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.

Cases of West Nile Virus Increase in Iowa: 3 reported so far

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Although cases of West Nile virus are typically seen in early autumn in Iowa, three cases of the illness have already been reported in the state. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), current surveillance data shows one case each in Clay, Monona, and Woodbury counties. Sentinel sites have also collected mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus in Central Iowa. The IDPH reminds Iowans to protect themselves against mosquito bites, the way by which West Nile virus is transmitted.

IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says “There has been a lot of media attention on the Chikungunya virus, another mosquito transmitted disease. No cases of Chikungunya have been reported in Iowa; however, it’s important to remember that the best way to avoid Chikungunya, West Nile virus, or other mosquito-borne diseases is to protect and prevent – protect yourself against mosquito bites and prevent mosquitoes from breeding by getting rid of the places they lay eggs.”

She offers these tips to protect yourself:

Use insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always read the repellent label and consult with a health care provider if you have questions when using these types of products for children. For example, DEET should not be used on infants less than 2 months old and oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 years old.
Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes, and socks whenever possible outdoors.

Eliminate standing water around the home because that’s where mosquitoes lay eggs.  Empty water from buckets, cans, pool covers and pet water dishes. Change water in bird baths every three to four days.

Approximately 20 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will have mild to moderate symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches and vomiting. Less than one percent of people infected become seriously ill and rarely someone dies. Since West Nile first appeared in Iowa in 2002, it has been found in every county in Iowa, either in humans, horses, or birds. In 2013, there were 44 human cases of West Nile virus and zero deaths.

To see the latest surveillance report on Lyme disease and to learn more about how to prevent it, visit http://bit.ly/Ux5ZgW.


Study: 80% of future flying drone use will be for agriculture

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, is the subject of much debate, but those remote-control flying robot-cameras may be the wave of the future — for farmers. Craig Hill, a farmer in Milo and president of the Iowa Farm Bureau, predicts the use of emerging technologies that give a farmer a full-color perspective on his fields from far above will prove quite successful for agriculture in the years ahead.ag drone

“Eighty-percent of the use of drones in America will be for agriculture,” Hill says. “This will be a big feature and it actually could be an economic driver in agriculture, both in the services provided and in increased productivity.”

Drones were a topic of conversation at last weekend’s third annual Iowa Farm Bureau economic summit, held in Ames. Hill says another topic was farmland values and how fast they’ve been rising for years. “We have seen about a 345-percent increase in land values over the last decade,” Hill says. “That was not sustainable in the future. Any asset class would have difficulty appreciating by that amount and not having a setback or a period of more stable growth.”

He says most of those who attended the summit believe ag land values will stabilize in the future.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Extension Report 07-30-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

July 30th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson


Wilson Island State Recreation Area set to reopen

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A state recreation area near Council Bluffs is scheduled to reopen soon. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the Wilson Island State Recreation Area will open its gates Monday. Workers are currently adding fire rings and picnic tables.

The park was originally scheduled to reopen more than a month ago. It was delayed by storms and flooding in June that caused damage to the area. The park has been under cleanup and restoration for several years. Its campground has been closed since it was flooded in 2011.

USDA Rural Development Temporarily Accepting Applications to Refinance Home Loans in Rural Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa – July 29, 2014 – USDA Rural Development, through its Direct Home Loan Program, is temporarily accepting applications to refinance home loans in eligible rural areas. With this temporary program change eligible households that will be experiencing an increase in interest rate or change in repayment terms for adjustable rate loans, interest only loans, short-term rate locks, or other forms of specialty lending, may be eligible to refinance their existing mortgage through the USDA Rural Development Direct Home Loan Program.

The USDA program offers 33 or 38 year terms, with a fixed interest rate currently at 3.625 percent (subject to change prior to closing). Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact USDA Rural Development staff no later than September 1 to allow for adequate processing time prior to the end of the federal government’s current fiscal year on September 30, 2014.

Questions regarding USDA Rural Development’s Direct Home Loan Program can be directed by email to: DirectIA@ia.usda.gov; phone (515) 284-4444; fax (855) 415-3562; or USDA Rural Development, 210 Walnut Street, Room 873, Des Moines, Iowa 50309.

USDA Rural Development’s Direct Home Loan Program, which helps low-income households in rural Iowa make home purchases with no down payments, has $11 million in funding available to assist rural Iowans. To be eligible for the program, homes must be located in rural areas which are typically defined as communities of less than 20,000 residents.

(Press Release)

Groundwater looking good heading into late summer

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The state’s water situation has turned around after things got very dry at the end of last year and drought was a big concern. Tim Hall of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources keeps track of the groundwater numbers. “We’d been watching various parts of the state pretty closely, but of course June was a very wet month, and that moisture came in a fairly decent widespread pattern and it’s helped to alleviate just about all of the drought conditions that we had in the state as of last week,” Hall says. July has been cooler than normal and Hall says that also plays a big role in the water situation — especially during the growing season.

“When the weather is cooler there is less demand from all the vegetation — not just corn and soybeans — but from the trees and grasses,” Hall says. “They tend to use less water when it’s not as hot. And that tends to keep that water down in the soil, and that improves and prolongs the benefit of the rainfall we’ve gotten.” He says nearly all of Iowa had some form of drought in October of 2013, but that has all changed. “There’s a very tiny spot in southeast Iowa that’s only rated ‘abnormally dry.’ So, for all intents and purposes, the state is free of drought,” Hall says.

Hall says the conditions are just where they should be at this point in the year. “This is about as normal as we are going to see it here in the state,” Hall says. “We don’t have any major groundwater issues around the state. It looks like the subsoil moistures are pretty health for the most part. So, we are sitting pretty good right now.” Hall reminds us that the water situation was looking good around this time last year until the weather changed. But, he’s not expecting a repeat.

“We were looking really good in the first half of the year and then the rainfall kind of shut off in the second half of the year. But I think my colleagues in the National Weather Service and some of the longer-term predictions are looking at what will be pretty close to normal conditions for the rest of the year,” Hall says. He says rainfall normally starts to slow beginning in July, but he says if it stays around normal in the later summer and fall months this year, the groundwater should be in good shape.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County, IA Fair Schedule: Mon. July 28th 2014

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

8:00 A.M………………………………………Beef Show
9:30 A.M……………………..……………….Best of Iowa
10:00 A.M………………………………………..Commercial Exhibits Open
11:00 A.M……………………………………..Watermelon Feed
12:30 P.M…………………………………….Dairy/Dairy Goat Show
1:00 P.M………………………….…………..Meat Goat Show
2:00 P.M………………………………………Skid Loader Rodeo
4:00 P.M………………………………..…….Style Show/Building Awards
6:00 P.M………………………….……………Parade of Champions
7:00P.M……..………………………………………..Grand Champ. Beef Selection
Livestock Released
8:00 P.M……………………………………….Skid Loader Rodeo Finals

Frederickson Foundation donates $5k toward FFA Food Stand

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

If you were listening to our live broadcast from the Cass County Fair in Atlantic Sunday evening, you would have heard breaking news about the FFA Food Stand. Gary Miller, CAM FFA Advisor told KJAN’s Jim Field during the FFA News and Judging Results portion of our broadcast, that fundraising efforts to replace the aging FFA Food Stand received a big boost, thanks to a surprise donation.

Miller announced Darrin and Melanie Petty, with the Frederickon Foundation, presented FFA officials with a check for $5,000 toward the fund needed to build a new FFA Foodstand. Miller said the Cass County FFA is extremely grateful to receive the funds from the Petty’s, and others who have pledged a contribution to replace the building sometime over the next couple of years.

The Trevor Frederickson Memorial Fund was started to give back to the community Trevor loved by offering scholarships to graduating Atlantic High School students and support other things that meant a lot to Trevor.

GPS coordinates for habitat added to DNR website

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 28th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa D-N-R continues adding to the G-P-S information that’s available for the state’s lakes. Fisheries Research Technician, Lewis Bruce, says they now have information on rock or brush piles and other habitat areas in the lakes that you can access online. “What this file allows you to do is download all the coordinates across the entire state onto hand-held G-P-S units, fish finders, anything that you can download G-P-S coordinates into. Once you have those points downloaded, once you go to a lake, those coordinates are going to show up,” Bruce says. He says it helps anglers zero in on the best spots for their favorite type of fish.

“If you’re fishing for say bluegills, it will allow you to find spawning beds. If you’re fishing for walleyes, you’ll be able to look for rock reefs,” Bruce explains. “Basically it’s gonna allow you to hit the water running instead of having to look for all these different sites on the lake.” So, is modern technology giving away all those deeply held secrets about the best fishing spots gained through years of knowledge. “Oh, I wouldn’t say that. There’s always going to be those piles that are off on an edge or those locations that everybody kind of hones in on on their own after being on the lake for awhile. It’s going to bring out a lot of points and ultimately will probably spread the fishing out more because there are going to be areas that people weren’t aware of originally,” Bruce says.

There’s now a lot of information available to help you find fish, but Bruce says that doesn’t guarantee that you will be successful. “Just because you are sitting over the structure doesn’t mean they are going to bite,” he says. “It seems like it can be more frustrating sometimes when you have all the technology available. You can see the fish there, you can see your lure there and they are just looking at it.” Bruce says the information should cut down on the time it takes to get into position to catch fish.

“You know, our ultimate goal is to shorten the time between bites and give anglers all the opportunities that they can for catching fish,” Bruce says. “And ultimately we are putting a lot of the angler’s money into fish habitat and they should be the ones to benefit from it.” To find the habitat coordinates, go to the D-N-R’s website at: www.iowadnr.gov.

(Radio Iowa)

Council Bluffs park to fight invasive plants

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Officials in western Iowa will consider seeking a $200,000 state grant to help remove invasive trees and plants taking over a Council Bluffs park. The Daily Nonpareil reports that non-native trees and plants – like black locust, buckthorn and Ohio buckeye- have crowded out native species in Fairmount Park. Parks Director Larry Foster will ask the Council Bluffs City Council on Monday give him the go-ahead to seek the grant.

Foster wants a 28-acre section of the park to go back to oak savannah and understory trees, as well as Loess prairies. Wood chips from the removed trees would be used to surface a nature trail within the park that would connect with a nearby neighborhood trail to the restored area