KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Western IA JohnDeere dealer lays off 28 people

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Farm equipment dealer AgriVision Inc. of Glenwood, is cutting 28 people from its full-time workforce of 350 because of lagging sales triggered by the downturn in grain prices. The Omaha World-Herald says according to AgriVision CEO Jeremy Ostrander, the John Deere dealership also is offering early retirement plans to staff members over the next three or four months to reduce costs. Workers who lost their jobs — mostly in sales and support positions — are receiving severance pay and help finding new work.

AgriVision’s 13 locations in southern and south-central Iowa have customers in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. AgriVision was formed Jan. 1, 2014, by the merger of Barker Implement and A&M Green Power, which trace their history back more than 100 years. During the years of high farm income, grain prices and equipment sales, the company replaced two of its facilities and added on to others.

Ostrander said the company’s parts and service business “is still going strong” and is likely to expand as farmers repair and maintain equipment rather than buying new. He said farmers bought so much new equipment during the high-income years of 2010-13 that their equipment fleet is as new as it has ever been. Much of their old equipment has been exported to other nations.

Last fall, John Deere’s manufacturing plants laid off more than 1,000 employees, including some in Iowa.


5 probable cases of highly pathogenic Avian Influenza in 3 n.w. IA Counties

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State officials say the bird flu virus has been found in a large egg-laying flock in northwest Iowa, plus four more poultry farms. Initial tests indicated the presence of the H5N2 virus on an egg-laying farm with 3.7 million chickens in Sioux County. Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said Monday the virus will cost producers about a sixth of Iowa’s 60 million hens.

Northey says other probable cases have been identified at two farms in O’Brien County, one in Osceola County and another in Sioux County. More than 2 million chickens combined were on those farms.

If the final test results are confirmed, all of the birds will be killed to prevent spread of the disease.


Atlantic FFA Attends 87th Annual Iowa FFA Leadership Conference

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 27th, 2015 by Jim Field

by:  Cale Pellett
Atlantic FFA Reporter

On April 19, 2015, 16 members of the Atlantic FFA along with advisor Eric Miller and chaperone Danna Saeugling left Atlantic High School to attend the 87th Annual Iowa FFA Leadership Conference. This event was held in Ames, Iowa at both Hilton Coliseum and the Scheman Building on Iowa State University’s campus from the 19th-21st.

The first activity the Atlantic Chapter took part in was the Meals from the Heartland program. FFA members assembled and packed meals to be sent to less fortunate countries around the world. Meals from the Heartland is an organization that packages several thousand meals for people in countries where food is scarce. With this year’s addition of packing food, the Iowa FFA has successfully made over one million meals over the past four years as this was the 4th year in a row Iowa FFA has packed over 250,000 meals.

Over Monday (20th) and Tuesday (21st), all 18 people that left for Ames were very busy. The first Career Development Event (CDE) was Creed Speaking; this was done by freshman, Cale Pellett, who placed 6th at the contest out of 18 contestants. At the same time, Clayton Saeugling participated in the an Auditing Committee Meeting and Adam Freund worked with other FFA members from Iowa at Program Of Activities Committee Meeting. Nate Moen and Lexi Freund represented Atlantic FFA at delegate meeting. FFA chapter delegates such as these two are the members that decide the state officers that will be installed at the fourth general session.

Also on Monday, the conference featured the first of four general sessions. Over the four sessions, several terms of business arose. During each of the sessions, two, or sometimes three officers will give their retiring speech. Another feature of these sessions included the speeches given by high upheld members of the agriculture society: this includes Governor Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, and many other guest speakers such as Dr. Will Keim.

During the conference, there were two tests taken: the Greenhand Test and the Farm Business Management Test. Freshmen Josh Rossell and Emily Saeugling both took the Greenhand Test and earned a silver. This test consists of basic to hard questions about the FFA organization in general. It tests the new member’s abilities to know the history and current information about the FFA. Morgan Barkley, Sam Barkley, Clint Hansen, and Marshal McDermott took the Farm Business Management Test and earned a Bronze. The FBM is a test that analyzes agriculture, farm, and ranch business management information. It applies these economic principles to the decision-making process. It also evaluates agriculture business, and farm business management decisions, as well as the testing of the members ability to work together cooperatively as a group.

Throughout the conference, several members took part in personal tours of different parts of the Iowa State University campus. These were given by Mr. Miller and Mrs. Saeugling and ranged from the general campus to the 450 Farm to the ISU Dairy Farm.

At the fourth and final general session, three members from Atlantic were a major part of in the session. First, freshman Miranda Chipman played percussion instruments in the Iowa FFA band shortly after the introduction. And as convention came to a close at the end of the session, seniors Adam Freund and Savannah Sorensen walked across the stage to receive their Iowa FFA degrees. In order to receive this prestigious awards, FFA members must complete all of the following: be an FFA member for two years, complete two years of high school, invested at least $1,000 in their SAE or 300 hours in excess to class time work or a combo of the two. Recipients must have committed 25 years to community service, performed 10 procedures of parliamentary procedure, given a six-minute speech relating to agriculture, served as an officer or other satisfactory position held by chapter, and had a strong enough school record, as deemed by their superintendent or principal.

From this great experience, Atlantic FFA members gained great knowledge and a better understanding of the FFA organization. Whether this was from the free tours given by people from our community or the very interesting sessions given by one of the greatest organizations ever created: the Future Farmers of America.

Chapter Delegates

Chapter Delegates: Lexi Freund and Nate Moen

Chapter Display

Chapter Display: Emily McDermott, Alexis Boes, Carly Westphalen

Farm Business Managment Team

Farm Business Management Team: Morgan Barkley, Marshal McDermott, Sam Barkley, Clint Hansen

FFA Creed Cale

FFA Creed: Cale Pellett

Greenhand Test

Greenhand Test: Emily Saeugling and Josh Rossell

Meals from the heartland

Meals from the Heartland

State Convention Group 15

State Convention Group: Left to Right Back Row Miranda Chipman, Josh Rossell, Cale Pellett, Nate Moen, Marshal McDermott, Clint Hansen, Sam Barkley, Clayton Saeugling, Adam Freund Left to Right Front Row Carly Westphalen, Morgan Barkley, Emily McDermott, Lexi Freund, Alexis Boes, Emily Saeugling



Ready to start your garden? Not yet. Patience!

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s seen a lot of unseasonably cold weather and freezes in the past week, so green thumbers who are itching to get into their gardens will have to wait a bit longer. Before digging up the dirt this spring to prepare for planting, gardening expert John Fesh says to do some homework first. He suggests making sure the soil is suitable for what you intend to plant.

“Carrots and beets and horseradish, those types of plants really depend on root expansion to be successful,” Fesh says. “Plants like potatoes, you’re not going to be very happy with the results if you have a real rock-hard-type of soil. You’re just not going to get any tuber development.” Especially in Iowa, where the weather can make drastic changes quickly, Fesh says it’s important to check the forecast before doing any planting. Otherwise, you may have to do some replanting later. Now may be a good time to test the soil to see if it’s suitable for what you want to plant. He says “trench” planting may be a good option in some areas.

“You can make a deep furrow or even use a long gutter you had once used for your house,” Fesh says. “You can fill that with a loose, easy, mellow soil with a mixture of compost and sand so that the roots can get out and develop.” Fesh, an extension educator, says that won’t work for every crop but it gives you an idea on how the root system needs room to spread out. Ideally, he says we need to see soil temperatures in the mid-50s before digging up the garden to start the process, and that likely won’t come until mid-May.

(Radio Iowa)

Posted County Prices for Grains 04/27/2015


April 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $3.43, Beans $9.32
Adair County: Corn $3.40, Beans $9.35
Adams County: Corn $3.40, Beans $9.31
Audubon County: Corn $3.42, Beans $9.34
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.46, Beans $9.32
Guthrie County: Corn $3.45, Beans $9.36
Montgomery County: Corn $3.45, Beans $9.34
Shelby County: Corn $3.46, Beans $9.32
Oats $2.45 (always the same in all counties)

Iowa farmers markets vie to retain customers, vendors

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — With farmers markets set to begin in dozens of cities across Iowa, vendors and market managers alike are pulling out all the stops to keep consumers coming back for more. National data suggest the tremendous growth in farmers markets has begun to ebb, with a slight decline in sales adjusted for inflation, but officials say customer and vendor retention efforts in Iowa have helped the state’s markets so far evade such a fate.

Kelly Foss, director of the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market, says finding ways to ensure incremental growth each year is crucial to success as the market enters its 40th season. Todd Mills sells gourmet mushrooms, and he says his latest venture in Des Moines fills a niche currently unserved at the downtown market.

KJAN Conservation Report 04-25-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

April 25th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Host Bob Bebensee and Brian Smith, Conservation Officer for Cass and Adair Counties.


Iowa turkey hunters need to take precautions to prevent spread of bird flu

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

April 24th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

With a third avian flu outbreak confirmed in Iowa, turkey hunters are being urged to take special care to halt the spread and not to shoot a bird that might be sick. Kevin Baskins, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says turkey hunters need to help minimize the risk of spreading the disease, which has already forced the euthanizing of tens of thousands of turkeys and millions of chickens in the state.

“We’re advising turkey hunters to avoid any commercial types of flocks like chickens or turkeys,” Baskins says. “Once that virus gets into a confinement situation, it will spread very rapidly and probably throughout the entire operation.” Hunters need to be vigilant for any birds that have died in the field or that appear sick. Signs include: ruffled feathers, swollen wattles, discoloration of the feet and impaired balance.

Baskins says if a dead or sick bird is spotted, hunters should mark the spot using G-P-S if possible and notify the D-N-R right away. They should not touch or try to move the birds. The avian flu is believed to be spread by migrating flocks of wild waterfowl, specifically, ducks and geese.  “We don’t expect to see a lot of avian flu in turkeys,” Baskins says. “Turkeys tend to be more solitary. They move around in smaller groups. If there is an outbreak, it’ll be fairly isolated. It’s not like a confinement situation where we have commercial flocks and once it gets into a building, it spreads from bird to bird very rapidly.”

Between the shotgun and archery seasons, turkey hunting will be underway in Iowa through May 17th. Baskins says turkey hunters should follow some common sense precautions, like washing their hands with soap and water immediately after handling game — or if they’re in the field, use alcohol wipes. “We advise that you dress your game birds in the field whenever you can,” Baskins says. “Make sure you’re using the same tools, whether in the field or at home and that you don’t use those tools around other poultry or pet birds. Make sure you double-bag the internal organs and feathers so once you dispose of those, any virus that might be in there is contained.”

For more tips, visit the website: www.iowadnr.gov. There is no food safety concern, according to Baskins. Game meat should be thoroughly cooked, he says. Poultry should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill disease organisms and parasites.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa grapes likely survived Wednesday’s frost

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 24th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Frost and freezing conditions hit the state the last couple of nights and that has grape growers hoping they don’t see another drop in production like the one brought on by the cold last season. State Viticulture Specialist Mike White says he had not had any reports of damage following Wednesday’s freeze warning. “For the most part things look pretty good in Iowa. There might have been a vineyard or two in southern Iowa in a low area that might have had some frost, but I think right now we’re looking pretty good,” White says.

White says however, grapevines do have some built in insurance against frost damage. He says each plant has three buds inside with the first being 100 percent fruitful. “Now if it gets out there with one or two leaves and let’s say its April 27th and you get a frost, well the secondary bud inside there will bust open, and it has the ability to produce maybe 30 to 50 percent of a crop,” according to White.

White says the third layer will not produce fruit but it will sustain the plant through the season. He says wineries last year took a hit from a cold and wet spring and a late summer thunderstorm in western Iowa. Yields were cut by as much as 40 percent. Iowa has more than 100 wineries across the state.

(Radio Iowa)

Bird flu cuts into egg, poultry exports in Iowa, Midwest


April 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Some international trade partners are declining to buy egg and poultry products from states affected by a deadly strain of bird flu while others are excluding imports only from counties where the virus has surfaced. Agriculture officials say the food supply is safe. But Mexico, Japan and Canada are among 33 countries declining to accept poultry products from entire states, including Iowa, the nation’s leading egg producer, and Minnesota, the top turkey grower in the U.S.

Other countries, including Hong Kong, limit the ban to counties where the virus has been confirmed. Jim Sumner, president of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, says 110 countries trade with no restrictions. Also Thursday, the governor of Minnesota, the nation’s leading turkey producer, declared a state of emergency to fight the H5N2 virus.