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.

Soil Temps Still Too Warm to Apply Anhydrous Ammonia

Ag/Outdoor

October 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

As air temperatures continue to fluctuate, so do soil temperatures, and that means it is still too early for Iowa farmers to apply anhydrous ammonia (NH3) to their cropland this fall, according to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Anhydrous ammonia applied before daily soil temperatures, at a 4-inch depth, are 50 degrees Fahrenheit and trending lower can result in nitrogen losses that can impact crop development. These nitrogen losses can leach into groundwater and streams once anhydrous ammonia is converted to nitrate, creating water quality concerns.

As of Oct. 23rd, soil temperatures were actually trending higher across Iowa after air temperatures approached 80 degrees during a 3-day stretch. Historically, soil temperatures at a 4-inch depth cool below 50 degrees in the northern third of the state during the first week of November. In central and southern Iowa, soil temperatures cool below 50 degrees during the second and third weeks of November, according to Iowa State University Extension.

Barb Stewart, state agronomist with NRCS in Iowa, says this year’s drought left residual nitrate in the soil. “In many cases, crops did not uptake all nitrogen applied,” she said. “Consider taking a late spring soil nitrate test next year and make adjustments accordingly to make the best use of the nutrients.” Producers and fertilizer dealers are encouraged to visit the Nitrogen and Phosphorus Knowledge web page, http://extension.agron.iastate.edu/NPKnowledge/, to view daily, previous day, and a 3-day history of average soil temperatures in every Iowa county.

Drought may have impact on Iowans’ electric bills

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Despite recent rains, reservoirs on the Missouri River are dropping as drought persists and low water levels will translate to higher electric rates for some Iowans. The Western Area Power Administration is responsible for selling power from hydroelectric dams on the river and WAPA spokesman Randy Wilkerson says they’re watching water levels carefully. “Right now, we know that water levels in the reservoirs are low and we’re anticipating less than normal generation over the winter and into the coming year,” Wilkerson says.

The agency delivers power to several rural electric co-ops and municipalities in Iowa and in 14 other states. Wilkerson says WAPA easily met its power projections during last year’s historic flooding on the Missouri. “Everybody had more than enough water and we had excess generation that we could actually sell on the open market,” he says. “This year, if we have less than normal generation, we’ll have to be out on the open market purchasing some power in order to make up our contracts.”

Wilkerson says while WAPA will meet its power contract obligations, they will likely come at an added cost. “It gets built into the rates somewhere along the line,” he says. “We do have a drought adder that periodically takes a look at the rates and identifies how much costs are due to drought or low water levels, so absolutely, yes, ultimately, it gets built into the rates.”

Last year, WAPA delivered more than 42-billion kilowatt hours of electricity to its service areas.

(Radio Iowa)

Widespread rain delays end of harvest in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor

October 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farmers are very close to wrapping up this year’s harvest, but work was delayed by some much-needed rain. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 93 percent of the corn crop has been harvested, which is a month ahead of schedule. Ninety-six percent of the soybean crop is in, almost three weeks ahead of normal. The USDA says in Monday’s weekly report that widespread rain helped Iowa’s pasture and range land, but 73 percent is in very poor or poor condition. Hay supplies are running about 42 percent short. A slow-moving storm system brought rain to the state on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The statewide average was a-half inch, just shy of the weekly normal of 0.56 inches.

Burn Bans lifted in Crawford, Mills and Monona Counties

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Cass County remains the only county in the KJAN listening area with a ban on open burning in place, after three more area counties rescinded their bans Monday. The State Fire Marshal’s Office said the Burn Bans in Crawford, Mills and Monona Counties were cancelled on Monday. The bans in Crawford and Mills Counties had been in place since mid-July, while the Monona County ban was established on October 16th. Conditions across the area have improved with recent rains and high humidity making less likely the possibility of grassland a field fires.

By the end of the day, Monday, only 10 counties in Iowa remained under a Burn Ban. Nine of those counties are in northwest Iowa. Cass County is the lone remaining County elsewhere in the State.

Political Crop Art near Atlantic

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

These pictures were taken northwest of Atlantic, by photographer Charlie Lloyd, of Nevada, Iowa, in a plane flown by Jim Kurtenbach, also of Nevada, IA. (Photos supplied by Radio Iowa). According to the Cass County Assessor’s Office, the land near the Scott Small farm, is owned by Jim Warren, of CA, and farmed by Jim and Nancy Pellett, of Atlantic. (Click on the image to enlarge)

 

Shelby County Fire Danger rating “Low” through Thursday

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Fire stations and other entities in Shelby County can change their Fire Danger placards to “Low,”from now through Thursday. Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert says with recent rain and the moist conditions,  and the likelihood of more rain this week, the danger of grassland and field fires is low.

ISU Extension official: full recovery from drought could take three years

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An expert with Iowa State University Extension is warning that this year’s drought is so severe, recovery may be years away. Cathann Kress is calling the drought a “super slow-motion disaster.” Kress says Iowa crops pulled what little moisture there was out of the ground this year and that moisture won’t come back anytime soon. “It takes so long for the subsoil moisture to rebuild, so if we look at the other droughts like this – there’s been three others in this century…they all took three years to fully recover from,” Kress said.

As much as 18 inches of precipitation is needed to fully recharge Iowa subsoils, according to Kress. That’s not likely to before next Spring. “The average (precipitation) between October and April is about 12 inches, so even if we hit average – which most models show we won’t – but even if we hit average, we’d be below what it is we’re predicting that we need,” Kress said.

Kress was at the statehouse last week and warned lawmakers it’s hard to estimate the economic impact of the drought, as well as the effects on state tax receipts.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa Researchers Find “Superbug” In Area Wildlife

Ag/Outdoor

October 20th, 2012 by Chris Parks

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – An antibiotic resistant “superbug” has been found by University of Iowa researchers in area wildlife.

Cedar Rapids television station KCRG-TV reports (http://bit.ly/RedumJ) that the potentially deadly bacterial strain MRSA was found in two rabbits and a migrating bird in a study led by the university’s Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases.

MRSA is a contagious bacterial infection often called a superbug because it is resistant to many commonly used antibiotics.

Epidemiology professor Tara Smith says previous research has found MRSA in swine and pets and a few cases in the wild, such as in dolphins and chimpanzees. But she says this was the first time a broad species distribution was studied in one geographical area.

Researchers collected samples from 114 animals brought to the Wildlife Care Clinic at Iowa State University.

Public Invited to “CyTennial” Community Appreciation Event at Cass County Extension Office

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 20th, 2012 by Chris Parks

The Cass County Extension office would like to invite community members to join them for a “CyTennial Celebration” open house on Friday, October 26 from 11 AM to 1 PM. This will be a tailgate-themed event in honor of the 100th anniversary of homecoming at ISU during their game on Saturday the 27th.

Tailgate snacks and beverages will be served and door prizes will be given out during the event. There will also be a “Cyclone Harvest” display where attendees can have their picture taken, as well as opportunities to participate in Extension and Cyclone trivia and learn more about resources and upcoming classes available through Cass County Extension.

Cyclone fans, Extension fans and ISU Alumni will be able to autograph a wall in “Cy’s Locker Room” and enter their name into a drawing for some great Extension resources and ISU gear. The wall will be up all week before the event, beginning Monday morning October 22nd, for anyone to stop in and sign if they won’t be able to make the event on Friday.

For more information on the open house, or other upcoming extension programs, call the Cass County Extension Office at 243-1132, email xcass@iastate.edu or visit www.extension.iastate.edu/cass . Information, updates and previews of the fun will also be posted on Cass County ISU Extension’s Facebook page.

Shelby County Fire Danger Index remains “Moderate”

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency said today (Friday), that the Fire Danger Index in Shelby County will remain in the “Moderate” category, through Monday morning, Oct. 22nd. The field and grassland fire danger conditions will be reassessed at that time, and another report issued accordingly.