KJAN Ag/Outdoor

The search is on for the ugliest tacklebox in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

August 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

If the tackle box out in your garage is rusted through, busted up or has otherwise seen better days, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources wants to see it. The DNR says it will accept photos of Iowa’s ugliest tackle boxes for a contest to run this August on Facebook, with the winner receiving a new tackle bag and lures courtesy of the Des Moines Chapter of the Izaak Walton League and Mid-Iowa Bassmasters.

Ugly tackle box photos can be submitted to photos@dnr.iowa.gov by Aug. 18th. The DNR will post photos from selected finalists to the DNR’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/iowadnr, at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 20, where Iowans can then vote for the ugliest tackle box in the state.

The photo with the most Facebook likes, comments and shares will win the new tackle box and gear, valued at $100. Official contest rules are available on the DNR website at www.iowadnr.gov/portals/idnr/uploads/files/Uglytackleboxofficialrules.pdf

Photo entries will also be posted to the DNR’s Pinterest boards at www.pinterest.com/iowadnr.

The Des Moines chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America provided the tackle box for this contest. Learn more about the group and its work to improve outdoor recreation and protect natural resources at http://desmoinesikes.com.

The lures were provided by the Mid-Iowa Bassmasters. Learn more about the group’s stewardship efforts and work to promote fishing in central Iowa at http://www.midiowabassmasters.org.

Proposed fishing regulations the topic of 4 public meetings in IA

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

August 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has scheduled four public meetings to discuss proposed changes to the state fishing regulations for 2015. One of the hearings will take place 6:30-p.m. Sept. 2nd, at the Lewis and Clark State Park Visitor Center, (21914 Park Loop) in Onawa.

The DNR is proposing a series of rule changes to make the regulations easier to understand, to protect lake improvements, remove duplicate language in the Iowa code and to enhance fishing opportunities.

The proposals also include: allowing the DNR to manage walleye populations in the same manner as it does bass by posting length limit signs at lakes; removing hand fishing as a legal means of take for all rough fish; establishing a paddlefish season on the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers; and removing duplicate trotline or throw line language in the Iowa Administrative code.

At the hearing, persons will be asked to give their names and address for the record and to confine their remarks to the content of the proposed amendments. Any persons who intend to attend the hearing and have special requirements, such as those related to hearing or mobility impairments, should contact the DNR and request specific accommodations.

Any person may submit written suggestions or comments on the proposed amendment through Sept. 4, 2014. Written materials should be addressed to Martin Konrad, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 502 East Ninth Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034, by fax at 515-281-8895 or by email to martin.konrad@dnr.iowa.gov.

State Fair Cookout Champion Crowned Tuesday

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Center Point man was named winner of the 2014, 51st Annual Iowa Farm Bureau Cookout Contest, Tuesday. The event was held at the Iowa State Fair, in Des Moines. Phil Cummings, of Center Point received his crown for his award-winning Mediterranean Lamb Pops entry, which beat out 50 other grillers representing counties from around the state.Cookout Champion Photo

The Iowa Farm Bureau-sponsored contest featured outdoor chefs, with varying levels of experience, using their best grilling, roasting and smoking techniques to impress the judges. Cookout Contest champion, Cummings, won first place in the lamb category before being selected by the judges as the overall winner. He received $200, a crown, and a permanent trophy as the 2014 Iowa Farm Bureau Cookout Contest Champion.

Second place winners and their categories, included: Randy Stamper of Greenfield, beef; Elsie Schafer of Mt. Ayr, poultry; and Mark Kunkle of Guthrie Center, combo/specialty. All second–place finishers received $100.

Second place in the Youth category award during the cook-off, went to Elsie Schafer of Mt. Ayr. Schafer won $100 for her efforts. Youth prizes were donated by the Iowa Propane Association.

Deere 3Q profit falls as equipment sales decline


August 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) – Deere’s third-quarter profit fell 15 percent and the farming equipment maker thinks the same weak sales in the U.S., Canada and abroad will cut into earnings for the year. The farming equipment maker earned $850.7 million, or $2.33 per share, which beat expectations of $2.20 per share, according to a poll by FactSet. A year earlier the Moline company earned $996.5 million, or $2.56 per share.

Revenue from equipment sales fell to $8.72 billion from $9.32 billion. Total sales and revenues, which includes financial services and other revenues, declined to $9.5 billion from $10.01 billion. Wall Street predicted revenue of $8.71 billion. Equipment sales for the U.S. and Canada dropped 8 percent.

Deere & Co.’s expects a 2014 profit of $3.1 billion, down slightly from forecasts in given this spring.

Cass County Extension Report 08-13-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

August 13th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson


Record crops predicted; farmers market carefully

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Farmers will produce a record-breaking corn harvest this year, surpassing earlier expectations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has revised upward its estimate of this year’s corn harvest to 14 billion bushels. That exceeds last year’s 13.9 billion bushel record.

Soybean production also will set a new record at 3.8 billion bushels, beating the 2009 harvest of 3.4 billion bushels. Farmers are blessed with an abundant crop but cursed that it has driven prices lower. They are taking more control of their grain marketing by building more on-farm storage, holding onto the crop and timing the sale to maximize profit.

Rain fell at the right times and a cooler summer made for favorable growing conditions in the 18 states that produce 91 percent of the nation’s corn.

ISU Extension and Outreach to Host Farm Leasing Arrangements Meetings on August 29th


August 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

As summer winds down, ISU Extension Ag Economists are hosting Farmland Leasing informational meetings across the state. These Farm Leasing Arrangements meetings will give landowners, tenants, and agri-business professionals information and materials they need to make decisions regarding farmland ownership, management, and leasing practices as they plan for the future. Meetings in Cass and Adair Counties are scheduled for Friday, August 29th.

The Farm Leasing Arrangements meeting in Atlantic will focus on strategies for landowners and tenants to manage their resources with declining crop prices. Cass County Extension will be hosting the meeting on August 29 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Cass County Community Center, 805 West 10th Street in Atlantic. That afternoon, from 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM, Adair County Extension will host a meeting at the Warren Cultural Center, 154 Public Square in Greenfield.

Estimating a cash rental rate is a constant of the farm leasing arrangements meeting. This year’s decreased profitability will require landlords and tenants to look closely at 2015 production cost estimates. Nineteen percent of cash leases in Iowa are flexible in which the rent is not determined until after the crop is harvested. Flexible leases work during times of high prices and low prices. The formulas underlying flexible leases may need to be reviewed.

The farm safety net has changed with the new farm bill. Landowners have received, or will receive, notification about updating base acres and yields. The Farm Leasing Arrangements meeting costs $15 per person, which includes the 100-page Farm Leasing Arrangements booklet and a copy of the presentation.

Pre-registration is required by August 27. To pre-register for the Atlantic location, call the Cass County Extension office at 712-243-1132 or email xcass@iastate.edu; for the Greenfield location, call Adair County Extension at 641-743-8412, or email krohrig@iastate.edu.

Ag industry “concentration” hurts rural economies, family farms

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The president of the Iowa Farmers Union says a few corporations are gaining more control over growing, processing, marketing and delivering our food. Jana Linderman, of Cedar Rapids, says concentration in the ag industry is hurting rural economies and the environment while driving independent family farmers off the land.  “It cuts into their ability to market their product in a competitive way,” Linderman says. “A lot of my growers are turning more and more to local markets and small-scale processing for that reason because that’s the only way for them to get a fair price for their labor.”

Linderman says they’re not huge, but those local markets provide farmers with a niche opportunity for getting their products to consumers. “The bigger challenge is finding local processers that are available to do that,” she says. “Of course, a lot of them have to turn to state-inspected facilities which limits some of their marketing availability but it’s a good opportunity, especially for our beginning farmers. Tyson Foods recently sold its poultry facilities in Mexico and Brazil to Pilgrim’s Pride and J-B-S. Linderman says Tyson’s recent acquisition of Hillshire Brands is another worry.

“It’s very concerning,” she says. “There’s already so much concentration, so few processors for our meat producers, any kind of livestock production, it’s not just poultry, it’s everything. Any further concentration in that sector is concerning to us.” Linderman says the Iowa Farmers Union wants the U-S Justice Department to thoroughly review the proposed Tyson-Hillshire merger.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic FFA Food Stand Project receives another financial boost

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic High School FFA Advisor Eric Miller reported some good news during Monday evening’s meeting of the Atlantic Board of Education. During the Cass County Fair, you may recall KJAN broke the news about a $5,000 donation from the Trevor Frederickson Foundation for the construction of a new, FFA Food Stand on the Cass County Fairgrounds. During Monday’s School Board meeting, Miller said another donor had come forward pledging a large amount of money for the cause.

Miller said Farm Credit  Services of America is also stepping forward to contribute $5,000. That puts the total so far for contributions toward the stand at just shy of $20,000. Miller said there are still some grants they intend to apply for  in order to meet their goal of $25,000-to $30,000. Local contractors, he said, have talked with officials about doing the work and gathering materials. Miller said with the two large donations, they’re set to get the new Food Stand in-place in time for next year’s Cass County Fair.

The FFA Food stand is run between the Griswold, Atlantic and CAM School Districts. Miller said the current Food Stand has been in dire need of replacement for many years. He said “20-years ago when I was a high school student in Anita, it needed rebuilt then, so it’s time to move on with this.” He said they’ve also raised between eight-and nine-thousand dollars from the sale of food the past two-years at the fair, to help pay for the new FFA Food Stand. The final total of funds raised from the sale of food at this year’s fair has not yet been fully tabulated.

In other news, Miller asked the School Board for permission to take a group of young people to the 87th Annual National FFA Convention and Expo, October 29th through November 1st, in Louisville, KY. He said the students who attended last year’s convention enjoyed themselves and found new inspiration to pursue a career in Agriculture or a related field.  He said seven students — who have yet to be selected — will make the 11-hour drive to Louisville, beginning at 6-a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29th.

FFA officials say some 60,000-plus people are expected to attend the Expo. Our local youth will stay in a Holiday Inn Express hotel which provides a Continental Breakfast. The schedule of events includes tours of Louisville on Oct. 30th.Their stops will include the Louisville Slugger baseball bat manufacturing plant and museum, Churchhill Downs, and some area farms. The students will also hear from four keynote speakers and attend workshops for leadership skills and more, and be able to attend concerts by Justin Moore, Easton Corbin, Scotty McCreedy and Danielle Bradberry, along with the Springs Band. Among the scheduled speakers during the event is Tyson President and CEO Donnie South.

Students will apply for one of the seven seats on the trip. Faculty and staff will then choose those students who will be lucky enough to make the trip this year. Another factor in determining who goes on the trip, is the FFA point system, where students receive points for attending meetings and other events locally, and around the State. Last year, 17 students applied to go on the trip. Miller says this year, that number will probably be closer to 25. He said they would love to be able to take more students, but at this point, it’s not financially feasible for the district. Funds for the trip are paid for entirely out of the district’s FFA account, which means some students who otherwise not be able to attend are eligible to do so.

Monies for that fund are raised in-part, through activities such as the current sale of FFA grown sweet corn near the bus barn, here in Atlantic. Miller said students were expected to be out early this (Tuesday) morning to harvest some 60 dozen ears of corn. The previous harvests (100 dozen every 5 days) sold out at Hy-Vee since the corn became available last week. The sale brings in about $350 per week just for the sweet corn alone.

Cargill settles EPA dispute in Iowa, Nebraska

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 11th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

EDDYVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Cargill Inc. has agreed to pay more than $187,000 to settle allegations that it violated the Clean Water Act at large oil storage facilities in Iowa and Nebraska. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 7 says the privately held multinational corporation lacked a response plan at two facilities that outlined procedures for addressing serious oil discharges.

The facilities are located in Blair, Nebraska, and Eddyville, Iowa. Each facility produces and stores more than one million gallons of oil. The EPA identified the issue during site visits in 2013. The Minnesota-based company submitted response plans in June 2014.