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.

Cass County Conservation Update

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Conservation Director Micah Lee provided the County Board of Supervisors with a quarterly report on progress and activities associated with the Conservation Department, during the Supervisors’ meeting Wednesday morning, in Atlantic.  Lee said over the past quarter, conservation staff have been in a maintenance mode, and getting ready for the camping season. He said at the Cold Springs State Park near Lewis, the dead trees were cut down and removed that were impinging on the roadway. Trees were also removed along the Rock Cut Trail to improve access. Micah said he’s still working with the Iowa DNR with regard to the widening of the south driveway entrance.

Widening the driveway would make it easier for the larger camping vehicles to access the park. They’ve also been working at grading the roads and filling potholes. The same type of work has been conducted at the Nodaway Recreation Area. Cleanup activities have also been underway on the T-Bone Trail. Those efforts have been made easier thanks to a new piece of equipment the Conservation Department received. Lee said a grant from the Cass County Community Foundation allowed them to purchase a UTV – Utility Terrain Vehicle – and a rotary brush, which will be used to remove twigs, leaves and gravel much faster than before. Previously, hand brooms and blowers were used to clean-up the trail.

At the Pellett Memorial Woods, staffers did minimal clean-up work to keep the walking path accessible, but still natural appearing. Lee said they added mulch at the entrance, so visitors’ feet don’t get muddy, in addition to some trimming. At the West Nodaway Recreation Area, boundary fences were repaired, and measured for food plots in preparation for planting this Spring. At the Cass County Outdoor Classroom, Micah says approximately 80 dead Scotch Pine trees which were infested by beetles were cut down. Replacement, beetle-resistant Blue Spruce trees, have been ordered and will be planted as soon as possible. Some Willow Trees were trimmed, and rock placed on the roads. Other clean-up work has been conducted along the Hitchcock Nature Area walking trail.

Lee said also, that Cass County Naturalist Lora Kanning has provided 113 environmental education programs over the past quarter, and spoke with more than 2,129 people in the process.

Judge: Iowa State U. must shield ‘pink slime’ data

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A judge has blocked Iowa State University from releasing documents about food safety research conducted for the maker of the beef product that critics call “pink slime.”  District Judge Dale Ruigh ruled last month that releasing the information would cause “irreparable harm” to Sioux Falls, SD-based Beef Products, Inc., by revealing information about proprietary food-processing techniques.

BPI filed legal action seeking to block the release in 2010 after the records were requested by a Seattle law firm specializing in food safety. The New York Times later sought the documents.  The research was conducted by professor James Dickson, who was hired by BPI as a consultant in 2002. Dickson says his research has found that a process in which ammonia is applied to meat makes the product safer by killing bacteria.

Prairie Rose Restoration update

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say the Prairie Rose Lake restoration project is heading in the right direction. The over $3 million project started back in July 2011 when the lake was dewatered allow construction work to begin in the basin. Since that time, the DNR has dredged the basin, added fish habitat and modified the spillway to keep carp from returning to the lake. Brian Hayes, Fisheries Biologist for the Iowa DNR, says the gate was closed back in September 2012 and the lake is finally seeing some water.  “I estimated about 50 acres of surface acres of water out there. When the lake is full, we have about 175 acres of water. So we have about a third of the lake out there. Volume wise it is a pretty small percentage. But those snow storms in March saw some water movement and we captured some water.”

He says now is the time to introduce fish back to the lake. “We are going to introduce Bass, Blue Gill and Catfish this spring and summer. That is what we want to initially establish. Once they are established then we will introduce crappie. Right here in the spring, we will start with adult large mouth bass. We have a goal of getting 200 in there, about 1 bass per surface acre. That will be enough to see some reproduction of large mouth bass this summer. The blue gills were over-wintered on the other side of the state. Anytime now, they will drain that pond and bring the fish over in a truck. Those blue gills will provide food for the bass.”

Even though the drought conditions over the fall and winter slowed down the process of filling Prairie Rose Lake, Hayes says there were some benefits as well. “The drought was beneficial because we had that goal getting the common carp out of the Prairie Rose lake basin and out of the watershed. The drought really reduced the amount of standing water in the shed, stopped the tile flow and the carp had no place to hide from us. So we feel really good about the prospects of getting the carp out of the watershed and that is important for the water quality benefits.”

Hayes says the fishing in Prairie Rose Lake will take time, and the public needs to cooperate. “We were looking at an issue about we are always going to have carp in the West Nishnabotna River, not very far from Prairie Rose Lake. We really need cooperation from the public, we can’t have them moving fish into Prairie Rose Lake especially when they don’t know what they are doing. Leave it up to us. It’s an issue we are looking at and addressing. We always want to get that message out to the public, leave the stocking up to us. We will try and provide the best fishing out at Prairie Rose Lake.”

The DNR will be working this summer on hydraulic dredging once the lake re-fills.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Planting season not off to the quick start it got last year

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The first state crop and weather report that came out Monday shows a much different start to the planting season compared to last year. Farmers spent little or no time in the field last week preparing the ground for planting. Iowa Agriculture Secretary, Bill Northey, says farmers are “getting antsy” as they remember last year at this time when the temperatures were in the 70’s and preparations were farther along. “And they remember at this time on the calendar they were looking at when to plant corn, and they had their planters ready to go,” Northey says. “They had probably a lot of the field work done, certainly likely all the fertilizer applied and in some cases some of the herbicide applied out there as well. So they were ready to plant at this time.”

There were some farmers who decided it was worth the risk and already had some corn in the ground by this time last year. But Northey says the early birds have been sidelined now by the cool weather. “We had a good Fall, so some work — some of the fertilizer application and other things that could get done was done — but so far this Spring almost no fieldwork has been done or at least very little fieldwork done across the state,” according to Northey.

He says in April 2012, 75-percent of the state’s oat crop was in the ground. This year just over 10-percent has been planted. Northey says farmers are willing to wait another week or two to plant –especially if soil moisture levels are being recharged. He adds that dry conditions last week were good for livestock producers who often deal with muddy pastures and feedlots this time of year.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Extension Report 04-10-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

April 10th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson



Iowa uses new system for boat registrations

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

April 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials are using a new system for organizing boat registrations in the state. The state Department of Natural Resources says a boat’s registration information, title and decals will be on one document. Registrations will be handled in the county where the boat owner resides. Nonresidents can register in the county where the boat primarily will be used.

Officials encourage owners to bring in their current registration for a renewal, since it includes information that’s needed in the new system. That includes the boat’s make, model, model year, hull identification number, length and width. About 235,000 boats will be registered in April. Registrations are good for three years.

DNR places 10 young ospreys at lakes in Carroll & Dubuque Counties

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says it is continuing its program of placing young ospreys at Iowa locations to establish future nesting sites. The DNR plans to place 10 young ospreys at Mud Lake in Dubuque County and at Swan Lake in Carroll County. The 42-day-old ospreys are developed enough to tear apart fish to feed themselves. They will begin flying at about 53 days of age. The raptors establish a home where they learn to fly and catch fish. They return to their home location to nest at four or five years of age. Last year, 18 pairs nested producing 32 young. Since 1997, 249 ospreys have been released in Iowa.

Iowa officials watch weather’s impact on pheasants


April 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials are monitoring the weather’s impact on pheasant numbers in the state. The state Department of Natural Resources says spring nesting season is a critical time for pheasants. Their counts in the state could decrease if temperatures in April and May are below normal and rainfall is above normal. The opposite outcome in weather would lead to an increase.

The northwest region of the state, which had below normal snowfall amounts this winter, could have an increase in populations with a good spring. The state Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship says March was the coldest winter on record in Iowa since 1975, and it was the snowiest since 1998.

Sioux City man arrested for illegal shooting of a wild turkey

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reports a Sioux City man has been arrested on several counts resulting from the alleged illegal shooting of a wild turkey north of Pisgah, in Monona County. 47-year old Phuoc Nguyen pleaded guilty to not having a valid turkey tag, illegal method of harvesting a turkey by using a rifle, shooting a turkey out of season, abandonment of dead or injured wildlife and shooting a rifle on or over a roadway. He faces fines totaling more than $700 and liquidated damages for the turkey of $200. The turkey and a Marlin .22-caliber rifle with scope were seized.

The investigation began after Chase Durfee, a technician for the DNR Forestry Bureau, was contacted by a citizen on March 19th.  Durfee identified Nguyen’s vehicle and followed it, observing Nguyen stopping at one point and moving an uncased rifle from the front to the rear of the vehicle. Jeff Poen, park ranger for Lewis and Clark State Park, stopped Nguyen’s vehicle on I-29 where an uncased gun was observed. Durfee and Poen located and recovered the turkey that had been shot on state forest land near the Boy Scout Camp, north of Pisgah. Nguyen was later charged by DNR Conservation Officer Steve Griebel.

Nguyen still faces a charge of having an uncased gun in the vehicle in Harrison County. DNR Conservation Officer Dave Tierney said this is another case that underscores the importance of citizens providing eye-witness information when they see illegal activity taking place. A good option for providing the information is through the Turn In Poachers hotline, 1-800-532-2020.

Shelby County Fire Danger remains “Moderate”

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

April 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency said today (Monday), the Fire Danger Index in the county will remain in the “Moderate” category, through Thursday. Officials say they hope the rain that’s forecast over the next few days, will contribute to the “greening up” of the grassy areas. Persons planning to burn brush or grassy areas should be aware of the frontal activity in the area and the shifting of winds associated with frontal passing.

The EMA says it can assist individual farmers and businesses with the development of burns plans, to assess the safety of any particular burn. Those plans will be developed jointly with the Fire Chief of the Jurisdiction, and the property owners.