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.

Important USDA report to be delivered

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Several important agricultural reports will be released today (Friday) that will impact producers in Iowa. USDA Outlook Board Chairman Gerry Bange says the final production numbers report for 2012 will be issued at 11 a.m. Those numbers will be crunched to make new grain and livestock forecasts for supplies and prices. Bange says the reports include information gathered from around the globe.

“We’ll look very closely at the situation in Argentina, where people know there have been excessive rains there,” Bange said. “We’ll also look what’s going on in Brazil, Australia and South Africa. We’ll be looking at some of the final numbers coming out of China with regard to cotton production or whatever the issues are, we’ll be looking at all of those things.”

(Karla James/Radio Iowa)

Iowa Farm Animal Care Coalition launched

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A new partnership involving farm groups, veterinarians, animal welfare groups and Iowa State University has formed to field complaints about animal care in Iowa. Denny Harding is executive director of the new Iowa Farm Animal Care Coalition. “We do have times where there are some concerns that area raised by the general public about how farmers raise their animals,” Harding says. “We wanted to answer some of those questions and also offer a service where people can call in if they do have a concern they’d like to pass on regarding a specific farm, so they would have someone to go to, so we can follow up with that concern and see what the situation is.”

Harding, a farmer who used to raise livestock, admits he may have to a bit of an arbitrator sometimes, but he expects he’ll mostly be an educator. “If there is a need for some type of help…we would have a team at Iowa State that would be called that would go visit with that farmer,” Harding says. This new Iowa organization is based on a group that’s been operating in Alberta, Canada for about 20 years.

“Ninety-nine percent of what’s going on in the livestock industry is very positive and we feel that the farmers are doing a great job,” Harding says. “Every once in a while there might be something that needs some examination and we think this is a way to have some input and education and management at the farm level and improve the care of the animals.” The group kicked off their effort this morning (Thursday) with a news conference in Des Moines. Find the Iowa Farm Animal Care Coalition’s website at www.iowafarmanimalcare.org, or call, 1-800-252-0577 for more information.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Outdoor classroom to receive improvements

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Conservation Department Director Micah Lee provided the Board of Supervisors with a quarterly report on his department’s activities, during the Supervisor’s meeting Wednesday morning, in Atlantic. Lee said he’s checking prices and trying to obtain additional information, with regard to the installation of a pit-style toilet facility at the Outdoor Classroom site southeast of Massena. If they don’t prove to be too costly, the latrine would be similar to what can be found at Lake Anita.

Lee reported also County Environmental Education/Naturalist Lora Kanning saw 2,152 people last quarter, and worked to acquire a Resource Enhancement and Protection-Conservation Education Program (or, REAP/CEP) grant from the Iowa Department of Education. The $6,000 grant will allow the conservation department to purchase bird watching equipment, such as spotting scopes and binoculars, for the Outdoor Classroom. There will also be another “Trunk” with trail and tracking information added to the classroom building for students and teachers to look at the utilize.

Lee said progress has been made also on signage used to identify the southernmost trailhead for the T-Bone Trail in Cass County. He said new ID signs have been installed along Olive Street to point people in the direction of the south trail head location along Dunbar Road. Additional signs are being ordered to further mark the parking site for the south trail head, which is kind of obscured by brush and trees.

And, Micah says they’re working with the Iowa DNR to provide another campground entrance for Cold Springs State Park near Lewis, to alleviate congestion with campers trying to maneuver in the area. The entrance would be from the south, off of Park Road. He says there wouldn’t be any major changes to the park to accommodate the entrance, other than modifying an old gate.

Leash on Life 01-10-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

January 10th, 2013 by Chris Parks

Info from the Atlantic Animal Shelter.


Doc Leonard’s Pet Pointers 01-10-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

January 10th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Dr. Keith Leonard. Info on what to have in your pet’s first aid kit.

USDA Report 01-10-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

January 10th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin

Cass County Supervisors approve 1st reading of Amended Zoning Ordinance

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

After more than 75-minutes worth of discussion about an amendment to the County’s Zoning Ordinance that would change the Zoning Districts’ Permitted Principal Uses, the Cass County Board of Supervisors Wednesday approved the first vote on the matter. However, their approval came with the caveat that the Cass County Attorney review the wording as it stands, and comment on whether the words “Light Industrial” needs to be added to one sentence in the amendment. The question also remains, whether those two words will cause a conflict between the County, and Fagen, Incorporated, which has already purchased the former Amaizing Energy Ethanol site, and looks to use the property for renewable energy production.

Last Fall, Kathy Schowalter with PlanScape Partners, presented to the Board a proposal from Ron Fagen, CEO of Granite Falls, Minnesota-based Fagen, Incorporated, which pertained to the possible creation of a 25-million gallon Cellulosic ethanol plant on the Amaizing Energy site. During Wednesday’s meeting, Schowalter said while they had hoped a cellulosic ethanol plant would be operating on the site, that is by no means a certainty.

She said Fagen doesn’t have a buyer lined up for the site he purchased just yet, so it could become almost anything ag related, including a seed corn processor. But it would not become a CAFO – Confined Animal Feeding Operation. She said they simply don’t know what will “Come down the pike.”

Cass County Engineer Charles Marker expressed his concern that two words apparently left out of the amended ordinance may leave a loop hole for heavy industrial operations to locate in a Light Industrial Zone, not just at the Amaizing Energy site, but anywhere in the County. He said he ordinance as worded does not specifically say a site will be used for “Light Industry.” Instead, it says “Industry which uses renewable energy,” which he says, becomes an “Administrative problem.” That means any industry, heavy or not, which uses renewable energy as a means of production, could apply under article 17 of the ordinance.

Zoning Administrator Rich Hansen said the Zoning Commission, which forwarded its recommendation to the Supervisors for their approval, would have no problem with a slight re-wording to the amendment, prior to next week’s second hearing and vote by the Supervisors. But Supervisor Chuck Rieken questioned whether the Board has the right to delete or add language to an amendment without making sure the legalities are taken care of. That means consulting with County Attorney Dan Feistner.

The Board then approved the Zoning Commission’s initial recommendation, with the stipulation legal counsel provide input for the next hearing.

Cass County Extension Report 01-09-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

January 9th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Live Healthy Iowa 10 week challenge is approaching

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

January 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Area residents looking for ways to fulfill their New Year’s resolution to get healthy and fit, can do so by participating in the annual “Live Healthy Iowa 10 Week Challenge“, January 28th through April 5th. During the challenge, participants form teams of anywhere from two to 10-adults, who motivate and support each other in achieving their fitness and weight loss goals.

Each week, team members report their physical activity and/or weight, as part of a friendly competition. Team totals will be tracked and tabulated. In addition, a new feature this year, is a K-through 12 Live Healthy Iowa kids’ 10-week Challenge. Last year, Corporate and Community Cup Challenges were introduced into the competition, where teams from those divisions vied for a traveling trophy. Cass County is one of the communities which will actively be tracking its participation.

If teams sign-up using the group i.d.  LHICASS, they will be grouped with all teams in Cass County, thereby making the County eligible for the Community Cup Challenge. Sign-up today, by visiting www.livehealthyiowa.org.  Or, for more information, call Teddi Grindberg, Cass County Wellness Coordinator, at 712-243-3934.

2012 was 3rd hottest, 19th driest in Iowa history

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

January 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

State Climatologist Harry Hillaker is reporting 2012 was Iowa’s third hottest year on record. The statewide average temperature through the year was 51.9 degrees. That was 3.8 degrees above normal, but just over one-degree cooler than 1931, the hottest year ever in Iowa. Nationally, government meteorologists say 2012 was the hottest year on record in the United States with an average temperature of just over 55 degrees. In addition to the heat, Iowa and nearly two-thirds of the country endured a summer-long drought.

Hillaker says 2012 was Iowa’s 19th driest year in 140 years of record keeping.  The statewide average precipitation last year was 26.31 inches, nearly 9 inches below normal. The record for Iowa’s driest year was set in 1910 at 19.98 inches of precipitation. Farmers and others who desperately needed rain last summer may find it hard to believe 2012 was only the 19th driest in state history. But, Hillaker notes above normal precipitation was recorded statewide in the months of February, April, October and December. July, meanwhile, was extremely dry and hot.

Hillaker says it the 5th driest July in Iowa history (1st-1936) and the month trailed only 1936 and 1901 for the hottest July in state history. The month of March was the warmest ever, 51.1 degrees on average, besting the previous record set in March 1910 by nearly two-and-a-half degrees. There was yet another unusual weather statistic in Iowa in 2012. You might call it a silver lining of the drought – as there were very few tornadoes.

Hillaker says there were only 16 confirmed tornadoes in Iowa last year and they all happened before the end of May. “Which is pretty amazing considering June is usually our busiest tornado month of the year,” Hillaker said. “That 16 annual total for tornadoes is, at least, our lowest since 1963.” Iowa averages 47 tornadoes per year. A record 120 tornadoes touched down in Iowa is 2004.

(Radio Iowa)