KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Cover crop applications being accepted in Cass County


August 17th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Soil and Water Conservation District will be accepting application for cover crops till Friday, September 9th, 2016. Cover Crops are used to reduce soil erosion and capture residual nutrients to protect our soil resource and water quality. Producers will be able to sign up for 20 acres maximum at a rate of $20 per acre. Applications will be approved on first come-first serve basis till the funds are exhausted. Producers should stop by the district office located at 503 W. 7th Street, Ste 1, Atlantic, Iowa 50022 to make application.

IDPH announces first human West Nile Virus cases of season

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 17th, 2016 by Chris Parks

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced testing at the State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL) has confirmed the first human cases of West Nile virus disease in Iowa in 2016. A female child (0-17 years of age) and an adult male (41-60 years of age), both of Sioux County, were hospitalized due to the virus but are now recovering. “West Nile virus season typically lasts from late summer into early autumn,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “These cases serve as a reminder to all Iowans that the West Nile virus is present and it’s important for Iowans to be using insect repellent when outdoors.”

Iowans should take the following steps to reduce the risk of exposure to West Nile virus:

  • Use insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always read the repellent label and consult with a health care provider if you have questions when using these types of products for children. For example, DEET should not be used on infants less than 2 months old and oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 years old.
  • Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes, and socks whenever possible outdoors.
  • Eliminate standing water around the home because that’s where mosquitoes lay eggs. Empty water from buckets, cans, pool covers and pet water dishes. Change water in bird baths every three to four days.

Approximately 20 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will have mild to moderate symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches and vomiting. Less than one percent of people infected become seriously ill and rarely, someone dies.

Since West Nile first appeared in Iowa in 2002, it has been found in every county in Iowa, either in humans, horses, or birds. In 2015, 14 cases of West Nile virus were reported to IDPH. The last death caused by West Nile virus was in 2010, and there were two deaths that year. For more information about West Nile virus, visit idph.iowa.gov/cade/disease-information/west-nile-virus.

Cass County Extension Report 8-17-2016

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

August 17th, 2016 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson.


Local Rainfall Totals ending at 7:00 am Wednesday, August 17

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

August 17th, 2016 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic  .35″
  • 7 miles NNE of Atlantic  .04″
  • 2 miles NW of Atlantic  .39″
  • Massena  .32″
  • Avoca  .25″
  • Neola  .15″
  • Logan  .1″
  • Audubon  Trace
  • Clarinda  .14″
  • Underwood  .16″
  • Creston  .23″
  • Council Bluffs  .25″

Atlantic Parks and Rec approves trail bid at Monday meeting

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 16th, 2016 by Chris Parks

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department Board met Monday night at the City Hall Council Chambers.  During their meeting the board approved a bid contract with Howrey Construction for the Shildberg Recreation Area Lake 2 Trail for $109,000, which was the low bid.  The late start date for construction on the trail surrounding lake 2 will be September 19th.

Atlantic Parks and Rec Director Seth Staashelm also shared some concepts he had received for the possible Sunnyside Pool renovation.  A committee is scheduled to meet on the potential project on August 24th at 5:30pm.  In other pool news the last day that Sunnyside Pool will be open is Wednesday, August 17th and there will be a Doggie Dip day on the 18th from 2:00pm-4:00pm.

The board also discussed the Harl-Holt Basketball Court project, Trevor Fredrickson Field Renovation possibilities, and tree inspection forms that are available at City Hall for trees in the City right of way. Staashelm also informed the board that information and registration for Adult Men’s Flag Football will be going out soon.

The next regular meeting date for the Park and Rec Board will be on September 19th at 5:15pm at City Hall Council Chambers.

Will Frazee to Be Inducted into Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame


August 16th, 2016 by Chris Parks

Will Frazee of Montgomery County will be inducted into the 2016 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the 4-H Exhibits Building at the Iowa State Fair on Sunday, Aug. 21. Ninety-two Iowa counties are participating this year and have selected 119 inductees for their outstanding service and dedication to 4-H. Inductees will be presented a certificate as they are introduced on stage.

Will Frazee will be recognized at 3:30 p.m. A reception will follow the presentations.

Will has been a long time Montgomery County 4-H supporter.  As a 4-H parent to son Curt and daughter Krista, club and project area leader, Fair Board member, Committee member and Chair of 4-H and Youth committee for many years, Will has done it all!   Will has been active in state and national beef organizations and travelled the world promoting Iowa products.  He is currently serving as a director of Iowa Farm Bureau. From the beginning a young boy wanted to grow up to be a farmer, and he did with the help of family, friends, and 4-H.

“Counties select inductees for their exceptional work in contributing to the lives of 4-H members and the overall 4-H program,” said Chelsea Cousins, Program Director at ISU Extension and Outreach Montgomery County. Many inductees served as club leaders, youth mentors, fair superintendents or fair board members, Iowa State University Extension county council members, county youth council members, fair judges, financial supporters, chaperones or ISU Extension staff members. The inductees have demonstrated dedication, encouragement, commitment and guidance to Iowa’s 4-H’ers through the years.

“Volunteers provide the head, heart, hands and health to our Iowa 4-H program. This is a wonderful opportunity to recognize those who have made a difference in the lives of our Iowa youth,” said John-Paul Chaisson-Cardenas, Program Leader, Iowa 4-H Youth Development.

The Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame was initiated in 2002 to help commemorate the 100th anniversary of 4-H. A summary of previous honorees will be on display at the 2016 Iowa State Fair in the 4-H Exhibits Building.

Information about previous inductees to the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame also is available on the Iowa 4-H Foundation website, organized by year and by county. Go to http://www.iowa4hfoundation.org/ and select “Recognition.”

State, Federally Funded Cover Crop Acres Increase 22 Percent


August 16th, 2016 by Chris Parks

DES MOINES, IOWA, Aug. 16, 2016—Iowa farmers planted about 64,000 more cover crop acres funded through state and federal incentives in the fall of 2015 compared to fall 2014 – a 22 percent increase.

Iowans planted 291,267 cover crop acres last fall compared to 227,256 in 2014 with help from state and federal conservation programs. The numbers include funding from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) through the Water Quality Initiative (WQI), State Cost-Share, and local watershed projects. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides farmers assistance for cover crop through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).

Cover crops such as cereal rye, winter wheat and hairy vetch are helping farmers provide ground cover and living roots in the soil throughout the year. This helps improve soil health, water infiltration, and soil biology, reduce soil erosion and weed competition, trap excess nutrients in the soil, and even provide livestock grazing.

Barb Stewart, state agronomist for NRCS in Iowa, credits the increase in cover crop acres to the amount of outreach and education to famers from conservation groups throughout the state, along with more farmers paying attention to soil health and water quality the past several years.

“A few years back many farmers were more careful, experimenting with 10- and 20-acre cover crop plots,” said Stewart. “Many of those farmers are now planting hundreds of acres of cover crops, and even growing and harvesting their own cover crop seed.”

Washington County in southeast Iowa stands out in total acres planted in fall 2015, with twice as many (19,974) than any other Iowa county through conservation programs. District Conservationist Tony Maxwell, who runs the NRCS office in Washington, says the conservation culture has a lot to do with their success. “We have a long history of early adoption of conservation practices, like no-till,” said Maxwell. “That has made the transition to cover crops much easier.”

Maxwell says challenges Washington County farmers have faced in the past are helping them overcome any difficulties establishing cover crops. “Many issues farmers face with cover crops, such as the carbon penalty associated with high amounts of organic matter and planting into heavy residue in cool, wet conditions, are problematic in no-till corn, too,” he said. “We have experienced no-tillers who have faced these challenges before, and can overcome them much easier.”

NRCS and IDALS are both anticipating cover crop acres to increase by about 15 percent next year in Iowa, based on 2016 program signups. “We continue to see interest in cover crops grow,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, “both from farmers brand new to the practice as well as those who have been doing it for a couple years.”

Northey says even in challenging economic times in agriculture, farmers are seeing the benefits cover crops provide and putting their own money toward cover crops and other practices focused on protecting water quality and improving soil health.

For more information about cover crops and other practices and programs to help address natural resource concerns on your land, visit your local USDA Service Center for planning assistance.

Wallace Foundation and ISU to Host Neely-Kinyon Field Day on Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 16th, 2016 by Chris Parks

Cover crops are among the topics set for the August 23, 2016, field day at the Iowa State University Neely-Kinyon Research and Demonstration farm near Greenfield, Iowa.

 The field day will start at 4 p.m. at the farm located at 2557 Norfolk Avenue, Greenfield, Iowa. Directions: Two miles south of Greenfield on Highway 25, one mile east, and a half mile north.

 Iowa State researchers and extension specialists will be discussing the challenges of the growing season, including weather, nitrogen and weed management; the opportunity of cover crops for farmers in southwestern Iowa; organic cropping systems; and monarch/pollinator habitat.

 The farm tour will include a demonstration site for the project called Science-based Trials of Row-crops Integrated with Prairie Strips, or STRIPS. It has found that incorporating strips of perennial prairie plants in crop fields reduces soil and nutrient movement for a relatively low cost.

 The Neely-Kinyon farm consists of 160 acres owned by the Wallace Foundation for Rural Research and Development, which leases it to Iowa State. The farm is managed as a satellite of the Armstrong Research and Demonstration Farm near Lewis.

 A light meal will be served at 6:00. The field day is open to the public at no cost.

USDA crop report has 83% of Iowa corn and soybeans good to excellent

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 16th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s top crops are faring well, according to the latest report from U.S. Department of Agriculture. Eighty-three percent of both the state’s corn and soybean crops are rated in good to excellent condition.The USDA report released Monday states above normal rain allowed Iowa farmers to work the fields an average of just four-and-a-half days last week.

(Radio Iowa)

Prosecutor seeks to dismiss flag desecration case

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The prosecutor in a northwest Iowa county will not pursue a flag desecration charge against a man who protested a crude oil pipeline crossing his property by hanging an American flag upside down at his home. Homer Martz was charged Friday under a state law a federal judge ruled unconstitutional in December 2014. The Iowa Legislature has declined to remove the law from the books.

Calhoun County Attorney Tina Meth Farrington says the sheriff’s deputies who charged Martz weren’t aware courts had struck down the law. She called on lawmakers to repeal it immediately “so that other citizens and law enforcement are not caught in this type of situation again.”

Martz, a 63-year-old U.S. Army veteran, is upset the state is allowing Texas-based Dakota Access to forcefully condemn his property.