Extension Information




23           4-H Workshop-Design What? , 7:00 pm,  Extension Office, Elkader

26           4-H Citizenship Project meeting, 5:00 pm, Extension Office, Elkader

26           4-H Green Team Meeting, 6:30 pm, J-N-J Pizza, Elkader






     Clayton County dairy producers with cows producing in their lifetime in excess of 200,000 pounds of milk and/or, 7,000 pounds of butterfat are encouraged to nominate their cows for the 200,000/7,000 Lifetime Production Club.  Special recognition will be given to these producers at the Clayton County Dairy Festival Banquet set for June 5, 2015.


     The award was initiated in 1986 by the Clayton County Dairy Promotion Committee. 


     To be eligible for the 2015 award, the cows must have exceeded either the 200,000 or the 7,000 pound level by December 31, 2014.  To verify the cow’s production, the producer should send a copy of the most recent Pedigree and Performance Evaluation form (Midstates DRPC Form DHIA-203 or DRMS Form DHI-103) along with the nomination form to the Clayton County Extension Office in Elkader.  Nominations are due May 1.




Northeast Iowa Family Stem Festival is April 30


Families throughout Northeast Iowa are invited to attend the Northeast Iowa Family STEM Festival on Thursday, April 30, from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Northeast Iowa Community College Wilder Business Center, 1625 Highway 150 South, Calmar, Iowa. The festival is free and open to the public.


Over 30 activities and organizations will be at this hands-on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) festival created especially for 3rd-8th grade students and their families. Attendees can view the night sky from a star lab, fly a flight simulator, conduct amazing science experiments, and much more!

The goals of this festival are to increase students’ interests in STEM and to promote awareness and understanding of the importance of STEM-related educational and career opportunities.

The Northeast Iowa Family STEM Festival is a community-wide partnership led by Northeast Iowa Region Governor’s STEM Advisory Council at University of Northern Iowa, Northeast Iowa Business Network (in part, by the Iowa Economic Development Authority), Northeast Iowa Community College, Keystone AEA, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, IowaWorks, and Upper Exploreland Regional Planning Commission.


The Northeast STEM region is one of six Iowa STEM Regions guided by the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and dedicated to building a strong STEM education foundation for all Iowans.  For more information about this STEM Region or the Iowa STEM Network, contact Jeff Beneke at 319-273-7397 or go to http://www.neiowastem.com




30 Youth Weigh-in 184 Swine for the 2015 Derby Show at the Clayton County Fair


On April 11 thirty Clayton County 4-H and FFA members weighed in 184 head for the 2015 swine derby show at the Clayton County Fair. This is up one youth and 23 head from last year. The Derby competition uses the rate-of-gain and lean-gain-per-day along with visual appraisal by the judge for evaluation. There is also a non-derby division in which 4-H and FFA members can participate in Clayton County. Those pigs are not weighed in April, but do need to be identified with official ear tags by May 15. The tags are available for purchase at the Extension Office in Elkader. The 2015 Clayton County Fair Swine Show will be Saturday, August 8. For more information contact the ISU Extension & Outreach Office in Elkader at 563-245-1451.



Yard and Garden: Control Weeds in Asparagus and Berries

Article | Wed, 04/15/2015 - 09:52 | By Richard Jauron, Greg Wallace



Weeds can cause trouble for asparagus, raspberries and strawberries. Here are some tips from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists on the proper way to control weeds in home gardens. To have additional questions answered, contact the ISU Hortline at 515-294-3108 or hortline@iastate.edu

How do I control weeds in my asparagus planting?


Weeds can become a serious problem in asparagus plantings. Cultivation and hand pulling are the most practical weed control measures for home gardeners. Hoeing and hand pulling should be done on a regular basis in spring and early summer. Cultivate lightly to avoid damaging emerging asparagus spears. The application of four to 4 to 6 inches of straw in summer also is effective in controlling weeds. 


Herbicides are not a good weed control option for gardeners, as few herbicides are available for use in home gardens. Products containing the pre-emergent herbicide trifluralin can be applied in early spring before the asparagus spears begin to emerge. Glyphosate (Roundup) can be used on difficult-to-control perennial weeds. Spot treat weed-infested areas in early spring before the asparagus spears begin to emerge or immediately after the last harvest when all asparagus spears have been cut off just below ground level. Do not allow Roundup to get on asparagus spears or ferns, as serious plant injury may occur.


How do I control weeds in my raspberries?


Cultivation and mulches are the most practical weed control measures for home gardeners. Cultivate the raspberry planting frequently during the spring and summer months. Small weed seedlings are easily destroyed. Large weeds are more difficult to control. To prevent injury to the raspberry plant roots, do not cultivate deeper than two to three inches. 


Possible mulching materials include straw, crushed corncobs, chopped cornstalks, sawdust, wood chips, dried grass clippings and shredded leaves. The depth of mulch needed depends on the material used.  Optimum depth ranges from 3 to 4 inches for fine materials, such as sawdust, to 8 to 10 inches for straw on well-drained soils.


Avoid deep mulches on poorly drained soils to discourage root diseases. When mulching red raspberries, apply the full depth of material between rows. Within rows, apply only enough material to control weeds, allowing new canes to emerge in spring. Since organic mulches gradually decompose, apply additional material each year.


How do I control weeds in my strawberries?


Cultivation is the most practical control measure for home gardeners. Cultivate often, but shallow, to control weeds. Hand pulling also may be necessary. 


When removing the straw mulch on strawberries in spring, rake the material to the aisles between plant rows. Straw mulch will help control weeds between the rows of strawberries.