KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Iowa farmers catch up on planting, exceed average

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farmers, for the first time this season, are ahead of the five-year average for planting corn and soybean acres. Warm temperatures and below normal precipitation allowed soybean planting and crop progress to rapidly advance during the week that ended May 25. The USDA says statewide there were five days suitable for planting.

The report released Tuesday says 96 percent of the expected corn acres have been planted, 13 points ahead of last year and a percentage point better than the average. Soybean planting progress doubled with 80 percent complete. That’s 5 percentage points above average.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says after the extremely late planting last year farmers are excited to get the crop in the ground more timely this year.

Iowa State proposes center for soybean research

Ag/Outdoor

May 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State University is proposing a new research center designed to improve the productivity and profit of soybean farmers. The plan released Tuesday would create the Iowa Soybean Research Center in the school’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The center would bring together educators and scientists from the public and private sectors to “advance the science and business of growing soybeans in Iowa.” The goals would include advancing the understanding of soybean plant biology, increasing soybean production and making production more profitable and environmentally sustainable.

Iowa is the nation’s leading producer of soybeans, and the crop is a vital protein source for the world. The proposed center would look at ways to diversify production and manage pests. The Board of Regents will consider the plan next week in Ames.

Judge fines cattleman $12,000 for water pollution

Ag/Outdoor

May 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A northwest Iowa cattle producer has agreed to pay a court ordered $12,000 fine for improperly applying manure on fields that flowed into a tributary of a local creek in 2012. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says Vernon Van Beek failed to report the discharges, which were discovered during a June 2012 routine inspection. Van Beek owns Lone Tree Feedlot near Inwood. He raises about 990 cows.

Van Beek agreed to the judgment to settle a lawsuit filed Thursday by Attorney General Tom Miller representing the DNR. State records show the farm discharged in 2009, 2010, and three times in 2011.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered the farm to obtain a Clean Water Act permit from the DNR after the 2010 spill. A permit was issued in 2012.

Discharge at Mapleton Wastewater Treatment Plant reported

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Dept. Of Natural Resources said today (Tuesday) that the City of Mapleton had begun discharging untreated wastewater into the Maple River, after planned repairs on the wastewater treatment plant were delayed. The City began routing wastewater to polishing ponds on May 15th, to enable repairs to a wall in the plant. The ponds filled to capacity Monday after heavy rains. The City began discharging wastewater to prevent damage to the ponds.

Contractors are expected to complete repairs by Wednesday or Thursday. The DNR cautions people to keep children and pets away from the area for 24 hours after repairs are completed. The repairs were scheduled in April after a wall between two sections of the treatment system failed.

Conservation officials urge precautions against ticks

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(AP) – Conservation officials across the Midwest are urging people headed outdoors to take precautions against tick bites. Insect repellants and covering up are two steps that can help. Officials say long-sleeved shirts, pants and securing pants cuffs are the first defenses.

People should check for ticks after returning indoors and shower quickly to remove unattached ticks. Putting clothes in the dryer on high heat before washing should kill any remaining ticks.

Ticks can spread various diseases, including Lyme disease, Rock Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. Most tick-transmitted diseases require prolonged feeding. To remove a tick, use a tweezers and grasp it as close to the skin as possible. Don’t jerk or twist the tick when removing and clean the bite area.

West Nish Tours set for June 7th

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s archaeological past, its cultural history and the importance of its water trails will be the focus of a presentation and float down the West Nishnabotna River on June 7th. The Daily NonPareil reports Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development Inc. and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will sponsor the event, which begins with a 45-minute classroom presentation at 9-a.m. at the Oakland City Hall Council Chambers Room off highways 6/59 in Oakland.

Archaeologist Cherie Haury-Artz will discuss the cultural history of the West Nishnabotna River before participants drive to Chautauqua City Park in Oakland to take a shuttle to Botna Bend Park in Hancock to begin the on-water session at 10:30 a.m. The 8-mile trip should conclude about 4 p.m.

Those attending the on-water portion should bring a sack lunch and wear old shoes and clothes. The on-water session will be limited to 20 boats. Participants may bring their own boats, or boats, paddles and personal flotation devices will be provided.

Online registration will be open until Saturday. A link can be found at archaeology.uiowa.edu. After that date, register by calling Emily Haase at Golden Hills at (712) 482-3029.

Iowa trout, walleye fishing improving over time

Ag/Outdoor, Sports

May 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Fishing in Iowa has improved significantly over the past three decades thanks to efforts the state and other groups have made. The Des Moines Register reports the improvement is especially noticeable when it comes to the prized game fish of walleye and trout.

Today, 42 streams in Iowa are sustaining trout populations. Thirty years ago only five streams in the state had self-sustaining trout populations. Officials say a variety of efforts by the state Department of Natural Resources, environmental groups and property owners have helped.

For instance, reducing the amount of soil that gets washed into streams and rivers has helped improve the habitat for fish. The improved fishing conditions will likely be popular in Iowa because 46 percent of the state’s residents say they fish.

FISH KILL INVESTIGATED IN CARROLL COUNTY

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say a fish kill was being investigated in Carroll County. The fish died in Brushy Creek near Halbur. A spill of anhydrous ammonia occurred shortly before noon on Saturday at the West Central Coop facility in Halbur.

It is suspected that runoff from washing the area where the spill occurred reached a tributary of Brushy Creek. A DNR inspection of the area on Sunday afternoon found dead fish along approximately two miles of Brushy Creek. Most of the fish were smaller fish species.

The DNR will return to the area on Monday to complete an assessment of the fish kill.

Cass County Extension Offers Tractor and Machinery Safety Certification

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the ISU Extension office in Atlantic say the Cass County Extension and Vo-Ag Teachers from Atlantic, CAM and Griswold schools will be teaching a 24-hour tractor and machinery safety certification course for local youth May 28-31 at the Cass County Fairgrounds. The training is required by law for any 14 or 15 year olds who want to safely operate a tractor over 20 HP and other machinery on a farm, acreage or any other business. Any youth who want to work in an operation that requires equipment operation must have this certificate. Youth aged 13 must be turning 14 during the summer of 2014 in order to be eligible for the certificate. 24 hours of training, including both a written and driving test, are required for participants to be certified.

While the certificate is required for 14 and 15-year old’s to be eligible for employment, anyone age 13 or older, including adults, is welcome to register for the class, as a wide variety of tractor, machinery and general farm safety topics will be taught. Participants will get some time “hands-on” driving farm machinery, as well as class time with Extension/Vo-Ag instructors and representatives from other local businesses and organizations.

The class dates are Wednesday, May 28 from Noon to 5 PM; Thursday, May 29 from Noon to 6 PM; Friday, May 30 from Noon to 5 PM and Saturday, May 31 from 8 AM to 4 PM. A $40 registration fee covers all class materials, including lunch for all 4 days of the course. Registration forms can be picked up from the Cass County Extension office or any Cass County Vo-Ag instructor. Forms are also available online at www.extension.iastate.edu/cass to print and return. Pre-registration is requested by Tuesday, May 27th,  to ensure enough materials and food are available for course participants. For more information, call the Cass County Extension Office at 712-243-1132 or email xcass@iastate.edu.

7th Annual Western Iowa No-till (WIN) Field Day to Focus on Soil Health

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with ISU Extension in Cass County say the 7th Annual Western Iowa No-till (WIN) Demonstration Field Day, scheduled for June 17th at the Carstens 1880 Farmstead south of Shelby, Iowa, will address a wide variety of topics for local producers interested in learning more about the practical application of no-till production practices and management of soil heath and fertility. Registration opens at 8 AM with coffee and rolls available. Local agribusinesses will be on hand to visit with producers in the morning and showcase their services/equipment.WINlogocolorweb[1]

The field day program begins at 9 AM with a weather and market outlook from Bryce Andersen with DTN. At 10 AM, rotating breakout sessions will cover nitrogen rate calculation and the evolution of cover crops in corn production. The breakout sessions will be followed by a lunchtime discussion on understanding soil biology and improving soil health. After lunch, keynote speaker Barry Kusel will share his experiences using cover crops successfully in his row crop farm in Carroll County.

Anyone with an interest in the practical application and impact of no-till production, whether looking for ideas to begin adopting no-till practices or a long-time no-till producer looking to improve production results, is encouraged to attend this field day. Nearly 200 ag producers and ag professionals attended the 2013 event, learning about effective soil stewardship strategies. In addition to the educational sessions at the 2014 WIN Field Day, there will be plenty of time for farmers to visit informational displays, vendor exhibits and network with other producers. 4 hours of CCA Credits have been applied for, and will be available at no cost for Certified Crop Advisors needing additional continuing education units this year.

There is no charge to attend this event, but pre-registration is requested by June 12th to ensure a lunch will be available. A free steak sandwich lunch with sides and dessert will be provided to all attendees, with steaks cooked by the Shelby County Cattlemen. Registration can be completed by e-mailing csgorham@iastate.edu or by calling the Harrison County Extension Office at 888-644-2105. More information is available at many local ISU Extension and NRCS offices, or can be found online at www.extension.iastate.edu/cass.

The field day is brought to you by NRCS, ISU Extension and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) in Harrison, Pottawattamie, Cass and Shelby Counties, along with many local supporting agribusinesses. 2014 Business Sponsors include Farm Bureau in East & West Pottawattamie, Shelby, Cass & Harrison Counties, Brokaw Supply Company, Sorensen Equipment Co., HTS Ag, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Shelby County State Bank, United Bank of Iowa and Bartlett Grain Co.

Persons with disabilities who require accommodations to attend or participate in meetings/events/functions should contact Dale DuVal at 712-644-2210, Ext 3, (Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339) or Dale.DuVal@ia.usda.gov by June 13th.