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.

Loess Hills Wildlife Area and State Forest becoming a bird conservation area

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 17th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says a public ceremony to dedicate the Loess Hills Wildlife Area, Loess Hills State Forest, Preparation Canyon State Park, and a 42 mile section of the Loess Hills (including the Loess Hills National Natural Landmark) as Iowa’s newest Bird Conservation Area (BCA) will take place on Friday, June 3rd, at 3-pm.

The event will be held in conjunction with the Loess Hills Prairie Seminar, at the Loess Hills Wildlife Area/Loess Hills Prairie Seminar grounds, located at the intersection of 178th St. and Oak Ave., about three miles northwest of Castana.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is hosting the dedication that will include brief presentations and the unveiling of a special Bird Conservation Area sign. There will be refreshments, and following the ceremony there will be a short hike within the adjoining Sylvan Runkel State Preserve.

This unique area is one of western Iowa’s most species-rich grassland/savanna/forest habitats. Bruce Ehresman, DNR wildlife diversity program biologist, says “Designating this complex as a Bird Conservation Area will add to its recognition by indicating its importance for nesting and migratory grassland, savanna, and forest birds. It provides important nesting habitat for declining grassland birds, such as grasshopper sparrow, western meadowlark and northern bobwhite; for declining savanna birds like red-headed woodpeckers and state endangered barn owls, and for declining forest birds like wood thrush and yellow-billed cuckoos; plus the area provides migration stopover habitat for a large number of other bird species suffering nationwide declines.”

This area also is rich in cultural history, from the extended time period when it was inhabited by American Indians to the time when Euro-Americans, including Mormons, arrived and settled. It is anticipated that this new BCA will attract bird enthusiasts from throughout the region and beyond. Watching wildlife is a $318 million industry in Iowa, and more birders visiting this area will support the growing local tourism economy and encourage investment in local bird conservation.

The public is welcome to attend this event and is encouraged to stay to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Loess Hills Prairie Seminar, a weekend of learning and fun. Bird appreciators and all wildlife conservationists are asked to help celebrate the dedication of this important Bird Conservation Area and also to promote the conservation of birds and their habitats.

Cass County Farmer’s Market Voucher Distribution

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 17th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Connections Area Agency has announced that the state is continuing the Farmers Market voucher program for older Iowans.  With this program, seniors meeting income requirements can obtain vouchers that they can use at participating area Farmers Markets to buy $30.00 worth of fresh, locally grown produce.  If you have questions about eligibility, please call 800-432-9209 ext. 1010. The Cass County Distribution of Farmer’s Market vouchers will be held on Tuesday, June 14th from 9:30am-12:30pm at the Cass County Extension office located at 805 W. 10th Street in Atlantic.

If you are interested in obtaining a booklet of vouchers, please plan to be at the distribution.  There are a limited number of booklets, so distribution will be on a first come, first served basis.

Program Criteria:

  • Must be at least 60 years of age or older
  • Annual income must be less than

$21,978          Single

$29,637          Married

  • Only one original application allowed per individual.  No photocopies or duplicate applications allowed.  Married couples can jointly apply on one application.

Ticks Are Out – Keep Them Off

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 17th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Warmer weather and timely rains mean tick-borne disease season is underway in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reminds Iowans to protect themselves against tick bites. Ticks can carry the organisms that cause diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Ehrlichiosis.

IDPHThe best way to prevent tick bites is to avoid wooded and grassy areas, where ticks are usually found. If you do spend time in these areas:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long, light-colored pants tucked into socks or boots.
  • Stay on trails when walking or hiking, and avoid high grass.
  • Use insect repellants that contain DEET. Read and follow the label directions for application. DEET is not recommended for use on children under 2 months of age. For more information on DEET, visit http://wiki.idph.iowa.gov/Portals/3/userfiles/5/Files/DEET%20Fact%20sheet.pdf.
  • Check yourself, your children and your pets for ticks. Ticks tend to prefer the back of the knee, armpit, scalp, groin, and back of the neck.

If you discover a tick on your body, remove it right away. Folk remedies, such as burning the tick with a match or covering it with petroleum jelly or nail polish, are not effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following instructions for removing a tick:

  • Carefully grasp the tick by using tweezers to grip the tick by its mouthparts which are close to the skin. Do not squeeze the tick’s body.
  • Pull steadily directly away from your skin. Because removing the tick’s body is your main goal, don’t worry if its mouthparts break off in the process.
  • Clean the wound and disinfect the site of the bite.

The most common tick-borne disease is Lyme disease; 319 cases of Lyme disease were reported to IDPH in 2015. Not everyone who gets Lyme disease will have the same symptoms, but the best and earliest sign of infection is a rash that may appear within a few days to a month, usually at the site of the tick bite. The rash will first look like a small, red bump, then expand until it begins to look like a bull’s eye, with a red center and a red ring surrounding a clear area. It is important to contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop this type of rash or develop flu-like symptoms within a month of having a tick bite or being in an area where ticks are present.

For more information on Lyme disease, visit http://idph.iowa.gov/cade/disease-information/lyme-disease.

Rainfall Totals from Monday, May 16

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

May 17th, 2016 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic  .1″
  • Elk Horn  .17″
  • Missouri Valley .22″
  • Oakland  .2″
  • Avoca  .1″
  • Logan  .23″
  • Creston  .26″
  • Shenandoah  .39″
  • Council Bluffs  .24″

Northey says majority of state opposes DMWW water quality lawsuit

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 17th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey used his speech at a recent Republican Party fundraiser to blast the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit that raises questions about how farm chemical run-off is impacting water quality in the state. “In spite of what you hear coming out of the metro area, most of the state is more engaged with each other, not finger pointing,” Northey said.

The lawsuit alleges ag drainage tiles in Buena Vista, Calhoun and Sac Counties in northwest Iowa are improperly managed, causing the Des Moines Water Works to spend money removing nitrates from the central Iowa drinking water supply. Northey says government regulation of those tile lines is “absolutely wrong” because farmers are VOLUNTARILY addressing water quality concerns.

“I see it as I get around the countryside and talk to our farmers and see them actively right now engaged in the water quality issue and spending their own money in times that are financially tight,” Northey said. The C-E-O of the Des Moines Water Works says the voluntary strategy Northey has promoted for reducing nitrates in Iowa’s water is NOT working.

The utility ran its nitrate removal equipment for a record 177 days last year to ensure the central Iowa drinking water supply was safe.Northey says government “restrictions” from Democrats like President Obama are stifling all sorts of industries. “There were a set of regulations came down from Washington, D.C. to fix all the bad things that the ‘big banks’ did. They screwed up life in some of our small banks, our Iowa-sized banks out here,” Northey says. “It’s made it more expensive. It’s made it such that they can’t serve their customers the same way.”

Current federal policy exempts agricultural run-off from Clean Water Act rules. The Des Moines Water Works’ lawsuit seeks to change that.

(Radio Iowa)

ISU Study: Livestock odor control studies make limited progress

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 16th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A review by experts at Iowa State University finds most of the studies on ways to handle the odor and emissions from animal livestock facilities in the state fail to get very far. Dan Andersen in the Department of Agricultural and Bisosystems Engineering says they looked at odor control research projects in three areas. “One from the animal housing itself, two from the way they’re storing or handling their manure. And three, from their land application area,” Andersen says. “So, we were really curious about what people had tried — and what research had been done on that.”

“There’s a lot of things that are studied in the lab, and very few of those actually make it to field testing. Which does make some sense. Certainly we’re more willing to try things that might be a little crazy or hard to implement in the lab,” according to Andersen. He says it is surprising given the concerns about livestock odors in Iowa that more of the lab tests haven’t advanced.

“And some of that is related to costs and some of it is related to what they found in the lab-scale studies. But I still think it is unfortunate that a lot of these options never make it all the way to the field studies,” Andersen says. “The other thing that we saw is that a lot of the research has tended to focus on swine production systems. Which certainly they can be contributors to odor, but other production systems also are pretty key contributors to odors both in this state around the midwest. So, it is a little surprising that so much of the attention has been just on hogs.”

Andersen says one of the other issues they found is the studies cover a variety of issues related to the odor, but few look at a broader picture of what needs to be done. “For instance, often times a study might focus just on ammonia, or just on greenhouse emissions, or just on odor, rather than putting all the pieces together,” Andersen explains. “So I think some of it is just making sure as scientist we are all laying the foundation to say as we evaluate this technology are we thinking about both what we are really trying to focus on today — but sort of that big picture of where the demands for agriculture might go.”

Andersen says moving some of these lab studies forward could be a way to find something that works and is cost effective. “We are at a point where a lot of those things that really make a high impact are still pretty costly to implement. So, I think a lot of the focus needs to be looking at these technologies that have shown promise — things like bio-filters or covered manure storages — and really looking at way to make them cost feasible for farms to implement,” Andersen says.

Andersen and others looked at more than 260 research papers on the effectiveness of technologies intended to control gaseous, odor and particulate emissions from livestock and poultry operations.

(Radio Iowa)

Voluntary water quality program in Iowa highlights issues

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A voluntary state program that aims to improve water quality practices at farms around Iowa is entering its fourth year amid growing differences about the best ways to clean up the state’s waterways. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has announced the sign-up period is open for its cost-share program that allows farmers to offset the expense of implementing some water quality practices. The money will be available in July.

The agriculture department says the program is among several water quality initiatives. Some agriculture experts say it’s not enough for long-term benefits. The Iowa Legislature failed this session to figure out a sustainable funding source for water quality initiatives. There is also tension over whether cleanup efforts should include regulation or expanded voluntary efforts like the cost-share program.

Atlantic Parks & Rec Board to accept Herring’s resignation, Monday

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Parks and Recreation Board is expected to receive a letter of resignation, Monday, from Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring. Herring announced his intentions to retire back in Sept., 2014, and at that time requested the Board begin a search for his successor. In Dec., 2014, Seth Staashelm was hired as the Assistant Parks and Rec Director, with the idea being he would succeed Herring in the Director’s position. Herring’s last day will be June 30th. He began working as Parks and Rec Director in June, 2011.

Atlantic Parks & Rec Asst. Dir. Seth Staashelm (Left) & Director Roger Herring (right), at the Parks & Rec Board mtg. 12/14/15

Atlantic Parks & Rec Asst. Dir. Seth Staashelm (Left) & Director Roger Herring (right), at the Parks & Rec Board mtg. 12/14/15

In other business, the Board will receive updates on the Schildberg Rec Area Lake #2 Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grant, and the Vision Iowa grant, along with other, regular park programs and various features updates, such as the Connector Trail, Dog Park, Kiddie Korral and East Shelter house renovation.

Their meeting takes places in the Council’s Chambers at City Hall, beginning at 5:15-p.m., Monday.

Farmers Market Vouchers for Seniors 2016

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Connections Area Agency has announced that the State of Iowa is continuing its Farmers Market voucher program for older Iowans.  With this program, seniors meeting income requirements can obtain vouchers that they can use at participating area Farmers Markets to buy $30.00 worth of fresh, locally grown produce.  If you have questions about eligibility, please check with your local senior center.

Applications for the vouchers will be available at your local senior center the week of May 23rd, 2016.  Your completed application guarantees you a booklet, but there is a limited number, so contact your local senior center if you are interested in this program.   Once you have a completed application, you can return to your local Senior Center to pick up your vouchers on or after June 14th.

Applications for Council Bluffs residents will be available at The Center, located at 714 S. Main Street on May 23rd, 2016 as well. The distribution date for Council Bluffs vouchers will be once again held at The Center on Tuesday, June 14th from 9am – noon.  Again, your completed application guarantees you a booklet, so you may come at any time on June 14th to the Center to present your completed application and obtain your vouchers.  Seniors (age 60 and older) in all other communities in  Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie and Shelby counties will receive their vouchers through their local senior center.

Program Criteria:

  • Must be at least 60 years of age or older
  • Annual income must be less than

$21,978          Single

$29,637          Married

  • Only one original application allowed per individual.  No photocopies or duplicate applications allowed.  Married couples can jointly apply on one application.

Dates to Remember:

  • May 23rd, 2016:  Applications are available at all local senior centers and The Center in Council Bluffs.
  • June 14, 2016:  Council Bluffs Farmers’ Market vouchers are available for pick up at local senior centers in Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Page Pottawattamie and Shelby counties. Council Bluffs distribution will be held at The Center, 714 S. Main from 9am – Noon for seniors with a completed application.

2 Griswold students’ egg recipes place in top 5 contest

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Two students from Griswold had their egg recipes place in the top 5 during the Iowa Egg Council’s “Incredibly Good Eggs” Recipe Contest, held May 4th at Iowa State University, in Ames. Neve Perdue took 1st place in the Student Division, with her Spring Vegetable Egg Drop Soup. Her recipe earned her the top honors and a $500 cash prize. Tina Perdue, placed 5th with her “North African Baked Eggs with Chickpeas and Feta,” recipe.

The top 5 winners in each category, adult and student, were judged by a panel of experts, with the recipes being scores on taste, appearance, originality, and use of eggs in their dish.

Visit iowaegg.org on the web for the recipes created by the Perdues and other contestants.