KJAN Ag/Outdoor

State Ag Secretary says presidentidal candidates’ stance on trade not encouraging

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 11th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

While the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees have both blasted proposed trade agreements, Iowa’s top ag official says trade is essential to agriculture and especially to Iowa agriculture. Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey says he’s concerned when he hears Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump speak out against trade deals. Northey says the Pacific Trade Pact would be a boon to agriculture.

“TPP is another one of those, Trans Pacific Partnership, with a dozen of us around the Pacific Ocean that would be very beneficial to agriculture,” Northey says. “It’s very easy to come out opposed to those agreements and talk about the problems without appreciating the benefits.” Iowa is the top pork-producing state and Northey says the export of Iowa pork products is a great example of how agriculture benefits from world trade.

“We ship about a quarter of all our pork production overseas,” Northey says. “We’ll ship maybe the majority of some of the products like pork feet or pork hearts or other kinds of things, and we’ll keep those things we value, like pork chops and bacon.” Northey says many of Iowa’s key ag products are being shipped out of the country. “Excess of 40% of our soybeans are exported, a lot of those go to China,” Northey says. “It’s very important that we retain those markets. That’s true of distillers grain and that’s true of beef and corn exports. These are all very important and our markets would be severely impacted if we lost some of those markets.”

On Monday, Iowa entered into a partnership of memorandum of cooperation with India. Northey says India doesn’t constitute a major market for Iowa agricultural goods at the moment, but he believes with time, that will change. India has a growing population of 1.2 billion.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa agency changes rules on water pollution amid criticism

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 10th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa agency has approved changes to administrative rules regarding water pollution that two groups say will weaken environmental protections. The Environmental Law & Policy Center and the Iowa Environmental Council say the Iowa Department of Natural Resources scaled back protections to Iowa’s waterways by changing its anti-degradation standards on Wednesday. Those standards help regulate when new pollution is added to Iowa waters. It guides businesses that propose adding or expanding operations.

A DNR commission met and voted to implement changes that guide how to balance the potential costs of a proposed project with its environmental impact. It goes into effect Friday. The environmental groups say the tweak in language eliminates consideration of the environment. Groups supporting the changes disagree. A DNR spokesman says it will clarify the process.

Iowa State Fair opens Thursday for 11-day run

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 10th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa State Fair will begin an 11-day run that likely will draw more than a million visitors to the fairgrounds in east Des Moines. The fair will start Thursday morning, with most buildings open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and the midway open from 10 a.m. to midnight. The fair will run through Aug. 21st.

The fair saw its largest attendance last year, when 1.1 million people attended. There will be plenty to see and do, with hundreds of performances, a giant livestock shows, Iowa’s biggest art exhibition, the midway, more than 75 kinds of food on a stick and, of course, the butter cow.

Regular gate admission is $12 for those 12 and older, $6 for children 6 to 11 and free for kids 5 and younger.

Cass County Extension Report 8-10-2016

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

August 10th, 2016 by Chris Parks

w/Kate Olson.

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USDA pegs value of Iowa cropland at $8000 an acre, down 2.4 percent from 2015

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 10th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Farmland values in Iowa have dipped for the second year in a row according to the U.S.D.A. The U-S-D-A’s National Agricultural Statistics Services estimates the average price for Iowa “cropland” is now eight-thousand dollars ($8,000) an acre. That’s a nearly two-and-a-half percent decline from 2015. Experts say the drop is fueled by low commodity prices. The average price for Iowa land used as pasture for livestock is 34-hundred dollars, unchanged from a year ago.

A spring survey of realtors who sell Iowa farmland indicated a bigger drop in the price for Iowa cropland, of nearly nine percent. The U.S.D.A.’s report concluded the total value for farm real estate in Iowa is 244 TRILLION dollars. That’s the value of all the agland as well as the barns and farmhouses in Iowa.

The RENTAL price for cropland in Iowa averaged 235-dollars ($235) an acre for this growing season. That’s down 15 dollars an acre from a year ago.

(Radio Iowa)

More than 25,000 acres of private land open to hunting this fall

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

August 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa DNR says Iowa hunters this fall will have access to hunt on more than 25,000 acres of private land on 132 sites around the state as part of a program that helps landowners improve habitat on portions of their land in exchange for allowing hunter access.

The Iowa Habitat and Access Program (IHAP) provide expertise and funding to landowners who are interested in improving wildlife habitat on their property. Landowner participation varies from three to 10 years depending upon the contracts.

DNR logo“Hunters told us they felt access to private land was an important step to improving their hunting experience and to attracting new hunters to the outdoors. We were fortunate to have this opportunity to provide them with access to these areas through the IHAP,” said Kelly Smith, private lands program coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources who manages the IHAP.

Areas are posted with signs, are regularly patrolled by Iowa DNR conservation officers and will be treated like public hunting ground, with the noted exception that it is private property.

“Hunters should respect private property, stay on the land enrolled in the program and pick up after themselves,” Smith said. “This program is only available because landowners were willing to participate in it.”

Site maps are available at www.iowadnr.gov/ihap showing boundaries, which species would be most likely attracted to the habitat and the location of a checkout box where hunters are asked to leave their comments on the program. The checkout cards are used to evaluate the program to see if hunters are getting what they expected from the program.

Walk-in public hunting through IHAP is available between September 1 and May 31. The IHAP is supported with money from Federal Farm Bill and Habitat Stamp.

New apprentice hunting license allows experienced hunters to share their skills with novice hunters

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

August 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa DNR says a new license went on sale July 13th that allows anyone age 16 and older to bypass the hunter education requirement for purchasing a hunting license while they give hunting a try under the direct supervision of an experienced, licensed adult hunter.

“We want to reach out to our fellow Iowans who missed hunter education when they were 12 and are now in their 20s and 30s and are interested in trying dove hunting or small game hunting,” said Megan Wisecup, hunter education administrator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “If they like it, we can get them in the hunter education program and hopefully they become lifelong hunters.”IA DNR Outdoor logo

The apprentice hunting license includes the habitat fee and is available to residents for $30 and nonresidents for $123. There must be one licensed adult mentor hunter for each apprentice hunter. The apprentice hunting license may be purchased up to two times without having completed hunter education.

Resident apprentice licenses may be used to pursue small game and as the hunting license requirement for deer and turkey licenses and waterfowl stamps. A person hunting with an apprentice license must shoot and tag their own deer or turkey.

The nonresident apprentice hunting license is not allowed as a license for nonresidents to hunt deer or turkey. The apprentice program was approved by the Iowa legislature and signed by Governor Branstad during the 2015 session. More information is available online at www.iowadnr.gov/learntohunt.

Crops continue to look good in latest report

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s corn and soybean crops continued to do well as the calendar turned to August. The latest U-S-D-A report shows 83 percent of the corn is rated in good to excellent condition. The report says 94 percent of the soybeans are blooming which is six days ahead of last year. Seventy-nine percent of soybeans were setting pods which is one week ahead of normal.

The majority of the soybean crop is also in good shape — with 82 percent rated good to excellent. The crops have plenty of moisture to draw on, with 83 percent of the topsoil moisture in the state rated adequate and five percent showing a surplus. The same levels were reported for subsoil moisture as well.

(Radio Iowa)

Changes by CME Group questioned by Iowa Cattlemen’s Association

Ag/Outdoor

August 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) is concerned with changes the CME Group is making to cattle futures contracts. One of those changes is the addition of a seasonal discount of $1.50 per hundredweight on cattle delivered to the Worthing, South Dakota delivery point. The discount will be effective with the October 2017 contract, which will be listed on August 22. I-C-A C-E-O Matt Deppe says that action will create a “marketing disadvantage” for Iowa cattle feeders.

“Especially FOR our northwest Iowa feeders who utilize the Worthing delivery point as a marketing tool, as well as the cattle futures contract,” Deppe says. The decision, according to Deppe, “feels like a mandate” on how and when people should feed cattle for market. Deppe also believes the move may decrease cash negotiated trade in the upper Midwest.feedlot-cattle

“There could be high likelihood that feeders in not only northwest Iowa, but also northeast Nebraska, don’t utilize that contract, which would limit the volume,” Deppe says, “and we all know that the most deliveries, in terms of a percentage of deliveries, take place in Worthing as an individual point.”

A news release from CME said the discount will better align delivery values with cash market prices and result in little or no impact on local cash cattle prices. In the same release, CME said it will also consider moving to a cash settled live cattle futures contract if price discovery and cash negotiated trade in the cattle industry do not increase.

(Brownfield Ag News)

Flower viewed by some as a weed flourishes in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa is awash in a sea of delicate white flowers in nearly every roadside ditch, along bicycle trails and on the fringes of public parks. The Des Moines Register reports  that they’re known as Queen Anne’s Lace, or wild carrot.

The flower is abundant this year because of optimal road conditions and roadside management practices. Some view it as a nuisance, while others see it as a wildflower or weed. Photographers enjoy the flowers’ beauty, while gardeners yank them out.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources ecologist John Pearson says the plant has flourished because it’s free from normal pest controls in its native Europe.