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.

ISU economist says stock up on meat now before prices go up

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An Iowa State University economist says with the drought pushing up corn and soy beans prices, you can expect to pay more for food at the grocery store. Chad Hart says prices in 2013 could go up about one to one-and-a-half percent more than the normal. “It’s going to be distributed across the products that we buy at the grocery story. We’re likely to see more impact in the meats than we will in say the produce or the grain section of the grocery store,” Hart says. He recommends putting some beef in your freezer now before prices go up. “It’s probably not a bad idea, and if you’re also one that consumes pork, buy some pork here during the fourth quarter. These will be some of the lowest pork prices that we’ll see,” Hart says. Hart says food prices normally go up about two-and-a-half percent each year, so you can tack that additional cost brought on by the drought problems to that increase.

(Radio Iowa)

King, Vilsack debate voter fraud, Farm Bill

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A deep disagreement over voting and lack of progress on the Farm Bill were the hallmarks of last night’s debate between Republican Congressman Steve King and Christie Vilsack, his Democratic challenger. The two candidates appeared together at a forum in Hampton and King said it’s time to not only require a photo I.D. for voting, but for election officials all over the country to check the voter registration lists for non-citizens. “There’s no reason for anybody to defend anything else because there’s voter fraud that’s determining these elections and it’s got to stop,” King said, getting cheers and whistles from his supporters in the audience.

Vilsack expressed reservations about requiring a photo I.D. “It is restrictive in many cases for people who are elderly,” she said. “There are a lot of situations where people don’t have a picture I.D. and they need to be able to vote.” Vilsack did not directly address King’s comment about non-citizens casting ballots, but she did speak to his assertion there is voter fraud. “I don’t think that there’s any evidence that there is a great deal of voter fraud out there,” Vilsack said, getting moans and groans from some in the audience and applause from others in the audience. “It’s the most important right and responsibility a person has in this country, to be able to vote, and I’ll do everything I can to make sure that people are allowed to do it.” King was given a minute to offer a rebuttal.

“I heard that, ‘We should do all we can to encourage every person to vote.’ I don’t agree. I completely don’t agree. I think they should be citizens of the United States of America in order to cast a ballot,” King said. According to King, voter fraud is “real” and if it’s not addressed, he said it will change the “destiny” of the U.S. “There are people here that might be visiting America, they might be on a green card, they might be here illegally — and there are people out there recruiting them to vote now,” King said. “We’ve got to stop that before we turn this country over to people that are not American citizens.” The subject of the Farm Bill was raised by the debate’s moderator.

Vilsack began: “I think Steve King should have shown more leadership on this and should have pounded on the door of Speaker Boehner…in making sure we have a Farm Bill.” King replied: “I’m not really sure if Mrs. Vilsack wants me to be a leader or a follower. I’ve gotten advice to be both a leader and a follower and it depends on the issue.” Throughout the debate King accused Vilsack of lobbing “baseless charges” his way. He also attacked the way Vilsack’s husband, former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, is running the U.S.D.A., twice mentioning a “Meatless Monday” idea unsuccessfully floated by an agency employee. Christie Vilsack did not speak of her husband’s role as U.S. ag secretary during the debate. Vilsack closed the debate by saying she’d be able to hold her own in congress because — as a former 8th grade teacher — she’s “used to dealing with adolescent behavior.”

(Radio Iowa)

Crop report: 22% of Iowa corn harvested

Ag/Outdoor

September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Nearly a quarter of Iowa’s corn crop has been harvested and it’s in slightly better condition, according to an update from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The USDA report shows 22-percent of Iowa’s corn was harvested by Sunday. That compares to the usual 7-percent for this stage of the season. Farmers are trying to salvage a drought damaged crop before stalks weaken further. The USDA report rates 48-percent of Iowa’s corn in poor to very poor condition. That’s a slight improvement from 52-percent one week ago. Thirty-four-percent of Iowa’s soybeans are in the poor to very poor category, down from 36-percent last week.

(Radio Iowa)

Branstad comments on BPI lawsuit

Ag/Outdoor

September 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Governor Branstad says the lawsuit filed by meat processor B-P-I will be hard to win, but it’s a legal fight worth waging.  “I know a lawsuit is an expensive proposition, but I hope it does make people think before they just repeat inaccurate smear language,” Branstad says. “There is a responsibility on the part of journalists to be fair and accurate in their presentation of information.”

B-P-I is suing A-B-C and others for repeated use of the term “pink slime” to describe the company’s lean, finely-textured beef. “It’s never easy on a case like that, but I just think when you have somebody that conducts a smear campaign — they know full well there’s no health issues and they purposely use language and I will not use the term because I think it’s inappropriate because it conjures up all kinds of things that are inaccurate,” Branstad says, “and they’re playing on people’s lack of knowledge on food and food processing.”

Branstad says there “ought to be consequences” for broadcasting “inaccurate” information about lean, finely-textured beef. “Now, what’s going to happen in the courts, but I hope it makes other people think about the language they use and that they need to be careful to be honest and accurate with their descriptions and not use charged words and smear language,” Branstad says. An A-B-C vice president has said the lawsuit is “without merit” and said the company will “contest it vigorously.” According to court documents, B-P-I lost 80 percent of its business in a month because of the negative publicity and closed three of its four plants, including one in Waterloo where 220 people were employed.

Iowa’s governor suggests lean, finely-textured beef could make a comeback on the market. “What you do is you separate the fat from the lean and you end up with a leaner product which is really healthier for you than hamburger that’s got more fat in it and then also this puff of ammonia kills e coli and other bacteria, so you protect the safety,” Branstad says, “and the USDA has always said it’s a safe product.” Most legal experts say for B-P-I’s defamation lawsuit to succeed, the company will have to prove the defendants intended to cause harm with their reports.

(Radio Iowa)

Posted County Prices 09-17-2012

Ag/Outdoor

September 17th, 2012 by admin

Cass County: Corn $7.53, Beans $17.00

Adair County: Corn $7.50, Beans $17.03

Adams County: Corn $7.50, Beans $16.99

Audubon County: Corn $7.52, Beans $17.02

East Pottawattamie County: Corn $7.56, Beans $17.00

Guthrie County: Corn $7.55, Beans $17.04

Montgomery County: Corn $7.55, Beans $17.02

Shelby County: Corn $7.56, Beans $17.00

Oats $3.76  (always the same in all counties)

Law professor says BPI lawsuit could be groundbreaking

Ag/Outdoor

September 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A Drake University expert says the billion-dollar lawsuit filed against A-B-C News and others by Beef Products Incorporated over the stories that called its finely textured beef product “pink slime” will break some new ground. Neil Hamilton is the director of the Agricultural Law Center at the Des Moines school.  “You never know how a case might come out, but it’s certainly going to be an uphill battle because there are a number of important First-Amendment issues and other issues as well as issues of interpretation of the South Dakota law they are filing it under. But I’m sure their attorneys believe they have a fighting chance,” Hamilton says.

The lawsuit was filed under a 1994 law that makes it illegal to defame a food product. Hamilton says proving the law was violated poses a challenge. “Whether any of the information was false and also the question of what the defamation was, so there are a number of important issue,” Hamilton explains, “and many of these statutes have ever been interpreted in court.” The lawyer for B-P-I says A-B-C News ran stories over a 30-day period that caused them to eventually have to close three of the plants that make the product, even though it was approved by the F-D-A as safe. Hamilton says proving the stories did the damage is the key. “Many of the news stories had that other side, but of course it came later in the stories and so I think there argument would be that the weight of what the stories were was to build that this was somehow and unsafe product,” Hamilton says.

B-P-I is seeking one-point-two BILLION dollars in the lawsuit. Hamilton says 13 states have this type of food product disparagement law, but there is very little history of the laws being used successfully in the courts to recover damages.

(Radio Iowa)

Born to love barns? See 100 of them, inside & out, on Iowa Barn Tour

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowans who appreciate historic barns can tour dozens of the big agricultural buildings during a special weekend-long barn tour later this month. About a hundred barns are being featured statewide.

Dobbin Barn, near State Center

Jacqueline Andre Schmeal, co-founder and president of the Iowa Barn Foundation, says each structure has a story and like the farmers who built them, they’re all different. Some of Iowa’s oldest, well-preserved barns are in the Dubuque area and date back to the 1830s. “The building was influenced by the ethnics where people came from, Germany, Luxembourg or wherever, or from Wisconsin or from Pennsylvania,” Schmeal says. “In western Iowa, you tend to have more western cattle barns and they’re more alike. It would depend, too, on the crops they had to store or the animals they had to feed.”

Some of the Barns on the tour in our area include: The Anstey barn, near Massena; The Heflin and Wooster barns in Shelby County; The Hindraker and Caltrider barns in Guthrie County; The Finken barn in Harrison County, and the Renze barn, along with the Ed Sextro Crib, both in Carroll County.

Roghair near Alton, pix by Ken Dunker

Whether they’re painted the traditional red-and-white or are made of wood, stone or brick, Schmeal says barns can be beautiful and fascinating. She says one round barn in central Iowa that’s on the tour has an unusual story.  “It was created by Van Pine Manufacturing in Davenport and all of the pieces were sent by railroad to State Center and then were hauled to the farm,” Schmeal says. “It’s a huge, magnificent, round barn. You just go in there and you look at all those pieces and wonder how that happened.”

Most of the 100-some barns on this year’s tour have gotten preservation grants from the foundation. Schmeal says the organization has handed out more than two-point-six million dollars since its founding in 1997. Some Iowans have an undying devotion to saving and restoring barns and Schmeal says it’s well-deserved. “It’s our heritage and it’s our history,” Schmeal says. “I cannot look at a barn without thinking of the farmer and the barn builder who worked all day and then he still had to put this barn together. Often, the family lived in the barn until the house was finished because they had to have the barn because that was their livelihood.”

The self-guided tours will run from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM on September 22nd and 23rd. Learn more at the website: www.iowabarnfoundation.org.

(Radio Iowa/Ric Hanson)

Atlantic Parks & Rec Board to meet Monday evening

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Parks and Recreation Board is slated to hold their regular monthly meeting Monday evening, in the Camblin Shelter at Sunnyside Park, instead of City Hall. During their 5:15-p.m. session, the Board will receive updates on the various Capital Improvement Projects, including those to: Sunnyside Park and its tennis courts, the Skate Park, and the Maintenance Building project; along with a Pellett Park playground equipment update.

The Board will also receive updates on the Schildberg Recreation Area, which will cover the Campground, Dog Park, Eagle Scout Bench Project, and Signage. In addition, they will discuss the need for Park Director Roger Herring to receive Pesticide Certification. In his report to the Board, Herring will review his meeting with the Schildberg Committee, report on a meeting with a Loss Control Specialist from the Iowa Communities Assurance Pool (ICAP), and give a tour of Sunnyside Park, along with a review of projects completed thus far, and those being considered.

Iowa taxpayers biggest donor to World Food Prize

Ag/Outdoor

September 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The $850,000 Iowa taxpayers contributed to the World Food Prize Foundation last year was the biggest donation the group received. The Des Moines Register reports) that Iowa taxpayers accounted for nearly one-third of the foundation’s spending in 2011. Public support is growing for the foundation that recognizes achievements in agriculture and holds an annual symposium every October. But Iowa officials agree that the investment in the World Food Prize foundation has paid off because it has improved the reputation of the state.

Western IA berry farm wins IA Farm Bureau Award

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Farm Bureau have announced Sawmill Hollow in Missouri Valley, the country’s first aronia berry farm, is this month’s Iowa Farm Bureau Renew Rural Iowa entrepreneur award winner.

Aronia Berries

The organic berry operation is a family farm run by Vaughn and Cindy Pittz and their son, Andrew.  In 1997, the Pittzes planted 207 aronia berry plants and have since expanded the farm to 26 acres and more than 13,000 plants. The berries, also known as black chokeberries, can be made into a variety of products, including syrup, sauce, powders and wine.

After looking into a number of value-added ideas, ranging from Christmas trees to pumpkin patches, the family found aronia berries offered the best potential.The business is a benefit to Iowa’s ag industry and to the Missouri Valley economy with its annual festival. Sawmill Hollow’s fifth annual North American Aronia Festival is this weekend, Sept. 15-16, featuring children’s activities, wine tasting, recipe contest, farming and gardening workshops and more. (For a full schedule, go to http://sawmillhollow.com/.)

Renew Rural Iowa (RRI) is an Iowa Farm Bureau Federation initiative supporting new and existing businesses through education, mentoring and financial resources. To learn more, visit www.renewruraliowa.com.