KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Atlantic Dog Park and other projects slowed by rain

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Progress on the Schildberg Recreation Area Dog Park and other Parks and Rec Department projects have slowed to a crawl or dead-stop in some case, due to the soggy weather. Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring said Monday, the fence has been ordered for the Dog Park, and crews had wanted to begin installation, but the weather prevented that from happening. Weather permitting, the fence will be installed sometime next week.

After that, will come grading for a parking lot, drainage management and installation of dog exercise equipment being built by Atlantic Eagle Scouts. Signs stating the rules and regulations of the park will also be installed. Weather permitting, the Dog Park will be open on or about July 15th.

Herring said also, the Kiddie Korral at Sunnyside Park is complete, with the exception of a memorial bench installation. Assistant Parks Director Seth Staashelm said a handicapped accessible drinking fountain will be installed at the Camblin Shelter at Sunnyside as well, as soon as some trenching can be completed – as the weather improves. The fountain will be complete with a hose bib and jug filler.

Another weather-delayed project is the East Nishnabotna River boat ramp, near the Atlantic Wastewater Treatment Plant. Herring said they have to wait for low water on the river to install the concrete slab.

Unknown when bird flu facilities can re-open

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Agriculture reported just one new case of bird flu last week, and says all the infected birds at the turkey facilities have been destroyed, and all but one of the chicken facilities have had their birds euthanized. Deputy Ag Secretary Mike Naig, told Radio Iowa recently that it will not be a quick process to put birds back at those sites. “It’ll vary from site-to-site. Depending on the facility, you could be looking at several months before some of these sites can have re-population, some may be sooner than that,” Naig says. “But it really is on a case-by-case basis, whether you are talking about a turkey site that is composting, whether you are talking about a large layer facility that has cages that need to be cleaned.”

There are 76 infected sites in 18 counties, and the long it takes to get them back up and running, the more money they stand to lose. But Naig says there’s not a quick answer on a when the sites can be back in business. “That is unfortunately a big question mark for a lot of folks out there. How long will they be out of operation and how quickly can they get back in operation again,” he says. Naig says cleaning up the facilities takes more than a bucket of soapy water.

“It can be quite complex — there’s a process that has to be gone through — dry cleaning and actually cleaning out and sweeping the cages out. And then a couple of other options that could be available, some spraying and disinfection and fumigation, those types of things,” according to Naig. There are more than 31-and-a-half million birds that had to be destroyed after becoming infected. The U-S-D-A has more than 21-hundred staff and contractors working on the avian influenza situation here. More than 300 state employees have also participated in the disaster response at some point.

(Radio Iowa)

Bird flu likely spread on equipment, workers, rodents, wind

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Bird flu that’s devastated Midwestern farms likely spread by several means, including on machinery and workers, by rodents and possibly even by the wind. That’s according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released Monday. The agency studied genetic properties of virus samples on more than 80 turkey and chicken farms.

USDA scientists say wild birds introduced the virus onto farms, but it appears the virus spread in other ways once there. The scientists found lapses in biosecurity on farms and environmental factors likely contributed to the spread of the disease.

More than 49 million birds died or were euthanized in 15 states this spring as the virus spread from the Pacific Northwest into Midwest farms. It’s the nation’s worst outbreak of bird flu.

 

IA Ag Sec Bill Northey to vist Cass County\

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has announced that he will be visiting Cass, Buena Vista and O’Brien Counties on Wednesday, June 17th. Northey will address an FFA Field Day for the Future in Lewis at Noon, at the ISU Armstrong Research Farm (53265 Hitchcock Ave.).

Later in the day he’ll speak at the grand opening for Farm Nutrients in Rembrandt, attend an avian influenza support/prayer dinner in Albert City and speak at Iowa Corn Growers BBQ in Sheldon.

Northey, a corn and soybean farmer from Spirit Lake, is serving his third term as Secretary of Agriculture.

Informational meeting in Atlantic today on river restoration benefits and practices

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Rivers Revival is collaborating with Golden Hills RC&D to host a series of meetings across Southwest Iowa that will provide an introduction to natural river restoration benefits and practices.

Nishnabotna River

Nishnabotna River

Landowners, farmers, conservationists, educators, and the public are invited to the free informational meetings. The presentations will focus on the West Nishnabotna River, but will have relevant information for other streams in the region.  One of the presentations takes place today (Monday) in Atlantic, beginning at 2-pm. The event will be held at the Iowa Western Community College/Cass County Campus – 705 Walnut St.

John Thomas, Project Director of the Hungry Canyons Alliance, will lead the presentations.  The meetings and Q&A will last approximately one hour. Natural river restoration provides many benefits to landowners and surrounding community.  It:

* Offers affordable and sustainable options to reduce streambank erosion.
* Improves water quality by reducing sediment and nutrient loading into the stream.
* Reduces flooding and flood effects.
* Protects local infrastructure such as bridges and roads from erosion and flooding, and reduces taxpayer expense to repair, replace and maintain.
* Enhances aquatic and riparian wildlife habitat and ecosystem.
* Improves river recreation, fishing, and hunting – boosting local economies and providing public health and quality of life.

Iowa now lacks the resources and expertise to offer natural river restoration opportunities to landowners and communities across Iowa.  An Iowa River Restoration Program (comparable to the Iowa Lakes Restoration Program) would provide guidelines, criteria, funding, training, and expertise necessary to offer cost-share opportunities for protecting Iowa’s landscape, streambanks and riverways.

The Southwest Iowa meetings provide an opportunity to learn and discuss the benefits and techniques of natural river restoration.  More information about the meetings can be found at www.westnishwatertrail.weebly.com/river-restoration.

New bird flu cases slow, focus turns to preventing repeat

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – No new bird flu cases have been reported in nearly a week on commercial farms in Minnesota and Iowa. That has farmers, scientists and government officials hopeful the worst outbreak of bird flu in the U.S. is winding down, though they know it doesn’t mean the outbreak is over.

Farmers are finishing the disposal of turkey and chicken carcasses, disinfecting the barns and preparing to restock with new birds. And scientists trying to develop an effective vaccine, determine how the H5N2 virus evaded biosecurity measures and to establish what can be done to prevent a repeat.

The first turkey barn that was infected in Minnesota is restocking, and Iowa officials say they hope to begin to do the same in several weeks.

Property/Appraiser group recognizes Atlantic man

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, Inc., has recognized an Atlantic man for his 30-years of membership with the organization.

Glen Smith

Glen Smith

Glen R. Smith, Accredited Rural Appraiser (ARA) with Smith Land Service Company, in Atlantic, was honored for his years of service to the organization at the ASFRMRA’s meeting in Denver. The organization he’s been a member of for the past three decades, is the largest and oldest professional association that provides opportunities for development through high quality educational and meeting offerings, and a strict standard of Code of Conduct and ethics to its members.

The ASFRMA represents nearly 2,000 agribusiness professionals across the U-S and Canada, who provide farm or ranch management, rural appraisal and appraisal review, or agricultural consulting services. The organization was founded in 1929.

USDA Report 06-11-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 11th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Max Dirks

Play

Missouri father, son accused of defrauding farmers

Ag/Outdoor

June 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri father and son face federal charges accusing them of defrauding farmers out of about $860,000 in a hay-selling scheme that spanned several states. Federal prosecutors in Kansas City say 50-year-old Mark Henry of Cameron, and his son, 28-year-old Mark Henry Jr. of Lucerne, face 15 counts, including conspiracy to defraud and wire fraud.

They’re accused of advertising hay to sell to farmers dealing with drought from 2010 to 2012. Prosecutors say they required farmers to pay in advance for hay that was advertised to be of good quality but actually “consisted of weeds, sticks, bushes, small trees, briars, thistles and woody stems.” Their customers were in Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, Wyoming and New Mexico.

Cass County Extension Report 06-10-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 10th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Play