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.

Farmers hoping to get more done this week with dry weather


May 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Cool, wet weather has kept the planting season from getting into full swing, but that could change this week. Iowa Ag Secretary, Bill Northey, says farmers are anxious to get things moving. “Last week we really didn’t get much planting done, there may’ve bee a few spots that did, but most of the state was wet,” Northey says. “I’ve seen a little bit of corn emerge as I was around in southwest Iowa last week. I think there is a lot of hope for this week to get quite a bit of corn in the ground. We’ve got some sunny weather with a little bit of breeze to dry it out.”

He says farmers will be watching the fields to be ready to go as soon as they are dry enough.”My guess is that farmers have the planters on the edge of the fields ready to go,” Northey says. The new U-S-D-A crop report released Monday showed 23-percent of the expected corn acreage in the state was planted. That nine days ahead of last year but 10 days behind normal. Northey says farmers generally like to get planting by the end of March or the first week of May, but there is still time.

“We don’t want to get more than a week out from now to get most of the corn in — so there is plenty of time,” according to Northey. He says the rain really helped in areas that were very dry. The extreme cold pushed the frost deeper into the ground than normal, and Northey says that was another factor in keeping farmers out of the fields. “I think especially across northern Iowa that frost came out really slow. I heard of some frost still in the ground a week or two ago, but I think the moisture helped dry some of that frost out,” Northey says.

He says most areas have probably warmed up enough now to allow planting. The crop report shows scattered bean planting so far, and Northey expects that to pick up as farmers get into the fields. “I certainly think some beans will start in the ground here not too long after the corn is in,” Northey says. Northey farms near Spirit Lake and says he hopes to start and finish his planting this week.

Iowa, Nebraska farmers say corn planting on track

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 5th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa and Nebraska farmers say they’re still on track to get their corn planted despite cold, wet weather that slowed their start to the planting season. Numbers released Monday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show 23 percent of Iowa’s corn crop has been planted. That’s up significantly from last week’s 15 percent planted.

The percentage likely will rise quickly this week, as farmers have several warm, dry days before rain returns to the forecast. Chad Hart, an Iowa State University agriculture economist, says it’s crucial for farmers to get their crop planted in the coming weeks. He says corn should be in the ground by late April to early May.

Nebraska is closer to completion, with 44 percent of its corn crop planted.

Shelby County Fire Danger increased to Moderate

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

May 5th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency has increased the County-wide Fire Danger category to “Moderate” this week, due to decreased humidity and strengthening winds. The current Fire Danger rating will be in effective through Thursday morning, at which time the situation will be assessed and the county fire danger status updated.

When the fire danger is “moderate” it means that fires can start from most accidental causes, but the number of fire starts is usually pretty low. If a fire does start in an open, dry grassland, it will burn and spread quickly on windy days. Most wood fires will spread slowly to moderately. Average fire intensity will be moderate except in heavy concentrations of fuel, which may burn hot. Fires are still not likely to become serious and are often easy to control.

Farm group leader says 2014 legislature was good to Iowa growers


May 5th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The leader of a large Iowa farm group says the 2014 state legislative session, which wrapped up last Friday, was a successful one for agriculture and funded several much-needed programs. Brian Kemp of Sibley, president of the Iowa Soybean Association, says major victories included passage of energy legislation to boost biodiesel production as well as support for agricultural research. “We had an extension of the biodiesel producer tax credit and E-15 credit, that’s a 2% credit that’s extended for three years,” Kemp says. “They’re certainly showing their support with an increase of almost $1M in ag research to the ag experiment station.”

Legislators also funded the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Iowa State University. He says an important ag program that received significant funding helps producers with technology. “The Iowa Soybean Association On Farm Network was also supported with $400,000 that will help producers do their own research with GPS technology on their own farms,” he says.

Kemp says he’s disappointed lawmakers failed to pass an increase in the state’s gasoline tax, which would have pumped new funding into the state’s fund for repairs to roads and bridges.  “This is a very difficult year to get an increase in the fuel tax through, it’s an election year,” he says. “We’re very likely going to bring that back next year and spend some time promoting that through the legislature.” Kemp says House Ag Committee Chairman Josh Byrnes of Osage made great last gasp effort to get transportation needs funded but fell just a bit short as time ran out.

(Radio Iowa)

Erosion may cost Iowa farmers $1 billion each year

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Rain and wind is washing away enough of Iowa’s fertile topsoil to potentially reduce crop yields by $1 billion, so researchers are working to develop a better way to measure erosion. The Des Moines Register reports researchers think parts of Iowa could be losing up to 12 times more soil that government reports suggest.

Iowa State University professor Rick Cruse is leading a team developing a new method to measure erosion’s impact that could paint a grim picture. Some of the most severe erosion happens in western and southeastern parts of Iowa.

State Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says erosion may be getting worse because conservation programs have been scaled back.

Swan release events to be held at two area lakes

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 2nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Wilderness officials say they plan to release a total of eight swans into two southern Iowa lakes this month, as part of a restoration effort. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Adams County Conservation Board will release four trumpeter swans at east Lake Icaria boat ramp, located six-miles north of Corning on Highway 148 at 9-a.m. Tuesday, May 8th, and, four trumpeter swans will be released in Union County May 9th at Summit Lake, one mile west of Creston on Highway 25. Both events are open to the public.

The birds are being released as part of a statewide trumpeter swan restoration effort. Less than 70 trumpeter swans remained in the lower 48 states by the early 1930s. Both release events will feature a 20-minute presentation on the swans, which includes an opportunity to touch and view the birds up close. Trumpeter swans are the largest North American waterfowl. They can weigh up to 32 pounds with an 8-foot wingspan.

DNR plans Trumpeter Swans release at Summit Lake

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will release four trumpeter swans at Summit Lake, one mile west of Creston on Highway 25 at 10-a.m., on May 9th. The release site is the boat ramp on the south side of the road. The release is open to the public and will take place rain or shine. The event includes a 20-minute swan/wetland presentation, a unique opportunity to touch and view the swans up close, and a historic photo opportunity with the kids.

As the largest North American waterfowl, these magnificent all-white birds can weigh up to 32 pounds with an 8-foot wingspan.

Trumpeter swans were once common in Iowa, but were gone from the state by the late 1880s. By the early 1930s, only 69 trumpeter swans remained in the lower 48 states. The trumpeter swans being released are part of the DNR’s statewide trumpeter swan restoration effort.

“Iowa By Trail” mobile app released

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A website and mobile application that provide an interactive map of bike trails in central Iowa is being released today (Thursday). The free app is being released by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) and spokesperson Hannah Inman says it’ll be expanded statewide in time for RAGBRAI in July. Inman says “This app is pretty neat because it’ll have all 1,800 miles of trails in the State of Iowa on it,” Inman says. “You’ll be able to geo-locate yourself and follow yourself on the trail, keeping track of your mileage, how fast you’re going, and what trails you’ve completed.”Trails App 2

The I-N-H-F is also working with local communities across the state to build “points of interest” into the app.  “As we do that, you’ll be able to find the hidden gems, the great businesses along the trails, as well some cultural, historical, and natural resource information that are unique to the trails,” Inman says. Private donations and grants have helped pay for the development of the “Iowa By Trail” mobile app and website. Inman says it’s cost about $200,000 and there’s more to raise.

“We have fundraised for the marketing, the content creation, the Apple, and the website version. Now, all we’re doing is fundraising for the Android version and we’re hoping that will be completed and out this fall,” Inman says. The West Des Moines-based company Shift Interactive created the “Iowa By Trail” app.

(more info. at www.inhf.org/iowabytrail.cfm)   (Radio Iowa)

USDA Report 05-01-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

May 1st, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Max Dirks


Cass County Extension Report 04-30-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

April 30th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson