KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Applications for deer hunting permits in Atlantic available now

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

September 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police Lt. Dave Erickson says anyone interested in bow hunting within the City Limits of Atlantic, for the hunting year 2015-16, can apply now for permit applications through the Atlantic Police Department. The hunt is allowed under the city’s Urban Deer Control Ordinance. Hunters wanting to receive an application should stop by the Atlantic Police Department during their normal business hours of 8-a.m. to 4-p.m., Monday through Friday.

The permit will allow you to harvest anterless deer. Once you have reported the harvest to the A-PD, you will be allowed to harvest a buck. Bow hunters that qualified last year with the Atlantic Police Dept. will not need to do so this year, but Erickson says you still have to pick up the permit application and have it filled-out.

New hunters will have to contact the A-PD and set up a time with Lt. Erickson, in order to qualify. Land owners who would like to allow a bow hunter to hunt on their land, should call the Police Dept. at 712-243-3512 during normal business hours, and sign-up.

USDA: Iowa has record soybean crop, tie with 2009 corn crop

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest estimates show Iowa is on track for record soybean production and will tie the largest corn crop ever. The monthly crop production report released Friday says Iowa farmers are growing an estimated 2.41 billion bushels of corn, which ties the 2009 crop for the highest on record.

The average yield is expected at 181 bushels per acre which ties 2004 and 2009 as highest on record. Iowa farmers are expected to bring in 526 million bushels of soybeans, exceeding the 2005 record by 1 million bushels.

Soybean yield is estimated at 53 bushels per acre, a half-bushel per acre higher than the 2005 record. Iowa farmers are expected to harvest 13.3 million acres of corn for grain and 9.92 million acres of soybeans.

Rabbit season is open

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

September 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Rabbit season got underway in Iowa this month. Iowa Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist, Todd Bogenschutz says hunters shouldn’t have any trouble finding targets. “On our roadside surveys they’re actually a little bit down from last year, not much, basically unchanged,” Bogenschutz says. “But our rabbit numbers are 20 percent above the long-term average right now — so we’ve got plenty of bunnies in Iowa.”

While the population is doing well, he says fewer hunters are looking to hunt rabbits.
He says the number of hunters has been trending down and he is not sure if that is following the pattern of more people moving from rural to urban settings. “There’s just a lot more opportunity for other species right now, 30 years ago we didn’t have a turkey season or deer season, or giant Canada geese,” Bogenschutz says. He says rabbits are a good way to get a young person started in hunting.

“For beginning hunters, there’s nothing easier than cottontails and squirrels. All you need is a 22, and you don’t need any camo, you just need a place to go and sit in the woods,” Bogenschutz says. Rabbit season runs through February 28th, with a daily bag limit of 10 rabbits and a possession limit of 20. Shooting hours are sunrise to sunset.

Hunters looking for places to go rabbit or squirrel hunting should use Iowa’s online hunting atlas at www.iowadnr.gov/hunting.

(Radio Iowa)

2nd meeting scheduled over Turkey Creek public hunting

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Conservation Board has scheduled a second public hearing over a proposal to open the east half of the Turkey Creek Wildlife Area to public hunting. The first hearing was held Aug. 27th. The next hearing takes place 5-p.m. Sept. 17th at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Office at Cold Springs State Park, at Lewis. Input will be taken at that time with regard to a proposal to open the area to public hunting.

Turkey Creek WLAThe Turkey Creek Wildlife Area is located between Atlantic and Lewis, just off Highway 6. The area is currently not open to public hunting, and the Conservation Board feels the area is underutilized.

If you have any questions, please call Micah Lee with the Cass County Conservation Board, at 712-769-2372.

Iowa crops endure hottest week of the year but on track

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 8th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s corn and soybean crops endured the hottest week of the year so far last week but largely remain in good shape. The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its weekly crop report released Tuesday says 10 percent of Iowa’s corn crop is mature. That’s three days ahead of last year but nine days behind the five-year average. Seventy-nine percent of the crop is in good to excellent condition.

Farmers report some fields are showing signs of disease stress. Soybean development is three days ahead of last year but a day behind average with 76 percent of the crop in good to excellent condition. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says the first week of September was the hottest week of the year. Temperatures as a whole averaged 10 degrees above normal.

Survey finds few acres will be coming available for new farmers

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A national survey of land ownership shows just over two-percent of farmland will be available for beginning farmers and ranchers in the next year, perhaps ten-percent over the next five years. Traci Bruckner, senior policy associate at the Center for Rural Affairs, says land access is a long-standing problem for those just starting to farm, though she calls the U-S-D-A report “really disturbing.”

“The continual unaffordability of land and then just what the survey is saying, there’s only going to be 2% available for new entrants that don’t have a natural, direct access to land,” Bruckner says. “That is an issue and Congress needs to start taking it seriously. They need to have policies that are more meaningful to help a new generation get started.” Bruckner says the land access problem needs help at the federal level, with changes that will help young producers who want to farm.

“We need to be serious about beginning farmer policy, not just throwing a few million dollars here and there to help create training and mentoring,” she says. “We need to actually have some meaningful reform on some of the main conventional commodity market-driven programs, like the farm program and the crop insurance program.” Bruckner says the student loan forgiveness program that is in the works would help beginning farmers with their cash-flow issues.

“But at the end of the day,” she says, “if we don’t do something about land access, then none of our other efforts are worthwhile.” While land values have come down some, she notes they’ve been rising for years to levels that make it impossible for beginning farmers and ranchers to buy. The Center for Rural Affairs is based in Lyons, Nebraska.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Extension Report 09-02-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 2nd, 2015 by Jim Field

w/ Kate Olson


West Central Cooperative Finalizes Sale of Massena, Iowa Property

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with West Central had announced back in May it would close its agronomy business operations in Massena. Now, the cooperative has finalized the sale of its property, officially ending business in Massena. West Central regional manager, Brad Woodard said “We appreciate our customers’ and cooperative members’ business in the Massena area over the last five years.”  West Central purchased the Massena location from Pelgrow in 2010.

Woodard added “Closing a cooperative location is never an easy decision, however, our assessment of the location determined it no longer offered the efficiencies our customers’ businesses deserve. We thank our West Central Massena employees, who are now serving customers at other West Central locations, for their commitment to our growers through this transition.”West Central CoOp logo

West Central’s regional agronomy field marketers remain available to work with area growers. They include:

· Scott Small in Atlantic at (712) 243-3582

· Nick Richter in Adair at (712) 250-9200

· Brett Westergaard in Exira at (641) 740-0421

· Sid Skank in Oakland at (712) 741-3200

Assets from the site were relocated to other West Central locations or sold. The property, including the office, dry fertilizer facility and NH3 plant were sold to Massena Livestock Sales.

Iowa’s Pheasant Population Jumps 37 Percent; Quail Highest Count in 21 Years

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Dept. Of Natural Resources say Iowa’s pheasant population increased for the second year in a row to a statewide average of 24 birds, up 37 percent over 2014. This is the highest bird count since 2008 for most of the state, and in southeast Iowa, it’s the highest count in more than a decade.  Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says “It’s amazing when you bring a few females through the winter you can bounce back. We had a great winter, little or no snow in March, and April weather was good giving hens a chance for an early nest. But June and July were pretty wet for all but the northwest third of the state and our counts reflected that.”

The highest pheasant counts were 44 birds per route in the northwest region, followed by 38 birds per route in central and 27 birds per route in southeast Iowa and should offer good hunting this fall. Lower counts came in southwest, south central and northeast regions. “We made improvements in these regions but have a ways to go to reach our long-term averages,” Bogenschutz said. 2015_survey_map_web
The key to increasing or maintaining pheasant numbers has been and continues to be winter and spring weather, and having the right habitat. Iowa had a double dose of bad weather each year from 2007-11 – cold snow-filled winters followed by cool, wet springs – that hammered the pheasant population, dropping statewide averages to 6.6 birds per route in 2011, 7.8 birds in 2012 and 6.5 birds in 2013. During this bad weather stretch, the DNR fielded calls to close the season or reduce the bag limit. Some hunters blamed pesticides and predators, like coyotes and hawks, for the plunge in pheasant numbers.

“It really comes down to winter survival and nesting success. If the hens don’t make it though winter, they can’t nest. If they can get though the winter, they need a place to nest that can shelter chicks from the elements,” he said.  “It’s nice to have Mother Nature smile on us a few winters in a row, but we could really benefit from adding additional acres of habitat, like the Iowa Pheasant Safe Conservation Reserve Program that provides a good mix of winter cover and spring nesting areas. If we can get one more mild winter, we may finally recover our population that was lost during the 2007-11 stretch of bad weather.”

Based on the average of 24 birds per route, hunters can expect to harvest 300,000 to as many as 500,000 roosters this fall, depending on the number of hunters that return. “We would need to have more hunters come back to hit the half million harvest, but the birds are there to support it,” he said.

Iowa’s 90 day pheasant season begins October 31. The DNR’s August Roadside Survey occurs each August 1-15, with staff driving the same 217, 30-mile routes each year.  The complete survey is available online at www.iowadnr.gov/pheasantsurvey.

Quail Population Highest in 21 Years
The quail population jumped to a statewide average of 1.44 birds per route, its highest since 1994. The highest quail counts were 4.8 birds per route in the southeast region, followed by 4 birds per route in southwest and just under 4 birds per route in south central Iowa. “If you ever wanted to go quail hunting, this is the year,” said Bogenschutz.

Rabbit Numbers Strong, Partridge Also Higher
Iowa’s rabbit population remains strong especially in south central, southeast central, and east central regions. Hungarian partridge numbers are also higher, offering an opportunity to pheasant hunters to bag a bonus bird in north central, central, northeast and northwest regions.

John Deere to lay off 30 employees at Davenport plant

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — John Deere says it will lay off 30 employees at its plant in Davenport. The company said Monday that the workforce reduction at Davenport Works affects employees who make construction and forestry equipment.

Spokesman Ken Golden tells the Quad-City Times that the layoffs are effective Oct. 2. The company on Monday also announced plans to lay off 150 people at its plant in East Moline in neighboring Illinois. Those layoffs are effective Sept. 18.