Resources

Iowa Soil Temperature Estimates
Daily average 4-inch depth soil temperatures by county for Iowa.
Windbreaks | Natural Resource Stewardship
Windbreaks provide many benefits. They reduce wind speeds, control snow drifting and accumulation in farmsteads, provide wildlife habitat, enhance farmstead value, and provide a more pleasant environment. Learn more about the planning, establishment, maintenance, and care of windbreaks from the Natural Resources Forestry Extension Specialists.
Master Conservationist Program | Natural Resource Stewardship
The Master Conservationist Program is a collaborative program offered by ISU Extension and Outreach, County Conservation Boards, and local conservation leaders and professionals. The intensive blended online and in-person curriculum is developed to equip Iowans interested in natural resource conservation with the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed decisions about natural resources and to become local leaders and educators.
Landscaping for Wildlife | Natural Resource Stewardship
Attracting wildlife to the backyard is easy by providing what they need: Habitat. Habitat is made up of four factors: 1) food, 2) water, 3) shelter, and 4) space. Each factor is essential for a good habitat and varies somewhat by the species of wildlife and the season. To ensure the greatest variety of wildlife species, provide a yard with the largest variety of food, shelter, and cover by providing different types of plants, feeders, and houses.
Managing Problem Wildlife | Natural Resource Stewardship
The only long-term sustainable solution to wildlife conflicts around the home or on the farm is to exclude wildlife, either by directly inhibiting their access, or changing the environment in a way that makes it no longer attractive or hospitable. If exclusion is not a viable option, or attempts to exclude wildlife through changes in the environment or direct barriers like
Emerald Ash Borer Resources | Horticulture and Home Pest News
The emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, is an invasive beetle from Asia discovered in southeastern Michigan in 2002. Since then, the beetle has moved (or been distributed) to 35 states and five Canadian provinces. EAB has been found in nearly all Iowa counties and the neighboring states of Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Tree and Shrub Care
Maybe you’ve never given them much thought, but trees are everywhere.  They’re in our yards, parks, cemeteries, natural areas, along our streets…yes, everywhere!  And even if you don’t always notice them, we need them.  We need them to clean our air, provide shelter from summer heat and winter winds, and bring beauty to our world. This page is meant as a resources for those seeking information on everything from the planting stage all throughout the lifecycle.
Weeds in Lawns & Gardens
This page pulls together resources from the Horticulture and Home Pest Newsletter (HHPN), FAQs on the HHPN website, web pages and videos from the ICM team, weed resources from NREM, and publications available from the Extension store.
Soil Testing Resources for Home Gardeners | Horticulture and Home Pest News
Soil tests for home lawn and garden settings in Iowa can be submitted to neighboring state universities and private laboratories.  Soil tests are not available from Iowa State University. Where can I submit a soil sample for testing? Many soil testing laboratories provide soil tests specific to agronomic (field) crops.  These labs generate recommendations for field crops that do not apply to the home garden, lawn, or vegetable garden. 
Turfgrass Biological Soil Health
Soil health or soil quality refers to the ability of soil to function and sustain productivity, enhance and maintain water and air quality, and support plant health. Soils provide many essential functions, such as regulating water, sustaining plant and animal life, reducing potential pollutants, cycling nutrients, and physical stability. Soil health involves physical, chemical, and biological processes and properties.
National Pest Alert - Chili Thrips
A two-page handout on the chili thrips that includes color photos, host plants, description of the thrips and plant damage, and monitoring methods.
National Pest Alert - Ralstonia solanacearum
A two-page handout on Ralstonia solanacearum race 3 biovar 2 that includes color photos, host range, symptoms, transmission and diagnosis.
Regional Pest Alert - Lobate Lac Scale
A two-page handout on the lobate lac scale that includes color pictures, host plants, description, symptoms and management recommendations.
Regional Pest Alert - Cycad Aulacaspis Scale
A two-page handout on the cycad aulacaspis scale that includes color photos, host plants, description of the scale, life cycle, plant symptoms, and management recommendations.
National Pest Alert - Sudden Oak Death
A two-page handout on sudden oak death that includes color pictures, information on the origins and host range, and how to monitor for this disease.
National Pest Alert - Western Bean Cutworm
A two-page handout on the western bean cutworm that includes color photos, origin, description, life cycle, damage, monitoring an control methods. Previously known as EDC 370.
National Pest Alert - Zika Virus
A two-page handout on zika virus that includes color photos, information on virus transmission, mosquito bite prevention methods, and the symptoms of zika virus.
National Pest Alert - Bagrada Bug
A two-page handout on the bagrada bug that includes color photos, host range, potential impact and spread, life cycle, and management information.
National Pest Alert - Thousand Cankers Disease of Walnut
A two-page handout on thousand cankers disease that includes color photos, transmission, biology, host plants, symptoms and management methods.
National Pest Alert - Blueberry Shock Virus
A two-page handout on blueberry shock virus that includes origin, symptoms, biology, and management methods.
National Pest Alert - Asian Longhorned Beetle
A two-page handout on the Asian longhorned beetles that includes color photos, description, damage, environmental impact and how to report a suspect.
Resource Guide for Iowa Master Gardeners
The official textbook of the Iowa Master Gardener training, this 314-page book provides detailed information on all aspects of gardening. Each chapter is written by an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialist, providing information and answers to questions about growing and tending plants. Its companion, "Workbook for Iowa Master Gardeners" is also available.
Optimal Aronia Berry Harvest
Aronia berries are a super-fruit that are becoming more intriguing to consumers, farmers and researchers. This publication discusses research conducted by Iowa State University into aronia berry production in Iowa.
Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Production Budgets: Annual Crops
Production budgets help to allocate land, labor, and capital. The most appropriate use is defined by the person in control of the resources and may be used to maximize profits or minimize soil loss or any other goal. Sample budgets included in this publication are divided into five sections: total receipts, costs of planting and growing the product, pre-harvest and harvest expenses, ownership costs, and summary of returns. The estimated costs illustrated in this publication are based on Extension professionals experience with a variety of growers in Iowa.
Understanding the Effects of Flooding on Trees
Flood-stressed trees show a variety of symptoms and also become candidates for insect and disease damage. Research has found some trees are more tolerant than others.
Understanding Decline in Trees
Tips on how to identify, prevent, or reduce the stress-causing factors that lead to tree decline.
Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals
This guide provides weed identification and control information that turfgrass professionals can use to develop effective weed control programs for golf courses, athletic fields, sod farms, lawns, and other turfgrass systems. The recommendations apply to the majority of the United States, with input from experts in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Topping - Tree Care or Tree Abuse?
Since topping trees is harmful, read about alternatives to solve site problems.
The Sweet Lives of Honey Bees
This colorful, interactive infographic provides a look into the life of a honey bee. Beekeeper Ben guides readers through information on beehives, types of honey bees, bee jobs, planting flowers for bees and harvesting honey. Created through a partnership between Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Honey Producers Association.
Targeted Pest Management: Phenological Growth Guide for Grapevines
This publication provides a timetable for pest emergence in Iowa and what pesticides can be used in Iowa's vineyards. Designed to be printed and carried with you in the field, this publication is oriented to be folded in half to fit easily into a glove box, folder or pocket.
Stink Bugs of the Midwest
This reference guide helps distinguish the brown marmorated stink bug from other bugs of the Midwest. Stink bugs are common insects found in lawns, landscapes and field crops.
Social Wasps and Bees in the Upper Midwest
Are you interested in having more bees in your garden? Are wasps buzzing around your pop can? Learn about their life cycles, what they feed on, and where they nest. The behavior and biology of the most commonly encountered wasps and bees in Iowa are described in this resource available from our partners at University of Minnesota Extension. This resource was a joint project between Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the University of Wisconsin Extension, and University of Minnesota Extension.
Selecting a Termite Control Service
If you suspect your house is infested with termites or if other property in your neighborhood has termites, consult this publication for information on how to make a decision for a termite service contract. Termite prevention is also discussed.
Pruning Trees: Shade, Flowering, and Conifer
Discover the art and science of pruning with informative photos and detailed guidelines.
Protecting Bees from Pesticides
Know what to look for when checking pesticide labels for insecticides that can harm pollinators, especially bees. Find out about the insecticides that are most toxic to honey bees, bumble bees, and native solitary bees. Also find 10 ways that individuals can help protect bees. Includes several online sources of information.
Prevention, Detection, and Control of Bed Bugs in the Home
Bug bugs are embarrassing and annoying. This fact sheet answers common questions related to preventing, detecting and controlling bed bugs in the home.
Oak Wilt - Identification and Management
Oak wilt, the most damaging disease of oak trees in lowa, has killed many forest and landscape oaks in the eastern and central United States. Oak wilt has not devastated its host species, however, mainly because its spread from diseased to healthy trees has been relatively slow and sporadic. Nevertheless, local outbreaks of oak wilt can kill or injure many trees. The management practices described in this publication can help minimize the risk of losing oaks to this disease.
Managing Storm-Damaged Trees
Here are pruning tips for do-it-yourselfers or hiring hints if you bring in a professional.
Insect Pests of Stored Foods
Opening the flour container to find beetles crawling around the top is never a pleasant experience, but there is no need to panic. The most common pests we find in our kitchen and pantries and what we can do to manage them if they infest our food are described. This resource was a joint project between Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the University of Wisconsin Extension, and University of Minnesota Extension. To access this resource visit the University of Minnesota Extension website.
Insect Galls on Trees and Shrubs
Galls are distinctive swellings or abnormal growths of plant tissue caused by an attack of a living organism. This publication discusses tree and shrub galls caused by insects and mites. It talks about the damage galls create and how they can be controlled. It also provides a detailed list of common galls and gallmarkers that includes color photos. Previously known as IC 0417.
Human Lice
There are three species of lice that can at times infest humans—the head louse, the body louse, and the crab or pubic louse. Human lice infestations can be controlled and prevented easily and effectively.
Fungal Cankers of Trees
Cultural management techniques can help reduce the risk of canker diseases.
Common Problems of Ash Trees
Many ash tree problems can be mistaken for emerald ash borer infestation. Before removal or needlessly treating with pesticides, use this diagnostic guide to distinguish emerald ash borer injury from other common problems of ash.
Cockroaches and Their Control
Learn about the five cockroach species in Iowa and the management and chemical treatment possibilities.
Opciones de control del barrenador verde esmeralda (en español)
Dueños de propiedades y los aplicadores de pesticidas comerciales encontrarán medidas de control a considerar para prevenir y tratar la infestación de fresnos por el barrenador verde esmeralda. Incluye recomendaciones de productos y evaluación de eficacia de los insecticidas. Spanish version of Emerald Ash Borer Management Options.
Emerald Ash Borer Management Options
Homeowners and commercial pesticide applicators will find control measures to consider in preventing and treating the infestation of ash trees by the emerald ash borer. Includes product recommendations and evaluation of insecticide effectiveness.
Hop Production 101: Commercial Hop Yard Trellis Design
As hop production returns to Iowa, growers are wanting more information on producing healthy and abundant harvests. This publication discusses the best practices for designing and constructing a hops yard.
Suggested soil micronutrient levels and sampling procedures for vegetable crops
Although needed in very small amounts, micronutrients have an important role to play in plant growth and development. Most of them are involved in enzymatic reactions that are essential for plant survival such as photosynthesis and respiration. This publication highlights the major roles, deficiencies, and toxicity symptoms of micronutrients in plants and provides an understanding of the interactions between micronutrients in the soil.
Crop Rotations, Composting and Cover Crops for Organic Vegetable Production
Organic production and consumption has increased to a $39.5 billion industry in the United States with over 22,000 organic farmers. Over 5.4 million acres are in organic production in the U.S., including 164,403 acres of organic vegetables, valued at $1.3 billion. The majority of organic vegetable growers incorporate crop rotations, composting, and cover crops in their operations. The following information offers a guide for including these practices to meet certified organic rules and increase the long-term sustainability of an organic farm.
Commercial Asparagus Production
Asparagus is a hardy perennial of the lily family. The plant originated in the coastal regions of Europe and Asia but is now grown throughout the world. It is one of the first vegetable crops to be available in the early spring, along with leafy greens. Once established, a well-cared for asparagus field can remain productive for 15 to 20 years.

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