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.

Born to love barns? See 100 of them, inside & out, on Iowa Barn Tour

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowans who appreciate historic barns can tour dozens of the big agricultural buildings during a special weekend-long barn tour later this month. About a hundred barns are being featured statewide.

Dobbin Barn, near State Center

Jacqueline Andre Schmeal, co-founder and president of the Iowa Barn Foundation, says each structure has a story and like the farmers who built them, they’re all different. Some of Iowa’s oldest, well-preserved barns are in the Dubuque area and date back to the 1830s. “The building was influenced by the ethnics where people came from, Germany, Luxembourg or wherever, or from Wisconsin or from Pennsylvania,” Schmeal says. “In western Iowa, you tend to have more western cattle barns and they’re more alike. It would depend, too, on the crops they had to store or the animals they had to feed.”

Some of the Barns on the tour in our area include: The Anstey barn, near Massena; The Heflin and Wooster barns in Shelby County; The Hindraker and Caltrider barns in Guthrie County; The Finken barn in Harrison County, and the Renze barn, along with the Ed Sextro Crib, both in Carroll County.

Roghair near Alton, pix by Ken Dunker

Whether they’re painted the traditional red-and-white or are made of wood, stone or brick, Schmeal says barns can be beautiful and fascinating. She says one round barn in central Iowa that’s on the tour has an unusual story.  “It was created by Van Pine Manufacturing in Davenport and all of the pieces were sent by railroad to State Center and then were hauled to the farm,” Schmeal says. “It’s a huge, magnificent, round barn. You just go in there and you look at all those pieces and wonder how that happened.”

Most of the 100-some barns on this year’s tour have gotten preservation grants from the foundation. Schmeal says the organization has handed out more than two-point-six million dollars since its founding in 1997. Some Iowans have an undying devotion to saving and restoring barns and Schmeal says it’s well-deserved. “It’s our heritage and it’s our history,” Schmeal says. “I cannot look at a barn without thinking of the farmer and the barn builder who worked all day and then he still had to put this barn together. Often, the family lived in the barn until the house was finished because they had to have the barn because that was their livelihood.”

The self-guided tours will run from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM on September 22nd and 23rd. Learn more at the website: www.iowabarnfoundation.org.

(Radio Iowa/Ric Hanson)

Atlantic Parks & Rec Board to meet Monday evening

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Parks and Recreation Board is slated to hold their regular monthly meeting Monday evening, in the Camblin Shelter at Sunnyside Park, instead of City Hall. During their 5:15-p.m. session, the Board will receive updates on the various Capital Improvement Projects, including those to: Sunnyside Park and its tennis courts, the Skate Park, and the Maintenance Building project; along with a Pellett Park playground equipment update.

The Board will also receive updates on the Schildberg Recreation Area, which will cover the Campground, Dog Park, Eagle Scout Bench Project, and Signage. In addition, they will discuss the need for Park Director Roger Herring to receive Pesticide Certification. In his report to the Board, Herring will review his meeting with the Schildberg Committee, report on a meeting with a Loss Control Specialist from the Iowa Communities Assurance Pool (ICAP), and give a tour of Sunnyside Park, along with a review of projects completed thus far, and those being considered.

Iowa taxpayers biggest donor to World Food Prize

Ag/Outdoor

September 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The $850,000 Iowa taxpayers contributed to the World Food Prize Foundation last year was the biggest donation the group received. The Des Moines Register reports) that Iowa taxpayers accounted for nearly one-third of the foundation’s spending in 2011. Public support is growing for the foundation that recognizes achievements in agriculture and holds an annual symposium every October. But Iowa officials agree that the investment in the World Food Prize foundation has paid off because it has improved the reputation of the state.

Western IA berry farm wins IA Farm Bureau Award

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Farm Bureau have announced Sawmill Hollow in Missouri Valley, the country’s first aronia berry farm, is this month’s Iowa Farm Bureau Renew Rural Iowa entrepreneur award winner.

Aronia Berries

The organic berry operation is a family farm run by Vaughn and Cindy Pittz and their son, Andrew.  In 1997, the Pittzes planted 207 aronia berry plants and have since expanded the farm to 26 acres and more than 13,000 plants. The berries, also known as black chokeberries, can be made into a variety of products, including syrup, sauce, powders and wine.

After looking into a number of value-added ideas, ranging from Christmas trees to pumpkin patches, the family found aronia berries offered the best potential.The business is a benefit to Iowa’s ag industry and to the Missouri Valley economy with its annual festival. Sawmill Hollow’s fifth annual North American Aronia Festival is this weekend, Sept. 15-16, featuring children’s activities, wine tasting, recipe contest, farming and gardening workshops and more. (For a full schedule, go to http://sawmillhollow.com/.)

Renew Rural Iowa (RRI) is an Iowa Farm Bureau Federation initiative supporting new and existing businesses through education, mentoring and financial resources. To learn more, visit www.renewruraliowa.com.

Rural Safety Daycamp planned for 4th & 5th graders in Cass County

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Extension Service say they will be hold a Rural Safety Day Camp for Local 4th & 5th Grade Youth, on Sept. 22nd.  The camp comes on the heels of National Farm Safety and Health Week, which runs from September 16th-though the 22nd. The Extension and its local business partners are hosting the Rural Safety Day Camp from 8:30- to 11:30-a.m. September 22nd, at the Cass County Fairgrounds in Atlantic. The camp is open to any local youth in 4th or 5th grade, and will focus on general rural safety topics such as ATV safety, basic first aid, animal safety, machinery safety, hidden hazards and more.

There is no cost to attend the camp, and campers will be provided with a snack during the camp. To register call the Cass County Extension Office at 243-1132 or email smmck@iastate.edu before 4:30 on September 20th. Students will need to fill out a medical information and release form to participate in the camp. This form can be printed off and filled out prior to camp by visiting http://www.extension.iastate.edu/cass, or filled out when the camper is dropped off the morning of camp (must be signed by a parent or guardian, so make sure someone who can sign is the one who plans to drop off at camp).

Extension staff and local business partners will be presenting basic safety information on a variety of topics and campers will have opportunities to participate in several group activities focused on thinking and acting safely. A resource book with more rural safety information and an informational DVD will also be provided to all attendees. Be sure to dress in comfortable clothes and layers for fall weather as we will be indoors and out, and please, no open-toed shoes. For more information, to register, or with questions, please call the Cass County Extension Office at 243-1132.

Burn Ban rescinded for Taylor County

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The State Fire Marshal’s Office in Iowa has rescinded a burn ban for Taylor County. The ban was officially removed at 2-p.m. Thursday. The field and grass conditions in Taylor County no longer warrant a ban on outdoor burning. The ban was enacted on July 24th.  Burn bans remain in-place until further notice, for: Cass; Audubon; Pottawattamie; Mills; Montgomery; Fremont; Page; Madison; Crawford and Carroll Counties, in the KJAN listening area.

Atlantic Harvest Fest organizers seeks BBQ competitors

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for October’s Harvest Fest, and putting out a call for entries into a barbequed ribs cookout contest. Harvest Fest takes place in downtown Atlantic, with the addition this year of a rib festival on Friday, October 12th.

The smell of barbequed spare ribs will permeate the air during this year’s Harvest Fest, in Atlantic!

The night will be filled with the aroma of hot ribs and sound of music, near the Rock Island Depot.

Registrations for rib cooking teams are being taken until noon on October 3rd. Forms can be found on AtlanticIowa.com or at the following sponsor locations: Atlantic Motor Supply (NAPA), Sears, Cappel’s Ace Hardware, Robinson’s True Value Hardware, and Connect-A-Dock. Competitors can choose to participate in one or several categories. A trophy will be awarded for people’s choice ribs, and cash prizes will be awarded for the top three places in beef brisket and pork butt. Chamber Director Megan Roberts says the event is non-sanctioned, meaning it’s “Perfect for those entry-level, backyard smokers or for those who have a few competitions under their belt.”  Roberts says “It’s a casual event, where bragging rights and a little cash go a long way.”

The new “ribtastic” event will be open to the public from 8 p.m. to midnight on October 12th, and there is no cover charge for the live music. Rib samples and a beer garden will be available. Organizers are encouraging football fans to come out after the game.

Meat smoking will continue throughout the night. Roberts says Saturday, October 13th will feature the same family-friendly activities as in past years and will conclude with a Harvest Feast comprised of the smoked pork butt and beef brisket entries, chips, and apple pie contest entries. The Atlantic Fireman’s Parade will process on Chestnut Street starting at 6 p.m.

Questions about Harvest Fest can be answered by calling the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce at (712) 243-3017 or e-mailing chamber@atlanticiowa.com.

Cass Supervisors discuss the future of the Amaizing Energy site

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Board of Supervisors met this (Friday) morning, to discuss, among other business, how they wish to proceed with plans for the Amaizing Energy Urban Renewal Area, just north of the Atlantic City limits. Late last month, Kathy Schowalter with PlanScape Partners made a presentation to the Board on behalf of Ron Fagen, CEO of Granite Falls, Minnesota-based Fagen, Incorporated, with regard to the possible creation of a 25-million gallon Cellulosic ethanol plant.

Schowalter asked the Board to consider local assistance in the form of: a property tax exemption until production begins; 50% property tax exemption/rebate for ten years after production begins; and assistance with applications for State and Federal incentives.

Board Chair Duane McFadden told KJAN News no decision on the request was made during this (Friday) morning’s meeting, but the Board did discuss their concerns and other matters related to the property, and the next time Schowalter might appear before the board. He said the Board wanted to “Air out” between themselves what they want to do, and the consensus seemed to be that they would like to “Maintain going forward if there is someone who would purchase that site, to keep the development going on, and get the infrastructure built there and create jobs, for the best interest of the County.”

McFadden says CADCO Executive Director Russell Joyce will try and coordinate a time for Schowalter to reappear before the Board. Following Schowalter’s next appearance before the Board, a public hearing will take place on or about October 19th. Afterward, it’s expected a motion on a proposal for the site will follow. McFadden says the Board is “pretty much united” in having something go forth at the site, given how fast the ethanol scene changes. And, he says Ron Fagen is probably the best qualified to take over the site. That’s because his company was the one who developed the site. He says Fagen probably has the most knowledge in how to use the infrastructure that’s currently in place, to its fullest potential.

Schowalter had said in August, that even with an agreement in-place, the permitting process would likely take up to a year once investors are secured, and construction on the plant itself would take 18-to 24-months.

Posted County Prices 09-14-2012

Ag/Outdoor

September 14th, 2012 by admin

Cass County: Corn $7.58, Beans $16.88

Adair County: Corn $7.55, Beans $16.91

Adams County: Corn $7.55, Beans $16.87

Audubon County: Corn $7.57, Beans $16.90

East Pottawattamie County: Corn $7.61, Beans $16.88

Guthrie County: Corn $7.60, Beans $16.92

Montgomery County: Corn $7.60, Beans $16.90

Shelby County: Corn $7.61, Beans $16.88

Oats $3.72  (always the same in all counties)

OIL SPILL ON NORTH RACCOON RIVER NEAR JEFFERSON BEING INVESTIGATED BY DNR

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources are investigating an oil spill originating from a greenhouse facility in Jefferson that reached the North Raccoon River. The spill was reported to the DNR shortly after 1-p.m. Thursday by local authorities. By Thursday evening, the DNR, with assistance from the police and fire departments in Jefferson as well as the Greene County Sheriff’s Department had tracked the spill approximately eight miles downstream. It was determined that the spill originated from an above ground tank storing used oil at Krieger’s Greenhouse in Jefferson.

A valve on the tank malfunctioned allowing used oil to run into a ravine where it eventually reached the Raccoon River. The amount of oil that was released has not yet been determined Thursday night. Hydro-Klean, Inc. of Des Moines, was in the process of installing booms downstream from the spill to prevent contamination further downstream Thursday evening. No dead or dying fish were found while tracing the oil downstream. The incident remains under investigation by the DNR.