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.

Iowa State University installing water monitors

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

 Iowa State University is installing water quality monitors 16 Iowa lakes to help find out what causes harmful algal blooms. Some types of blue-green algae, for example, can produce dangerous toxins. Drinking toxin-tainted water can cause vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory failure and, rarely, death.

Among the western Iowa lakes that will be part of the monitoring study is: Arrowhead and Black Hawk Lakes in Sac County; Lake Orient, in Adair County; and, Springbrook Lake, in Guthrie County. 

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is cooperating in the study. The monitoring equipment will be underwater and will be marked by hazard buoys.

Feeling ticked lately?

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s unusual stretch of warm weather in late winter and early spring has led to earlier than normal tick activity and start to the tick-borne disease season. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reminds Iowans to protect themselves against tick bites. Ticks can carry the organisms that cause Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Ehrlichiosis. The best way to prevent tick bites is to avoid wooded and grassy areas, where ticks are usually found.

If you do spend time in these areas:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long, light-colored pants tucked into socks or boots.
  • Stay on trails when walking or hiking, and avoid high grass.
  • Use insect repellants that contain DEET. Read and follow the label directions for application. DEET is not recommended for use on children under 2 months of age. For more information on DEET, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/idph_universalhelp/main.aspx?system=IdphEpiManual&context=DEET_factsheet.
  • Check yourself, your children and your pets for ticks. Ticks tend to prefer the back of the knee, armpit, scalp, groin, and back of the neck.

If you discover a tick on your body, remove it right away. Folk remedies, such as burning the tick with a match or covering it with petroleum jelly or nail polish, are not effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following instructions for removing a tick:

  • Carefully grasp the tick by using tweezers to grip the tick by its mouthparts which are close to the skin. Do not squeeze the tick’s body.
  • Pull steadily directly away from your skin. Because removing the tick’s body is your main goal, don’t worry if its mouthparts break off in the process.
  • Clean the wound and disinfect the site of the bite.

The most common tick-borne disease is Lyme disease; 85 cases of Lyme disease were reported to IDPH in 2011. Not everyone who gets Lyme disease will have the same symptoms, but the best and earliest sign of infection is a rash that may appear within a few days to a month, usually at the site of the tick bite. The rash will first look like a small, red bump, then expand until it begins to look like a bull’s eye, with a red center and a red ring surrounding a clear area. It is important to contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop this type of rash.

For more information on Lyme disease visit www.idph.state.ia.us/idph_universalhelp/main.aspx?

USDA Report 04-12-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

April 12th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin


Freeze damages fruit crops in Iowa


April 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — The cold snap may have taken a toll on some of Iowa’s fruit crops. Plant experts at Iowa State University say two nights of freezing temperatures damaged fruit blossoms at the Horticulture Research State near Gilbert. Superintendent Nick Howell says he’ doesn’t expect much of an apple crop, and there’s damage to the station’s vineyards and strawberries. Experts say the early spring sped up blooming, which is a sensitive stage for the plants. Fruit specialist Paul Domoto says it’s too early to tell the extent of the damage until growers can assess the conditions in their areas. He says site conditions and development stage will affect the outcome. Another freeze warning was posted into this (Thursday) morning, with temperatures in the 20s in northern and eastern Iowa.

Cass County Extension Report 04-11-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

April 11th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olsen


Biodiesel sales almost double in Iowa


April 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Figures from the Iowa Department of Revenue show the sale of biodiesel nearly doubled in Iowa from 2010 to 2011. The figures show sales of biodiesel went from seven-point-four (7.4) million gallons to 13-point-nine (13.9) million. Iowa Biodiesel Board executive director, Randy Olson, says he’s pleased to see the numbers which indicate drivers of the big rigs are using the product. “Reports and analysis suggest that truckstops along our interstate highway system are embracing the use of biodiesel. The economics have been very favorable for biodiesel in 2011,” Olson says. “Truck stop operators are clearly patriotic folks as are truckers, and the trucking industry have been strong supporters of biodiesel.”

Olson says federal tax incentives, the federal renewable fuel standard and the state tax credit have all helped biodiesel. He says there’s a (state) retailers credit in 2011 that incented blends of B-two or two-percent biodiesel at three-cents-per-gallon, and in 2012 retailers are incented four-and-a-half cents for blends of five-percent biodiesel, B-five. The figures show biodiesel makes up around 42-percent of all diesel sold at the retail level in Iowa. “Biodiesel would be normal petroleum diesel that’s blended with any percentage of renewable biodiesel,” Olson explains. “So biodiesel can be made from agricultural co-products like soybean oil, or animal fats, or even recycled restaurant greases. And any product that is made out of those renewable agriculture byproducts can be blended into diesel at any percentage.” 

Olson says the blended fuel works jus as well as the straight diesel. “Blends of biodiesel up to B-20 perform very comparably to petroleum diesel, and very importantly, it’s good for Iowa’s economy, it’s good for Iowa’s environment because it burns cleaner. And it’s good for our nation’s energy security. For every gallon of biodiesel we use, we import less foreign petroleum. And I think we all agree that’s a good idea,” Olson says. Iowa is home to 13 biodiesel plants that produced about 175 million gallons of biodiesel in 2011.

Bike/Trails Expo in Atlantic, April 30th

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

April 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Nishna Valley Trails association is inviting the public to a “Bike/Trails Expo” to be held at the Cass County Community Center in Atlantic on Monday, April 30th, beginning at 7 p.m.  Mark Wyatt, the president of the Iowa Bicycling Coalition will be the speaker for the evening, talking about trends in bicycling as recreation and transportation, and about Iowa as the “Bike Trails Capitol of the World”.  There will be informational displays, a bicycle show, and refreshments will be served.  By registering at the door, participants can enter a drawing for door prizes, including bicycles and biking accessories.  For more information contact Ed Kail at 243-4265.

Cass County Farmer Wins $2,500 for Griswold Fire Department

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Monsanto say Mike Noll, of Griswold, has been selected as a winner in the America’s Farmers Grow Communities contest, which gives farmers the opportunity to win $2,500 for their favorite local nonprofit organizations. The donations are available through the Monsanto Fund. Noll has designated the Griswold Fire Department to receive the award in Cass County.

Griswold Fire Chief Jim Wyman, farmer Mike Noll and a Monsanto representative will participate in a check presentation ceremony Thursday, April 12th, 6:30 pm at the Griswold Fire Station (405 Main St. in Griswold).

In 1,245 eligible counties in 39 states, farmers could win $2,500 for their favorite community nonprofit.  The Monsanto Fund expects to invest more than $3.1 million in local communities. Nearly 60,000 farmers participated in the second annual Grow Communities program, which is designed to benefit nonprofit groups such as ag youth, schools and other civic organizations.

For more information and to see a full list of winners, visit www.growcommunities.com.

Dozens of cattle reported stolen in northwest Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

HINTON, Iowa (AP) — Dozens of cattle are missing from a feedlot in northwest Iowa. The Plymouth County sheriff’s office says 56 steers valued at over $81,000 were reported stolen from the Bio Beef Feed Lot near Hinton last week. The feedlot says 30 Holstein steers were missing, and a customer reported being short 26 Holstein steers. Lot operator Roger Ruhland says he suspects someone cut a chain at the main gate and opened several gates to barns, letting cattle run free in the compound. He believes the thefts occurred within the past two weeks.

Planting season could pick up speed this week


April 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

With the snow long gone and warmer temperatures for most of the spring so far, Iowa farmers have been anxious to start putting corn seeds into the ground. State Ag Secretary, Bill Northey, says there hasn’t been a lot of planting yet, but he expects things to start picking up. “We still can get some cold weather this time of year, we saw some frost last week in part of the state, but I think there’ll be some corn go in this week. I think folks are kind of not getting into too much of a hurry, but the ground is ready and it’s hard not to go,” Northey says. Some farmers may be waiting until midweek to get started.

He says you can’t plant before April 11th to be able to get failed planting coverage if you have to replant. Farming has become more precise with G-P-S systems guiding the tractors through the fields, and that leads to fuel savings. But Northey says higher fuel prices are still felt on the farm.

“We can still buy four to six gallons an acre of fuel out there in some cases, and if you start multiplying five-gallons-an-acre times four-dollars-a-gallon, than it dollars up when you see the price come up,” Northey says. “So it has an impact. Right now that’s a small part of our input costs when you look at seed and fertilizer and the other costs of taking care of that ground…but it’s still like everything else, it adds up and it does make a difference.” Northey says the mood is good as farmers enter the planting season and see the commodity prices. “Lately we’ve actually seen the bean prices slip up a little higher than what the corn prices are for fall. So, I’m sure we have a few folks trying to decide on those last acres, whether they will go ahead and plant beans or corn,” Northey says.

“Right now if the ground is fit they will probably go ahead and plant corn. But if those bean prices are a little bit better, we may have a few folks leaning some of that direction based on soybean prices for fall which are still over 13-dollars a bushel.” Northey says the high commodity prices are nice, but you always have to keep a watch on the market forces.

“Certainly if China would decide to buy more from South America or decide to buy less overall, that would have some impact on these markets as well. And that worldwide economy and demand on livestock products affects how much livestock is produced and therefore how much corn and soybean meal they use. There’s plenty of things to be watching for, at the same token, we’ve certainly has a nice run here of decent prices,” Northey says. Northey farms near Spirit Lake.

(Dar Danielson/Radio Iowa)