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.

Cass County Extension Report 05-22-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

May 22nd, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson


6th Annual Western Iowa No-till (WIN) Field Day to Focus on Practical Application Tips

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 22nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the ISU Extension service report the 6th Annual Western Iowa No-till (WIN) Demonstration Field Day, scheduled for June 11th at the Carstens 1880 Farmstead south of Shelby, Iowa, will address a wide variety of topics for anyone interested in learning more about practical application and trouble-shooting for no-till production. The day starts at 8 AM when registration and vendor displays open. A wide variety of local agribusinesses will be on hand to visit with producers in the morning and demonstrate their services/equipment.

The field day begins at 9 AM with breakout sessions covering common challenges of corn-on-corn no-till and an overview of recent Iowa Soybean Association trials on deep ripping and nitrogen placement. The breakout sessions will be followed by a weather outlook for the coming crop year, and a lunchtime discussion on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. After lunch, keynote speaker Neil Harl will present “A Look Ahead for Agriculture: Major Concerns on the Horizon”. Lunch will be provided free of charge to all in attendance, including steak sandwiches grilled by the Pottawattamie County Cattlemen. The day will wrap up with a presentation on achieving success in long-term no-till and cover crop usage from an Iowa producer perspective.

Anyone with an interest in the practical application of no-till production, whether looking for ideas to begin adopting no-till practices or a long-time no-till producer looking to improve production results, is encouraged to attend this daylong educational event. Nearly 200 ag producers and ag professionals attended the 2012 event, learning about effective soil stewardship strategies. In addition to the educational sessions at the 2013 WIN Field Day, there will be plenty of time for farmers to visit informational displays, vendor exhibits and network with other producers. 4 hours of CCA Credits have been applied for, and will be available at no cost for Certified Crop Advisors needing additional continuing education units this year.

There is no charge to attend this event, but pre-registration is requested by June 6th to ensure a lunch will be available. Registration can be completed by e-mailing csgorham@iastate.edu, or by calling the Harrison County Extension Office at 888-644-2105. More information is available at many local ISU Extension and NRCS offices, or can be found online at www.extension.iastate.edu/cass.

The field day is brought to you by NRCS, ISU Extension and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) in Harrison, Pottawattamie, Cass and Shelby Counties, along with many local supporting agribusinesses. 2013 Business Sponsors include Farm Bureau in East & West Pottawattamie, Shelby, Cass & Harrison Counties, A & M Green Power, Brokaw Supply Company, Titan Machinery, Sorensen Equipment Co., Heartland Ag, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Farmers & Merchants State Bank, Shelby County State Bank, United Bank of Iowa and Bartlett Grain Co.

Shelby County Supervisors approve hog confinement permit application

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 21st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials in ShelbyCountyheard from concerned citizens during a regularly scheduled Shelby County Supervisors meeting this (Tuesday) morning. The residents voiced their concerns over the proposed construction of hog confinement facility. Under the proposal by John Arkfeld, of Arkfeld Pork, construction would take place at the intersection of Mulberry and 2400th Street.CountyOfficials along with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources went through the process by first announcing the proposal through a public notice and then had an on-site inspection last Tuesday. Following the inspection, the DNR andShelbyCounty officials went on to go through the process of the MasterMatrix. There are many items on the MasterMatrix and is scored on a points system. The area of land designated for the construction of the hog confinement was approved with a score of 465. The score to pass is 440. However, neighboring citizens are concerned about water usage for the hogs along with water quality and smell.

Shelby County Auditor Marsha Carter received 4 written comments with the first being a petition against the construction. The petition was signed by 10 residents in the area. Tim Graeve, another resident, wrote a letter to the county in favor of the construction, with a few considerations pertaining to an adjustment in where the site was at, and road upgrades. Following the written comments, several people spoke about their concerns over the construction of the hog confinement. 

The proposed hog confinement would hold around 10,000 head of hogs. Other concerns discussed by those in attendance were manure being transported in the area, dust on the roads and more well issues. After the issues from residents at the Supervisors meeting, John Arkfeld, one of the proprietors for the hog confinement being discussed, offered a response to the concerns. He said “One of the concerns is the water and I get that. This is a 9,600 unit but when the pigs are fat there will only be 7,200. With the finished head space they say you use 1 to 1.2 gallons of water a day. Farrowing units use 4 to 9 gallons per head per day. So if you look at the farrowing units and there are 2,000 sows, 4 to 9 gallons, which is almost twice as much water as I will use. I don’t think that should be an issue.” Arkfeld said should have been in better contact with the residents in the area before the notice went to the general public and apologized for that. Supervisor Steve Kenkel was next to speak.  He said he’s talked to the DNR about the role supervisor’s play in the process, and that is to approve the Matrix system based on a points system. The rating, along with comments made will be forwarded to the DNR, who has the final say on approving or not, the permit.

The Supervisors approved the MasterMatrix for Arkfeld Pork, because they said, it met the state required points.  

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Iowa farmers made big progress in planting last week


May 21st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa farmers made up a lot of time planting last week with a stretch of dry weather. The latest crop report from the U-S-D-A shows 71-percent of the corn is now in the ground — an increase of 56-percent compared to last week’s report. Even with that progress, the corn planting at this point in the spring remains well behind the 97-percent that was in the ground last year, and also behind the five year average is 92-percent. Soybean planting is 16-percent complete, well behind the 78-percent that was completed at this time last year. The wet weather has helped the soil moisture, with just three percent of the topsoil moisture reported as short. Just two percent of subsoil moisture was reported very short and 13-percent short.

As the race to get the crop in the ground continues, Iowa utility officials are reminding farmers to be aware of their surroundings. Alliant Energy spokesperson, Michelle Olson, says they’ve already had reports of tractors and related equipment damaging power poles. She says it’s particularly important when moving the big farm equipment at night. “Pay attention when entering and exiting fields, you’re going to have to think about it probably a little more than if you were doing work during the day, making sure to lower equipment and having a spotter — if you have a second person on hand — having a spotter helping you get through those areas is a great idea,” Olson says. She says fatigue from long days, along with darkness, add to the danger.

“In Iowa we’ve had a couple of instances where pieces of equipment have caught the down guy wires. Those are the wire supports put in to support poles that are on a slight curve or a corner,” Olson says. She says in Wisconsin a pole was hit and snapped by someone working at night. Olson says no one was injured in any of the accidents. She says if a vehicle or piece of machinery contacts an energized line, stay put until emergency personnel are notified. She says a good rule of thumb is to try and stay at least ten feet away from power lines.

(Radio Iowa)

Despite all the rain, Missouri River levels are still very low

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Army Corps of Engineers is operating the Missouri River reservoir system in drought conservation mode and doesn’t expect much to change for at least a few months. Despite plentiful rainfall this spring, Corps engineer Kevin Stom says runoff in the region continues to be very low. “Although precipitation in April was well above normal in much of the upper Missouri River basin, observed April runoff was 78% of normal,” Stom says. “This is due to the large soil moisture deficits in the upper basin from the 2012 drought.”

Jody Farhat, head of the water control division for the Omaha Corps office, says water-saving efforts are underway. “We’re implementing measures to conserve water in the main stem reservoir system this year, including reduced service to navigation,” Farhat says. “Flow support for the second half of the navigation season and the season length will be determined by the volume of water in the reservoir system on July first.”

Farhat says the Corps may have to take further steps if the dry conditions persist. She says, “Other potential conservation measures that may be implemented this summer include not supporting navigation targets in the regions without commercial navigation, use of the Kansas basin reservoirs for navigation support and cycling Gavins Point releases during endangered species nesting season.”

The Corps reports the runoff forecast in the region north of Sioux City is well below where it should be. It’s gauged at 20-million acre feet, which is 79-percent of normal.

(Radio Iowa)

Tractor ride across Iowa to benefit children’s hospital

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An Iowa farmer and a country music artist have teamed up to raise money for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines. Dick Barkema and Tom Wurth’s fundraiser involves a tractor ride across the state. They’re calling next month’s event “Playing for Change” as Barkema says they’ll accept donations along the way with Wurth performing each night of the week-long trip. “We’re giving all of our proceeds back to Blank Children’s Hospital,” Barkema says.

The pair came up with the tractor ride idea after touring the hospital last summer. The ride will start on Saturday, June 17 in Onawa, and end June 22 in Dubuque. The nightly stops for Wurth’s concerts will be in Ida Grove, Fort Dodge, Iowa Falls, Waterloo, and Manchester. Wurth will also perform in Dubuque.

The tractor route will follow the old Highway 20. Barkema says the cost to ride is $50, with donations of any amount accepted. Dozens of people have already committed to ride the entire week, but Barkema says they won’t turn anyone away.”If a farmer was out in the field and he decided he wanted to unhook his piece of equipment and come join us for a day, that’s fine,” Barkema said. “We think it’s awesome if people come out and join us and show their support towards Blank.”

Barkema farms near Klemme in north-central Iowa. Wurth is a native of Marcus, Iowa, but moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1994. The video for his latest single, “To Love Somebody,” features images from Blank Children’s Hospital.

(Radio Iowa)

Maker of ‘pink slime’ continues to struggle


May 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa(AP) — The beef-processing company that makes the product that critics call “pink slime” continues to struggle more than a year after the initial stories on the lean bits of beef that Beef Products Inc. produced. The Sioux City Journal reports the Dakota Dunes, S.D., based company lost 80 percent of its business after the uproar over what BPI calls lean finely textured beef.

The meat BPI separated from trimmings and treated with ammonia to kill bacteria was widely used in hamburger, but consumers objected to it after media reports depicted it as unsavory. The private company closed three of its four plants, scrapped expansion plans in South Sioux City and eliminated more than 700 jobs. Those won’t return soon.

Recycling in Cass County Parks

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Environmental Control Agency, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and the Cass County Conservation Board have announced the purchase of new Recycling Trailers. In an effort to expand the recycling programs in Cass County, the Cass County Landfill and recycling center received grant funds from the Iowa DNR to purchase 2 recycle trailers to collect recyclable materials at Cass County parks. The purchase of these trailers was made possible through funding from Iowa EMS funds and the Cass County Landfill.

Cass County Landfill is a Tier II EMS participant and continues to expand environmental programs in the county. One trailer was placed at the Lake Anita State Park Campground and one trailer at Cold Springs Park Campground. Officials say they anticipate being able to expand this effort to other campgrounds in Cass County.

To kick off the new program in Cold Springs Park, Lora Kanning, Cass County Conservation Interpretive Naturalist will have a public program on Recycling in Cass County Parks on Saturday May 25th 7 PM at Cold Springs Park – Campground shelter. The public is invited to learn about recycling in Cass County and a new program about recycling in the Campground at Cold Springs Park. The program is free and all ages are welcome. You don’t have to be camping at the park to attend.

G&R Feed and Grain Bankruptcy case update

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Trustee in the bankruptcy case of G&R Feed and Grain, Co., Inc., in Portsmouth, has announced a training session will be held 7-p.m. Thursday, May 23rd, on how to bid at the online auction of the company’s physical assets. Trustee Deborah L. Petersen says the session will be at Club 191 in Portsmouth.  Petersen says persons interested in the online bidding process will be able to register for the sale the evening of the session. To register, simple bring identification with your name and address on it, provide an e-mail address, and have a valid Mastercard, Visa or Discover Card.

The online auction is available for bidding now, with items beginning to close in the live board on Tuesday, June 11th, at 10-a.m. You may register at any time, review the catalog of all items available for sale, and view a video explaining the bidding process, at www.delpeterson.com.

Questions about the online bidding process or auction should be referred to Del Peterson and Associates, at 1-800-492-9090. The training is provided by the Bankruptcy Trustee for all persons interested in bidding at the sale of all equipment and property of G&R Feed and Grain. You may also bring a laptop computer, of you wish.

EPA releases personal data on thousands of livestock producers to environmental groups


May 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

In the wake of scandals with the I-R-S targeting conservative groups and the Justice Department checking reporters’ phone records, now the E-P-A admits it gave personal information on 80-thousand livestock producers to environmental activist groups. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is preparing legislation to restrict the E-P-A’s ability to release such data. Iowa Cattlemen’s president Ed Greiman, of Garner, says the measure is badly needed to protect producers’ privacy and rights.

“It’s crazy that we’ve got to deal with the EPA this way,” Greiman says. “It’s a good thing Senator Grassley has been working closely with the National Cattlemen who helped him draft this legislation.” Greiman says the personal privacy issue has drifted down to the state level where E-P-A has been overseeing the state Department of Natural Resources’ regulation of confined animal feedlots, or CAFO’s.

“We know the EPA would like for the Iowa DNR to identify all possible CAFOs,” he says. “The real question we have for the Iowa DNR is, okay, where does this information go? The government just cannot be releasing all of our personal information.” The E-P-A was responding to a Freedom of Information Act request by Earth Justice, the Pew Charitable Trust and the Natural Resources Defense Council. E-P-A officials admit they released more information than was required. One critic in the U-S Senate, Republican Mike Johanns, of Nebraska, says the EPA is “too cozy” with environmental activist groups.

(Radio Iowa)