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.

West Central IA Beef Cattle Forum Jan. 23rd in Arcadia

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 22nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with ISU Extension say area cattlemen should plan to attend the first annual West Central Iowa Beef Cattle Forum to be held January 23rd, at the American Legion Hall in Arcadia.  The free Carroll County educational program is being offered by the Iowa Beef Center, in coordination with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.

Registration will begin at 8:30 AM the day of the event, with introductions and speakers to begin at 9:00 AM.  There will be no cost to register and lunch will be provided.  Lunch will be served at approximately 12:15 PM and the meeting should conclude around 3:30 PM.

The target audience includes anyone involved in the beef industry including cow/calf and feedlot producers.  There will be a variety of topics discussed including economic outlook, bovine nutrition, confinement feeding of beef cows, and environmental issues.  Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency will be present to discuss surveillance and regulatory issues.

Dan Loy, Director of the Iowa Beef Center will be present to discuss protein supplementation and corn stalk treatment.  Other highlights will include an economic outlook from Shane Ellis, Farm Management Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and a discussion regarding the confinement feeding of beef cows.  There will also be numerous sponsors from the animal health industry available to inform producers about their products and services and Iowa Cattlemen’s Association representatives will provide an ICA update.

Officials are asking anyone interested in attending the Beef Cattle Forum to  RSVP by January 17th. Contact Chris Clark, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Beef Field Specialist for southwest Iowa, at 636-432-9437 or by email at caclark@iastate.edu or by contacting Merle Witt, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association Membership Coordinator at 515-231-7310 or by email at merle@iabeef.org.

More information can also be obtained from the Iowa Beef Center website, county extension offices, or from the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.

Authorities looking for killer of pigs in NW Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

ROCK VALLEY, Iowa (AP) – Sioux County authorities are looking for the person or people who tampered with a hog facility’s thermostat, killing 475 pigs.  The Sioux City Journal reports that at least one person entered the hog confinement facility five miles south of Rock Valley on Wednesday and tampered with the climate control system.  That led to the death of the pigs, each weighing about 280 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office at 712-737-2280.

Cass County Extension Report 12-19-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

December 19th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson


“Soiree with the Swans” coming Jan. 5th to Atlantic

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Area residents are being invited to join the Cass County Conservation Department’s staff at the Schildberg Quarry in Atlantic, for the annual “Soiree with the Swans.” The event takes place Saturday, January 5th 2013.  CCCS staff will be giving ten-minute presentations regarding the Trumpeter Swans every half-hour beginning at 11:00 a.m. with the last one being presented at 2:00 p.m. There will also be time to view the swans through spotting scopes and witness random swan feeding sessions. Hot chocolate, cookies, grilled hotdogs, and other snacks will be provided free of charge with donations being accepted (for swan care).

The Schildberg Quarry is located on the northwest edge of Atlantic, on the north side of Highway 83. Officials say if the weather is bad that day, or, if the swans are not at the quarry, the program will be held at the Atlantic Public Library from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m., with a light lunch available.

This event is being sponsored by the Cass County Conservation Board, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and the Atlantic Public Library.

Atlantic Parks & Rec Board receives $2,500 from local developer

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Parks and Recreation Board Monday evening received a check from local developer Don Sonntag.

Developer Don Sonntag addresses the Atlantic Parks & Rec Board.

The check, in the amount of $2,500 was part of Sonntag’s commitment to develop the East Ridge Park area over the course of 10-years. The City committed to maintaining the park through mowing and other activities. Sonntag said in the future, he’d like to see a source of water for the park, for the planting and annual maintenance of flowers.

In other business, Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring provided the Board with an update on the development of the Schildberg Recreation Area Campground.  He said the City’s Street Department has been hard at work grading and prepping the area for a gravel roadway and camping pads. He said also, the crews have done as much as they can do for now, with four-inches of gravel laid-down for the roadway and 12 out 18 camping pads. Work will resume on that activity, in the Spring.

In addition, Herring says talks have been underway with Atlantic Municipal Utilities to have water and electric installed for the camping pads sometime next Spring, and a local manufacturer has expressed interest in that part of the project. Herring says Owner Revolution/Plastic Professionals is working on plans to install camp-pad pods, which are roto-molded plastic structures designed to house water and electricity for each of the camping pads.

He says also, plans for a dog park at the Schildberg Recreation Area are continuing. The Board approved a request from Herring to ask the Atlantic City Council on Wednesday, for permission to release a section of City-owned land near the park. The site across Buck Creek Road next to the recreation area is City property which has not been identified as a park. The Park Board also approved the Dog Park Committee’s request to begin a fundraising program that would help pay for development of the dog park, primarily for fencing, which is expected to run about $10,500, but also for benches and other amenities at the dog park, such as equipment for the dogs to play on. Herring says while the focus currently is on a dog park at the Schildberg Recreation Area, it doesn’t exclude the possibility of one being located in-town, perhaps at the Sunnyside Park.

Atlantic Park & Rec Board meeting takes place tonight

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors will meet this (Monday) evening in the Council’s Chambers, at City Hall. During their session, which begins at 5:15, the board will receive updates on the Schildberg Recreation Area Campground, Park Maintenance Building and Sunnyside Park Tennis Court Reconstruction. They’ll also hear an update on the Schildberg Recreation Area Dog Park, and act on a request to move forward with a proposal to the Atlantic City Council for fundraising.

The Board will also discuss the formation of a Building Committee to put together ideas to be presented to the Park Board, and, they’re expected to hear an update on engineering and a plan that’s in the works for a Boat Ramp near the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Prior to adjournment, Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring will provide his report to the Board, including a review of his meeting with the Schildberg Committee with regard to kiosks, mileage signs and Vision Iowa grants.

Census of Agriculture surveys are in the mail


December 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The U.S. Census Bureau counted the number of people in America in 2010. Now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is preparing to collect data for the “Census of Agriculture.” Renee Picanso is director of the project. “The Census is used by everyone in agriculture and rural America as well,” she says. “It’s used to base numerous decisions on as well as to formulate policy and planning for rural America.” The Census of Agriculture is conducted every five years. Three million surveys for the latest census were mailed Friday.

Farmers are asked a range of questions, including how much they spend to put in a crop and how many animals were raised on their farm in the past year. “We do have a few new questions this year,” Picanso says. “We have an expanded section on internet use. We have an expanded section on equine and we’re also asking additional questions on renewable energy, to find out what’s going on on the farms with use and development of renewable energy.” According to Picanso, the time required to fill out the survey depends on the type of operation you have. “We’ve estimated a maximum of 60 minutes,” Picanso says. “But there are many producers who only farm one crop or maybe have only one livestock item and in that case it can take as little as 15 minutes to fill it out.”

The due date for the survey is February 4th of 2013. “Farmers can respond via mail or over the internet,” Picanso says. “Any farmer or rancher who doesn’t respond by February 4 will get a follow-up questionnaire in the mail or a phone call or even a personal visit.” Participation in the Census is required by law and, like the U.S. Census of people, individual responses are to be kept confidential. The first Census of Agriculture was conducted in 1820, along with the census count of people. After the 1978 Census of Agriculture, the USDA decided to send out the census every five years, in years ending with a two or seven.

(Radio Iowa)

Contest to determine cover photo for Iowa Travel Guide

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A contest is underway to select a photo for the cover of next year’s Iowa Travel Guide. The annual publication from the Iowa Tourism Office is distributed to thousands of people around the state, country and world.

Iowa Travel Guide 2012

Iowa Tourism Office spokesperson Jessica O’Riley says last year Iowans were presented with three possible cover photos and voted on their favorite. The 2012 cover ended up featuring the High Trestle Trail near Madrid. She says this year, they’re taking it a step further and allowing people to submit their photos for possible inclusion in the travel guide. The contest is open to both amateur and professional photographers.

O’Riley suggests submissions should capture the “spirit of Iowa.” That might involve a scenic landscape, a large crowd gathered at a tourist spot or a family picture somewhere in Iowa. “I certainly would not want to limit anybody…anything people see as they cross Iowa,” O’Riley said. Contest rules and submission forms are posted on the Travel Iowa Facebook page. The deadline for submissions is next Friday, December 21.

Finalists for the Iowa Travel Guide cover will be selected and then voting, via Facebook, will take place between January 23 and February 1. The cover design with the most votes will be declared the winner on February 4. Photos that don’t make the cover could be used inside the travel guide or on the Iowa Tourism’s website or Facebook page.

(Radio Iowa)

Sen. Harkin is concerned about farmland values and another 80s-style farm crisis


December 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says this week’s report on rising Iowa farmland values is worrisome. The annual study from Iowa State University found the average selling price for an acre of Iowa farmland was nearly 83-hundred dollars, an increase of 24-percent from a year ago. “I am concerned about a possible land bubble forming out there on this,” Harkin says. Authors of the study say record corn and soybean prices are part of the reason for the latest sizeable increase. Harkin acknowledges it appears Iowa farmers will “be in good shape” in terms of future demand for feed grains and for grain and stover used in ethanol production.

Still, he fears changes in the weather and other factors could quickly prompt another farm crisis like the nation saw in the 1980s.  “What I really worry about is that debt and leverage don’t get overextended,” Harkin says. “We’ve seen that before, haven’t we? Remember the 70s, when all these grain prices went up, plant fence row to fence row and all that. A bubble happened and a lot of people got wiped out because they were way overleveraged, too much debt when the 80s hit.”

The ISU report found farmland prices were widely varied across the state. For example, prices in northwest Iowa were up almost 34-percent, while prices in southeast Iowa were up only nine-percent. “A lot of times a lot of this is driven by land values near urban areas, for example, that seem to go up extraordinarily high,” Harkin says. “They can be a driver. I’d like to see how much of this land that is changing hands is actually being financed with debt.”

The 24-percent price increase found in the ISU report marks the third straight year the state’s farmland values have increased by at least 15-percent.

(Radio Iowa)

Leash on Life 12-13-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

December 13th, 2012 by Chris Parks

Info from the Atlantic Animal Shelter.