KJAN Ag/Outdoor

(4:40-p.m. 4/29) UPDATE ON POLLUTION RELEASES NEAR RED OAK

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources said late this (Wednesday) afternoon, that they have traced ammonia found in a culvert near Red Oak to a hog confinement on the southwest corner of town. On Tuesday, the DNR responded to a report from Hog Haven, owned by Lindoah, LLC, that a broken pipe leaked drinking water into a manure pit under the building. The excess water caused the pit to overflow.

Today (Wednesday), the DNR confirmed that ammonia found in a culvert Tuesday came from the hog confinement. An unknown amount of contaminated water flowed into a road ditch and eventually to the culvert and a tributary of the East Nishnabotna River.

In another incident Tuesday, the DNR investigated a release from Nachurs, a fertilizer company in Red Oak. The release occurred when the company pumped water from a storm water basin into a drainage ditch. The company reported the release once they realized the water was contaminated.

Both releases have been contained. The DNR checked the river below Red Oak Wednesday and found no sign of an extensive fish kill. However, they did find six dead minnows below Nachurs. Field test results from Tuesday and Wednesday showed no further sign of contamination in the river. However, residents should keep children and pets out of the creek between Nachurs and the Nishnabotna River until 48 hours after cleanup is complete.

The DNR is working with both companies and Montgomery County Emergency  Management to ensure proper cleanup.

(Updated 4/29) – Red Oak fertilizer spill contained & is being cleaner-up

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday afternoon, that the spill at Nachurs Alpine Nutrition plant has been contained, and was in the process of being cleaned up. Crews worked throughout the night pumping out the waterway between Nachurs and the east side of the levy.

Crews were expected to begin work on the area between the Nishnabotna River and the west side of levy this (Wednesday) afternoon, to remove any standing water. Over the next several days and possibly the next couple of weeks, crews will be in the area along the creek to remove any contaminated soil.

The DNR is continuing to investigate, but at this time officials say it appears that the water was pumped out of a containment pool into the waterway before it was realized that the water color had changed. There was no tank or line rupture, and there is no immediate harm or life safety risk to the public nor has there been.

As far as the environmental hazard to any fish, it appears to be minimal as the majority of the substance stayed within the creek however that will continue to be monitored by the Iowa DNR. The Montgomery County EMA says while work is being completed, residents of Red Oak will see a presence of heavy equipment in the area. You’re asked to avoid the area while those crews are operating.

As previously mentioned, there is no life safety risk to the public nor has there been. The DNR does urge that small children or pets stay out of the creek between the Nishnabotna River and Nachurs.

Cass County Extension Report 04-29-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

April 29th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

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Trumpeter Swans to be released at area parks next week

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

(updated to include more release locations) 

The Iowa DNR says its staff will release several trumpeter swans next week at four separate locations in southwest Iowa.untitled Four trumpeter swans will be released on May 6th at Lake Icaria in Adams County. The large birds will take flight from the east boat ramp on the north side of the lake, located three miles east of Highway 148 on 160th Street, which is a gravel road. The release will take place at 9:30 a.m., May 6th.

Four more swans will be released at 1-p.m. on May 6th, from the boat ramp on Summitt Lake one-mile west of Creston (in Union County), off Highway 25. And, four trumpeter Swans will take off from Lake Anita State Park on May 7th, beginning at 2:30 p.m. (rain or shine). The park is located one-mile south of Anita off Highway 148. The swans will be released with the assistance of Cass County Conservation Board.

Two trumpeter swans will also be released near the restaurant and beach at Viking Lake State Park at 10 a.m. May 7. Viking Lake State Park is two miles east of Stanton on Highway 34, then right on Q Avenue for ½ mile, then left on 230th Street for one mile.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend any of the events, each of which include a 20-minute swan/wetland presentations, a unique opportunity to touch and view the swans up close, and a historic photo opportunity with the kids. As the largest North American waterfowl, the magnificent all-white birds can weigh up to 32 pounds with an 8-foot wingspan.

Trumpeter swans were once common in Iowa, but were gone from the state by the late 1880’s. By the early 1930’s, only 69 Trumpeter Swans remained in the lower 48 states. The trumpeter swans being released are part of the DNR’s statewide trumpeter swan restoration effort, with hopes that they will help restore a wild free flying population to Iowa. Public support is key to achieving this objective.

(Update) DNR Investigating two pollutant releases near Red Oak

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources late Tuesday evening updated our earlier report about a possible fertilizer spill near Red Oak. Authorities said they were investigating two reports of pollutant releases. Nachurs Alpine Solutions (Nachurs) reported a release of an unknown amount of fertilizer Tuesday afternoon. City officials closed a floodgate to prevent fertilizer from reaching the Nishnabotna River.

It is unknown whether the fertilizer reached the river. DNR staff is working with the facility and the Montgomery County Emergency Response. To be safe, Red Oak residents should keep children and pets away from the waterway behind the Nachurs
building.

The second report involves ammonia found near a culvert in Red Oak. The source of
the ammonia is unknown and still being investigated. The DNR will continue to monitor the river and clean up, as needed.Spill2

Photos courtesy Montgomery County EMA

Photos courtesy Montgomery County EMA

Fertilizer spill into Red Oak creek feeding Nishnabotna River

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency announced late Tuesday afternoon, that the City of Red Oak was notified of a possible hazardous materials spill from Nachurs Alpine Solutions, in Red Oak. It was determined that an unknown amount of mixed fertilizer had been released into a waterway behind the business and had traveled to the Nishnabotna River on the west side of Red Oak.

At this time there is no immediate health risk to the public, however there may be an environmental impact to fish downstream. Nachurs Alpine in Red Oak has taken the steps to contain the spill and are working with an outside source to clean up the remaining product that had been released.

The City of Red Oak, Red Oak Fire & Rescue, Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency and Iowa DNR assisted at the scene.

Photos courtesy Montgomery County EMA Spill2

Ex-egg execs appeal jail sentences in salmonella outbreak

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Two former egg industry executives are appealing the three-month jail sentences a judge has ordered for their roles in a 2010 food poisoning outbreak. The appeals filed Monday by Austin “Jack” DeCoster and his son, Peter DeCoster, had been expected.

U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett ordered the jail time earlier this month, citing a “litany of shameful conduct” that happened at their large Iowa egg production company. But Bennett allowed them to stay free while they appeal to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Federal investigators traced the 2010 salmonella outbreak to eggs that came from the DeCosters’ company, Quality Egg. Thousands of people were sickened and more than 500 million eggs were voluntarily recalled. The DeCosters’ attorneys argue that jail time is unconstitutional for the crime.

Western IA JohnDeere dealer lays off 28 people

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Farm equipment dealer AgriVision Inc. of Glenwood, is cutting 28 people from its full-time workforce of 350 because of lagging sales triggered by the downturn in grain prices. The Omaha World-Herald says according to AgriVision CEO Jeremy Ostrander, the John Deere dealership also is offering early retirement plans to staff members over the next three or four months to reduce costs. Workers who lost their jobs — mostly in sales and support positions — are receiving severance pay and help finding new work.

AgriVision’s 13 locations in southern and south-central Iowa have customers in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. AgriVision was formed Jan. 1, 2014, by the merger of Barker Implement and A&M Green Power, which trace their history back more than 100 years. During the years of high farm income, grain prices and equipment sales, the company replaced two of its facilities and added on to others.

Ostrander said the company’s parts and service business “is still going strong” and is likely to expand as farmers repair and maintain equipment rather than buying new. He said farmers bought so much new equipment during the high-income years of 2010-13 that their equipment fleet is as new as it has ever been. Much of their old equipment has been exported to other nations.

Last fall, John Deere’s manufacturing plants laid off more than 1,000 employees, including some in Iowa.

 

5 probable cases of highly pathogenic Avian Influenza in 3 n.w. IA Counties

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State officials say the bird flu virus has been found in a large egg-laying flock in northwest Iowa, plus four more poultry farms. Initial tests indicated the presence of the H5N2 virus on an egg-laying farm with 3.7 million chickens in Sioux County. Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said Monday the virus will cost producers about a sixth of Iowa’s 60 million hens.

Northey says other probable cases have been identified at two farms in O’Brien County, one in Osceola County and another in Sioux County. More than 2 million chickens combined were on those farms.

If the final test results are confirmed, all of the birds will be killed to prevent spread of the disease.

 

Atlantic FFA Attends 87th Annual Iowa FFA Leadership Conference

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 27th, 2015 by Jim Field

by:  Cale Pellett
Atlantic FFA Reporter

On April 19, 2015, 16 members of the Atlantic FFA along with advisor Eric Miller and chaperone Danna Saeugling left Atlantic High School to attend the 87th Annual Iowa FFA Leadership Conference. This event was held in Ames, Iowa at both Hilton Coliseum and the Scheman Building on Iowa State University’s campus from the 19th-21st.

The first activity the Atlantic Chapter took part in was the Meals from the Heartland program. FFA members assembled and packed meals to be sent to less fortunate countries around the world. Meals from the Heartland is an organization that packages several thousand meals for people in countries where food is scarce. With this year’s addition of packing food, the Iowa FFA has successfully made over one million meals over the past four years as this was the 4th year in a row Iowa FFA has packed over 250,000 meals.

Over Monday (20th) and Tuesday (21st), all 18 people that left for Ames were very busy. The first Career Development Event (CDE) was Creed Speaking; this was done by freshman, Cale Pellett, who placed 6th at the contest out of 18 contestants. At the same time, Clayton Saeugling participated in the an Auditing Committee Meeting and Adam Freund worked with other FFA members from Iowa at Program Of Activities Committee Meeting. Nate Moen and Lexi Freund represented Atlantic FFA at delegate meeting. FFA chapter delegates such as these two are the members that decide the state officers that will be installed at the fourth general session.

Also on Monday, the conference featured the first of four general sessions. Over the four sessions, several terms of business arose. During each of the sessions, two, or sometimes three officers will give their retiring speech. Another feature of these sessions included the speeches given by high upheld members of the agriculture society: this includes Governor Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, and many other guest speakers such as Dr. Will Keim.

During the conference, there were two tests taken: the Greenhand Test and the Farm Business Management Test. Freshmen Josh Rossell and Emily Saeugling both took the Greenhand Test and earned a silver. This test consists of basic to hard questions about the FFA organization in general. It tests the new member’s abilities to know the history and current information about the FFA. Morgan Barkley, Sam Barkley, Clint Hansen, and Marshal McDermott took the Farm Business Management Test and earned a Bronze. The FBM is a test that analyzes agriculture, farm, and ranch business management information. It applies these economic principles to the decision-making process. It also evaluates agriculture business, and farm business management decisions, as well as the testing of the members ability to work together cooperatively as a group.

Throughout the conference, several members took part in personal tours of different parts of the Iowa State University campus. These were given by Mr. Miller and Mrs. Saeugling and ranged from the general campus to the 450 Farm to the ISU Dairy Farm.

At the fourth and final general session, three members from Atlantic were a major part of in the session. First, freshman Miranda Chipman played percussion instruments in the Iowa FFA band shortly after the introduction. And as convention came to a close at the end of the session, seniors Adam Freund and Savannah Sorensen walked across the stage to receive their Iowa FFA degrees. In order to receive this prestigious awards, FFA members must complete all of the following: be an FFA member for two years, complete two years of high school, invested at least $1,000 in their SAE or 300 hours in excess to class time work or a combo of the two. Recipients must have committed 25 years to community service, performed 10 procedures of parliamentary procedure, given a six-minute speech relating to agriculture, served as an officer or other satisfactory position held by chapter, and had a strong enough school record, as deemed by their superintendent or principal.

From this great experience, Atlantic FFA members gained great knowledge and a better understanding of the FFA organization. Whether this was from the free tours given by people from our community or the very interesting sessions given by one of the greatest organizations ever created: the Future Farmers of America.

Chapter Delegates

Chapter Delegates: Lexi Freund and Nate Moen

Chapter Display

Chapter Display: Emily McDermott, Alexis Boes, Carly Westphalen

Farm Business Managment Team

Farm Business Management Team: Morgan Barkley, Marshal McDermott, Sam Barkley, Clint Hansen

FFA Creed Cale

FFA Creed: Cale Pellett

Greenhand Test

Greenhand Test: Emily Saeugling and Josh Rossell

Meals from the heartland

Meals from the Heartland

State Convention Group 15

State Convention Group: Left to Right Back Row Miranda Chipman, Josh Rossell, Cale Pellett, Nate Moen, Marshal McDermott, Clint Hansen, Sam Barkley, Clayton Saeugling, Adam Freund Left to Right Front Row Carly Westphalen, Morgan Barkley, Emily McDermott, Lexi Freund, Alexis Boes, Emily Saeugling