The Iowa DNR reminds hunters that the late muzzleloader deer season began Dec. 23, which is the final season that any-deer licenses are available. Nearly 30,000 hunters participated in the late muzzleloader season in 2012 and the DNR expects similar numbers again this year. Archery season also re-opens on Dec. 23 so bow hunters with unfilled tags will likely be heading back to their tree stands as well.
Hunters are required to wear blaze orange during the late muzzleloader season, but unlike the shotgun seasons, party hunting is not allowed. If hunters are seeing fewer deer where they hunt they may want to refrain from harvesting extra does. Hunters should check with landowners to see if deer numbers are at an acceptable level and tailor their harvest accordingly.
Hunters are reminded to report their harvest within 24 hours of recovering their deer. The DNR says that information is an important part of the data needed to manage Iowa’s deer herd.
Farmland prices in Iowa hit a record high for the fourth straight year in the Iowa State University survey released earlier this month. I-S-U economics professor Mike Duffy, who conducts the survey, says farmers have recently become bigger players in the land sales. “Seventy-seven percent of the land was bought by existing farmers and about 18-percent by investors. Five to seven years ago, the existing farmers were only about 55-percent of the purchasers,” Duffy says. Duffy says producers looked to expand their holdings as they make more off the ground
“Farm income has been at record levels, and when incomes are high, farmers will tend to bid it into land,” Duffy explains. And as farmers age, they want to keep the land in their family. “What we’ve found is that 30-percent of the land is owned by people over 75,” Duffy says, “and the major intention is to get the land to the family, in some cases either by sale or by gifting.” Commodity prices have dropped recently, but Duffy doesn’t expects big changes in land ownership patterns.
“I think what we’re going to continue to see is about the same level of land being sold, which is about one-and-a-half percent of the land in a year. The other two-and-a-half percent is going to be transferred to the family through inheritance or something like that,” according to Duffy. The survey found the average price for an acre of land in 2013 was eight-thousand-716-dollars an acre, which was up five percent.
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Jurors have ruled against tractor maker Deere & Co. in a lawsuit that alleged rivals were infringing on its patent covering the design of heavy-duty mowing blades. Federal jurors in Davenport found last week that rotary cutters marketed by Bush Hog Inc. and Great Plains Manufacturing Inc. didn’t infringe on Deere’s patent.
The trial centered on competing brands of rotary cutters, which are pulled behind tractors and are used to cut through fields after harvest and clear weeds and brush. Deere filed the lawsuit in 2009 contending the Bush Hog and Great Plains brands infringed on a patent issued in 2000 that covers a deck design meant to keep the blades clean by stopping debris from accumulating.
Deere had been seeking an injunction and damages for lost profits and royalties.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Several upper Midwestern states are dealing with higher propane prices because of supply problems in recent weeks. Farmers used more propane than usual to dry the late harvest of grain that came out of the fields too wet. Rural households not served by natural gas lines dipped into propane supplies early due to colder than normal temperatures. And the Cochin pipeline that carries propane to the Midwest from Canada closed for several weeks, stalling supply to the region.
The supply problem has driven prices 14 percent higher since mid-November in Iowa, where customers pay $1.88 a gallon. That’s 34 percent higher than last year. Propane’s up 15 percent in Illinois in the last month, 13 percent in Wisconsin and Minnesota and 12 percent in Nebraska.
Two Iowa deer hunters sustained non-life threatening injuries during the final weekend of the shotgun deer season. Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources officials say 50-year old Michael Otto, of Madrid, was treated after sustaining an injury to his elbow while deer hunting southwest of Madrid in Dallas County on Saturday. Otto was hit in the elbow by another hunter who was shooting at a running deer at approximately 11 a.m. Saturday. He was treated at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines.
21-year old Holden Hillegas, of Charles City, suffered a flesh wound to his upper back when he was struck by a deer slug fired from approximately 200 yards away by another hunter in his party shortly after 3 p.m. on Saturday while hunting near Floyd. He was treated at Floyd County Medical Center in Charles City.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted six men from China on charges of conspiracy to steal trade secrets. The indictment, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Des Moines, was unsealed on Thursday. It alleges the men conspired to steal patented seed developed by DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto and ship it to China. The indictment follows last week’s announcement by U.S. Attorney Nicholas Klinefeldt that the FBI had uncovered seed thefts.
Indicted is Mo Hailong, international business director of the Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group. He is in federal custody. Also indicted is Li Shaoming, CEO of Beijing Kings Nower Seed, three of his employees, and Wang Hongwei, who is believed to live in Canada.
No attorneys had yet appeared on their behalf in court documents.
Officials with the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources report the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been positively identified in a residential tree in the city of Creston, in Union County. It’s the fifth location where the invasive beetle has been found in Iowa. EAB kills all ash tree species and is considered to be one of the most destructive tree pests ever seen in North America.
The current EAB infestation was found as a result of an arborist contacting state officials about a suspect ash tree. Investigation by the Iowa EAB Team members revealed characteristic galleries and D-shaped exit holes in dead branches, and a partial adult beetle was positively identified by federal identifiers.
EAB infestations had previously been discovered in Allamakee County in May 2010, Des Moines County in July 2013, Jefferson County in August 2013 and Cedar County in October 2013. A quarantine covering 25 counties in Eastern Iowa was issued on Nov. 1, 2013 intended to slow the accidental movement of EAB by humans. An additional quarantine in response to this new confirmed infestation is being developed. A quarantine restricts movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs, wood chips and ash tree nursery stock out of the quarantined counties.
The Iowa EAB Team strongly cautions Iowans not to transport firewood across county or state lines, since the movement of firewood throughout Iowa or to other states poses the greatest threat to quickly spread EAB even further. Most EAB infestations in the United States have been started by people unknowingly moving infested firewood, nursery plants or sawmill logs. The adult beetle also can fly short distances, approximately 2 to 5 miles.
Ash is one of the most abundant native tree species in North America, and has been heavily planted as a landscape tree in yards and other urban areas. According to the USDA Forest Service, Iowa has an estimated 52 million rural ash trees and approximately 3.1 million more ash trees in urban areas. It is unknown how many public and residential ash trees are located in Creston.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources plans to release trout in seven spots around the state this winter. The program, which is financed by trout fishing fees, places the fish in areas where they couldn’t survive in warmer months. The trout will be released Jan. 10 in Fort Dodge’s Moorland Park and Big Lake West in Council Bluffs.
On Jan. 18, the fish will be released at Blue Pit in Mason City and Bacon Creek in Sioux City. Trout will be released Jan. 25 at Lake Petoka in Bondurant and at Spencer’s Scharnberg Pond. On Feb. 8, fish will be released at Ada Hayden Pond in Ames.
Anglers must have a fishing license and to have paid a trout fee.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad has suspended rules limiting the work hour of truck drivers who haul propane. Branstad announce his action Wednesday evening. It’s effective Thursday and will continue through January 2nd.
Branstad signed a proclamation saying the suspension of work rules is necessary because of a shortage of propane. That’s due in part due to a late harvest that caused demand in the fall for the fuel, which is used by farmers to dry crops. Demand for propane is strong throughout the state, leading to some shortages.
Drivers must still abide by standard rules and can’t drive if they’re ill or overly sleepy.