KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Heartbeat Today 10-17-2018

Ag/Outdoor, Heartbeat Today, Podcasts

October 17th, 2018 by Jim Field

Jim Field visits with AHSTW FFA Chapter Vice President Cody Roskens about the program and the Farmer Appreciation Feed this Friday in Hancock.

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Cass County Extension Report 10-17-2018

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

October 17th, 2018 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson.

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Spencer man injured in hunting incident

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 17th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reports that on Sunday (Oct. 14th), the DNR was notified of a single-person hunting incident on Barringer Slough in Clay County, Iowa.  A 22-year-old man from Spencer was waterfowl hunting and suffered minor injuries to his hand from his firearm.  The man was later treated at a local medical facility and released.  The incident remains under investigation.

Posted County Grain Prices 10/17/2018

Ag/Outdoor

October 17th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $3.17, Beans $7.65
Adair County: Corn $3.14, Beans $7.71
Adams County: Corn $3.14, Beans $7.67
Audubon County: Corn $3.16, Beans $7.70
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.20, Beans $7.68
Guthrie County: Corn $3.19, Beans $7.72
Montgomery County: Corn $3.19, Beans $7.70
Shelby County: Corn $3.20, Beans $7.68

Oats $2.80 (always the same in all counties)

(Information from the area FSA Offices)

Iowa Watershed Projects to receive an additional $2-million from the USDA

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 16th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, Tuesday, highlighted $2 million in funding available over the next year from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that will support eight Iowa Water Quality Initiative (WQI) projects. The funding is through the USDA’s Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative (MRBI) and will support practices that help improve water quality.

Among the Watershed projects selected for the funding is the Walnut Creek WQI (Pottawattamie, Montgomery, Page, Fremont Counties). In addition, Slocum Creek Watershed in Pottawattamie County is an existing MRBI project that will be funded again this year.

The funding will support conservation practices that reduce nutrient loss and improve wildlife habitat while maintaining agricultural productivity. Eligible practices include cover crops, bioreactors, grassed waterways, terraces and prescribed grazing. Each watershed project will have specific practices that are eligible.

Farmers interested in participating should contact their local USDA office by March 15, 2019.

Harrison County leads the way allowing hunter access on private land

Ag/Outdoor

October 16th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

PERSIA, Iowa – A few weeks ago, Terry Plummer noticed that just around sunset, the trees in his yard were filling with monarchs that had stopped for the night on their 2,000 mile annual migration to central Mexico. Plummer, who spent his life farming in Harrison County, didn’t recall that happening before. Plummer, from rural Persia, has been noticing more unusual things recently, thanks, in part, to the nearly 400 acres of prairie he installed on two of his farm fields in 2017, when he signed up for the Iowa Habitat and Access Program.

More than 4,900 acres of private land on 26 sites was opened to hunters in Harrison County since 2016 and pheasant numbers have increased 200 percent around these sites from 7 in 2016 to 21 this year. Photo courtesy of the Iowa DNR.

The two year old prairie has been a discussion topic with his neighbors, as has the increased sightings of pheasants along the road. And it’s not just the neighbors who’ve noticed, hunters have as well. “It’s turned out better than I’ve imagined, so far,” Plummer said.

Acre after acre, field after field, mile after mile, young prairies in Harrison County are coming in to their own. These prairies, seeded with a mix of native plants to benefit pollinators, wetland and upland species, have grown out of difficult to farm fields that are enrolled in the USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

Four years ago, funding became available through the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program, which is part of the federal Farm Bill, to improve habitat on private land in exchange for allowing hunting access and in a short time, more than 4,900 acres of private land on 26 sites was opened to hunters.

“The landowners made the decision to enroll in CRP. We approached them and said the program will help fund the habitat improvements and we will do all the maintenance from mowing to tree removal to burning. All you need to do is allow hunter access,” said Brian Hickman, private lands program coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “Needless to say, it was well received.”

A number of fields adjoin each other, creating miles of connected habitat that benefits wildlife and can support lots of hunters. Habitat work began with winter-seeding in 2016 and 2017. These fields are starting to mature and on this gray October day, their value to wildlife and hunters was evident.

Two northern harriers were flying low over the prairie looking for a meal as they migrate south. Pheasants, shaking off the morning mist, fled the roadside to the safety of taller vegetation along a prairie edge. Ducks dodged early morning hunters and deer were loafing at the opposite end of a field.

The Iowa DNR has been monitoring these IHAP areas for pheasants collecting anecdotal information on the local population since the project began. Based on the survey, pheasant numbers have increased 200 percent, from 7 in 2016, to 13 in last year, to 21 this year.

“I expect good pheasant hunting on these areas,” Hickman said. “I’d be disappointed if it wasn’t.”

Partnerships key to success

Staff with USDA’s Farm Service Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service worked with Hickman to identify and make contact with landowners interested in the program.

Hickman, who at the time was working at the local private lands biologist for the Iowa DNR in western Iowa, met with the landowners and signed agreements to manage their land for 9 or 10 years, which is the maximum length of the contract. The land remains privately owned and hunters are allowed access for the length of the contract. There was more demand for the program than funding available.

Iowa Habitat and Access Program (IHAP)

Iowa was selected as a pilot state in 2011 and from its inception the Iowa Habitat and Access Program (IHAP) has drawn strong landowner interest securing all available funding and providing hunter access to more than 25,700 acres of private land.

The program is also popular with hunters who have focused much of their efforts on these orange-signed areas. Each site has a survey box to collect comments from hunters.

Based on survey responses, hunters are traveling 76 miles and spending an average of $70 per trip to hunt IHAP sites. And most of them enjoyed it – 76 percent had a positive experience and 99 percent said they would hunt an IHAP site again. Pheasants were the most hunted species.

These areas are regularly patrolled by Iowa DNR conservation officers and are treated like public hunting ground, with the noted exception that it is private property, and trapping and fishing on the area is not allowed.

“This program is only available because landowners were willing to participate in it. Hunters should respect private property, stay on the land enrolled in the program and pick up after themselves,” Hickman said.

Site maps are available at www.iowadnr.gov/ihap showing boundaries, which species would be most likely attracted to the habitat and the location of a checkout box where hunters are asked to leave their comments on the program.

Walk-in public hunting through IHAP is available between September 1 and May 31. The IHAP is supported with money from Federal Farm Bill and Habitat Stamp.

Hog inventories hit record high, optimism remains for producers

Ag/Outdoor

October 16th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — This time of year is when Iowa pork producers see a large inventory of hogs, as consumers cut back on backyard barbecues. The latest reports show a record number of hogs. Greg Hora of Fort Dodge, president of the Iowa Pork Producers, says despite recent trade tariffs that hurt prices, producers remain optimistic the world wants U-S pork as sow herds expand in Iowa and elsewhere. “We’ve had investment in hog facilities, we’ve had investment in infrastructure, we’ve had investment in packing plants and processing facilities to feed a growing and emerging market around the world,” Hora says.

New trade agreements have recently been signed between the U-S and Mexico, Canada and Japan, while Hora hopes an agreement with China can soon be reached. The fifth largest buyer of American pork is South Korea. “We have to have optimism knowing that in the past year, South Korea has increased the volume of pork being imported into their country from the U.S. by nearly 40%,” Hora says, “which is about a 50% increase in value.” Consumers at home and abroad realize Iowa pork is a great value, he says, and they may soon be able to find additional savings. Hora says, “In the United States, we spend less than 10% of our take-home income on food, but emerging countries are spending 20-25% of their take-home income on food and a country like Japan, they’re spending 18-20% of their take-home income on food.”

He says producers are constantly working on identifying new markets for pork and new ways to serve pork. Iowa ranks first in the nation for pork production with more than 22-million head statewide.

Local 24-Hour Snowfall Totals ending at 7:00 am on Monday, October 15

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

October 15th, 2018 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic  1.8″
  • 7 miles NNE of Atlantic  1.3″
  • Avoca  4.5″
  • Audubon  2″
  • Guthrie Center  2″
  • Oakland  2.6″
  • Neola  3.5″
  • Logan  2″
  • Underwood  3″
  • Denison  1″
  • Council Bluffs  4″
  • Carroll  1″

State hotline heats up with worried farmers venting their concerns

Ag/Outdoor

October 15th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — Between international trade troubles, continued rain and now freezing temperatures that are hampering the harvest, many Iowa farmers are getting stressed. Tammy Jacobs, a coordinator with the Iowa Concern Hotline, says they’ve seen a slow but steady increase in the number of calls from farmers in recent months, with a ten-percent spike in July alone. Jacobs says the pressure of the harvest can ratchet up nerves. “We are starting to see a little bit of activity towards that,” Jacobs says, “but I’m going to anticipate that as we get into getting the harvest finished up in October and November and as things start to hit home, we’re going to see an even greater increase in our calls at that point in time.”

Commodity prices remain low and demand for some grains is dipping due to trade disputes. Also, some areas of Iowa have seen rain almost daily for two weeks straight. It’s created muddy fields and flooding in some areas and farmers are rightfully concerned about their crops. Jacobs says, “The calls that we’re receiving at this point in time is those frustrations and struggles for farmers to get out into the fields, having some good days to get harvesting done and how that’s going to have an impact on their overall yield for the year.”

The hotline’s phone lines are staffed 24-seven, so there’s always a real, live person you can talk to about anything that’s worrying you. “Through our website, we have a ‘live chat’ so if people don’t want to talk on the phone, they can get on the computer and type in the situation going on and someone is going to be able to respond right then to what the situation is, get them pointed in the right direction and just be there to talk to them,” Jacobs says.

The service was launched at the height of the Farm Crisis in 1985 as the Rural Concern Hotline, but during the floods of 1993, shifted gears to address problems beyond agriculture, becoming the Iowa Concern Hotline. The toll-free number is 800-447-1985 and the website is www.extension.iastate.edu/iowaconcern.

Atlantic Parks and Rec Board to meet Monday

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 14th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Members of the City of Atlantic’s Parks and Recreation Dept. Board will meet 5:15-p.m. Monday, in the Council’s Chambers at City Hall. Parks and Rec Director Seth Staashelm will provide the Board with updates on: The Schildberg Development Project, including – the west playground, west restroom proposal and bath house/shelter agreement; An update on the Sunnyside Entrance sign (which was installed last week); a Park Shelter Reservation Proposal; Atlantic Sports Complex plan, and updates on plans for Community Parks.

Staashelm is also expected to report park restrooms are, or will be, closed for the season, but the parks will remain open.