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.

Burn Ban lifted in Pottawattamie County

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Pottawattamie County Emergency Management Agency say the ban on open burning that was in place for the entire county, has been lifted, as of 10- a.m. today (Wedensday, October 17th, 2012). The extremely dry seasonal conditions prompted a three-month burn ban for Pottawattamie County.  EMA Director Doug Reed said in a Press Release, that “The burn ban was a necessary tool to help reduce the potential for widespread, devastating fires throughout the county.”

The Fire Departments in Pottawattamie County and the 9-1-1 Communications Center implemented automatic mutual aid procedures that gave firefighters an edge in responding to reported fires quickly and efficiently. Reed said “Their performance was outstanding and made a dangerous season safer for all our citizens.”

And, although the ban is lifted, Reed says all citizens are urged to use caution whenever burning and to ensure they have water or other protective measures in place to prevent the spread of fires. Citizens living within incorporated city limits should check with their local fire department or city clerk before burning. Some communities have their own ordinances that restrict or prohibit open burning throughout the year.

Anyone conducting a controlled burn is encouraged to report their burn, prior to ignition, by calling the 911 Communication Center’s NON-EMERGENCY number at 712-328-5737.

Cass County Extension Report 10-17-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

October 17th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Smithsonian hosts US youth summit on Dust Bowl

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

October 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) – Students in nine states and the nation’s capital are preparing to examine the legacy of the Dust Bowl and the current impact of drought on agriculture and global food security.  The Smithsonian and the National Endowment for the Humanities are holding a national youth summit for middle and high school students Wednesday. It will include a discussion with scholars and experts, along with segments from filmmaker Ken Burns’ upcoming documentary, “The Dust Bowl.”

The summit will be webcast from the National Museum of American History in Washington to nine Smithsonian affiliate museums and the National Steinbeck Center. Regional town halls will be held in Nebraska, Texas, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Dakota and California.  Educators and students can join the webcast online for free.

Artist selected to create Borlaug statue

Ag/Outdoor

October 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An artist from Aberdeen, South Dakota has been selected to create a statue of a famous Iowan for display in Washington, D.C. Last year, the Iowa legislature and Governor Branstad approved the move to place a statue of 1970 Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug in the U.S. Capitol Building’s National Statuary Hall. Jeff Morgan, spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, says 33-year-old Benjamin Victor was selected by a committee to create the likeness of Borlaug after reviewing resumes and proposals from 65 artists from around the world.

Borlaug clay statue

Victor will be working to install the statue in March of 2014 – around the time of what would have been Borlaug’s 100th birthday. Borlaug, a native of Cresco, died in the fall of 2009 at the age of 95. Borlaug was a plant scientist who developed new strains of wheat. He’s credited with saving up to a billion people from starvation around the world. Morgan says Victor, the artist, has developed a maquette – or scale model – of the statue, which features a young Borlaug writing in a notebook and standing in front of wheat plants.  “The process will be to develop the clay model and from there it will be sent to a foundry to be cast and made into bronze with a patina applied to it,” Morgan said. “It will then be transported to the U.S. Capitol Building for the installation.”

The selection of the artist for the Borlaug statue was announced Tuesday as the World Food Prize festivities were getting underway in Des Moines. The annual award was created by Borlaug in 1986 as a way to honor individuals who’ve worked to improve the quality and quantity of food around the world. Borlaug’s likeness will replace the statue of a Civil War hero from Iowa that was placed in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall in 1903. That statue of U.S. Senator James Harlan, the one-time president of Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, will be moved to the Iowa capitol in Des Moines. Each U.S. state is allowed to have statues of two “notable citizens” on display in the U.S. Capitol.

Borlaug statue sketch

The Borlaug statue will join a statue of Samuel Kirkwood, who served as governor of Iowa during the Civil War. The creation and installation of the Borlaug statue is being financed through a private fundraising effort.

(Radio Iowa)

Climatologist: weekend rains barely put dent in drought

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Most of Iowa got a good soaking last weekend, but it didn’t go far in terms of making up for the drought. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says far northwest Iowa didn’t receive any rain, while the heaviest downpours were scattered around the state. Areas of northeast Iowa, around New Hampton and Decorah, received three-and-a-half to four inches of rain. Similar rainfall totals were reported around Red Oak, Greenfield and Winterset in southwest Iowa, and near Centerville, Albia and Oskaloosa in southeast Iowa. In Atlantic, we received 1.93-inches of rain over the weekend.

Statewide, on average, the weekend system dumped one-and-a-half inches of rain. It marked the single biggest rainfall event in Iowa since early May. “This one event over the weekend was almost as big as what we had for the whole month of September,” Hillaker said. Despite the downpour, Hillaker notes we’re a long way from bringing an end to the 2012 drought.

“We’re still roughly eight-and-a-half inches below normal for the year to date, as far as statewide average,” Hillaker said. “We did trim about an inch off the deficit we had going before this last rain event. So, it’s not a huge impact as far as reducing our deficit, but it will have quite a positive impact on soil moisture levels.”

(Radio Iowa)

Montgomery County to Host Forestry Field Day October 30

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources say the Nodaway River Valley Woodland Owners Association Forestry Field Day is Oct. 30th, at 12:30 p.m., beginning from the host landowner property at 1974 U Avenue, Villisca. The field day will include light hiking and demonstrations on woodland health and wildlife habitat management, pond management, and bow making.

It will also include a discussion on alternative products from Iowa forests like ginseng, maple syrup, wild plum, hazelnuts, aronia berries, using thinning residues for meat smoking and native tree species for wood working. The field day is scheduled to conclude at 4 p.m. Attendees should plan to dress for outdoor weather conditions and be prepared for light physical activity.

Directions to the host property: 2.8 miles north of Hwy. 34/71 interchange on Hwy. 71, then east on 198th street to the bend in the road where hit becomes U Avenue. The property is at the corner of U Avenue and 198th Street.

Atlantic Parks & Rec Board approves grading for Schildberg Campground project

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Rec Board Monday approved a grading and seeding project for the Schildberg Recreation Area, in Atlantic. Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring presented the final draft plans from Engineer Ken Coffman and the Schildberg Recreation Committee for the campground area, which will be graded and prepped for gravel pads. The one-way (south to north) entrance to the campground area, once completed, will be off of Iowa Avenue, and make its way toward the parking area on the east side of the lakes, and back toward Chestnut Street.

Herring said the 60-foot long gravel camping pads will be at the recommended 60-degree angle, to make for easy entry. There will also be an 8-foot, L-shaped gravel “patio” for a picnic table and a fire ring. There will be water and electric hookups as well, but Herring says two pads will have to share one water hookup. There will be separate electric hookups to each pad, however. A dump station will be available at the end of the campground driveway, for disposal of r-v and camper “gray water” and waste, just like those found at the Cass County Fairgrounds.

Future plans, according to Herring, call for a road to 10-acres of City-owned land, for the another, large R-V Park, capable of handling 32-foot campers and custom coach-type R-V’s. The parking stalls for those types of campers and vehicles will be drive-through, so no backing-up will be necessary. There will also be a boat ramp in that same location, for access to Lake Number Two. One small parking area will be designated for campground visitor’s use, also, to eliminate parking congestion. There will be 21 stalls for that purpose.

Herring says walkers and bikers around the lakes don’t have to fear their path being disrupted by the future plans, as those paths will remain in-place. In fact, signs indicating mileage around the lakes will be installed soon. And in the future, there will be 33 spaces on the gravel lot for pedestrians and bicyclists to park their vehicles, four of which will be marked for handicapped use.

Iowa harvest nearly complete

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farmers are close to wrapping up this year’s harvest as much needed rain finally fell across most of the state. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 87 percent of the corn crop has been harvested, which is a month ahead of schedule. Ninety-three percent of the soybean crop is in from the fields, which is three weeks ahead of normal. The USDA says in Monday’s report that rain over the weekend helped Iowa’s pasture and range land. Hay supplies are running short across 41 percent of the state. Calves are being weaned and sold early due to the short supply of winter hay. The statewide average rainfall last week was 1.65 inches, triple the normal for the week. It was Iowa’s wettest week since early May.

EPA extends comment period on Iowa livestock farms

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency has extended the comment period on proposals by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to change regulations of livestock operations to be in compliance with federal Clean Water Act. The Des Moines Register says the EPA has extended the period by two weeks until Oct. 31st.

In July, the EPA said Iowa’s program is not sufficient to assess whether livestock confinements need to obtain federal waste discharge permits. It also says Iowa’s inspection program is inadequate and the state failed to act in nearly half of the water quality violation cases against cattle farms that the EPA reviewed. The report was done in response to a petition filed in 2007 by three environmental groups that alleged Iowa fell far short of meeting enforcement requirements.

Burn Ban rescinded for Fremont County

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The State Fire Marshal’s Office in Des Moines has rescinded a Burn Ban for Fremont County, at the request of Emergency Management Coordinator, Mike Crecelius. The ban, which had been in place since July 19th, officially ends at Noon today (Monday, Oct. 15th). Conditions in the County are no longer conducive to rapidly spreading fires, as had been the case during the extremely dry summer the area had experienced.

A ban on outdoor burning remains in effect until further notice, for: Cass, Audubon, Pottawattamie, Mills, Montgomery, Madison, Carroll, Crawford and Page Counties.