KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Tree grants for SW IA cities

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Several southwest Iowa communities have received grants totaling $203,000, through MidAmerican Energy’s Trees Please! program. The Daily NonPareil reports the cities include Council Bluffs, Farragut, Macedonia, Marne, Modale, Randolph, Red Oak, Shelby and the Glenwood Tree Board. Each of those entities received funds to promote energy efficiency and environmental beautification through the planting of trees. Council Bluffs received $20,000. The other cities received $1,000 each.

Council Bluffs Parks and Recreation Assistant Director John Batt said the grant will go towards planting a variety of trees around town, primarily on public property, parks and trails wherever possible. Communities and organizations submitted applications to MidAmerican and were selected based on their individual merits and benefits to the community while also being able to obtain matching funds.

Tina Yoder, energy efficiency manager for MidAmerican Energy said trees serve as a natural wind break while providing shade to homes and businesses.

Workshops for current and wanna-be cattle producers to be offered across western Iowa in March

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A series of workshops targeting Iowa beef producers will be held across western Iowa next month which will compare various types of cattle operations. Beth Doran is a beef program specialist at the Iowa State University Extension, based in Orange City. She says the workshops are targeted towards potential and current producers. “We’re going to try to give an overview of facility types,” Doran says. “We’ll be talking about different kinds of facilities, hoop barns, monoslope barns, open lots, deep-pitted slotted-floor barns. We’ll talk about the advantages and disadvantages of them and review some of the research on those types.”

Doran says producers will receive several production resources and tools as well as an updated manual on feedlot systems. “We’re also going to give the workshop participants several scenarios and they’ll have to work through making appropriate choices for an operation,” Doran says. “That might involve their financing decisions, cost-benefit measurements and taking a look at that production environmental risk that’s going on with that.” Doran says northwest Iowa contains a lot of the different operations that will be discussed in the workshops.

Producers interested in attending should call their local extension office to pre-register. The workshops will be held (locally) March 18th in Lewis, and on March 25th in Carroll.

(Radio Iowa)

Memorial Weekend Campsites Soon Available for Reservation

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 17th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa DNR say the three month window to reserve a state park campsite for a Friday arrival on Memorial Day weekend opens this Sunday, Feb. 22. But more than a few campers have their sites already reserved arriving on the weekend before Memorial Day and staying through the holiday. Todd Coffelt, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Parks Bureau, says “Campers can make reservations for sites three months ahead of their first night stay.” He said also “We had a flurry of reservations when campers began getting their sites for a two-week stay that includes the Memorial Day weekend.”

Most parks will have nonelectric sites available for the Memorial Day Weekend. Not every campsite is available on the reservation system. Parks maintain between 25 and 50 percent of the electric and nonelectric sites as non-reservation sites, available for walk up camping.

Information on Iowa’s state parks is available online at www.iowadnr.gov including the link to reservations. Campers can also log on directly to http://iowastateparks.reserveamerica.com; enter their preferred amenities and requirements, dates and/or parks to see what sites are available and make a reservation.

Iowa hosting national pheasant fest

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa is playing host to a national event focused on bird hunting, wildlife conservation and dog training. Mick Klemesrud is a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, a sponsor of the 2015 National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic — this Friday through Sunday at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. Klemesrud notes two days coincide with the State Wrestling Tournament.  “We’ll get a lot of the different vendors from the across the country that are involved in pheasant and dog training. They expect about 25,000 (people to attend) so it would be nice if we had a little bit more than that with the additional people in town,” Klemesrud says.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The annual Pheasants Forever event began in 2005 and was previously hosted by Iowa in 2007 and 2010. Klemesrud says pheasants may not be as plentiful in Iowa as decades ago, but they’re making a comeback. “We are not to the glory years that we were in the 1990s, but we’ve had a few upticks in our pheasant numbers and we expect to have good survival into next year,” Klemesrud says. “So, we’re going build on year-over-year pheasant numbers and if we have a good spring, we’re going to have more pheasants than even last year.”

At this weekend’s event, landowners can meet with DNR conservation officers to discuss ways they can help improve upland bird habitat. Klemesrud says the event will also include a Youth Village.  “In the Youth Village, we’ll have a lot of different entertainment and games for the kids. Our officers will have some air rifle ranges, some 3D archery and we’ll have a snowmobile simulator,” Klemesrud says.

Daily admission to Pheasant Fest is $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-16, while children 5 and under get in free. For a complete schedule of events visit www.pheasantfest.org.

(Radio Iowa)

Wildlife refuge north of Omaha offers winter programs

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

MISSOURI VALLEY, Iowa (AP) — A federal wildlife refuge north of Omaha is offering opportunities to learn more about nature during winter. The DeSoto and Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuges are offering several different programs in February and March. The refuges are about 30 miles north of Omaha near the Iowa border.

Tours of the area are offered at 10 a.m. on the following Saturday mornings: this Saturday, February 28th, March 7th and March 21st. Tours are also offered at 2 p.m. on February 15th, March 1st and March 15th.

The story of the Steamboat Bertrand and its passengers is retold at 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The 150th anniversary of Bertrand’s sinking will be celebrated on the last weekend of March. Anyone visiting the refuges must have a $3 entrance permit.

John Deere adds jobs at Dubuque factory amid layoffs

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) – John Deere has recently laid off hundreds of workers in the Midwest, but it has added jobs at its factory in Dubuque, where the company manufactures huge vehicles for construction and forestry. Last month, the company announced the layoff of 910 workers at five locations in Iowa and Illinois, citing reduced demand for farming equipment as the reason. But the Telegraph Herald reports that John Deer Dubuque Works has added more than 100 jobs since late 2014.

General Manager Byron Taylor says this addition brings the total number of people working at the Dubuque site to 2,500. Taylor says the rollout of new bulldozer models and forestry machines, which hit the market in January, have contributed to the company’s strong growth in a new customer segment.

USDA Report 02-12-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

February 12th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin


DuPont Pioneer Commits $45,000 to Food and Agricultural Education in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with DuPont, and the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE), announced today (Wednesday), that DuPont Pioneer awarded more than $45,000 through multiple grants to agriscience educators in Iowa. The grants will fund training and classroom resources to help implement advanced agriculture curriculum.

Teachers who received a grant are implementing Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) in their classrooms and will attend training in 2015. Iowa teachers receiving grants include (locally): Kristen Rutherford, Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton High School; Susie Catanzareti, Mount Ayr Community School District, and Molly Heintz, West Central Valley High School.

Michelle Gowdy, director of Community & Academic Relations for DuPont Pioneer, said “Ensuring there is enough safe, affordable and nutritious food for all will require that more students understand agriculture and become future leaders in food production.” She added, “We are proud to be working with others in agriculture and education to give teachers the best resources to encourage children to learn more about agriculture and consider careers in the industry.”

CASE is a multiyear approach to agriscience education with rigorous educator training requirements and hands-on, inquiry-focused learning activities. The collaboration between DuPont Pioneer and CASE is a special project of the National FFA Foundation. This is the third year of involvement for DuPont Pioneer. Learn more about the program and grant schedule on the CASE grant website.

Cass County Extension Report 02-11-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

February 11th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Extension Program Coordinator Kate Olson


USDA may turn new focus on excessive use of antibiotics for livestock


February 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The budget President Obama sent to Congress asks for more than one-billion dollars to fight antibiotic resistance, with some of the focus on animal agriculture. Under the proposal, the U-S-D-A would get 77-million dollars to find ways to reduce use of the drugs in livestock. Hans Coetzee, a veterinary medicine professor at Iowa State University, says antibiotic resistance can make common medications ineffective, meaning, sick people or sick animals don’t get better.

Coetzee says, “We recognize that when both MDs and veterinarians are using the same class of drugs to treat disease, that we both have responsibilities to ensure that we’re using those drugs prudently and responsibly.” He says it’s important to develop new animal care strategies to stop the spread of antibiotic resistance.  “It would be prudent for us in production agriculture to find ways to minimize the amount of antibiotics used, to most effectively use the drugs that we have, and then to identify alternatives,” Coetzee says.

The president’s proposal nearly quadruples the U-S-D-A money designated for such research.

(Radio Iowa)