2008 Farm Bill Disaster Assistance Program
If your farm has suffered a natural disaster during 2008 it is not too late to sign up for disaster assistance and you should contact you county FSA office immediately. Eligible natural disasters would include damaging weather such as hail, excess moisture, excessive wind, or floods. Also included would be conditions relating to damaging weather or an adverse natural occurrence such as disease or insect infestations.
The 2008 Farm Bill has new disaster assistance programs which require you to have crop insurance or non-insured crop disaster assistance (NAP). Because the Farm Bill was passed so late, the Farm Service Agency is allowing producers a one time opportunity to “buy in” to crop insurance and NAP for 2008 crops. The deadline is September 16th 2008. NAP covers crops grown for food, crops grown in controlled environments (such as mushrooms and floriculture), honey, maple syrup, Christmas trees, ornamental nursery, and turfgrass sod The buy in is $100 per crop per county but can not exceed $300 regardless of the number of crops in the same county. If you grow multiple crops in multiple counties the maximum is $900.
The details of the new Farm Bill assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program, Tree Assistance Program (TAP), and Emergency Assistance Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP), have not yet been determined but the purchase of crop insurance and/or non-insured crop disaster assistance (NAP) will allow producers to be eligible for benefits for losses under these new programs.
For more information contact your Farm Service Agency County office or visit the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov.
Bureau of Horticulture and Farmers Markets
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Wallace State Office Building
502 East 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
September Tips for the Beekeeping Year
As you harvest, make sure your bees will have sufficient honey reserves for winter. (40-60 pounds) If after the nectar flow, you don't have enough reserves, be sure to feed them either corn syrup ( the jury is still out on this, GMO grains causing problems? DO NOT use corn syrup or other syrups that you purchase at a grocery store) use high fructose corn syrup or sugar water. In the fall, the sugar solution should be a ratio of 2:1 (2 parts sugar to 1 part water).
Make sure all your colonies are queenright and strong enough to make it through the winter. Combine any weak colonies or your hive will become infested with wax moths.
Get your entrance reducers on towards the end of September to keep mice out of your hives. Check for mice BEFORE installing mouse guards. Check your bottom boards for holes big enough for a mouse to go through.
Store any frames with drawn comb in paradichlorobenze (moth crystals). Wax moth damage can be devastating to your combs. Store them in a cool ventilated area. Do not store your supers in plastic garbage bags as this acts as an incubator for the wax moth.
Update your record book---you won't remember in the spring!
Here are some reasons bees die over the winter, make sure you take care of these problems in the fall:
Bees run out of honey.
Too few bees to maintain the cluster.
The bees' digestive tracts compact with too much waste matter.
They exhibit parasitic mite syndrome.
Treat your colonies for Nosema disease. Each colony should be fed Fumagilin B in heavy syrup.
Treat for American and European Foulbrood
Check your colonies to see if you need to treat for Varroa mites.
Combine a weak colony with a stronger colony. Colonies may be split again in the spring.
Keep a vigilant eye out for small hive beetle. Inspect your hives to make sure you have a good laying queen. You should see brood in all stages (eggs, larvae, capped).
If treating for mites, get your treatments on as soon as possible. Mark your calendar with the date they went in and the date they should come out. The earlier you can get your treatments on for Varroa mites the better chance you have of getting healthy young bees into the hive to make it through the winter.
Make sure your brood is in the center of the bottom hive body. Arrange honey frames on the sides and in the top hive body--it should be full of honey . If it isn't, feed your bees syrup.
Make sure your hives are tipped forward, just slightly so water doesn't pool on the bottom board and cause moisture problems.
Take an inventory of any equipment that needs to be replaced and replace it!