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.

USDA Report 05-10-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

May 10th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Dave York

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Is this heaven? No, it’s the “Dream to Farm” class, offered in SW Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowans who’ve always wanted to become farmers but weren’t sure how to make the leap can now take a course. “Dream to Farm” is a 14-week class being offered for the first time this summer at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs. Matt Mancuso, the college’s sustainability coordinator, says it’ll appeal to entrepreneurs who are interested in food security, healthy eating and local food. Mancuso says six of the sessions will focus on developing a comprehensive business plan. “A lot of people are going to be coming in with ideas of what they want to do and they are going to be totally changed by the funding and how much you’re going to be making,” Mancuso says. “It’s going to be a learning experience for them and people will be coming in with ideas that will be totally transferred to something else by the end of the class.” The course will cover the basics of farming techniques, soils, animal husbandry, irrigation, and pest and disease management. Mancuso says the course is not designed for someone who wants to start farming 150 acres of corn or soybeans, but rather someone who wants to take their passion for gardening to the next level.

Mancuso says, “This is going to be someone who’s a local farmer who’s going to be providing for the local farmers markets, the local restaurants, the local food outlets, grocery stores and so forth in their local areas.” It will target the small-scale niche farmer who can devote a half-acre, or perhaps two or three acres, to something like raising carrots, cabbage or chickens. In addition to classroom work, there will be hands-on labs, field trips and relationship-building with mentors. Mancuso says they may be small-scale farmers, but the eventual fruits of the labor will be much larger.

“This provides a huge local economic impact, both in urban areas and in rural areas by developing these farmers,” Mancuso says. “A lot of times these farmers use local products. The money gets transferred through the local economy over and over with these local farmers.” Thanks to a grant from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, the course will only cost 39-dollars. It begins May 30th and runs through August 29th. A second class will be offered in the fall. Mancuso hopes to perfect the curriculum and will offer it to other community colleges across Iowa. 

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Cass County Extension Report 05-09-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

May 9th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olsen

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Iowa axes $2.5M grant for energy firm’s Menlo plant

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials have canceled a $2.5 million grant for a firm proposing a technology to make fertilizer from corn cobs at a plant near Menlo. A spokeswoman for Iowa’s economic development agency said Tuesday that SynGest, Inc. defaulted on its contract by not disclosing in its 2009 application that Chairman Serge Randhava had been sued for racketeering and fraud.
The agency released a copy of the default notice to The Associated Press, which reported on the lawsuit last month. The case was settled in 2009 along with another lawsuit in which Randhava was part of an investor group that accused others of fraud and racketeering. SynGest answered “no” to a question asking whether there were “any judgments or court actions completed or pending” against officers.  SynGest CEO Jack Oswald says the cancellation “appears to be a knee-jerk reaction” and the company hopes to convince the state to change its mind and resume the grant funding. Randhava declined comment.

Trumpeter Swans Heading to Southwest Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says trumpeter swans will be released at two locations in southwest Iowa on May 10th.  Each release will be preceded by a 20 minute program with an opportunity to view the swans up close. The first swan release will be at Rapp Park, north of Shenandoah, at 9:30 a.m. The second site is the Riverton Wildlife Area Jensen Tract, in Fremont County, with a program at Riverton City Park Pavilion, preceding the release, at 2 p.m. 

Four swans will be released at each site.Trumpeter swans are the largest waterfowl in North America, weighing up to 32 pounds and with a wing span of up to eight feet.  The swans being released are part of the Iowa DNR’s statewide trumpeter swan restoration effort to restore wild, free-flying swans to Iowa.

BOATERS AT LAKE MANAWA URGED TO USE CAUTION DUE TO LOW WATER CONDITIONS

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

 The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is warning boaters at Lake Manawa, that low water conditions are creating navigational challenges. The lake level was more than three feet below full pool as of Monday. The low water conditions can create boating and personal watercraft dangers, not normally encountered when the lake is at normal water level. That includes problems launching vessels, and pull behind activities such as skiing, tubing and wake boarding. Much shallower water  and obstructions normally under water becoming potentially harmful hazards to water sports enthusiasts on the lake.

Susan Stocker, boating safety coordinator of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says boaters and users of personal watercraft are urged to to use extra caution. Stocker says “It is worth the extra time from a safety standpoint to make a trip or two around the lake at slower speeds to get familiar with where potential hazards may be.” Stocker said the unseasonably mild winter and spring have left many water bodies lower than normal.

Corn planting in Iowa progresses despite rain

Ag/Outdoor

May 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farmers are making good progress on planting the corn and soybean crops, even with all the storms. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday’s weekly report that corn planting is now 64 percent complete. That’s ahead of last year’s 52 percent and the five-year average of 58 percent.
Seven percent of the soybeans have been planted, which is about the same as last year but behind the five-year average of 11 percent. Rain totals last week ranged from .4 in Dubuque to over 5 inches in Washington. The statewide average was 1.5 inches.
All the rain has improved Iowa’s soil moisture levels, with topsoil at 97 percent adequate or surplus. Subsoil moisture is 81 percent adequate or surplus.

Geocaching 101 class offered in Cass County

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 7th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Conservation Board says a “Geocaching 101″ class will be held at the Cold Springs Park Campground Shelter, on Saturday May 26th, beginning at 7 PM. Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game.

Geocashing

Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online.

The CCCB invites you to Spend Memorial Day learning about a newer technology (GPS) to help you EXPLORE nature. Time will be spent on “caching” with the Global Positioning System units, which will be available for the class or can bring your own. You’re asked to pre-register by calling 712-769-2372. When you call, be sure to mention whether or not you will be providing your own GPS unit.

The free event is open to the public, and you do not have to be a camper to attend. For more information about Geocaching, go to http://www.iowageocachers.org/ or http://www.geocaching.com/

USDA Report 05-03-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

May 3rd, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin

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Cass County Extension Report 05-02-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

May 2nd, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olsen

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