KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Snow could reduce corn harvest in Upper Midwest

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The season’s first snowstorm could be bad news for farmers in the Upper Midwest where corn remains in fields. At least 4 inches of snow could fall overnight in South Dakota where about 40 percent of the crop remains, and in Minnesota where about a third remains. Most of the storm is expected to stay north of corn and soybean areas in Wisconsin and Michigan.

Iowa State University agriculture economist Chad Hart says a snowstorm could reduce the harvest if ears of corn are knocked off or plants fall over. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says soybean farmers will harvest 3.96 billion bushels, up 31 million bushels from the October estimate. The corn crop is slightly smaller at 14.41 billion bushels, down 68 million bushels from the October estimate.

DNR to meet with Lake Manawa group on park reovations

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reports officials will meet with a working group of Lake Manawa State Park area residents and park users on Nov. 12th, to continue discussions on plans to improve the heavily used state park. The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday, at the Game and Fish Club, on Lake Manawa.

Responding to feedback from the Oct. 14 meeting on the proposal to move the campground will likely be the focal point of discussion. The DNR has been discussing plans to improve the campground for 14 years.

Todd Coffelt, chief of the Iowa DNR’s State Parks Bureau, says “Lake Manawa is unique. It has many different types of users, from the sailing club, to mountain bikers, campers, anglers and picnickers. Plus its part of a neighborhood in the largest metro area in Iowa and each one of those constituencies has a different idea of what they want from the park.” What the DNR heard during the October meeting was concerns from local homeowners’ association members about the proposed location of the new campground in relation to the homes, vegetation and water level management for the lake and safety and security issues in the park.

The park draws many visitors from Omaha, as well as from Council Bluffs and the surrounding area. It is attractive to Nebraskans because Iowa parks do not require a park entry permit. Lake Manawa hosts around 1.5 million visitors each year easily ranking as Iowa’s most visited state park and its campground is in the top 10 busiest in the state.

Farmers can sign up for new farm bill programs starting next Monday

Ag/Outdoor

November 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa farmers can sign up for two new programs that were included in the latest Farm Bill starting next week. Val Dolcini, administrator of the Farm Service Agency, says farmers actually have several months to determine what works best for them and to make a selection between the Agricultural Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage programs. Sign-up begins next Monday, November 17th.

Dolcini says, “We’re really building a fair amount of time into this process so that farmers have an ample opportunity not only to use the web-based tools to make that important program election, but to talk with their family members, partners, business advisers and others about what may be best for their particular individual operation.” Dolcini says farmers have until March 31st to make a selection. Also, farmers need to update their base acres and planting history information with their local F-S-A office. The deadline to complete that is February 27st.

“These programs are different from previous FSA programs in that it really requires the farmer to dig in a little bit deeper to what program election makes the most sense for their operation,” Dolcini says, “which is why we’re building in a good bit of time here.” Farmers were notified back in September about the need for the updates on acreage and planting history. For more information, visit: www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA

(Radio Iowa)

Funds available for water quality projects

Ag/Outdoor

November 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today (Thursday) encouraged eligible groups to apply for grants to support projects that will improve water quality in the state. Approximately $830,000 is available through the Watershed Improvement Review Board to support qualifying projects.

Funds are available to local watershed improvement committees, soil and water conservation districts, public water supply utilities, county conservation boards, cities and counties. Funds are typically matched with other funds by the organizations receiving assistance and will support a variety of projects across the state focusing on protecting water quality and improving the health of the state’s waterways.

Projects eligible for funding include, but are not limited to, those addressing agricultural runoff and drainage, flood prevention, stream bank erosion, municipal discharge, storm water runoff, unsewered communities, industrial discharge and livestock runoff. Each project can request up to $250,000 in funding. The grants will be under contract to implement the projects for a maximum timeframe of April 2015 to December 2017.

Atlantic Eagle Scout completes Sunnyside Park project

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic teen working to receive his Eagle Scout badge has completed a project at Sunnyside Park to earn the award. Grant Podhajsky recently completed his Eagle Scout Service project with the help of Troop 54 and others in the community. He designed and helped to build a fire pit surrounded by log benches near the Camblin Shelter at Sunnyside Park.

On May 19th, Grant approached the Atlantic Park and Recreation Board with his proposal to replace the existing deteriorated fire pit.Soon after Grant was given approval to proceed, it was discovered that the original fire pit was constructed by the Atlantic Lions Club. For many years it was used for the Lions’ annual steak cookout.When the Lions Club learned of the project the offered their full support.

Grant Podhajsky recently completed his Eagle Scout project. He is shown accepting a donation to cover expenses from Merle  Elsberry,representing the Atlantic Lions Club.

Grant Podhajsky recently completed his Eagle Scout project. He is shown accepting a donation to cover expenses from Merle
Elsberry,representing the Atlantic Lions Club.

Oversight of the project was provided by Atlantic Parks and Recreation Director Roger Herring.The Parks and Recreation Department was also a main supporter of the project.Most notably they provided the pea gravel and the timber boarder.

Grant says he’d like to thank Rob Stamp for helping with the demolition after the scouts uncovered four very large footings.Also, thanks to Ashton Ellingson of Brayton for cutting the log benches with his portable saw mill.Over 150 hours of work when into planning and constructing the project.

Cass County Extension Report 11-05-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

November 5th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Play

Northey elected to 3rd term as Iowa ag secretary

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Northwest Iowa farmer Bill Northey has been elected to a third term as Iowa’s agriculture secretary. Voters Tuesday elected the Republican Northey over Democrat Sherrie Taha, a sculptor from Des Moines. Northey, who farms near Spirit Lake, has served as agriculture secretary since 2008.

In his campaign, he called for continued implementation of a voluntary water quality initiative that encourages Iowa farmers to prevent erosion and minimize fertilizer and manure runoff. He also supports promoting technological advances to farmers that will make them more efficient and able to use less fertilizer.

Tanks of Thanks® program rewards Atlantic resident for making a difference in the community

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A Cass County man has received a special thank you for her contributions to the community. Win LaMaster of Atlantic, was selected to receive free fuel from Tanks of Thanks®, a program that rewards people who do good deeds to help make their community just a little bit better. The Tanks of Thanks program from CHS and Cenex® retailers encourages people to nominate friends, family and neighbors for free fuel as a way to say thank you for doing good in the community.

Each month, CHS and Cenex retailers give away more than $5,000 in free fuel through the Tanks of Thanks program. LaMaster was nominated for making hats and scarves for the American Cancer Society in Omaha, Nebraska. Recently, LaMaster was selected to receive a $50 Tanks of Thanks gift card, redeemable at any Cenex location.

Tanks of Thanks is a multiyear program, so there is plenty of time to nominate someone for free fuel. “Nominating someone for Tanks of Thanks is easy, and anyone can nominate or be nominated for any act of kindness – big or small.” To make a nomination, visit http://www.cenex.com/tanks-of-thanks and briefly describe why someone deserves a Tank of Thanks.

Atlantic FFA Pumpkin Carving

Ag/Outdoor

November 4th, 2014 by Jim Field

By Haley Carlson
Atlantic FFA Reporter

Atlantic FFA members were very excited about Halloween this year so the chapter decided to share this excitement! Sunday afternoon FFA members Garrett Schwanke, Clayton Saeugling, and Emily Saeugling went to McCurdy’s pumpkin Taylor K Gabby J Lexi F Pumkin Carvingpatch and picked 135 pumpkins to carve with Washington Elementary second graders. During the day almost every class was brought a batch of second graders. Members helped them pick out a pumpkin, design a face, and carve it out. Sophomore Gabby Jordahl said her favorite part was “Getting to interact with the kids and getting out of class.”
The idea for pumpkin carving came from FFA member Lindsey Keltch, who is also planning out more fun events like this for future months and holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Atlantic FFA hopes these events encourage younger kids to learn more about agriculture and hopefully join the FFA when the get to high school.

Expert: It’ll take an effort for farmers to apply for new programs in farm bill

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Programs being offered in the new farm bill are complex and the experts say it’ll require some education for Iowa’s farmers to take part. Steven Johnson, a farm management specialist with the Iowa State University Extension, says the process starts with farmers updating their base acres and yields, which must be done by February 27th. Johnson says farmers will have to either retain or reallocate base acres on their farms.

“I’m suggesting that the producers and the landowners get this done early, as this is easy in most of the corn belt,” Johnson says. “If you can create more corn base by reallocating, do it. If your corn base would be higher by retaining the old corn base, just retain. So, don’t make this that difficult decision.”He says farmers can update to a new Price Loss Coverage, or P-L-C, yield using production records for the 2008 to 2012 growing seasons, or they can keep the old counter-cyclical yield.

“Update the yields if you’ve got the production evidence,” Johnson says. “If not, the plugs will be 75% of the county yields and those are posted on the FSA website. If we can get there by Christmas, we’ve got plenty of time to make a decision.” Johnson says farmers will have until March 31st to make either a P-L-C or and Agricultural Risk Coverage (A-R-C) election for their farm for the next five years.

“I think they’re probably more complicated now than they were six months ago with these low national prices,” Johnson says. “For 2014, we’re probably going to trigger both county ARC and PLC payments on a farm for corn base. I think there’s going to be a lot of interest in this whole ARC-PLC program.” The actual program enrollment will begin in mid-April and run through the summer months.

(Radio Iowa)