Extension Information



5 2014 Farm Bill PLC & ARC Decisions, 9:00 a.m., Johnson’s Reception Hall, Elkader

5 Ornamental and Turf Applicators Continuing Education, 1:30 p.m., Extension

Office, Elkader

11 Clayton County Extension Council Meeting, 7:30 p.m., Extension Office, Elkader

12 Commercial Ag, Insect, Weed & Disease Continuing Education, 9:00 a.m.,

Extension Office, Elkader

Commercial Ag Weed, Insect, Plant Disease Course Set for November 12th

Clayton County will offer the Commercial Ag Weed, Insect and Plant Disease Management Continuing Instructional Course (CIC) for commercial pesticide applicators Wednesday, November 12, 2014. The program will be shown at locations across Iowa through the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Pest Management and the Environment (PME) program.

The local attendance site is the Clayton County Extension & Outreach Office. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the course runs from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The registration fee is $35 on or before November 5th and $45 thereafter. To register or to obtain additional information about the CIC, contact Rita Severson at the ISU/Clayton Extension and Outreach office in Elkader by phoning 563-245-1451.

The course will provide continuing instructional credit for commercial pesticide applicators certified in categories 1A, 1B, 1C, and 10. Some of the topics to be covered include water quality protection; pests, pest management and pesticides; phytotoxicity; and pesticide stewardship.

Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in Soil and Water Management and Pest Management will be offered at this program. Any interested participant should bring his or her CCA number.

Additional information and registration forms for this and other courses offered by the PME program can be accessed at www.extension.iastate.edu/PME/ComAp.html.


ISU Extension Farm Bill Program Overview Meeting November 18th

Farmers and landowners will learn about the new programs authorized by the Agricultural Act of 2104 (commonly referred to as the Farm Bill) at an informational meeting conducted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and local USDA Farm Service Agency staff members. A meeting will be held November 18th at Johnson’s Reception Hall in Elkader from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

The Farm Bill – Program Overview meetings will focus on the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) that will be administered by USDA Farm Service Agency, and the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) administered by USDA Risk Management Agency through federal crop insurance providers.

Extension farm management specialists are prepared to discuss decisions farmers and landowners will need to make in the coming months regarding Price Loss Coverage, County Agricultural Risk Coverage, and Individual Agricultural Risk Coverage options,” said Kristin Schulte, farm management specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “Joining Extension and Outreach at the meetings will be local FSA staff members who administer the programs.”

The main topics that will be covered during the meetings are:

  • Base reallocation

  • Yield updating

  • Price Loss Coverage (PLC)

  • Ag Risk Coverage (ARC)

  • Implications of PLC and ARC on participation in the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO)

  • Dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP)

  • Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP)

The timeline for when decisions need to be made along with information about online Farm Bill decision tools will also be shared at the meetings.

Farm Bill meetings for the fall and winter months continue to be added to the ISU Extension and Outreach Statewide Calendar. For the other meeting locations and dates visit the Ag Decision Maker Farm Bill website at http://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/info/farmbill.html or contact your county extension office. The Ag Decision Maker website also contains useful links and resources related to Farm Bill decision making.


Yard and Garden: Selecting and Growing Amaryllis for the Holidays

Amaryllis are the perfect holiday flower, with beautiful blooms, fast growth and bright colors. They’re an excellent, pretty addition to your celebration, but what type should you choose, and how do you get them to bloom at the right time?

Horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach share the best way to plant amaryllis for this holiday season. To have additional questions answered, contact Hortline at 515-294-3108 or hortline@iastate.edu.

How do you pot up an amaryllis bulb? 

When planting an amaryllis bulb, select a pot which is approximately one to two inches wider than the diameter of the bulb. The container may be clay, ceramic or plastic, but should have drainage holes in the bottom. Plant the bulb in a well-drained potting soil. Place a small amount of potting soil in the bottom of the pot. Set the bulb in the center of the pot. Then add additional potting soil, firming it around the roots and bulb. When finished potting, the upper one-half of the bulb should remain above the soil surface. Also, leave about one inch between the soil surface and the pot’s rim.  Then water well and place in a warm (70 to 75 degree Fahrenheit) location.  

After the initial watering, allow the potting soil to dry somewhat before watering again. Keep the potting soil moist, but not wet. When growth appears, move the plant to a sunny window and fertilize every two to four weeks with a dilute fertilizer solution. During flower stalk elongation, rotate the plant each day to keep the flower stalk growing straight. Staking may be necessary if the flower stalk leans badly.  

Flowering usually occurs about six to eight weeks after potting. When the amaryllis begins to bloom, move the plant to a slightly cooler (65 to 70 degree Fahrenheit) location that doesn’t receive direct sunlight to prolong the life of the flowers.

When should an amaryllis bulb be planted in order for the amaryllis to be in bloom for the holiday season?

An amaryllis bulb usually blooms about six to eight weeks after planting.  Plant the bulb in early November if you want the amaryllis to be in bloom for the holiday season.

What types of amaryllis are available?

Home gardeners can choose from single-flowering, double-flowering, and miniature amaryllis varieties (cultivars). Flower colors include red, pink, orange, salmon, white and bicolors. Excellent single-blooming cultivars include ‘Apple Blossom’ (white with pink feathering), ‘Christmas Gift’ (white with a green throat), ‘Minerva’ (red with white star), ‘Orange Sovereign’ (orange), ‘Picotee’ (white with red edge), and ‘Red Lion’ (deep crimson red).  ‘Aphrodite’ (white with pinkish red feathering), ‘Blossom Peacock’ (rose-red with white throat and midrib), ‘Dancing Queen’ (red and white striped) and ‘White Nymph’ (white) are available double-flowering cultivars.

Miniature cultivars include ‘Baby Star’ (deep red with a white star center), ‘Fairytale’ (white with raspberry red stripes), ‘Green Goddess’ (white with green center) and ‘Neon’ (fuchsia pink with a white throat).