KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Organic ingredients company moving into old Sioux City plant

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – An old tool plant in Sioux City is being transformed for use in processing organic ingredients. The Sioux City Journal reports that American Natural Processors Inc. wants to expand its contract manufacturing business at the former Sioux Tools plant. Company owner Mark Schuett says the century-old structure would be used to process specialty organic and nongenetically modified proteins as well as for packaging, warehousing and distribution.

Schuett told the newspaper he didn’t have an estimate on the total cost of the project, which is expected to be finished by next fall. The project is expected to create 20 to 25 jobs.

Cass County Extension Report 11-11-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

November 11th, 2015 by Jim Field

w/ Kate Olson


USDA expects record soybean crop, third-largest corn crop

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — With most of this year’s corn and soybeans harvested, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is boosting its expectations for the size of the crops. An update Tuesday says farmers are expected to produce a record soybean crop totaling 3.98 billion bushels, up 1 percent from last year. That’s based on 95 percent of the crop harvested.

Illinois looks to remain the nation’s leading soybean producer with 550.5 million bushels, followed closely by Iowa. The corn crop will be the third-largest in USDA records at 13.7 billion bushels, based on 93 percent harvested. Iowa maintains its corn production lead with 2.49 billion bushels.

The abundance is sending downward prices that are already below production costs. Farmers who rent land will struggle to make a profit. Consumers shouldn’t see much effect.

Warm start to November keeps harvest ahead of schedule


November 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Agriculture officials say an unusually warm start to November has helped Iowa corn and soybean farmers nearly complete this year’s harvest. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says statewide temperatures were about nine degrees above normal last week, making it the warmest start to November since 2008. That allowed farmers to get 93 percent of the corn crop out of the fields, nine days ahead of last year’s harvest and two days ahead of the five-year average.

Agriculture officials say they’ve received reports of piles of corn on the ground at some ethanol plants and local elevators. Soybean farmers have 98 percent of the crop harvested, a week ahead of last year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture updates its estimate of the size of this year’s harvest today (Tuesday).

Elk Shot in Monona County Sunday

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said Monday, an elk of unknown origin in west central Iowa was shot at the request of the DNR Sunday morning, to protect the Iowa deer herd and domestic livestock from the potential impacts of chronic wasting disease and other diseases.

Elk sightings in Iowa are fairly common and when an elk is spotted, the DNR works with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to determine status of elk and the best available options. If the elk can be returned to the proper owners, then they are. If not, they then pose a risk to spreading CWD and/or other diseases and are dispatched.

The bull elk, estimated at 3-4 years old, was killed Sunday morning by a Monona County deputy sheriff as directed by the DNR after it appeared in front of a farmer combining his field. The animal was examined for identification markings without success and was buried according to Iowa livestock burial regulations in Monona County Monday morning. The brain stem and lymph nodes were removed for testing.

While the risk that escapees are introducing CWD or TB to Iowa’s wild deer may be small, the consequence to the resource is enormous and it is a risk that should be avoided. Removing a wandering elk is the responsibility of the Iowa DNR working in conjunction with the IDALS, and is not allowed by the public.

Atlantic FFA Members Awarded American FFA Degree

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 9th, 2015 by Jim Field

Left to Right Kristin Johnk, Tucker Sager, Wyatt Saeugling, CJ Richards (photo provided)

Left to Right
Kristin Johnk, Tucker Sager, Wyatt Saeugling, CJ Richards (photo provided)

Louisville Ky – Each year, the National FFA Organization honors FFA members who show the utmost dedication to the organization through their desire to develop their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The Atlantic FFA chapter had 4 FFA members earn the American FFA Degree this year.

The American FFA Degree is bestowed up on a select group of students in recognition of their years of academic and professional excellence. This year, 3,434 American Degrees will be awarded. This year Kristin Johnk, Chancey Richards, Wyatt Saeugling and Tucker Sager were awarded the American FFA Degree at the 88th National FFA Convention & Expo Oct. 28-31 in Louisville, Ky. Sponsored by ADM Crop Risk Services, Case IH, DuPont Pioneer, Elanco, Farm Credit and Syngenta as a special project of the National FFA Foundation, the award recognizes demonstrated ability and outstanding achievements in agricultural business, production, processing or service programs.

To be eligible, FFA members must have earned and productively invested $10,000 through a supervised agricultural experience program in which they start, own or hold a professional position in an existing agriculture enterprise. Recipients must also complete 50 hours community service and demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities and civic involvement.

Each recipient of the American FFA Degree receives a gold American FFA Degree key, certificate and matted frame after being recognized on stage at that national convention. Wyatt Saeugling said, “I was glad to make the trip down to Louisville and receive my American FFA Degree. It’s really cool to see all of the other kids our age pursuing the same passion for agriculture that I have. I’m also excited to see where the ag industry will be within the next few years.” Kristin Johnk said “It is a great honor to have received this award, being among the 1% that attain this award nationally. This has been an opportunity of a lifetime and we couldn’t have done it without the help of our former FFA Advisor Mr. Bruce Johnk, current advisor Mr. Eric Miller, our families, and others in the community who have encouraged the four of us to pursue this degree.” Tucker Sager said, Getting my American Degree was a great learning experience that I had to work hard to get, but it was worth it.

The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 610,240 student members as part of 7,665 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for
premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at FFA.org, on Facebook, Twitter, the official National FFA Organization blog or Atlantic FFA on Twitter.

Sioux City might seek $4.6M grant for new pork plant work

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – The City Council in Sioux City is scheduled to vote on applying for a $4.6 million grant to help pay for street work needed for the new Seaboard-Triumph Foods pork plant. The Sioux City Journal reports the Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy program grant would go toward signage and other street work recommended in a traffic study of the Bridgeport West industrial area.

The council vote is set for today’s (Monday’s) meeting. The $264 million plant is expected to employ more than 1,000 people when it opens in 2017.

Industry leaders say there’ll be enough eggs and turkey for the holidays

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The leaders of the turkey and poultry industries in Iowa say you shouldn’t be concerned about finding the ingredients for some of your holiday favorites despite the devastating impact of the avian flu on the state’s producers. Iowa Poultry Association executive director, Randy Olson, says he has heard concerns about an egg shortage after 22 commercial egg producing facilities in Iowa were wiped out.

“We really believe that there will be an ample supply of eggs for the holidays,” Olson says. He says egg producers will get up and running just as soon as they can. “Iowa’s egg farmers are committed to maintaining an aggressive timeline toward full recovery,” according to Olson. The U-S-D-A’s National Agricultural Statistics Service shows Iowa dropped from the top spot for egg production nationally in September for the first time since September of 2000.

The latest report shows Ohio was the leader with 739 million eggs produced in September, just ahead of the 732 million produced in Iowa. Iowa’s egg production was down 47 percent in September compared to the same month last year. The U-S-D-A report says total U-S egg production was nearly seven-and-a-half billion during September of this year, which was down eight percent from last year.

When it comes to turkey production, Iowa Turkey Federation executive director, Gretta Irwin, says the loss of production in Iowa won’t impact the big turkey eating holiday at the end of this month. “Iowa is a tom-producing state, meaning the meat that we’re raising in Iowa goes into further processed products like deli meats, further processed sausages, ground turkey, those types of products,” Irwin explains. She says the bird you purchase for your Thanksgiving dinner was grown out of state.

“The whole birds that Iowans enjoy, as well as other consumers across the United States come from other states — some here in the Midwest like Minnesota and Missouri — but from other states as well,” Irwin says. She says she’s seeing good prices for whole birds right now in the grocery store. “The frozen birds are still 79 to 99 cents-a-pound, and fresh turkeys are going to be a little higher in price just because of the shortness of the transportation and the need to keep it not frozen. Usually around two dollars or so a pound for that product,” Irwin says.

Iowa’s turkey producers had a shorter process to recover from the bird flu outbreak and the first turkey producer started putting in new birds in their facility in July. Irwin says she expects all the facilities to be back up to production by mid-December.

(Radio Iowa)

Group criticizes Des Moines Water Works records bill

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A group opposed to a lawsuit filed by Des Moines Water Works says the utility company’s bill of $40,000 for water quality studies and other records that the group has requested is unprecedented. The utility company says the bill is a “good-faith estimate” for the extensive effort required to meet the Iowa Partnership for Clean Water’s request, part of which includes records dating back to 1974.

Des Moines Water Works filed a lawsuit against Calhoun, Buena Vista and Sac counties in March, claiming draining districts in the counties are funneling nitrates from farm fields into the Raccoon River. The river is a drinking source for 500,000 residents.

The Des Moines Register reports the group claims the utility company has pushed to seal court documents pertaining to the case and is purposely delaying fulfilling the records request.

Beetle juice creates headaches for Iowa wine makers

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An abundance of ladybugs is creating headaches for Iowa’s wine industry. The Des Moines Register reports that multi-colored Asian lady beetles are burrowing into clusters of grapes destined for wine barrels. The beetles secrete a foul-smelling chemical when crushed, which can ruin large quantities of wine.

Steve Larson, the owner of Trainwreck Winery in Algona, says he plans to ask the federal government for permission to dump 250 gallons of wine after the bugs were found floating in his supply. Had the batch been bottled and sold in stores, it would have been worth nearly $19,000.

Ken Holscher, an associate entomology professor at Iowa State University, says the beetles thrived this year because of a near-record soybean crop that fed them and the absence of a hard freeze.