KJAN Ag/Outdoor

From County extension to conservation to grain prices, we provide lots of information every day on KJAN.  Here is some of that information on the web too!  We hope you find it useful.

SW IA farmer carves half-an-acre wide campaign sign in bean field

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A southwest Iowa farmer has carved the first name of his favorite presidential candidate into the landscape. “I had a couple of yard signs stolen and I was out on my tractor there that day and it just kind of hit me. I though: ‘Geez. I’ve got a perfect place for this.’ It’s soybean stubble which would make it show up good, over next to the road. So I just thought: ‘I’ll go try it. It probably won’t work. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll just scratch through it if it doesn’t’ and it just seemed to turn out perfect.”

68-year-old Michael Pattavina, of Clarinda, is a Bernie Sanders supporter. He didn’t map out a plan for his bean field. Pattavina just used a chisel plow on the back of his tractor to cut a seven-foot-wide swath as he wrote out “Bernie” in his field. “It probably took me about 20 to 30 minutes to do it,” Pattavina says. “The ‘B’ is about 60 feet tall.” Pattavina’s “flat Bernie” billboard is the talk of the town.

“Whenever I see somebody on the street, they talk to me about it and say they really like it and everything — even the conservatives,” Pattavina says. “I might mention that I live in an ultra-conservative area.” The sign can clearly be seen from the air, as the name “Bernie” covers about half an acre in Pattavina’s field. Pattavina says he didn’t do it “to be popular” but he would love to hear from his favorite candidate at some point.

“It only cost me a few cents for the fuel and a little bit of time and that’s exactly what Bernie’s all about,” Pattavina says. The farm Pattavina lives on has been in his family for 158 years and Pattavina has farmed the ground all his life.

(Radio Iowa)

Consider an Iowa grown Christmas Tree this season

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 25th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is encouraging Iowans to consider choosing a fresh, Iowa grown Christmas tree to decorate their home this holiday season. Northey says “Selecting a fresh Christmas tree can be part of a great family tradition and is an opportunity to connect with an Iowa farmer and support the local economy. Iowa is fortunate to have more than 100 Christmas tree farms in all parts of the state, so everyone has the opportunity to get their own fresh tree to help celebrate.”

A directory of tree farms across Iowa is available on the Iowa Christmas Tree Grower’s website at www.IowaChristmasTrees.com. On the site there is a “Find a Farm” link on the top left-hand corner of the page. Besides the location of the farms, the directory also includes a phone number and hours of operation for each farm to assist in planning.

These farms devote over 1,500 acres to Christmas tree production in Iowa and as a result harvest approximately 39,500 Christmas trees each year. The result is a $1 million dollar industry contributing to Iowa’s economy. It takes 6 to 12 years to grow a Christmas tree before it is ready to be sold. Most tree farms in Iowa are 3 to 8 acres in size and sell trees by choose and harvest method, where a customer comes to the farm cut their own tree.

A Blue Spruce Christmas Tree (Photo from ISU Extension)

A Blue Spruce Christmas Tree (Photo from ISU Extension)

Following are tips to keep in mind to make your trip to a Christmas tree farm more enjoyable:

· Be sure you know what size tree fits in your home, both height and width, before you leave. Trees always look smaller in the field and there is nothing worse than bringing a tree indoors only to find it’s too big.

· Wear comfortable clothes, sturdy shoes, and gloves that you aren’t afraid to get dirty.

· Make sure the tree you pick has a straight trunk and will fit properly in your tree stand.

· Fresh trees need water. Once you get your tree home remember to check the water daily. Trees can use up to a gallon of water daily.

· Make sure you unplug any tree lights before you leave home or go to bed.

· Remember – fresh cut Christmas trees are biodegradable! Recycle your tree after Christmas.

If you are not putting the tree up right away, store it in an unheated garage or some other area out of the wind and cold (freezing) temperatures. When bringing the tree into the house, cut off one inch at the base end and place the tree in a bucket of warm water.

EPA nixes approval of new weed killer for engineered crops


November 25th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Environmental Protection Agency has withdrawn approval of a controversial new weed killer to be used on genetically modified corn and soybeans. The EPA announced the decision after receiving new information from manufacturer Dow AgroSciences that a weed killer called Enlist Duo, a combination of two popular older herbicides, is probably more toxic to other plants than previously thought.

It was originally approved a year ago and is designed to be used with new strains of genetically modified corn and soybeans. The agency says it needs to study whether wider buffer zones will be required to protect non-target plants. The seeds are engineered to resist the herbicide, so farmers can spray the fields after the plants emerge and kill the weeds while leaving crops unharmed.

Posted County Grain Prices 11/25/15


November 25th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $3.32, Beans $8.13
Adair County: Corn $3.29, Beans $8.16
Adams County: Corn $3.29, Beans $8.12
Audubon County: Corn $3.31, Beans $8.15
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.35, Beans $8.13
Guthrie County: Corn $3.34, Beans $8.17
Montgomery County: Corn $3.34, Beans $8.15
Shelby County: Corn $3.35, Beans $8.13

Oats $2.28 (always the same in all counties)

(Information from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency offices)

Iowa egg production improves but remains below last year

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 24th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa egg farms are gradually recovering from the bird flu that destroyed 25 million of the state’s egg-laying hens this spring. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in a report Monday that Iowa egg production during October was 753 million eggs. That’s up 2 percent from September but down 47 percent from a year ago.

Iowa, typically by far the nation’s leading egg producer, fell behind Ohio where hens laid 18 million more eggs last month. Nationally, nearly 7.8 billion eggs were produced in October. That’s down 9 percent from a year ago. Wholesale egg prices remain about a dollar a dozen higher than a year ago in some markets but the USDA expects prices to fall below that level by the second half of next year.

Last Call for Evaluating Your Estate Plan


November 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Farmers are unique – particularly as there isn’t a distinct moment when they just walk out the workplace door to retirement as someone in a regular wage-earning job might do. Rather, farm families often need to think about how to transition the farm business to the next generation during lifetime, as well as having an estate plan in place.

That’s why Iowa State University Extension offers an “Evaluating Your Estate Plan” workshop to answer transition and estate planning questions and help families prepare for the future. The one-day workshop will be held on December 2nd at the Logan Community Center.

Anyone who is unsure of how to build a transition plan or what options are best for their farm operation and family should attend this workshop. The workshop will be held at the Logan Community Center on December 2, 2015 with registration starting at 9:00 am and adjournment at 4:00 pm. Advance registration is required and space is limited. The Evaluating Your Estate Plan workshop costs $50 per person and includes lunch and materials. To pre-register call the Harrison County Extension Office at (712) 644-2105.

The workshop has been made been made possible by these local sponsors: Farm Credit Services of America and Gross & Company. For more information visit: www.extension.iastate.edu/harrison/EYEP.

Omaha soybean processor to expand its Iowa biodiesel plant

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Omaha, Nebraska, soybean processor is moving ahead with a $38 million expansion of its biodiesel plant south of Sioux City that will nearly double production of the soy-based fuel.

The Sioux City Journal reports that Ag Processing Inc. is planning the expansion at its Port Neal plant, which was the nation’s first commercial-scale biodiesel plant when it opened in 1996. The plant currently produces up to 30 million gallons per year.

At separate meetings Friday, local and state officials adopted a package of incentives to help finance the biodiesel expansion, which is expected to create three new jobs. The Iowa Economic Development Authority in Des Moines approved $308,000 in added incentives, with $24,000 in loans and $280,000 in increased tax credits.

Harvest Market offers you a chance to stock-up for Thanksgiving, & more!

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce and Atlantic Community Promotion Commission have teamed-up to bring you a one-day chance to buy local baked goods and more, just in-time for your thanksgiving festivities. Emily Ullerich-Paulsen is one of the many area resident/vendors who will be working hard this weekend in order to prepare for the Harvest market, set to take place from 3:30-until 7:30-p.m. Monday, Nov. 23rd, at the Cass County Community Center, in Atlantic. She says there’ll be a wide variety of crafts, produce and baked goods on hand.

Ullerich-Paulsen says there’ll be varieties of squash, sweet potatoes and even tomatoes at the Harvest Market, plus honey, organic soaps and lotions, some of which are made from goats milk. The event also offers you a chance to purchase handcrafted items for those hard-to-please persons on your Christmas shopping list, including jewelry.  She says you’ll probably be able to find scarves, Christmas wreaths and more.

Emily plans to bring homemade baked goods, including hand-and regular-sized pies, raspberry Danishes, cinnamon rolls and more. She and the more than two-dozen other vendors will also be taking orders for their baked goods.

There’s also kids activities, tasting samples, and much more at the Harvest Market. There’s no charge for you to check out all that’ll be offered.

Posted County Grain prices, 11/20/15


November 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $3.26, Beans $8.16
Adair County: Corn $3.23, Beans $8.19
Adams County: Corn $3.23, Beans $8.15
Audubon County: Corn $3.25, Beans $8.18
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.29, Beans $8.16
Guthrie County: Corn $3.28, Beans $8.20
Montgomery County: Corn $3.28, Beans $8.18
Shelby County: Corn $3.29, Beans $8.16

Oats $2.18 (always the same in all counties)

(Information from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency offices)

Adams County wind turbine will be nation’s tallest

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — MidAmerican Energy says a wind turbine being built in southern Iowa will be the nation’s tallest. The Des Moines Register reports the utility is building the turbine in Adams County as part of a 64-turbine development that should be completed by the end of the year.

Unlike regular towers built of steel, the taller tower will be concrete. The tower will rise to 377 feet, compared to a typical 263 feet, and when the blade is added the height will reach 554 feet. That’s nearly as tall as the Washington Monument.

Mike Gehringer, MidAmerican’s vice president of renewable energy, says by building the tower higher, the turbine can generate more electricity. He says such towers could make some “low-to-medium wind resource areas” viable for wind energy.