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.

Feet of sand leave farms wasteland after flooding

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

MISSOURI VALLEY, Iowa (AP) — Hundreds of farmers in Iowa and Nebraska are still struggling to remove sand and fill holes gouged by the Missouri River, which swelled last summer with rain and snowmelt and overflowed onto thousands of acres of farmland. While the river flooded parts of Montana, the Dakotas, Kansas and Missouri, the worst damage was in Iowa and Nebraska. Iowa farmer Mason Hansen has been working for months to clear his property, but about 160 acres still look like a desert, with sand piled up to 4 feet high. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved more than $20 million in disaster aid to help Iowa and Nebraska farmers with the cost of moving sand, grading land and filling holes. But most farmers say that will cover only part of their costs.

2 bulls in SW Iowa test positive for venereal disease

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Friday, said that two bulls in southwest Iowa have tested positive for trichomoniasis (trik-uh-muh-NEYE’-uh-sis), a venereal disease in cattle.  The facility itself was not identified. Bovine trichomoniasis is a reportable disease in Iowa.  There are no clinical signs of illness in the bulls, but it can be spread to cows and causes infertility. Farmers buying bulls are encouraged to make sure the animals are tested for the disease before being introduced into the herd or to purchase virgin bulls. The Department has issued an order of quarantine for the facility where the disease was found.  The quarantine will remain in place until further testing confirms the disease is no longer present in the herd. This is the first known case of the disease in Iowa but there have been more than 200 cases in Missouri.

Summer Pest making the season’s 1st appearance at Carter Lake

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Swimmer’s itch is starting to make its presence known to swimmers at Carter Lake near Council Bluffs. The good news is that parasitic little pest that can cause welts and itching, only lasts a few weeks and is not life-threatening. The condition is caused by flatworms, a parasite.

The flatworm eggs are transferred to water by bird droppings. The eggs hatch and infect snails, from which the free swimming form of the flatworm larvae emerges. In the absence of a suitable host such as a bird, the parasite will attempt to penetrate the skin of humans, and quickly dies after that, causing an allergic reaction below the skin resulting in welts and itching.

Officials say the symptoms are not life threatening and generally disappear within a few days. An antihistamine along with calamine lotion can be used to treat the affected areas. Swimmer’s itch is most prevalent along beaches pounded by waves.

Officials say the most preventive measure is to reduce the amount of time in the water and to quickly dry off when getting out of the lake. For more information on swimmer’s itch visit the following websites:



USDA Report 05-31-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

May 31st, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Dave York


Iowa seeks payment plan options at farmers markets

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Iowa is scrambling to develop a plan for spending federal money to expand payment options at its 200 farmers markets. An appropriations bill provides $4 million in funding to increase farmers markets participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps. Iowa is to receive about $161,000. The Gazette in Cedar Rapids says the money has to be obligated by Sept. 30. The funds are to expand the availability of wireless point-of-sale equipment in farmers markets not currently participating in SNAP. Tracy Penick of the Iowa Department of Human Services says the challenge is that vendors use individual devices to run SNAP cards, while the funding is designed to go to farmers markets as a whole.

Ag Sec Vilsack approves closing of FSA office in Union County

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

John R. Whitaker, Iowa State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency (FSA), today (Wednesday),  announced that USDA Secretary Thomas A. Vilsack has approved the closure of three FSA county offices in Iowa, including those in Union County, Decatur and Appanoose Counties. The process will begin immediately.  After the required notifications have been provided to producers, FSA employees and office landlords, closure dates will be established and made publically available.  

FSA Administrator, Bruce Nelson said in a Press Release, “FSA places the utmost priority on ensuring that our services to producers remain strong as this consolidation process begins.”  The agency will provide farmers and ranchers affected by closures an opportunity to choose the most convenient neighboring county office with which to conduct their future business with the agency.  In addition, all employees in the closing office will be provided in opportunity to continue to work with FSA.  

Officials say as a federal agency, FSA has been affected by widespread budget reductions made by Congress.  Since 2011, the Agency has lost 1,230 permanent employees through voluntary early separation and normal retirement.  In addition, FSA has been forced to reduce discretionary administrative expense by over 30 percent in the last fiscal year alone. For a complete list of FSA county offices affected by the decision, go to:  http://www.fsa.usda.gov/officeconsolidations



May 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board today (Wednesday) announced plans to conduct a referendum on July 10, 2012 to increase the corn checkoff by ¼ cent per bushel.  The checkoff is currently ¾ of a cent per bushel and if the increase is approved would be 1 cent per bushel. Any producer who raised and marketed at least 250 bushels of corn from September 1, 2010 to August 31, 2011 is eligible to vote at any county extension office in the crop reporting district where they live from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on July 10. Growers who wish to vote by absentee ballot may do so by contacting the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.  Producers may call 515-281-5321, email cornvote@IowaAgriculture.gov or visit the Henry Wallace Building, 502 E 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50319 to solicit an Absentee Ballot Request Form. The Absentee Ballot Request Form must be signed and returned to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.  The producer will then be mailed an Absentee Ballot. Absentee Ballot Request Forms must be postmarked by June 27, 2012 and Absentee Ballots must be postmarked by July 10, 2012. 

The corn checkoff was last increased in 2008 to the current rate of ¾ cent per bushel marketed.  The checkoff is collected on corn that enters commercial channels but not on grain used on-farm.  Producers are able to request a refund of their checkoff contribution and that will not be affected by the vote. The Iowa Corn Checkoff was established by producer referendum in 1977.  The Iowa Corn Promotion Board, made up of farmers elected by their peers, invests checkoff dollars for research, education, promotion, and market development.  The maximum checkoff allowed under Iowa code is 1 cent per bushel.

Drought concerns emerge

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

May 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Warm, windy weather — and a lack of rain — are raising drought concerns in Iowa. The latest U-S-D-A report indicates about half of Iowa farm fields are short or very short of topsoil moisture. Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey says it’s worrysome. “Ironically northwest Iowa was probably our driest area going into spring and they’ve gotten rains,” Northey says. “But the balance of the state is really short of moisture and normally we don’t expect that dry weather until later in the season.” Dry conditions in late May and early June put a “unique kind of stress” on crops, according to Northey.

Corn, for example, is showing inadequate root growth.”When the crop is so short of moisture in that top soil, it actually is hard for those roots to find moisture and, therefore, to grow,” Northey says. “You would think normally…dry weather will cause those roots to go down and try to find moisture, but in some of our areas it’s so dry, if it’s not finding moisture, it actually stops those roots from growing.” While corn in some areas has weak root systems, some soybeans are just sitting in the ground and haven’t sprouted. “We do plant soybeans shallower. We plant them later and if you do a little bit of tillage, it dries out the top, especially since some of our areas of the state haven’t had rain for three weeks or at least any sizable rain and some very dry weather in the last three or four weeks as well.” The other problem is the soybean sprouts, but then dies because of lack of moisture.

Fifty-one percent of Iowa farm fields are “short” or “very short” of topsoil moisture according to the latest U-S-D-A report. The rating for subsoil moisture is 42 percent “short” or “very short.” The driest section of the state is south central Iowa, where 83 percent of the topsoil is “short” or “very short” of moisture.

Link to the U-S Drought Monitor website: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

(O. Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)

Cass County Extension Report 05-30-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

May 30th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olsen


Iowa crops needs a good soaking

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Much of Iowa, especially southern Iowa, could use some rain. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says while weeks of dry weather allowed farmers to finish planting, a lack of significant rain is resulting in poor soybean stands with seeds lying in dry soil. High winds have slowed spraying and dried out the soil. The USDA says in Tuesday’s report that 95 percent of the corn crop has emerged, which is 11 days ahead of normal. The condition of the corn has dipped slightly from a week ago, from 81 percent in good or excellent condition to 77 percent. Farmers have planted 97 percent of the soybean crop, ahead of 83 percent average. Topsoil moisture is 49 percent adequate or surplus, with subsoil moisture at 58 percent adequate or surplus.