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.

Leak forces Iowa slaughterhouse to close for a day

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DENISON, Iowa (AP) – Officials say an ammonia leak has forced a beef slaughterhouse in western Iowa to close down for a day.  A spokesman for Tyson Fresh Meats says the Denison plant is expected to resume operations today (Thursday).  The Sioux City Journal reports that the leak was discovered before Wednesday’s production began. Workers were evacuated, and no injuries have been reported.

USDA Report 06-21-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 21st, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Dave York


Cass County Extension Report 06-20-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 20th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson


Senate makes progress on farm bill


June 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has broken a deadlock on a half-trillion dollar farm and food bill, setting the stage for a final vote on the measure this week.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday, announced a list of some 70 amendments out of about 300 offered to the 1,000-page bill that would set farm policy over the next five years and provide nearly $80 billion a year for the federal food stamp program. The two parties have negotiated for days on which amendments would be allowed.
The Senate bill would bring major changes to the federal safety net for farmers by eliminating direct payments to farmers, even when they don’t plant crops, replacing that with greater stress on crop insurance. The House has yet to come up with a companion bill.

Free Summer Gardening Web Series to Focus on Vegetable Gardening

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Master Gardener program is once again offering a series of summer webinars free to all local residents with an interest in gardening. The 2012 series is titled “Garden Goodness” and will be hosted by Iowa State University Extension county offices on the fourth Tuesday of each month, May through August. The Cass County Extension Office is a local host site.

Each session will provide information about vegetable gardening, from a variety of perspectives. The second presentation in the series is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26th. From 6:30-7:30 p.m. Angie Tagtow, environmental nutrition consultant,will discuss Food Gardening and Health. From 7:30-8:30 p.m. Denise Fikes, Mills County Extension horticulture assistant, will talk about Glenwood’s Giving Garden. Participants will watch the presentation live from campus, projected onto a large screen, and have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the topic with the presenter. There is no charge to attend the classes, and no requirements to attend the entire series. Local gardeners are encouraged to attend any session that catches their interest.

Upcoming dates, presenters and topics for the 2012 series are:

On July 24, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Linda Naeve will talk on the Peoples Garden Project and Working with Youth; from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Cindy Haynes will discuss Edible Ornamentals. Naeve is an ISU Extension value added agriculture specialist; Haynes is an associate professor in the Department of Horticulture and an ISU Extension consumer/urban horticulture specialist. The final session on August 28, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. will feature Angela Tedesco presenting the Top Ten Sustainable Gardening Tips from Turtle Farm. Tedesco is owner of Turtle Farm, an organic vegetable, fruit and herb CSA near Granger, Iowa.

The series, in its third year, is offered by Iowa Master Gardener program in response to requests for more Iowa gardening educational opportunities. The sessions are open to all interested gardeners; participants are not required to have completed Master Gardener training to attend, however the session will fulfill Master Gardener continuing education requirements.

Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required, to allow local staff to plan for appropriate accommodations. For more information, or to register, call the Cass County Extension Office at 712-243-1132, email keolson@iastate.edu, or stop by the Extension Office at 805 W. 10th St in Atlantic.

Iowa remains dry even with much-needed rain


June 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa has received some much-needed rain but the state is still dry.    The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday’s weekly report that Iowa received an average of 1.5 inches of rain last week. That’s above the normal of about 1.2 inches. Even so, more than half the topsoil and subsoil remains dry.  The USDA says 67 percent of the corn crop, which is beginning to silk, is in good or excellent condition. That’s the same as last week. 

Soybeans, which are starting to bloom, are rated 61 percent good to excellent. That’s down from 62 percent a week ago.  More than half the state’s pastures and range land are in poor or fair condition. However, stress on livestock is minimal with no issues reported.

USDA Crop Certification deadline is June 30th


June 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

John R. Whitaker, State Executive Director for USDA’s Iowa Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers that the annual crop certification deadline is June 30, 2012. Producers should file an accurate and timely report for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage and prevented planting. Acreage reports on crops covered by Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) should be filed in the county office the earlier of June 30, 2012 or no later than 15 calendar days before the onset of harvest or grazing of the specific crop acreage being reported. 

To report prevented or failed acreage, producers must complete Form CCC-576, Notice of Loss for interested crops. Reporting prevented or failed acreage to FSA will ensure compliance with current farm programs, and possible eligibility for future disaster programs.  Once a CCC-576 has been submitted, if cannot be withdrawn or revised. If a producer misses the reporting deadline for prevented planting, they may still report prevented planting acreage as long as the disaster condition may be verified by a field visit.

Producers may contact their local county FSA office if they have any questions about prevented and failed reporting or visit www.fsa.usda.gov/ia.

Pott. County Trail plan to be unveiled Saturday

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

One of two plans chosen by the public for a recreational trail in Pottawattamie County will be unveiled during a special meeting Saturday morning, of the Pott County Board of Supervisors. According to the Omaha World-Herald, a committee of 55 members have been working on the plans, and have held meetings in four Pott. County communities to gather public input.

The paper says a majority of those who attended the meetings favored a trail which parallels Railroad Highway (Iowa Highway 191) on the eastern edge of Council Bluffs. The trail continues northward through Underwood and Neola, before turning east along Highway 83, and passing near Minden, Avoca and Walnut.

The system could eventually connect to the American Discoveries Trail, which is part of a coast-to-coast route across the country. The other plan which gained favor among the meeting attendees, hooks up with North Broadway in Council Bluffs, and meanders through Crescent and the Hitchcock Nature Center. It may eventually connect with the Lewis & Clark Trail.

Saturday’s route unveiling will take place beginning at 9-a.m., at Arrowhead park near Neola, following an event designed to raise funds for the Phoenix Theater, in Neola. Additional plans call for ways to find money for the project, and finding land for the trails. It will likely take a few years, before any major progress is made, however, on making the trails a reality.

Bulls eye of dryness hangs over Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

June 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A climatologist who studies drought conditions says a “bulls eye of dryness” is centered on the nation’s midsection. Mark Svoboda, of the National Drought Mitigation Center says part of the problem is the winds in Iowa are coming from the southwest — states like Arizona, New Mexico and Texas where it’s bone dry. “This is kind of what we call a drought feeding on itself and I think we have the potential to really escalate this drought in the summer if we don’t get the rainfall they’re calling for over the next five days,” Svoboda says. “So if there’s any silver lining in the cloud — or lack of clouds, if you will — this exact region — we need that heavy rainfall forecasted over the next five days for this very region, the bulls eye of this dryness, because right now it looks like July, early August out there.” Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Illinois and Indiana have had a signficant “dry down” according to Svoboda, because there was little snow fall in the winter and a relatively dry spring.

“But the temperatures have been the real story,” Svoboda says, “so when we look at temperature departures over the last, say, three months, we’re seeing temperatures eight to 10 degrees or more above normal across eastern Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Iowa.” The most severe Midwest drought in recent memory happened in 1988 and ’89. Normal rainfall for this time of year is about an inch per week, according to Svoboda, and it would require significant rainfall this weekend to erase the moisture deficit in much of the Midwest.

“This rain this weekend, this next couple of days, is pretty darned critical to sort of tell us how we’re sitting in late June, early July,” Svoboda says. “…We have no soil moisture down to three feet virtually everywhere. When people are talking about digging posts and doing work out in their yards — and I’ve seen this myself personally, too — I’m mean, there’s virtually nothing down to three or four feet.” The National Drought Mitigation Center is based at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. The latest forecast for the state of Iowa suggests there will be “chances for showers and thunderstorms throughout the next several days.”

(Radio Iowa)

Heartland Co-Op CEO announces his retirement

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Heartland Cooperative Wednesday, announced he will be retiring at the end of this year. Larry Petersen informed the Co-Op Board of his decision earlier this week. Petersen has spent the last 31-years with the Heartland combined companies, and his served in the agricultural-related industries for more than 42-years. He became the General Manager of the Panora Farmers Cooperative in 1981, and is the first and only CEO of the Heartland Co-Op since its inception in 1987.

During his tenure, Heartland has grown to become one of the largest local cooperatives in the nation, according to Board President Art Churchill.  Churchill says the Heartland Board of Directors has begun the process to secure a replacement for Petersen, and they fully expect to have a new CEO in-place before Petersen’s departure on December 31st.

The Heartland Co-Op has corporate offices located in West Des Moines, and consists of a total of 51 locations in Central and Eastern Iowa. The organizations serves more than 4,500 members with operations in grain handling and marketing, fertilizer and application, Ag chemicals and application, livestock feed and processing, agricultural products, and propane.