KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Iowa Ag secretary expects slowing demand from China for soybeans

Ag/Outdoor

April 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Agriculture Secretary, Bill Northey, says there are indications demand for soybeans in China may not be increasing as much as previously thought. Northey just returned from a trade mission to China with the Iowa Soybean Association. “Historically we’ve always heard how much the feed business is going to grow — and it has over the last 15-years between 10 and 15-percent every year — double digit growth,” Northey says. “This time we heard a little more reticence. Folks saying that they think that there is an opportunity for the feed business to grow, but that it won’t grow as fast as it has in the past.”

Northey says China is a huge market for Iowa soybeans which are used for feed or oil for human consumption. “That still will probably be there, there’s not reason for that to back down. But, I think it’s unlikely that we’ll see as big a growth as what we have in the past,” Northey explains, “and that was part of what led to some pretty strong years recently in prices. Not only short supply, but big demand from China. We may not see that kind of increasing demand that we’ve seen in the last few years.” He says some of the drop in demand for soybeans to feed hogs could be offset by use in aquaculture.

“I think we’ll see less growth in the pork business, and some would say maybe even a slight shrinkage in the next few months or year or so. But, continued growth in the aquaculture side where there’s demand not only domestically but internationally for more fish products and farm-raised fish,” Northey says. Northey says the trade mission provided valuable information while also bolstering Iowa’s relationship with a key trading partner.

“It’s important to let them know about U-S dependability and supply. That we are going to have production here that they can depend on. We’ve got ports that work — South America has had some issues — although we had issues in the west, we didn’t have issues with our Gulfport shipments from the U-S to China. It’s important to keep those relationships good as well as learn what the future opportunities are.” Northey says they traveled mostly in the southern part of China, and visited two of the country’s largest feed manufacturers.

(Radio Iowa)

Shelby County Fire Danger reduced to “Moderate”

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Management Director Bob Seivert says the County’s “Fire Danger” index will be “Moderate,” from now through Monday, April 6th. Residents are asked to call in and report your outdoor burning projects to Shelby County dispatch at 712-755-2124, and notify your local Fire Chief.Moderate Fire Danger rating

Timing for burns should be morning, or evening hours and extinguished by dark unless authorized by Fire Chief due to possible impacts to roads and health from smoke. Burns must be monitored at all times.

Lightning sparks field fire Thu. morning

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

April 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Storms that rolled through western Iowa early this (Thursday) morning, brought with them some ground thirst-quenching rain, and intense lightning. At around 12:35-a.m., firefighters from Griswold and Lewis were dispatched to a field fire reported to have started when lightning hit a power pole in the area of 560th and White Pole Road, northwest of Lewis. The hit took out a power line, knocking out the source of electricity for Lewis.

The Lewis Elementary School was closed this (Thursday) morning, because of the power outage. Crews were working on repairing the line and restoring power as quickly as possible.

Natural Resource Commission to meet April 9th in Harlan

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Natural Resource Commission (NRC) of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will meet at 8:30 a.m., April 9th, at the Nishna Bend Rec Area, 516 Maple Road, Harlan. On April 8th, local DNR fisheries and state parks staff will give commissioners a presentation at the Nishna Bend Rec Area before departing for a field tour of Prairie Rose State Park and the lake restoration project. The field tour and presentation will take place between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. The meeting, presentation and tour is open to the public.

For a copy of the meeting agenda, click here: http://www.iowadnr.gov/InsideDNR/BoardsCommissions/NaturalResourceCommission.aspx

Burn Ban implemented in Audubon County effective 4/2/15

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Effective at noon on Thursday, April 2nd, Audubon County will be placed under a “Burn Ban,” which prohibits the use of open burning. The ban is being put in-place when it is determined open burning constitutes a danger to life or property.

According to Iowa Code, a proclamation issued by the state fire marshal does not
prohibit a supervised, controlled burn for which a permit has been issued by the fire chief of the fire district where the burn will take place, the use of outdoor fireplaces, barbecue grills, properly supervised landfills, or the burning of trash in incinerators or trash burners made of metal, concrete, masonry, or heavy one-inch wire mesh, with no openings greater than one square inch.

A violation of the burn ban constitutes a Simple Misdemeanor, under Iowa Law.

 

Report: Iowa farmland values fell 11 percent over past year

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A new report says Iowa’s average farmland values fell 11 percent over the past year after a drop of 4.6 percent a year earlier. The Des Moines Register reports  that the Realtors Land Institute says the new average per-acre figure is $7,372, compared with $8,286 a year earlier.

Kyle Hansen with the Realtors Land Institute says farmland values could drop up to 20 percent more over the next three years, depending on the direction of commodity prices. Corn and soybean prices have declined 40 to 50 percent since their high in 2012.

Nationally, farm income is projected to drop 32 percent this year on top of a 16 percent decline in 2014.

Cass County Extension Report 04-01-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

April 1st, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Program Coordinator Kate Olson

Play

USDA: Record soybean acres expected, corn acres to drop

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Farmers are expected to plant a record number of soybean acres this year, but less corn as that grain’s profit potential remains low due to slumping prices. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s first report of the new crop season says farmers will plant 84.6 million acres in soybeans, up 1 percent from last year’s previous record of 83.7 million acres.

Corn planting will fall to 89.2 million acres, down 2 percent from last year. It’s the third year of acreage decline. Soybeans are favored because they cost less to grow and prices haven’t fallen as quickly as corn. The report is based on 84,000 farmer surveys completed in early March.

Iowa’s turkey hunting season opens soon, tens of thousands of hunters expected

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

March 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Turkey hunting season starts this next weekend (April 4th) for youth in Iowa and the season opens on April 13th for adults. Jim Coffee, a forest wildlife research technician with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, based in Chariton, says last year’s turkey season was tremendously popular. “We had about 50,000 people that went out in the woods to hear that spring gobble and over 11,000 of them were successful,” Coffee says. “That’s a pretty good success rate, when you look at the wariness of a species like this.”

Coffee offers a few tips for Iowa turkey hunters. “The biggest thing is to be prepared which begins a lot with the mental aspect of getting ourselves up early, thinking about things, always making sure your weapon is in good shape,” Coffee says. “I always emphasize understanding the biology of the bird. If we understand that animal, what it wants to do and when it wants to do it, it helps increase our success rate.”

Hunters from all over will be in Iowa, trying to bag a turkey. “We’ve got a great reputation for having big, healthy birds in Iowa,” Coffee says. “We’re going to have a lot of people, obviously, from the state of Iowa hunting but we draw from a lot of other states. Some years, we have as many as 38 other states represented in the hunting population out there.”

Turkeys are found in all 99 Iowa counties and they like to forage in forests, agricultural lands and pasture lands. There is a new application for smartphone users that will be helpful for hunters called the D-N-R Atlas.  “Open it up and it’s an aerial photograph of the entire state that you can zoom right down to literally see a tree that you want to sit underneath of, as well as all of the public lands available in every county,” Coffee says, “and do a lot of scouting right from your chair.”

Find more information about turkey hunting season at www.iowadnr.gov.

Last Chance Private Pesticide Continuing Instructional Course

Ag/Outdoor

March 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery and Shelby County ISU Extension offices will offer “Last Chance” Private Pesticide Applicator Continuing Instructional Courses (CIC) for private pesticide applicators on Wednesday, April 15th at the Montgomery County Extension office in Red Oak, and the Shelby County Extension office, in Harlan. The programs are being shown in cooperation with the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP).

In Red Oak, classes begin at 9:00 am and 1:00 pm and the course runs for approximately two and a half hours. In Harlan, registration begins at 9:30 a.m. The registration fee at both sites is $20. To register or to obtain additional information about the CIC, contact the Shelby County ISU Extension and Outreach office by phoning 712-755-3104, or  Jodie Smith at the ISU Extension and Outreach office in Montgomery County, at 712-623-2592.

The course will fulfill 2014 recertification requirements for private pesticide applicators. Topics to be covered include: equipment calibration and safe application techniques; pesticide drift reduction; pest management and pesticides; and phytotoxicity.

A listing of additional locations offering this course can be found at www.extension.iastate.edu/PSEP/.