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.

USDA official discusses increased efficiency of ethanol plants

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture says ethanol plants are becoming more efficient. Last month, the agency increased its forecast of corn needed for ethanol by 50-million bushels, but a more recent forecast reduced it by 50-million. The USDA’s Acting Chief Economist, Rob Johansson, says this is a case of less means more. “We’re finding…we’re using less corn to make a gallon of ethanol. So, our ethanol refining is becoming more efficient,” Johansson says.

Iowa leads the nation in ethanol production, creating nearly 30-percent of all ethanol. Across the country, ethanol plants are expected to use 5.2 billion bushels of corn this year. That is 1% less than previous forecasts but nearly one-and-a-half percent more than in 2014. Iowa’s 43 ethanol plants produced 3.9 billion gallons of the fuel in 2014, a new production record, according to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

(Radio Iowa)

Sunnyside Park gates to open this afternoon

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The gates to Sunnyside Park will be opened today (Friday), beginning at 4-p.m. Atlantic Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring advises motorists to “Use great caution as you drive through the park, due to gravel and debris on the streets.” Herring says the tennis courts are open and ready to used by the public FOR TENNIS ONLY.

He says motorists should also be alert to the presence of walkers, joggers, disc golf players and children at play. Herring hopes you will enjoy and respect the parks and their property, because they are there for everyone to enjoy.

Urgent: Shelby County Fire Danger EXTREME until further notice

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency/911 is asking all Fire Departments in the County to immediately place the Fire Danger Rating Boards in the EXTREME category. The Increase in Fire Danger is due to No expected precipitation in next four days, large volume of dead plant material, low humidity’s, increased temperature’s, predicted gusting winds to 29MPH, and limited field access due to thawing conditions.Extreme Fire Danger

Fire Behavior predictions in these conditions are as follows: fire spread between 7 to 10 MPH, with flame lengths approximately 30’ in length at the front of the fire. Fires that start in these conditions can easily overtake and trap you. Firefighters are at a high risk also due to traction issues off road.

Shelby County Ordinance NO. 2012-1 Local Burning Ban Ordinance allows citations to be issued during these conditions. A violation of this ordinance is punishable by a minimum fine of $100 for an individual or $500 for an organization, not to exceed $1000. The violator may also be liable for additional reasonable restitution.

Cass County Extension Report 03-11-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

March 11th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Numerous departments battle fires near Villisca, Tuesday

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Peronnel with the Villisca Fire Dept along with several other firefighters from Department within Taylor, Page and Adams County, battled a large field fire Tuesday afternoon. Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Brian Hamman said on his social media page that the fire involved several hundred acres, large round hay bales and brush piles.

Photo from the Montgomery County EMA's Facebook page.

Photo from the Montgomery County EMA’s Facebook page.

Hamman said also conditions are ripe enough for fire to get out of control and move at a dangerous speed. He mentioned it was Villisca’s second fire of the day. All of the blazes were in Taylor County, just southeast of Villisca. The Fire Danger index in southwest Iowa was in the “Very High” category, Tuesday.

Des Moines water supplier to sue counties over nitrates

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Des Moines Water Works board has voted to sue three northern Iowa counties in an effort to hold them responsible for the high nitrate levels in rivers the utility uses for source water. The board voted Tuesday afternoon to sue Calhoun, Buena Vista and Sac counties in U.S. District Court in Des Moines.

The counties oversee 10 agriculture drainage districts north of Des Moines. The lawsuit will allege the drainage systems are no different than city wastewater treatment plants in that they discharge pollutants and should be subject to heightened regulatory oversight.

Nineteen citizens spoke in support at the meeting. Several farm groups say in a statement the lawsuit undermines the relationship between the water utility and farmers upstream but they’ll continue to work on water quality.

Shelby County Fire Danger is MODERATE this week (3/9-12)

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County is entering its Spring Fire Season. Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert says there is an abundance of dead material that is in the process of fully drying out. With limited access to fields due to thawing conditions, Seivert says they are going to start their bi-weekly updates to our Fire Danger Boards. Updates are Tuesday, and Thursday of each week.  From now through Thursday, Seivert is asking local businesses and fire departments to place their “Fire Danger” Boards into the MODERATE category. The next update on fire conditions will be Thursday morning.

Shelby County has four color coded distinct levels:

LOW – You are asked to call in and report your burning projects to dispatch at 712-755-2124, and notify your local Fire Chief.
ModerateYou are asked to call in and report your burning projects to dispatch at 712-755-2124, and notify your local Fire Chief. Timing for burns should be morning, or evening hours and extinguished by dark unless authorized by Fire Chief due to possible impacts to roads and health from smoke. Burns must be monitored at all times.
High Burning of any kind is restricted unless approval is received from local Fire Chief. Controlled burns that are not reported will result in Fire Department being dispatched, and fires extinguished if determined to be un-safe. Please call 712-755-2124 with questions.
Extreme – Burning is prohibited, unless you have a signed permit from the local Fire Chief. Fires on Extreme days can grow rapidly and pose a risk to the Health and Safety of the Community. Citations can be issued if burning without permission.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency at 712-755-2124.

Lawn & garden tractor stolen from Creston Business

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A business in Creston has reported to police some stole a lawn and garden tractor sometime over the course of the past week. Agrivision at 801 W. Taylor Street reported Monday afternoon, that a John Deere L-120 lawn and garden tractor was stolen sometime between March 3rd and 9th. The loss was estimated at $1,500.

Des Moines water supplier to vote on lawsuit over nitrates

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Des Moines Water Works board has scheduled a vote on whether to sue three northern Iowa counties, alleging that they are responsible for the high nitrate levels in rivers the utility uses for water. The board’s meeting agenda for Tuesday afternoon indicates a closed session to discussion potential litigation. The board is expected to publicly vote to sue Calhoun, Buena Vista and Sac counties.

In January it sent a notice of intent to sue, which is part of a procedure outlined in the federal Clean Water Act. The counties oversee 10 drainage districts north of Des Moines that help move water from fields. The lawsuit will claim the drainage districts are the same as city wastewater treatment plants and should be regulated.

Atlantic Parks and Rec Board approves engineering services contract for Dog Park

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Rec Board Monday evening, approved an engineering services contract with Snyder and Associates for the layout and surveying of a land at the Schildberg Recreation Area, for the Buck Creek Dog Park project. Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring and Assistant Director Seth Staashelm spent time with Mayor Dave Jones, City Administrator John Lund and City Clerk Deb Field, discussing options for funding the project from Local Option Tax and Hotel-Motel Tax revenue.

Snyders will prepare a plan drawing for the proposed dog park fencing, and bid documents with sufficient detail to obtain competitive quotes within about two-weeks. Their fee for the service is $850. Herring said in discussions with the County Engineer with regard to moving the now closed Buck Creek Bridge to another location nearby, he’s learned the move – which will not likely take place for at least five to 10-years – will not affect the size of Dog Park.

The Parks Board also approved a contract with Snyder’s for the Sunnyside Park Shelter Replacement Project, which includes a topographic survey of the area in preparation for a site plan, a detailed grading and paving plan for the shelter pad and access drive, and bid documents. The cost of the service is $2,850.

In other business, a local troop of Girl Scout Cadets has approached the City with a service project to eliminate second-hand smoke at the Sunnyside Park Kiddie Korral and other areas of the park. Herring told the Troop that the City of Atlantic, last year, rejected efforts to establish an ordinance banning smoking in the Parks, because of the legalities involved.

In a meeting with the Cadette Troop, Herring suggested they find a way to appeal to smokers’ sense of decency and courtesy. He said the Parks Board would be willing to post a sign about the dangers of smoking if the Cadettes come up with a catchy slogan to make their point without being overbearing.

The kids came up with three slogans, which the Assistant Parks Director Seth Staashelm suggested be combined into one. The slogan suggested was “Kids in the park like to breathe clean air, Be aware of your surroundings. Please don’t smoke around the playgrounds.” Once the signs and design are created by the Troop, they will need to make a presentation before the Parks Board, which includes a sample design for the signs. It’s unclear how soon signs may be put in-place, because the concept is still in its formulative stages.