KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Ernst to host Cattle Producer Roundtable in Atlantic Oct. 5th

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) today (Monday) announced she will hold a roundtable in Atlantic to speak with cattle producers about the issues affecting cattle feeders, and the agriculture industry as a whole. The roundtable, which takes place 12:30-p.m. Wed., Oct. 5th, will be held at the Rock Island Depot (102 Chesnut Street), and is open to the public.

Sen. Ernst says “Our Iowa cattle producers play a vital role in our state economy and help to feed the world. This roundtable provides a great opportunity to discuss the many issues facing our cattle producers, and the ways in which we can ensure continued growth, stable markets and expanded trade opportunities for the industry.”

Posted County Grain Prices: 9-19-2016

Ag/Outdoor

September 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $2.81, Beans $9.16
Adair County: Corn $2.78, Beans $9.19
Adams County: Corn $2.78, Beans $9.15
Audubon County: Corn $2.80, Beans $9.18
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $2.84, Beans $9.16
Guthrie County: Corn $2.83, Beans $9.20
Montgomery County: Corn $2.83, Beans $9.18
Shelby County: Corn $2.84, Beans $9.16

Oats $1.86 (always the same in all counties)

(Information from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency offices)

Leader of egg organization discusses switch to cage free

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack is scheduled to meet with egg producers and industry leaders this Wednesday (9/21) to discuss issues with raising cage free eggs. The demand for cage free eggs is rising, but Vilsack questions whether consumers realize what it takes to make that possible. United Egg Producers President Chad Gregory says around 90 percent of egg farms currently produce eggs through conventional methods. “To switch that 90 percent over to cage free, we’re looking at $45 per bird. So, a one million bird egg farm – which is about average these days – would cost $45 million dollars,” Gregory says.

Around 160 companies have committed to selling cage free eggs, according to Gregory. Given what they need to meet demand, he says it’s a significant investment. “The food companies and retailers who have made these announcements so far, they have collectively buy around 200 million birds on an annual basis. So you take those 200 million birds, times $45.00 per bird, and you get somewhere around 8 to 10 billion dollars,” Gregory says.

Switching to cage free doesn’t happen overnight, Gregory adds, and companies will need to make huge investments in time and resources to meet the goal of supplying only cage free eggs. Iowa is the nation’s top egg producer, with roughly 60 million laying hens producing nearly 15 billion eggs per year.

(Radio Iowa/Brownfield Ag News)

Local 24-Hour Rainfall Totals ending at 7:00 am Friday, September 16

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

September 16th, 2016 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic  2.49″
  • Adair, 3.20″
  • Adair-Casey Elementary School, 2.80″
  • Audubon  3.19″
  • Avoca  3.9″
  • 5 miles s.w. of Bagley, 2.31″
  • Carroll  2.64″
  • Clarinda  .18″
  • Coon Rapids, 2.80″
  • Denison  2.3″
  • Elk Horn  2.44″
  • Fontanelle, 2.37″
  • Glenwood  .4″
  • Greenfield, 2.20″
  • Guthrie Center  3.11″
  • Irwin  3.5″
  • 2 miles N/NE of Lewis, 1.65″
  • Massena  2.4″
  • Missouri Valley  3.98″
  • Oakland  2.21″
  • Panora, 2.56″
  • Redfield, 1.96″
  • Red Oak  .75″
  • Shenandoah  .52″
  • Treynor  2.2″
  • Underwood  2.33″
  • Walnut  4.75″
  • Woodbine  3.91″
  • Villisca  .55″

Posted County Grain Prices: 9-16-2016

Ag/Outdoor

September 16th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $2.80, Beans $9.14
Adair County: Corn $2.77, Beans $9.17
Adams County: Corn $2.77, Beans $9.13
Audubon County: Corn $2.79, Beans $9.16
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $2.83, Beans $9.14
Guthrie County: Corn $2.82, Beans $9.18
Montgomery County: Corn $2.82, Beans $9.16
Shelby County: Corn $2.83, Beans $9.14

Oats $1.86 (always the same in all counties)

(Information from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency offices)

E-15 gas returning to the Iowa market

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 16th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A blend of fuel that’s been off the market in Iowa during the summer driving season is returning today (Friday). Gasoline that has 15 percent ethanol blended in it is now available again. Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw says federal regulations are to blame as the newer E-15 fuel blend wasn’t given the same summer driving allowance that the commonly used E-10 blend was given 30 years ago.

“As a result of that, you actually have to have two different types of gasoline to blend — one for E-10 and one for E-15. Oil companies use this quirk in federal regulations and only supply Iowa with the blendstock that is suitable for E-10, thereby freezing E-15 out of the market for three-and-a-half months,” Shaw explains. Shaw says the E-15 can be used on a majority of vehicles on the roads. “It’s approved for use in all 2001 or newer vehicles. It is not approved for smaller off-road engines. But if you have a 2001 or newer vehicle, you can use E-15 and you are going to be getting a cleaner product, a higher octane product, and it’s going to cost you less while providing the same mileage and probably a little bit of increased power,” according to Shaw.

He says the inability to sell E-15 year round has kept some retailers from selling the blend, but he says they’ve been working to increase it’s availability. Shaw says 69 stations now offer E-15 across the state, which is a big jump from last year. Shaw says retailers have to stop selling E-15 on June 1st when the so-called summer driving season starts. “We are going to be working very hard between now and next June to try to get the E-P-A to fix this or Congress to fix this. We need one of those two entities to step up and say ‘this is ridiculous,’ there is no scientific basis for treating these fuels differently. It is preventing a legal fuel from being available in the marketplace,” Shaw says.

He says the oil companies want to block anything that will cause more renewable corn-based ethanol and less oil to be used. Shaw says another tactic used by those who are against ethanol use is to say that drivers won’t be able to decide which fuel to use if there are too many choices at the pump. “Somehow you’re smart enough to drive a car 80-miles-an-hour down the interstate, but you’re not smart enough to choose between more than two fuel options,” Shaw says, “I just don’t buy into that.”

He says you can go to a restaurant and choose between thousands of different kinds of flavor mixes for you pop and that doesn’t cause any problems for customers. Shaw says having choices is a good thing. “We support consumer options and consumer choices. No one is forced to buy E-15. In fact in most of Iowa no one is even forced to buy E-10. You can pay quite a bit more money and get a non-ethanol blend,” Shaw says. “I think you are silly if you do — but it’s there. So, we like the fact that consumers can choose E-10, E-15 and in some stations they can choose an E-30 and E-85 if they are driving a flex fuel vehicle.”

Shaw believes E-15 would be a top choice of drivers if they all had access to it. “If we could make this universally available and consumers said ‘hey yeah I’d like to save five or ten cents a gallon, I’m gonna use E-15,’ it could make up 80 percent of our fuel market,” Shaw says. “Now that is going to take some time. Right now what we’re seeing is that it generally makes up anywhere from 15 to 25 percent of the sales of the stations that actually offer it.”

Shaw says stations in Minnesota that offer E-15 have seen it move to 50 percent of their sales. Retailers in the Des Moines and surrounding metro areas are selling the E-15 for one dollar, 15 cents a gallon at times today (Friday) to promote its return to the market. You can find a station that sells E-15 by going to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website http://iowarfa.org/

(Radio Iowa)

Weak farm income hurts economy in rural parts of 10 states

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Bankers say weak farm income continues to weigh down the economy in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states. The overall rural economic index for the region remained in negative territory and declined to 37.3 in September from August’s 41.1. Survey officials say any score below 50 on any of the survey’s indexes suggests a decline in that area.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says farm income is expected to decline 12 percent over last year. That is limiting spending by farmers and hurting the economy in rural areas. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

Goss says the number of farm loan defaults hasn’t increased significantly over the past year, but more loans are being restructured.

Atlantic Police investigate field vandalism

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Atlantic Police Department are asking for your help in solving an incident of field vandalism. Authorities say last Sunday (September 11th), a person reported that a bean field had been mowed through, causing several paths of damage. Officials say it appears that the field was mowed with a bush hog.

The land is located on the southeast corner of Buck Creek Rd. and Iowa Ave., in between the railroad tracks and the Schildberg Recreation Area. Anyone having information about the incident is encouraged to contact the Atlantic Police Department.

Area where a bean field was vandalized.

Area where a bean field was vandalized.

Expanded NW IA fertilizer plant nearly ready to begin production

Ag/Outdoor

September 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The one-point-seven BILLION dollar expansion of a fertilizer plant in northwest Iowa is nearly complete. The C-F Industries plant just south of Sioux City is entering the cleaning and start-up phases before full production begins. Woodbury County Supervisor Mark Monson has been briefed on this phase of the project. “When they start, there’s gases that come off the process that they have to burn off, so they’ll be 200 foot of fire above the 320 foot stack, and I believe there’s a little bit of noise with that,” Monson says. “So they’re going to do a public campaign to let people know things are okay out there.”

The expansion started in the fall of 2013 and, at its peak, more than five-thousand construction workers were on the site. Monson says there are about 29-hundred workers on the site this week. “By the end of September, they hope to have around 2500, end of October around a thousand,” Monson says. It’s unclear when the expanded plant at Port Neal — near Salix — will be running at full capacity.

“Mid-November, they think they might be up and running, although they didn’t nail that down,” Monson says. “Could be later than that.” Ammonia is the basic ingredient for nitrogen-based fertilizer in liquid form. The expansion will triple the plant’s daily output of ammonia. The plant also will begin producing urea, a granular ingredient in solid nitrogen fertilizer.

(Radio Iowa)

First Whitney Bank & Trust, Atlantic Named Top Lender and Alan Peterson, Cass County Named Outstanding Landowner

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – The Iowa Finance Authority, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources recently recognized the 2016 top lender and landowner of the year for their commitment to conservation practices at the Conservation Districts of Iowa Conference. First Whitney Bank & Trust in Atlantic was recognized as the top lender, and Alan Peterson of Cass County was named landowner of the year for water quality efforts.

The State Revolving Fund provides low-interest loans to Iowans to assist in projects to reduce runoff in Iowa’s waterways. The State Revolving Fund is jointly administered by the Iowa Finance Authority and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in partnership with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. The Conservation Districts of Iowa supports the 100 state soil and water conservation districts through public education, commissioner development, policy and conservation promotion.

First Whitney Bank & Trust has financed more than $636,000 through the Local Water Protection Program since its inception in 2006, assisting 26 landowners with water quality improvements. The program uses linked deposit accounts to reduce the interest rate charged to the borrower; the interest rate cannot exceed three percent. Linked deposits earn no interest and are charged no fees.

Alan Peterson of Cass County was named the 2016 outstanding landowner of the year for his commitment to conservation practices on his farms. He has utilized the Local Water Protection Program several times to enhance terraces, tiles and waterways on his family farm near Atlantic.

Pictured from left to right Tony Toigo, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship; Alan Peterson, Outstanding Landowner Awardee; Debbie Pellet, First Whitney Bank & Trust; Jane Larson, Iowa Finance Authority; Dave York, Cass County Soil and Water Conservation District. (IFA supplied photo)

Pictured from left to right Tony Toigo, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship; Alan Peterson, Outstanding Landowner Awardee; Debbie Pellet, First Whitney Bank & Trust; Jane Larson, Iowa Finance Authority; Dave York, Cass County Soil and Water Conservation District. (IFA supplied photo)

“I commend First Whitney Bank & Trust for their commitment to ensuring that Iowa landowners have access to affordable financing to make vital water quality projects a reality,” said Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director Dave Jamison. “I also congratulate Alan Peterson for receiving the outstanding landowner award for his efforts in controlling runoff on his farms and doing his part to ultimately improve Iowa’s water quality.”

“The State Revolving Fund’s success is a testament to the partnerships with the hundreds of dedicated lenders and landowners throughout the state,” said Jim Gillespie, Director of the Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality. “I congratulate both for their outstanding work in their efforts to protect Iowa’s natural resources.”

“I want to thank First Whitney Bank & Trust and Alan Peterson for their efforts to preserve our waterways. Lenders and landowners like them are doing their part to improve water quality which will help keep Iowa waterways clean for generations to come,” said Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Chuck Gipp.

The State Revolving Fund features a variety of programs that offer low-interest loans to assist farmers, livestock producers, watershed organizations and others and are offered through participating lenders across the state. These programs have assisted more than 4,000 water quality projects in partnership with more than 500 participating lenders throughout the state since their inception. More information about the State Revolving Fund is available at: IowaSRF.com