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.

Crop conditions fall as Iowa remains dry

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Crops conditions in Iowa have declined as the state remains dry despite some much-needed rain. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday’s weekly report that 62 percent of the corn crop is in good to excellent condition. A week ago, it was 68 percent. Fifty-nine percent of soybeans are in good shape, down from 63 percent a week ago. The USDA says 73 percent of topsoil and subsoil levels are dry. South-central Iowa is the driest with 91 percent of topsoil running short or very short. Storms brought rain to the middle of the state on Friday along with hail and strong winds. Rain fell on southeast Iowa late Saturday and Sunday. The statewide average rainfall for the week was 0.25 inches. The normal is over an inch.

Midwest ranchers, lawmakers protest EPA flyovers

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Environmental Protection Agency’s use of airplanes to scour for signs of improper disposal of livestock waste has angered ranchers and some members of Congress.  The dispute is centered in Nebraska, where ranchers complain the EPA kept its aerial inspections quiet until revealing them at a meeting three months ago.
Ranchers complained to their members of Congress, who seem to be nearly as annoyed with the EPA’s sluggish response to their inquiries as they are about the flights themselves.  The EPA says the flights are a cost-effective way to protect waterways from runoff carrying livestock waste.  The EPA says the flights have led to 39 enforcement actions against Iowa livestock farmers and 14 against those in Nebraska.

Iowa fire marshal ends farm electrical inspections

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State fire officials have suspended inspections of electrical installations at farms, despite a state regulation requiring the inspections, and a state lawmaker is vowing to fight the change. The Des Moines Register reports that the order to suspend the farm inspections goes into effect Sunday. Iowa State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds says the suspension is legal. He says the suspension means inspectors can focus on public buildings and homes instead of farm buildings, which have a low rate of human fire deaths. But Iowa Senate President Jack Kibbie, D-Emmetsburg, has requested an opinion from the Iowa attorney general on the order. He blames the change on Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, who has been a vocal critic of the farm electrical inspection regulation.

Iowa DNR Drought Monitor Update: parts of western IA faired better than others

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

June 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The latest Drought Monitor Report from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources indicates most of Iowa continues to be very dry, but far western Iowa is less affected than the rest of State. Officials say although 78 percent of Iowa remains in some form of dry conditions, a significant increase in areas rated as moderately dry, from 13 percent to 37 percent, has occurred up and down central Iowa.

Rainfall averaged 2.02 inches compared to normal precipitation of the period at 2.36 inches; however, precipitation varied widely across the state, with above normal rainfall over much of west central and southwest Iowa and well below normal over northeast and extreme northwest Iowa. An area stretching from the eastern half of Crawford County southeast through Audubon, the northeast half of Cass and Adams Counties, and continuing southeast to Ringgold and Decatur Counties, shows abnormally dry conditions, despite the recent, but spotty rains. The far southwest corner of Fremont County is also abnormally dry, while the remaining western third of the state shows normal soil moisture.

For a more thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends June 14 through June 27, go to http://www.iowadnr.gov/watersummaryupdate. The report is prepared by the technical staff from the Iowa DNR, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and the USGS, in collaboration with the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division.

USDA Rural Issues Roundtable in Avoca July 10th

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Local residents, business owners and community leaders will have the opportunity to share their thoughts about opportunities and challenges in rural Iowa when USDA Rural Development State Director Bill Menner visits Avoca on Tuesday, July 10th.

Bill Menner

 A rural-issues roundtable will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at The Club House at The Avoca Golf Club, 1701 N. Willow Street in Avoca. The meeting is open to the public.

Officials with the Agency say USDA Rural Development’s funding continues to have a dramatic impact on rural communities across Iowa.  Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested nearly $2 billion on essential public facilities, small and emerging businesses, water and sewer systems, and housing opportunities for Iowa families. Today, more than 1.7 million Iowans live in rural communities and areas, and nearly half of the state’s communities have fewer than 500 residents. 

USDA Rural Development says it’s working with rural communities to create jobs, expand opportunity, encourage innovation and build a strong foundation for the future. The agency currently administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility loan and grant programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents and farmers and improve the quality of life in rural America. This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,900 jobs, aided 2,000 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 80 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.  

USDA Report 06-28-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 28th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Max Dirks


Farm bill holds good news/bad news for rural areas


June 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The U-S House should start debating the Farm Bill early next month after the Senate last week passed its version of the 498-billion-dollar, five-year bill. Chuck Hassebrook, executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs, says the Senate’s one-thousand-page version includes some positive elements for rural areas. “The amendments before the full Senate added rural development funding to the bill for beginning farmers, small business development, for small towns who have to update their water and sewer systems,” Hassebrook says. “We’re very pleased by that because as the bill came out of committee, it would’ve been the first (farm) bill in decades to include no funding for rural development.” 

The Senate version of the farm bill eliminates the five-billion-dollar a year direct payment subsidy, while the primary farm program is crop insurance. Hassebrook says that’s not good news for family farms or beginning farmers. “There will be no payment limitation what-so-ever on crop insurance,” he says. “If one corporation farms the entire states of Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota, the government would pay 60% of their crop insurance premium on every acre. That’s not only fiscally irresponsible, it essentially subsidizes those big companies to drive out family-sized farms.” 

As the debate moves to the House next month, Hassebrook hopes to see more cuts in subsidies to corporate operators and more expansion of rural development funding. “Past farm bills have over-subsidized the biggest farms and underinvested in the future of rural America,” he says. “They’ve underinvested in beginning farmers. They’ve underinvested in rural communities, small business development, and so we’re going to pitch for a farm bill that cuts back on subsidies to mega-farms and invests more in creating a better future in rural America.” 

The Farm Bill passed the Senate on a 64-to-35 vote and cuts back Ag spending by about 23-billion dollars over current levels. The Center for Rural Affairs is based in Lyons, Nebraska.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Extension Report 06-27-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 27th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson


Hot spell could spell trouble for Iowa cattle

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farmers are being urged to watch their cattle for signs of stress as the heat builds across the Midwest. The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association says cattle could be at risk with temperatures around 100 degrees on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. CEO Matte Deppe says cattle rely on respiration more than sweating to cool down, which means producers must also consider other means to keep them comfortable. Some suggestions from Iowa State University Extension include clean fresh water, shade and using a higher percentage of feed in the afternoon. If necessary, farmers should begin sprinkling cattle with water if there are signs of heat stress. Officials say producers who use fans or water on their cattle should continue to use the process until the heat wave breaks.

Loess Hills Region takes “Best of the West” title

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

More than 700 members of the tourism industry have voted Iowa’s Loess Hills Region as the “Best of the West,” in the category of “Watchable Wildlife.” Nominations were solicated in nine categories on the Western Iowa Tourism Region’s website, Survey Monkey, e-mails and community announcements. The winners were announced during the WITR’s annual meeting in Wall Lake. The Loess Hills Region received 150 nominations and 798 votes.

Shirley Phillips, President of the Western Iowa Tourism Region and Director of the Sac County Economic Development Office, said in a press release, that “Tourism is a proven economic driver for Iowa, generating more than $6-billion in revenue and more than 62,000 jobs.” The 200 member WITR organization works to connect communities, attractions and businesses interested in developing and promoting tourism and travel in western Iowa.

WITR is funded by the Iowa Economic Development Authority, County Boards of Supervisors in the region, and private memberships from chambers of commerce and other organizations. Regional bi-monthly meetings, which are held throughout the 36-county area, are open to the public. For more information, visit www.visitwesterniowa.com.