KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Iowa crop progress and condition report (7/24/17)

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

July 24th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today (Monday) commented on the Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service.  The report is released weekly from April through October. Northey said “The hot and humid weather created stress for both crops and livestock last week, particularly in areas that have missed the recent rains.  South central Iowa in very dry, with over 90 percent of top soil short or very short of moisture.”

The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA’s site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia.  The report summary follows here:

CROP REPORT: Above normal temperatures were accompanied by widely varying rainfall and some severe weather during the week ending July 23, 2017, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included hauling grain, applying herbicides and insecticides, cultivating, and haying.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 20 percent very short, 32 percent short, 45 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. Over 90 percent of south central Iowa’s topsoil falls into the short to very short moisture level categories, while 99 percent of northeast Iowa’s topsoil falls into the adequate to surplus categories. Subsoil moisture levels rated 14 percent very short, 32 percent short, 52 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.

Seventy-four percent of Iowa’s corn crop has reached the silking stage, 4 days behind last year but 2 days ahead of the 5-year average. Corn conditions deteriorated slightly to 2 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 24 percent fair, 55 percent good, and 13 percent excellent. Nearly three-quarters of the soybean crop was blooming, with 30 percent of soybeans setting pods, 1 day ahead of average. Soybean condition also dropped slightly with 62 percent rated good to excellent. Oats coloring reached 89 percent, one week behind last year. Forty-one percent of oats for grain or seed have been harvested, 4 days behind last year. Oat condition rated 71 percent good to excellent. Crops were described as suffering from heat stress and lack of moisture across much of the state.

The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 90 percent complete and third cutting reached 8 percent, 5 days behind average. Hay condition rated 61 percent good to excellent. Pasture condition continued to decline with just 41 percent good to excellent. High temperatures and humidity were reported to cause normal summer heat stress to livestock, with some reports of heat-related deaths. 

IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY by Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship: 

It was a hot and humid week across Iowa with exceptionally variable rainfall. Major flooding occurred over parts of northeast Iowa where torrential rains fell Friday and Friday night (21st) while parts of the moderate drought area in south central Iowa received no rain at all. For the most part the heavier rains fell in what were already the wetter portions of the state. However, portions of the moderate drought area, roughly along U.S. Highway 30 from Crawford to Tama counties, saw some significant rain on Thursday (20th) night. Weekly rain totals varied from none at Murray, Osceola, Chariton and Allerton to 10.12 inches at Ionia in Chickasaw County. Rain totals thus far in July vary from only 0.16 inches at Sioux Rapids and Cherokee to 13.88 inches at Guttenberg. The Guttenberg July total is the highest for any month at that location among 86 years of record while the Cherokee and Sioux Rapids totals would be new record lows for July if no more rain were to fall before the end of the month. Some of the rain was accompanied by severe weather with the most damaging storms occurring across 15 north central and northeast counties, roughly north of an Estherville to Dubuque line, on Tuesday afternoon and evening with widespread high winds of 50 to 70 mph and a few tornadoes. Meanwhile hot weather prevailed with the temperature reaching 95 degrees somewhere in the state each day of the reporting week. The hottest weather was concentrated across southern Iowa with temperatures for the week averaging from two to three degrees above normal across the northeast one-third of the state and five to nine degrees above normal across the southwest. Highest temperatures were 101 degree readings at Ottumwa on Thursday (20th) and Des Moines on Friday (21st). These were the highest temperatures recorded in Iowa since September 9, 2013. The combination of heat and humidity produced a heat index (how hot the air ‘feels’) of 117 degrees at Clarinda on Thursday and at Harlan on Friday. Temperatures moderated over the weekend with Sheldon recording a morning low of 52 degrees on Sunday (24th). The statewide average temperature was 5.3 degrees above normal while rain averaged 1.42 inches compared to a normal of 0.99 inches for the week.

Crawford County Burn Ban in effect until further notice

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 24th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The State Fire Marshal’s Office reports a burn ban request has been approved for Crawford County. The request was made by Steve Ulmer, a member of the Crawford County Board of Supervisors, on behalf of the fire departments within the County. The ban on open burning went into effect July 20th, and will remain in place until further notice. Currently, conditions are too dry to allow open burning, which would pose a danger to life and/or property.

Other counties having been approved for a ban on open burning include, Buena Vista, Plymouth and Wapello. Under state law, local officials can ask the State Fire Marshal to establish bans on open burning “during periods of extremely dry conditions.” Those caught violating the bans can be charged with a simple misdemeanor.

Commodity Marketing Night in Harlan, Tue. 7/25


July 21st, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County ISU Extension officials invite you to a New and Beginning Farmer Peer Group “Commodity Marketing Night,” Tuesday, July 25th, from 6-until-8-p.m., at the Shelby County Extension Office (906 6th St., Harlan). The workshop will focus on helping new and beginning crop producers create successful corn and soybean marketing strategies. Topics of discussion include:

  • A corn and soybean market outlook.
  • Calculating the cost of production.
  • Commodity marketing strategies.
  • Developing a marketing plan.
  • And, resources from ISU Extension and Outreach.

Guest speaker for the session is Shane Ellis, ISU Extension Farm Management Specialist. Dinner will be provided by United Bank of Iowa, so you’re asked to RSVP by no later than Monday, July 24th, by calling (712)-755-3104.

If you have any questions, call Amanda Oloff, Associate Extension Educator at (712)- 755-3104, or Shane Ellis at (712)-520-0601.

Iowan Sam Clovis nominated to be a USDA undersecretary

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 21st, 2017 by Ric Hanson

President Trump has nominated an Iowan who was a top policy advisor on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign to serve as the U-S-D-A Undersecretary for research, education and economics. Sam Clovis, formerly of Hinton, Iowa, has been working in the U-S-D-A since Trump took office, serving as a liason to the White House. A year ago, this is how Clovis described being part of the Trump campaign.

“This may be the last rodeo I ever have. I can’t believe I’ve had this experience,” Clovis said. “But I will tell you this: I can’t imagine anything more important than what I’m doing right now because it’s about the country.” His nomination to be the top science advisor in the U-S-D-A has sparked controversy, as Clovis has said he’s skeptical of climate science.

“I have looked at the science and I have enough of a science background to know when I’m being boofed and I think a lot of what we see is ‘junk science’, so I’m a skeptic.” Clovis was asked about the topic during a 2014 interview on Iowa Public Radio. “Does man have an impact on the environment? Absolutely, but there’s a difference between having an impact on the environment and leading us to something that we have now changes from global warning now to climate change,” Clovis said,” because I’m not sure what climate change means.”

Clovis says he’s wary of efforts to restrict human activity deemed damaging to the environment.”What we see about a lot of this…is really about income redistribution from rich nations that are industrialized to nations that are not and it comes down to this false premise…that we ought to consume based on population rather than on the strength of our economy,” Clovis said. “If we have 20 percent of the world GDP, it wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that we consume 20 percent of the energy of the world.”

Clovis finished second in the June 2014 Republican Primary for U.S. Senate and then he ran as the Republican Party’s nominee for state treasurer in the 2014 General Election. Clovis worked on Rick Perry’s presidential campaign, but after Perry dropped out of the race Clovis joined the Trump team in August of 2015. Clovis helped edit Trump’s most recent book as well. Clovis is a U-S Air Force veteran who was a Morningside College economics professor and talk show host on K-S-C-J Radio in Sioux City before he entered politics.

(Radio Iowa)

NW IA man tests positive for West Nile Virus; Pott. County mosquito pools test positive

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 20th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) today (Thursday), announced testing at the State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL) has confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus disease in Iowa in 2017. A middle age (41-60 years) Ida County male tested positive for the virus. He was not hospitalized, and is recovering. In addition, surveillance has identified four mosquito pools that tested positive for West Nile (one in Polk County, two in Pottawattamie County and one in Story County).

IDPH Deputy Epidemiologist, Dr. Ann Garvey says “West Nile virus season typically lasts from late summer into early autumn. This case serves as a reminder to all Iowans that the West Nile virus is present and it’s important for Iowans to use insect repellent when outdoors.”

Iowans should take the following steps to reduce the risk of exposure to West Nile virus:

  • Use insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always read the repellent label and consult with a health care provider if you have questions when using these types of products for children. For example, DEET should not be used on infants less than 2 months old and oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 years old.
  • Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
    Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks whenever possible outdoors.
  • Eliminate standing water around the home because that’s where mosquitoes lay eggs.
  • Empty water from buckets, cans, pool covers and pet water dishes. Change water in bird baths every three to four days.

Approximately 20 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will have mild to moderate symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches and vomiting. Less than one percent of people infected become seriously ill and rarely, someone dies.

Since West Nile first appeared in Iowa in 2002, it has been found in every county in Iowa, either in humans, horses or birds. In 2016, 37 human cases of West Nile virus were reported to IDPH, including one West Nile-related death. For more information about West Nile virus, visit idph.iowa.gov/cade/disease-information/west-nile-virus.

New state law shields county fairs from e-coli-related lawsuits

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 20th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A new state law designed to protect Iowa’s county fairs and the state fair from lawsuits about contagious diseases isn’t just about the animals catching illnesses like the bird flu. In other parts of the country lawsuits have been filed after visitors to animal exhibits contracted e-coli infections. Tom Barnes, spokesman for the Association of Iowa Fairs, says the law requires signs on the fairgrounds that warn against touching the animals and encourage fair-goers to frequently wash their hands to prevent the spread of disease. Barnes says, “If the fairs do their due diligence and do everything in their power to prevent such a thing, then this hasn’t been tested in court, of course, it’s brand new, but the onus is not on the county fair if something should happen.”

The signs also must warn against bringing food into livestock areas. Barnes says, “There has to be a sign posted at the very first point of entry into the livestock area warning fairgoers of the possible pathogenic diseases.” The law, which took effect July 1st, also spells out requirements for properly cleaning livestock areas before and after the fair. Thirty-four county fairs have already been held this month, but today (Thursday), the gates are open for fairs in 30 OTHER counties.

(Radio Iowa)

(Update) “No Swimming” signs are being posted due to blue-green algae blooms

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

It’s the hottest week of the year so far and some Iowans are finding “No Swimming” signs posted on their nearby beaches, thwarting hopes of cooling off with a dip. One such body of water is Green Valley Lake at Green Valley State Park just north of Creston. Amanda Husband, an environmental health specialist in Union County, says there’s no swimming at the lake until further notice.

“Fishing would be fine,” Husband says. “We just advise folks to make sure they’re cleaning their fish of all of their guts and stuff with clean water and are then cooking them to the proper temperature.” The problem is known as microcystin toxin, which is a byproduct of blue-green algae.

Husband says, “Some lakes are really nutrient-rich lakes and that causes the algae to make blooms and those blooms can give off toxins and those toxins are what we test for to advise folks not to swim.” Coincidentally, the hot weather that prompts many of us to head for the water is exactly the reason why we can’t go swimming.

“I would expect the problem will persist until we have cooler temperatures and some rain,” Husband says. “If it’s any indication as in previous years, we could see this problem all throughout late summer and into early fall.” That toxin can be just as dangerous for pets as it is for people.

“There is a walking trail around there and if pets get that algae on their paws and on their coats, if they lick that algae off, they can get a really high concentration of it and it can be deadly to their pets,” she says. Check the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website (iowadnr.gov) for details on the waterways near you.

(Radio Iowa)

Fremont County Farmer named IA Conservation Farmer of the Year

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – July 19, 2017 – Chris Teachout, of Shenandoah, was using cover crops on his family farm long before they became a widely recognized and popular conservation practice in Iowa to reduce erosion and improve soil health and water quality.  Teachout’s innovative approach and dedication to conservation has earned the 5th generation farmer the 2017 Iowa Conservation Farmer of the Year award, presented on July 17 during the 71st annual Iowa Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioners Annual Conference in Altoona.

The prestigious conservation award, co-sponsored by the Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF), honors an Iowa farmer who has a proven track record of excellence in soil conservation and water quality improvements and is committed to continuing efforts that continuously improve the land and water.  Now in its 65th year, the Conservation Farmer of the Year Award is designed to help raise awareness about the importance of caring for Iowa’s fertile lands and vital waterways and to acknowledge those who accept the challenge of continuously working to improve conservation.

In addition to being recognized with the prestigious honor, Teachout receives use of a new John Deere 6E utility tractor for a year.  The grand prize is courtesy of Van Wall Equipment of Perry and is valued at more than $12,000.  Teachout will take delivery of the John Deere from his local John Deere dealer, AgriVision of Hamburg, and will have use of the utility tractor for up to 12 months or 200 hours of use.

While cover crops in Iowa have seen exponential growth over the past decade, growing from less than 10,000 acres in 2009 to more than 600,000 acres in 2016, Teachout was a pioneer of the conservation practice, using the cover crops from bedding for their livestock dating back to the 1980s.

Along with no-till acres and cover crops, the Teachout farm has more than 25,000 feet of terraces and 4.7 acres of grassed waterways, which control erosion on his farm.  He’s also installed riparian forest buffers in a 7.6-acre area near his farm pond, a 2.59-acre field windbreak, and a wetland restoration project that covers 26.31 acres.

Teachout is always willing to experiment with different practices to learn something new, which in turn inspires new experiments and research.  While the thought of trying a different practice or planting a new cover crop may sound intimidating to farmers, Teachout recommends that farmers give it a try, and encourages attending soil health field days and meetings to learn more.

“Most likely there’s somebody in your neighborhood that’s doing something,” Teachout says.  “Stop and ask, and start the conversation.  There are a lot of us out there willing to share, and a lot of farming is social.  We need to share and help each other out.”

Regional conservation winners were also recognized during the annual conservation conference, showcasing the statewide commitment to conservation by Iowa farmers.  Regional winners include: Tom Oswald of Cleghorn; Dwight Dial of Lake City; Greg Palmer of Waukon; Steve and Ann Brinkman of Audubon; Steward Baldner of Dallas Center; John Maxwell of Donahue; and Ray Menke of Ft. Madison.

“Leading by example is so important, because everyone has a role to play in protecting our soil and water quality.  Over the years we’ve proudly honored incredible Iowans who lead by example and have made incredible progress in conservation and their efforts encourage others to step up to the plate,” says IFBF President Craig Hill.  “Our role as farmers is to do more than grow food; we must all work towards leaving the land and watershed better for the next generation.”

“Iowa farmers continue to take on the challenge of better protecting their soil and improving water quality.  This award is an opportunity to highlight and recognize a farmer that has gone above and beyond in their conservation efforts and serves as a model of land stewardship in their community and across the state,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said.

(Iowa Farm Bureau Press Release)

Two men charged for illegal netting

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

July 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

MUSCATINE COUNTY, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources law enforcement conservation officers have charged two men after an investigation of illegal netting in an Iowa river.

The DNR received a tip in June about a hoop net in the Cedar River in rural Muscatine County believed to be being used for illegal netting. After DNR law enforcement conservation officers conducted their investigation, on June 2nd, 31-year old Cody Frye, of Nichols, Iowa, and 30-year old Derek Brase, of Wilton, Iowa, were charged with running illegal commercial fishing gear on the Cedar River, among other charges.

DNR officer Joe Fourdyce said the men were intending to catch catfish, “But because of their lack of experience and knowledge of commercial fishing, they did not catch any catfish. However, because they were not attending the net frequently enough, they ended up killing some rough fish and soft shell turtles.”

Both Frye and Brase were each charged with one (1) count of the following:

·         Unlawful use of commercial gear in prohibited water

·         Failure to attend commercial gear

·         No valid commercial fishing license

·         Unlawful take of softshell turtles

·         Unlawful take of buffalo

·         No commercial fishing gear tag.

Each of the men was fined a total of $792. The DNR encourages the reporting of poaching or other illegal activity related to our natural resources by anonymously calling the DNR Turn In Poachers (TIP) hotline at 1-800-532-2020.

Local 24-Hour Rainfall Totals ending at 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 19

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

July 19th, 2017 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic  .02″
  • Massena  .39″
  • Anita  .01″
  • Oakland  .7″
  • New Market  1.52″
  • Carroll  .05″
  • Clarinda  .9″
  • Shenandoah  .99″