Extension Information

CLAYTON COUNTY EXTENSION SERVICE CALENDAR – July 17, 2014

23 4-H Leader Meeting, 7:30 p.m., FreedomBank, Elkader

29 4-H Conference Judging Day, 9:00 a.m., Clayton County Fairgrounds, National 

30 Clayton County Fair

   9:00 a.m. Horse Show

5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.                4-H Exhibit Hall Open (Commercial Exhibit Hall CLOSED)

5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.              BBQ sponsored by the county commodity groups

6:30 p.m.                                     Flag Raising Ceremony & Fair Queen Pageant

7:00 p.m.                                     4-H Style Show & Share the Fun Show 

31 Clayton County Fair

12:30 p.m.                                   Rabbit Show (small arena)

1:30 p.m.                                     Dog Show (large arena)

3:00 p.m.                                     Open Class Foods Department Bake Sale

8:30 p.m.                                     Josh Thompson (grandstands)

10:00 p.m. – Midnight                Teen Dance

August 1 Clayton County Fair

8:30 a.m.                                     Poultry Show (large arena)

9:00 a.m.                                     Other Animal judging (barn)

9:30 a.m.                                      Meat Goat Show (small arena)

10:00 a.m.                                   Bucket Bottle Calf judging (large arena)

11:00 p.m.                                   Sheep Show (small arena)

2:00 p.m.                                     Beef Heifer Show (large arena)

5:30 p.m.                                     Market Beef Show (large arena)

8:30 p.m.                                     John Anderson (grandstands)

10:00 p.m. – Midnight                Teen Dance

2 Clayton County Fair

8:30 a.m.                                     Dairy Show (large arena)

9:00 a.m.                                     Swine Show (small arena)

11:00 a.m.                                   Kiddie Tractor Pull

1:00 p.m. Demolition Derby

4:00 p.m. Dairy Goat Show (large arena)

6:00 p.m. Open & Celebrity Stick Pony Rodeo (grandstands)

7:00 p.m. Clayton County Bull Bash (grandstands)

10:00 p.m. – Midnight                Teen Dance

3 Clayton County Fair

9:30 a.m. 4-H & FFA Dairy & Livestock Judging Contest

11:00 a.m.                                   Truck and Tractor Pull

Noon                                          Kiddie Calf Show (large arena)

2:30 p.m. Youth Olympics (large arena)

6:00 p.m.                                     Scott Rose & Plead the Fifth (grandstands) 

4 Clayton County Fair

9:00 a.m.                              Livestock Auction

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2923 4-H & FFA Exhibits Entered for 2014 County Fair

Clayton County 4-H and FFA members have entered 2923 exhibits for the county fair competition according to Tammy Muller, County 4-H & Youth Program Coordinator. The 160th annual Clayton County Fair is scheduled for July 30 – August 4, 2014 at the fairgrounds located at the village of National (5 miles north of Garnavillo).

The exhibits that will be displayed include:

123 Market Beeves

82 Beef Breeding Heifers

32 Cow/Calf entries

136 Dairy

9 Bucket/Bottle Calves

Swine (16 derby pens, 24 non-derby pens, 34 derby individuals, 48 non-derby individuals)

Sheep (4 market pens, 21 market individuals, 12 breeding individuals)

52 Horses

45 Meat Goats

29 Dairy Goats

38 Dogs

78 Poultry Exhibits

90 Rabbit exhibits

7 Other Livestock

21 Pet Exhibits

1824 Non-Livestock Exhibits (Agriculture & Natural Resources, Expressive Arts, Family

& Consumer Sciences, Personal Development, and Science, Mechanics, & Engineering)

84 Clover Kid Exhibits

8 Home-Judged Gardens

63 Fashion Revue/Clothing Selection/$15 Challenge Exhibits

2 Food & Nutrition Extravaganza

32 4-H Communication Presentations and Working Exhibits

9 Share-the-Fun entries

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Farmland Leasing Meeting Set For August 21st in Elkader

More than half of Iowa farmland is rented, and the percentage of farmland rented has increased over time due to the changing demographics of farmland owners. Iowa farmland cash rental rates decreased by $10 an acre from 2013 to 2014; northeast Iowa cash rental rates decreased by over 1.4 percent in 2014. Additionally, farmland values have increased by 7.4 percent in northeast Iowa from 2012 to 2013, but have leveled off in the first quarter of 2014.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Clayton County is hosting a farmland leasing meeting on August 21st, at 1:30 p.m. to address questions that land owners, tenants, or other interested individuals have about farmland leasing.

The meeting will be held at FreedomBank located at 120 S. Main Street in Elkader. The meeting is approximately 2 ½ hours in length. Similar meetings are being held across northeast Iowa during the first three weeks of August.

Attendees will gain understanding of current cash rental rate surveys and factors driving next year’s rents such as market trends and input costs. They will learn about types of leases and results of farmland value surveys. Additionally, information on 2012 Census, Farm Bill, CSR2, and Nutrient Reduction Strategy will be presented. A 100-page workbook will be included with registration that includes land leasing information such as surveys, sample written lease agreement and termination forms, and many other publications.

Due to changes in commodity markets, cash rent values, and government programs farmland owners and tenants may have more decisions over the next year than in previous years, and this meeting provides information to stay up to date on farmland lease issues”, says Kristen Schulte, ISU Extension and Outreach Farm and Ag Business Management Specialist. Schulte will be the presenter at the meeting.

Registration is $20 per individual. An additional $5 fee will be added if registering less than two calendar days before the workshop. Pre-register by calling the Clayton County Extension and Outreach office at 563-245-1451

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Kiddie Calf Show- Dairy Show To Be Held

The annual Dairy Kiddie Calf Show at the Clayton County Fair will be Sunday, August, 3 at 12 noon. This event is sponsored by Clayton County Dairy Promotion Committee. This showmanship class is for young boys and girls who are interested in dairy cattle and wish to show a dairy calf at the fair. The rules are as follows:

  1. The class is open for youth grades kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of the 2013-14 school year.

  2. The calf must be a heifer calf of any dairy breed and born after March 31, 2014.

  3. No clipping is necessary, but the calf must be clean.

  4. The dress code will be shirt and pants (white is not necessary) with closed toe shoes. No costumes.

  5. All calves must be at the show arena by 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, August 3 and will be dismissed after the show.

  6. Calves must be free from contagious or infectious conditions. A veterinarian will inspect all calves before the show.

  7. Parents are responsible for their own children and calves.

  8. The class will be judged as a showmanship class.

  9. If there are more than 15 entries, the class will be split by children’s age.

  10. All entries will receive participation awards.

To enter, simply send a post card to Clayton County Extension Office, P.O. Box 357, Elkader, IA 52043. We must have the following information: child’s name, age, birth date, last grade in school completed, parents’ name and address. Also please indicate DAIRY Kiddie Calf Show entry. There will be no entry fee. Entry deadline is Friday, July 25, 2014.

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Kiddie Calf Show- Beef New Event At The Clayton County Fair

The first annual Clayton County Beef Kiddie Calf Show will be Sunday, August, 3 following the dairy Kiddie Calf class. This event is sponsored by Clayton County Cattlemen Association. This showmanship class is for young boys and girls who are interested in beef cattle and wish to show a beef calf at the fair. The rules are as follows:

  1. The class is open for youth grades kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of the 2013-14 school year.

  2. The calf may be of any beef origin and born after March 31, 2014.

  3. No clipping is necessary, but the calf must be clean.

  4. The dress code will be shirt and pant with closed toe shoes. No costumes.

  5. All calves must be at the staging area by 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 3 and will be dismissed after the show.

  6. Calves must be free from contagious or infectious conditions. A veterinarian will inspect all calves before the show.

  7. Parents are responsible for their own children and calves.

  8. The class will be judged as a showmanship class.

  9. If there are more than 15 entries, the class will be split by children’s age.

  10. All entries will receive participation awards.

To enter, simply send a post card to Clayton County Extension Office, P.O. Box 357, Elkader, IA 52043. We must have the following information: child’s name, age, birth date, last grade in school completed, shirt size, parents’ name and address. Also please indicate BEEF Kiddie Calf Show entry. There will be no entry fee. Entry deadline is Friday, July 25, 2014.

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Yard and Garden: Get the Most from Your Home Potato Growing Experience

Potatoes are versatile plants and  can be used in many ways when grown in the home garden. There’s a lot to know about how to grow and store them properly, however. Here are some tips from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach on ways to maximize the potato experience, with help from ISU Extension and Outreach horticulturists. To have additional questions answered, contact the ISU Hortline at 515-294-3108 or hortline@iastate.edu.

There are small, round, green objects resembling miniature tomatoes on my potato plants.  What are they?

The small, round, green objects are the fruit of the potato plant.  

Tomatoes and potatoes belong to the Solanaceae or Nightshade family. Plants within a family share certain morphological characteristics. The flowers on tomatoes and potatoes are similar in appearance. Potato fruit are similar in shape (though much smaller in size) to those on tomatoes.

Most flowers on potato plants dry up and drop from the plant and don’t develop into fruit. The fruit that do develop are relatively small and inconspicuous and often go unnoticed by most gardeners. The cultivar ‘Yukon Gold’ fruits more heavily than most other potato cultivars.  

Potato fruit are of no value to gardeners. The small fruit should not be eaten, as they contain a poisonous alkaloid (solanine). The fruit are not useful for planting purposes, as potatoes don’t reproduce true from seed.

When should I harvest potatoes?

Potatoes can be harvested when the tubers are small and immature (“new” potatoes) or when the crop is fully mature.  

“New” potatoes are dug when the plants are still green and the tubers are greater than 1 inch in diameter. New potatoes should be used immediately, as they do not store well.  

Potatoes grown for storage should be harvested after the vines have died and the crop is mature. To check crop maturity, dig up one or two hills after the plants have died. If the skins on the tubers are thin and rub off easily, the crop is not fully mature. Allow the crop to mature for several more days before harvesting the potatoes. When harvesting potatoes, avoid bruising, skinning or cutting the tubers. Damaged potatoes should be used as soon as possible.

How should I store potatoes?

After harvesting the potatoes, cure the tubers at a temperature of 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and high relative humidity (85 to 90 percent) for two weeks. The curing period allows minor cuts and bruises to heal. Thickening of the skin also occurs during the curing process.  

Once cured, store potatoes at a temperature of 40 F and relative humidity of 90 to 95 percent. Store the crop in a dark location, as potatoes turn green when exposed to light. If storage temperatures are above 50 F, the tubers may begin to sprout in two to three months. When stored below 40 F, potatoes develop a sugary, sweet taste. Sugary potatoes can be restored to their natural flavor by placing them at room temperature for a few days prior to use. Do not store potatoes with apples or other fruit. Ripening fruit give off ethylene gas, which promotes sprouting of tubers.  

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Iowa State Makes Sure Consumers Preserve Food Safely


As the price of food rises and interest in sustainable agriculture grows, consumers are finding increasing value and convenience in preserving foods. Iowa State University is working to make sure that those participating in the recent trend are staying safe.  

“There’s a national interest in local, sustainable foods, and food preservation ties right in with it,” said Holly VanHeel, a nutrition and health specialist with Human Sciences Extension and Outreach. “Preserve the Taste of Summer helps make sure that consumers preserving their food are staying safe.”

Preserve the Taste of Summer is a statewide, comprehensive program by Human Sciences Extension and Outreach that teaches food safety and the basics of preservation. The program offers up to eight online lessons and four hands-on workshops that address major food preservation topics including food safety, hot water-bath canning, pressure canning, pickling, freezing and dehydrating.

Iowa State noticed the need for a food preservation program in Iowa when
AnswerLine, a resource for Iowa consumers with home and family questions, saw a 30 percent increase in questions about food preservation between 2008 and 2010. In response to this increased interest, Iowa State launched Preserve the Taste of Summer in 2011.

The program has expanded since then.

ISU Extension and Outreach recently partnered with Hy-Vee so that registered dietitians can educate shoppers and clients about safe food preservation. Many schoolteachers also are enrolled in the program.

“Food preservation is a common topic with my customers,” said Kym Wroble, a registered dietitian at Hy-Vee in Iowa City. “After taking the course, I know I can help spread the knowledge of safe food preservation, and I’m preparing to teach a class at Hy-Vee this fall to do just that.”

Extension offices from the University of Illinois and Washington State University have also recently adopted Preserve the Taste of Summer from Iowa State.

“Educators can help share information with their students and clients,” said Sarah Francis, an Iowa State assistant professor in food science and human nutrition and ISU Extension and Outreach nutrition specialist. “They can explain that things aren’t done the way they used to be and new practices are out there.”

This summer, more than 100 Iowans are enrolled in one of the program’s four participation options: professional, silver, gold, or bronze. Teachings in each option are based on information provided by the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Registration for the program is available year-round.

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Yard and Garden: Battling Common Summer Problems

Summer is a great time to work in the garden or yard to make it look as beautiful as possible. However, problems can crop up and limit a yard’s overall potential. Here are some tips from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach on ways to avoid those issues or correct them when they occur, with help from ISU Extension horticulturists. To have additional questions answered, contact the ISU Hortline at 515-294-3108 or hortline@iastate.edu.

How can I control powdery mildew on my garden phlox?

Powdery mildew is a common disease of garden phlox (Phlox paniculata). The fungal disease produces a grayish white coating on the leaves. Infected leaves eventually turn yellow and then brown. Initial symptoms appear on the lower leaves with the disease progressing upward.

Powdery mildew is most commonly found on plants growing in shady areas and in crowded plantings with poor air circulation. Optimal conditions for powdery mildew are cool nights followed by warm days.

Cultural practices can reduce the severity of powdery mildew on garden phlox. The amount of disease inoculum can be reduced by cutting off and removing diseased plant debris in fall. Plants growing in shady locations should be moved to a sunny site. In overcrowded plantings, improve air circulation by digging and dividing perennials.  

While cultural practices are helpful, fungicides may be necessary to control powdery mildew on garden phlox. To be effective, fungicides should be applied at the first sign of the disease and repeated on a regular basis.

The best way for home gardeners to avoid powdery mildew on garden phlox is to select and plant mildew resistant cultivars.  ‘Shortwood’ (rosy pink flowers), ‘David’ (white flowers), ‘Katherine’ (lavender blossoms), and ‘Robert Poore’ (reddish purple flowers) possess good resistance to powdery mildew. (The resistance or susceptibility of garden phlox cultivars to powdery mildew varies within the United States. A cultivar that possesses good resistance to powdery mildew in the Midwest may be susceptible to powdery mildew in other regions of the country.)

How do I control peony leaf blotch?

Peony leaf blotch is caused by the fungus Cladosporium paeoniae. The disease is also known as red spot or measles. Typical symptoms include glossy purple to brown spots or blotches on the upper surfaces of the leaves. The disease may cause slight distortion of the leaves as they continue growth. Leaf symptoms are sometimes most apparent on the edges of older leaves. On stems, symptoms appear as long, reddish brown streaks.

Peony leaf blotch is best managed through sanitation. The fungus survives the winter in infected plant debris.  Diseased plant material should be removed in fall or early spring (before new shoots emerge).  Cut off the stems at ground level. Remove the plant debris from the area and destroy it.  Proper spacing and watering can help to minimize the severity of the disease. Space peonies three to four feet apart.  When watering is necessary, avoid wetting the peony foliage. Fungicides can be used as a supplement to sanitation and good cultural practices.

How can I control black spot on my roses?

Black spot is a common fungal disease of roses. Black spot is caused by the fungus Diplocarpon rosae.  Symptoms of black spot are circular black spots on the leaves. Infected leaves turn yellow and drop prematurely.  Initially, symptoms develop on the lower leaves and gradually move upward.  By late summer, severely infected plants may be nearly defoliated.

The black spot fungus overwinters on fallen leaves and infected canes. Spores are splashed onto newly emerging foliage in spring.  Black spot development is favored by warm, wet weather. 

Careful rose selection, cultural practices, and fungicide treatments can be used to control black spot on roses. Rose cultivars differ widely in their susceptibility to black spot.

When purchasing roses, select rose cultivars that are resistant to black spot. When selecting a planting site, choose an area that receives six or more hours of direct sun each day and provides good air movement. Sunny locations and good air movement promote drying of rose foliage and discourage black spot infections. Reduce the amount of overwintering fungi by carefully cleaning up the leaf debris in fall.  When watering roses, apply water directly to the ground around the plants. Do not wet the foliage. Fungicide applications must begin at the first sign of disease symptoms.

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