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.

USDA final report details crop losses to drought

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

January 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its final crop report for 2012, showing heavy losses due to the drought still gripping much of the nation.  The year-end report shows farmers got less than three-fourths of the corn the agency initially expected when planting was done in the spring.  The report released Friday shows a harvest of 10.78 billion bushels of corn, 27 percent less than the 14.8 billion bushels anticipated before drought set in.

The number in the final report is slightly more than the agency’s December estimate of 10.72 billion bushels and still marks one of the largest corn harvests in U.S. history. Farmers say better crop technology saved them from more devastating losses, and production was helped by the large number of acres planted this year.

IA DNR Commission to discuss western IA projects next week

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Natural Resource Commission will discuss and possibly act on three building projects and two management agreements for southwest Iowa parks. During their meeting Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 16th) in Des Moines, the Commission will act on approving land management agreements with the Cass County Conservation Board (CCCB), for Cold Springs State Park, and Frank Chapman Pellett Memorial Woods. The DNR is requesting the Commission approve renewal of the agreements, which would authorize the CCCB to manage both sites through 2037. The CCCB has managed both the 104 acre Cold Springs State Park, and the nearly 20-acre Pellett Memorial Woods, since 1987.

The Commission will also act on a request from the IDNR to award a bid for the demolition of a shower building at Springbrook State Park in Guthrie County, to Caliber Concrete, LLC, of Adair.  The structure, which has been in-place since 1968, would be replaced with a precast, concrete shower building, necessary sewer, water and electrical utilities, two parking stalls, and other site specific work. Caliber Concrete had the low bid for the project of slightly more than $270, 087. The bid was right on the mark for the engineer’s cost estimate, and $23,000 less than the next competitive bid.

The Commission will also act on awarding bids for two construction projects at the Lake of Three Fires, in Taylor County. That includes a bid for: Construction of the Park Office and Shop from Hymbaugh Construction in Creston, for $480,589, which was $30,000 over the engineer’s cost estimate; and, a shower building replacement project, which the DNR recommends be awarded to TEK Builders, Inc., of Mt. Ayr.

Their bid of $271,800 came in less than the engineer’s projected cost of $277,566. The project involves the replacement of a 1968 shower building with a new, precast concrete  structure, pad and parking spaces.

The Natural Resources Commission’s meeting begins at 1-p.m. Wednesday, at the Wallace State Office Building in Des Moines. The meeting is open to the public.

Important USDA report to be delivered

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Several important agricultural reports will be released today (Friday) that will impact producers in Iowa. USDA Outlook Board Chairman Gerry Bange says the final production numbers report for 2012 will be issued at 11 a.m. Those numbers will be crunched to make new grain and livestock forecasts for supplies and prices. Bange says the reports include information gathered from around the globe.

“We’ll look very closely at the situation in Argentina, where people know there have been excessive rains there,” Bange said. “We’ll also look what’s going on in Brazil, Australia and South Africa. We’ll be looking at some of the final numbers coming out of China with regard to cotton production or whatever the issues are, we’ll be looking at all of those things.”

(Karla James/Radio Iowa)

Iowa Farm Animal Care Coalition launched

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A new partnership involving farm groups, veterinarians, animal welfare groups and Iowa State University has formed to field complaints about animal care in Iowa. Denny Harding is executive director of the new Iowa Farm Animal Care Coalition. “We do have times where there are some concerns that area raised by the general public about how farmers raise their animals,” Harding says. “We wanted to answer some of those questions and also offer a service where people can call in if they do have a concern they’d like to pass on regarding a specific farm, so they would have someone to go to, so we can follow up with that concern and see what the situation is.”

Harding, a farmer who used to raise livestock, admits he may have to a bit of an arbitrator sometimes, but he expects he’ll mostly be an educator. “If there is a need for some type of help…we would have a team at Iowa State that would be called that would go visit with that farmer,” Harding says. This new Iowa organization is based on a group that’s been operating in Alberta, Canada for about 20 years.

“Ninety-nine percent of what’s going on in the livestock industry is very positive and we feel that the farmers are doing a great job,” Harding says. “Every once in a while there might be something that needs some examination and we think this is a way to have some input and education and management at the farm level and improve the care of the animals.” The group kicked off their effort this morning (Thursday) with a news conference in Des Moines. Find the Iowa Farm Animal Care Coalition’s website at www.iowafarmanimalcare.org, or call, 1-800-252-0577 for more information.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Outdoor classroom to receive improvements

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Conservation Department Director Micah Lee provided the Board of Supervisors with a quarterly report on his department’s activities, during the Supervisor’s meeting Wednesday morning, in Atlantic. Lee said he’s checking prices and trying to obtain additional information, with regard to the installation of a pit-style toilet facility at the Outdoor Classroom site southeast of Massena. If they don’t prove to be too costly, the latrine would be similar to what can be found at Lake Anita.

Lee reported also County Environmental Education/Naturalist Lora Kanning saw 2,152 people last quarter, and worked to acquire a Resource Enhancement and Protection-Conservation Education Program (or, REAP/CEP) grant from the Iowa Department of Education. The $6,000 grant will allow the conservation department to purchase bird watching equipment, such as spotting scopes and binoculars, for the Outdoor Classroom. There will also be another “Trunk” with trail and tracking information added to the classroom building for students and teachers to look at the utilize.

Lee said progress has been made also on signage used to identify the southernmost trailhead for the T-Bone Trail in Cass County. He said new ID signs have been installed along Olive Street to point people in the direction of the south trail head location along Dunbar Road. Additional signs are being ordered to further mark the parking site for the south trail head, which is kind of obscured by brush and trees.

And, Micah says they’re working with the Iowa DNR to provide another campground entrance for Cold Springs State Park near Lewis, to alleviate congestion with campers trying to maneuver in the area. The entrance would be from the south, off of Park Road. He says there wouldn’t be any major changes to the park to accommodate the entrance, other than modifying an old gate.

Leash on Life 01-10-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

January 10th, 2013 by Chris Parks

Info from the Atlantic Animal Shelter.


Doc Leonard’s Pet Pointers 01-10-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

January 10th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Dr. Keith Leonard. Info on what to have in your pet’s first aid kit.

USDA Report 01-10-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

January 10th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin

Cass County Supervisors approve 1st reading of Amended Zoning Ordinance

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

After more than 75-minutes worth of discussion about an amendment to the County’s Zoning Ordinance that would change the Zoning Districts’ Permitted Principal Uses, the Cass County Board of Supervisors Wednesday approved the first vote on the matter. However, their approval came with the caveat that the Cass County Attorney review the wording as it stands, and comment on whether the words “Light Industrial” needs to be added to one sentence in the amendment. The question also remains, whether those two words will cause a conflict between the County, and Fagen, Incorporated, which has already purchased the former Amaizing Energy Ethanol site, and looks to use the property for renewable energy production.

Last Fall, Kathy Schowalter with PlanScape Partners, presented to the Board a proposal from Ron Fagen, CEO of Granite Falls, Minnesota-based Fagen, Incorporated, which pertained to the possible creation of a 25-million gallon Cellulosic ethanol plant on the Amaizing Energy site. During Wednesday’s meeting, Schowalter said while they had hoped a cellulosic ethanol plant would be operating on the site, that is by no means a certainty.

She said Fagen doesn’t have a buyer lined up for the site he purchased just yet, so it could become almost anything ag related, including a seed corn processor. But it would not become a CAFO – Confined Animal Feeding Operation. She said they simply don’t know what will “Come down the pike.”

Cass County Engineer Charles Marker expressed his concern that two words apparently left out of the amended ordinance may leave a loop hole for heavy industrial operations to locate in a Light Industrial Zone, not just at the Amaizing Energy site, but anywhere in the County. He said he ordinance as worded does not specifically say a site will be used for “Light Industry.” Instead, it says “Industry which uses renewable energy,” which he says, becomes an “Administrative problem.” That means any industry, heavy or not, which uses renewable energy as a means of production, could apply under article 17 of the ordinance.

Zoning Administrator Rich Hansen said the Zoning Commission, which forwarded its recommendation to the Supervisors for their approval, would have no problem with a slight re-wording to the amendment, prior to next week’s second hearing and vote by the Supervisors. But Supervisor Chuck Rieken questioned whether the Board has the right to delete or add language to an amendment without making sure the legalities are taken care of. That means consulting with County Attorney Dan Feistner.

The Board then approved the Zoning Commission’s initial recommendation, with the stipulation legal counsel provide input for the next hearing.

Cass County Extension Report 01-09-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

January 9th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson