KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Deere & UAW reach tentative deal for 10K workers

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Deere and Company has reached a tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers union to replace the six-year master labor contract that expired Wednesday at midnight. The new deal impacts thousands of people in Iowa. The tentative agreement was announced by John Deere in a news release early Thursday morning.

In the release, company spokesman Ken Golden confirmed the new deal is for six years, pending approval of the union membership. Other terms of the new labor contract won’t be made public until after the deal is ratified. UAW represents approximately 10,000 Deere manufacturing employees at 12 factories in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas.

In Iowa, the contract covers union workers at facilities in Ankeny, Davenport, Dubuque, Ottumwa and Waterloo.

(Radio Iowa)

USDA: Pig virus that struck US similar to China strain


September 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Federal agriculture officials say the virus that killed more than 8 million baby pigs in 2013 and 2014 likely came into the United States on reusable tote bags used in international trade. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also said Wednesday that the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus closely matched one found in China in 2012. The virus killed nearly 10 percent of the nation’s hog population, reducing pork supplies and causing record prices last year.

Investigators determined the woven, plastic-fiber bags were the most logical source of entry into the country. The bags carry between 1,000 pounds and 3,000 pounds of bulk items from foreign countries, including soybeans, pet food and feed. They often were not cleaned between uses.

New policies have since changed how animal feed products are handled.


Cass County Extension Report 09-30-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 30th, 2015 by Jim Field

w/ Kate Olsen


Fertilizer plant construction workforce likely to top 4,000

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SERGEANT BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – More than 3,600 workers are helping construct a $2 billion fertilizer plant being built near Sioux City, and hundreds more workers will be hired soon. The Sioux City Journal reports the workforce at the sprawling CF Industries plant is more than double what the company originally had planned.

Project director Nick DeRoos says the construction peak will be in late October or early November, when more than 4,000 workers will be employed. Work on the three-year project is about half complete and will likely continue into March. Inclement weather and other problems had slowed construction, prompting contractors to increase staffing to meet the targeted completion date.

When finished, the plant will triple the complex’s production of ammonia, which is used in nitrogen-based fertilizer.

Register before Oct. 14 for fall commercial pesticide applicator training recertification


September 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Red Oak, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Montgomery County office will host an Aquatic, Forest, and Right-of-Way Continuing Instructional Course (CIC) for commercial pesticide applicators on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. The program can be seen at office locations across Iowa through the ISU Extension and Outreach Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) team.

The local attendance site for the Oct. 21 CIC is the Montgomery County Extension office. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. followed by sessions from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The registration fee is $35 on or before Oct. 14 and $45 after Oct. 14. To register or to obtain additional information about the CIC, contact Jodie Smith at the ISU Extension and Outreach Montgomery County office at 712-623-2592.

The course will provide continuing instruction credits for commercial and public pesticide applicators certified in categories 2 (Forest Pest Control), 5 (Aquatic Pest Control), 6 (Right-of-Way Pest Control), and 10 (Research and Demonstration). Topics to be covered are equipment calibration, safe application techniques, phytotoxicity, pesticide drift reduction, principles of limited area application, control of aquatic, right-of-way, and forest weeds, use of rotenone, and a forest health update.

Additional information and registration forms for this and other courses offered through the PSEP Program can be accessed at www.extension.iastate.edu/PSEP.

USDA: New national record set for number of hogs on farms

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 25th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the nation has reached a new record for the number of hogs and pigs on farms. The national inventory on Sept. 1 was 68.4 million animals, up 4 percent from a year ago and the most since the USDA began keeping national quarterly records 27 years ago.

The industry has been rebuilding herds after a virus killed an estimated 9 million baby pigs last year. Higher inventories should help drive down prices for pork at the grocery store, after they reached record highs last year.

Iowa is the nation’s leading pork producer. The report released Friday says the state has 21.2 million hogs and pigs, up 2 percent from year ago and the second-highest inventory ever. The record was 21.3 million hogs last December.

Gov. Branstad signs harvest weight proclamation

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 25th, 2015 by Chris Parks

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today signed a proclamation to allow the transportation of overweight loads of soybeans, corn, hay, straw, silage and stover. The proclamation takes effect today, September 25, 2015, and expires after 60 days.

“I am pleased today to sign this proclamation to allow Iowa farmers to move their crop yields in an effective and efficient manner,” said Branstad. “Iowa’s farmers are a critical component of Iowa’s economy and this proclamation will ensure they’re able to transport their crop ahead of deteriorating weather conditions.”

“Governor Branstad and I continue to look for ways in which government can assist Iowans and today’s harvest weight proclamation is another way we’re able to ensure producers can get their yield out of the fields and to market,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.

This proclamation is intended to allow vehicles transporting soybeans, corn, hay, straw, silage and stover to be overweight, not exceeding 90,000 pounds gross weight, without a permit, but only for the duration of this proclamation. This action is intended to allow loads transported on all highways within Iowa, excluding the interstate system, and those which do not exceed a maximum of 90,000 pounds gross weight, do not exceed the maximum axle weight limit determined under the non-primary highway maximum gross weight table in Iowa Code §321.463(5) (b), by more than twelve and one-half percent (12.5%), do not exceed the legal maximum axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds, and comply with posted limits on roads and bridges.

The Iowa Department of Transportation is directed to monitor the operation of this proclamation to assure the public’s safety and facilitate the movement of the trucks involved.

Industry, Chinese officials sign giant soybean deal

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 25th, 2015 by Chris Parks

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Chinese officials agreed at a ceremony in Des Moines to buy 13.18 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans.

The officials signed 24 contracts Thursday that The Des Moines Register reports are valued at about $5.3 billion.

Ray Gaesser, an Iowa farmer and chairman of the American Soybean Association, says the amount China will import is roughly equal to all the soybeans grown in Iowa, expected to be the second-largest soybean producer this year behind Illinois.

China uses most of the soybeans it imports to feed livestock and poultry.

Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities, a commodities broker in West Des Moines, says the giant contract is good news for farmers, but he didn’t think it would change soybean prices.

Posted County Grain Prices, 9/25/15


September 25th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $3.37, Beans $8.28
Adair County: Corn $3.34, Beans $8.31
Adams County: Corn $3.34, Beans $8.27
Audubon County: Corn $3.36, Beans $8.30
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.40, Beans $8.28
Guthrie County: Corn $3.38, Beans $8.32
Montgomery County: Corn $3.39, Beans $8.30
Shelby County: Corn $3.40, Beans $8.28

Oats $2.18 (always the same in all counties)

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

Cass County Extension Report 09-23-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 23rd, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson