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.

Workers deepening Lake Manawa to improve water clarity

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 29th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Workers are dredging in Council Bluffs’ Lake Manawa for the first time in decades as part of an effort to improve its water clarity and eliminate algae blooms. The Daily Nonpareil reports a dredging barge is slowly making its way across the 715-acre lake, removing sand from the lake bottom. Crews are concentrating on a 60-acre area, where they want to increase depths to a maximum of 16 feet deep.

The lake now has a maximum depth of 12 feet with large areas only 6 or 7 feet deep. It’s the first dredging of Lake Manawa since 1982. The work will cost $4.2 million, paid from a statewide lake restoration fund. The company doing the work plans to remove 500,000 cubic yards of sand from the lake bottom.

Posted County Grain Prices: 6/29/16

Ag/Outdoor

June 29th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $3.42, Beans $10.59
Adair County: Corn $3.39, Beans $10.62
Adams County: Corn $3.39, Beans $10.58
Audubon County: Corn $3.41, Beans $10.61
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.45, Beans $10.59
Guthrie County: Corn $3.44, Beans $10.63
Montgomery County: Corn $3.44, Beans $10.61
Shelby County: Corn $3.45, Beans $10.59

Oats $2.14 (always the same in all counties)

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

Developers of fortified food staple awarded World Food Prize

Ag/Outdoor

June 28th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Four scientists credited with creating food that’s fortified with essential nutrients and vitamins and has helped an estimated 10 million people avoid starvation and disease are the recipients of this year’s World Food Prize. Drs. Maria Andrade, Robert Mwanga, Jan Low and Howarth Bouis were announced Tuesday as the 2016 World Food Prize laureates during a ceremony at the U.S. State Department in Washington.

They are being honored primarily for developing a vitamin A-fortified orange-fleshed sweet potato, which has helped reduce a vitamin deficiency that causes blindness and increased mortality in children in many countries, especially in Africa and Southeast Asia. The World Food Prize was created by Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug in 1986 to recognize improvements in the quality and availability of food.

Local Rainfall totals ending at 7:00 am on June 28

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

June 28th, 2016 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic  .14″
  • Oakland  1.2″
  • Sidney  .83″
  • Council Bluffs  .25″

Drought conditions in the state get worse

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

June 28th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Drought conditions continue to get worse in Iowa. National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Small says information from the National Drought Mitigation Center now shows 19 of Iowa’s 99 counties are at least partially in a moderate drought, while 56 counties are considered abnormally dry.

“If you go back just three months ago no part of the state was in any drought. If you go back to last week there was about 27 percent of the state. Now that’s jumped up to 44 percent,” Small says. Small says the below average rainfall across much of the state has caused the drought to worsen.

“This is the peak heating of the summer. The warmed days like this are prone to drying things up quite a bit. June is also typically our wettest month of the year and we really haven’t reached those levels at all in many parts,” Small says, “So that’s why the drought is worsening in many areas.” Small says the dry conditions have happened rather quickly and could turn around just as quickly with some rain.

“This time of year a big thunderstorm outbreak and torrential rains could certainly eliminate it in one event. The worst conditions we have are across the state right now is a D-1 drought, in the moderate category. If it gets worse than that it would take more than one event,” Small says. Some areas of the state got rainfall this weekend, but the forecast isn’t showing any extended changes in the amount of precipitation.

(Radio Iowa)

USDA crop report: 79 percent of corn good to excellent

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 28th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The U-S-D-A’s latest crop and weather report for Iowa shows most of the state has enough moisture in the soil for crops to handle the high heat. There are pockets of the state, however, like west central Iowa, that are too dry and corn leaves are starting to curl. Other areas are too wet, particularly after last week’s isolated heavy rains. North Liberty got the most rain last week — a soaking of nearly seven-and-a-half inches.

Still, the U-S-D-A has rated 79 percent of Iowa’s corn crop in good to excellent condition and 77 percent of soybean fields are in good to excellent shape.

(Radio Iowa)

Harrison County Corn Growers Host Governor Branstad

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Harrison County Corn Growers Association last week hosted Iowa Governor Terry Branstad on the farm of Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) Director Curt Mether for a discussion on policy issues affecting corn farmers. This visit was part of the Governor’s 99 Iowa County Tour where he met with 11 farmers. The group chatted about the need for Iowa to pass legislation to set consistent funding for our state’s water quality efforts, support for Section 179 coupling in 2017 and the signing of the biochemical tax credit.

Governor Branstad (front center) and ICGA Director Curt Mether (front right) as well as members of the Harrison County Corn Growers.

Governor Branstad (front center) and ICGA Director Curt Mether (front right) as well as members of the Harrison County Corn Growers.

Mether, a farmer from Logan, said “We appreciate the Governor taking the time to hear our views on a number of policy issues. We appreciate the legislators and his work on water quality funding legislation even though no additional funding was passed. The Iowa Corn Growers Association remains committed to seeking significant, long-term funding for improving water quality in the state of Iowa. We are hopeful the state legislature can come to a consensus this coming session.”

The next step in the policy development process is the ongoing ICGA membership survey and round table meetings, which will be held across the state in early July. These meetings allow ICGA members to gather together and discuss policy directions for the upcoming year. To see ICGA’s full list of state and federal priorities, please visit iowacorn.org/policy.

Loess Hills region earns coveted wine country designation

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Mention domestic wine, and most people think Napa Valley or Sonoma. But Iowa’s Loess Hills? The Daily Nonpareil reports that could one day be the case after the region that runs along Iowa’s western border with Nebraska was recently certified as an American Viticultural Area. The federal designation is coveted by grape growers and not easy to get.

Doug Grave is president of the Western Iowa Grape Growers association and co-owner of Bodega Victoriana Winery near Glenwood. He says the association undertook a five-year, $50,000 effort to get the designation. The money went to soil scientists, geologists, map makers, climate scientists and other experts to show the area is the only one in the U.S. where the entire grape vine’s root is completely encompassed in loess soil.

Food Preservation Basics Course Coming Up June 28

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 24th, 2016 by Chris Parks

Food Preservation Basics Course Coming Up June 28

Pre-Registration Requested by Monday

Local residents interested in food preservation are invited to Food Preservation 101, a two-hour overview of general food preservation principles. The class includes current recommendations for canning, freezing and drying, display of equipment and utensils and sources for safe and tested food preservation information.  The course will be held Tuesday, June 28, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Cass County Extension office in Atlantic. Fee for the course is $5 per person, and includes all materials, recipes, etc. Pre-registration is requested by Monday, June 27 by calling 712-243-1132 or emailing xcass@iastate.edu.

Cass County Extension also offers pressure canner dial gauge testing by appointment.  Dial gauge pressure canners should be tested annually for accuracy. Dial gauges will also be tested at the end of the Food Preservation 101 program on June 28 for any participants interested.

Early beach monitoring results show no algae problems, several bacteria spikes

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 22nd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The weekly monitoring program that tests waters at the state park beaches is now into its fifth week. The coordinator of the program, Mary Skopec, says there’ve been some good early results. “So far this year we haven’t seen any of the blue-green algae toxins — that’s a good thing,” Skopec says. “We had regular bacteria impairments, we’ve had a number of rainstorms bringing bacteria into our lakes. Heavy rains early in the season are not unusual, but some of the levels we have seen have been pretty high.” Skopec says they did see some high bacteria levels in the Great Lakes region in northern Iowa, which is not common.

“We normally don’t see very high levels of bacteria at the Okobojis, and last week they got hit pretty hard. So we saw a number of advisories at beaches where we normally don’t see that,” Skopec says. The heavy downpours that have been popping up create problems as the water runs off quickly. “If we see very heavy rains it’s hard for the ground to absorb a lot of that water and we do see the bacteria being washed off from the landscape into the beach and the bacteria levels spiking. So, that certainly is a driver, those heavy rains that we’ve had this year,” Skopec explains. She says the good news is sunshine following the heavy rains helps kill off the bacteria. Skopec says the blue-green algae can pose a larger problem.

“Because they are a toxin and the illnesses can be more severe — including things like respiratory distress where people have a hard time breathing,” according to Skopec. “We do see pet issues as well with the blue-green algae, so it is a little bit or concerning than the bacteria which tends to be a little stomach upset and some diarrhea, which is uncomfortable but not nearly as severe as the blue-green algae illness that you might see.”\

You can go online and see a map of the weekly testing results at the Iowa D-N-R website. http://www.iowadnr.gov/Environmental-Protection/Water-Quality/Water-Monitoring/Beaches

(Radio Iowa)