KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Agriculture profits rejuvenate Iowa, Nebraska farms

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Agriculture officials say an increase in corn and soybean profit is bringing young Iowans and Nebraskans back to the farm. Charles Wiiest, market president of the Nebraska-based Arbor Bank, says young people are now more likely to start their own farm or join their family’s farming business. Wiiest credits this influx to improved profitability in the agriculture industry in recent years.

The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports corn currently can bring in up to $4 per bushel and soybeans $10 per bushel. Wiiest says these numbers show significant profit growth from when he graduated college in the late 1990s. Wiiest says expanding career opportunities in the agriculture industry has also attracted the younger generation. He says chemists and veterinarians are among new careers in high demand.

Paddle fish season returning to western Iowa rivers

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

January 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

One of the stranger looking fish in Iowa waterways will once again be a target of anglers in March on the Missouri and Big Sioux Rivers in western Iowa. D-N-R fisheries biologist, Van Sterner, says it will be the first time you can legally go after paddlefish on those two rivers since 1986 when fishing was cut off out of concern for their survival.  “The Missouri River has undergone a lot of changes over the last several decades with the channelization for commercial barge traffic, the construction of the reservoirs.

The river experienced some very dramatic habitat loses and changes in habitat diversity and that sort of thing,” Sterner says. “So, the thinking back then was the paddlefish population would have difficulty, was in jeopardy, because of these changes.” The fish has a flat front that looks kind of like a paddle. They are referred to by many as a spoonbill, it’s got a long nose or rostrum that measures out to 15 inches sometimes, it’s a scaleless it actually has not bones as well, it’s skeletal system is all cartilage. So it is a unique looking fish,” Sterner explains.

He says the fish now found in the Missouri River will range between 15 and 20 pounds at a length of 30 to 40 inches. There is a length limit on the fish. Fish between 35 and 45 inches have to be immediately released to protect their ability to reproduce. Sterner can’t say how the fish uses its unique nose. “Nobody knows for sure. There’s been some things speculated that it has something to do with finding prey species, speculation that it gives the younger fish some protection from predation by making them appear larger than they are, but nobody is certain,” Sterner says. He says there should be some good areas of habitat for the fish.

Sterner says the fish seek out deep and slow waters as they strain plankton from the water and often can be found in the calmer water behind the many wing dikes that line the Missouri River. It’s a unique fish and it’s not caught in the standard method of baiting a hook and tossing it in the water to wait for the fish to bite. “The method is actually snagging, where you pull a treble hook through the water hoping to actually snag the fish in the body, hoping to retrieve it that way,” Sterner says. He says those who find a keeper paddlefish will enjoy a good meal.

“They’re very good to eat, a good firm white flesh,” Sterner says. “When you clean this fish, there will be a little bit of red meat right below the skin, and you’ll want to trim that off and get down to the good white stuff.” A special license is required for the paddlefish on the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers, but they can be caught on the Mississippi and Des Moines rivers without a license. Sterner says they learned some things about the fish through a program that tags some of the western Iowa fish.

“We put that into the lower jaw…part of it is for a mark and recapture population estimate, so recovering those tags is important for us actually getting a population estimate, it also gives us interesting information on movement. We’ve had tagged fish recovered down in Memphis, and also up in South Dakota. It’s a highly mobile, migratory fish,” Sterner says. He asks anyone who catches a fish with a tag to report it to the D-N-R.

(Radio Iowa)

Veterinarians monitor pig virus that killed millions in 2014

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

MANNING, Iowa (AP) — Veterinarians are working hard to monitor a virus that killed millions of baby pigs in the United States last year. The Sioux City Journal reports Iowa veterinarian Michelle Sprague is president of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.

Sprague says keeping track of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus means more paperwork for veterinarians and more testing. The number of cases of the virus is down this winter, but it is still early.

Sprague says the industry is better prepared to respond to the virus than it was when the disease first showed up.

Posted County Prices 1/16/15

Ag/Outdoor

January 16th, 2015 by admin

Cass County: Corn $3.46, Beans $9.58
Adair County: Corn $3.43, Beans $9.61
Adams County: Corn $3.43 Beans $9.57
Audubon County: Corn $3.45 Beans $9.60
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.49, Beans $9.58
Guthrie County: Corn $3.48, Beans $9.62
Montgomery County: Corn $3.48, Beans $9.60
Shelby County: Corn $3.49, Beans $9.58
Oats $2.60 (always the same in all counties)

Monsanto gets US approval for new GMO seeds

Ag/Outdoor

January 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Agriculture business giant Monsanto Co. said Thursday it received approval from the Department of Agriculture for new cotton and soybean seeds designed to be used with a new herbicide formula. Monsanto’s business is built on genetically modified seeds and herbicide. The company’s seeds are designed to increase yield, deter pests and tolerate weed-killing chemicals, particularly the company’s Roundup, a staple for farmers worldwide.

But many weeds have grown resistant to traditional Roundup, so the St. Louis company has developed a new version. The Environmental Protection Agency is still reviewing that new herbicide, which adds an additional ingredient called dicamba. The single active ingredient in traditional Roundup is glyphosate, a chemical patented in the 1970s.

A weather warm-up means it’s time to start yard work

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Forecasters predict a warm-up with highs in the 40s and 50s tomorrow (Friday) for much of southern and central Iowa, which presents an opportunity for homeowners to get a jump on their spring lawn care duties. Extension educator John Fech says much of the region had very dry weather heading into winter and dormant plants could likely use a drink. Fech says, “If you have a chance, prioritize and pick out the plants that are most important to you, roses or shrubs, and attach a soaker hose temporarily on days when you’re 40 degrees or above.”

Make sure to disconnect and drain the hose when you’re done, he reminds, to prevent plumbing problems when it freezes again. When it’s bitter cold, he says it’s better if you don’t walk on your lawn at all, as that crunching grass underfoot will have a hard time recovering.  “Forget about those little trips out to fill the bird feeder and to dump stuff on the compost pile,” Fech says. “Generally, it’s a good idea to stay off of frosty turf. Sometimes, those things will injure the crown of the plant.” Don’t step on your frozen grass, he says, unless you absolutely can’t avoid it.

“If you have to do it, go ahead and do it, but keep in mind that you may have a strip of turf or some footprints through the turf that aren’t doing so well in the spring,” Fech says. “If that’s the case, those just might take a longer time to recover.” The National Weather Service is calling for high temperatures in many parts of Iowa to rise Friday and Saturday to unseasonable highs in the 40s and 50s, while highs are predicted to slip back into the 30s next week, with lows back in the teens.

(Radio Iowa)

Posted County Prices for Grains 1/15/15

Ag/Outdoor

January 15th, 2015 by admin

Cass County: Corn $3.50, Beans $9.69
Adair County: Corn $3.47, Beans $9.72
Adams County: Corn $3.47, Beans $9.68
Audubon County: Corn $3.49 Beans $9.71
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.53, Beans $9.69
Guthrie County: Corn $3.52, Beans $9.73
Montgomery County: Corn $3.52, Beans $9.71
Shelby County: Corn $3.53, Beans $9.69
Oats $2.64 (always the same in all counties)

Signup by Feb. 2 to Receive Priority for Conservation Planning Assistance from NRCS

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An official with the USDA’s office in Greenfield says Iowa producers and landowners who sign up for voluntary conservation planning assistance at the Greenfield Field office by Feb. 2nd will receive priority planning service from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) field staff.  District Conservationist Alan Lange says “Developing a conservation plan is the first step towards realizing the economic and stewardship benefits of managing the natural resources on your farm.

Lange said “The extent of the plan is guided by the producer’s individual goals and objectives. Our role is to assist farmers learn more about their land’s potential, and how conservation management and stewardship practices can improve their sustainable bottom line. Conservation plans are tailored to each individual situation. It truly is your farm and your plan.”

Producers can call or visit the Greenfield NRCS office to participate in the signup. Staff will schedule a time to make farm visits and start the planning process. State Conservationist Jay Mar says “The signup is part of Iowa NRCS’ multi-faceted effort to emphasize the benefits and importance of conservation planning.”  Mar says the idea “Is to help landowners accelerate good conservation management through quality conservation planning. This signup is an excellent way to begin working relationships between conservation planners and Iowa producers.”

The conservation planning process often helps producers and planners discover different, more effective solutions to previously identified problems. Mar said “Our conservation planners offer to work together with producers to provide another set of eyes. Sometimes a different perspective is needed to make sure a producer’s goals and objectives are met with the best tools available.”

The completed individualized conservation plan guides future land management decisions and helps streamline conservation implementation. For more information about NRCS conservation planning assistance please go to www.ia.nrcs.usda.gov or visit your local NRCS field office.

Cass County Extension Report 01-14-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

January 14th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Play

Posted County Prices for the Grains- 01/14/2015

Ag/Outdoor

January 14th, 2015 by admin

Cass County: Corn $3.53, Beans $9.77
Adair County: Corn $3.50, Beans $9.80
Adams County: Corn $3.50, Beans $9.74
Audubon County: Corn $3.52, Beans $9.79
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.56, Beans $9.77
Guthrie County: Corn $3.55, Beans $9.81
Montgomery County: Corn $3.55, Beans $9.79
Shelby County: Corn $3.56, Beans $9.77
Oats $2.68 (always the same in all counties)