Something farmers often called “trash” could be a new cash crop in 2014 as ethanol plants near Nevada and in Emmetsburg that use the leaves, stalks and cobs of the corn plant will begin operations this year. It’s called cellulosic ethanol production and creates a potential market for the corn residue –or stover. Iowa State University agronomy professor Rick Cruse says stover plays an important role in nurturing soil health and preventing erosion on fields that might otherwise be bare from harvest until planting. He’s confident the companies understand that and make sure enough is left to keep the soil healthy.
“There is a pressure to take more when you have an opportunity to make more money by taking more. And that’s a short-term return,” according to Cruse. Cruse says as farmers consider whether they want to market stover, they should determine which fields can most readily withstand some stover removal. He says cellulosic production could eventually expand to accept other raw materials. “If a technology is used, which we could covert not only stover but other grasses, we might find a market to put things like switchgrass in areas where we should not have corn and beans,” Cruse says.
Cruse says that would give farmers a cash return on land they’ve taken out of production. He says he sees a window of opportunity if producers and industry are willing to look beyond corn stover. Iowa State Extension will hold a series of meetings this month to answer farmers’ question about stover.
The Lewis and Clark State Park in Onawa tops the list of Iowa’s most popular State Parks for camping. The Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources released a list of the top 12 State Parks for overnight camping, on Tuesday.
Viking Lake State Park near Stanton placed second in the survey. Lake Anita State Park came in 7th and Lake Manawa was 10th. The number of guests camping in Iowa’s State Parks went from 718,539 in 2013. The figures show 709,595 camped out in 2012.
Top 12 State Parks for Camping Nights in 2013
1. Lewis and Clark State Park
2. Viking Lake State Park
3. Rock Creek State Park
4. Lake Ahquabi State Park
5. Clear Lake State Park
6. Brushy Creek State Recreation Area
7. Lake Anita State Park
8. Ledges State Park
9. Backbone State Park
10. Lake Manawa
11. Marble Beach State Recreation Area
12. Lake Macbride
Cass County Naturalist Lora Kanning reports there is a change of venue for Saturday’s “Soiree with the Swans,” in Atlantic, due to the extremely cold weather. Instead of being held at the Schildberg Quarry Recreational Area, Kanning’s 10-minute presentations regarding the Trumpeter Swans will be held at the Atlantic Public Library, from 11:30 a.m-to 1:00 p.m. ,with a light lunch available.
Hot chocolate, cookies, Sandwiches, and other snacks will be provided free of charge with donations being accepted (for swan care).The event is being sponsored by the Cass County Conservation Board, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and the Atlantic Public Library.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach along with Iowa Department of Natural Resources, will host an informational meeting concerning the presence of emerald ash borer (EAB), an exotic, destructive insect of ash trees. EAB now has been positively identified in five Iowa locations, most recently in Creston.
Mark Shour, Iowa State University Extension & Outreach Entomologist, says “These meetings are designed to provide helpful, usable information to prepare for one of the most destructive insects to hit the urban forest in decades.”
The meeting will be held from 6-to 7:30-pm January 9th, at the Supertel Inn & Conference Center (800 Laurel Street), in Creston. It is designed for those in the green industry, homeowners and others interested in the topic. There is no charge to attend, and pre-registration is not required. For more information call ISU Extension and Outreach – Union County at 641-782-8426.
Officials with the Atlantic FFA Chapter reported Thursday, that the organization sold a little more than $22,300 worth of fruit, meat, cheese, picked herring and other products during their annual fundraiser, which ran from late October through early November. All the proceeds go toward supporting the local FFA Chapter by helping members attend the National and State Conventions, and in the purchase for FFA Jackets for any member that wants one.
40 FFA members sold an average of $558 in products, with the top fruit salesperson being Haley Carlson. She earned $2,018. Calley Klindt sold $1,405…Adam Freund, $1,081…Kristin Johnk $1,014, and Tyler Christensen sold $962 worth of products. Atlantic FFA President Wyatt Saeughling said in a press release that he was “Glad to see we accomplished our goal of more than $20,000.” He said he hopes the underclassmen continue to sell more fruit, so “The Chapter will be able to provide funding for upcoming FFA activities.”
Atlantic FFA Advisor Eric Miller said the Chapter members exceeded his goal and gives the group a “Great start” for next year. If you did not have an FFA member contact you and you would like to be added to list for next year, contact an Atlantic FFA member or FFA Advisor Eric Miller, at the Atlantic High School.
You can follow the group on Twitter, at www.twitter.com/AtlanticFFA.
Officials with ISU Extension say the West Central Iowa Beef Cattle Forum will be held Wednesday, Jan. 22nd, at the American Legion in the Carroll County town of Arcadia. Chris Clark, beef program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, said the conference agenda will include a several timely topics and will include information for feedlot, stocker, and cow/calf producers.
Aaron Saeugling, ISU Extension and Outreach Agronomist will provide information on the use of cover crops as alternative forage sources and will focus on practical tips and expectations for cover crop use in west central Iowa. Jan Shearer from the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine will speak about cow/calf and feedlot lameness issues and Grant Dewell from the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine will give a presentation about the veterinary feed directive and judicious use of antibiotics.
Ken Hessenius, Iowa DNR Supervisor Field Office #3 will present on the Iowa DNR/EPA work plan and how that may impact cattle producers over the next few years. Shane Ellis, ISU Extension and Outreach Farm Management Specialist do a beef market update/outlook presentation. Matt Deppe, ICA CEO and Justine Stevenson, ICA Director of Government Relations will also be present to provide updates on Iowa Cattlemen’s Association activities.
The program at the American Legion in Arcadia begins at 9:00 a.m. with registration at 8:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided and will be served at approximately 12:15 p.m. There is no cost for this event, but registrations are necessary to properly plan for meals. Persons interested in attending should make their reservations no later than Jan. 17th, by calling either the ICA office at 515-296-2266, or the Iowa State University Armstrong Research Farm in Lewis, 712-769-2600. For more information about the event please contact Merle Witt at the ICA office or Chris Clark at the ISU Armstrong Research Farm.
Officials with ISU Extension say the Tri-State Beef Conference will be Tuesday, January 14th, at Southwestern Community College in Creston. Chris Clark, ISU Beef Specialist, says the conference agenda has information for cow-calf, stocker and feedlot operations. The topics and speakers will provide timely information on relevant topics and all were chosen based on producer input.
This year, Extension specialists from all three states – Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska – will present information in person at the Iowa location. The program starts with 5:30 p.m. registration and the first session beginning at 6 pm. Dinner and two more presentations follow. The cost is $20 per person and includes the meal and a copy of the conference proceedings.
Pre-registration is required by Friday, January 10, by calling the Page County Extension Office at 877-596-7243.
The Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources says the state’s pheasant, late muzzleloader and archery deer, and archery fall turkey seasons close on Jan. 10th. The January antlerless deer season is Jan. 11th through the 19th, in select counties. Furbearer seasons, squirrel, quail, partridge and grouse remain open until Jan. 31st. Rabbit season is open until Feb. 28th. Crow season is Jan. 14th to March 31st. Beaver trapping season closes on April 15th.
For waterfowl, the north zone Canada goose season closes Jan. 3rd, and the light goose season closes on Jan. 12th. The south zone for Canada goose season closes Jan. 10th and the light goose season closes Jan. 17th. The Missouri River zone Canada goose season and light goose season both close on Jan. 17th.
The light goose conservation order season is open Jan. 18th to April 15th statewide; additional regulations apply. Don’t forget, all 2013 Iowa hunting and fishing licenses expire on Jan. 10th, 2014. All hunters and anglers will need a 2014 license to hunt or fish beginning Jan. 11th.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has capped its successful year-long campaign to introduce several new hunting and fishing licenses. DNR officials say Iowans purchased more than 68,000 of the new licenses during the last 12 months. As part of the promotion, the DNR hosted a weekly drawing of $50 gift cards donated by Iowa retailers; any Iowan purchasing a qualifying license was eligible for one of 37 gift cards from April through the end of December.
Among the retailers donating gift cards was: Bass Pro Shops of Altoona and Council Bluffs, and Cappel’s Ace Hardware, in Atlantic Each of the other retailers donated between one and three gift cards. DNR Director Chuck Gipp said “We greatly appreciate the partnership of license retailers from all across Iowa that participated and helped make the new license offerings successful.”
The number of new hunting and fishing licenses sold between January 1 and December 31, 2013 included:
· 16,439 Angler’s Specials (three-year fishing licenses);
· 6,356 Hunter’s Special (three-year hunting licenses);
· 6,388 Bonus Line Licenses (license to fish with one additional line; the regular fishing license allows two); and
· 38,975 Outdoor Combo Licenses (hunting, fishing and habitat stamp combination license).
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources introduced the new licenses after surveying hunters and anglers to find what license offerings most interested them. The new licenses provide convenience by bundling several privileges into one purchase, or by offering the opportunity to purchase for three years instead of just one.
And, here’s a reminder to hunters and anglers: All 2013 Iowa hunting and fishing licenses expire on Jan. 10th, 2014. All hunters and anglers will need a 2014 license to hunt or fish beginning Jan. 11th.