KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Grassland Fire Danger High today

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency is warning area residents, thatwith weather forecast to be in the upper 60’s to low 70’s this week, the Grassland Fire Danger Index will likely be an increased risk all week.

Counties in orange (Nebraska) have  a Very High Fire Danger index. Those in yellow have a High Danger index.

Counties in orange (Nebraska) have a Very High Fire Danger index. Those in yellow have a High Danger index.

Today (Monday’s), the Grassland FDI is in the HIGH category. If you are burning, use caution as fires can become out of control in a matter of minutes!

DNR: There’s no such thing as “safe ice” — 3 ice fishermen die in Union County

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

After the weekend deaths of three ice fishermen, state officials are warning all ice anglers to be extremely careful as they venture onto frozen ponds and lakes, especially with very warm weather in the forecast. Kevin Baskins, spokesman for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says there’s no such thing as “safe ice” even during the middle of winter, but conditions are more risky now with spring arriving next week.  “Ice never forms uniformly,” Baskins says. “You can have objects that are just under the surface that aren’t visible that can cause the water to be a little warmer there and that ice to be softer.”

Some bodies of water may be fed by springs or pipes that pump in water and keep the ice very thin and fragile. Ice fishing season is not officially over, even though the high temperatures this week are forecast to reach into the 50s and 60s.  Baskins says, “Certainly, as you get to the far north, there is still some fairly thick ice that’s still available as you get up into some of those northern natural lakes.”

Anyone venturing onto the ice needs to watch out for thin, clear or honeycombed ice, while dark snow and dark ice are other signs of weak spots.  “When we get to this time of year, I don’t think people realize how quickly the ice conditions can change,” Baskins says. “As we start getting these warmer temperatures, now, we even have projections of it being above freezing during the nighttime hours, this ice will go out pretty fast.”

Divers recovered the bodies of all three missing fishermen from a farm pond in Union County on Saturday. All three were from Creston and they’re identified as: 71-year-old Earl Burkhalter, 73-year-old Charles Critz and 68-year-old James Oshel. Officials say it’s possible a tile line caused water to run into the pond, creating very thin ice.

(Radio Iowa)

Texas’ Cruz tells Iowans he opposes renewable fuel quota

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is telling Iowa Republicans and agribusiness leaders that he opposes the federal standard for renewable production, including ethanol. At a forum focused on agricultural issues on Saturday, Cruz likens the federal renewable fuel standard to “corporate welfare.” Cruz tells the audience of roughly 1,000 that he has “every bit of faith that businesses can continue to compete, continue to do well without going on bended knee to the government.”

Iowa is the nation’s largest producer of ethanol. A 2007 law increases the volume of ethanol and other renewables blended into transportation fuel to 36 billion gallons by 2022. The federal Environmental Protection Agency in 2013 proposed reducing the increase. Leaders from both parties in Iowa say that would hurt the state’s economy.

Western IA Watershed Quality Initiative to receive funding

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A watershed project that spans three counties in the KJAN listening area has received a grant amounting to $354,000 toward the total project cost of $713,000. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today (Thursday) announced the Elk Run Watershed Quality Initiative Project in Sac, Carroll and Calhoun Counties, headed up by Agriculture’s Clean Water Alliance, is one of three such projects across the state selected to receive a total of $1.4-million in funding through the Iowa water quality initiative, over the next three years.

In addition to the state funds, the three projects, including those in Buena Vista, Pocahontas, Story, Boone and Hamilton Counties, will provide an additional $1.4-million in matching funds to support qater quality improvement  efforts, as well as other, in-kind contributions. The selected projects will join 13 targeted Water Quality Initiative demonstration watershed projects that were previously funded to help implement and demonstrate water quality practices.

The demonstration watersheds selected cover 274,596 acres. More than 30 partners from agricultural organizations, institutions of higher education, private industry, local, state and federal government and others, are working together on the projects.

DNR Listening Session ON fall hunting and trapping regulations rescheduled for march 25

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

March 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has rescheduled a public meeting over the Iowa Communications Network for March 25 from 6 to 9 p.m., to listen to the public’s thoughts on the hunting and trapping regulations for this fall. Meetings will be held in Atlantic, Boone, Calmar, Chariton, Clear Lake, Council Bluffs, Creston, Dubuque, Eldridge, Johnston, Marshalltown, Monroe, Ottumwa, Sac City, Sergeant Bluff, Sheldon, Spencer, Tiffin, Tripoli and West Burlington.

Complete ICN locations are available online at www.iowadnr.gov/hunting. The meetings are part of the process for making rules in state government. At each meeting DNR staff will facilitate a discussion about what went well last fall, what didn’t, and what changes hunters and trappers would like to see for this fall.

These discussions along with the data that the wildlife bureau collects on harvest and population numbers will be used to develop recommendations for any rule changes this fall. Any changes must be approved by the Natural Resource Commission and then go back to the public for further comment before taking effect next fall.

Atlantic FFA Hosts Sub Districts

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 4th, 2015 by Jim Field

On Wednesday, February 26th, members of the Atlantic FFA chapter hosted the Sub District Career Development Events with several advancing to District FFA Convention, which is to be held on Saturday, March 8, in Denison. FFA member Clint Hansen competed in Extemporaneous Speaking and Adam Freund competed in Ag Broadcasting, both advancing to Districts. Clayton Saeugling was the alternate in the Job Interview category. Colin Peterson competed in the FFA Creed. Freund, Hansen and Marshal McDermott competed in the Farm Business Management Test, each earning a bronze rating. Haylee Valeika and Morgan Barkley competed in the Greenhand Quiz. Valeika earned a silver and Barkley a bronze. FFA advisor Eric Miller commented, “I was proud of all the hard work each member put into preparing for their event.”

Haley Carlson was a candidate for District Office. She had a series of interviews beginning with an individual interview, which was a long process to help sort the candidates. After five candidates had each completed their interview, a group interview was held. The group interview is a team exercise designed to see how each member works in a group. This year team members had to make a mock presentation to a school board trying to convince them to start an FFA Chapter. Each contestant also took an FFA knowledge quiz. Although Carlson was not chosen to be on the ballot, this was an excellent springboard in preparation for next year. Carlson said, “It was a great experience! I learned a lot and that will help me prepare for next year. I also made many new friendships in the process.”

Adam F Ag Broadcasting  Cale P  FFA Creed  Chapter Progam Team  Clayton S Ag Sales  Haley C Extemp

Cass County Extension Report 03-04-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

March 4th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Play

Doctor says now is the time to prepare for spring allergies

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 4th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Most Iowans are anxious for spring to start in a few weeks, but others don’t look forward to the sneezing, stuffy noses and watery eyes that come with allergies. As many as four in every ten Iowans suffer from seasonal allergies. Doctor Jill Poole, an allergist in Omaha/Council Bluffs, says if you have allergies, you need to prepare. “They should start getting their medications out, get on board before they get behind the eight ball on their allergy symptoms,” Dr. Poole says. “If they need refills, contact their doctor and try to be proactive about keeping on top of their medication supplies and start taking them.”

It may sound hard to believe, especially as cold as it’s been, but some trees in Iowa are already pollinating. “March and April is when the tree pollen gets to be its highest counts,” Poole says. “This year, we’ve seen tree pollen counts a little bit early, even in January, but we still expect it to continue into April and even into May.”

She says allergies are the body’s immune system reacting to a normally-harmless substance. Over-the-counter medications work well for many people but Poole says there are some who need more help.  “Be tested so they know what they’re allergic to,” Poole says. “Maybe they can change things in their environment or there’s prescription medications they can take. Ultimately, there’s allergy desensitization programs.”

Those programs involve exposing patients with low doses of allergens, then increasing the dosage over time to make the symptoms less severe. Other tips include keeping doors and windows closed and to shower or wash your hands and face after being outdoors. Poole is an associate professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

(Radio Iowa)

Memorial Day Weekend Campsites Going Quickly

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Camping options for the Memorial Day weekend in a state park are quickly shrinking. The Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources says campers wanting to spend the holiday weekend at Backbone, Black Hawk, Brushy Creek, Elinor Bedell, Emerson Bay, George Wyth, Lake Ahquabi, Ledges, Lewis and Clark,
Pleasant Creek, Prairie Rose, Rock Creek, Viking Lake, Walnut Woods and Waubonsie state parks should plan to arrive a few days early for one of the walk up sites with electricity – all the reservation sites have been taken. Other parks are close to hanging up the no reservations sign.

Bellevue, Dolliver, Green Valley, Gull Point, Lake Anita, Lake Macbride, Lake of Three Fires, Maquoketa Caves, McIntosh Woods, Palisades, Springbrook, Stone, Union Grove, Volga River, Waubonsie and Wilson Island state parks have only a site or two remaining.

Lake Geode State Park is not taking reservations for camping or for the beach shelter until the construction on the wastewater system is complete. The park is open and is accepting campers on a first come, first served basis. At this time there is no water available for the showers, restrooms, or for the dump station.  Water is available from the campground hydrants.

Lake Keomah State Park is closed to allow the roads to be replaced. Nine Eagles State Park modern campground is closed while a new shower and restroom facility is installed. Most parks will have nonelectric sites available for the Memorial Day Weekend. Information on Iowa’s state parks is available online at www.iowadnr.gov,  including links to the reservations page.

New efforts launched to conserve monarch butterfly in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and several agriculture groups have convened to launch new efforts to conserve the monarch butterfly’s habitat across the state. Iowa State University on Monday announced its involvement in the so-called Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium with the DNR and the state Department of Agriculture, among other farmer and conservation organizations. Officials say the project employs a science-based approach to improve monarch butterfly reproduction and foster community conservation efforts.

The partnership comes after the federal government allocated $3.2 million to help save the monarch butterfly, whose population has seen a 90 percent decline in recent years. According to a news release, ISU has been tasked with leading research to develop best practices for maintaining milkweed plants in both rural and urban areas of the state.