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.

Survey: More younger Iowans are buying farmland


May 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s high land values are having an impact who owns farmland in the state. Iowa State University agricultural economist Mike Duffy is releasing the results from the 2012 Farmland Ownership Survey and says it appears the economy has been good to Iowa’s young people.
Duffy says, “We’re seeing an increase in the land owned by people under the age of 35 and I think this is a reflection of the boom period.” Duffy says more young adults see opportunities on the farm and are returning to rural areas of the state after college. But, he says the youngest landowners are also the most likely to be holding mortgages. Among all pieces of Iowa farmland, 78-percent are owned free of debt. On the other side of the coin, Duffy says some farmers are working into their 70s and 80s and the demographics of farmland ownership reflect that.

Duffy says, “We now have 30% of the land, three in every ten acres, is owned by somebody over the age of 75.” He expected that number to be even higher. Still, he says young people are buying land, while the percentage of land owned by the mid-career age group has declined slightly. Iowa State conducts its farmland ownership survey every five years.

(Radio Iowa)

Climatologist: 2013 weather pattern doesn’t bode well for crop production

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

May 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The month of May is winding down and weather-wise, it’s been marked by extremes. Elwynn Taylor is climatologist with Iowa State University Extension. He notes the state broke a record from 1947 for May snowfall and also set record high temperatures for the month. “When we get extremes like that, it is not considered a good omen for what will come with the season,” Taylor says. Taylor notes 2013 has mirrored the weather of 1947 – and that doesn’t bode well for corn and soybean production this year.

“1947 is in the category of being one of the six worst years for crop production and that includes the Dust Bowl,” Taylor says. Like this year, 1947 was marked by a very wet spring. “Then, it went hot and dry in the middle of July and August. That’s when the destruction to the corn came in,” Taylor said. With around 25-percent of Iowa’s corn yet to be planted as we approach Memorial Day, Taylor says corn yields will likely be below trend once again this year.

(Radio Iowa)

Spring rain, no frost could mean big Iowa harvest

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says growers are hopeful for a bountiful crop of spring produce that could begin showing up at farmers markets soon. Northey says a cool spring delayed the crop a bit, but the weather has improved and timely spring rain and the lack of a killing frost could produce a big harvest.

Produce such as strawberries, asparagus and rhubarb is beginning to become available, and later crops such as radishes, carrots, green beans and leafy greens should be harvested soon. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website lists the state’s farmers markets as well as farm stands and many farms where people can buy produce. Go to www.IowaAgriculture.gov , and click on Data Searches and Directories on the bottom right side of the page.

Enjoy the outdoors, but be mindful of ticks

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 23rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

After an unusually cold start to spring, warmer weather is drawing Iowans outdoors once again. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) encourages Iowans to take advantage of the many opportunities to become more active outdoors, and also reminds Iowans to protect themselves against tick bites. Ticks can carry the organisms that cause Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Ehrlichiosis.

“The best way to prevent tick bites is to avoid wooded and grassy areas where ticks are usually found,” said IDPH Public Health Veterinarian and Deputy State Epidemiologist, Dr. Ann Garvey. If you do spend time in these areas:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long, light-colored pants tucked into socks or boots.
  • Stay on trails when walking or hiking, and avoid high grass.
  • Use insect repellants that contain DEET.  Read and follow the label directions for application.  DEET is not recommended for use on children under 2 months of age.  For more information on DEET, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/idph_universalhelp/main.aspx?system=IdphEpiManual&context=DEET_factsheet.
  • Check yourself, your children and your pets for ticks. Ticks tend to prefer the back of the knee, armpit, scalp, groin, and back of the neck. 

If you discover a tick on your body, remove it right away. Folk remedies, such as burning the tick with a match or covering it with petroleum jelly or nail polish, are not effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following instructions for removing a tick:

  • Carefully grasp the tick by using tweezers to grip the tick by its mouthparts which are close to the skin. Do not squeeze the tick’s body.
  • Pull steadily directly away from your skin. Because removing the tick’s body is your main goal, don’t worry if its mouthparts break off in the process.
  • Clean the wound and disinfect the site of the bite.

The most common tick-borne disease is Lyme disease; 163 cases of Lyme disease were reported to IDPH in 2012. Not everyone who gets Lyme disease will have the same symptoms, but the best and earliest sign of infection is a rash that may appear within a few days to a month, usually at the site of the tick bite. The rash will first look like a small, red bump, then expand until it begins to look like a bull’s eye, with a red center and a red ring surrounding a clear area. It is important to contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop this type of rash.

For more information on Lyme disease, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/idph_universalhelp/main.aspx?

Leash on Life 05-23-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

May 23rd, 2013 by Chris Parks

Information from the Atlantic Animal Shelter.


Doc Leonard’s Pet Pointers 05-23-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

May 23rd, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Dr. Keith Leonard


Cass County Master Gardeners invite local gardeners to “Hop on the Bus!” June 20

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 22nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Master Gardener’s group is inviting local gardeners to “Hop on the Bus” June 20th, for a tour of area businesses that grow and produce from their flowers, vineyards, and nurseries, a wide variety of products. Loess Hills Lavender Farm is the first stop on a bus trip to the Missouri Valley area. The trip is scheduled for June 20, 8 AM to 5:45 PM. It is sponsored by the Cass County Master Gardeners but is open to everyone. Numerous people have expressed their interest in visiting the lavender gardens and they should be at their peak in bloom. Lavender is used to make many healthful products and lavender cookies are on the snack list. Participants will be able to purchase live lavender to plant at home, dried lavender and other products.

A visit to Sawmill Hollow will include tasting samples of wine, jelly, barbeque sauce and many other gourmet aronia berry foods. Aronia berries are promoted as providing more health benefits than blueberries. They are native to this area and Sawmill Hollow was the first aronia farm in the United States. Lunch will be served here.

Other stops include nurseries. One sells homemade pies, jams and jellies made from their orchard produce. They also provide garden bedding plants. Another nursery will demonstrate landscape planning starting with layouts on the computer. A variety of plants are available in their greenhouse.  The final stop is at the Harrison County Historical Village and Iowa Welcome Center showing Iowa life, prairie and a celebration of the Lincoln Highway. Fresh locally grown produce will be available at the Farmers Market.

LaVon Eblen, President of Cass County Master Gardeners, encourages you to get your registrations made now to save your spot on the bus. The cost is $47.00 which includes transportation, entrance fees and a meal and snack. Contact LaVon for a registration form or find a copy on the Cass County Extension website, at www.exension.iastate.edu/cass. The form and payment are due by May 31st.

Cass County Extension Report 05-22-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

May 22nd, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson


6th Annual Western Iowa No-till (WIN) Field Day to Focus on Practical Application Tips

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 22nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the ISU Extension service report the 6th Annual Western Iowa No-till (WIN) Demonstration Field Day, scheduled for June 11th at the Carstens 1880 Farmstead south of Shelby, Iowa, will address a wide variety of topics for anyone interested in learning more about practical application and trouble-shooting for no-till production. The day starts at 8 AM when registration and vendor displays open. A wide variety of local agribusinesses will be on hand to visit with producers in the morning and demonstrate their services/equipment.

The field day begins at 9 AM with breakout sessions covering common challenges of corn-on-corn no-till and an overview of recent Iowa Soybean Association trials on deep ripping and nitrogen placement. The breakout sessions will be followed by a weather outlook for the coming crop year, and a lunchtime discussion on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. After lunch, keynote speaker Neil Harl will present “A Look Ahead for Agriculture: Major Concerns on the Horizon”. Lunch will be provided free of charge to all in attendance, including steak sandwiches grilled by the Pottawattamie County Cattlemen. The day will wrap up with a presentation on achieving success in long-term no-till and cover crop usage from an Iowa producer perspective.

Anyone with an interest in the practical application of no-till production, whether looking for ideas to begin adopting no-till practices or a long-time no-till producer looking to improve production results, is encouraged to attend this daylong educational event. Nearly 200 ag producers and ag professionals attended the 2012 event, learning about effective soil stewardship strategies. In addition to the educational sessions at the 2013 WIN Field Day, there will be plenty of time for farmers to visit informational displays, vendor exhibits and network with other producers. 4 hours of CCA Credits have been applied for, and will be available at no cost for Certified Crop Advisors needing additional continuing education units this year.

There is no charge to attend this event, but pre-registration is requested by June 6th to ensure a lunch will be available. Registration can be completed by e-mailing csgorham@iastate.edu, or by calling the Harrison County Extension Office at 888-644-2105. More information is available at many local ISU Extension and NRCS offices, or can be found online at www.extension.iastate.edu/cass.

The field day is brought to you by NRCS, ISU Extension and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) in Harrison, Pottawattamie, Cass and Shelby Counties, along with many local supporting agribusinesses. 2013 Business Sponsors include Farm Bureau in East & West Pottawattamie, Shelby, Cass & Harrison Counties, A & M Green Power, Brokaw Supply Company, Titan Machinery, Sorensen Equipment Co., Heartland Ag, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Farmers & Merchants State Bank, Shelby County State Bank, United Bank of Iowa and Bartlett Grain Co.

Shelby County Supervisors approve hog confinement permit application

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 21st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials in ShelbyCountyheard from concerned citizens during a regularly scheduled Shelby County Supervisors meeting this (Tuesday) morning. The residents voiced their concerns over the proposed construction of hog confinement facility. Under the proposal by John Arkfeld, of Arkfeld Pork, construction would take place at the intersection of Mulberry and 2400th Street.CountyOfficials along with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources went through the process by first announcing the proposal through a public notice and then had an on-site inspection last Tuesday. Following the inspection, the DNR andShelbyCounty officials went on to go through the process of the MasterMatrix. There are many items on the MasterMatrix and is scored on a points system. The area of land designated for the construction of the hog confinement was approved with a score of 465. The score to pass is 440. However, neighboring citizens are concerned about water usage for the hogs along with water quality and smell.

Shelby County Auditor Marsha Carter received 4 written comments with the first being a petition against the construction. The petition was signed by 10 residents in the area. Tim Graeve, another resident, wrote a letter to the county in favor of the construction, with a few considerations pertaining to an adjustment in where the site was at, and road upgrades. Following the written comments, several people spoke about their concerns over the construction of the hog confinement. 

The proposed hog confinement would hold around 10,000 head of hogs. Other concerns discussed by those in attendance were manure being transported in the area, dust on the roads and more well issues. After the issues from residents at the Supervisors meeting, John Arkfeld, one of the proprietors for the hog confinement being discussed, offered a response to the concerns. He said “One of the concerns is the water and I get that. This is a 9,600 unit but when the pigs are fat there will only be 7,200. With the finished head space they say you use 1 to 1.2 gallons of water a day. Farrowing units use 4 to 9 gallons per head per day. So if you look at the farrowing units and there are 2,000 sows, 4 to 9 gallons, which is almost twice as much water as I will use. I don’t think that should be an issue.” Arkfeld said should have been in better contact with the residents in the area before the notice went to the general public and apologized for that. Supervisor Steve Kenkel was next to speak.  He said he’s talked to the DNR about the role supervisor’s play in the process, and that is to approve the Matrix system based on a points system. The rating, along with comments made will be forwarded to the DNR, who has the final say on approving or not, the permit.

The Supervisors approved the MasterMatrix for Arkfeld Pork, because they said, it met the state required points.  

(Joel McCall/KNOD)