• Rod Swoboda

    Cultivating Student Interest In Agricultural Sciences

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on April 30, 2013

    At a reception in Des Moines last week for Science Bound students, I met the Tello family. Science Bound is a program that began 20 years ago as a way to draw students from middle school and high schools in Des Moines, Denison and Marshalltown toward careers in agriculture, science and technology. The program is aimed at minority students and currently has 378 students enrolled, all of them in those three school districts. Felipe Tello and wife Hermelinda, immigrants to Iowa…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Bass Farm Generating Interest In Iowa Aquaculture Hub

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on April 19, 2013

    A hog production facility idled for economic reasons is back in production. However, there are sounds of splashes and not squeals coming from the farm operation near Webster City. The business, called Iowa's First, has taken a proactive approach to circumventing the losses in livestock production due to economic changes by moving into fish farming. Farmers Mark and Jeff Nelson are producing hybrid striped bass in their unused hog facilities. The former hog barns now hold 18 large…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Rain Makes Mud, And That Is Good

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on April 12, 2013

    The drought has been steadily lifting, and even in the northern and western Corn Belt, farmers are finally getting what they've needed -- some rain. It's at least a start at recharging subsoil moisture supplies in the driest areas. The rains are nine months too late for last year's crop, but with 2013 planting just around the corner, rain that fell on Iowa and western Corn Belt states this week was indeed welcome. Of course, one good rain doesn't break a drought and while…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Terminating Cover Crops, It's Just A Matter Of Time

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on April 5, 2013

    Many Iowa farmers planted cover crops in the fall of 2012 as a way to create more livestock feeding and forage options for this past winter. However, this spring they will need to terminate those cover crops by May 10 in order to remain eligible for crop insurance. That caution or reminder comes from the Iowa Cattlemen's Association. Some cattle producers also say they'd like to see that deadline extended to allow them to graze or hay the cover crop a little longer in the…

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