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.

Climatologist: weekend rains barely put dent in drought

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Most of Iowa got a good soaking last weekend, but it didn’t go far in terms of making up for the drought. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says far northwest Iowa didn’t receive any rain, while the heaviest downpours were scattered around the state. Areas of northeast Iowa, around New Hampton and Decorah, received three-and-a-half to four inches of rain. Similar rainfall totals were reported around Red Oak, Greenfield and Winterset in southwest Iowa, and near Centerville, Albia and Oskaloosa in southeast Iowa. In Atlantic, we received 1.93-inches of rain over the weekend.

Statewide, on average, the weekend system dumped one-and-a-half inches of rain. It marked the single biggest rainfall event in Iowa since early May. “This one event over the weekend was almost as big as what we had for the whole month of September,” Hillaker said. Despite the downpour, Hillaker notes we’re a long way from bringing an end to the 2012 drought.

“We’re still roughly eight-and-a-half inches below normal for the year to date, as far as statewide average,” Hillaker said. “We did trim about an inch off the deficit we had going before this last rain event. So, it’s not a huge impact as far as reducing our deficit, but it will have quite a positive impact on soil moisture levels.”

(Radio Iowa)

Montgomery County to Host Forestry Field Day October 30

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources say the Nodaway River Valley Woodland Owners Association Forestry Field Day is Oct. 30th, at 12:30 p.m., beginning from the host landowner property at 1974 U Avenue, Villisca. The field day will include light hiking and demonstrations on woodland health and wildlife habitat management, pond management, and bow making.

It will also include a discussion on alternative products from Iowa forests like ginseng, maple syrup, wild plum, hazelnuts, aronia berries, using thinning residues for meat smoking and native tree species for wood working. The field day is scheduled to conclude at 4 p.m. Attendees should plan to dress for outdoor weather conditions and be prepared for light physical activity.

Directions to the host property: 2.8 miles north of Hwy. 34/71 interchange on Hwy. 71, then east on 198th street to the bend in the road where hit becomes U Avenue. The property is at the corner of U Avenue and 198th Street.

Atlantic Parks & Rec Board approves grading for Schildberg Campground project

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Rec Board Monday approved a grading and seeding project for the Schildberg Recreation Area, in Atlantic. Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring presented the final draft plans from Engineer Ken Coffman and the Schildberg Recreation Committee for the campground area, which will be graded and prepped for gravel pads. The one-way (south to north) entrance to the campground area, once completed, will be off of Iowa Avenue, and make its way toward the parking area on the east side of the lakes, and back toward Chestnut Street.

Herring said the 60-foot long gravel camping pads will be at the recommended 60-degree angle, to make for easy entry. There will also be an 8-foot, L-shaped gravel “patio” for a picnic table and a fire ring. There will be water and electric hookups as well, but Herring says two pads will have to share one water hookup. There will be separate electric hookups to each pad, however. A dump station will be available at the end of the campground driveway, for disposal of r-v and camper “gray water” and waste, just like those found at the Cass County Fairgrounds.

Future plans, according to Herring, call for a road to 10-acres of City-owned land, for the another, large R-V Park, capable of handling 32-foot campers and custom coach-type R-V’s. The parking stalls for those types of campers and vehicles will be drive-through, so no backing-up will be necessary. There will also be a boat ramp in that same location, for access to Lake Number Two. One small parking area will be designated for campground visitor’s use, also, to eliminate parking congestion. There will be 21 stalls for that purpose.

Herring says walkers and bikers around the lakes don’t have to fear their path being disrupted by the future plans, as those paths will remain in-place. In fact, signs indicating mileage around the lakes will be installed soon. And in the future, there will be 33 spaces on the gravel lot for pedestrians and bicyclists to park their vehicles, four of which will be marked for handicapped use.

Iowa harvest nearly complete

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farmers are close to wrapping up this year’s harvest as much needed rain finally fell across most of the state. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 87 percent of the corn crop has been harvested, which is a month ahead of schedule. Ninety-three percent of the soybean crop is in from the fields, which is three weeks ahead of normal. The USDA says in Monday’s report that rain over the weekend helped Iowa’s pasture and range land. Hay supplies are running short across 41 percent of the state. Calves are being weaned and sold early due to the short supply of winter hay. The statewide average rainfall last week was 1.65 inches, triple the normal for the week. It was Iowa’s wettest week since early May.

EPA extends comment period on Iowa livestock farms

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency has extended the comment period on proposals by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to change regulations of livestock operations to be in compliance with federal Clean Water Act. The Des Moines Register says the EPA has extended the period by two weeks until Oct. 31st.

In July, the EPA said Iowa’s program is not sufficient to assess whether livestock confinements need to obtain federal waste discharge permits. It also says Iowa’s inspection program is inadequate and the state failed to act in nearly half of the water quality violation cases against cattle farms that the EPA reviewed. The report was done in response to a petition filed in 2007 by three environmental groups that alleged Iowa fell far short of meeting enforcement requirements.

Burn Ban rescinded for Fremont County

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The State Fire Marshal’s Office in Des Moines has rescinded a Burn Ban for Fremont County, at the request of Emergency Management Coordinator, Mike Crecelius. The ban, which had been in place since July 19th, officially ends at Noon today (Monday, Oct. 15th). Conditions in the County are no longer conducive to rapidly spreading fires, as had been the case during the extremely dry summer the area had experienced.

A ban on outdoor burning remains in effect until further notice, for: Cass, Audubon, Pottawattamie, Mills, Montgomery, Madison, Carroll, Crawford and Page Counties.

Shelby County Fire Danger downgraded to “Moderate”

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Management Director Bob Seivert says fire stations and other locations in the County may change their Fire Danger signs from “High,” to “Moderate.” Seivert says they expect the fire danger to be lower over the next couple of days, due to the recent rain. The “Moderate” rating will remain in-place until the next update, or Thursday, which ever comes first.

Seivert asks residents of Shelby County to continue to notify the Shelby County EMA/9-1-1 and your local fire chief, prior to igniting any burns. He also asks you to use common sense, and attend all open burning projects until they are fully extinguished.

Cass Co. Conservation Board Sponsors Swan Contest

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Once again, it’s the time of year for the Cass County Conservation Board to ask residents of the county, “When do you think the first Trumpeter Swans will arrive at the Schildberg Quarry in Atlantic?” Officials say Trumpeter Swans have visited the Schildberg Quarry for at least, fourteen out of the last fifteen winters. Call in your prediction (by November 12th) to the Conservation Board at 712-769-2372, leave a message and return phone number if we are not in.

Duplicate dates will not be allowed.  For example, if a caller predicts November 25th, no one else will be allowed to predict that arrival date.  Call anytime until November 12th to make your prediction.  Only one prediction is allowed per family. The sponsors of the contest will determine the official arrival of the swans.  The winner will receive a Trumpeter Swan 8×10 print from the Cass County Conservation Board.  The contest is only open to residents of Cass County

Arrival and departure dates of the swans over the past 14-years have been as follows:

1997/1998   December 18 – January 2

1998/1999   Nothing on record

1999/2000   December 25 – February 15

2000/2001   November 23 – March 6

2001/2002   December 25 – February 24

2002/2003   November 23 – March 15

2003/2004   November 26 – March 21

2004/2005   November 25 – March 18

2005/2006   November 17 – March 5

2006/2007 October 30 – March 9

2007/2008 November 22- February 14

2008/2009 November 18- March 12

2009-2010 November 19 – January 5

2010-2011 November 5 – February 10

2011/2012 November 17 – February 21

Shelby County Fire Danger Index moved to “High”

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert today (Thursday) advised the Fire Danger Index in his County is currently rated as “High.” Seivert says he expects winds to be strong this afternoon, and if there are any active fires, they will monitor the weather components very closely, and advise the local Incident Commander of dangerous conditions. Seivert says there should be NO OPEN BURNING in Shelby County today. The next local Fire Danger notice will be on Monday, Oct. 15th, unless unexpected changes in conditions occur.

4 Louisiana men charged with poaching iowa deer in SW Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

October 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources announced today (Thursday), that four Louisiana men face 76 counts and nearly $86,000 in fines and civil damages for allegedly killing five deer illegally in southwest Iowa last November. The DNR says 41-year old James Keith Moore,  of Hammond, La., and 45-year old Michael D. Fralick,  of Ponchatoula, La., were charged with 32 counts each of deer related violations in four different counties in southwest Iowa. Moore and Fralick were each fined $6,123.90. The state is also seeking $25,000 in civil damages from each man for the deer they allegedly killed illegally. In addition, 46-year old Stanley B. Russell, of Roseland, La., and 39-year old William H. Chambliss,  of Kentwood, La., were charged with six counts each of deer related violations in Montgomery County. Russell and Chambliss were each fined $1,823.40.  The state is seeking $10,000 in civil damages from each man for their role in the alleged poaching activity. The state has also requested forfeiture of four rifles the individuals used to shoot the deer.

The investigation began in late November when the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Department received a TIP call from a concerned citizen about the activities of these men. The information led authorities to possible illegal activity in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources received a TIP call about illegal deer activity around the same time that linked the two cases together. Deb Howe, state conservation officer for the Iowa DNR, said “These men came to Iowa specifically to road hunt trophy bucks during the rut. They did not have any licenses or tags to hunt in Iowa during the time they were here.”

A 10 month investigation by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Bureau, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisiana Department of Game & Fish, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks culminated in the 76 wildlife-related counts being filed against four Louisiana men.  Fralick, Russell and Chambliss face similar charges in Kansas. An initial court date will be scheduled for November.

Information received through the TIP hotline in both Iowa and Kansas was critical in this investigation.  If you have information on wildlife crimes please call TIP of Iowa at 1-800-532-2020 you can remain anonymous.