KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Alliant Energy announces $1 billion wind project

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Alliant Energy has announced it will invest about $1 billion to expand its wind energy operations in the state. Alliant executives and Gov. Terry Branstad made the announcement Wednesday.

The Iowa utility said in a news release that it is seeking regulatory approval to expand its Whispering Willow Wind Farm in Franklin County and possibly develop wind energy in other areas of the state. Utility spokesman Justin Foss says the project will also generate more than 1,500 jobs in Iowa. Foss said it is not yet clear how many turbines the project would see erected.

The company says the five-year project will produce 500 megawatts of energy.

Hunter Safety education Online Field Day

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

July 27th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Conservation Board is sponsoring a Hunter Safety Education Online Field Day, Sept. 3rd, from 8-a.m. until Noon, at the Nishna Bend Recreation Area. Registration is required, by going to www.iowadnr.gov/huntered. Persons born after Jan. 1st, 1972 must complete a hunter safety education course, in order to obtain an Iowa Hunting license. You must be at least 12 years old to take the class.IA DNR Outdoor logo

Participants in the Hunter Safety Education Online Field Day must complete the online class (at the web site mentioned), before coming to the field day at Nishna Bend, and you must bring your online completion voucher in order to be admitted to the Field Day course. The Nishna Bend Rec Area is located 1.5-miles southeast of the Harlan Municipal Airport.

If you have any questions, call Nick Preston, Shelby County Conservation Board Director, at 712-744-3403.

Cass County Extension Report 07-27-2016

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

July 27th, 2016 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson


Farm Safety For Just Kids to dissolve at the end of the year.

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A farm safety organization created three decades ago in the wake of a tragedy in Iowa is going to dissolve at the end of the year. Marilyn Adams created “Farm Safety For Just Kids” one year after her 11-year-old son Keith died in an accident invovling a gravity flow wagon in 1986.  “At that time there were no farm safety programs for 4-H or F-F-A, the organizations that probably should have been carrying the torch at that time, but they just weren’t. There just wasn’t public demand,” Adams says. Adams wanted to prevent other families from having to go through what she went through.

“It was hard to do when I first started it — but you know I didn’t know any better,” Adams says. “I did it without any feasibility study or anything, it was just pulling on my heart strings of something positive to focus on.” Adams was the face of the organization and went to numerous appearances where she talked about farm safety and her story. She says now is a good time to retire from that role.

“I’ve been thinking about the need to wind things down at Farm Safety For Just Kids. There’s a lot of organizations that are doing children’s farm safety. If you take a look at the website you will see it is all over the world. And it wasn’t that way 30 years ago when I first started,” Adams says. Adams says the group has accomplished what she started out to do 30 years ago as the farm safety movement has grown substantially.

“It’s incorporated into the agricultural companies, it’s incorporated into the universities, the health departments, and the list goes on,” Adams says. The Farm Safety For Just Kids organization will continue its work through the Progressive Agriculture Foundation (PAF). Adams started the movement to help her deal with the death of her son — and while it helped her to do something positive — she says thoughts of Keith are always there.

“I think of him when we mow the yard, I think of him when we plant trees, when we harvest — he is just still a part of our lives,” according to Adams. “You know the other kids grew up and left home, he left home and didn’t grow up. So, it is hard, but a lot of good has come out of it, and I am sure he is still out there pointing his mother in the right direction.” Adams has some simple plans for retirement.

“My future holds canning green beans and babysitting, and assisting on the farm and running errands,” Adams says. The assetts of Farm Safety For Just Kids will be donated to the Birmingham, Alabama-based P-A-F. As part of the transition the organization will donate five thousand dollars to both the National 4-H Council and National F-F-A Organization to recognize their advocacy work for youth safety in agriculture.

(Radio Iowa)

ISU grad and former hostage dies

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

An Iowa State University graduate who was held hostage in Lebanon for more than six years has died. Thomas Sutherland died this past weekend at his home in Fort Collins, Colorado, he was 85. Sutherland was a native of Scotland who received his masters and P-H-D in animal breeding at Iowa State University. He began his teaching career at Colorado State, and was serving as the dean of the agriculture faculty at American University in Beirut, Lebanon when he was kidnapped on June 9th of 1985.

Image from blacktie-colorado.com

Thomas Sutherland (Image from blacktie-colorado.com)

Sutherland was held with fellow Iowa State graduate Terry Anderson, a reporter who had also been kidnapped, until they were released in 1991. Sutherland is survived by his wife Jean, who is the daughter of the late William Murray, an I-S-U professor who help create Living History Farms.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa crops weathered extreme heat wave well

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Cooler, more seasonable weather is in Iowa’s forecast this week as last week’s extreme high temperatures in the upper 90s are giving way to the 80s and even the upper 70s. Iowa’s crops appear to have weathered the triple-digit heat indices well, according to Brad Rippey, a meteorologist with the U-S-D-A. “It looks like the Midwest goes right back to nearly ideal temperatures,” Rippey says. “Just a little blip in this path towards what has been a pretty good crop year overal for corn and soybeans.”

There’s been fairly timely rain across much of the state throughout the growing season, he says, so there should not be fears of a crop disaster. Rippey adds, last week’s heat wave can’t be blamed on the La Nina weather pattern because it hasn’t really formed yet. “Years that we see El Nino quickly die out in the spring or early summer, it’s quite common to see mid- to late summer heat and that certainly seems to be the case,” Rippey says. “We got through the early part of the summer without extreme heat. Now, we’re looking at an expansion of heat but again, it doesn’t look like a major, summer-long event here for the Midwest.”

Looking back, Rippey says there have been three recent heat waves where crops in the region did very well: 2000, 2004 and 2014. “All three of those turned out to be reasonably good overall crop years for corn,” Rippey says. “2014, that is the existing all-time record corn yield, 171 bushels per acre.”

As rain moves in late on Wednesday and into Thursday, forecasters say parts of Iowa may see highs only in the upper-70s by the end of this week.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Fair Beef Show Winners

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Fair officially ends its seven-day run with the Livestock sale getting underway at 8-a.m.  Yesterday, following the Beef Show, the Grand and Reserve Champion Market Steers and Heifers were chosen. The honors went to McKenna Potter,  of the Griswold Clubsters 4H Club, who displayed the Grand Champion 4H Market Heifer, which weighed-in at 1,246-lbs. McKenna is the daughter of Brent and Amiee Potter. Caroline Pellett, with the Pymosa 4H Club, exhibited the Reserve Grand Champion Market Heifer, which weighed 1,242 lbs. Caroline is the daughter of Brad and Kristy Pellett.

The Grand Champion Market Steer was shown by Aaron Suhr, with the Pymosa 4H Club. His steer “Leroy,” weighed in at 1,398 pounds. Suhr is the son of Kelly Cappel and Rod Suhr. McKenna Potter showed the Reserve Grand Champion Market Steer, which weighed-in at 1,234 lbs.

The Grand Champion FFA Market Steer was shown by Nate Moen, with the Atlantic FFA. His animal weighed 1,423 lbs. Connor Pellett, with the Atlantic FFA displayed the Reserve FFA Market Steer, which weighed 1,271 lbs.

The Grand Champion FFA Market Heifer was exhibited by Lane Thomsen of CAM FFA. His animal weighed 1,257 lbs. Connor and Claire Pellett finished first and second respectively, in the Carcass Division. Connor’s animal began at 668 pounds and ended-up weighing 1,520 lbs, for an average daily gain of 4.02-lbs. Claire’s animal started out at 678 lbs, and finished weighing 1,516 lbs, for an average daily gain of 3.95-lbs.

Loess Hills Lavender Farm recognized as IFB’s latest Rural Iowa Award winner

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A Harrison County start-up lavender farm and western Iowa agri-tourism destination has been awarded the Iowa Farm Bureau’s “Renew Rural Iowa” Entreprenuer Award. The IFB says Tim and Mary Hammer’s Loess Hills Lavender Farm is visited by hundreds of visitors each year.  The Hammers are transplants to the Loess Hills, and grow lavender on a hillside near Missouri Valley.

After a great deal of research and studying the agronomy of growing lavender, the Hammers found that the sloping hills and unique soil makeup in the Loess Hills is ideal for raising lavender. The Loess Hills Lavender Farm was established in 2009, and now the Hammers host visitors on the farm May through October. Visitors to the farm can walk through the fields, pick lavender flowers and visit a shop that features items made from local craftsmen.

Additionally, the farm features a boutique with lavender items including creams, lotions and sprays. The fresh cut lavender is distilled for its oil and is then used in all of the available products. Mary Hammer found the recipes for the products and fine-tuned them until they were ready to be sold to visitors.

RRIA is an Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) initiative supporting new and existing businesses through education, mentoring, and financial resources. For more information about the next RRIA Business Success Seminar, “The Journey to Your Vision,” on September 22 in Winterset, go to www.renewruraliowa.com.

Water Summary Update: Statewide Average Rainfall Almost Twice the Normal Average

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

July 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES—Recent rains have improved groundwater levels across Iowa, while the National Drought Monitor shows about a third of the state still rated as abnormally dry. Heavy rains that fell on July 19 will be reflected in the next update.

Substantial rainfall during July has improved shallow groundwater conditions in central Iowa and most of southeast Iowa from slight drought to normal.  A small region of southeast Iowa continues to be in slight drought conditions.  Shallow groundwater levels in most of northwest, southwest and northeast Iowa continue to be above normal for July.DNR News

In the past two weeks, the average statewide rainfall has been about 4.02 inches, nearly double the normal amount for this period. Two-week rain totals varied from a 1.56 inches at Akron up to 9.01 inches near Red Oak.

Temperatures across Iowa have averaged near normal for the period, just 0.4 degrees lower than typical July readings. Streamflow conditions remain above normal for most of the state. For a thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends, go to www.iowadnr.gov/watersummaryupdate.

Posted County Grain Prices: 7/25/16


July 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $2.94, Beans $9.64
Adair County: Corn $2.91, Beans $9.67
Adams County: Corn $2.91, Beans $9.63
Audubon County: Corn $2.93, Beans $9.66
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $2.97, Beans $9.64
Guthrie County: Corn $2.96, Beans $9.68
Montgomery County: Corn $2.96, Beans $9.66
Shelby County: Corn $2.97, Beans $9.64

Oats $2.24 (always the same in all counties)

(Information from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency offices)