KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Atlantic FFA Pumpkin Carving


November 4th, 2014 by Jim Field

By Haley Carlson
Atlantic FFA Reporter

Atlantic FFA members were very excited about Halloween this year so the chapter decided to share this excitement! Sunday afternoon FFA members Garrett Schwanke, Clayton Saeugling, and Emily Saeugling went to McCurdy’s pumpkin Taylor K Gabby J Lexi F Pumkin Carvingpatch and picked 135 pumpkins to carve with Washington Elementary second graders. During the day almost every class was brought a batch of second graders. Members helped them pick out a pumpkin, design a face, and carve it out. Sophomore Gabby Jordahl said her favorite part was “Getting to interact with the kids and getting out of class.”
The idea for pumpkin carving came from FFA member Lindsey Keltch, who is also planning out more fun events like this for future months and holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Atlantic FFA hopes these events encourage younger kids to learn more about agriculture and hopefully join the FFA when the get to high school.

Expert: It’ll take an effort for farmers to apply for new programs in farm bill

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Programs being offered in the new farm bill are complex and the experts say it’ll require some education for Iowa’s farmers to take part. Steven Johnson, a farm management specialist with the Iowa State University Extension, says the process starts with farmers updating their base acres and yields, which must be done by February 27th. Johnson says farmers will have to either retain or reallocate base acres on their farms.

“I’m suggesting that the producers and the landowners get this done early, as this is easy in most of the corn belt,” Johnson says. “If you can create more corn base by reallocating, do it. If your corn base would be higher by retaining the old corn base, just retain. So, don’t make this that difficult decision.”He says farmers can update to a new Price Loss Coverage, or P-L-C, yield using production records for the 2008 to 2012 growing seasons, or they can keep the old counter-cyclical yield.

“Update the yields if you’ve got the production evidence,” Johnson says. “If not, the plugs will be 75% of the county yields and those are posted on the FSA website. If we can get there by Christmas, we’ve got plenty of time to make a decision.” Johnson says farmers will have until March 31st to make either a P-L-C or and Agricultural Risk Coverage (A-R-C) election for their farm for the next five years.

“I think they’re probably more complicated now than they were six months ago with these low national prices,” Johnson says. “For 2014, we’re probably going to trigger both county ARC and PLC payments on a farm for corn base. I think there’s going to be a lot of interest in this whole ARC-PLC program.” The actual program enrollment will begin in mid-April and run through the summer months.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Pheasants Forever to hold youth pheasant hunt

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

November 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County chapter of Pheasants Forever will hold a youth pheasant hunt on Sunday November 16. The event is open to Cass County youths who have completed hunter safety training. The hunt will take place in the afternoon from 1 pm until 5pm. Participants will be provided a box of either twenty gauge or 12 gauge ammunition. If there are youth who would like to attend, but don’t have a shotgun, the PF chapter will provide one.Pheasants 4 ever

Parents or guardians of youth who want to participate need to contact Tom Hurford, Cass County PF Youth Coordinator prior to Friday the 14th @ 712 249 5356. The youth will meet at the Atlantic Hy-vee parking lot at 1pm.

Cover crop workshop to be held Nov. 12 at Armstrong Research Farm


November 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa—Iowa Learning Farms (ILF) and Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI), as part of the Iowa Cover Crops Working Group, will host a cover crop workshop at the Wallace Learning Center on the Armstrong Research Farm near Lewis, from 10:30 a.m-12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 12. The event is free, open to the public, and includes a complimentary lunch.

The workshop speakers include Taylor County farmer Kelly Tobin, an ILF farmer partner and PFI member. Tobin has incorporated cereal rye into his corn-soybean rotation and is participating in an Iowa Cover Crops Working Group long-term rye study. Also speaking is Mark Hanna, Iowa State University Extension Agricultural Engineer, who will discuss different methods for seeding cover crops and tips for planting into cover crop residue the following spring. Stefan Gailans, PFI research scientist, will review their cover crop varieties trial. Tom Kaspar, plant physiologist with the USDA National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, will share how cover crops help with the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and answer audience questions.

After lunch, attendees may visit the Iowa Cover Crop Working Group mixtures plots at the research farm, weather permitting. RSVPs are requested for the meal: please contact Iowa Learning Farms, 515-294-8912 or email: ilf@iastate.edu, by Nov. 10.

The Wallace Learning Center is located at 53020 Hitchcock Ave, Lewis. From Atlantic, take Highway 6 west out of Atlantic for approximately 12 miles, turn south onto Contrail Ave. (525th St.) for ½ mile, turn left (east) onto Hitchcock Ave. and travel east for ¾ mile. The Armstrong Research Farm and Wallace Learning Center will be on the north side of the road.

The Iowa Cover Crop Working Group’s goal is to increase the amount of living cover on Iowa agricultural lands. The group provides a unified voice from academy, non-profit and industry sectors on the importance of cover crops and the encouragement of their use in cropping systems across the state.

(Press Release)

Hunter from Ames injured in fall from tree stand

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 2nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An Ames man was hospitalized Saturday, after falling from a tree stand while hunting. The Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources says 39-year old Michael Ylonen fell approximately 25 feet while climbing into a stand in the Skunk River Greenbelt south of Story City, shortly after 5 p.m.

Ylonen’s safety harness was on, but had not been attached yet. Despite suffering serious injuries to his upper body from the fall, he was able to walk to Interstate 35 and call for help. Ylonen was transported by ambulance to Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames.

Dallas County teen injured Saturday while setting traps

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DALLAS CENTER – A Dallas Center teenager was injured Saturday while setting traps and squirrel hunting when the gun he was carrying discharged into his leg.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reports 14-year old Benjamin Beavers was transported by ambulance to Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines where he was being treated for a non-life threatening injury. The incident happened shortly before 10 a.m. on Saturday southwest of Dallas Center when the gun discharged as Beavers was coming out of a ditch.

Iowans, especially hunters, warned to steer clear of railroad tracks

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

October 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Railroad officials whose trains travel on several hundred miles of track across Iowa are urging hunters to resist the temptation to hunt on railroad property. Mark Vaughn, assistant general manager for the Iowa Northern Railroad, says walking on or near the tracks is illegal and it’s dangerous because it can take a mile or more for a train to stop. “We urge everyone to only cross the tracks at approved public crossings,” Vaughn says. “If you have to get to your favorite hunting spot or fishing hole, we also caution everyone on the dangers of walking across railroad trestles and bridges. Those areas are particularly dangerous because there is no place to go when a train approaches.”

Vaughn say the company’s trains often carry unusual and oversized freight, like wind turbine components and tractors from the Deere Assembly plant in Waterloo. He says those items could be dangerous if someone is walking nearby. Vaughn says, “Locomotives and railcars typically overhang the track by at least three feet on either side and the various cargos we carry can extend over even further, in addition to loose straps and tie-downs or cables that could extend farther over than those limits as well.”

Besides facing the dangers, Vaughn says those who trespass on railroad property could be arrested and fined. Union Pacific railroad crews in Iowa have been busy in recent weeks touching up “No Trespassing” signs along the tracks. The railroad has also launched a project called U-P CARES which stands for Crossing Accident Reduction Education and Safety.

(Radio Iowa)

3rd Biennial Lighted Halloween Campground-Results

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Naturalist Lora Kanning reports the Cass County Conservation Board would like to thank their business sponsors Cappel’s Ace Hardware and Robinson’s True Value, for donating prizes to the Lighted Halloween Campground. The Board would also like to thank everyone who signed up to decorate a site, and thanks also for sharing your Halloween décor with everyone!

(left to right) Johnson family, Gary Vetter and Melissa Ehrman-Johnson. (Photo provided)

(left to right) Johnson family, Gary Vetter and Melissa Ehrman-Johnson. (Photo provided)

On Saturday October 25th at Cold Springs Park in Lewis, 192 people voted for their favorite site. The first place winner was Site 2, the Johnson (Terri Ehrman) family, second place winner was Site 4, the Vetter family, third place winner was Site 1, the Johnson family, fourth place was Nichols family and fifth place was Kinney family.

Iowa’s Furharvester Season Begins Saturday

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

October 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) say Iowa’s furharvester season begins at 8 a.m., Nov. 1 and hunters and trappers can expect to find a significant increase in the raccoon population over last year. Other furbearing animals have a mixed outlook population-wise.IA DNR Outdoor logo

Vince Evelsizer, furbearer and wetland biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says “Muskrat numbers are better, but not like the heyday of 30 or 40 years ago. The coyote harvest nearly doubled last year and their numbers are relatively stable to slightly lower. Our red fox numbers vary by region with better numbers in central Iowa.”

The fur market outlook is weak for raccoon pelts going in to the season, while muskrat, coyote and fox seem pretty decent. According to Evelsizer, time will tell if the market improves for raccoons later in the season. He says harvest is highest during the first 2-3 weeks of the season and drops off significantly after Thanksgiving. The number of trappers has increased each of the past four years topping 20,000 last year. And he says “I suspect the numbers of furharvesters will remain stable or slightly decrease this year, due to the fur market, especially raccoon pelt prices.”

Furharvester are reminded to work with their local DNR contact to get their CITES tag and to collect the intact skull or complete lower jaw of otters and bobcats. Evelsizer said furharvesters should go through their equipment and brush up on the rules and regulations before going out.

Shelby County Fire Danger Index is now “Moderate”

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency said Thursday that a slight increase in the fire danger can be expected for the next few days. Mostly sunny skies with above average winds over the next couple of days will facilitate drying of the grass and crops.Moderate Fire Danger rating

Officials say residents should use caution when responding to field fires. Some of the low lying ground is very soft and the weight of fire fighting vehicles may result in getting stuck in places difficult to get out of.

Fire Danger signs will be moved into the “Moderate” risk category, from now through Monday November 3rd.