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.

Recent rainfall lessens drought conditions in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

April 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the past two weeks have seen needed rainfall over much of the state, ending a very dry stretch of weather. The rains reflect improvements to the drought, streamflow and shallow groundwater conditions.

Areas in yellow are experiencing "Abnormally Dry" conditions. Areas in white are considered to have "Normal" soil conditions as of April 21st.

Areas in yellow are experiencing “Abnormally Dry” conditions. Areas in white are considered to have “Normal” soil conditions as of April 21st.

Rainfall totals varied from just over seven-tenths (0.70) inches at Muscatine to more than six-inches inches at Lake Mills.  In Atlantic, rainfall from April 7th through this past Tuesday, amounted to 2.39-inches, which matches the statewide average. Temperatures have averaged 4.5 degrees above normal, as well. Officials say the wet weather comes at a time when Iowa is entering its traditionally wet months, and is a positive sign for conditions through spring.

The area of the state classified as abnormally dry has dropped from 50 percent to 25 percent according to the National Drought Monitor, a significant improvement over one year ago when more than 75 percent of the state was abnormally dry. Slight drought conditions remain present in far northwest and eastern Iowa.

For a thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends, go to www.iowadnr.gov/watersummaryupdate. The report is prepared by the technical staff from the Iowa DNR, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering and the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department.

Adair County property info. available in a new format

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Adair County residents have new tools available to them. Pam Jensen, Adair County Assessor, and the Adair County Board of Supervisors have announced that complete Adair County property information is now available to the public, 24/7, in an enhanced mapping format on the Internet at http://adair.gisworkshop.com/ through a partnership with GIS Workshop, LLC.

Visitors to the user-friendly mapping site will now find County property information at their fingertips through the Property Search tool. The search fields allow searches by parcel ID, owner name, address or legal description. All matching results will appear both on the map and in list format. In addition, residents can perform a more advanced search by sale information such as sale date, price range, acreage, or year built.

Full data regarding values, taxes, and even a photo of the property is now  conveniently available to anyone with an internet connection. Additional enhancements to the site include a Measurement tool, Quick Identify tool, Photo tool, Advanced Printing tool, and Zoom in/out and Aerial Imagery slider bars featuring several years of FSA aerial imagery. The enhanced site allows anyone to access informative GIS mapping information quickly and easily.

USDA Report 04-23-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

April 23rd, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin

CDC eyeing bird flu vaccine for humans, though risk is low

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Federal officials say they’re taking steps to create a human vaccine for the bird flu virus that’s affected the Midwest poultry industry, though they still consider the danger to be low. Dr. Alicia Fry, an influenza expert with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says they’re optimistic there won’t be any human cases of the H5N2 strain that has cost chicken and turkey producers nearly 6.8 million birds so far.

She said Wednesday that most human infections with other bird flu viruses have required close, prolonged contact with infected birds. So, officials are monitoring farm workers who’ve been exposed to affected flocks. Fry said the CDC has taken early steps toward developing a human vaccine in case it’s needed, but that’s a standard procedure with all emerging diseases.

Cass County Extension Report 04-23-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

April 22nd, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Earth Day 2015

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Today is the 45th Anniversary of “Earth Day,” a day set aside each year to perform acts to clean-up our environment by picking up trash in parks, along roadsides and elsewhere, plant trees, and participate in various programs for recycling and conservation. In some areas, citizens will sign petitions to governments, calling for stronger or immediate action to stop global warming and to reverse environmental destruction.

Here in Atlantic, Earth Day will be marked by clean-up of the Schildberg Recreation Area. Jolene Smith, Secretary of the Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors, says the activities begin this afternoon.

Anyone who wants help clean-up the park, should show-up in the west parking beginning at 2-p.m., wearing old clothes, old shoes and gloves. The Parks and Rec Dept. will furnish the trash bags and trailer to throw full bags in, for disposal. Various local civic organizations and local students will be participating in the effort. The clean-up effort will run as long as volunteers are willing to stay, or until around 8-p.m. You can show up anytime throughout the afternoon. You don’t have to be there at 2-p.m.

Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring said they removed a lot of trash from the area last year. For more information about Earth Day, go to www.earthday.org.

Warm weather could stop any more bird flu outbreaks

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 22nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

State and national officials held a conference all with reporters to answer questions surrounding the latest bird flu out break in northwest Iowa. Officials first clarified that the facility in Osceola County has a capacity of five-point-three million egg-laying hens, but there are were three-point-eight million hens there when the disease was discovered. It is still the largest outbreak discovered in the U-S thus far. U-S-D-A chief veterinary officer, John Clifford, says the large number of birds at the Osceola County facility raised concerns.

“A lot of people ask the question ‘well what can we do about it?’ Well, one of the things that we’re doing, we are trying to determine the pathway of introduction into these houses,” Clifford says. “My guess is — and right now there is no solid evidence as such — my guess is there are multiple pathways of entry and it doesn’t mean that people are using poor biosecurity.” The disease is believe to be carried by wild waterfowl. Clifford says other states like Minnesota have seen more cases than Iowa thus far because they have more lakes and more wild migratory birds. He says other states have also had some colder weather.

“And hopefully through the summer we would expect to stop seeing these cases because of the heat. This virus does not like the heat much at all, it prefers cooler temperatures in weather,” Clifford says. He says we could see more cases of the virus as the waterfowl move gain in the fall and spring. Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey was asked about the economic impact. He says it has varied since the first outbreaks were reported in other states in January.

“In some cases we’ve lost some markets, some export markets. In that case maybe we see a negative impact to prices — we actually see lower prices because there are less place for these egg products and poultry products to move,” Northey says. “In other cases we now are starting to see some significant reductions in the supply, so we are kind of counterbalancing, so it depends on how this plays out on what the impact might be.” But Northey says while millions of birds have died in Iowa and other states, the impact has not been major in terms of prices.

“Right now it does not appear that the loss of supply in either turkey products or egg products is significant at this time to show a significant impact on prices,” Northey says. The first outbreak in Iowa was in a turkey facility in Buena Vista County. The 37-thousand turkeys there were destroyed and Northey says state and local officials are helping the Osceola County facility euthanized the birds there. Northey says the cases appear to be isolated at this point.

“We do not believe this is spreading in a way that is likely to create other problems on other farms. We believe this is coming from wild birds to these farms. That does not mean we might not see a significant number of new cases,” according to Northey. But he says this could also be the last case found in Iowa too. Northey says these two facilities are a small part of the large egg and turkey industry in the state.

“As of today, eggs are still rolling out of most of our facilities. These are good, healthy eggs,” Northey says. “Consumers need to feel very comfortable eating Iowa eggs, eating Iowa turkey and eating Iowa chicken meat as well.” Doctor Clifford with the U-S-D-A says the eggs from the facility in Osceola are cracked and pasteurized for use in egg products, so that would have killed any of the virus in those eggs. And the chickens are not being released into the market, so they do not pose any threat.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic: Buck Creek Off-leash Dog Park update

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Buck Creek Dog Park at the Schildberg Recreation Area in Atlantic is closer to becoming a reality. Over the past month, Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring and Assistant Director Seth Staashelm have been working with Snyder and Associates Engineers to come up with a site plan for the park, and devised a conceptual layout.

Atlantic Parks & Rec Director Roger Herring talks about the Schildberg Rec Area Dog Park site plan. (Ric Hanson/photo)

Atlantic Parks & Rec Director Roger Herring talks about the Schildberg Rec Area Dog Park site plan. (Ric Hanson/photo)

Herring told the Parks Board Monday night, that the next step is to contact local vendors of fencing materials to determine the cost and availability of the material. Thanks to $10,000 grant from the Cass County Community Foundation, Herring said the off-leash dog park will be enclosed in a chain-link fence, which the grant will take care of nearly two-thirds of the cost for. The rest will be paid for through the department’s Capital Projects funds.

The nearly three-acre park will be divided into areas for large and small dogs, providing ample space for them to run and play. Herring said the plan is to have the dog park open sometime around Memorial Day.

Buck Creek Dog Park site plan at the Schildberg Rec Area. (Click on image to enlarge)

Buck Creek Dog Park site plan at the Schildberg Rec Area. (Click on image to enlarge)

Herring said also, a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant in the amount of $103,000 has been approved from the Iowa Department of Transportation, with regard to the Lake #2 Trail at the Schildberg Recreation Area. The project is expected to cost $134,000. The Atlantic City Council, in February, had agreed to sponsor the grant application with a $26,800 commitment for the project.

In other news, construction on the replacement Kiddie Korral Shelter at Sunnyside Park is expected to be completed by around Sept. 15th, and the Camblin Shelter refurbishment project at Sunnyside Park,should be wrapped-up by around May 15th. Staashelm reported to the Parks Board, Monday, that pieces for the recycled plastic, cedar colored park benches to be located in the Senior Activity Area at Sunnyside have arrived, and are in the process of being assembled. He said also and ADA compliant drinking fountain has been installed near the tennis courts, and is being used a lot. The stylish foundation is equipped with a jug filling outlet, in addition to bubblers for water dispensing.

Posted County Prices for Grains 04/21/2015

Ag/Outdoor

April 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $3.55, Beans $9.32
Adair County: Corn $3.52, Beans $9.35
Adams County: Corn $3.52, Beans $9.31
Audubon County: Corn $3.54, Beans $9.34
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.58, Beans $9.32
Guthrie County: Corn $3.57, Beans $9.36
Montgomery County: Corn $3.57, Beans $9.34
Shelby County: Corn $3.58, Beans $9.32
Oats $2.60 (always the same in all counties)

Planting season is underway

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 21st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Some farmers were able to get the planters rolling last week. The U-S-D-A’s weekly crop report shows farmers used some warmer weather to get into the fields and seven percent of the corn crop is now planted. The report says the planting is four days ahead of normal compared to last year — but right at what the state has seen in the five-year average.

Nearly one-third of the State’s expected oat crop was planted during the week, third highest percentage seeded for the third week of April in 20 years. Seventy-four percent of the oat crop has been planted, over two weeks ahead of last year, and one week ahead of the average. Some areas are seeing faster planting of corn than others. Iowa State University extension agronomist, Angie Reik-Hinz, monitors nine counties from Hamilton to Cerro Gordo.

“Right around Webster City, Fort Dodge, Stanhope, Stratford area, we’re seeing a lot of corn in the ground. Maybe upwards of thirty to forty percent,” Reik-Hinz says. The temperature has kept some parts of the state from keeping up early on. “As we move a little further east, it’s a little bit less corn in the ground, and as we go north it significantly tapers off. It’s been a lot colder and wetter up north.”

Another I-S-U agronomist, Mark Licht, in Ames, has also heard a lot of different results when it comes to planting progress. “Reports of farmers who are either 100-percent done, 50-percent done or maybe, three-four-five percent,” Licht says. He also has found central Iowa saw the most progress. “From where I’m getting my reports, it seems like really the area west of Ames — kind of between Ames and Carroll — was where a lot of the progress was made before the rains finally came on Saturday,” according to Licht”

The U-S-D-A crop report says north-central and west-central Iowa have the highest soil moisture reserves, with ninety-to-one-hundred-percent adequate to surplus moisture.

(Radio Iowa)