I was going peak in to-one mixture of sugar water mands that the Veterinary Feed
the mid-90s, it took about a and corn syrup to sustain the Directive (VFD) is administered
45-pound average per hive to bees. the same way with bee hives
break even and I was averaging Equipment is readied for a so beekeepers are to be treat-
about only 22 pounds. I started new season and repairs are ed no different than operators
to downsize about that time,” made of the different boxes of any livestock business. Vet-
remembers Walters as he re- that house the bees. Any health erinarians are to oversee any
flected on his commercial in- issues of the bees will also be application of any medications
volvement. Walters, a licensed addressed. Numerous bee- for any apiculture that might
plumber and electrician, did not keepers are always vigilant in require antibiotics. Besides
have to depend on just his bee- maintaining a continued moni- veterinarians, a beekeeper will
keeping to put food on the table toring for several afflictions that have inspectors from the bee-
and clothes on his back, so this may harm the bee community. keeping community run inspec-
occupation allowed him to con- Mites are one problem that tions of the hives to ensure that
tinue dealing with his bees, and harms bees, but a vapor dose responsible action is taken in
a commercial project slowly be- of oxalic acid can remedy any maintaining the bee colonies. In
came a “hobby.” infestation. Foulbrood may be Iowa, it is usually beekeepers
Today, this honey farm hous- one of the most dangerous and trained as inspectors who then
es about 50 hives with an aver- fatal diseases that can affect oversee the inspections. An
age, from last year’s numbers, the health of the hive. Adult Iowa beekeeper does not have
of 35 to 40 pounds of honey per bees have spores on them that to have a license or permit, but
hive. Dorchester’s local bee- help prevent catching the dis- has to provide location of the
keeper still sells honey to indi- ease. The cause of this lethal hives so the State may pass
vidual customers and to some disease is a bacterium, scientif- the information to those entities
local businesses to pay for the ically named Paenibacillus lar- that might be using spray that
upkeep of his hobby. vae. This disease is very con- would harm the hives.
What does it take to suc- tagious and will rapidly spread Having set out the beehives After the honey has been removed from the frames in the
cessfully keep a hive alive from hive to hive, resulting in in spring, between May and hives, it is put through this clarifying machine pictured above.
and thriving? The upkeep of extinction of the hive. To control June the bees will venture out The clarifying machine separates the honey from the non-
a hive colony requires year- the spread of American Paeni- to pollinate and, in turn, begin
honey material taken off the frames.

K
long involvement. After having bacillus larvae and European making honey. Bees will start
established the numbers and Streptococcus, a beekeeper making combs on the individual
equipment, Walters will each may use oxtetraccline HCI, or frames placed in the boxes, the Backhoe, Trenching &
new year set out his hives from commonly called Terramycin. honeycombs are wax cells pro- Excavating, Septic Systems,
their winter quarters located Due to new regulations deal- Water Lines & Electric
in a retaining building outside ing with antibiotics, the Food Bees Time of Transfer Septic Certified
in March when the weather and Drug Administration de- Continued on page 14
warms. Having been housed in Phone 563-568-2377
a building quarters since early
or 563-568-2480

KERNDT
December, the warming spring Stop In & Visit With Us About
weather will welcome what will Your Spring Planting Needs! TRENCHING
become some very busy mem-
bers of this unique farm. Early pay • Liquid & Dry Fertilizer SERVICE
&
Walters Honey Farm had discounts rams • Custom Application Tom Kerndt • 205 9th St. NW, Waukon, IA
ro g
housed over winter the surviv- booking pble! • Dekalb & Asgrow Seeds
ing stock in a back room of the availa
operation’s main building. In a
constant 46-degree environ-
ment, the operation’s beekeep-
Locally
Owned &
THANK YOU FARM FAMILIES!
er will feed the hives a diet of Operated
sugar patties with pollen, a two- New Albin, IA • 563-544-4242 • 888-544-8526

Hammell Equipment and Kuhn Knight


meeting the mixing and spreading needs
of area farmers

Invest in Quality!

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Chatfield 507-867-4910 • Rushford 507-864-2845 • Harmony 507-886-2255 • Eitzen 507-495-3326 Mike Monroe, Ph. 563-864-7346, Postville
& Glen Monroe, Waukon
www.HammellEquipment.com Member of IA and WI Auctioneer Association
Page 14 March 14, 2018

NATIONAL AG DAY 3-20-18

We Salute the Ag Industry!


Bees

Thank You Producers.


Continued from page 13
duced by the glands found on for the bees. Dandelions in the honey. The bottled honey that
the bees. One of the first things spring attract bees and in the might be purchased from this
young bees are programmed autumn the numerous fall flow- operation is obtained from hon-
to do is produce the wax. The ers will entice the hive popula- ey that has been moved to a

BIEBER
bees consume about eight tions looking to pollinate. smaller tank to allow easier
pounds of honey to make just Alfalfa nectar produces a light filling of the bottles used in the
one pound of wax. The comb amber honey, with fall flow- sales distribution.

INSURANCE & REAL ESTATE will house larvae, honey and


pollen. The boxes (supers) will
ers producing darker colored
honey. On average, a worker
The hives will remain out-
side from August to December,
(563) 568-3435 • James H. Bieber, Insurance Agent/Real Estate Broker witness a flurry of activity as the bee will last six to eight weeks, where an additional 20 pounds
FARM, HOME, COMMERCIAL, LIFE & HEALTH bees venture out as far as one- with the most common death of honey may be produced by
half mile and or up to two miles caused by the wearing out of the bees which will be used to
to pollinate. their wings. A worker bee’s av- feed the bees during the winter
This normal range of honey- erage production is one-twelfth months. During the time the
bees brings into question those of a teaspoon of honey. hives are outside, the beekeep-
We are all proud beekeepers that claim they are In mid-August, Walters will er moves from super to super to
to support the producing organic honey. Wal- begin harvesting the honey by make sure there is a live queen
farm families in ters is curious how beekeep- first removing the bees out of in each hive, that the hives are
ers can declare their honey the “supers” by forcing the bees producing honey and that the
Allamakee County! is organic due to the fact that to the bottom of the hives be- combs are healthy looking and
Your hard work and fore removing the frames. He not full.
most surrounding farming op-
dedication is appreciated. erations are not organic. Their follows by “scraping” the wax, Walters will not check hives if
Hacker, Nelson bees would be visiting fields of as the honey is under the wax. it is extremely hot weather or if
those non-organic farms and The honey is placed in a cen- there is an approaching storm.
& Co., P.C., CPAs would be transporting tainted trifugal machine, the honey ex- The bees sense a threating turn
19 1st Ave. NW, Waukon, IA
honey back to their respective tractor, and when finished the of weather and will return to the
563-568-4567 hives. He believes that maybe honey is funneled into a pail. hives, making it difficult for a
the claim is made due to the The pail of honey is dumped thorough inspection. Predators
fact that no antibiotics are used into a clarifying machine where like skunks are a nuisance,
in those individual operations. non-honey material is skimmed leaving tell-tale scratch mark-
SERVING THE LOCAL AGRICULTURAL When the bees range out in off the top. ings at the entrance of hives.
Allamakee County, the favorite With the honey slightly The skunks work the entrances
COMMUNITY FOR MORE THAN 100 YEARS. attraction for the bees for polli- warmed to encourage a more so to entice the bees to leave,
nation is alfalfa. If there is clo- fluid motion, the honey runs where they will be devoured
ver - which there has not been into another pail before being by the mammals. Walters will
a steady source today as farm- transported to a tank where leave a little lye at the bottom
ers don’t plant as much as their the honey is refined through a to deter the skunks. The lye will
grandfathers did, it can be an- cheese cloth filter before being burn body parts of the skunk
563-544-4214 or 1-888-689-1898 other source. Birds foot trefoil stored in inventory five-gallon as it attempts to raid the hive.
www.newalbinsavingsbank.com and pollen from basswood and buckets. The five-gallon pails The biggest threat to the hives,
118 Main St. NE willow trees are another source will hold about 60 pounds of while outside, is man. Hives
New Albin, IA have been shot at and the more
negative elements of mankind
will use their pick-up trucks to
knock over the hives.
With all the time, money and
effort put into maintaining a
Thank you to everyone in the honey farm, Walters was asked
what the biggest negative was.
agriculture community for “Cold weather,” replied Walters,
adding that, “this past year was
your hard work! cooler than normal. When it is
warm the plants secrete more
pollen and will have the bees
making more honey.”
Another negative, like other
farming operations, is volatile
prices. The positive is working
with the bees and being an
active partner with nature, a
stimulus that encourages this
gentleman to continue his in-
volvement. Walters continues
Onsite & for
Not responsible Offsite
accidents. to make some money off his
Auctions
CLERK: SweeneyAvailable
Auction Service
NE Y sales of his honey and his sale
SWEE
ON JEFF L. &AUCTIONEERS
JODI L. SWEENEY of the bee wax, receiving five
AU C T I
SERVI
CE A Family
Sweeney dollars a pound for the wax.
This stipend provides the fi-
Tradition
for 52 years.
Auction Service nancial aid to pay expenses for

www.waukonstandard.com
563-568-2464 • WAUKON, IA
Website: www.sweeneyauctionservice.com
Email: sweeneyauction@q.com
Bees
Continued on page 15
March 14, 2018 Page 15

NATIONAL AG DAY 3-20-18


Bees
Continued from page 14
maintaining this operation. ular due to its resistance to bility of the die-offs is mite in-
Being involved with honey- mites. The one drawback is the festation of the hives. A vapor
bees for more than 40 years, Russian species produces less type application of oxalic acid
Walters is a wealth of informa- honey. inside the hive helps reduce
tion on the honeybee and the Has Walters experienced and kills off the mites. Other
benefits working with these in- any conflict with the more ag- beekeepers have found that a
sects. He believes, especially gressive killer bees or African more frequent cleansing of the
from what information that was species? He replied that if any supers has reduced bee die-
volunteered to him by custom- beekeeper has any experience offs; battling insecticide build-
ers that have bought his honey, with an aggressive hive or con- up in the supers has assisted in
that there is a health benefit flict with an aggressive species, eliminating a culprit that harms
with the consumption of honey. the hive will be destroyed as it the bees.
Individuals afflicted with aller- becomes almost impossible to As one can see, Bob Walters
gies, rheumatism and arthritis work with the hives due to the knows his “stuff” about bee-
believe that honey consump- nature of the aggressiveness. keeping. A continued presence
tion improves their health and When asked what is causing in the field of beekeeping and
helps combat these ailments. bee die-off, it is the opinion of establishing a “bee farm” in the
He has been told of the differ- this beekeeper that the answer county has been nothing more
ent remedies that people will is two-fold. He has witnessed than pure pleasure for this
use, such as administering a in the winter, when he covered county resident. He will be will-
teaspoon of honey in the morn- the hives in black sheeting, that ing to sit and talk bees with any-
ing. Customers tell him that underneath he would see dead one curious about beekeeping.
when they cook and bake they bee clusters on the outside of Hopefully, Walters’ willingness
would rather cook with honey, the box. He believes that the to share his knowledge about
as it requires only half as much bees were driven out of the honeybees will add a little
product as compared to using hives due to a build-up of in- something for those who drive The honey in the Bob Walters operation in rural
sugar. secticide over several seasons. the backroads of the county Dorchester is finally filtered through this smaller
What happens when there A thorough cleaning of the su- and see a cluster of hives sit- tank pictured above to produce the finished
will be a time when the bees pers has helped to eliminate ting out near a timber tract or product. The smaller tank allows for easier bottling
can no longer be taken care this problem. A second possi- nestled in an open pasture. of the honey for sale in jars and bottles.
of by this beekeeper? “When
that time comes, I probably will
advertise in the hope someone Thank you area farmers We support

SZABO our area


will take over,” answered Wal- for all of your hard work!
ters, adding that, “I would train
and work with anybody inter- farmers!
ested in taking over.”
He believes it is not hard to Rainbow Quarry
Construction Co., Inc.
LLC
Thanks for
start a hive, recommending that
Call for your your business!
anybody interested in starting a Over 30 rock product
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beehive should start with two
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800 Volney Rd., Monona, IA (by Rossville)
and excavation experience. REISER IMPLEMENT
that a queen might die in one
hive so the second hive is an
Dan Cell: 563-380-9195 • Office 563-535-7606 740 9th St. NW, WAUKON • 563-568-4526
insurance policy against that
possibility. He suggests that
interested parties purchase
one queen and a two- or three-
pound package of bees, a
SZABO We’re Proud to Serve
Our Area Farmers!
queen costing about 20 dollars.
A beginning beekeeper will wit-
ness no honey production the Construction Co., Inc.
first year as the bees are using
honey to construct their combs Over 30 years of soil conservation
inside.
There are different species
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Also16Open Nights until Christmas
Page March 14, 2018

Christmas Toyland
NATIONAL AG DAY 3-20-18
Pedal Tractors, Sleds,
Puzzles, Farm Sets,
Farm Animals, Trikes, Cover crops
Snow Boards, & Breyer Horses Continued from page 5
See Us for All Your Retail Counter Always Open at the Cafe

CUSTOM MEAT
Extra 25% Off
FRESH HIGH QUALITY MEAT! jecting manure. Details of their sive ridges. Weymiller used the top and came out first, or sunk
specific project involvement ap- following four methods of cover to the bottom of the tank and
PROCESSING
Steaks, Roasts, Ground Beef & Patties, Sausage,
Chicken Breasts, Assorted Brats, Wieners, pear below. crop planting with manure in- came out last,” said Weymill-
Bacon, Pork Chops, Lunch Meats & More!
NASCAR Cars & Trucks! jection on five- to 20-acre plots, er. “It would work if you could
Serving the area for over 30 years!
ROSS WEYMILLER totaling 40 acres: somehow disperse the seed
JET’S MEAT
Lites & Small Trees JET’S Ross Weymiller farms with 1. Drilled in cereal rye seed, equally inside the tank.”
PROCESSING Meats
Tractor Radios, Sentry & Cafe
Safes,
his father, David, and his broth-
er, Frank in rural New Albin.
then injected manure.
2. Injected manure, then
In summarizing his cover
crop/manure trial, Weymiller
10 9th St. NW, Waukon 927 West Main, Waukon They have a 6,100-head hog drilled in cereal rye seed. shared the following:
Step Ladders,
MEAT PROCESSING (563) 568-2403 MON, TUE, WED, THUR, FRI 8-5; SAT 8-1 operation and farm about 1,200 3. Injected manure, vertical • It was easiest and most
Bird Feeders,
MEAT RETAIL COUNTER (AT CAFE) SAT, SUN, MON, TUE 6-1; WED, THUR, FRI 6-5 cropland acres near New Albin. tilled, drilled cereal rye seed. timely to drill in the rye seed
Oster
CAFE (563) 568-2620 SAT,Animal Clippers,
SUN, MON, TUE 6-1; WED, THUR, FRI 6-2 They chopped silage the first 4. Mixed cereal rye seed with right behind the manure injec-
Booster Cables, week of September 2017, and liquid manure, injected manure tion.
planted cover crops on por- and seed together. • There was no need for till-
Tool Boxes, Drill Press, tions of their rich, sandy, river Of the four methods, only the age, especially because there
Adam & Jessie Bunn and West• High BendEfficiency Furnaces
bottom ground to help improve manure/seed mix resulted in a is little residue after chopping
Kurth, Owner
Coffee Makers, & Air Conditioners soil health. They also planted a substandard cover crop stand. silage.
• Geothermal few acres on their highly ero- “The seeds either floated to the • Injecting manure into a
Chicago Cutlery Knives, • Radiant Floor growing cover crop temporarily
Electric Knives, Can Openers and& Bathroom
• Kitchen tears up the stand. However, in
GIFT CERTIFICATES!
Remodels
101 1st Ave. NW,
ag-lime: it’s basic! his experience, Weymiller says
winter hardy cover crops like
cereal rye come back fine in
Winter Clothing
Waukon, IA • neutralizes detrimental soil acidity the spring.
Ladies Sweatshirts and Snow Boots, • increases effectiveness of applied nutrients
Gloves and Stocking Caps, Carhartt, Key, • increases activity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria SCOTT NESS
563-568-3680
Wrangler, Wigwam & Five Brothers • restores necessary calcium
Scott Ness keeps busy on his
Waterville farm with a 185-head
Snow Shovels, Ice Scrapers, Ice Melt • improves soil crumb structure
• retards accumulation of harmful minerals
ewe-to-lamb operation, feeding
about 8,000 nursery pigs, and
The store where the quality is higher than the price. growing 190 acres of crops.
• releases residual nutrients in soil Ness, who won Allamakee Soil
We • increases effectiveness of herbicides and Water Conservation Dis-
VILLAGE salute
the Ag
BOOKING NOW FOR SPRING APPLICATION!
trict Cover Crop Grower of the
Year in 2016, has been using
cover crops to reduce erosion
See Us For Crushed Stone.
Industry and improve soil health for sev-
AND
BRUENING
& are en years.
Ness is a longtime no-tiller
proud to
SUPPLY STORE be a part ROCK PRODUCTS, INC.
who says he will inject manure
on every cropland acre in 2018,
WAUKON, IA • 563-568-4577 thanks to available manure
of it! Hwy. 9 South, Waukon, IA from his growing hog operation.
563-568-3515
Sweeney Auction Service And many of those acres will be
a sea of green cover crops.
Jeff L. Sweeney, Auctioneer - 568-2464 33 3col
colxx x5.75”
col 5.75”
5.75” In 2016, Ness purchased a
For All Kinds Of Sales 15-foot Case IH grain drill to
SPRING PLANTING SPECIALS Celebrating America’s
Celebrating America’s Farmers
Farmers improve cover crop planting
efficiency. “The few times we
White aerial applied cover crops, we
didn’t get a very even stand,”
Planters he said. “We’ve tried several
LEASE TO OWN planting methods and cover
crop mixes. We can get cereal
8106 6 Row ... $4,376 pr. yr. rye to grow consistently well.
8222 12 Row....$6,676 pr. yr. We have great results when
Mother Nature cooperates with
us.”
In 2017, Ness drilled cereal
Krause rye and Austrian winter peas
TL 6205-18 into harvested soybean stub-
18’ Soil Finisher They’rethe
They’re thehumble
foodononour
humbleheroes
ourtables.
heroeswho
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ethicare
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ourbacks
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food
Weinvite
inviteyou
youtotojoin
joinFarm
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Bureauininsaying
sayingthanks
thankstotoAmerica’s
America’sfarmers.
farmers.
of November, the cover crops
LEASE TO OWN
We
started to green up. A month
$
5,996 pr. yr. later, he knifed manure into his
green cover crop.
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“We’ve actually started to
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Waukon, IA (563) 568-4511 www.deeimp.net
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Cover crops
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New Albin, IA (563) 544-4282 WHITE


FB03
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Continued on page 17
March 14, 2018 Page 17

NATIONAL AG DAY 3-20-18


Cover crops
Continued from page 16
sooner,” said Ness. “We get the the negatives. “We factor in In Spring 2017, Ness missed We Are Proud to Support the Ag Industry!

Sommer Pumper
same yields as the late matu- a certain amount of nitrogen an entire acre when terminat-
rity. We plant the beans in late from this cover crop,” he said. ing his cover crops with glypho-
April, before corn. It works!” “Our tougher ground has got- sate. He said the rye grew to
Ness says growing cover
crops is a challenge, but he
ten more mellow and all of our
soils are much easier to plant Cover crops Septic Service LLC
feels the positives outweigh into now.” Continued on page 18 Septic & Holding Tank Pumping • 24 Hour Service
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The family farm of Scott and Karen Ness in rural Waterville has been using cover crops in an
effort to reduce erosion and improve soil health for several years. The Ness operation uses a
grain drill to drill cover crops into the soil, along with injecting manure, such as pictured above,
into those acres available from the family farm’s hog operation. Photo by Jason Johnson, Public
Affairs Specialist, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Des Moines.

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Page 18 March 14, 2018

NATIONAL AG DAY 3-20-18


Cover crops
Continued from page 17
Proud to Serve the Ag Industry! about 32 inches by the time he rye on 30 acres of chopped si- tion, improve water infiltration
planted his corn. “I went ahead lage in combination with pellet- and add to the biology in the
SEE US FOR ALL YOUR VP RACING
Full Line of and planted into it,” he said. “I
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ized lime. The custom applica-
tor pumped the manure pit and
soil. “When I chop silage I am
taking a lot off, so cover crops
AUTO PARTS NEEDS FUELS! ing on my ATV.” top dressed the cover crop two help with organic matter, too.”
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feet away where we terminated Two months after application, The NRCS offices in Clayton
early,” said Ness. Byrnes says he doesn’t have a and Allamakee Counties are
Ness says he is going to pur- perfect cover crop stand, but it looking for producers like Wey-
805 W. Main St., Waukon, IA posely plant into green cover looks much better than it did a miller, Ness and Byrnes who
Ph. (563) 568-3481 on a larger area in Spring 2018. month prior. “There are some are interested in planting cover
“I won’t let it grow to 32 inch- areas where the manure was crops in conjunction with their
es, but I want to see if I get the a little thick and the cover crop manure application. Allamakee
same kind of yield bump,” he had trouble coming up through SWCD and four conservation
said. that,” he said. “Driving over the partners were recently award-
You can trust us for MATT BYRNES
spread manure packs it in and
causes cover crop growth is-
ed funding from USDA through
the Innovative Conservation
ALL YOUR PROPANE NEEDS. Matt Byrnes, of Dorchester,
has been milking dairy cows
sues, too.”
As a dairy producer, Byrnes
Agriculture Project to provide
financial and planning assis-
for nearly 20 years. With 180 says the manure doesn’t have tance to producers in Allama-
cows, he pumps manure from the same consistency as hog kee County or Clayton County
a pit about twice per year and manure, which makes growing to support the implementation
either knifes or top dresses it cover crops in conjunction with of cover crops and no-till in
to as many of his 484 cropland manure application a little more conjunction with manure appli-
acres as he can. challenging. He says in areas cation. Through this Region-
Byrnes tried cover crops on a where the manure was more al Conservation Partnership
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competitive rates for all your farm propane needs. few acres once before, but late watered down, the cover crops Project (RCPP), farmers can
September 2017 was the first responded better.
AmeriGas time he gave it a “good effort”
when he broadcasted cereal
Byrnes hopes the cover
crops help reduce soil compac-
Cover crops
Continued on page 20
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Ph. 563-544-4200
www.amerigas.com

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111 Rossville Road
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March 14, 2018 Page 19

NATIONAL AG DAY 3-20-18

Cover Crops PORTA-POTTY RENTAL & SEPTIC PUMPING


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Matt Byrnes kneels in one of the harvested corn fields on his rural Dorchester farm that he
563-586-2834
electrical needs.
had seeded with cover crops during the winter months in an effort to enhance the soil health.
Licensed & Insured
Byrnes had cereal rye broadcasted over 30 acres of cropland that he had chopped silage from,
along with pellitized lime, also having the cover-cropped acres top dressed with manure from
the manure pit located on his dairy operation. Photo by Jason Johnson, Public Affairs Specialist,
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Des Moines.
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Page 20 March 14, 2018

NATIONAL AG DAY 3-20-18


Cover crops
Continued from page 18
receive up to $6,000 per con- cover crops and no-till farming
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current coverages. Ross Weymiller displays a fully cover-cropped field where silage had been chopped from in early
September 2017 on the rural New Albin farm he operates with his father, Dave, and his brother,
Frank. The Weymillers used a combination of application methods involving cereal rye seed and
injecting manure during their cover crop trial involving a total of 40 acres of their sandy, river
GFMutual Insurance Association bottom cropland along the Upper Iowa River bottoms. Photo by Jason Johnson, Public Affairs
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