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.

USDA Report 11-08-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

November 8th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin

Cass County Extension Report 11-07-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

November 7th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Green Valley State Park to Close during Special Deer Hunt

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

November 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say Green Valley State Park near Creston, will be closed to the general public Nov. 17-18, for the ninth annual special park deer hunt. The hunt will allow 25 hunters to harvest up to 50 antlerless deer using only muzzleloaders. Hunters have already registered and will receive two antlerless tags each redeemable only during the special hunt at the designated areas and specified dates. Additional DNR staff will be on hand to patrol the park boundaries. Green Valley will re-open to the public on Nov. 19.

Alan Carr, park ranger for Green Valley State Park says “The hunt helps keep the deer population in the park under control. Hunters must attend a special safety meeting before the hunt where we explain the reason for the hunt, discuss the rules and show them the park boundaries.  We hope to harvest as close to 50 female deer as we can and do it in a safe and efficient manner.”  Carr said the hunt has been a great deer management tool for state parks.

“People want to see deer when they come to park, but we need to maintain a balance in the deer herd,” Carr said.  “Research shows that if you stop these hunts completely, the deer population tends to go back up rather quickly so the hunt will probably remain an annual event. The depredation biologist sets number of deer targeted for removal each year that is based on the population survey.”

The average harvest for the two day hunt has been just over 40 deer each year.

Shelby County Fire Danger Index to remain Moderate

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Fire Danger Index in Shelby County will remain in the “Moderate” category through this Thursday, November 8th. Emergency Management officials say sunshine and drying conditions expected for the balance of this week will create a moderate risk of grassland and field fires, when opening burning is conducted.

Report details state organic crop and livestock production

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A report from the U-S Department of Agriculture says Iowa had nearly 61-million dollars in sales from organic farms in 2001. Iowa Ag Secretary, Bill Northey, says organic farms add to the diversification of the farm economy. “We have about 467 organic farms in Iowa, that 60-million dollars of sales not only helps those farms, but also helps anybody that is maybe buying those products. Maybe they are buying corn and also raising some cattle and processing the meet from organic production,” Northey says. The state certifies one-third to one-half of the organic farms, with the rest being certified privately.

“People generally have to pay a premium to buy organic products, and so to do that they want to know that animals are taken care of in a certain way, that they are fed organic crops, or if they are buying organic grain, the they are produced without fertilizer or without herbicides,” Northey says. “So they want to make sure that the folks are getting a premium for their products really are raising them the way the buyers want to have them raised.” Northey says organic farms increased steadily the last 10 years, but have leveled off recently due in part to the economy, as people had less income to spend on the products.

“But the other piece is that the producers used to be producing organics in a very low-price commodity market. so, we maybe had two-dollar corn and then and extra two or three dollars for organics on top of that,” Northey explains. “So now we have seven-dollar corn and maybe an extra four or five or more dollars on top of that. So it’s still worth a premium, but the commodity market values are enough better that some of those folks who were looking for a premium have decided to stay in the commodity markets.” Organics are a small part of the 25 to 30-BILLION dollars of agriculture production in Iowa, but he says it has a place.

“There’s lot of reasons why folks buy organics. Some people believe that there is a difference, and some studies have said that there isn’t,” Northey says. “Some believe that they like the way things are produced. And some just believe that they are more boutique products and they are premium products, and therefore because they are priced higher that they must be better. I think we operate in a great economic system that offers choices by consumers and that means they can pay extra for organics if they believe that it is worth the extra value.”

Sales of organic crops in Iowa accounted for 29-point-six-million dollars, livestock and poultry sales accounted for six-point-three million dollars, and livestock and poultry products accounted for 24-point-eight million dollars. Sales of organic vegetables were just over one million dollars, organic fruit sales were 23-thosuand-849-dollars, and sales of organic berries were 30-thousand-777 dollars.

(Radio Iowa)

Corn crop insurance payout up to $7.50 per bushel

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says farmers who chose to pay more to insure their crops at harvest prices will receive $7.50 per bushel for corn. That should be welcome news for corn farmers in Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska, the nation’s three largest corn producers, respectively. The Des Moines Register also reports that the harvest price payout for soybeans will be $15.39 per bushel.

Farmers who elected to be covered by the less expensive non-harvest price coverage will receive the $5.68 per bushel for corn and $12.55 per bushel for soybeans. Those prices were set in March at the time of insurance sign-up. USDA figures show crop-loss insurance payments through Oct. 29 totaled $3.5 billion nationally, including $1.63 billion for corn and $247.6 million for soybeans.

Report looks at economic impact of Iowa’s consolidated pork packing industry

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A national consumer advocacy group released a report Friday that claims Iowa’s shift to large-scale hog production has hurt the state’s rural economy. Wenona Hauter, executive director of San Francisco-based Food and Water Watch, says consolidation in the pork packing industry has forced thousands of small-to-medium size hog producers out of the business. “Over the past three decades, the number of hogs sold in Iowa has doubled, but the value of those hogs has actually declined,” Hauter said. “The number of hog farms dropped more than 80-percent and hog prices have plunged.”

The report claims the fewer, but larger processing plants have also resulted in a decline in wages for the plants’ workers. Hauter, in a conference call with reporters, said the prevailing wisdom has been that hog production and processing has become more efficient – which provides more economic punch to hog producers and cheaper food to consumers. But, the report found otherwise.  “The Consumer Price Index for pork has risen by almost 80-percent during the period we studied, while the real hog prices and the real packing plant wages have dropped,” Hauter said. “The decline in the value of hogs and wages have had a ripple effect through the entire economy as farmers and workers have less to spend at main street businesses.”

The study analyzed county-level economic, agricultural and demographic data in five-year intervals from 1982 to 2007. “Meat packer funded studies just look at the total economic output of the consolidated hog industry, but they ignore the damage to rural economies from the decline in the number of independent farms,” Hauter said. “Medium size farms are more likely to buy farm supplies locally and are the foundation of rural economies.” Larry Ginter, a former hog farmer in Marshall County and a member of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, also took part in the conference call. He said the four biggest packers in Iowa slaughter nine out of 10 hogs, so “independent farmers cannot get a fair price with that kind of stranglehold on the market.”

(Radio Iowa)

Pheasant Hunter Success on Opening Weekend tied to Location

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

November 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says hunter success in Iowa’s 2012 pheasant season opener followed what the roadside survey predicted. Officials say better bird numbers were found in northwest Iowa,  and few birds were seen in southern Iowa, but by and large, conservation officers found hunters were encouraged, but not satisfied, with their opening weekend hunt.

Mark Gulick, northwest Iowa district wildlife supervisor for the DNR, says “The general consensus is that the opener was good compared to the past few years. Pressure on public land was moderate to extremely high on Saturday and considerably lower on Sunday. Harvest was fair to good; many groups reported about one bird per person with several groups reporting limits, some by mid morning.” Success was not as good in southeast Iowa.

Rick Trine, central Iowa district wildlife supervisor for the DNR, says in central Iowa, more hunters were on public wildlife areas and most were pleased with the numbers of pheasants they saw over last year. Iowa’s pheasant season continues through Jan. 10, 2013.

NW Iowa fish kill traced to Sioux Center pork processing plant

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Department of Natural Resources officials have found the likely source of a massive fish kill in northwest Iowa.

Floyd River fish kill Oct 2012

Ken Hessenius, with the DNR, says the discharge into the West Branch of the Floyd River south of Sioux Center was traced to a local business. “Sioux-Preme Packing Company is a hog kill packing plant and they have a wastewater system,” Hessenius said.

The reason for the discharge is still under review and it’s unclear if the company was aware it was happening. DNR staff were notified of the situation on Monday by a local resident who reported the stream looked “murky.” Elevated ammonia levels were discovered in the stream, along with dead fish. The fish kill is still being counted.

“The preliminary information is the kill will be in the thousands, not hundreds, as initially reported,” Hessenius said. The dead fish have been found at least nine miles downstream of the plant, according to the DNR. Hessenius said potential enforcement action and fines against Sioux-Preme Packing are under review.

(Radio Iowa)

CASS COUNTY EXTENSION TO HOST IOWA FARM BUREAU TAX PLANNING WEBINAR NOV.9

Ag/Outdoor

November 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Farmers can learn more about tax planning, farm tax changes, bonus depreciation and more during the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s (IFBF) 2012 Iowa Farm Income Tax webinar held Friday, Nov. 9th, from 1-3 p.m. The webinar is free to the public. The seminar features Roger McEowen, director of the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State University (ISU), and Charles Brown, president of AgriFinancial Services, LLC.

During the webinar, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions. Farmers can access the webinar via their home/farm computers or at local host sites where people can gather to participate. In Cass county, a local site to participate in the webinar is the Cass County Extension Office, 805 West 10th Street, Atlantic. No pre-registration is needed for any of the sites. Other sites and more information on the webinar can be found at www.iowafarmbureau.com. If you have questions on the webinar, contact Ed Kordick at  515-225-5433.

The webinar will be recorded and available at the IFBF website, www.iowafarmbureau.com, for members only to view the information on their farm/home computer.