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.

Hot spell could spell trouble for Iowa cattle

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 27th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farmers are being urged to watch their cattle for signs of stress as the heat builds across the Midwest. The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association says cattle could be at risk with temperatures around 100 degrees on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. CEO Matte Deppe says cattle rely on respiration more than sweating to cool down, which means producers must also consider other means to keep them comfortable. Some suggestions from Iowa State University Extension include clean fresh water, shade and using a higher percentage of feed in the afternoon. If necessary, farmers should begin sprinkling cattle with water if there are signs of heat stress. Officials say producers who use fans or water on their cattle should continue to use the process until the heat wave breaks.

Loess Hills Region takes “Best of the West” title

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

More than 700 members of the tourism industry have voted Iowa’s Loess Hills Region as the “Best of the West,” in the category of “Watchable Wildlife.” Nominations were solicated in nine categories on the Western Iowa Tourism Region’s website, Survey Monkey, e-mails and community announcements. The winners were announced during the WITR’s annual meeting in Wall Lake. The Loess Hills Region received 150 nominations and 798 votes.

Shirley Phillips, President of the Western Iowa Tourism Region and Director of the Sac County Economic Development Office, said in a press release, that “Tourism is a proven economic driver for Iowa, generating more than $6-billion in revenue and more than 62,000 jobs.” The 200 member WITR organization works to connect communities, attractions and businesses interested in developing and promoting tourism and travel in western Iowa.

WITR is funded by the Iowa Economic Development Authority, County Boards of Supervisors in the region, and private memberships from chambers of commerce and other organizations. Regional bi-monthly meetings, which are held throughout the 36-county area, are open to the public. For more information, visit www.visitwesterniowa.com.

Despite some rain, Iowa fields still need moisture

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Topsoil in more than half of Iowa’s fields still needs more rain to reach adequate levels.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday’s weekly report that topsoil in 54 percent of Iowa’s field rated very short or short of adequate moisture. The east-central part of the state was the driest, with 78 percent of the topsoil moisture rated short to very short.  The USDA says 68 percent of the corn crop, which is silking in most parts of the state, is in good or excellent condition.   The soybean crop is rated 63 percent good to excellent.   The USDA report says 98 percent of the state’s oat crop has headed, which is nearly three weeks ahead of normal progression.

Leak forces Iowa slaughterhouse to close for a day

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DENISON, Iowa (AP) – Officials say an ammonia leak has forced a beef slaughterhouse in western Iowa to close down for a day.  A spokesman for Tyson Fresh Meats says the Denison plant is expected to resume operations today (Thursday).  The Sioux City Journal reports that the leak was discovered before Wednesday’s production began. Workers were evacuated, and no injuries have been reported.

USDA Report 06-21-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 21st, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Dave York

Cass County Extension Report 06-20-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 20th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Senate makes progress on farm bill


June 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has broken a deadlock on a half-trillion dollar farm and food bill, setting the stage for a final vote on the measure this week.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday, announced a list of some 70 amendments out of about 300 offered to the 1,000-page bill that would set farm policy over the next five years and provide nearly $80 billion a year for the federal food stamp program. The two parties have negotiated for days on which amendments would be allowed.
The Senate bill would bring major changes to the federal safety net for farmers by eliminating direct payments to farmers, even when they don’t plant crops, replacing that with greater stress on crop insurance. The House has yet to come up with a companion bill.

Free Summer Gardening Web Series to Focus on Vegetable Gardening

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Master Gardener program is once again offering a series of summer webinars free to all local residents with an interest in gardening. The 2012 series is titled “Garden Goodness” and will be hosted by Iowa State University Extension county offices on the fourth Tuesday of each month, May through August. The Cass County Extension Office is a local host site.

Each session will provide information about vegetable gardening, from a variety of perspectives. The second presentation in the series is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26th. From 6:30-7:30 p.m. Angie Tagtow, environmental nutrition consultant,will discuss Food Gardening and Health. From 7:30-8:30 p.m. Denise Fikes, Mills County Extension horticulture assistant, will talk about Glenwood’s Giving Garden. Participants will watch the presentation live from campus, projected onto a large screen, and have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the topic with the presenter. There is no charge to attend the classes, and no requirements to attend the entire series. Local gardeners are encouraged to attend any session that catches their interest.

Upcoming dates, presenters and topics for the 2012 series are:

On July 24, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Linda Naeve will talk on the Peoples Garden Project and Working with Youth; from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Cindy Haynes will discuss Edible Ornamentals. Naeve is an ISU Extension value added agriculture specialist; Haynes is an associate professor in the Department of Horticulture and an ISU Extension consumer/urban horticulture specialist. The final session on August 28, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. will feature Angela Tedesco presenting the Top Ten Sustainable Gardening Tips from Turtle Farm. Tedesco is owner of Turtle Farm, an organic vegetable, fruit and herb CSA near Granger, Iowa.

The series, in its third year, is offered by Iowa Master Gardener program in response to requests for more Iowa gardening educational opportunities. The sessions are open to all interested gardeners; participants are not required to have completed Master Gardener training to attend, however the session will fulfill Master Gardener continuing education requirements.

Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required, to allow local staff to plan for appropriate accommodations. For more information, or to register, call the Cass County Extension Office at 712-243-1132, email keolson@iastate.edu, or stop by the Extension Office at 805 W. 10th St in Atlantic.

Iowa remains dry even with much-needed rain


June 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa has received some much-needed rain but the state is still dry.    The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday’s weekly report that Iowa received an average of 1.5 inches of rain last week. That’s above the normal of about 1.2 inches. Even so, more than half the topsoil and subsoil remains dry.  The USDA says 67 percent of the corn crop, which is beginning to silk, is in good or excellent condition. That’s the same as last week. 

Soybeans, which are starting to bloom, are rated 61 percent good to excellent. That’s down from 62 percent a week ago.  More than half the state’s pastures and range land are in poor or fair condition. However, stress on livestock is minimal with no issues reported.

USDA Crop Certification deadline is June 30th


June 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

John R. Whitaker, State Executive Director for USDA’s Iowa Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers that the annual crop certification deadline is June 30, 2012. Producers should file an accurate and timely report for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage and prevented planting. Acreage reports on crops covered by Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) should be filed in the county office the earlier of June 30, 2012 or no later than 15 calendar days before the onset of harvest or grazing of the specific crop acreage being reported. 

To report prevented or failed acreage, producers must complete Form CCC-576, Notice of Loss for interested crops. Reporting prevented or failed acreage to FSA will ensure compliance with current farm programs, and possible eligibility for future disaster programs.  Once a CCC-576 has been submitted, if cannot be withdrawn or revised. If a producer misses the reporting deadline for prevented planting, they may still report prevented planting acreage as long as the disaster condition may be verified by a field visit.

Producers may contact their local county FSA office if they have any questions about prevented and failed reporting or visit www.fsa.usda.gov/ia.