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.

Shelby County Fire Danger Index remains “Extreme”, TFN

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

September 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Fire Danger Index will remain in the “Extreme” category in Shelby County, at least until the next update, on Thursday. Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert says field work is beginning in the County, and there are typically three or four combine fires each harvest season. Seivert says while the short grasses have greened-up thanks to recent rainfall, the major fuel source for explosive fire growth…corn, beans, and tall grasses.. continue to dry-up due to the sunshine and wind.

Extra precautions should be taken while farmers are out in the field, to ensure their machines are free of debris and that fires are not started behind those implements while the harvest is underway.

Drought may lead to not so brilliant fall colors

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

September 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The unofficial end of summer is here and fall-like scenery could be arriving earlier than usual this year. Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forester Mark Vitosh says this summer’s drought has stressed some trees, which may speed up the process of leaves changing color. “In parts of central Iowa, I’m already starting to see some fall color, which is an indication those plants are deciding to shut down early and try to adapt to the conditions that are here,” Vitosh says. During a typical year, the fall colors are at their most brilliant in October.

Vitosh says the change in leaf color could climax a few weeks earlier this year. “We actually got a similar response in 2008 with the floods. We had a lot of stress on plants in some of the bottom lands and those trees started to turn color,” Vitosh says. “We may see a similar response this year because in some of the flood plain areas, those soils can be rather sandy and we haven’t had a lot of moisture.” A worst case scenario for fans of fall foliage would be almost no change in color.  “The other thing that happens with a drought, instead of getting fall color, you get a lot of nothing…a lot of brown or yellow or the trees just shut down. So, we may not get the brilliant colors,” Vitosh said.

(Radio Iowa)

Another dove hunting season underway in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, Sports

September 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Thousands of hunters were out in Iowa fields this weekend as the dove season opened Saturday. Todd Bogenschutz, wildlife biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says up to 9,000 hunters took part in the inaugural 2011 season. “I expect that to increase and I wouldn’t be surprised, when we get done with this season, if maybe we’re in the 10,000 to 15,000
range this fall,” Bogenschutz said. “It’s the second year and there was a lot of positive reports last year and a lot of success, so I expect numbers to go up a little bit.”

Last year, more than 57,000 mourning doves were harvested in Iowa during the 70 day long season. Hunters could see even more birds this year.  “Anecdotally, doing our roadside counts, staff reported seeing a lot of doves on the roadside. So, it looks like they had a pretty good production year this year,” Bogenschutz said.

The Iowa DNR has dedicated food plots for doves around the state that are open to public hunting. Bogenschutz believes dove hunting is a great way to introduce individuals to hunting because it takes place when the weather is nice, a hunting dog isn’t needed and it mostly involves sitting and waiting for doves to arrive. “You put all of those factors together, it just makes for a really great sport to bring new people in,” Bogenschutz said. “There’s a lot of opportunities for shooting. Granted, (doves) are difficult to hit, which makes it challenging but there’s lots of opportunity there.” In addition to doves, the rabbit and squirrel hunting seasons opened in Iowa this weekend.

(Radio Iowa)

WARM CONDITIONS PROMPT WARNING OF BLUE-GREEN ALGAE BLOOMS

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 31st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) say unseasonably warm weather and water temperatures have prompted concerns about microcystin, a product of blue-green algae. There are currently advisories for total microcystins for the beaches on Big Creek Lake near Saylorville, Green Valley Lake north of Creston, and Rock Creek Lake near Kellogg.  Blue-green algae can grow quickly and become very abundant in warm, shallow, undisturbed surface water that receives a lot of sunlight – conditions that have been prevalent throughout the state this summer. Because the conditions are conducive to blue-green algae growth, people and pets should not be in contact with water that has a poor appearance.

The appearance can be a pea-green or blue-green color, but also a reddish-brown. It may appear with scum, foam or as a thick mat on the water surface. Blue-green algae can grow quickly and become very abundant in warm, shallow, undisturbed surface water that receives a lot of sunlight. The main risk to humans from microcystin is skin irritations and rashes, but if the water is swallowed or airborne droplets are inhaled during swimming, bathing or showering, symptoms could be worse. Those would include headaches, nausea, abdominal pain, seizures, liver injury and respiratory problems.

Precautions that should be taken to prevent health-related problems due to harmful algal blooms include:  Don’t swim, water ski or boat in areas where the water is discolored or if there is foam, scum or mats of algae on the water;  If you come in contact with water that might have a harmful algal bloom, rinse off with fresh water as soon as possible; Don’t let pets or livestock swim in or drink from areas where water is discolored, of if there is foam, scum or mats of algae on the water; Don’t let pets (especially dogs) lick the algae off their fur after swimming in scummy water; Don’t irrigate lawns or golf courses with pond water that looks scummy or has a bad odor; Don’t drink the water. Boiling the water will not make it safe to drink.

Farmers at progress show say times pretty good

Ag/Outdoor

August 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

BOONE, Iowa (AP) — Farmers typically attend the annual Farm Progress Show in Boone to look to the future. They want to see the latest equipment, seed, and chemicals, and they want to learn about where the markets are headed. At this year’s three-day show that ended Thursday, plenty of people spoke about the drought, but they noted the last few years have been good. And even during this hot, dry summer, the harvest might not be as bad as it seems. While some individuals will lose money, farmers overall may earn more than last year’s record net income of more than $100 billion. Crop insurance and commodity prices are helping to compensate for lower yields. The USDA estimates farm income of $122.2 billion in 2012, up about 3.7 percent from last year.

Atlantic Animal Health Center Pet Care Tips 08-30-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

August 30th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Dr. Keith Leonard

USDA Report 08-30-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

August 30th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Max Dirks

State parks packed for holiday weekend

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Most of the reservable campsites with electricity in Iowa’s state parks have been claimed heading into the last big weekend of the summer recreation season. Kevin Szcodronski, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Parks Bureau, says campers are taking the “first come, first serve” sites as well. “I wouldn’t be surprised if by Thursday afternoon things were really tight…it’s going to be difficult to find a spot if you don’t have it secured already,” Szcodronski said.

Although the drought this summer has hurt Iowa’s ag industry, it’s led a boom in business for state parks. “Park use goes up when it doesn’t rain,” Szcodronski said. “I do know the peak of that hot time, when it was above 100 degrees, the tent campers…they stayed home because it’s pretty tough when it doesn’t get below 80 degrees in a tent.”

Many of the state parks will experience a significance drop off in visitors after this weekend, but other thrive in the fall months. Szcodronski notes the changing colors on trees can draw visitors similar to a major holiday weekend. Fall campers also enjoy fewer bugs and cooler temperatures.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Extension Report 08-29-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

August 29th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Fewer Iowans buying hunting, fishing licenses

Ag/Outdoor, Sports

August 29th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – Fewer Iowans are buying hunting and fishing licenses, but state officials say that doesn’t necessarily mean interest in the sports are waning.  Sales of hunting licenses to Iowa residents dropped 13 percent from 2007 to last year, and resident fishing licenses declined about 4 percent during that period. Nationally, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates hunting is up 9 percent and fishing has increased 11 percent.

Joe Larscheid, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Bureau, says that the national numbers are based on interviews. He says fishing remains strong in Iowa and license declines could reflect recent flooding.  DNR spokesman Kevin Baskins says declining pheasant populations hurt hunting license sales. That decline is blamed on grassland losses and recent harsh winters.