The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports they will be releasing swans at four locations in southern Iowa in May, as part of its statewide trumpeter swan restoration effort. Swans will be released on May 6 at Pin Oak Marsh at 1:30 p.m.; on May 11 at Viking Lake State Park near the restaurant beach area at 1:30 p.m.; on May 12 at Lake Icaria Recreation Area on the north side of lake at the east boat ramp at 9:30 a.m.; and on May 12 at Lake Anita State Park, at 1:30 p.m. Each location will receive two swans except Lake Icaria, which will receive four swans.
Directions to each release site are available on the calendar of events listing on the Iowa DNR’s website at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Conservation.
Filmmaker Steve Harryman plans to collect video footage and conduct interviews at Viking Lake State Park, Lake Icaria, Lake Anita State Park and at a restored wetland with nesting swans, for his upcoming documentary “Return of the Trumpeter Swans.” Harryman is working in conjunction with the Trumpeter Swan Society.
Each release will feature a program on trumpeter swans and an opportunity for attendees to see, touch and get photos with the largest waterfowl in North America. The all-white birds can weigh up to 32 pounds and have a wingspan reaching up to eight feet.
Trumpeter swans were once common in Iowa, but were gone from the state by the late 1880s. By the early 1930s, only 69 trumpeter swans remained in the lower 48 states.
Cass County: Corn $3.16, Beans $8.83
Adair County: Corn $3.13, Beans $8.86
Adams County: Corn $3.13, Beans $8.82
Audubon County: Corn $3.15, Beans $8.85
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.19, Beans $8.83
Guthrie County: Corn $3.18, Beans $8.87
Montgomery County: Corn $3.18, Beans $8.85
Shelby County: Corn $3.19, Beans $8.82
Oats $1.94 (always the same in all counties)
(Information from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency offices)
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Raw milk advocates’ efforts to expand availability across the U.S. have not slowed despite health officials’ assertions that it’s dangerous to drink milk that hasn’t been heated to kill bacteria.
Efforts to legalize raw milk sales in some form have succeeded in 42 states, and expansion pushes are ongoing this year in states including Illinois, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, Rhode Island, North Dakota and Texas.
All raw milk sales are banned in eight states. Dr. Megin Nichols with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says health officials worry that as access to raw milk increases, so will illnesses. Despite those concerns, people in states like Iowa that outlaw raw milk sales frequently travel to states such as Missouri where they can buy milk they believe is healthier.
ODEBOLT, Iowa (AP) — Iowa environmental officials are investigating a chemical fertilizer spill in western Iowa. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources say a tanker carrying ammonium thiosulfate, a liquid fertilizer, tipped over Friday morning in Odebolt.
Investigators say the tanker, which was bound for a bulk plant in Boone, was carrying about 4,340 gallons of fertilizer. Officials say it’s not known how much of the product leaked from the top fill port before it was stopped and contained.
Some of the fertilizer ran into a small tributary, through a culvert and flowed through town to Odebolt Creek. Officials have tested water quality at several places and found elevated levels of ammonia, but did not detect ammonia downstream. There are no fish in the tributary. Cleanup of the spill is planned.
WAPELLO, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say several thousand turkeys have perished in a southeast Iowa fire. The blaze was reported around 11:10 a.m. Thursday at a turkey farm southwest of Wapello in Louisa County.
Davenport television station KWQC reports that several fire departments responded to calls for extra help. Firefighters say the fire burned rapidly because of high winds and fresh sawdust bedding for the birds. Damage was estimated at $300,000 with the loss of nearly 10,700 turkeys.
The fire cause is being investigated.
Republicans in the legislature have approved two bills that doom the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. However, closing the research center seems to endanger donations to I-S-U that were specifically FOR the center. Mark Rasmussen, the center’s director, has begun notifying researchers who got grants from the center.”The way the bill is written, we have to start winding it down almost immediately,” he says. “As you can imagine with anything like this, we let out two- to three-year grants, so we’ve always got projects in the pipeline that are either just starting or are in the middle of their lifespan.”
Democrats in the legislature have been pleading with Republicans to abandon their plan to close the Leopold Center. Senator Bill Dotzler is a Democrat from Waterloo.
“This center at Iowa State is more than what a lot of you may realize,” Dotzler said. “…It’s unfortunate that this became some kind of a political game, I guess in a way, to shuffle the money away from something that does so much for sustainable agriculture.”
Over the past three decades, the center has funded more than 600 research projects. Republicans included language in a budget bill that calls for closing the center. A DIFFERENT bill re-directs nearly 400-thousand state tax dollars that would have been spent at the Leopold Center. Another I-S-U research center that’s specifically focused on manure and fertilizer management would get the money. Republican Senator Tom Shipley, a farmer from Nodaway, defends the move.
“We believe the Nutrient Research Center can do a lot of those things, if those projects have merit, not to say that the others haven’t — but,” Shipley says. “I have a lot of faith in the people at Iowa State University. I’d better have because I’ve got a piece of paper that says they taught me a few things. If they see other opportunities or ways to make these things work, I have every confidence that they’ll be able to do that.”
Republicans in the legislature want the Leopold Center to “cancel any existing grant or project that is not in the process of being completed.” It’s unclear how Governor Terry Branstad views this move. During his weekly news conference on Monday, Branstad did not respond directly to a question about closing the Leopold Center.
The first corn seeds got into the ground last week, but weather has kept most farmers out of the fields. The U-S-D-A’s week crop report says there were just three days suitable for fieldwork last week thanks to wet weather. Soil temperatures that are warm enough for planting have also been an issue. But there were some farmers who pulled the planter into the field — and two percent of the new crop is now in the ground. The crop report says this year’s start is five days behind last year and three days behind the five-year average for corn planting.