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.

Cass Co. Supervisors adopt amended zoning ordinance

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

After an hour-long second public hearing, and 5-minutes of discussion, the Cass County Board of Supervisors Wednesday approved a last-minute amendment to a proposed ordinance pertaining to permitted uses, structures and parking requirements for Light Industrial Zones, and adopted the ordinance as amended, on the second reading.

During the hearing, the sticking point for many who were in attendance, was item 17 of the amendment to Section 3.12 of the Light Industrial Schedule, which stipulated that industrial facilities utilize renewable resources, including, but not limited to, agricultural by-products. The concerns were that any business could be built in a light industrial zone the uses even a fraction of renewable energy, and that it wording was entirely too vague.

The amended ordinance leaves in-tact, item 16, which simply includes “Alternative energy production facilities” in a Light Industrial Zone.It was Kathy Showalter, who represented Amaizing Energy site buyer Ron Fagen, who suggested that in order to expedite the proceedings, item 17 be dropped entirely.

Once the hearing was closed, Board Chairman Mark Wedemeyer thanked everyone for their input.The Board, with Supervisor Chuck Reiken absent to attend a required meeting in Council Bluffs, voted unanimously to approve the amendment and adopt it. It becomes official once publicized in the local papers.

Cass County Extension Report 01-16-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

January 16th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Extension Program Coordinator Kate Olson


Iowa Workforce Development assisting with closing of Cargill plant

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Midwest Partnership Economic Development Corporation (MP-EDC) say they have been working closely with Cargill Kitchen Solutions, Iowa Workforce Development and the community to deal with the closing of the company’s Panora plant, beginning in February, and culminating in March. Cargill announced late last October that it would be closing its hard-cooked egg facility, which was a fixture in Panora for 28-years. The company said it planned to consolidate and shift production to their plant in Big Lake, Minnesota. The 55 employees were given the option to apply for positions at the Minnesota plant.

MP-EDC says they are working with Workforce Development and the company on a job fair to be held at the location next Friday. If you have or are aware of possible job opportunities with businesses in Guthrie County or nearby, please call Midwest Partnership in Stuart, at (515) 523-1262.

MP-EDC says also that they have worked closely with the company and state development to start pursuing potential businesses for the facility.

Service truck theft reported in Adair County

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Adair County Sheriff’s Office reports a service truck belonging to Agriland  F-S in Canby was stolen over the weekend. The vehicle, a white 2012 Ford F-350 with license plate 661 SEM, was stolen from the company’s shop. It was equipped with a flatbed box and had several pieces of equipment mounted on the back.

The doors were adorned with Agriland F-S  decals and unit number 629 was displayed on both front fenders. The pickup was stolen sometime between 10:30-a.m. Sunday and 7-a.m. Monday. Anyone with information about the theft or the location of the truck should call the Adair County Sheriff’s Office at 641-743-2148.

Report: Snowfall still too low to overcome drought before spring

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

January 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Just because there’s snow on the ground in Iowa doesn’t mean the drought is over. Experts at the National Drought Mitigation Center are keeping a close eye on conditions across the Midwest this winter. Center spokesman Mark Svoboda says dry weather still plagues the region’s producers who desperately need to feed livestock. “Pasture, range and forage for livestock producers all across the heartland here and they’re coming off already two pretty bad summers especially in the Southern plains and there has been no chance for that pasture and range to recover and there hasn’t been precipitation to do that,” Svoboda says. “That doesn’t just pop right back in a couple of weeks. That can take years to recover.”

It’s still too early to know if the drought will continue well into 2013 but Svoboda says there are already some foreboding signs. “We’re not running with an abundance of precipitation over the fall period so that’s strike one,” Svoboda says. “Then you look at snow. Last year was a low snowpack year that fed the Missouri basin which feeds into the Mississippi. We had low snowpack across the Great Lakes where levels are very low, almost historically low, which feeds into the Mississippi. That was strike two, and so far this year, we’re seeing a repeat of that in a lot of ways.”

There has been a good amount of snowfall already this winter in some northern states, but he says we’ll need a lot of rain this spring or we’ll likely have a repeat of last year. Svoboda says the lack of snowfall for a second consecutive year will cause a lot of problems for some farmers, like wheat producers. “You want that snow not just for moisture but for insulating that crop, helping with emergence,” Svoboda says. “Back in the fall, we didn’t get a lot of widespread good rains to help with the emergence, so we had a lot of exposed soil that was blowing around in the fall, that was still a concern. Because of the lack of forage, they were bailing a lot of the cornstalks to get forage and feed. Without that on the field, you have less stuff to capture that snow when it does fall.”

A federal report last week found more than 60-percent of the country is still under drought conditions, including all of Iowa. That report also said it would take a total of eight-feet of snow this winter to overcome the drought by spring. The National Drought Mitigation Center is based in Lincoln, Nebraska.

(Radio Iowa)

Bird watchers look to Iowa skies for bald eagles

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Bird watching enthusiasts around Iowa are looking to the skies this weekend for a glimpse of thousands of bald eagles making their way across the state. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says wildlife workers and volunteers are tallying reports of bald eagle sightings around the state as part of the national Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey. The annual event is coordinated by the Army Corps of Engineers. Surveyors had most of early January to complete their reports, though target dates are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

An Iowa DNR spokeswoman says migration patterns show the eagles are being spotted in other places besides stronghold spots along the Mississippi River. That includes more appearances along the Des Moines River. More than 3,000 eagles were counted in the state last year.

G & R Grain bankruptcy update

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Trustee for a Portsmouth granary which closed January 1st, has issued an update on the status of bankruptcy proceedings.  Deborah L. Petersen, Trustee for the G & R Feed and Grain Co., Inc., case, said Friday that the USDA is still finalizing their calculations, however, they have determined that they will begin taking bids for sale of all stored grain on Monday, January 14th, 2013. Once the stored grain is all sold by the USDA, each producer with a warehouse receipt for stored grain will receive a letter from the USDA. Producers can expect to receive a check for their stored grain within 4 – 6 weeks after all grain is sold and delivered. At this point, there is no action for producers to take with the USDA. The USDA will announce further details as they become available.

G & R Feed and Grain filed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case on January 1st, 2013. The Iowa Department of Agriculture is in the process of reviewing all deferred price contracts. They are sending letters to producers who sold grain to G & R. The letter indicates that holders of signed credit-sale contracts do not qualify for payment from the Iowa Depositors and Seller Indemnity Fund, but you may qualify for other partial payments. Producers who sold grain for cash or who sold grain on an unsigned contract, who were not paid, may qualify for the Indemnity Fund and may receive up to 90% of their claim, with certain limits. These producers may proceed to file their claims with the Iowa Department of Agriculture, as well as with the Bankruptcy Court.

Petersen says G & R intends to have complete schedules filed in the Bankruptcy Court soon. Once filed and completed, everyone listed will receive a notice from the Bankruptcy Court. The Notice contains information on how to file a claim with the Bankruptcy Court. If you have a claim for a deferred price contract, or other amount due you, you should take action to timely file a claim. If you have a contract for future delivery of grain, you will soon receive notice of rejection of that contract, as the Trustee will not be fulfilling those contracts. Once the Rejection is finalized, then the Trustee has no further interest in the contract and the producer will not be required to fulfill the contract and can sell or otherwise dispose of the grain as the producer desires.

Petersen says as the Trustee, she has taken possession of all assets, other than the stored grain, and is taking action to liquidate as soon as possible. There are many other matters still in the information gathering stage. Petersen says if you have legal questions, including how to file a claim, you shoudl contact an attorney of your choice.

USDA final report details crop losses to drought

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

January 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its final crop report for 2012, showing heavy losses due to the drought still gripping much of the nation.  The year-end report shows farmers got less than three-fourths of the corn the agency initially expected when planting was done in the spring.  The report released Friday shows a harvest of 10.78 billion bushels of corn, 27 percent less than the 14.8 billion bushels anticipated before drought set in.

The number in the final report is slightly more than the agency’s December estimate of 10.72 billion bushels and still marks one of the largest corn harvests in U.S. history. Farmers say better crop technology saved them from more devastating losses, and production was helped by the large number of acres planted this year.

IA DNR Commission to discuss western IA projects next week

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Natural Resource Commission will discuss and possibly act on three building projects and two management agreements for southwest Iowa parks. During their meeting Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 16th) in Des Moines, the Commission will act on approving land management agreements with the Cass County Conservation Board (CCCB), for Cold Springs State Park, and Frank Chapman Pellett Memorial Woods. The DNR is requesting the Commission approve renewal of the agreements, which would authorize the CCCB to manage both sites through 2037. The CCCB has managed both the 104 acre Cold Springs State Park, and the nearly 20-acre Pellett Memorial Woods, since 1987.

The Commission will also act on a request from the IDNR to award a bid for the demolition of a shower building at Springbrook State Park in Guthrie County, to Caliber Concrete, LLC, of Adair.  The structure, which has been in-place since 1968, would be replaced with a precast, concrete shower building, necessary sewer, water and electrical utilities, two parking stalls, and other site specific work. Caliber Concrete had the low bid for the project of slightly more than $270, 087. The bid was right on the mark for the engineer’s cost estimate, and $23,000 less than the next competitive bid.

The Commission will also act on awarding bids for two construction projects at the Lake of Three Fires, in Taylor County. That includes a bid for: Construction of the Park Office and Shop from Hymbaugh Construction in Creston, for $480,589, which was $30,000 over the engineer’s cost estimate; and, a shower building replacement project, which the DNR recommends be awarded to TEK Builders, Inc., of Mt. Ayr.

Their bid of $271,800 came in less than the engineer’s projected cost of $277,566. The project involves the replacement of a 1968 shower building with a new, precast concrete  structure, pad and parking spaces.

The Natural Resources Commission’s meeting begins at 1-p.m. Wednesday, at the Wallace State Office Building in Des Moines. The meeting is open to the public.

Important USDA report to be delivered

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Several important agricultural reports will be released today (Friday) that will impact producers in Iowa. USDA Outlook Board Chairman Gerry Bange says the final production numbers report for 2012 will be issued at 11 a.m. Those numbers will be crunched to make new grain and livestock forecasts for supplies and prices. Bange says the reports include information gathered from around the globe.

“We’ll look very closely at the situation in Argentina, where people know there have been excessive rains there,” Bange said. “We’ll also look what’s going on in Brazil, Australia and South Africa. We’ll be looking at some of the final numbers coming out of China with regard to cotton production or whatever the issues are, we’ll be looking at all of those things.”

(Karla James/Radio Iowa)