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.

Record crop insurance payout stirs subsidy debate

Ag/Outdoor

March 23rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Farmers are filing a record $16 billion in crop insurance claims for 2012 because of widespread drought, and the staggering amount has critics calling for changes in the federal crop insurance program. Farmers buy crop insurance, but the federal government pays 62 percent of their premiums and picks up the tab for losses over a certain amount. One analyst estimates the federal tab for 2012 will come to about $11 billion.

It’s the second consecutive year of record crop insurance payments, with flooding and drought in 2011 followed by an even worse drought. The Federal Crop Insurance Corp. puts the total losses so far at $15.91 billion, with some claims still pending. That’s at least a 47 percent increase from the $10.8 billion in losses in 2011.

Bankers say farm income helping rural economy

Ag/Outdoor

March 21st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Bankers in 10 Midwest and Plains states expect the rural economy to continue growing in the months ahead because of the strength of farm income. The overall economic index on the March Rural Mainstreet survey remained at a healthy level of 56.9 even though it was down from February’s 58.2. Any score above 50 on the index, which ranges from 0 to 100, suggests growth in the months ahead. Scores below 50 suggest contraction.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the report. He says the survey suggests farmland values will continue to grow and home sales are beginning to grow. The index is based on a survey of rural bankers in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

G&R Feed & Grain bankruptcy case update

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 21st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Trustee in the bankruptcy case of a Portsmouth grain company reports that on Wednesday, March 20th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture mailed checks to producers who held warehouse receipts for stored grain at G & R Feed and Grain Co., Incorporated. Deborah L. Petersen says the Iowa Department of Agriculture continues to process claims for producers who sold grain to G & R for cash, or who sold grain on an unsigned contract and were not paid. The first batch of claims has been processed, and the second batch is in progress. Once the paperwork has been returned by the claimants and processed, checks will be issued within 2 – 3 weeks thereafter.

Petersen reports as well, that the bankruptcy case is progressing. She says the deadline for filing claims in the Bankruptcy is May 20th, 2013. If you have a claim for a deferred price contract, or other amount due you, you should take action to timely file a claim with the Bankruptcy Court.

Petersen is accepting proposals for auction of the facility and all equipment. Once an auctioneer is chosen, the Court’s approval will be sought and an auction scheduled. Letters have been sent out to collect all accounts due G & R.  Petersen says as Trustee, she is still seeking recovery of the proceeds for the grain delivered in December.

Group calls for full funding of Land and Water Conservation Fund

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 21st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An environmental group used the first day of Spring Wednesday to push for more federal funding to help purchase private land to protect it from development. Amelia Schoeneman of Environment Iowa spoke at Gray’s Lake in Des Moines, calling for full funding of the federal “Land and Water Conservation Fund . Mark Ackelson, president of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, says the fund does more than preserve land. He said “The Land and Water Conservation Fund also funds wetland protection and restoration in Iowa.

The foundation in the process of buying land in the Loess Hills, and in central Iowa’s Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge. Ackelson says they are currently working on buying 840 acres at the Smith Refuge. Ackelson says “In the Loess Hills the National Parks Service identified 12 special landscape areas that constitute roughly a hundred thousand acres total. And those 12 sites are distributed along the seven counties along the Loess Hills in western Iowa.”

The cost of Iowa farmland was recently reported at an all-time high, but Ackelson says the cost of buying private land for conservation varies widely. He says they find a lot of landowners “Have a lot of conservation in their heart. And many times they are willing to donate as least a part of the value. That helps them offset some of the taxes that they may have due, but it also helps them perpetuate their family legacy as well.” So, he says “This really is a partnership.”

Ackelson says the federal money is paired with state money and private donations to make the land purchases. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin has introduced a bill to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Schoeneman urged Senator Chuck Grassley to do the same. Congress is expected to vote on funding levels for the Land and Water Conservation Fund as well as the National Parks budget this week as a part of the 2014 fiscal year budget.

(Radio Iowa)

Leash on Life 03-21-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

March 21st, 2013 by Chris Parks

Info from the Atlantic Animal Shelter.

Play

Doc Leonard’s Pet Pointers 03-21-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

March 21st, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Dr. Keith Leonard

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Oak Strollers Nature Club for Families- Location Change

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Naturalist Lora Kanning reports due to the wind chill factor, the “Rocks” program will now be held at the Atlantic Public Library Community Room at 11AM Thursday, March 21, 2013.  The 2013 Oak Strollers Nature Club is sponsored by Cass County Conservation.

Join the Conservation Department for monthly events to guide your family outdoors. Events will be for all ages. Some events may be public Cass County Conservation and some may occur during the day when school is in. The nature club led by Naturalist, Lora Kanning gives parents the comfort of exploring nature in Cass County.

Kanning parents should “Bring your child and plan to have a great time-making a memory.”

Cass County Extension Report 03-20-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

March 20th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Play

Atlantic Parks and Rec Board approves Summer fees and Disc Golf course project

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

March 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Parks and Recreation Department Board of Directors, Monday, approved the fees for Summer Recreation Programs, and a local Eagle Scout’s project to improve the Sunnyside Park Disc Golf Course. Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring asked for, and the Board approved, no change in rates charged for swimming at the City Pool. Herring says they will also be offering punch cards again this year, which, if you plan to be a frequent user of the Sunnyside Pool, will save you some money in the long run. The punch card allows you to buy 15 punches for $50. That’s a savings of $10 over the daily rate of admission.

Herring says sponsorship rates for the Men’s slow-pitch softball program will also be unchanged from last year. The cost of sponsorships went up last year from $150 per team to $300 to increase revenue and break even expense-wise. An incentive to the sponsors came in the form of a banner, and their sponsorships were tax deductible. Herring says while that resulted in a decrease in the number of teams from 10 to 8, it increased the cost savings to the Parks and Rec Dept. and reduced the amount of red ink in the books.

Atlantic Eagle Scout Nick Podhajsky speaks before the Atlantic Parks & Rec Board. (Ric Hanson/photo)

In other business, the Parks and Rec Board heard from Atlantic Eagle Scout Nick Podhajsky, who proposed a bridge replacement project near hole number 7, for the Sunnyside Park Disc Golf Course. The current bridge was built by course designer and facilitator Frank Saddlemire, and while functional and fits the natural environment, is also a potential liability to the City, because of its undersized main supports…small, and widely spaced decking branches, and single rails on each side.

Podhajsky proposed upgrading the bridge to incorporate: utility poles for the main supports; treated 2×6 lumber for the decking; and treated 4×4 posts to support three rails on each side. It would be very similar to the design used for the bridge near the Sunnyside Schoolhouse. Donations and supplies for the project would come from local groups, companies and individuals, with the labor for construction and installing the bridge to come from the Scout and other volunteers.

The Board gave approval for Podhajsky to proceed with the project, which could be completed by the end of June.

Spring arrives on Wednesday but allergy season is already hitting Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Winter isn’t officially over until Wednesday, but allergy season has already arrived in Iowa as the trees are starting to pollinate. Dr. Jill Poole, an allergist in Omaha/Council Bluffs, says allergy sufferers are beginning to feel the effects. Dr. Poole says, “This is the time of year when the trees start and so this is the exact time for them to get their allergy medications out of the cabinet and start their nose sprays and antihistamines to try to fend off the allergy symptoms before they get behind the eight ball.”

Spring arrives on Wednesday. While everyone’s body is affected a little differently, Poole says tree pollen hits many people in similar ways.
“Sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy nose, itchy, watery eyes are the main symptoms that can be experienced now,” she says. Known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, allergies are reactions of the body’s immune system to a normally harmless substance. Poole says you’ll know it if you have a tree pollen allergy. “If you’re having the classic symptoms of the itchy nose, the sneezing, the itchy, watery eyes that start in March and get real bad in April, that’s really indicative of allergies and you can start taking over-the-counter medications,” she says. “If those don’t hold you or work well for you, that’s the time to get allergy tested.”

Between 20 and 40-percent of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. Poole offers a few tips on how to lessen the uncomfortable effects of allergies. “Tree pollen is pretty hardy and once it gets in the home, it can be a longer-lasting pollen,” she says. “By closing the windows, that will keep the pollen from being in your bedroom where you’re sleeping and spending a lot of the time. After you’ve been outside, changing your clothes or washing your hands and face can be helpful.”

She also recommends over-the-counter nasal-sinus irrigations and over-the-counter antihistamines that are the non-sedating. Learn more about allergies at the website of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: www.aaaai.org

(Radio Iowa)