KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Ames, Council Bluffs, Quad Cities compete for USDA facilities


October 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

(Brownfield Net/Radio Iowa) — Two cities in Iowa have submitted proposals to the U-S-D-A as the agency considers new locations for the headquarters of the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. According to Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the proposals are from Council Bluffs and Ames. Ames is the home of Iowa State University, a so-called “land grant” institution founded with an agricultural mission. “That, of course, elevated from Ames and the Research Park, because that’s obviously a really strong connection with the land-grant that the application talked about,” Durham says.

Durham says Council Bluffs has strong selling points, too. “That Omaha/Council Bluffs region from a population base and from a transportation grid response,” Durham says.

The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce has submitted a bid as well, for moving the U-S-D-A facilities to the Rock Island Arsenal. The U-S-D-A’s plan to relocate the two agencies has drawn fire from lawmakers and former agency leaders, but U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue has said the relocation will improve customer service and save taxpayer dollars. The U-S-D-A’s Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture are currently located in Washington, D.C. and employ more than 600 people. About 15 percent of federal employees — including all the top decision-makers — are based in Washington, D.C. The rest of the federal workforce is spread across the country. The U-S-D-A’s National Animal Disease Laboratory already is located in Ames. The U-S-D-A has Farm Service Agency offices around the state as well.

Posted County Grain Prices 10/18/2018


October 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $3.17, Beans $7.74
Adair County: Corn $3.14, Beans $7.77
Adams County: Corn $3.14, Beans $7.73
Audubon County: Corn $3.16, Beans $7.76
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.20, Beans $7.74
Guthrie County: Corn $3.19, Beans $7.78
Montgomery County: Corn $3.19, Beans $7.76
Shelby County: Corn $3.20, Beans $7.74

Oats $2.81 (always the same in all counties)

(Information from the area FSA Offices)

Medical marijuana company shows off first products

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — The medical marijuana company that’s making the first ever products produced solely in the state gave a preview today of what they are going to offer when sales start December 1st. MedPharm Iowa’s Lucas Nelson has been overseeing the project since the state award the company the first medical marijuana license. “This is obviously a major, major day for both MedPharm and I think really for the patients across Iowa, the legislature, the entire community that has seen this program signed into law and now really starting to become a reality,” Nelson says.


Nelson spoke in the facility where the company grows the marijuana, extracts the cannabis oil (CDB), and manufactures and packages the products. “We do some of our own internal testing here and then those products that you’ll see today are also sent out to the State Hygienic Lab of Iowa. So, that’s the third part of the testing that will be verifying what’s in the products that they will be safe from heavy metals and some other things that they have decided to test for,” Nelson says. “Certainly a very important aspect of this program and something that differentiates our products from some of the others out there that may be sold over the counter.”


MedPharm will operate two of the dispensaries in Sioux City and Council Bluffs. Stephen Wilson oversees the dispensary program and says they will have three products branded with the Aliviar name — a tincture liquid, capsules and creams. They each will have different mixes of C-B-D and T-H-C. “T-H-C and C-B-D work synergistically which each other — given that they kind of kick start each other to work that much better,” according to Wilson. “One by itself is not going work as well as when you get…both of them in there.”

The products will feature four formulations called Calm, with a 20 to one C-D-B to T-H-C mix; Soothe with a two to one C-D-B to T-H-C mix; Harmony with a one to one mix and Comfort with a one-to-20 C-B-D to T-H-C mix. “These are the four formulations we have now. We totally expect to have more as the program develops and as we are able to operate,” Wilson says. “And this is why you see the sliding scale here. A two-to-one versus a three-to-one is going to have vastly different affects, which is why we like to keep things on a sliding scale. But for now these are the four formulations you are gong to see and we have several different products within these formulations.”

Wilson says everyone’s body reacts differently and benefits differently from the various products and that’s why they have several options. “Each product has its strengths and drawbacks and that’s why we encourage patients to try several different products in order to find the right one that’s going to relieve any symptoms that they are suffering from,” Wilson says.

Wilson says they will ask patients to keep notes as they use the products so they can adjust the type and dosage of the products. “Someone starting out with five milligrams say using a tincture — we’ll say okay why don’t you try ten milligrams this time and see how you feel. Take notes about that, come back to us and we can play with the dosing that way,” according to Wilson. “That’s what’s nice about of a lot of the products that we have. It really allows us to play with them and see which product works best, which specific dose is going to work best for that individual.”

Those who want to use the medical marijuana products must get certification from their doctor that they have one of the conditions that allows them to buy the products. Wilson says the decisions on dosing will be done by the staff at the dispensaries in consultation with the patients. “Once the physician certifies that they have that condition it’s going to be really up to the patient consultants to determine that treatment plan,” Wilson explains. “That’s why we are going to make sure that our patient consultants at Medpharm are very well versed in all of this. We want them to take out as much of the trial and error as possible.”

They have had concerns from some patients who have been having trouble finding a doctor to certify their condition.Wilson says this is an issue that has raised the most concern and confusion among doctors. “Doctors are never prescribing this — all they are doing is certifying that the patient has this qualifying condition. And I think that is why a lot of doctors get hung up,” Wilson says.

Wilson also gave an expected price range for the four products. The tinctures are expected to range from 50 to 150 dollars; the capsules from 30 to 130 dollars; the creams 65 to 85 dollars. They will also offer a trial pack of capsules that will range from ten to 25 dollars.

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.


Cass County Extension Report 10-17-2018

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

October 17th, 2018 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson.


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.

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


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


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″