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.

IA DNR enters into consent agreements with a Casey business & City of Council Bluffs

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reports Consent Agreements have been reached with two western Iowa entities associated with environmental violations which occurred in 2011. Officials said Thursday that Agriland FS, Incorporated, in Casey, has agreed to pay fish restitution and investigation costs of $6,258, along with a $10,000 penalty, for discharge of pollutants into water. And, the City of Council Bluffs has agreed to develop a written plan to respond to emergencies associated with fueling stations, and pay a $1,000 fine for underground storage tank violations. A consent order is issued in settlement of an administrative order or as an alternative to issuing an administrative order. A consent order indicates that the DNR has voluntarily entered into a legally enforceable agreement with the other party.

(A link to the Consent Orders can be found here:  http://www.iowadnr.gov/InsideDNR/AboutDNR/EnforcementActions.aspx)

Extreme heat compounding problems caused by drought

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

July 6th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Much of Iowa is in the midst of the state’s worst drought in 24 years. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says Iowa’s rainfall totals over the last two months were less than half of normal amounts for May and June. “Probably the worst off area over that relatively short term would be in east-central and parts of northeastern Iowa,” Hillaker says. “Around Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Quad Cities and Dubuque…those areas, in many cases, have maybe received 25-percent of normal rainfall over the past couple of months.”

In addition to the lack of rain, temperatures have been well above normal this spring and summer. The situation is similar to 1988 – the year of Iowa’s last major drought. “1988 is certainly the year that we’ve probably been comparing 2012 with the most often,” Hillaker says. “That particular summer was both unusually hot and unusually dry.” But, Iowa’s received nearly twice as much rain over the first half of this year compared to 1988. A report from the USDA this week found 73 percent of Iowa’s farm acres were either “short or very short” on subsoil moisture — that compares to just two-percent at this time last year. Hillaker says the recent heat wave is stressing crops even more.

“When temperatures are at 100 degrees or so, it basically results in evaporation rates roughly 25 to 30 percent higher than what would be the case if we had more normal temperatures, which at this time of year would be in the mid 80s,” Hillaker said. “It does make quite a bit of difference and dries things out much more rapidly than if we had moderate temperatures.” Monday’s USDA report rated 62-percent of Iowa’s corn as “good to excellent.” That compares to an 82-percent rating in Iowa at this time last year. Scattered showers and storms are in the weekend forecast and more normal temperatures, with highs in the 80s and overnight lows in the 60s, are expected Sunday and Monday.

(Radio Iowa)

Administrator’s Physical Loss Notification for 21 Iowa Counties

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa State Executive Director for USDA Farm Service Agency, John R Whitaker today (Thursday),  announced that Administrator Bruce Nelson has made physical loss loans available for 21 Counties in Iowa.  Farm operators who have suffered major physical losses caused by hail, excessive rain, high winds, and tornadoes on April 14th, 2012, may be eligible for low-interest emergency loans.  

The Administrator’s Physical Loss Notification has been issued for five counties as the primary damaged area.  Among the primary counties are:  Fremont,  Montgomery, Page, and Union.  Sixteen Iowa counties are contiguous to the designated disaster area, making those producers also potentially eligible for the program based on the designation.  In the KJAN listening area, the contiguous counties include:  Adair, Adams, CassMadisonMills, PottawattamieRinggold and Taylor.  

The Farm Service Agency may make Emergency Loans to eligible family farmers which will enable them to return to their normal operations if they sustained qualifying losses resulting from natural disaster.  Physical loss loans may be made to eligible farmers to enable them to repair or replace damaged or destroyed physical property, including livestock losses, essential to the success of the farming operation.  Examples of property commonly affected include; essential farm buildings, fixtures to real estate, equipment, livestock, perennial crops, fruit and nut bearing trees, and harvested or stored crops.  

The applicant must be unable to obtain credit from other usual sources to qualify for the Farm Service Agency Farm Loan Program assistance.  The interest rate for emergency loans is 3.75%.  Each applicant applying for credit will be given equal consideration without regard to race, creed, color, marital status, or national origin.

USDA Report 07-05-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

July 5th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin

Play

Cass County Extension Report 07-04-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

July 4th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Play

Fire Marshal says use care with fireworks in dry conditions

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

July 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

While some parts of the state have been without rain for more than a week, there are currently no burn bans are in place in Iowa. Dubuque County will be under a burn ban starting Thursday morning. The head of the state fire marshal’s arson and explosives bureau says it’s important with the dry conditions to be especially careful celebrating the Fourth of July. Ron Humphrey says things could be worse. “It’s not quite as bad as it is in the spring or fall, when everything is all dried out, at least the grass and the crops are still green but keep in mind a small fire could spread quickly with the right conditions, and the right material,” Humphrey says.

“Use good safety precaution when using the fireworks we want to make sure that with the dry conditions that when you use sparklers or shooting off fireworks by permit the area is safe for both people and the surrounding environment,” according to Humphrey. The Dubuque County burn ban goes into effect at eight a-m Thursday. More counties could be added in the next few days without significant rain to improve the dry conditions.

(For a current chart of all counties included in a burn ban, go to: http://www.dps.state.ia.us/fm/main/burnbans/index.shtml)

(Radio Iowa)

Crop conditions fall as Iowa remains dry

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Crops conditions in Iowa have declined as the state remains dry despite some much-needed rain. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday’s weekly report that 62 percent of the corn crop is in good to excellent condition. A week ago, it was 68 percent. Fifty-nine percent of soybeans are in good shape, down from 63 percent a week ago. The USDA says 73 percent of topsoil and subsoil levels are dry. South-central Iowa is the driest with 91 percent of topsoil running short or very short. Storms brought rain to the middle of the state on Friday along with hail and strong winds. Rain fell on southeast Iowa late Saturday and Sunday. The statewide average rainfall for the week was 0.25 inches. The normal is over an inch.

Midwest ranchers, lawmakers protest EPA flyovers

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Environmental Protection Agency’s use of airplanes to scour for signs of improper disposal of livestock waste has angered ranchers and some members of Congress.  The dispute is centered in Nebraska, where ranchers complain the EPA kept its aerial inspections quiet until revealing them at a meeting three months ago.
 
Ranchers complained to their members of Congress, who seem to be nearly as annoyed with the EPA’s sluggish response to their inquiries as they are about the flights themselves.  The EPA says the flights are a cost-effective way to protect waterways from runoff carrying livestock waste.  The EPA says the flights have led to 39 enforcement actions against Iowa livestock farmers and 14 against those in Nebraska.

Iowa fire marshal ends farm electrical inspections

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State fire officials have suspended inspections of electrical installations at farms, despite a state regulation requiring the inspections, and a state lawmaker is vowing to fight the change. The Des Moines Register reports that the order to suspend the farm inspections goes into effect Sunday. Iowa State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds says the suspension is legal. He says the suspension means inspectors can focus on public buildings and homes instead of farm buildings, which have a low rate of human fire deaths. But Iowa Senate President Jack Kibbie, D-Emmetsburg, has requested an opinion from the Iowa attorney general on the order. He blames the change on Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, who has been a vocal critic of the farm electrical inspection regulation.

Iowa DNR Drought Monitor Update: parts of western IA faired better than others

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

June 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The latest Drought Monitor Report from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources indicates most of Iowa continues to be very dry, but far western Iowa is less affected than the rest of State. Officials say although 78 percent of Iowa remains in some form of dry conditions, a significant increase in areas rated as moderately dry, from 13 percent to 37 percent, has occurred up and down central Iowa.

Rainfall averaged 2.02 inches compared to normal precipitation of the period at 2.36 inches; however, precipitation varied widely across the state, with above normal rainfall over much of west central and southwest Iowa and well below normal over northeast and extreme northwest Iowa. An area stretching from the eastern half of Crawford County southeast through Audubon, the northeast half of Cass and Adams Counties, and continuing southeast to Ringgold and Decatur Counties, shows abnormally dry conditions, despite the recent, but spotty rains. The far southwest corner of Fremont County is also abnormally dry, while the remaining western third of the state shows normal soil moisture.

For a more thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends June 14 through June 27, 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 USGS, in collaboration with the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division.