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.

Burn Ban in Montgomery County in effect Wed. morning

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Brian Hamman has announced a Burn Ban will be in effect for that county beginning at 8-a.m. Tuesday and lasting until further notice.Burn ban image Fremont County has already instituted a ban on open, outdoor burning. Hamman says several other counties in southwest Iowa are in the process of issuing a Burn Ban.

1st Burn Ban of the season approved in SW IA

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Fremont County is the first of what is likely to become many counties in southwest Iowa to request and receive approval for the instituting of a ban on outdoor burning from the State. The State Fire Marshal’s Office received the request today (Tuesday) from Fremont County Emergency Manager Mike Crecelius. Crecelius represents each of the fire departments within the County, in their request to implement a Burn Ban effective immediately, and lasting until further notice.

The Ban states that conditions in Fremont County are such that open burning constitutes a danger to life or property, and requires that no person engage in open burning except until such time the fire district chiefs feel the danger is reduced or no longer exists.

Violating the Burn Ban is a simple misdemeanor, which requires a court appearance.

Atlantic Parks Board hears about Sunnyside Kiddie Korral Shelter issues

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors heard from Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring Monday evening, with regard to an engineer’s report on the condition of the Kiddie Korral Shelter at Sunnyside Park. Herring says the wooden shelter, which was built in the 1940’s is in dire need of repairs or, replacement, according to the engineer. Herring says it’ll take more than a coat of paint over the old, moldy wood, some of which has holes in it, to make the shelter ADA compliant and safe. The structure, he says, has major problems with its foundation. The stucco plaster corners are separating from the concrete slab, which has a major crack that’s a significant “trip hazard,” and runs at least half the distance of the shelter.

The crack cannot be fixed or caulked, according to Herring, and is a potential liability. And while the rafters and beams are solid, the roof decking is rotten and the shingles are at the end of their life expectancy. The engineer says the foundation has settled and at the two center posts on the southern side of the building are two-inches lower than the rest of the building. Removing and replacing the concrete slab would entail removal of the two-inch wall around the perimeter. He says to repair and replace the wall and foundation “Would not be cost effective.” The other issue Herring says, has to do with the building not being accessible to handicapped persons.

Herring presented a number of possible replacement structures that range in cost from $22,000 to $40,000. Those costs do not include the costs for the cement slab, labor, and other costs. The new structures, regardless of the materials they use, would be ADA compliant. Herring said the Kiddie Korral can be replaced with monies that are, and will be available, but it won’t be anytime soon.

Herring said he’s open to receiving donations for the shelter’s replacement, and if the donation is significant enough, the rights to name to building after an individual or group. And, as for the Camblin Shelter at Sunnyside, Herring said it is structurally sound, but could use a “facelift.” He mentioned also, that they are looking into refurbishing the other shelters in the park, as well.

Atlantic Parks and Rec Board green lights Senior Activities Area

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Senior Citizens in Atlantic and the surrounding area will have a place to partake in outdoor activities designed specifically for them, possibly as soon as this Summer, following action taken by the City’s Parks and Recreation Board, Monday evening. The Board approved the final site plan for the activities area, which will be located south of the new Parks Maintenance Building at Sunnyside Park.

Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring said there will be all sorts of activities geared toward Seniors and others, including an area specifically designed for horseshoe games. There will be four, regulation-size horseshoe pits. Work on the pits should be completed by July, according to Herring. Another, 70-by 120-foot flat, grassy area, can be used for other activities. Such as Badminten, Croquet, Bocce Ball and other family-type activities.

The area would be easy to get to via an existing access road, and would feature a parking lot made up of gravel asphalt millings. A gradual grade will make the play area handicapped accessible for wheelchairs, persons with walkers, etc. There will also be two picnic tables and a grill in the area, as well.

In other Parks and Rec Board business, the Board instructed Herring to move forward with a revised agreement between the City and YMCA, for the oversight of certain recreational programs they have managed in the past, including tennis, softball and the swim team, pending approval by YMCA Director Dan Haines. The City however plans on hiring its own manager for the swimming pool instead of going through the YMCA, which means the agreement currently in-place with the Y would be reduced nearly $5,000 from the current $10,130 year agreement.

The pool manager would work 36 hours per week and be paid $9.50 per hour, with the potential to earn $4,800 over the summer for 12 weeks, from May 21st through August 17th. The person selected would have to meet certain criteria, and understand that they would be responsible for many aspects of the municipal pool operations. He says one of their primary duties will be finding ways to increase attendance at the pool, through the use of theme days and making the pool a more fun place to be.

Herring said he already has several qualified candidates in mind for the position.

Iowa DNR: Winter expected to hurt fish populations

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

March 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials say the harsh winter is expected to affect some fish populations in the state. The state Department of Natural Resources says lakes and ponds experience natural winter fish mortality. But Jim Wahl, supervisor for fisheries in northwest Iowa, says officials are expecting to see more lakes and ponds affected this time around. Wahl added a few lakes are experiencing oxygen levels that are lower than normal.

Officials say lakes under snow are shut off from sunlight that helps aquatic plants. That has a ripple effect on photosynthesis and the flow of oxygen into the water. DNR officials have placed aeration systems at a few lakes with a history of winter kills. Those systems keep a section of a lake from freezing.

Shelby County Fire Danger Index: High today (Monday) thru Thursday

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Management officials say as of today (Monday), natural fuels (Low humidity, strong winds and extremely dry grass/timber) have reached a point where they will readily ignite, and spread.  With predicted winds increasing, and Relative Humidity expected to drop into the Mid 20’s authorities recommend that Fire Danger Boards in Shelby County be placed in the HIGH category. Fire Danger

The County is also included in a Fire Weather Watch, so expectations of rapid fire growth should be anticipated.  The situation will be assessed and the Fire Danger Boards updated, on Thursday.  In the mean time, outdoor burning of timber, grasses and other materials should not be conducted.

If you must burn, call your local fire chief to obtain authorization. If you are cleared to begin a controlled burn, contact Shelby County Dispatch at 712-755-2124  and let them know it is an authorized burn to avoid any confusion.

Sunnyside Park gates to open in Atlantic today (Friday)

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department Director Roger Herring reports the gates to Sunnyside Park will open today at 4-p.m.  Herring advises park visitors to use “Great caution” as they drive through the park due to gravel and debris on the street.

Herring says the new tennis courts are open and ready to be used by the public FOR TENNIS ONLY. He asks park users to be on the alert for walkers, joggers, disc golf players and children at play. Herring says you are welcome to enjoy City’s parks but asks that you respect the parks and related property, as they are meant for everyone to enjoy.

2014 precipitation below normal

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reports precipitation for Iowa is below normal so far in 2014, receiving an average of 2.2 inches instead of the normal 2.6 inches by this time. The wettest area of the state is extreme southeast Iowa with 5 inches of moisture, and the driest areas are portions of the I-29 corridor which have received only about an inch.mapjpg

Stream flows are normal across the state for this time of year, except in the Iowa River watersheds, which are above normal.The area of extreme drought in Iowa has reduced in size from 20 percent of the state to 7 percent since the beginning of the year.

For a more thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends January 1 through March 12, go to http://www.iowadnr.gov/watersummaryupdate. The report is prepared by the technical staff from the Iowa DNR, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department.

 

Iowa senators okay bill to boost corn check-off 3-cents a bushel

Ag/Outdoor

March 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Senate’s Agriculture Committee this week approved a bill that would allow the so-called “corn check-off” go as high as three-cents per bushel. Iowa Corn Growers Association lobbyist Mindy Larsen Poldberg,  says current state law limits the check-off to one-cent per bushel. “Farmers, they know that they’re currently paying one cent per bushel after the last refendum in 2012,” Larsen Poldberg says. “There could never be another referendum again, even if farmers wanted it, unless this bill passes.”

A bill creating the corn check-off — requiring farmers to pay a small portion of what they earn on each bushel of corn sold if farmers approve the move in a referendum — passed the Iowa legislature in 1976. In 1977, Iowa farmers voted to send one-tenth of a cent from each bushel sold to the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. Since then farmers have voted four times to raise the check-off, but it now sits at the maximum allowed by law.

“And what this bill is trying to do by raising that cap to three cents is plan for the next 40 years,” Larsen Poldberg says, “or at least a few decades out.” The bill has already cleared the Iowa House and now is eligible for debate in the Iowa Senate. The bill’s managers say about 51 million dollars would have been raised in 2013 if Iowa farmers were paying that top three-cent-per-bushel check-off rate. For farmers who might have sticker shock at that number, Larsen Poldberg says that upper threshold won’t be reached anytime soon.

“The goal is not to pass this bill and then immediately raise the check-off to three cents,” Larsen Poldberg says. “That is not going to happen.” Check-off funds are managed by a group of farmers who’ve been elected to the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. Over the past four decades the board has used the check-off money to encourage use of high-fructose corn syrup and corn-based ethanol. The money also is used for research to find new uses for corn.

(Radio Iowa)

Think Spring! Cass Co. Garden Seminar set for March 22nd

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Think Spring! The Cass County Master Gardeners and Cass County Extension are helping local gardeners gear up for warmer weather this month, with the 16th Annual Atlantic Spring Garden Seminar on Saturday March 22nd. This full day event, held at the Atlantic High School, features garden experts from across the Midwest sharing the latest information on gardening methods and plant varieties.CommunityGarden1 The seminar is open to all interested gardeners no matter the level of experience. Participants are not required to have completed Master Gardener training to attend, but Master Gardeners who attend the full day will be given 5 credit hours toward their continuing education requirements.

The day starts with registration and refreshments at 8:30 AM. The program begins at 9 AM, when freelance garden writer Susan Appleget-Hurst will discuss “Dream Garden Design”, sharing practical tips for bringing inspiration to your home garden. The first of two breakout sessions for the day is next, and attendees will have 10 different topics to choose from, covering everything from starting seeds to native plants, and creating garden totems to focusing on care for specific plants. Before lunch, attendees will gather back in the auditorium to hear about tree selection for Iowa from ISU Extension Forestry Specialist Jesse Randall.

Over the lunch break, participants can browse the vendor/exhibitor booths in the high school gym, visit a Q & A booth to chat with some of our expert presenters, and enjoy lunch while chatting with friends or making new acquaintances.

The final group session for the day features Deb Groth of Groth Gardens in Winterset discussing tips and trick for growing “wow-worthy” containers. Before attendees head home, they will attend one more breakout session where they can pick from a list of 9 different topics to round out their day. The final session will wrap up by 3:20 PM.

The cost for this day of fun and learning is $35, including all meals and session materials. A full list of all breakout sessions, a schedule for the day and printable registration form are all available online at www.extension.iastate.edu/cass or can be picked up at the Cass County Extension Office. Brochures are also available at many local businesses with the schedule and registration form.

Registrations are welcome up to the day of the Garden Seminar, including walk-in registrations at the door. For more information on the Spring Garden Seminar or the Cass County Master Gardener Program, call the Cass County Extension Office at 712-243-1132, email keolson@iastate.edu, or stop by the Extension Office at 805 W. 10th St in Atlantic.