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.

BASF of Germany buying Iowa-based Becker Underwood

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) – German-based chemical maker BASF had made a deal to buy Ames-based Becker Underwood, which makes seed treatment and other farm products.  BASF says the purchase price is $1.02 billion. Becker Underwood was co-founded in 1982 by Atlantic natives Roger Underwood and Jeff Becker.  They sold controlling interest to Norwest Equity Partners of Minneapolis in 2004. Becker has more than 210 employees in Ames; St. Joseph, Mo.; and Caldwell, Idaho; and nearly 270 more in several other countries.

BASF is based in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and produces chemicals and plastics as well oil and gas and agricultural herbicides and fertilizers. BASF spokeswoman Anne Burt says final decisions haven’t been made about the future of Becker Underwood’s chief executive officer, Peter Innes, other managers or other workers.

Destructive fruit fly now infesting several Iowa counties

Ag/Outdoor

September 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A very tiny bug is raising big alarms for some Iowa producers. Its name is the spotted wing drosophila (droh-SOFF-ah-lah) and it closely resembles a common fruit fly. It’s only an eighth of an inch long, but an infestation is now confirmed for the first time in Iowa — in Story County, with several other colonies suspected. Laura Jesse, an entomologist at Iowa State University, says the invasive insect could be a serious threat to certain Iowa crops. “The spotted wing drosophila is going to be a big problem primarily for small fruit growers, growers of small fruits like raspberries, strawberries, blueberries,” Jesse says. “It can reportedly attack apples but not really fruits with harder skins.”

Blackberries, cherries and grapes could also be at risk. This red-eyed pest is difficult to tell from a regular fruit fly, even for an expert on wee winged creatures like Jesse, who co-directs the I-S-U Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic. She needs a microscope to accurately distinguish the drosophila from the more common variety. “Those fruit flies, that we’re used to, attack rotting fruit,” Jesse says. “You always know when you’ve got a bunch of ’em in your kitchen, you know there’s a banana that you forgot somewhere and it’s rotten. Our normal native fruit fly can’t attack fruit that’s not damaged where as we’re concerned about this fruit fly because it can attack healthy fruit.” The female fly can slice into the skin of fresh fruit to lay eggs and producers in other states report a serious yield impact with maggots in the produce. Jesse says the pest has already gotten a foothold in Iowa.

“Here in Story County, we were aware of it and looking for it, so we had traps out,” Jesse says. “We’ve already gotten reports at least from Mitchell County, Linn County and Dubuque County. It’s probably pretty widespread in Iowa. We’re confirming each new infestation. It’s not going to surprise us that it’ll be in a lot of counties, especially over the next few years.” Parts of Iowa have already seen frost, but she says the fruit flies shouldn’t have a problem over-wintering in the Hawkeye State.  “When it first came into the U.S, it was picked up in California, Washington and Oregon and there was some hopes that maybe it wouldn’t survive in the Midwest,” Jesse says. “It’s actually been in Michigan the past few years and done just fine there so we suspect it will be able to survive our (Iowa) winters.”

The pest is native to Asia and was first found in the U-S in 2008 and quickly spread. It’s confirmed in at least 20 states, including neighboring Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota. Jesse has some advice for Iowa producers with concerns about this pest: Pick all fruit when harvesting and remove and destroy any fallen, damaged and overripe fruit. Also, there are insecticides available but options are limited.

(Radio Iowa)

Missouri River trash cleanup is Saturday, volunteers needed

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Volunteers are needed to pull on boots and gloves this weekend to help clean up the banks of the Missouri River after last year’s historic flooding. Jeff Barrow is director of Missouri River Relief and says they’re focusing their efforts Saturday on the Nebraska side of the river, just north of Omaha. They’ll be getting the debris that washed up on the islands and in the woods in last year’s flooding. Barrow says up to 300 volunteers are expected for the event who will help pick up 10 to 15 tons of trash. He recommends bringing bug spray and sunscreen. The trash pick-up runs until noon and lunch will be provided. After lunch, more volunteers are needed to sort and haul that trash away.

The Army Corps of Engineers is providing a barge on which the trash will be dumped, while there will also be separate dumpsters for trash and scrap metal. Volunteers should be on the look-out for unusual items and there’s a contest for the best “trash treasures” found. Barrow says they’ve literally found a message in a bottle before.”We were doing a clean-up way down near the Mississippi River on the Missouri River and someone in Council Bluffs had put a message in a bottle and it’d been in the river ten years,” he says. “We found it. It was really amazing. We tried to call the person back but the phone number was no longer active.”

Volunteers should be at N-P Dodge Park north of Omaha at 9 AM Saturday. Barrow says in ten years, more than 16,500 volunteers have collected and hauled away more than one-million pounds of trash from 784 miles of river.

(Radio Iowa)

Drought hurts rural economy in 10 states

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The economy in rural parts of 10 Midwest and Western states continued to look weak in September as the drought weighed down agricultural businesses. A new survey of bankers in the region released Thursday showed that the overall economic index remained in negative territory at 48.3 in September. That was slightly better than August’s 47.1 and July’s 47.9, but any score below 50 on the 1-to-100 index suggests that the economy will contract in months ahead. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the drought is already hurting businesses linked to agriculture like ethanol and farm equipment dealers. The survey covers rural areas of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. The confidence index was also weak at 43 in September, up from August’s 39.6.

A simple message from Midwestern Farmers

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

It’s national farm safety week

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

This is National Farm Safety Week as experts look to try and cut down on the over 300 farm-related deaths that happen each year.Iowa State University extension safety specialist Charles Schwab, farming ranks as one of the most hazardous occupations. “The agricultural industry, as a whole, has a much higher death rate than any other industry, and higher than the whole average, nine times higher, than all the other industries combined. So it’s a huge number of fatalities that we deal with in our population,” Schwab says.

Tractor roll overs account for the most farm deaths, and Schwab says they can be prevented if tractors have roll over protection or ROPS. “The phrase in Iowa which is very viable is we haven’t had a fatality from a roll-over with a tractor with ROPs and all of them have been with tractors without ROPs, and so a good life insurance policy is get the ROPs on the tractor,” according to Schwab. La Vonne Galles is the coordinator for Agri-Safe of Plymouth County, a division of the Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars. Galles says many times farm accidents occur because of fatigue, so she tells farmers to “take a break” from the busy harvest season.

“The main thing is just be careful, to think before we do anything, and try not to be, you know, so tired. I guess if we can take rest breaks and we can go at a pace that is conducive for good, safe, conduct, then that’s what I think we should be doing,” Galles says. She is worried the summer drought may present a new hazard on the farm in the form of aflatoxin mold in grain. “Yeah, its a respiratory issue of course and so that dust or mold that gets into our respiratory track. If we can avoid that by just using a mask, you know I think that is really important,” Galles says. “Think of that first before we enter into those grain bins, or even any close area that has the grain.” Galles warns that combines, grain trucks, wagons, and grain bins can often times be a playground for children, and she reminds farmers to always know the whereabouts of their children before moving equipment.

(Radio Iowa)

USDA Report 09-20-12

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 20th, 2012 by admin

w/ Max Dirks

Posted County Prices 09-20-2012

Ag/Outdoor

September 20th, 2012 by admin

Cass County: Corn $7.41, Beans $16.46

Adair County: Corn $7.38, Beans $16.49

Adams County: Corn $7.38, Beans $16.45

Audubon County: Corn $7.40, Beans $16.48

East Pottawattamie County: Corn $7.44, Beans $16.46

Guthrie County: Corn $7.43, Beans $16.50

Montgomery County: Corn $7.43, Beans $16.48

Shelby County: Corn $7.44, Beans $16.46

Oats $3.68  (always the same in all counties)

USDA expands counties eligible for disaster loans

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Farmers in 22 additional Iowa counties now may qualify for low interest emergency loans from the federal government as a result of this summer’s drought. With the latest designation announced Wednesday, farmers in all Iowa counties now could qualify for drought-related emergency assistance. Six counties added by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as primary natural disaster areas include Clarke, Emmet, Madison, Taylor, Union, and Warren. In addition farmers in 16 contiguous counties may qualify for the loans and other assistance.

Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. The emergency loan interest rate had earlier been reduced to 2.25 percent from 3.75 percent by the Department of Agriculture.

Shelby County Fire Danger Index bumped up to “High”

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Management Director Bob Seivert says the Fire Danger rating has been bumped up from “Moderate,” to “High.”  Seivert says the local fire danger index is being adjusted due to the wind conditions and low relative humidity. And, while Red Flag warning are being posted for areas to the west, Seivert says he doesn’t expect Red Flag conditions in Shelby County, but because winds are expected to shift to the northwest this (Wednesday) afternoon, they will monitor that component very closely. He says property owners should not conduct ANY open today. The next local fire danger notice will be Monday September 24th, unless an unexpected change in conditions occur.