The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Wednesday) tentatively set next Wednesday, Dec. 14th, at 9-a.m., as the date and time for a Public Hearing on a development proposal for the Elite Octane Ethanol plant in Cass County. The hearing is contingent upon lawyers for both the County and Elite Octane reaching an agreement on the County’s financial obligation to help make the plant possible.
Elite Octane’s Nick Bowden said “Time is of the essence,” in reaching an agreement and getting the plant constructed. He said that’s because they have bids for major pieces of equipment and vendor supplies on hold for twice the length of time they would normally be able to hold those bids viable.
Bowden said also President Elect Donald Trump’s policies may also impact on the amount of construction labor that’s available. He says they need to move forward in the very near future to have certainty on the construction price. Every day that goes by without an agreement, he says results in a risk to both the County and Elite Octane, that they can’t hold the construction budget together.
A question was raised about what happens if the company goes out of business after it’s constructed, and how it would affect the county. Bowden said the company has a huge incentive to continue paying the property taxes. If taxes aren’t paid on a regular home, the County files and lean to take over the property. The same is true for Elite Octane’s 101.6 acres which is which be valued at more than $100-million.
The Supervisors were asked if the County and Elite Octane are close on an agreement. Board Chair Gaylord Schelling said he can’t give a definite answer to that at this time.
Cass County: Corn $2.99, Beans $9.62
Adair County: Corn $2.96, Beans $9.65
Adams County: Corn $2.96, Beans $9.61
Audubon County: Corn $2.98, Beans $9.64
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.02, Beans $9.62
Guthrie County: Corn $3.01, Beans $9.66
Montgomery County: Corn $3.01, Beans $9.64
Shelby County: Corn $3.02, Beans $9.62
Oats $2.02 (always the same in all counties)
(Information from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency offices)
The first shotgun deer season opens today (Saturday) with thousands of hunters expected to head out into the woods. D-N-R deer biologist Andrew Norton says it’s important for hunters to make sure they can be seen by others. “The most important thing is obviously trying to cover up with a lot of orange, real solid orange so you are not breaking up your outline,” Norton says. He be sure to review your hunting plan to keep everyone safe.
“Just being really cognizant of where you are shooting. Making sure you are taking a safe, ethical shot at a deer. Just always remembering that a deer is certainly not worth putting someone’s life at risk, so just trying to keep that in mind while you are out there,” Norton says.
Here are some other hunting tips from the D-N-R:
Winter Weather Factors:
Agricultural industry officials in Iowa who are struggling to find workers are being encouraged to reach out to veterans. Lori Culler, founder of the company Ag Hires, says there’s a shortage of farm-related labor across the country and veterans can fill many of those open positions.
“We are seeing a huge trend for farms and agribusinesses wanting and looking for military…veterans who have the skills and abilities they’re looking for. There’s a big match here,” Culler said. Veterans who are looking to work in agriculture need to value what they learned during their service, according to Culler.
“I think often, for veterans, maybe they don’t put as much value on what they learned for leadership, communication skills, structure and process. All of those great things about the military are so applicable,” Culler said. Culler encourages employers to have an open mind about applicants who may not have past experience in agriculture but want to be part of the industry.
Culler made her comments this past week at the National Farmer Veteran Coalition Conference in East Lansing, Michigan.
(Reporting by Nicole Heslip, Brownfield Ag News)
Planned improvements to the Union County Fairgrounds, in southwest Iowa, received a big boost this week. Ben Adamson, Vice President of the Union County Fair Board, says the Dekko Foundation has pledged up to half-a-million dollars in support for the construction of two new buildings and other facelifts to fairgrounds in Afton. The money is contingent on a successful fundraising campaign.
“If we’re successful in raising the first $100,000, then they will award us $100,000. Then, we need to raise the remaining funds of about $1 million and they will kick in the remaining $400,000 to finish the project,” Adamson said. The Indiana-based Dekko Foundation was launched in 1981 by Chet Dekko, who made his fortune with a manufacturing business. The foundation has a strong focus around the education of youth and Adamson says one of the biggest reasons for the fairground upgrades is growing participation in the county’s 4-H and FFA programs.
“They liked our proposal, so they’re willing to step up with a pledge,” Adamson said. “Now it’s up to the fair board to go out to the community and raise the funds needed.” The total budget for the entire project is $1,545,000. Adamson is hoping construction will start after the 2017 Union County Fair. Dekko has given the fair board until December 31, 2017 to raise the funds in order to receive the full pledge funding.
Iowa waterfowl refuges are closed to all access until the day after duck season closes. This year the duck season closes later than previous years and the later season dates may impact some deer hunters who have hunted the areas in the past.
Iowa is divided into three waterfowl zones – the north zone, south zone and the Missouri River zone. Duck season closes on Dec. 4 in the north zone, Dec. 15 in the south zone, and Dec. 18 in the Missouri River zone.
These waterfowl refuges are always closed to duck and goose hunting but hunters are allowed to hunt non-waterfowl species in waterfowl refuges after the duck season has closed. Hunters with questions should contact their local wildlife biologist or conservation officer.
(IA DNR Press Release)
The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency has discontinued the seasonal field/grassland Fire Danger notices. Local fire departments and businesses with the Fire Danger warning signs may move them in the “Low” category.
Shelby County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert says thanks those who posted Fire Danger Boards and the media, for emphasizing, the potential fire danger in Shelby County. “Public awareness, reminding citizens of the danger associated with open burning, and the availability of their Local Fire Chief to help them assess, and, plan safe burns” he says, “benefits all of us.”
Seivert says “Twice a week (During the planting and harvest season) we ask our Local Fire Chiefs to move or change the local fire danger boards. These are volunteers, and it shows their dedication, to prevent fires, as well as respond to them.”
The Fire Danger program will resume next Spring.
Three area men charged in connection with multiple Jan. 2015 hunting violations in Cass and Audubon Counties have had at least some of the charges dismissed in court. Online court records show Judge Karen L. Mailander, on November 29th, dismissed charges of Reckless Use of a Firearm and Trespass filed in Cass County, against Bradley Wendt, of Denison, and Donald Kinzie, of Stuart.
A charge of Reckless Use of a Firearm filed in Cass County against Dustin Hansen, of Adair, was dismissed by the Judge back on August 30th. Continuances were requested last January in connection with a Trespass charges filed against Wendt and Kinzie, in Audubon County.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources had filed the charges on Dec. 9th, 2015. Officials began their investigation after receiving calls from the public.