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.

Shelby County Fire Danger rating “Low” through Monday

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 25th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert reports the Fire Danger Index in Shelby County will remain in the “Low” category through Monday. Seivert noted the current rain and the moist field conditions as reasons the danger of grassland and field fires is low. He cited also, the fact the there are currently no bans on open burning anywhere in southwest Iowa.

Leash on Life 10-25-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

October 25th, 2012 by Chris Parks

Info from the Atlantic Animal Shelter

Doc Leonard’s Pet Pointers 10-25-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

October 25th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Dr. Keith Leonard

USDA Report 10-25-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

October 25th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Dave York

Survey outlines Iowans’ use of state parks and desired improvements

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The results of a statewide survey released today (Wednesday) will be used to devise a plan to make improvements to Iowa’s 87 state parks. The Iowa Parks Foundation (IPF), using private donations, financed the survey and will also pay for development of the strategic plan. Joe Gunderson, Secretary of the IPF Board, said the survey makes it clear that state parks are important to Iowans. “Almost 80-percent of Iowans use Iowa State Parks,” Gunderson said. “It is the single greatest, most used Iowa state asset. Nothing else is used like our state park system.” More than 12-hundred (1,200) Iowans completed surveys. Two-thirds of the respondents indicated it’s “very important” to maintain and improve state park trails and lakes.

Gunderson said the next step involves the development of a strategic plan to implement the desired improvements. “We hope to stand here in front of you a year from now and show you those results,” Gunderson said at a statehouse news conference. He was joined by IPF Treasurer Mark Doll. “We’re going to go through a thorough planning process and we are going to raise money for that,” Doll said. “That’s going to be 100-percent funded by this group again – by individuals, corporations and families. That’s the next piece. We’ve got the survey done and now we’ll do the strategic plan to be sure we know where we’re going next.”

Governor Terry Branstad and former Congressman Neal Smith founded the IPF in 2008. Branstad believes improvements to Iowa’s State Parks can be paid for with both private and public dollars. “I think if you want to look at how things like this can be accomplished – look at the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation and how that was so successful in getting private sector support and legislative support, making sure we had an effective partnership that’s led to the revitalization of the Fairgrounds,” Branstad said. The governor doubts Iowans would support a “park user fee” as a way to cover the costs of fixing up the state parks.

“We tried that once and it was not a good experience,” Branstad said. “A lot of time was spent trying to collect a relatively small amount of money and it drove down the participation and use of our parks.” The survey found nearly four out of five Iowa households have been to an Iowa State Park in the past two years. Branstad is hoping many of the improvements to the parks can be completed by 2020, which will mark the centennial of the founding the Iowa Parks System.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Extension Report 10-24-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

October 24th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Iowa’s corn & soybean harvests almost done, prices continue falling

Ag/Outdoor

October 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa farmers are growing more frustrated as corn prices are falling to a point lower than what the U-S Department of Agriculture predicted prior to the start of harvest. Jerry Norton, a corn analyst for the U-S-D-A, says prices have been dropping, so the agency lowered its average corn price last week for the entire marketing year.  “Part of that has to do with the fact that even though we have a crop problem this year, this crop is still at 10.7-billion bushels,” Norton says. “That’s a large crop. We’ve seen a lot of early corn movement for several reasons, part of it because there’s just not a lot of carry in the market, encouraging farmers to hold on to corn at this point.”

With the long-running drought, early predictions were for an abysmal crop which drove up prices. Harvest season started early due to dry conditions and the corn ended up being much better quality and quantity than expected. Norton says prices are so much lower because the crop was decent and farmers are selling, bringing up supply and lowering demand. In time, he says, things could turn around.

“It looks like the price level should be moving higher over time but we haven’t seen the price levels we would have thought we’d have seen by now, so it’ll be interesting to see how it develops over the next few weeks,” he says. The weekly crop report from the USDA out today (Tuesday) finds 93-percent of the corn crop had been harvested statewide, which was a month ahead of schedule, and 96-percent of the Iowa soybean crop is in from the fields, almost three weeks ahead of normal.

(Radio Iowa)

Soil Temps Still Too Warm to Apply Anhydrous Ammonia

Ag/Outdoor

October 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

As air temperatures continue to fluctuate, so do soil temperatures, and that means it is still too early for Iowa farmers to apply anhydrous ammonia (NH3) to their cropland this fall, according to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Anhydrous ammonia applied before daily soil temperatures, at a 4-inch depth, are 50 degrees Fahrenheit and trending lower can result in nitrogen losses that can impact crop development. These nitrogen losses can leach into groundwater and streams once anhydrous ammonia is converted to nitrate, creating water quality concerns.

As of Oct. 23rd, soil temperatures were actually trending higher across Iowa after air temperatures approached 80 degrees during a 3-day stretch. Historically, soil temperatures at a 4-inch depth cool below 50 degrees in the northern third of the state during the first week of November. In central and southern Iowa, soil temperatures cool below 50 degrees during the second and third weeks of November, according to Iowa State University Extension.

Barb Stewart, state agronomist with NRCS in Iowa, says this year’s drought left residual nitrate in the soil. “In many cases, crops did not uptake all nitrogen applied,” she said. “Consider taking a late spring soil nitrate test next year and make adjustments accordingly to make the best use of the nutrients.” Producers and fertilizer dealers are encouraged to visit the Nitrogen and Phosphorus Knowledge web page, http://extension.agron.iastate.edu/NPKnowledge/, to view daily, previous day, and a 3-day history of average soil temperatures in every Iowa county.

Drought may have impact on Iowans’ electric bills

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Despite recent rains, reservoirs on the Missouri River are dropping as drought persists and low water levels will translate to higher electric rates for some Iowans. The Western Area Power Administration is responsible for selling power from hydroelectric dams on the river and WAPA spokesman Randy Wilkerson says they’re watching water levels carefully. “Right now, we know that water levels in the reservoirs are low and we’re anticipating less than normal generation over the winter and into the coming year,” Wilkerson says.

The agency delivers power to several rural electric co-ops and municipalities in Iowa and in 14 other states. Wilkerson says WAPA easily met its power projections during last year’s historic flooding on the Missouri. “Everybody had more than enough water and we had excess generation that we could actually sell on the open market,” he says. “This year, if we have less than normal generation, we’ll have to be out on the open market purchasing some power in order to make up our contracts.”

Wilkerson says while WAPA will meet its power contract obligations, they will likely come at an added cost. “It gets built into the rates somewhere along the line,” he says. “We do have a drought adder that periodically takes a look at the rates and identifies how much costs are due to drought or low water levels, so absolutely, yes, ultimately, it gets built into the rates.”

Last year, WAPA delivered more than 42-billion kilowatt hours of electricity to its service areas.

(Radio Iowa)

Widespread rain delays end of harvest in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor

October 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farmers are very close to wrapping up this year’s harvest, but work was delayed by some much-needed rain. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 93 percent of the corn crop has been harvested, which is a month ahead of schedule. Ninety-six percent of the soybean crop is in, almost three weeks ahead of normal. The USDA says in Monday’s weekly report that widespread rain helped Iowa’s pasture and range land, but 73 percent is in very poor or poor condition. Hay supplies are running about 42 percent short. A slow-moving storm system brought rain to the state on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The statewide average was a-half inch, just shy of the weekly normal of 0.56 inches.