Extension Information

Clayton County ISU Extension & Outreach Media Packet for 4/19/18

Thursday, April 26, 2018

12:45 PM - 3:45 PM   Spring Forestry Field Day Volga Rec Area   Volga Recreational Area

Friday, April 27, 2018

8:00 PM - 11:59 PM   4-H Lock-In   Postville YMCA

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

7:30 PM - 9:00 PM   Extension 4-H & Youth Development Committe Meeting Clayton County Extension Office

Saturday, May 5, 2018

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM   Market Sheep & Meat Goat Weigh-In  Clayton County Fairgrounds

Monday, May 14, 2018

6:30 PM - 8:30 PM   OUCH! That Stereotype Hurts   Luana Savings Bank

40 Youth Weigh-in 184 Swine for the 2018 Derby Show at the Clayton County Fair

This year 40 Clayton County 4-H and FFA members weighed in 184 head for the 2018 swine derby show at the Clayton County Fair.  This is up 2 youth from last year, but down 38 head. The Derby competition uses the rate-of-gain 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 at the Extension Office in Elkader. The 2018 Clayton County Fair Swine Show will be Saturday, August 4. For more information contact the ISU Extension & Outreach Office in Elkader at 563-245-1451.

Feed Cows to Meet Requirements of Early Lactation

April 16, 2018, 8:24 am | Chris Clark, Sherry Hoyer

LEWIS, Iowa – Prolonged winter weather has limited forage growth thus far this season, which means many producers are still feeding cows. Iowa State University extension beef specialist Chris Clark reminded producers of the importance of feeding cows appropriately this spring. Nutritional requirements are significantly greater during lactation and it is critical for producers to adjust rations appropriately.cow eating hay.

“Energy and protein requirements are significantly greater during lactation. Many spring calves have been born but because of the weather, pastures are not yet growing well,” Clark said.  “It is important to realize that whether they're in a lot setting or already on pasture, cows need to be fed well enough to support early lactation.”

Typical winter diets, balanced for gestational requirements, may not offer enough energy and protein to meet requirements of early lactation. Producers may need to supplement with some type of concentrate or at least strive to use high quality hay.

“To help cows milk well and maintain condition, we need to feed them well as we are waiting for the grass to grow,” Clark said.  “They really need some good hay and in many cases some additional supplementation to keep them on a good plane of nutrition. The challenge is that not everyone has a good handle on the quality of their hay, plus at this point in the season, hay inventories may be running pretty low.”

Corn coproducts are low-starch feeds very compatible with forage-based diets, and Clark said distillers grains can work well to supplement and stretch hay supplies. Other feeds such as soybean hulls, corn and corn silage also can be used for supplementation. Whatever feed is used, supplements must be fed appropriately to optimize rumen function, digestibility and animal health.

The Iowa Beef Center website has numerous resources available on beef cow nutrition, forages, and many other topics. Iowa State University beef specialists are also available to answer questions and help with feeding and supplementation decisions.  Feel free to contact Clark or a regional beef specialist for assistance.



About the Authors: 

Chris Clark

ISU Extension and Outreach Beef Program Specialist


Sherry Hoyer

Iowa Beef Center | Iowa Pork Industry Center


Yard and Garden: How to Grow Hot and Sweet Peppers

April 18, 2018, 3:34 pm | Richard Jauron, Willy Klein

AMES, Iowa— Whether hot or sweet, peppers are easily grown in the Iowa home garden. Green peppers or bell peppers are sweet to the taste and usually dark green, though depending on the cultivar, the fruit will turn red, yellow, orange or some other color at maturity. Hot peppers are increasingly popular and used in cooking all over the world. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists offer tips on planting and selecting pepper varieties. For more information, contact the ISU Hortline at 515-294-3108 or hortline@iastate.edu.Assorted colors, sizes and varieties of peppers.

When can I plant peppers in the garden?  

Peppers are a warm-season crop. Plant peppers in the garden after the danger of frost is past. In central Iowa, peppers can be planted in mid-May. Gardeners in southern Iowa can plant one week earlier, while those in northern counties should wait an extra week. The last practical date for planting peppers is approximately June 20.  

What is a suitable planting site for peppers?  

Pepper plants perform best in well-drained soils in full sun. The planting site should receive at least six hours of direct sun each day.  

What is the proper spacing when planting peppers in the garden?  

Space plants 18 inches apart within the row. Rows should be spaced 24 to 30 inches apart.  

What types of peppers are available to home gardeners?  

Peppers can be divided into a number of different groups/types based on pungency, flavor, culinary use, fruit shape and color. Commonly grown types include Anaheim (long, thin, tapered fruit; sweet to mild), ancho (long, blocky fruit; mild), bell (blocky, 3- or 4-lobed fruit; sweet), cayenne (thin, tapered fruit; very hot), cherry (small, round fruit; mild to hot), cubanelle (long, tapered fruit; sweet), habanero (small, tapered fruit; very hot), jalapeno (small, oblong fruit; hot), pimento (large, heart-shaped fruit; sweet), serrano (small, tapered fruit; hot), and Hungarian wax (oblong fruit; mild to hot). There are also ornamental peppers which are grown for their attractive fruit and foliage.  

What are some good bell pepper varieties for the home garden?  

Suggested bell pepper cultivars for home gardens in Iowa include ‘Alliance,’ ‘Aristotle,’ ‘Big Bertha,’ ‘California Wonder,’ ‘Early Sunsation,’ ‘Karisma,’ ‘King Arthur,’ ‘New Ace,’ ‘Red Knight’and‘Vanguard.’ With one exception, all of the aforementioned cultivars produce fruit that turn from green to red at maturity. The fruit of ‘Early Sunsation’ turn from green to yellow at maturity.  

Additional Stories Published Online

4/18/2018 Yard and Garden: How to Grow Hot and Sweet Peppers
Whether hot or sweet, peppers are easily grown in the Iowa home garden.

4/18/2018 Field Guide Showcases the Mammals of Iowa https://www.extension.iastate.edu/news/field-guide-showcases-mammals-iowa
From the tiny masked shrew to the iconic white-tailed deer, mammals of all different sizes call this state home. The 57 species of wild mammals routinely found in Iowa is the focus of a new ISU Extension and Outreach publication titled “Mammals of Iowa.”

4/17/2018 Publications Help Farmers Make Management Decisions https://www.extension.iastate.edu/news/publications-help-farmers-make-management-decisions
Four new publications available on the ISU Extension Store bring information from Iowa State plant pathologists, agronomists and entomologists together so producers have information in one place that they need to make management decisions.

4/17/2018 McNay Research Farm Hosts Greenhorn Grazing
The Greenhorn Grazing series offered at the ISU McNay Research Farm gives livestock producers information about optimizing forage and livestock production while conserving natural resources.

4/16/2018 Iowa State University Nematologist Urges Farmers to Refocus on Soybean Cyst Nematodes

Farmers preparing for spring planting would do well to renew their commitment to managing soybean cyst nematodes, according to an Iowa State University plant pathologist.

4/16/2018 Feed Cows to Meet Requirements of Early Lactation
Prolonged winter weather has limited forage growth thus far this season, which means many producers are still feeding cows. Nutritional requirements are significantly greater during lactation so it is critical to adjust rations appropriately.

4/13/2018 Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Taylor and Carroll Counties, Iowa
Emerald ash borer has been discovered for the first time in Taylor and Carroll Counties. EAB has now been detected in 57 Iowa counties.

4/12/2018 Beef Veterinarians Annual Update at ISU McNay Farm May 15
The Iowa Beef Center offers an annual educational update for veterinarians who work with cattle. This year's event will be held May 15 at the Iowa State University McNay Research Farm.