KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Iowa agency announces participants in water quality program

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa agency has announced the latest participants in a voluntary program that encourages farmers to use water quality practices that could reduce farm runoff. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced Monday it was distributing $3.8 million to nearly 2,000 farmers for its cost-share program that helps them offset expenses for implementing water quality practices.

Water quality is expected to be a big issue in the Iowa Legislature next session amid growing disagreement on how to address farm runoff. Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey discussed the program at the Iowa State Fair. He says farmers are committed to investing in water quality.

Some environmental advocates have challenged the long-term benefits of a voluntary program. The federal government estimates there are roughly 87,000 farms operating in Iowa.

Soybean growers in Iowa warned of potential diseases


August 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa soybean growers are on the lookout for a number of diseases just as most plants are setting pods. Sudden death syndrome in soybeans is being reported in many parts of Iowa. Todd Claussen, director of agronomy for Ames-based Landus Cooperative, says infected beans will shut down early. “They’ll senesce early and they’ll drop leaves faster,” Claussen says. “You can’t do anything with it now, but as you move into next season you have to think about the history of a specific farm. One, you start with genetics, and two, you can treat with a soybean seed treatment that is highly effective.”

Soybean aphids are also starting to show up in greater numbers, according to Claussen. “Aphids like it mild. They like 77-78 degrees — their reproduction will go through the roof if that be the case,” Claussen said. “We are ramping up and have expectations to pull that trigger here rather soon.” White mold could also be a problem for soybean growers this year, according to Claussen.

The latest U-S-D-A report rated 82 percent of Iowa’s soybeans in good to excellent condition. Monday’s report found 94 percent of the state’s soybeans were blooming, which is six days ahead of last year. Seventy-nine percent of soybeans were setting pods, about one week ahead of normal.

(Radio Iowa/Brownfield Ag Network)

Feds predict record corn, soybean yield; lower prices likely

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Farm field surveys reflecting excellent spring planting conditions and favorable summer weather have prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to boost harvest expectations for corn and soybeans to record highs. Ten states are expected to set new bushels-per-acre corn yields, including top U.S. producers Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska.

The USDA’s report Friday says overall, farmers are expected to harvest 15.2 billion bushels of corn — a billion more than 2014’s record 14.2 billion. A record soybean crop of 4.06 billion bushels also is expected, beating 3.9 billion bushels last year. But with a huge harvest comes a big problem: There’ll be the most grain in nearly 30 years to store. That’s likely to push prices lower, which will make it harder for farmers who rent land to make a profit. It’ll also make for cheaper livestock feed.

Local Rainfall Totals ending at 7:00 am Friday, August 12

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

August 12th, 2016 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic 1.45″
  • 7 Miles NNE of Atlantic  1.21″
  • Audubon  1.47″
  • Avoca  2.3″
  • Bagley  2.75″
  • Bedford  2.85″
  • Carroll  1.75″
  • Clarinda, 2.9″ (13 miles sw of Clarinda, 3.56″)
  • Corning  5.3″
  • Denison  1.9″
  • Elk Horn  1.1″
  • Glenwood  1.65″
  • Harlan, 1.25″
  • SE of Irwin, 1.62″
  • Kirkman, 2.0″
  • Massena  1.46″
  • Missouri Valley  .91″
  • Oakland  1.75″ (3 miles w. of Oakland, 2.75″)
  • Neola  1″
  • New Market  3.01″
  • Red Oak  2.34″
  • Shenandoah  3.85″ (4.3″ at the Shenandoah Golf Course)
  • Sidney, 3.76″
  • Underwood  .66″
  • Villisca  5.3″ (updated)

Bankers say farm income declining in region

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The Federal Reserve says farmers are borrowing more to cover their operating expenses because farm income continued to decline in during the second quarter in Midwestern and Western states. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Missouri, said Thursday that 75 percent of the bankers surveyed reported shrinking farm income.

The value of irrigated farmland in the region fell 5 percent while non-irrigated land and pastures both declined 3 percent.

Roughly half of the bankers said loan repayment rates were lower in the second quarter. And the number of loans with severe repayment problems grew to 7 percent. That’s up from roughly 3 percent in 2011 to 2013.

The 10th Federal Reserve District covers Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Colorado, northern New Mexico and western Missouri.

Palmer amaranth infestations found in CRP plantings in Iowa


August 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Native seed mixes planted on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres are suspected in two new Palmer amaranth infestations in Iowa this summer. Iowa State University Extension weed specialist Bob Hartzler says while previous Palmer infestations have been tied to animal feed and commercial grain transportation, the use of seed mixes represents a new method of introduction.

Palmer amaranth grows quickly and creates seeds rapidly, making it difficult to control. Weed scientists say it could be the most aggressive weed Indiana farmers have had to face. (Superior Ag Resources photo/Tom Sinnot)

Palmer amaranth grows quickly and creates seeds rapidly, making it difficult to control. Weed scientists say it could be the most aggressive weed Indiana farmers have had to face. (Superior Ag Resources photo/Tom Sinnot)

“Both sightings were found in new CRP plantings that were planted to a diverse mix of various native species. One was for pollinator habitat and one was for quail habitat,” Hartzler says. “It’s another way that Palmer is finding its way into the state, so that is a concern.” Palmer amaranth is a threat crop production, but Hartzler says farmers should not be overly concerned with this latest finding — at least for now.

“Our concern is that in the year or two that the Palmer is likely to survive in this habitat, some of that seed could move into crop fields,” Hartzler explained. Many CRP seed mixes have species produced in other states, according to Hartzler, and it’s possible the seed came from a state with more widespread Palmer amaranth issues. The new infestations occurred in Muscatine County in southeast Iowa and Madison County in south-central Iowa.

(Radio Iowa)

Federal candidates in Iowa raise concerns about Farm Credit system loans

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Federal office holders from Iowa and their General Election challengers are raising questions about the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks established by the federal government in 1916 to help farmers. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says he supports the system, but it has operated outside its charter. “They came to my office to talk to me and I brought up some of the loans that were very questionable loans,” Grassley says. “I got the feeling that they were very embarassed by the issues that I brought up with them.”

Former Iowa Ag Secretary Patty Judge is the Democrat who’s challenging Grassley this year.”There are probably reforms that need to be made and I would suggest to you that we are going to have a real opportunity to do that next year as we write the new Farm Bill,” Judge said. Republican Congressman Steve King of Kiron says the Farm Credit System needs to refocus on helping farmers and agribusinesses “stay afloat.”  “They write their own mission statement,” King says. “I asked the chair of the board that before an Ag Committee hearing some time back and, you know, my message to that was: ‘We may have to help you write that mission statement.'”

Kim Weaver, a social worker from Sheldon, is the Democrat who’s challenging King. Weaver says she’s troubled by the Farm Credit System’s loan to Cracker Barrel.
“Even though it has a rather rustic appeal, it isn’t exactly a farm-related business,” Weaver says. “I would look at actually having a little bit more monitoring of that because I really don’t think it’s fair.”

Republican Congressman David Young of Van Meter says the Farm Credit System must be held to its original mission. “Choice is good out there, but one of the choices out there is backed by the taxpayer, in a sense,” Young says. “…Have they been operating outside of their purview?” Jim Mowrer, a former National Guard soldier and Pentagon administrator, is Young’s Democratic challenger. “When you look at some of the recent activities, like the Verizon loan that they made, this is way outside of its intended scope of purpose,” Mowrer says.

Republican Congressman Rod Blum of Dubuque, says there’s probably still a role for the Farm Credit system. “We need to make sure that they’re not competing in the areas that they’re not supposed to be in,” Blum says. “…They’ve made some very big loans to some very large and profitable customers that whether they’re ag related is very, very questionable.” Christopher Peters, an Iowa City doctor, is the Republican who’s challenging Democratic Congressman David Loebsack of Iowa City. Peters says he has just started doing research on the Farm Credit System. “I will say just blanket, though, I’m suspicious of all government sponsored enterprises. I’m not sure why we need those at all,” Peters says. “If things can be delivered in a marketplace, they should be. If they are not able to be delivered in a marketplace, then government I think should provide those services if they can’t or won’t be provided otherwise.”

The candidates made their comments Thursday afternoon during a meeting of the Community Bankers of Iowa. Congressman Loebsack and Monica Vernon, the Democratic candidate in the first congressional district who’s running against Blum, did not attend. The 80 Farm Credit banks do not have to pay taxes on mortgage loan interest and other banks are lobbying congress to end that tax break. Supporters of the system say it’s a crucial source of financing for all of rural America, not just farmers.

(Radio Iowa)

Animal Rescue League to get training in horse rescue

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa are getting some special training to be able to handle horses and other large animals who get into trouble. The A-R-L’s animal intervention welfare coordinator, Scott Wilson, says they received a 66-hundred dollar grant from American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to purchase equipment and go through the training.

“One of the common things you’ll see around the country is horses will get stuck in ponds, or they will get into a swimming pool and not be able to get back out. Or they’ll fall into a shallow well. So, a big part of the training will be utilizing a sling and A-frame to actually hoist the horse of these situations and back onto solid ground,” Wilson explains. It might seem like you could offer the horse a carrot and coax them out of trouble. Wilson says it’s not that simple.

He says this is done when the horse absolutely won’t come out on their own. Wilson says horses don’t do well on ramps or stairs and that’s how they can get stuck in a swimming pool. Those trained for the A-R-L’s equine rescue team will have the skills to rescue horses and other large animals during disasters or emergencies. “It doesn’t happen very often,” Wilson says,”but the problem is horses are actually very fragile creatures sometimes. And when the need arises, it requires an immediate response. So — even if it only happens once every couple of years — having the equipment on hand like this and the training will give us the possibility of actually saving the horse’s life. While a delay of several hours waiting for something to be figured out could cost the horse’s life.”

The training also teachers the rescuers how to be safe. “Horses can be very unpredictable and when they get scared you’ve got over a thousand pounds of scared animal trying to get away. So, you’ve really have know what you are doing both with the horses and the equipment to minimize any sort of risk,” Wilson says. He says they hope to be able to help other agencies if they are ever faced with a horse rescue or the rescue of another large animal.

(Radio Iowa)

Educational Series to help Livestock Industry Prepare for Veterinary Feed Directive


August 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa – Are you prepared for implementation of the Veterinary Feed Directive on January 1st, 2017? Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Iowa Farm Bureau, and the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association are partnering to offer an educational series about the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). Iowa State Extension beef program specialist Chris Clark said Iowa veterinarians, livestock producers, and feed industry personnel are invited to participate.

“The program will include a general overview of the VFD, species break-outs, and discussion panels featuring veterinarians, producers, and feed industry personnel,” Clark said. “The implementation date of January 1, 2017, is approaching and at this point people may have some specific questions or scenarios that they are unsure about. Hopefully we can help answer some questions and clarify some of those issues.”

Iowa veterinarians, livestock producers and feed industry personnel are invited to attend any of the 11 session locations. Each program features breakout and discussion sessions, with a primary objective of helping attendees learn about the roles and responsibilities of all involved parties.

“Implementation of the VFD will require cooperation and communication between veterinarians, producers, and feed industry personnel,” Clark said. “It’s important that each party knows not only their own responsibilities but also what to expect from the other two parties. It may be really valuable to hear what others are thinking and planning in regard to implementation of the VFD.”

The series runs from Aug. 22 through Sept. 1 with specific times set for each location. There is no fee to attend, but preregistration is encouraged to assist organizers with planning. Register by calling the numbers below, associated with the session you would like to attend.

·        Monday, Aug. 29, 9 a.m. to noonSwan Lake Conservation Center, Carroll. RSVP to the Carroll County Extension Office, 712-792-2364

·        Monday, Aug. 29, 6 to 9 p.m. – Cass County Community Center, Atlantic. RSVP to the Cass County Extension Office, 712-243-1132.

USDA Report 8-11-2016

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

August 11th, 2016 by Jim Field

w/Max Dirks.