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.

Posted County Prices for 05-16-2012


May 16th, 2012 by Chris Parks

Cass County: Corn $5.90, Beans $13.46

Adair County: Corn $5.87, Beans $13.49

Adams County: Corn $5.87, Beans $13.45

Audubon County: Corn $5.89, Beans $13.48

East Pottawattamie County: Corn $5.93, Beans $13.46

Guthrie County: Corn $5.92, Beans $13.50

Montgomery County: Corn $5.92, Beans $13.48

Shelby County: Corn $5.93, Beans $13.46

Oats $3.15 (always the same in all counties)


Ag/Outdoor, News

May 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The 36th Annual Loess Hills Prairie Seminar will be held at the Loess Hills Wildlife Management Area, near Onawa, and at West Monona High School, in Onawa, on the evening of June 1s through noon on June 3rd. Registration is due May 25. The seminar is for families, educators, and students of all ages to foster recognition, appreciation and the educational use of natural wonders found in our communities. 

A brochure outlining the sessions and programs is available on the Northwest Area Education Agency website at: http://www.nwaea.k12.ia.us/en/programs_and_services/loess_hills_prairie_seminar/.

Fees are reduced for students, educators, families, and first-time attendees. Educators can earn credit if they pre-register through Northwest AEA. This is offered at a special reduced rate and the seminar registration fee is waived. Special programs for children allow parents to fully participate in the field sessions and indoor evening programs. Field sessions are at the campground, involve a walk, hike or drive. This year there will also be three boat tours of the Missouri River to explore the ecological effect of the flood of 2011. 

Field sessions will focus on native flora and fauna, photography, cultural history, Native Americans, geology, environmental writing, prairie restoration and management, and the Missouri River. Evening programs at the high school offer topics for adults and children separately, and are followed at the campground/seminar site with campfire programs. A special pre-seminar program, Loess Hills Ecology and Geology, presented at the high school on Friday 5:45 p.m., will provide background information about the Loess Hills. 

The event is sponsored by the Northwest Area Education Agency (AEA), the Monona County Conservation Board and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, with major support from the Iowa Living Roadway Trust Fund, the Iowa Prairie Network, the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy in Iowa, with additional support from a variety of educational institutions, organizations and volunteers. 

For more information, contact Gloria Kistner at Northwest AEA at 712-222-6080, 800-352-9040, extension 6080, or gkistner@nwaea.org, or contact Dianne Blankenship at bennaid@hotmail.com.

Free Summer Gardening Web Series to Focus on Vegetable Gardening

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County ISU Extension Office say the Iowa Master Gardener program is once again offering a series of summer webinars free to all local residents with an interest in gardening. The 2012 series is titled “Garden Goodness,” and will be hosted by Iowa State University Extension county offices on the fourth Tuesday of the month, May through August. The Cass County Extension Office is a local host site. Each session will provide information about vegetable gardening, but from a variety of perspectives. “Garden Goodness” is the theme for the 2012 series because of the current public interest in growing food, according to Jennifer Bousselot, Iowa Master Gardener and webinar series coordinator.

The first presentation in the series is scheduled for Tuesday, May 22nd, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. ISU Extension horticulture specialist Ajay Nair will cover the basics of Growing Vegetables. Participants will watch the presentation live from campus, projected onto a large screen, and have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the topic with the presenter. Upcoming Master Gardner topics will cover: “Food Gardening and Health,” & Glenwood’s Giving Garden; “The Peoples Garden Project and Working with Youth,” and  “Edible Ornamentals,” and the final session on August 28th, will cover the “Top Ten Sustainable Gardening Tips from Turtle Farm,” (an organic farm near Granger).

The series, in its third year, is offered by Iowa Master Gardener program in response to requests for more Iowa gardening educational opportunities. The sessions are open to all interested gardeners; participants are not required to have completed Master Gardener training to attend, however the session will fulfill Master Gardener continuing education requirements.

There is no charge to attend the classes, and no requirements to attend the entire series. Interested local gardeners are encouraged to attend any session that catches their interest. Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required, to allow local staff to plan for appropriate accommodations. For more information, or to register, call the Cass County Extension Office at 712-243-1132, email keolson@iastate.edu, or stop by the Extension Office at 805 W. 10th St in Atlantic.

Corn planting moves ahead to 90%


May 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Warm, dry weather pushed planting way ahead this past week. The latest U-S-D-A crop report shows corn planting move ahead by 26 percentage points statewide with each district of the state increasing at least 19 percentage points. Corn in the ground now sits at 90-percent complete, ahead of last year’s 85-percent and the five-year average of 79-percent. West-central Iowa producers lead the way for corn planting with 96-percent complete. Fifty-five percent of the corn crop has emerged, which is six days ahead of normal. Soybean planting is not far behind according to the report, which says nearly one-third of the expected soybean crop went into the ground last week. The soybean planting is 39-percent complete, just ahead of last year’s 36-percent and the five-year average of 30-percent.

(Dar Danielson/Radio Iowa)

Nishna Valley Trails work day and ride

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Nishna Valley Trails association said Monday the organization is sponsoring it’s second “Friends of the T-Bone” trail work day this coming Saturday, May 19th , from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.  Organizers say interested members of the public are invited to come to the trail crossing at Lorah, one mile west of US Highway 71, about a mile south of “The Valley” truck stop.

The goal is to once again clear out dead branches from the right-of-way, and stack them by the trail for the County Conservation staff to run through the chipper. Persons interested in volunteering are advised to wear a good pair of shoes, long pants, some sturdy gloves, and a hat to ward off sun and bugs. Bottled water will be provided so you can stay hydrated. If it rains that morning, the event will be postponed to a later date.

At 11:00-a.m., or when the work is done, whichever comes first, there are tentative plans for the work group to gather at the Valley trailhead and take a bike ride together. Volunteers can travel along with the group to Darrell’s Place in Hamlin for lunch. Or, if you prefer not to go so far, you can stop at the Little Red Barn in Exira, or Big T’s Bar and Grill in Brayton.

Cass County Conservation Director Micah Lee said he was very pleased with what the groups’ efforts accomplished on the last clean-up day, May 5th .  Lee and his crew plan to be out on the trail this weekend to chip the branches volunteers work to pile-up along the trail.

Survey shows rent for Iowa farmland up 18 percent

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — The rent for farmland in Iowa has increased 18 percent from last year, reflecting continued strong demand for corn and soybeans. The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Cash Rental Survey shows the average cash rent for corn and soybean ground in Iowa was $252 an acre per year. Agriculture experts think rates will continue to climb next year despite moves in Congress to end direct commodity payments to farmers. The survey is based on more than 1,400 responses, primarily from farmers, landowners, lenders and professional farm managers. Rents have been climbing for years. In 2008, for example, the statewide rental averaged $176 an acre.

Share the Road, It’s Bike to Work Week in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

May 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa motorists will notice more two-wheelers on the road this morning as part of Bike to Work Week. Whether it’s for exercise, to save money or to live a greener lifestyle, Iowa Bicycle Coalition executive director Mark Wyatt says plenty of people are turning to pedal power, and not just for a week. He encourages Iowans to give biking to work a spin.  “A lot of times your commute is much shorter than you can even imagine and it’s pretty comparable by car,” Wyatt says. “It’s easy. If you really want to start, give it a try it on a weekend and get out there and see how long your commute’s going to be and help with your timing and such.” Common complaints are that people don’t want to be all sweaty when they get to work, or that their hair will be messed up from wearing a bike helmet.

“You can take your clothes to work,” Wyatt says. “Hair products are portable so it’s really easy to set up there at work, towel off and change clothes before you go on about your day.” One study found that biking to work instead of driving a car can save six-to-seven-thousand dollars a year. While the winter months pose a challenge in Iowa, Wyatt says there’s no valid excuse to not try biking to work this spring — and this week. “We have 1,600 miles of trails available for people to use and countless number of bike lanes that are starting to pop up in urban areas,” Wyatt says. “As far as bike friendliness, we’re ranked #6 so there’s plenty of opportunities you can get out and bike on facilities designated for bicycles.” In the ten years since his organization started promoting Bike to Work Week in Iowa, Wyatt says the number of participants has grown from a few hundred to several thousand statewide. He says it’s easy to get involved and before you get on the road, you can start online.

“Go to www.bikeiowa.com or www.iowagoesbybicycle.com,” Wyatt says. “We have a national bicycle challenge that we’re participating in so users can log their miles and keep track of how long it takes to get to work and how much fun you’re having along the way.” There are a host of rides, races and other bike-related events over the coming weeks as part of National Bike Month.

Rural Atlantic resident to talk about her Ag Advisor position in Afghanistan

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

(update 5/22/12 – the event mentioned below has been postponed until 5/31/12 at 7-p.m. due to President Obama’s visit to Des Moines May 24th)

Rural Atlantic resident and organic farmer Denise O’Brien, who recently returned from a one-year appointment as a civilian agricultural advisor in Afghanistan, will speak about her experiences one-week from Thursday, in Des Moines. O’Brien,  who co-founded Women, Food and Agriculture Network in 1997, served in the advisory position for the USDA Office of Foreign Service Operations/Overseas.

She’s scheduled to speak on the topic 7-p.m. Thursday, May 24th, at 206 Cartwright Hall on the Drake University Campus at 27th St. and Carpenter Ave. in Des Moines.  O’Brien will also display her photos of farming in Nangarhar Province. A question and answer session will follow her presentation.The event is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a social hour at the Mars Café, 2318 University Avenue, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

17 Iowa schools take part in kids’ gardening pilot

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 12th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with what’s called the People’s Garden school pilot project toured 17 locations across Iowa this week, where schoolhouse gardens are being created as a way to improve nutrition and tackle childhood obesity. One stop was the garden at Sunset Heights Elementary School in Webster City. Janet Toering, with the Iowa State University Extension, complimented the students’ efforts and says there are multiple goals. Toering says, “We’re looking at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, more physical activities, getting kids outdoors, increasing their STEM skills — science, technology, engineering and math — in the classrooms with lessons, outdoors with gardening and healthy snacks.”

Students in three other states are taking part in the pilot project: Washington, New York and Arkansas. The eventual goal is to go nationwide with the program. Brad Gaolach is director of the Washington State University Extension Service, based in Tacoma. Gaolach says he likes what he’s seeing in Iowa. “We’ve got raised beds planted and stuff growing so it’s looking like a great start to this pilot project,” Gaolach says. “As I’ve seen in other schools, clearly it looks like the teachers and the principals and everybody’s very engaged in this program.” 

A total of three-thousand Iowa elementary students are participating in the school garden project. Several southwest Iowa area schools taking also taking part in the project, including the following rural districts: Lenox Community School District in Taylor County; the Afton/East Union District in Union County; Mt. Ayr Community Schools in Ringgold County. And, among the “urban” districts taking part in the program is: Walnut Grove (Council Bluffs), West Pottawattamie County; and Rue (Council Bluffs), in t Pottawattamie County.

Learn more at: “www.extension.iastate.edu/growinginthegarden

(Radio Iowa/Matt Kelley)

Grand Opening of Lincoln Highway/Loess Hills Interpretive Center is May 19th

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials in Harrison County say free popcorn, wine-tasting, and a demonstration of the new Smartphone interpretation are just a few of the activities planned for the Saturday, May 19th Grand Opening celebration for the Lincoln Highway/Loess Hills Interpretive Center located at the Harrison County Welcome Center near Missouri Valley.

The new Lincoln Highway/Loess Hills Interpretive Center, which opened in September along Highway 30 in west central Iowa, provides informative displays on both the historic Lincoln Highway and the Loess Hills. (photo Courtesy IA Div. of Tourism)

To officially open the new center, a “rope” cutting ceremony will be held at 10:45 am.  The “rope” will actually be made of colored-yarn signifying the six school districts represented by Harrison County communities. At the conclusion of the short ceremony in the center’s large shelter, free hot dogs, chips and cherry drink – a tradition of the village since the 1930’s – will be sponsored by the Harrison County Historical Society for as long as it lasts.

Also occurring between 10:30 and 1:00 pm, will be Western Iowa wine-tasting including a new Lincoln Highway variety, an animal tracks scavenger hunt on the hard-surfaced portion of the new trail, and a sample of the upcoming Welcome Center Farmers Market.  A few of the vendors for the 2012 season will share their wares as well as a listing of what crops and crafts can be expected from all of this year’s vendors.

From noon to 1:00 pm May 19th, the Harrison County Conservation staff will be offering demonstrations on the new Smartphone interpretation for the Lincoln Highway Road bed demonstration area, and explain the new “Smart Trail” interpretation available in some Harrison County Parks.

Throughout the day, free popcorn will be available for all those watching the Loess Hills and Lincoln Highway movies in the auditorium.  All attendees are also invited to register for the chance to win a cabin stay at the new King Cabin being built at Willow Lake Recreation Area near Woodbine or a $100 Welcome Center Gift Certificate.  Special discounts in the gift shop will also be available. May 19th is also the first day of the Living Loess third Saturday of the month tour season.  There will be a special table available for those wanting to learn more about Living Loess, get a passport stamped, and receive a free Harrison County Log Cabin ornament.

The Harrison County Historical Village and Iowa Welcome Center is located between Missouri Valley and Logan, Iowa on Highway 30.  For further information, please call 712-642-2114 or visit Harrison County Iowa Welcome Center on Facebook. http://harrisoncountyparks.org/welcome/