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.

Officials to keep conserving Missouri River water

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The recent rains along the upper Missouri River won’t change the plan to conserve water in the river’s reservoirs but they will help improve navigation. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Monday the river basin is still recovering from last year’s drought.

In June, the rain that fell north of Sioux City was slightly above normal. But officials predict the amount of runoff flowing into the river this year will still be only about 88 percent of normal. So the amount of water being released from the Gavins Point dam on the South Dakota-Nebraska border will remain around 21,000 cubic feet per second. But the Corps now expects to be able to provide enough water for a full navigation season on the river.

Iowa crops improve as hot, humid conditions arrive

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

July 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The heat and humidity typical of Iowa summers has arrived and the state is drying out from the wet spring. Statewide average rainfall for the week ending Sunday was less than a tenth of an inch, far below the 1-inch normal.

Monday’s USDA weekly progress report says crops appeared to advance with reports of corn beginning to tassel in scattered fields. Corn in good to excellent condition increased to 58 percent, up 1 percentage point from the previous week. Corn is 12 percent very poor or poor and 30 percent fair.

Ninety-five percent of the soybean crop has emerged; 3 percentage points behind average. Soybeans are 11 percent very poor or poor, 33 percent fair and 56 percent good or excellent. Some farmers say crops will need some moisture soon.

Sweet corn grower expects to set a record for late start

Ag/Outdoor

July 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A major producer in central Iowa expects to set a record again this year when it comes to picking sweet corn. Ron Deardorff grows 200 acres of sweet corn near Adel, and says when he begins pulling ears off the stalks next week — it’ll be a complete turnaround from last year. “Last year we were about a week ahead of normal. In in these two years back to back, last year was the earliest ever started picking and I think this year will be the latest I ever started,” Deardorff says. Unseasonably warm and dry conditions last year got the sweet corn off to a quick start last year. Deardorff says the plants had to wait a bit this year before the growth started picking up.

“The last several weeks the corn is really growing, the color is good, it looks nice and healthy. It’s just been delayed in growth from the cool wet April and May. That’s really the only problem,” according to Deardorff. The early arrival of the summer favorite caught everyone’s attention last year, and now that attention is on the late arrival of sweet corn this year. Deardorff finds all the attention surprising. “Who would have thought in 1967 when I started farming that someday that I would be growing this much sweet corn and being contacted by the media to talk about the crop,” Deardorff asked. Deardorff supplies several dozen grocery stores and roadside stands in the Des Moines area. There are some others who grow early hybrids that could hit the street later this week, but Deardorff says he won’t rush things and expects to have corn early next week.

(Radio Iowa)

Latham says Farm Bill supporters seeking “sweet spot”

Ag/Outdoor

July 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Republican Congressman Tom Latham says there is likely to be an effort this week to resurrect the Farm Bill. “I’m optimistic,” Latham says. “We’re trying to find the ‘sweet spot’ to get to 218 votes to move it.” When the House version of the Farm Bill came up for a vote last month, it fell 23 votes short of the 218 votes necessary to pass bills in the U.S. House of Representatives.  “I know the leadership and Frank Lucas, chairman of the Ag Committee, are working very hard to find an agreement where we can pass the Farm Bill on the floor,” Latham says. “It’s very possible, if that happens, to bring the bill back to the floor again to get the votes to move it to conference.”

The U.S. Senate has already passed its own version of the Farm Bill and, if the House passed its version soon, a conference committee can be convened to come up with a final compromise on the legislation. Latham says House leaders are counting votes, to see if taking out a controversial provision that let states impose work requirements for food stamp recipients helps or hurts the bill’s chances. “The speaker has commited to get the bill done in July,” Latham says. “as far as getting into the end of the year, so I’m veyr optimistic before we leave for the August recess.”

The U.S. House will reconvene today (Monday), after a break over the 4th of July holiday. The schedule calls for the House to meet a total of 14 days in July and for just the first two days of August. Nine congressional work days are scheduled in September. The one-year extension of the 2008 Farm Bill expires September 30th.

(Radio Iowa)

Roadside vegetation program uses native flowers, grasses

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A program funded through the federal government and managed through the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls provides Iowa counties, including seven in the KJAN listening area, with native grass and flower seeds to plant along the roadways. Rebecca Kauten oversees the Roadside Vegetative Management Program, which she describes as putting native flowers and grasses back to work. “Having them not only control some of the erosion that is happening, but also having those deep root systems to be able to not only hold the soil in place, but not require as intensive herbicide application as would normally happen with a warm season grass planting that takes a different type of maintenance — a little more intensely mowed, and in some cases fertilizers too,” Kauten says. 

The seed comes in two mixes, one is called a “ditch clean out” mix that’s used when the counties go in and scrape out all the sediment from a ditch. “This mix is meant for some of your tighter soils, it sees a lot of action to put it simply,” Kauten says. “And then there is a diversity mix as well, which has a higher concentration of wild flowers and a way to really enhance you habitat. There are some plantings that counties want to do that’re really showy and have a lot of color in the fall — and so they will use that diversity mix.”

Kauten says the plants that grew wild on the prairie before it was settled can have roots that go down seven to 12 feet.  “You’re not only retaining the soil and water where these natives are planted, you are also enhancing the quality of the soil,” Kauten explains. “As these root systems move through these tighter soils, a lot of times you are able to increase the porosity of the soil, so it is not only stable because you’ve got a root to hold that soil in place, you also have the ability for the water to infiltrate through that soil.” 

Retaining soil and water runoff is only one of the benefits of planting natives along roadsides. “We’ve got the benefit also of being able to provide a food source and habitat for ground-nesting birds and for other species — pollinators especially — that are looking for nectar in plant species they don’t normally find elsewhere across Iowa,” Kauten says. The program was awarded 255-thousand dollars this year for the latest round of planting that includes 34 counties. The program has been helping reintroduce the native plants since 1988.

“We’ve provided seed to 82 different counties and we’ve planted native vegetation in over 15-thousand acres of Iowa county roadsides. And we’ve got a total of 75-thousand acres of Iowa county roadsides total. So we’ve got a ways to go. We’ve got a lot to do,” Kauten says. Those acres were planted with 12-thousand-460 pounds of native grass and wildflower seed. The program is open to any of Iowa’s 99 counties that have an integrated roadside vegetation management program. Kauten says all the counties have to do is express interest and they can get seed. Among the counties to receive seed this year are: Adair, Dallas, Guthrie, Montgomery, Pottawattamie, Sac, and Shelby.

(Radio Iowa)

State’s “Healthy & Happy Outdoors” program offers prizes to participants

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

State officials have created a new on-line contest to encourage Iowans to spend more time outdoors. Iowa Department of Natural Resources director Chuck Gipp says it’s called the “Healthy and Happy Outdoors” program.  “Getting people more involved with outdoor recreational activities has always been an essential goal of the Department of Natural Resources,” Gipp says. “…Outdoor activity has proven advantages in improving physical and mental health.”

Gipp says there are more than 30 different types of outdoor activities available in more than 16-hundred state parks and public areas around the state, ranging from hiking and biking to bird watching and horse riding. Gipp and others in his agency are calling their “Healthy and Happy Outdoors” program H-two-O (H2O), the chemical compound known as water. “H2O allows people to sign up and keep track of the activities they do and the places they visit,” Gipp says. “Those who register and log activities will also be eligible for some prize drawings that will be donated from private sources.” 

People who log their activities on the state’s “Healthy and Happy Outdoors” website between now and the Iowa State Fair will be entered in a drawing. One of the prizes is a six-hour “how to kayak” course, valued at 575 dollars. There’s also a “photo quilt” competition on the website through July 22nd. One photographer from each of Iowa’s 99 counties will win a free subscription to the Iowa Outdoors magazine. For more information: http://www.iowadnr.gov/Recreation/HealthyHappyOutdoors.aspx

(Radio Iowa)

Leash on Life 07-04-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

July 4th, 2013 by Chris Parks

Andrea Farrior and Chris Parks discuss the latest information from the Atlantic Animal Shelter.

Play

Doc Leonard’s Pet Pointers 07-04-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

July 4th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Dr. Keith Leonard

Play

Cass County Extesnsion Report 07-03-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

July 3rd, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Play

Northey says southwest Iowa corn waist- to shoulder-high

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

State Ag Secretary Bill Northey has been touring the state to survey crop conditions and on Tuesday he made stops in the southwest Iowa communities of Council Bluffs, Hamburg, Shenandoah and Nodaway. “It’s easier to see the good stuff between the wet spots now, whereas two weeks ago we were just seeing the wet spots,” Northey says.

Northey reports corn in southwest Iowa is waist- to shoulder-high. That’s in contrast to fields in northeastern and north central Iowa where corn was planted very late and it’s still quite short. Northey notes the weather has taken a turn for the better.

“It’s great to be getting to real summer weather and seeing those crops grow,” Northey says. “We’ve got a long ways to go, but all the farmers I’ve talked to are optimistic that even with the struggles they’ve had, the rest of the year is going to be good and we’re going to have big crops and hopefully prices as well are comfortable for livestock producers.”

Congressman Tom Latham, who represents the southwest quadrant of the state, joined Northey on the two-day southwest Iowa tour. The latest Iowa crop and weather report from the U-S-D-A indicates the 2013 Iowa corn crop is about three weeks behind normal; soybeans are about two weeks behind. Warmer, drier weather has improved the condition of both crops. About 72 percent of the pastures in Iowa are rated good or excellent and the first cutting of alfalfa is about 89 percent complete.

(Julie Harker/The Brownfield Network)