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.

Cass Supervisors approve 1st reading of Amended TIF District Ordinance

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors Wednesday morning approved the first of two readings of an Amended Ordinance that pertains to the Amaizing Energy TIF District. The action followed the first of two public hearings on the matter, with the second hearing and second reading to take place during the Supervisor’s meeting on Dec. 19th.

Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman points out the parcels in the Amaizing Energy Urban Renewal/TIF District.

Prior to the public hearing, Cass County Auditor Dale Sunderman said the Board, on May 23rd 2007, enacted Ordinance 28, which provides for the Division of Taxes levied on taxable property in the Amaizing Energy Urban Renewal Area. He said the amendment proposes that certain property included in the definition of an “Urban Renewal Area” in the ordinance, be deleted from that definition. (A full description of the parcels and sections are available at the Auditor’s office)

After the public hearing was closed and the matter discussed that the Board, upon hearing no objections to the amendment after first reading, voted to approve it.

Cass County Extension Report 12-12-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

December 12th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Iowa Land values survey shows nearly 24% increase over last year

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The annual survey from Iowa State University shows farmland values increased almost 24-percent over last year to a new record high of an average cost of eight-thousand-296 dollars an acre. I-S-U economist, Mike Duffy compiles the numbers from the survey. “Basically what we found was higher-quality ground moving at a pretty good level, and lower quality ground not increasing so much,” Duffy says. “For example northwest Iowa was up almost 34-percent, where southeast Iowa was up only nine percent.” Duffy says record corn and bean prices are part of the reason for the increase.

“The commodity prices were a primary driver, another driver was the very low interest rates that we have. People also said lack of alternative investments was another reason,” according to Duffy. The faster increase in the price of the better quality ground goes hand-in-hand with the amount of money to be made with the higher commodity prices.  “I think the higher quality ground is going to be less susceptible to weather problems for the most part, it’s a more stable return if you will than some of the lower quality ground. And people are perceiving it to be a better buy than the lower quality,” Duffy says.

O’Brien County had an estimated 12-thousand-862 dollar average value, the highest average county value. O’Brien County also had the highest percentage increase and highest dollar increase in value, 35-point-two percent and three-thousand-348, respectively. The 23-point-seven-percent increase marks the third straight year the land values have increased by 15-percent or more. Duffy doesn’t agree with those who say the high price bubble of ag land is going to eventually burst. “I don’t think that it’s going to be a bubble pop. I think it would either be be more akin to a tire getting a nail in it, where we’ll gradually adjust down. Or it may even be that we don’t adjust down much, but the rate of increase will either slow or slightly go down,” Duffy says.

He does think the double-digit increases in land prices may not last much longer. “I don’t see any way that we can maintain the rate that we’ve had,” Duffy explains. “The last three years we’ve increased almost 64-percent, and that’s just not sustainable.” He says the supply and amount of corn and soybeans that are grown will make an impact on the land prices moving ahead.”The world is already responding by planting more, so we’re going to see adjustments,” Duffy says. “Now all that said though, the drought that we’re experiencing right now is very serious. And what it portends for next year is kind of anybody’s guess right now. But if we don’t get rain, we’re not going to have a crop. So it doesn’t matter how high prices are.”

In Cass County, the value of Ag land increased $1,426 over last year, to $7,984 per acre. In Audubon County, land increased just $25 shy of $2,000 per acre, to $9,215. In Adair County, land prices increased a little more than $1,100, to $6,425. In Adams County, the value of land went up a little more than $800, to $5,094. In Pottawattamie County, the price of land went up $1,600 from last year, to $9,142 per acre. Land went up nearly $1,800 in Shelby County to $9,262. In Guthrie County, the price went up just over $1,600 to $8,220. And, Montgomery County realized a $1,058 dollar price increase, to just over $6,710 per acre.

This is the highest state land value recorded by the survey and the first time county averages have reached levels over 10-thousand dollars an acre.

(Radio Iowa) (more info. at http://www.extension.iastate.edu/article/farmland-value-reaches-historic-8296-statewide-average)

Two charged after deer hunting incident in Harrison County

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

December 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources says two men have been charged following an incident that occurred Saturday afternoon in Harrison County, when a shotgun slug was fired into an occupied home while deer hunting. 64-year old Stephen Kenkel, of Grinnell was charged with one count of shooting over a roadway and one count of shooting within 200 yards of an inhabited building. 52-year old Gail C. Lamberson, of Logan was charged with one count of shooting within 200 yards of an inhabited building.

The incident occurred when deer were crossing the roadway between Kenkel and the house and Kenkel shot at the deer. The shot went through a wall eventually lodged in a ceiling inside the house. The house was occupied at the time, but no one was injured.

Ag Department wants more money to close wells

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Agriculture wants another infusion of cash to close down more ag drainage wells which officials say present a danger to Iowa’S groundwater. Some 250 wells have been plugged since the program started in the late 1980s. Ag Secretary, Bill Northey, wants one-point-five million dollars to treat another dozen wells: “Those right now drain directly into aquifers, that are drinking water aquifers, and that could be a concern,” Northey says. “We’ve been fortunate, we have not had problems with that through this time but it does make sense to close them to the extent that we can.”

Iowa’s 1987 Groundwater Protection Act called for closing the wells, which farmers installed years ago to make Iowa’s wet soils workable. Northey says the toughest ones are still left, where the soils are harder to drain. “That’s why it may make sense on some of those, if it’s an 80 acre or a 40 acres that’s drained, it may be less expensive to take part of that out of production than to find a drain a long ways away and pay a large cost,” Northey says.

After the latest round of closings, Northey says the remaining projects will cost as much as 10-million-dollars. Northey made his comments at a budget hearing where Governor Terry Branstad said it may be more cost-effective for the state to buy up the land instead and turn it into wetlands.

(Radio Iowa)

Popular western Iowa state park to reopen this week

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A popular state park in western Iowa will reopen later this week, 20 months after record flooding forced its closure. Chris Anunson, park ranger at Wilson Island State Recreation Area, says the park was abandoned in April 2011 as the Missouri River spilled out its banks. “We were forced to move everything out of the park – all of our office equipment, everything we could,” Anunson said. “When the water was at its peak, it covered 99-percent of the park.

Wilson Island State Rec Area flooding July 2011; photo of shelter roof on riverfront picnic area – water depth about 9 feet deep. (Radio Iowa)

As a result, we were forced to demolish some of the buildings in the park.” Standing water remained in the park for three months. A massive layer of sand and sediment was left behind.

“We had anywhere between three inches to eight feet of sediment deposit,” Anunson said. Anunson, his wife and three children moved to a rented in home in nearby Missouri Valley for a year as their residence in the park was fixed. The home’s basement took in seven feet of floodwater. Although the Wilson Island State Recreation Area will reopen to visitors this Friday (December 14), the campground will remain closed until sometime in 2014. Prior to the flood, the Wilson Island campground was the sixth highest revenue producer among Iowa’s state park campgrounds. Anunson said frequent visitors to the park will definitely notice some changes.

“We’ve removed, as of this Fall, about 105 large cottonwood trees that were damaged by the flood. We are slated to remove another 70 trees this Winter and that doesn’t include all the small saplings that were under eight inches in size,” Anunson said. The State of Iowa provided two-million dollars ($2 million) and FEMA nearly one-million ($1 million) toward the food cleanup effort. The 544-acre state park, named for former Iowa Governor George Wilson, is located about 25 miles north of Omaha/Council Bluffs. Anunson estimates more than half of the park’s users come from Nebraska.

(Radio Iowa)

IA DNR invites the public to learn more about State Nutrient Strategy at upcoming meetings

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources say three informational meetings regarding the recently released Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, will be held the week of December 17th in Denison, Ames and Waterloo.  DNR Director Churck Gipp says “These meetings are an important opportunity for the public and key stakeholders to ask questions and learn more about this plan. In western Iowa, a meeting on Nutrient Reduction Strategy will take place at the Boulders Conference Center in Denison (2507 Boulders Dr.), beginning at 6:30-p.m., Dec, 17th.  Other meetings will be held Dec. 19th in Ames, and Dec. 21st in Waterloo.

Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey says the goal of reducing nutrients in Iowa’s waters is an effort that will require everyone working together. Northey says what makes the plan so “exciting,” is that “It’s the first time we have had all the key stakeholders moving in the same direction toward the common goal of reducing nutrients, both here in Iowa and eventually the Gulf of Mexico.”

Comments on the strategy will not be accepted during the three meetings, but Iowans are invited to review the full strategy and provide comment at www.nutrientstrategy.iastate.edu.

USDA chief: Rural America becoming less relevant

Ag/Outdoor

December 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has some harsh words for rural America: You’re becoming “less and less relevant.” A month that Democrats won the election even as rural parts of the country voted overwhelmingly Republican. Now Vilsack — a former Democratic governor of Iowa — has told farm belt leaders that he’s frustrated with their internal squabbles and says they need to be more strategic in picking their political fights.

In a speech this past week in Washington, he said rural America’s biggest assets — the food supply, recreational areas and energy, for example — can be overlooked by people elsewhere as the U.S. population shifts more to cities, their suburbs and exurbs.

Commercial Manure Applicator Training Scheduled for Shelby County

Ag/Outdoor

December 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Commercial manure applicators should plan to attend the Commercial Manure Applicator training program scheduled for Friday, Jan. 4th, 2013, from 9 a.m. to noon. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will conduct the required three-hour training workshop at that time. There is no fee to attend the workshop, but commercial applicators must register by Dec. 28 by contacting the ISU Extension – Shelby County office at 712-755-3104.

Commercial manure applicators needing to re-certify and those wanting to certify for the first time should attend. The workshop will provide the required three hours of annual training and will cover applicator rules, manure application rates, manure nutrient movement in soils, emergency action planning, and the importance of good communication and contracts when agitating and pumping manure.

All currently certified commercial manure applicator licenses will expire on March 1, 2013. Commercial applicators can attend training throughout the year, but if they were previously certified, they should plan to attend training and submit the forms and fees to DNR prior to March 1, 2013, to avoid paying the late fees. Certification fees for commercial manure applicators have not changed for 2013. ISU Extension and Outreach will be charging a $10 fee to applicators choosing to view the certification materials on a non-scheduled reshow day at the county office. For this reason all applicators are encouraged to attend the workshops or to plan to view training materials on the scheduled reshow date at their local county extension office. This fee will not apply to workshops or scheduled reshow dates.

Contact the county extension office to determine which days are scheduled for the manure applicator certification programs. Due to scheduling conflicts, many county extension offices will no longer accept walk-in appointments to watch the training DVDs. If you will be attending the Jan. 4th commercial manure applicator program or watching the three-hour DVD is not convenient, commercial applicators may contact their local DNR field office to schedule an appointment to take the certification exam.

For more information about the commercial applicator program contact the ISU Extension – Shelby County office at 712-755-3104 or access a list of the training locations at: http://www.agronext.iastate.edu/immag/certification/macprogrampostcard.pdf

Man loses finger in Madison County hunting accident

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

December 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A man hunting deer in Madison County Wednesday south of Truro was injured while using an unconventional weapon. Iowa Department of Natural Resources spokesman, Kevin Baskins, says the accident involved a 69-year-old man from Cumming. “In this particular instance we had a gentleman who was on a stand and took a shot at a deer when the muzzleloader he was using exploded,” Baskins says. The man identified as Theodore Larson lost a thumb in the explosion.

“He was unable to find his thumb after the gun exploded,” Baskins says. He says Larson was unable to find his thumb and was eventually flown to a Des Moines hospital for treatment. Baskins says the muzzleloaders are often new reproduction guns that are still loaded in the old way. Baskins is not sure what type of gun Larson was using, but said they will try to find out why it exploded. “Our officers are experts at looking at these firearms and being able to examine what’s left of the gun to determine what may’ve happened to make it perform that way,” he says.

Baskins says the muzzleloader shotgun season overlaps with the regular shotgun season. He does not believe there have been that many problems with the oldstyle weapons. “I think it’s an unusual case. It’s not unheard of and that’s obviously one of the reasons why we want to further investigate and determine why that gun did perform the way it did,” according to Baskins.

Baskins says the accident happened around five in the evening and Larson was likely airlifted to the hospital because it was the quickest way at that time of day to get him in for treatment.

(Radio Iowa)