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.

Wet weather hampers corn planting in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farmers are off to slow start in planting corn as cool, wet weather hampers the progress. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says nine percent of Iowa’s corn crop is now planted, behind the five-year average of 16 percent. Less than one percent of the soybean crop is in the ground. The USDA says last week’s weather was unfavorable for planting, and farmers are waiting for fields to dry out. However, the rain improved soil moisture, with topsoil at 88 percent adequate or surplus. Subsoil moisture also improved. Temperatures ranged from the upper 20s to the 70s The report says normal rainfall during the week, just shy of an inch, was exceeded in the northern half of Iowa and came up short in the southern half.

Lawmakers optimistic about property tax changes

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — After decades of failed attempts, lawmakers say this could be the session they succeed in at least beginning to overhaul Iowa’s property tax system. With hopes of adjourning this week, legislators are running out of time, but they express optimism that Republicans and Democrats will reach a deal. Lawmakers have considered changing Iowa’s property tax system for at least 30 years, but the issue is a nightmare for politicians because in Iowa, farmland, businesses and residential property are all taxed differently. To tinker with one means shifting the burden onto the others. This year, though, veteran legislators have reached a bipartisan agreement to address the matter. Republican Rep. Stewart Iverson of Clarion speculates there is a 60 to 70 percent chance that lawmakers will get something done on property taxes.

Western Iowa Boat Ramp Reopens After 2011 Flooding

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A Missouri River boat ramp in Pottawattamie County has reopened almost a year after it was closed by flooding. Park Ranger Brian Orth said that it’s been a bad year or two for boating at Narrows River Park, so it’s exciting that the ramp reopened Wednesday. Pottawattamie County Conservation was forced to close the ramp after the river swelled last May. The water eventually filled the whole park. The ramp was also closed for several weeks in 2010 because of high water. Mark Shoemaker, executive director of Pottawattamie County Conservation, called the reopening of the boat ramp a good step toward recovery. He says there is still a lot of work to do in the park, such as fixing park shelters and playground equipment.

Culver: Iowa Power Fund was ‘right thing to do’ – cites Shen. Algae plant as example

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Former Iowa Governor Chet Culver says his program to support renewable energy research and development has been “wildly successful” even if only a fraction of the money has been spent. Culver pointed to a plant in Shenandoah that is growing algae as an example of a success story from the Iowa Power Fund. He says construction on a cellulosic ethanol plant is under way in Emmetsburg, and a second plant is moving forward. Culver says those three projects alone, if they come to fruition, would justify the state’s $71 million investment in the fund.  Culver reacted Friday to an investigation by The Associated Press that found a third of the fund’s money has been spent, five years after its creation. He says the fund has been careful with tax dollars.

Cass County Extension Report 04-18-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

April 18th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olsen

Play

Schildberg Recreation Area Trails maps

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

April 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Parks and Recreation Director Roger Herring has made available to the media mileage maps for the walking/biking trails at the Schildberg Recreation Area.  At a recent park board meeting the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce, in addition to KJAN and other local media, expressed an interest in putting the charts on their websites, for viewing by the public. 

Herring says he hopes to have a park and rec link off of the city’s website in the near future but that feature is currently not  available. He says the walking trails are getting used frequently, but questions remained as to how far the trails were. 

Click on the images below to view the charts.

Herring says they will also have some signage at the entrances to the trails that will have the mileage charts on them, but there is currently no funding available for those signs.

Crop report shows some corn planted

Ag/Outdoor

April 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The U-S-D-A crop report shows some farmers have been able to get their planters into the field.The report says five-percent of Iowa’s corn acreage has been planted in the early going, which compares with one percent at this time last year. It’s also ahead of the five-year average of three-percent. .The report says widespread rain improved moisture levels throughout the state — with topsoil moisture levels improving so only six-percent very short and, 21 percent short of soil moisture. Subsoil moisture also improved and 53-percent is called adequate and two percent surplus. The report says the cold weather did raise some concerns, as farmers fear hay growth was affected after most of the state received a hard freeze in the early part of last week.

(Dar Danielson/Radio Iowa)

Western IA feedlot agrees to pay $10k penalty for pollution discharges

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Kansas City, Kansas, office of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said today (Monday), a western Iowa beef cattle feedlot company has agreed to pay a large penalty for violations of the Clean  Water Act related to discharges of pollutants into a creek and its tributaries. Petersen-Bubke, LLP, in Monona County, Iowa, has agreed to pay a $10,000 civil penalty. By agreeing to the settlement, Petersen-Bubke has certified that it is currently in compliance with the Clean Water Act.  

According to an administrative civil consent agreement and final order filed by EPA in Kansas City, Kan., EPA personnel conducted a compliance evaluation and inspection of the facility in March 2011 and observed evidence of discharges of process wastewater and pollutants from the facility into Rush creek. Petersen-Bubke was confining approximately 1,050 cattle at the time of the inspection, which made it subject to regulation as a large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO). However, the feedlot did not have a necessary National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, nor had it applied for one, as required by the Clean Water Act. 

EPA Region 7 issued an order to the feedlot in May 2011, directing it to install discharge controls or apply for an NPDES permit. In accordance with the order, Petersen-Bubke has complied with the Clean Water Act by reducing the number of cattle it confines below the regulatory threshold, and by constructing livestock waste controls. Unauthorized and uncontrolled discharges of wastewater and stormwater from concentrated animal feeding operations and their production areas can cause exceedances of water quality standards, pose risks to human health, threaten aquatic life and its habitat, and impair the use and enjoyment of waterways.

Iowa State University installing water monitors

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

 Iowa State University is installing water quality monitors 16 Iowa lakes to help find out what causes harmful algal blooms. Some types of blue-green algae, for example, can produce dangerous toxins. Drinking toxin-tainted water can cause vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory failure and, rarely, death.

Among the western Iowa lakes that will be part of the monitoring study is: Arrowhead and Black Hawk Lakes in Sac County; Lake Orient, in Adair County; and, Springbrook Lake, in Guthrie County. 

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is cooperating in the study. The monitoring equipment will be underwater and will be marked by hazard buoys.

Feeling ticked lately?

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s unusual stretch of warm weather in late winter and early spring has led to earlier than normal tick activity and start to the tick-borne disease season. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reminds Iowans to protect themselves against tick bites. Ticks can carry the organisms that cause Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Ehrlichiosis. The best way to prevent tick bites is to avoid wooded and grassy areas, where ticks are usually found.

If you do spend time in these areas:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long, light-colored pants tucked into socks or boots.
  • Stay on trails when walking or hiking, and avoid high grass.
  • Use insect repellants that contain DEET. Read and follow the label directions for application. DEET is not recommended for use on children under 2 months of age. For more information on DEET, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/idph_universalhelp/main.aspx?system=IdphEpiManual&context=DEET_factsheet.
  • Check yourself, your children and your pets for ticks. Ticks tend to prefer the back of the knee, armpit, scalp, groin, and back of the neck.

If you discover a tick on your body, remove it right away. Folk remedies, such as burning the tick with a match or covering it with petroleum jelly or nail polish, are not effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following instructions for removing a tick:

  • Carefully grasp the tick by using tweezers to grip the tick by its mouthparts which are close to the skin. Do not squeeze the tick’s body.
  • Pull steadily directly away from your skin. Because removing the tick’s body is your main goal, don’t worry if its mouthparts break off in the process.
  • Clean the wound and disinfect the site of the bite.

The most common tick-borne disease is Lyme disease; 85 cases of Lyme disease were reported to IDPH in 2011. Not everyone who gets Lyme disease will have the same symptoms, but the best and earliest sign of infection is a rash that may appear within a few days to a month, usually at the site of the tick bite. The rash will first look like a small, red bump, then expand until it begins to look like a bull’s eye, with a red center and a red ring surrounding a clear area. It is important to contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop this type of rash.

For more information on Lyme disease visit www.idph.state.ia.us/idph_universalhelp/main.aspx?