KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Internet-famous eagle lays her 1st egg of the year


February 23rd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

DECORAH, Iowa (AP) — A famed Iowa bald eagle watched worldwide on the internet has laid its first egg of the year. The eagle named Mom Decorah laid the egg a little before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, as seen on the Raptor Resource Project eagle webcam . The nonprofit organization says it’s the 30th egg the eagle has dropped at a nest near the Decorah Trout Hatchery in northeast Iowa.

Posted County Grain Prices: 2/23/2018


February 23rd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $3.22, Beans $9.59
Adair County: Corn $3.19, Beans $9.62
Adams County: Corn $3.19, Beans $9.58
Audubon County: Corn $3.21, Beans $9.61
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.25, Beans $9.59
Guthrie County: Corn $3.24, Beans $9.63
Montgomery County: Corn $3.24, Beans $9.61
Shelby County: Corn $3.25, Beans $9.59

Oats $2.41 (always the same in all counties)

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

Report looks at Midwest farm practices impact on climate change


February 22nd, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The quantity of corn and soybeans grown in the Midwest and the amount of greenhouse gas emissions have radically changed in the past century. A new report compares how the two impact climate change. Summers in the Corn Belt have had more rainfall and higher humidity, but a small decrease in temperature. Researchers at M-I-T looked at whether greenhouse gas emissions or more intensive farming played the bigger role in those changes. Ross Alter is the lead author of the study.

Alter says, “We provided very strong evidence that agricultural intensification is a stronger forcing of these observed changes than greenhouse gas emissions were.” More plants taking up water ultimately means more moisture in the air, increasing rain and moderating temperatures. Iowa State University agronomist Rick Cruse says irrigation specifically, not just crop expansion, may be the real culprit.

Cruse says, “This study suggests that there’s evidence that we might ought to be considering agricultural impacts, especially in areas that are having a new or a major or significant, different form of crop cover, or water -irrigation- occurring.”

Cruse says that’s because irrigation and the overall amount of water in the region affects plant activity that ultimately drives the changes. The research also indicates agriculture may have masked potential increases in temperature that the greenhouse gas emissions alone might have caused. Cruse, the director of the Iowa Water Center, was not involved with the research but has worked with climate scientists.

(Radio Iowa, w/Thanks to Amy Mayer, Iowa Public Radio)

Cass County Extension Report 2-21-2018

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

February 21st, 2018 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson.


Senators vote to do away with state park reservation limits

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 20th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Up to half the campsites in state parks cannot be reserved in advance today and the Iowa Senate has voted to change that.Senator Tom Shipley, a Republican from Nodaway, says  “Fewer and fewer campers are willing to pack up the kids and the tents and the sleeping bags and the fishing poles and drive to the campground if there’s a chance there won’t be a site available when they get there.”

The bill would get rid of rules that now require at least a quarter of the campsites in each individual state park be held open, to be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Shipley says as a result, many campsites sit empty when they could have been reserved. “I think we all realize the camping business as an industry is a lively one in Iowa and a lot of Iowans participate in this and I think this is a good move on the part of the DNR to do this,” Shipley says. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources oversees more than 47-hundred campsites in the state’s parks, reserves and forests. The fee for one of those camping spots ranges from nine to 16 dollars per night from May 1st through September 30th.

(Radio Iowa)

ADM plans to invest $196 million in Iowa grain plant updates

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

CLINTON, Iowa (AP) — Archer Daniels Midland plans to invest $196 million in its grain processing plant in Clinton, Iowa. The Quad-City Times reports the project will update the machinery inside the plant and expand the facility.

ADM spokeswoman Jackie Anderson says the mill produces a variety of corn products, including corn sweeteners, beverage alcohol, ethanol and animal feed.
The plant employs more than 750. The project will receive more than $8 million in state and local tax credits.

Work on the expansion is expected to begin this year and continue into 2022.

Applications now being taken for Iowa Century & Heritage Farms


February 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Iowans who live on farms that’ve been in the family for ten decades or more are invited to apply for the Century and Heritage Farm program. Becky Lorenz is the coordinator of the program for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. “Our requirements are at least 40 acres of the original piece of ground,” Lorenz says. “We include any kind of relationship, aunts, uncles, cousins, besides the traditional grandfather, father, son, daughter, that type of relationship.”

For family farms that have even more history in Iowa, there’s a step beyond Century Farms. “We have Heritage Farm Awards also for 150 years of continuous ownership in the same family,” Lorenz says. “Applications are due June 1st to qualify for the program which will be August 16th at the fair.”

Last year, 354 Century Farms and 119 Heritage Farms were recognized at the Iowa State Fair. Since the inception of the Century Farm program in 1976, more than 19,000 farms statewide have received the recognition. The Heritage Farm program was started in 2006 on the 30th anniversary of the Century Farm program and more than 1,000 farms have been recognized. For details, contact Lorenz by phone at 515-281-3645 or by e-mail at Becky.Lorenz@IowaAgriculture.gov.

(Radio Iowa)

Deere declares abysmal 1st quarter earnings, first report since buying Wirtgen


February 16th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer, Deere & Company reports a rare operating loss in the first quarter. The Moline, Illinois-based ag and construction equipment manufacturer is reporting a loss of more than $535 million, or $1.66 per share. That compares with a net profit of $199 million for the first quarter last year. This was the first loss Deere has experienced since the fourth quarter of 2009. But rather than an operating loss, Deere says it’s a result of initial accounting adjustments related to the U.S. tax reform legislation.

Deere chairman and CEO Samuel R. Allen says in line with strengthening conditions, the company has raised its sales and adjusted-earnings forecasts for 2018. Deere’s largest North American manufacturing complex is located in Waterloo. This is the first quarterly report since Deere bought the Germany-based Wirtgen Group, which makes road construction equipment.

(Radio Iowa)

Sweetheart Snowshow Hike in Cass County cancelled for Saturday, 2/17

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 16th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Conservation Board has cancelled Saturday’s Sweethearts Snowshoe Hike, due to the lack of snow. The Sweethearts Snowshoe Hike was to be held at the Pellett Memorial Woods outside of Atlantic, 7-p.m. Saturday, February 17th..  The Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend will still take place, however.

It’s a wonderful family program for bird watchers of all ages and is free of charge. All you need is basic knowledge of bird identification! It is not required that you record every species you see, only those that can be properly identified. To participate in the bird count go to the website: http://gbbc.birdcount.org/ and follow the instructions. Please help the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon Society by participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count. The bird count is February 16-19th 2018!!!!

Creating Habitat for Monarchs and Pollinators Workshop


February 14th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Fremont & Mills Counties, and Pheasants Forever (PF) are hosting a workshop for the public about creating habitat for monarchs and pollinators. This workshop is free and open to the public. Pollinators, such as bees, butterflies and monarchs, have been experiencing significant population declines in recent years. Why should we be concerned? Over 75% of all flowering plants in the world require a pollinator to reproduce. That means one out of every three bites of food we eat is because of pollinators. Additionally, pollinator services are very important for crops like alfalfa and soybeans.

A light meal will be served at 6:30 PM with a presentation to follow starting at 7:00 PM. Topics that will be covered include the importance of monarchs and pollinators and their habitat requirements. We will then discuss how to create and maintain pollinator habitat and USDA, state and local cost-share programs available for creating this type of habitat. There will be time for Q & A at the end of the presentation.

Workshop Time and Location:

Tuesday, February 20, 6:30 pm

\Fremont County Extension and Outreach

610 Clay St, Sidney

Call (712) 374-2351 to RSVP

Wednesday, February 21, 6:30 pm

Mills County Extension and Outreach

61321 315th St, Malvern

Call (712) 624-8616 to RSVP

Thursday, March 1, 6:00 pm

Montgomery County Extension and Outreach

400 Bridge Street, Suite #2 Red Oak, IA 51566

Call (712) 623-2592 to RSVP