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.

IA beef producer talks about recent trade mission to Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras

Ag/Outdoor

May 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The number of cows being raised for beef in Iowa is at its lowest level in 60 years, but producers are expecting to add to their herds as the drought eases. Iowa beef producer Steve Rehder, of Hawarden, says Iowa should continue to pursue new markets despite the current situation.

Steve Rehder (Radio Iowa/photo)

Rehder represented the Iowa Beef Industry Council last month as part of an Iowa meat trade mission to Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras. He says there are some big challenges for Iowa beef in the latter two countries.

“The biggest issue is the price of beef and we informed them, because of low numbers, that’ll be an issue for quite a while,” Rehder said. “Our inventory of cattle is the lowest it’s been since 1952 and coincidentally, Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras are enduring the same problem.” The six-day trip in April marked the first time a representative of the Iowa Beef Industry Council has visited El Salvador and Honduras. Rehder noted the countries are already importing high quality beef for the people who can afford it.

“As far as increasing the market for the more poverty stricken people, that’s where we need the price of beef to come down a little bit so it can be more competitive,” Rehder said. “The infrastructure is there and I really believe…we have the opportunity to increase exports down to those countries.” During the trade mission, the Iowa delegation toured processing plants and retail supermarkets. Rehder said many of the people he met are hoping to attend the World Beef Expo in Wisconsin in late September.

“I plan on being there and meeting up with a few of them again. Just making contact and having people from Iowa come down to see them…they were really impressed by that,” Rehder said. The Central American Free Trade Agreement allows U.S. Choice and Prime beef to enter both El Salvador and Honduras without a tariff, because it does not compete with their own grass-fed beef. Mexico was the third largest U.S. beef export market in value and the largest in volume in 2012.

(Radio Iowa)

Rain and snow help erase drought

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

May 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The recent rain and snow have played havoc with outdoor events and activities, but all the moisture has a positive side. Tim Hall of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says moisture of any type is important after the severe drought that hit the state. “This is exactly what we’d hoped for, is sustained long-term, better then normal precipitation during the months when we typically get a lot of rain anyway. And March and April and May are pretty wet months, and we are getting more than normal right in those months,” Hall says.

April set a new statewide average for rainfall at six-point-five-two inches (6.52), with normal rainfall for April at three-point-five-one (3.51) inches. A new drought map comes out Thursday, and Hall expects to see the areas with severe problems continuing to shrink. “We’re making some real improvement in the drought conditions in the state, and I think we’re gonna continue to see improvement in the near future,” according to Hall. Not only has the amount of rain increased, it is coming at a time where the frost is out of the ground — so the rain that falls or snow that melts — sinks into the soil.

“In fact our groundwater folks who work with a lot of the water utilities in northwest Iowa are starting to see that reflected in the water levels in some of the wells that are used to supply drinking water,” Hall says. “So we’re starting to see some gradual recovery in the levels in wells, which is indicative of the water making it down into the ground where it is going to do some real good.” He says those areas that were not hit as hard by the drought are building up some reserve with the rains that’re falling now. Hall says that makes it less likely they’ll get back into a water shortage.

“I think if the rainfall stopped for a couple of weeks, which it probable will — I mean we go through periods where we don’t get rain for a couple three weeks — the real danger is if that rainfall slows down or stops and we get excessively hot where the demand for water also starts to go up in conjunction with the rain going down,” Hall says. Hall says farmers are probably really hoping the rain will stop for awhile so they can get into the fields — but he says even they will be happy that all the moisture is replenishing the groundwater.

(Radio Iowa)

Deadline approaching to honor older Iowa farms

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A deadline is approaching for owners who want to recognize their generational farms in Iowa.  Owners have until June 1 to apply for the century and heritage farm program. It recognizes families that have owned their farms for 100 years and 150 years.  Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says the program highlights the state’s deep history and strong agricultural heritage.

There are various ways to request an application, including from the agriculture department’s website. A ceremony to recognize participants will be held at the Iowa State Fair in August.

More than 17,000 farms across Iowa have been recognized as century farms since 1976. More than 580 farms have been recognized as heritage farms since 2006.  Last year, 345 century farms and 69 heritage farms were recognized.

DOT to allow cutting of hay along roadways again this year

Ag/Outdoor

May 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation will allow the harvesting of hay along state highway right of ways this summer. D-O-T agronomist Joy Williams says a permit is required and there are specific guidelines on where the work is allowed. “Medians, shoulder areas, we don’t allow any haying the interstate,” Williams explains. “The permit is just kind of of a system to both inform the applicants as well as to protect our won right of way. If there is any damage, applicants are responsible for any damage.” The harvesting of hay along the state’s highways for livestock feed has been allowed for several years but has become more popular as hay continues to be in short supply.

Williams says the rules allow farmers to use one state resource while protecting another. “The mowing law was designed primarily to preserve habitat for wildlife during the nesting season. And this was in particular response to the low pheasant population,” Williams explains. “Pheasants nest on the ground and mowing can disturb the nests, or kill the hen and crush the eggs.” Williams says those who do the mowing must wear approved safety apparel furnished by the state. She says work performed between the road and the ditch bottom requires that someone is on hand to direct traffic. There are two harvesting seasons; the first is July 15th through September first.

(Radio Iowa)

Shelby County Fire Danger Index reduced to “Low”

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

May 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Due to recent rain and snow events, the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency has reduced the grassland and field fire danger rating to “Low.” The risk factor had been in the “Moderate” category over the past week. Officials say the latest rating will be in effect until at least Monday, May 6th.

Iowa officials seek comment on hunting, trapping

Ag/Outdoor, Sports

May 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials are encouraging the public to comment on proposed changes to several hunting and trapping seasons. The state Department of Natural Resources says the changes would affect furbearer season, resident deer hunting, waterfowl and pigeon seasons, as well as the wildlife refuge list. The changes range from adding more counties to the list of open areas for bobcats and reducing the quota of paid antlerless deer licenses. There are adjustments to waterfowl season dates, and proposed additions to the list of counties that are waterfowl refuges.

Officials also want to make pigeon season year round to give dove hunters more options. Public comments will be accepted until a public hearing on May 23 in Des Moines.

Report shows drought lessening in most of Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

May 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — More drenching rain and heavy snow are pulling most of Iowa out of drought conditions. In a report released Thursday, the state Department of Natural Resources says storms in mid-April largely ended the drought in the eastern half of Iowa. Rain also lessened drought conditions in western Iowa.

Although heavy rain and snow moving through the state Thursday and Friday don’t show up on this report, the DNR noted that conditions would clearly improve due to the precipitation. The report also shows shallow groundwater levels improved in the last two weeks in northwest, southwest and north central Iowa. Stream flows in most rivers were normal, though some in eastern Iowa were above normal.

Iowa, Nebraska snowstorm likely helped plants

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The wet snow that covered parts of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa likely didn’t hurt many newly planted flowers and vegetables.  The spring storm dumped more than 6 inches of snow over Wednesday night and Thursday morning in Harrison County, Iowa.

Connie Hornbeck at CJ Futures Lawn & Garden Center in Missouri Valley, Iowa, says snow provides a protective cover from low temperatures and wind that pose bigger threats. Hornbeck says “those dry, 20-degree weather things are the things that really hurt” plants.

The moisture-laden snow will benefit most of plants. But she says the weight of it could have broken some stems and doomed the young plants.

Leash on Life 05-02-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

May 2nd, 2013 by Chris Parks

Information from the Atlantic Animal Shelter

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Doc Leonard’s Pet Pointers 05-02-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

May 2nd, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Dr. Keith Leonard

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