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.

So-called “King Amendment” a hot topic in Farm Bill discussions

Ag/Outdoor

November 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Congressman Steve King — one of the negotiators in congress trying to strike a final Farm Bill deal — is pushing for that deal to include one of his ideas. The so-called “King Amendment” would bar one state from imposing production standards on agricultural products that come from another state. “California passed a law…that mandates that beginning 2015 no eggs be brought into or sold in the state unless they are laid by hens that are raised in facilities that are effectively double the infrastructure costs to our producers,” King says.

That California law, passed as the result of a statewide referendum in 2008, requires cages to be large enough to allow egg-laying hens to stand and spread their wings. Iowa is the nation’s top egg-producing state and, according to King, California’s law would effectively prohibit Iowa eggs from being sold there.  “The commerce clause in the constitution prohibits trade protectionism between the states,” King says. Some states have or are considering regulating the size of the pens or crates in which pigs and calves are raised and King’s proposal could deal with those as well.

Critics, like Oregon Congressman Kurt Schrader, say the “King Amendment” violates state’s rights. “Another state from outside of your jurisdiction, your home state, can basically decide to low-ball you, do all sorts of hybrid practices that can harm your community economically, maybe public health wise and you have no recourse,” Schrader says. California Congressman Jeff Denham says state laws that regulate the sale of raw milk or how diseases in livestock herds are managed could be nullified by the “King Amendment.”

“The amendment takes away important authorities from states and gives them exclusively to the federal government,” Denham says. “The 10th amendment of the U.S. Constitution firmly establishes states’ rights.” King says his proposal ensures there is “free trade” among the 50 states. “We need to draw the line now, while we still can,” King says. The Senate version of the Farm Bill that passed on a bipartisan vote in June does not include King’s proposal and the chair of the Senate Ag Committee opposes it, too.

Groups representing fire fighters object to King’s amendment, saying it could prevent state regulation of cigarettes since tobacco is an agricultural product. King counters his idea will protect the nation’s farmers from an emerging patchwork of state regulations.

(Radio Iowa)

Leash on Life 10-31-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

October 31st, 2013 by Chris Parks

Andrea Farrior and Chris Parks talk about the latest information from the Atlantic Animal Shelter.

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Doc Leonard’s Pet Pointers 10-31-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

October 31st, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Dr. Keith Leonard

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USDA Report 10-31-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

October 31st, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin

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Cass County Extension Report 10-30-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

October 30th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

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Iowa furbearer season begins this weekend

Ag/Outdoor, Sports

October 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s fur trapping season will begin Saturday, and the Department of Natural Resources says trappers should have good luck with strong populations of most species. The DNR says fur harvesters should find plenty of raccoons, coyotes, bobcats, river otters and mink. Furbearer biologist Vince Evelsizer says only muskrats and gray fox will be scarce.

The furbearer season will end for most species on Jan. 31. The DNR says there has been an increase in the number of Iowa trappers in each of the past three years and the number will likely top 19,000 this season.

Drought still impacting Missouri River management

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The Army Corps of Engineers says it expects higher-than-usual runoff in the Missouri River basin next year, but the system of dams along the river will still have minimum flows to recover from drought last year.

The Capital Journal reports that the corps says wet soil conditions from abnormally high precipitation in the upper basin this fall are expected to cause monthly runoff records for the Oahe  and Fort Randall areas this October. Total runoff for this year above Sioux City, Iowa, is expected to rank among the top five wettest years.

But despite the wet conditions, reservoirs still are below desired levels due to the 2012 drought, and the system is still expected to support less than full-service navigation downstream next year.

Neighbors harvest fields after farmer’s death

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

EARLHAM, Iowa (AP) — More than a dozen farmers worked with six combines to harvest a crop near the central Iowa community of Earlham, a little more than a month after the owner died of cancer. Dave Boyle, of Earlham, told KCCI-TV, “That’s what neighbors are here for.” The farmers decided to help out after 64-year-old Dennis Scar died of lung cancer on Sept. 25.

The harvest normally would have taken days to complete, but the volunteers finished it in about three hours, Monday. Scar’s daughter-in-law, Nikki Scar, says the sight of the machinery pulling in brought her to tears. She says, “We’re just very blessed to have family and friends and live in a small town I guess.”

Harvest moved ahead quickly last week

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The corn and soybean harvest moved ahead quickly in the last week. The latest U-S-D-A report shows 20-percent of the corn crop was harvested last week and 17 percent of the soybeans. That puts the bean harvest two days ahead of normal — marking the first time all season soybean progress was ahead of the five-year average.

Pam Johnson farms with her husband in north central Iowa ’s Floyd County. She says she’s thankful that the weather has been favorable at the end of the season after the way it started. The spring was cold and wet spring — leading to a very small planting window — and to get the corn in Johnson says they planted both night and day for three days and the beans didn’t go in until June. “It’s been a struggle all the way along, and then of course, mother nature shut the rain off in August,” Johnson says. But Johnson says they’re now really pleased that they’ve had a long growing season. “We were afraid of all the things that could happen, we would have an early frost and we have not, so the weather has been good to us at the back end of the growing season and we’re pleasantly surprised by the yields that are out there despite the weather,” according to Johnson.

Fifty-five percent of the corn has now been harvested, which is five percentage points behind normal. Moisture content of all corn in the field was estimated at 21 percent while moisture content of corn harvested was 19 percent. The soybean harvest is now 87-percent complete.

(Radio Iowa)

Ending tax break for “red dye” diesel for farmers under consideration

Ag/Outdoor

October 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Ending a tax break on the diesel fuel farmers and construction companies use in off-road vehicles is among the ideas the Iowa D-O-T’s director has developed for increasing the state budget for road construction and maintenance. Governor Terry Branstad says some of the options are “outside the box.”    “They’re different and we would expect that some of them would be somewhat controversial,” Branstad says. “We are saying, ‘Let’s see how the public feels about it.'” However, the Iowa D-O-T’s director isn’t releasing his list to the public, but instead sharing it first with legislators and interest groups, like the highway construction industry.

“I think this is a good process and I’ve indicated I’m not endorsing any of these options, but my hope is we can look at all these different options and alternatives and see if a consensus can be built that would eventually gain bipartisan support in the legislature, both the House and the Senate, to address the issue of funding fot the Road Use Tax Fund.” Diesel fuel sold with a red dye is to be used in off-road vehicles like tractors and excavators. It is not subject to state taxes, an estimated 38-million dollar annual tax break for farmers and the construction industry.

The D-O-T director’s list suggests that money could be placed in a new account to finance road projects in rural areas of the state. The only other idea on the D-O-T’s list that would bring in more tax money would be increasing the state sales tax on vehicle purchases — meaning car and truck buyers would pay 60-million more dollars in registration fees.

(Radio Iowa)