KJAN Ag/Outdoor

USDA Report 06-25-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 25th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin


Iowa farm equipment maker Kinze lays off 215 workers


June 25th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

WILLIAMSBURG, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farm equipment maker Kinze Manufacturing says it must lay off 215 workers as business has slowed because of the impact of low grain prices on farmer purchases. The privately held company based in the eastern Iowa near Williamsburg makes planters and grain carts.

The company released a statement that says it had earlier this year implemented a 30-hour work week in an effort to avoid permanent cuts, but current demand for its products does not support full staffing. Office and factory workers are affected. Remaining workers will return to a 40-hour work week.

Deere and Co., another major farm equipment maker laid off 910 workers in its Iowa factories and 500 in Illinois in January.


Cass County Extension Report 06-24-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 24th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson


Iowa egg production drops 28 percent with bird flu losses

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 24th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The U-S-D-A’s latest report on the number of egg-laying hens is showing the impact of the outbreak of bird flu with the flock at its smallest level since 2004. Iowa is the nation’s largest egg producer and the U-S-D-A says total eggs produced in Iowa dropped 28 percent this May compared to last year. The U-S-D-A’s Gregg Thessen says that type of drop would have raised concern in any other year.

” If we wouldn’t have known that there was a disease outbreak, obviously it would have been pretty stunning. But it hasn’t been a secret that there’s been a disease outbreak. So we pretty much knew that it was coming,” Thessen says. What’s not known is how long the flu outbreak will persist, though new reported cases in Iowa have slowed dramatically in June.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Conservation Report 06-20-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 23rd, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Host Bob Bebensee and Brian Smith, Conservation Officer for Cass and Adair Counties.


Food Drive to benefit 4H stand at Cass County Fair

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A food drive benefitting the 4-H Food Stand at the Cass County Fair is underway in Atlantic. The Fair takes place July 23rd through the 28th. Liz Denney, Food Stand Coordinator, says that creates a fast need to get their grocery list put together. Denney says people have, in the past been very generous in their donations, and she hopes that continues this year, as well.

She says they’re working to generate a supply of groceries for the food stand, with local grocery stores and businesses setting-up receptacles and other ways to contribute. Fareway and Hy-Vee grocery stores in Atlantic are participating in the effort. Fareway has a cart placed in the store with a list of the items needed and people can purchase those items. Simply tie the bag shut and place them in the cart (to be picked up weekly). Hy Vee is “selling” Clovers and Blue Ribbons ($1 and $5 respectively)…which are then displayed in the store. Proceeds from the sales will go toward the purchase of items needed for the fair (by the Food Stand committee).

Drop-off boxes for food items are available at Rex Pharmacy, KJAN and Simply Hair.
Homemade goods are also welcome at the food stand. Such as a two-crust, fully-baked pie, brownies, cakes, fresh garden produce that is not cut-up, or any salad ingredients.

Gluten free dessert recipes are also welcome. And, financial donations to the 4-H Food Stand may dropped off the ISU Extension/Cass County Center, in Atlantic, or at Simply Hair. Volunteers are also an integral part of the Food Stand. She says they have about 450 volunteers who work in shifts. If you can donate time to work a few hours, let her know.

Call Liz Denney at 712-254-0561, if you can set aside some volunteer time. Food stand hours Thursday through Tuesday morning, July 23rd through the 27th, are 6:30-a.m. to 10-p.m. The final Tuesday of the Fair, which is Sale Day, the hours are from 6:30-a.m. until 10-a.m., with breakfast being served.

The daytime menu includes Windsor Chops, Lamb and Ham balls, Roast Beef, Chicken and Noodles and during their evening they’ll serve hot beef sandwich, with hot pork sandwiches being offered as an option, Friday and Saturday evening.

Outdoor Day Camp held in Montgomery County

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Montgomery County 4-H and Extension held “Outdoor Day Camp” for all area youth in grades 4-8 on Tuesday, June 9th at Viking Lake State Park from 9am – 3pm.ISU Extension With 10 excited youth signed up for the busy event, the day began with get to know you games. Youth were then divided into small group. One group focused on fishing; youth learned about their poles, how to bait, cast and even got to try out their fishing luck in the lake.

The second group was kayaking; youth learned about water safety, how to paddle,
and got to play around in the kayaks on the water. The third group focused on leaf identification; youth learned a few common Iowa trees, looked for their leaves, and identified other leaves they found around the park. Participants enjoyed a lunch grilled on site along. The warm afternoon consisted of several more small groups.

The first group learned about the environment and make wildflower seed bombs; the second group went on a nature scavenger hunt; the third group learned about solitary bees and created nests to put out to help the bees in our areas; and the last group was outdoor cooking where youth learned about cooking with a Dutch oven and cooked banana smores! Youth finished the day with some team building activities and some outdoor games.

If there is anything you would like to learn more about, see a presentation on, or attend a workshop for, Hallie Peck, with Montgomery County Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, says they are always open to ideas and would love to hear your interests!

Peck says a special “thank you” goes to Johnson Controls and their program, Blue Sky Involve, where they helped with funding the program, in addition to the volunteers who helped to make this day camp possible! For any other questions regarding 4-H contact Hallie at the Extension Office (712) 623-2592 or email hpeck@iastate.edu.

Two accidents involving cattle in Union County

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

No injuries were reported to the drivers of two vehicles that struck cattle on the road in Union County, late Wednesday night. The Sheriff’s Office says at around 11:35-p.m., a 2002 Chevy pickup driven by 64-year old Dwight Ingram, of Winterset, hit a cow on N. Cherry Street (Union County Road P-33), causing $1,500 damage to the vehicle. The cow, owned by Richard Downing, of Creston, was valued at $3,000.

About 10-minutes later, a van driven by 21-year old Jonathan Zollman, of Bedford, was traveling on the same road at about the same location, when it struck three black angus cattle on the road. Damage to the 2002 Dodge Caravan was estimated at $3,500..or, a total loss. The cow and two calves were valued at $3,000.

Iowa’s top farmer makes comments at bird flu prayer supper on the epidemic, nitrate lawsuit

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An avian influenza support prayer supper was held in northwest Iowa’s Buena Vista County last night (Wednesday). Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey was among the attendees, sharing in a picnic of pulled pork sandwiches and salads in support of impacted poultry producers. Northey told the group of about 175 people that it’s vital for a community to pull together during difficult times like these.

Of the 77 confirmed cases of bird flu in Iowa poultry operations, 14 of them were in Buena Vista County. More than 31-million chickens and turkeys have been euthanized in Iowa in recent months due to the bird flu epidemic. The USDA provides an indemnity for euthanized birds and will cover some costs of disposal, but the federal government doesn’t give aid for loss of income. Some called the 2014-2015 Avian Flu Outbreak the biggest animal health emergency in U.S. history.

While attending the grand opening of an agronomy center in Buena Vista County on Wednesday, Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey discussed the ongoing lawsuit between Des Moines Water Works and three counties in northwest Iowa. The water utility says Calhoun, Buena Vista and Sac counties aren’t proactive enough in preventing agricultural runoff. Des Moines Water Works says it’s causing an excessive financial burden on the city to remove nitrates from the water supply. Northey says while he doubts a lawsuit is the answer, he also says the agricultural community needs to find a long-term solution.

“Society is going to demand that of us,” Northey says. “We want those nutrients to stay there. We’re motivated by it. We’re going to learn things that are going to make us better producers as we learn how that nitrogen mineralizes in the soil.” According to the Des Moines Water Work’s petition, in the summer of 2013, fall of 2014 and winter of 2015, nitrate levels in the Raccoon River reached record peaks.

Bill Stowe, CEO and general manager of Des Moines Water Works, alleges the drainage districts in the three northwest Iowa counties are violating the federal Clean Water Act. Stowe says the system to remove the nitrates costs $7,000 per day to operate.

(Radio Iowa)

Feds: Ex-bookkeeper embezzled $1.4M from Iowa farming co-op

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The former bookkeeper of a western Iowa farming cooperative is admitting she embezzled roughly $1.4 million over six years. Kathy Joan Cullen, who worked 27 years for the 21st Century Cooperative in Cass County, pleaded guilty Wednesday to filing a false tax return.

Under a plea agreement with prosecutors, she admitted that she wrote nearly $1.4 million in checks to herself from 2008 to 2013 and deposited the funds in her personal bank account. The plea agreement says the state and federal government lost $553,000 in tax revenues as a result. In 2009 alone, she embezzled $300,000 from the cooperative, which she didn’t report as income.

The agreement calls for her to pay restitution to the cooperative. Cullen was released after Wednesday’s hearing in Des Moines. Sentencing is Oct. 1st.  Filing a false tax return carries a maximum term of three years imprisonment, up to a $100,000 fine, and up to one year of supervised release.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, and the Cass County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.