KJAN Ag/Outdoor


Ag/Outdoor, News

October 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

VILLISCA – Ammonia that got released from an agricultural cooperative in Villisca earlier this week is contained and is being recovered. The recovered solution of water and ammonia will be land applied to crop fields.

An unknown amount of anhydrous ammonia was released into a city storm sewer intake and then flowed into a small unnamed tributary of the West Nodaway River. The ammonia is believed to have originated at the United Farmers Mercantile Co-op in Villisca and to have occurred sometime between 1:30 p.m. Tuesday and 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. It was reported to the DNR by a citizen.

Under instruction from the DNR, the coop constructed a dam on the tributary and is pumping it to be land applied. By Friday afternoon, approximately 44,000 gallons of the solution had been recovered. The coop is also flushing the tributary from the storm sewer to remove the contamination.

Although the incident is still under investigation by the DNR, it appears that soil at the cooperative had been contaminated with anhydrous ammonia and came in contact with water when a water line broke. Anhydrous ammonia is in vapor form until it comes in contact with water and becomes soluble. When the water line was being repaired, the ammonia-mixed water got pumped to a city storm sewer that eventually empties into the unnamed tributary of the West Nodaway River.

DNR field office staff is continuing to monitor the clean up.

5 Candidates on Nov. 4 Ballot for Shelby County Extension Council

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Voters in Shelby County will have the opportunity to elect five members of the County Extension Council from a slate of five candidates at the Nov. 4th general election. Mary Taggs, Shelby County Extension Educator said “The council members elected this year will be involved in bringing educational opportunities to Shelby County for the next four years.”

Extension council members are elected at large, and all voters in the county are eligible to vote for five candidates. Candidates on this year’s ballot include: Elaine Baughman, of Kirkman; Renee Hansen, of Harlan; Jo Kenkel, from Defiance; Lorie Knudsen, of Harlan; and Ellen Walsh-Rosmann, of Harlan.

Council members whose terms expire this year are: Laura Freund, Earling; Kay Goshorn, Harlan; Jo Kenkel, Defiance; Travis Lane, Shelby; Jake Schechinger, Harlan. Carryover council members whose terms continue through the end of 2016 are: Scott Burchett, Harlan; Rowly Burton, Irwin; Julie Klein, Harlan, and Michele Monson, of Irwin.

Successful candidates will take office in January 2015. Extension council members make policy, programming and budget decisions for Shelby County Extension and Outreach. For more information, visit www.extension.iastate.edu or contact Shelby County Extension & Outreach (712) 755-3104.


Shelby County Implements Fire Danger Monitoring

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Service Officials, including Fire Chiefs, Law Enforcement, and Emergency Management will begin twice weekly updates on local fire danger conditions. Signs placed strategically in each community, primarily at the fire Stations will indicate what the fire danger is for any particular day.

This program, implemented in 2010, resulted in a reduction of fire responses countywide. The continuous bi weekly fire danger assessments are provided by email to the media, Fire Chiefs, and others who support the program on their web pages, through radio, and cable TV information pages. This has, at times, reduced the need for our county to implement a complete burn ban.

When someone has the need to burn a pile of brush, debris, or buildings, they are asked to contact the Emergency Management Agency at 755-2124. The dispatchers will obtain the location and nature of the planned burn and will provide the caller with the Fire Chiefs contact information. Through this expanded communication process, we have found some burns can be rescheduled to a different time of day, where wind and moistures are more acceptable. The Fire Chiefs can have input as to how the burn can be conducted safely and be aware of the activity should it become unmanageable.

Shelby County has four color coded distinct levels:

LOW – You are asked to call in and report your burning projects to dispatch at 712-755-2124, and notify your local Fire Chief.
Moderate You are asked to call in and report your burning projects to dispatch at 712-755-2124, and notify your local Fire Chief. Timing for burns should be morning, or evening hours and extinguished by dark unless authorized by Fire Chief due to possible impacts to roads and health from smoke. Burns must be monitored at all times.
High – Burning of any kind is restricted unless approval is received from local Fire Chief. Controlled burns that are not reported will result in Fire Department being dispatched, and fires extinguished if determined to be un-safe. Please call 712-755-2124 with questions.
Extreme – Burning is prohibited, unless you have a signed permit from the local Fire Chief. Fires on Extreme days can grow rapidly and pose a risk to the Health and Safety of the Community.

If you have any questions please call 712-755-2124.

DNR: Ammonia enters tributary in southwest Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

VILLISCA, Iowa (AP) — An unknown amount of ammonia has entered a small unnamed tributary of the West Nodaway River in southwest Iowa. The state Department of Natural Resources says the anhydrous ammonia was released from the United Farmers Mercantile Co-op in Villisca between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. It went into a city storm sewer before entering the tributary.

DNR officials detected high concentrations of ammonia throughout the tributary to the river, but no fish kill has been reported. Co-op employees are pumping contaminated water out of the tributary. They are also pumping contaminated water from an on-site pit.

The case remains under investigation.

Cass County Extension Report 10-15-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

October 15th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson


DeSoto, Boyer Chute refuges to close for hunting

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

October 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

MISSOURI VALLEY, Iowa (AP) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says DeSoto and Boyer Chute national wildlife refuges will close this weekend for deer hunts. All refuge roads and nature trails will be closed beyond the visitor center on Saturday and Sunday to ensure public safety. Only the visitor center will remain open.

The refuge allows the hunts in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission as a way to control the deer population. Also, DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge will be closed entirely, including the visitor center, on Monday for repairs to the tour road loop.

DeSoto and Boyer Chute national wildlife refuges sit north of Omaha, Nebraska, along U.S. Highway 30 between Missouri Valley, Iowa, and along U.S. Highway 75 near Fort Calhoun, Nebraska.

IA Transportation Commission approves $5.5-million in Rec Trails projects

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Transportation Commission has approved more than $5.5-million in funding for 12 propjects included in the State Recreational Trails Program. The Commission today (Tuesday) approved $224,437 for the Coon Rapids Connector Trail Underpass (near Coon Rapids), and $700,000 for the Pottawattamie County Trail-Phase I Project (proposed by the Pottawattamie County Conservation Board and Pottawattamie County Trail Board).

The State Recreational Trails program was created in 1988 with the purpose of developing and maintaining recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both motorized and non-motorized trail users. This funding is available to cities, counties, state agencies, local governments, and nonprofit organizations through an annual application-based program.

Continued rain wiped the drought out of Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The latest rains across Iowa continue to add to what is now a positive groundwater picture. Tim Hall, who tracks groundwater levels for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says we can officially put the word drought away for awhile when referring to the state’s water situation. Hall says it wasn’t that long ago when many were wondering if that would be possible. “I look back at the drought monitor from one year ago — from the middle of October last year — and it was really bleak about one year ago,” Hall says. “Most of the state was in some sort of drought, and it had sort of been lingering for a long time.”

Hall says things were dry going back even farther to the fall of 2011. “It’s nice now to get to the point where it appears that the long-term gradual moisture from this year has really pushed the drought out of the state. It’s nice to see. It’s been really wet going into the fall, this is what we like to see, so yeah, it’s in pretty good shape,” Hall says. The last remnants of the drought had hung on until September’s above normal rainfall.

“For awhile that northeastern corner of the state into southwest Wisconsin had been a little on the dry side — but we are out of it in Iowa right now. We’ve been out if for a month and it’s dramatically better than it was a year ago,” according to Hall. He says things seemed to balance out this spring, and the drier conditions actually helped prevent problems during a wet periods.

“The National Weather Service folks have pointed out that one of the things that really worked to the benefit of the state of Iowa this year given the spring rain, was that we did have very dry soil conditions back in the spring,” Hall says, “so, we were able to absorb a lot of the rainfall that came early in the spring season because the soil was so dry.”

The U-S-D-A National Agricultural Statistics Service says the subsoil moisture levels measured on October 5th had been greater only twice — in 2007 and 2010 — among the past 20 years.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic receives REAP grant for completion of T-Bone Trail to Atlantic

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Nishna Valley Trails President Dave Chase has announced the City of Atlantic was awarded a REAP (Resource Enhancement and Protection Fund) grant amounting to $95,810, for the construction of a recreational trail in the northern part of the City connecting the east side of the Schildberg Quarry Recreation Area with the Atlantic Municipal Utilities well-field site east of Olive Street and the Atlantic Ball field complex. Both the Quarry and the well-head site have currently existing trail system.

The trail has been designated as “The Troublesome Creek Connector Trail”, taking the name of the stream that will need to be crossed by a 162 foot single span pedestrian bridge. Construction costs for the trail are estimated at $550,000, with the bridge comprising a large part of those costs. Other grants are being applied for, and local fundraising activities have commenced. Chase said “The engineering work and all necessary permits and easements have been obtained and we hope to see construction later in the summer of next year.”

The award, approved by the Iowa Natural Resources Commission last week, was based on an application filed on the City’s behalf by Nishna Valley Trails, Inc. (NVT). The Atlantic City Council gave its blessing to the application at its August 6th meeting.

Nishna Valley Trails, Inc. is a non-profit recreational trails advocacy group that has been active in the development of trails in the Cass and Audubon County areas since the early 1990s. Chase said “Our application was one of eight funded out of 27 applications filed by cities our size, so you can see that the process is highly competitive.”

Chase also said this project will help with the goal of connecting the T-Bone Trail to the City of Atlantic resulting in a 25 mile trail between Atlantic and Audubon, most of it on the old abandoned Iowa Interstate railroad bed. 20 paved miles have already been completed and the trail has been designated as a portion of the cross-country American Discovery Trail.

Northern Iowan to be featured on cereal boxes


October 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

RUDD, Iowa (AP) – A northern Iowa man will be featured on the back of cereal boxes as part of a promotion for farmers. The Hy-Vee cornflakes box with the picture of Rudd farmer Larry Bortz will be released next month or in December. Four other farmers will appear on other boxes.

Under the headline “Agriculture Works Here,” the promotional ads include a photo of Bortz or the others and point out that “nobody beats the American farmer when it comes to producing food.” The ads direct people to a website, agricultureworkshere.com, where they can learn various farm facts.

The Mason City Globe Gazette says the joint promotion involves Farm Credit Services of America, an Omaha, Nebraska-based, financial services organization, and West Des Moines-based Hy-Vee grocery stores.