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.

Proclamation allows transport of oversized & overweight crop loads in IA

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has signed a proclamation to allow the transportation of oversized and overweight loads  of soybeans, corn, hay, straw, silage and stover. The proclamation took effect Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012 and expires after 60 days.

This proclamation applies to loads transported on all highways within Iowa, excluding the interstate system, and 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 section 321.463 paragraph “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 action is intended to allow vehicles transporting soybeans, corn, hay, straw, and stover to be oversize and overweight, not exceeding 90,000 pounds gross weight, without a permit, but only for the duration of this proclamation. 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.

Cass County Extension Report 09-05-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 5th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Monona County landowners complain of tax hikes

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) – Landowners in Monona County are complaining about a big increase in their property taxes.  The Sioux City Journal reports the landowners gathered Tuesday at the county courthouse to discuss what they could do about the tax increase and to question county assessor Tim Peters and county board members.  Castana farmer William Brink says his taxes have increased by $9,000 in one year. Officials say the change is because of a new way counties value land based on the ability to produce crops. If soil is more fertile, it’s taxed at a higher rate.  The new system also applies to more land, causing increases on property once overlooked.  Some counties adjust taxes for property not used for row crops, but Monona County is among 50 counties that doesn’t make adjustments.

Corn harvest continues to speed ahead of schedule

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. corn harvest continues ahead of schedule with some states nearly half-finished at a time when they usually are just getting started. The USDA said Tuesday in its weekly crop update that little has changed in the condition of drought-damaged corn and soybeans. That’s because the plants are too far along for recent rain to make a difference. Corn was planted several weeks earlier this year and matured more quickly in the summer heat, allowing farmers to start harvesting early. Tennessee has 49 percent of its corn in, compared to the usual 21 percent. Missouri is at 44 percent, ahead of the average 8 percent. Nebraska is at 7 percent, and Iowa, the nation’s leading corn producer, is at 5 percent. Typically those farmers haven’t begun yet.


Ag/Outdoor, News

September 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say five deer at a breeding facility in Pottawattamie County have tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), resulting in that operation placed under quarantine. Three of the five deer in Pottawattamie County along with a single white-tail deer at a hunting preserve in Davis County – Iowa’s first confirmed positive CWD sample – have been traced back to a breeding facility in Cerro Gordo County. In addition, 14 deer from the breeding facility in Cerro Gordo County have been sampled for CWD with one yielding a positive result for CWD. The Cerro Gordo facility is also currently under quarantine meaning live animals are not allowed to come or go from the operation.

After the first positive sample of the deer in Davis County was confirmed in July, both the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) have been working to trace back deer that have moved to and from the Cerro Gordo County facility. Once the initial positive detection of CWD was found in Davis County, the DNR worked with several other states that had clients of the facility to determine which deer was the carrier of the disease. Through DNA testing, it was determined that the affected deer had originated from the Cerro Gordo County facility. The DNR has regulatory authority on hunting preserves while IDALS regulates captive breeding herds.

Bruce Trautman, deputy director of the DNR, said “It’s important for us to gather as much information as possible as to where these deer have come from and gone to if we are going to be successful in containing the spread of CWD. Our primary concern is to keep CWD from spreading to the wild herd.”  The 330-acre Davis County facility is currently surrounded by an eight-foot high fence and routine inspections are being conducted by the DNR to ensure the integrity of the fencing system so that no deer are coming or going from the area.

The DNR will increase testing of wild deer in the area by working with hunters and landowners to collect samples from hunter harvested deer beginning this fall. A goal of 300 samples within a five-mile radius of the Davis County facility has been established. There is no evidence that CWD can spread to humans, pets or domestic livestock such as pork, beef, dairy, poultry, sheep or goats. Iowa has tested 42,557 wild deer and over 4,000 captive deer and elk as part of the surveillance program since 2002 when CWD was found in Wisconsin.

CWD is a neurological disease that only affects deer, elk and moose. It is caused by an abnormal protein, called a prion, which affects the brains of infected animals, causing them to lose weight, display abnormal behavior and lose bodily functions. Signs include excessive salivation, thirst and urination, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, listlessness and drooping ears and head. The prions can attach to soil and spread the disease among deer. Chronic wasting disease was first identified in captive mule deer at a research facility in Colorado in 1967. Prior to the positive detection in Iowa, CWD had been detected in every bordering state.

Shelby County Fire Danger Index remains “Extreme”, TFN

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

September 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Fire Danger Index will remain in the “Extreme” category in Shelby County, at least until the next update, on Thursday. Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert says field work is beginning in the County, and there are typically three or four combine fires each harvest season. Seivert says while the short grasses have greened-up thanks to recent rainfall, the major fuel source for explosive fire growth…corn, beans, and tall grasses.. continue to dry-up due to the sunshine and wind.

Extra precautions should be taken while farmers are out in the field, to ensure their machines are free of debris and that fires are not started behind those implements while the harvest is underway.

Drought may lead to not so brilliant fall colors

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

September 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The unofficial end of summer is here and fall-like scenery could be arriving earlier than usual this year. Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forester Mark Vitosh says this summer’s drought has stressed some trees, which may speed up the process of leaves changing color. “In parts of central Iowa, I’m already starting to see some fall color, which is an indication those plants are deciding to shut down early and try to adapt to the conditions that are here,” Vitosh says. During a typical year, the fall colors are at their most brilliant in October.

Vitosh says the change in leaf color could climax a few weeks earlier this year. “We actually got a similar response in 2008 with the floods. We had a lot of stress on plants in some of the bottom lands and those trees started to turn color,” Vitosh says. “We may see a similar response this year because in some of the flood plain areas, those soils can be rather sandy and we haven’t had a lot of moisture.” A worst case scenario for fans of fall foliage would be almost no change in color.  “The other thing that happens with a drought, instead of getting fall color, you get a lot of nothing…a lot of brown or yellow or the trees just shut down. So, we may not get the brilliant colors,” Vitosh said.

(Radio Iowa)

Another dove hunting season underway in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, Sports

September 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Thousands of hunters were out in Iowa fields this weekend as the dove season opened Saturday. Todd Bogenschutz, wildlife biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says up to 9,000 hunters took part in the inaugural 2011 season. “I expect that to increase and I wouldn’t be surprised, when we get done with this season, if maybe we’re in the 10,000 to 15,000
range this fall,” Bogenschutz said. “It’s the second year and there was a lot of positive reports last year and a lot of success, so I expect numbers to go up a little bit.”

Last year, more than 57,000 mourning doves were harvested in Iowa during the 70 day long season. Hunters could see even more birds this year.  “Anecdotally, doing our roadside counts, staff reported seeing a lot of doves on the roadside. So, it looks like they had a pretty good production year this year,” Bogenschutz said.

The Iowa DNR has dedicated food plots for doves around the state that are open to public hunting. Bogenschutz believes dove hunting is a great way to introduce individuals to hunting because it takes place when the weather is nice, a hunting dog isn’t needed and it mostly involves sitting and waiting for doves to arrive. “You put all of those factors together, it just makes for a really great sport to bring new people in,” Bogenschutz said. “There’s a lot of opportunities for shooting. Granted, (doves) are difficult to hit, which makes it challenging but there’s lots of opportunity there.” In addition to doves, the rabbit and squirrel hunting seasons opened in Iowa this weekend.

(Radio Iowa)


Ag/Outdoor, News

August 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) say unseasonably warm weather and water temperatures have prompted concerns about microcystin, a product of blue-green algae. There are currently advisories for total microcystins for the beaches on Big Creek Lake near Saylorville, Green Valley Lake north of Creston, and Rock Creek Lake near Kellogg.  Blue-green algae can grow quickly and become very abundant in warm, shallow, undisturbed surface water that receives a lot of sunlight – conditions that have been prevalent throughout the state this summer. Because the conditions are conducive to blue-green algae growth, people and pets should not be in contact with water that has a poor appearance.

The appearance can be a pea-green or blue-green color, but also a reddish-brown. It may appear with scum, foam or as a thick mat on the water surface. Blue-green algae can grow quickly and become very abundant in warm, shallow, undisturbed surface water that receives a lot of sunlight. The main risk to humans from microcystin is skin irritations and rashes, but if the water is swallowed or airborne droplets are inhaled during swimming, bathing or showering, symptoms could be worse. Those would include headaches, nausea, abdominal pain, seizures, liver injury and respiratory problems.

Precautions that should be taken to prevent health-related problems due to harmful algal blooms include:  Don’t swim, water ski or boat in areas where the water is discolored or if there is foam, scum or mats of algae on the water;  If you come in contact with water that might have a harmful algal bloom, rinse off with fresh water as soon as possible; Don’t let pets or livestock swim in or drink from areas where water is discolored, of if there is foam, scum or mats of algae on the water; Don’t let pets (especially dogs) lick the algae off their fur after swimming in scummy water; Don’t irrigate lawns or golf courses with pond water that looks scummy or has a bad odor; Don’t drink the water. Boiling the water will not make it safe to drink.

Farmers at progress show say times pretty good


August 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

BOONE, Iowa (AP) — Farmers typically attend the annual Farm Progress Show in Boone to look to the future. They want to see the latest equipment, seed, and chemicals, and they want to learn about where the markets are headed. At this year’s three-day show that ended Thursday, plenty of people spoke about the drought, but they noted the last few years have been good. And even during this hot, dry summer, the harvest might not be as bad as it seems. While some individuals will lose money, farmers overall may earn more than last year’s record net income of more than $100 billion. Crop insurance and commodity prices are helping to compensate for lower yields. The USDA estimates farm income of $122.2 billion in 2012, up about 3.7 percent from last year.