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.

Recycling Christmas Trees and Poinsettias

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Now that Christmas is over, you may be thinking about what to do with your real Christmas tree and poinsettias.  Officials with ISU Extension say there are several ways to dispose of your Christmas tree.

You can place the tree in your yard or garden for use by birds and other wildlife.  The branches provide shelter from strong winds and cold.  You can also prune off the tree’s branches and place the boughs over perennials as winter mulch.  Chip the tree and use the chipped materials as mulch around trees, shrubs or in perennial flower beds.  If you can’t use the tree yourself, contact your solid waste agency or sanitation service.  Most communities have some type of Christmas tree disposal program.

If given good care to your poinsettias, they should remain active for 2-3 months.  Toss the poinsettias when you grow tired of them or they become unattractive.  If you enjoy a challenge, it is possible to get the poinsettia to bloom again next year.  Cut the stems back to within 4-6 inches of the soil in March.  They may be repotted at this time.  Place the poinsettia in a sunny window.  Continue to water when the soil surface becomes dry to the touch.  In late May, move the poinsettia outdoors.  Bring back indoors in mid-September.

If you have additional questions you would like to have answered, contact the ISU Hortline at hortline@iastate.edu or 515-294-3108.

Cass County Extension Report 12-26-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

December 26th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Blizzard covers pheasant & quail food & habitat

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says last week’s blizzard was not the way Iowa’s pheasant and quail wanted to start winter.  About half of the state received 6 to 12 inches of wet heavy snow that collapsed most “grassy” cover.  The cover that did not collapse was drifted full of snow from the high winds.  Todd Bogenschutz, state upland game biologist for the DNR said it was “A bad storm for upland game birds.” Bogenschutz said he thinks  “It’s very likely we saw some bird mortality with this blizzard.”

He says winter snowfall from December 1st thru March 31st is a good predictor of whether upland bird populations will increase or decrease the following year, and to have upwards of one foot of snow only 20 days into December does not bode well for pheasants. According to Bogenschutz,  “Iowa had only 17 inches of snow last winter. Parts of Iowa are close to that total already with this first storm.”

Iowa’s pheasant and quail populations were decimated by five consecutive winters of 30-50 inches of snow from 2007 thru 2011.  The winter of 2011-12 with only 17 inches of snow led to the first increase in pheasant numbers in years.  Bogenschutz says “Upland bird hunters were hopeful this winter would also be dry and mild to speed a population recovery.” He added that he hopes there are no more storms like the one experienced last week, for the rest of the winter.”

On a side note: The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Pheasants Forever chapters will meet jointly next month to discuss methods to improve winter habitat for pheasant and quail.
Iowa has 50,000 acres under a new Conservation Reserve Program called Iowa Pheasant Recovery SAFE.  Landowners have the opportunity to enroll in this program first come first serve until the acres are gone.  The catch is, that County FSA offices cannot enroll Iowa landowners until Congress gives USDA authority to begin enrollment under a new farm bill.

(Iowa DNR Press Release)

Neighbors are the ones buying Iowa land

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The annual farmland survey released earlier this month by Iowa State University showed a record average cost of land at eight-thousand-296 dollars an acre. I-S-U economist, Mike Duffy, who conducts the survey, says most of the purchases are by those who want to expand. He says the buyers are typically neighbors or those in the neighborhood, as the vast majority of those buying land are inside Iowa. Duffy says farmers see the high return in corn and soybeans as a reason for investing in more land.

“What we’re seeing is a continuing increase in the amount of land that’s going to farmers and a decrease in the amount of land going to investors,” Duffy explains. “And that’s I think due to the fact that farmers are the ones making the money off the land right now. Farmer view land in a different way, and so they are in the market much stronger now than the investors are.” Duffy says there is more transfer of land by inheritance right now than by sale. Duffy says the higher prices have made some of those who inherit land decide not to keep it.

“I think that’s particularly for non-farming heirs that have inherited. They are looking at the land and saying we would have held onto it with it at two or three-thousand dollars and acre, but with it at eight or nine-thousand dollars an acre, the price of sentimentality went up. We are seeing more activity from that group,” Duffy says. The annual survey from Iowa State University showed farmland values increased almost 24-percent over last year.

(Radio Iowa)

New options available for fishing and hunting licenses

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

December 25th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is offering several new options for fishing and hunting licenses in 2013. D-N-R Chief of Fisheries, Joe Larschied, says the new options were developed based on feedback from Iowans. “A lot of anglers came to us and said ‘you know we’d like to pay for the privilege to fish with three poles,’ especially bank anglers and ice anglers and things like that. So we’re offering that for the first time,” Larschied says. “The other things we’re offering are a three-year angling license, so you can lock current prices for three years…you gain some savings with administrative fees for each of those three years.”

There’s also what he calls the hunter’s special. “A three-year hunting license with the habitat stamp included, so again you can lock in the current years prices for three years. And then the other option is an outdoor combo license which combines the annual resident hunting, fishing and habitat combo for one year,” Larschied says. He says there’s a cost savings on the fees, but is mostly a convenience feature. Larschied says people who hunt and fish wanted to see the option tailored more like other licenses. He says you get a driver’s license and boat registration for several years and that’s why they decided to do the same for hunters and anglers.

Larschied says the program is self-supporting and hopefully making things more convenient will get more people involved. “The trust fund where all the license dollars goes is what allows us to hire game wardens, to hire the people to run the hatcheries and stock fish, and it is solely run on fishing and hunting license revenue,” Larschied says. “And so this just allows people to lock in for three years their commitment to shore up their trust fund, which is what we’re really trying to do.”

The cost of a bonus line fishing license is 12-dollars. The cost for an outdoor combo license is 47-dollars, a three-year fishing license 53-dollars, three-year hunting license 86-dollars. You can now purchase those new licenses and use them through the rest of this year up to their expiration date.

(Radio Iowa)

Carstens Farmstead Annual Meeting Set for January 8, 2013

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Carstens 1880 Farmstead, Inc. say their annual meeting will be held on Monday, January 8th, 2013, beginning at 7:00 pm,  at the Shelby Community Building in Shelby. Anyone wanting to re-new or begin a new membership in Carstens 1880 Farmstead, Inc., can download a membership form that’s available on the organization’s web page.

Memberships can be paid on January 8th during the annual meeting or they may be mailed to: Carstens 1880 Farmstead, Inc., PO Box 302, Shelby, IA 51570.  An election for positions on the board of directors will be held.  Proxy voting will be available for those who cannot attend the meeting.  Members may access a Proxy by visiting www.carstensfarm.com.

Carstens’ President Mel Hursey says they will “Discuss what is in store for visitors to the farm in 2013.” In addition, reports will be given on Farm Days 2012 and on-going repair and maintenance projects at the farm.  Immediately following the election, members of the board will vote on officers for 2013.  Hursey says also, they Will review the past year and hold elections for the 2013 officers.” Carstens 1880 Farmstead, Inc. members, as well as the general public, are encouraged to attend.

Carstens 1880 Farmstead, Inc., a non-profit group of local volunteer members, maintains the farm as a working museum exhibit.  It is located between Minden and Shelby, in Pottawattamie County.  The farmstead is the home of Carstens Farm Days, which is held the first weekend after Labor Day each September.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  For more information visit the web site: www.carstensfarm.com

Fire kills 650 pigs in northwest Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

ROCK VALLEY, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say several hundred pigs have been killed by a fire at a feeding operation in northwest Iowa. The fire was reported around 9:50 p.m. on Saturday at a confinement facility four miles southeast of Rock Valley. The Sioux City Journal says  firefighters reported the hog confinement building was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived. About 650 30-pound pigs were killed.  The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Authorities also are investigating the deaths of an estimated 475 hogs at a confinement facility five miles south of Rock Valley. The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office says someone entered the building and tampered with the climate control system between 3 p.m. Tuesday and 1 p.m. Wednesday. The hogs weighed about 280 pounds each.

West Central IA Beef Cattle Forum Jan. 23rd in Arcadia

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with ISU Extension say area cattlemen should plan to attend the first annual West Central Iowa Beef Cattle Forum to be held January 23rd, at the American Legion Hall in Arcadia.  The free Carroll County educational program is being offered by the Iowa Beef Center, in coordination with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.

Registration will begin at 8:30 AM the day of the event, with introductions and speakers to begin at 9:00 AM.  There will be no cost to register and lunch will be provided.  Lunch will be served at approximately 12:15 PM and the meeting should conclude around 3:30 PM.

The target audience includes anyone involved in the beef industry including cow/calf and feedlot producers.  There will be a variety of topics discussed including economic outlook, bovine nutrition, confinement feeding of beef cows, and environmental issues.  Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency will be present to discuss surveillance and regulatory issues.

Dan Loy, Director of the Iowa Beef Center will be present to discuss protein supplementation and corn stalk treatment.  Other highlights will include an economic outlook from Shane Ellis, Farm Management Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and a discussion regarding the confinement feeding of beef cows.  There will also be numerous sponsors from the animal health industry available to inform producers about their products and services and Iowa Cattlemen’s Association representatives will provide an ICA update.

Officials are asking anyone interested in attending the Beef Cattle Forum to  RSVP by January 17th. Contact Chris Clark, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Beef Field Specialist for southwest Iowa, at 636-432-9437 or by email at caclark@iastate.edu or by contacting Merle Witt, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association Membership Coordinator at 515-231-7310 or by email at merle@iabeef.org.

More information can also be obtained from the Iowa Beef Center website, county extension offices, or from the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.

Authorities looking for killer of pigs in NW Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

ROCK VALLEY, Iowa (AP) – Sioux County authorities are looking for the person or people who tampered with a hog facility’s thermostat, killing 475 pigs.  The Sioux City Journal reports that at least one person entered the hog confinement facility five miles south of Rock Valley on Wednesday and tampered with the climate control system.  That led to the death of the pigs, each weighing about 280 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office at 712-737-2280.

Cass County Extension Report 12-19-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

December 19th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson