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.

Farm production costs continue to rise in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor

August 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The costs associated with being a farmer in Iowa rose by double-digits, percentage-wise, last year.  A report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service shows $26.84 billion was spent in Iowa on agricultural production in 2012. That marks an 11-percent increase over 2011. Only farmers in the state of California spent more last year, $31 billion, according to the report.

In 2012, Iowa farmers dealt with the worst drought in five decades, which cut crop yields and hurt livestock production. The biggest cost for Iowa farmers last year was feed, at $4.43 billion. Iowa is the nation’s top producer of corn, soybeans, and pork. Nationally, farmers spent a record $351.8 billion on ag production in 2012.

(Radio Iowa)

Families honored for Century and Heritage farms

Ag/Outdoor

August 14th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey handed out certificates Tuesday at the Iowa State Fari to honor those who have had a farm in their family for 100 years. Northey says the number of farms meeting the mark has stayed pretty steady. “The last few years somewhere between 300 and 400, this year 365 century farm awards were recognized. Amazing to see that many farms recognized,” Northey says. “We have over 17-thousand century farms that have been recognized since the mid 1970’s when this program started.”

Northey also recognized heritage farms today too. “Which are farms that have been in the same family for 150 years. And again, about the same number as last year, we’ll have 67 farms that we’ll recognize that are heritage farm awards this year. That means that they have been in the same family since the Civil War or before,” Northey says. The recognition stirs up a lot of emotion for the families.

“There’s a lot of very happy people and people that think of others that came before them. Some damp eyes in celebration as well,” Northey explains. You can find out more about the century and heritage farm programs on the Iowa Department of Agriculture’s website at: www.iowagriculture.gov.

(Radio Iowa)

Corn harvest lowered, still on track for a record

Ag/Outdoor

August 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has again lowered its estimate of this year’s corn and soybean harvest, assessing the impact of the wet spring in many states that delayed planting and damaged some crops. Early wet weather worries have rapidly shifted to concerns about the return of drought in portions of the dry western corn belt.

Still, the USDA says in its monthly crop update released Monday that U.S. farmers are on track to bring in the largest corn crop ever this fall and the third largest soybean crop. The department expects a harvest of 13.8 billion bushels of corn, up 28 percent from last year.

Soybean farmers are expected to bring in nearly 3.26 billion bushels, up 8 percent from last year.

Win free groceries for a year through America needs farmers contest

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The state’s largest general farm organization, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF), today (Tuesday), launched the ANF Great Grocery Giveaway in partnership with the University of Iowa Athletics Department and Hy-Vee. The grocery sweepstakes invites Iowans to meet today’s farmers through video tours of their farms and register for a chance to win free groceries for a year worth $5,000.

Iowans can register for a chance to win by visiting www.americaneedsfarmers.org and taking virtual farm tours; each video they watch earns an entry in the ANF Great Grocery Giveaway while giving them an up close and personal look at five Iowa farm families.  Website visitors can register with each of the five farmers each day of the sweepstakes, which kicked off today, Farm Bureau Day at the Iowa State Fair, and runs until noon October 31st, 2013. The web-based farm video tours feature five diverse Iowa family farmers who grow corn or soybeans and raise pigs, beef or dairy cows.

David Rydberg, a cattle rancher from Essex, is one of the featured farmers in the ANF Great Grocery Giveaway. He says “We’re excited to be a part of this because as a family farmer, I believe in the value of transparency and education; most people who enjoy beef today don’t live on a farm, but they want to know how we farm, how we raise our animals and how we keep them safe and healthy.”

Following the sweepstakes, one lucky winner will be chosen at random for $5,000 in free groceries from their local Hy-Vee.

Atlantic School Board approves Fall 2013 FFA trip to KY

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic School District’s Board of Education Monday night, approved a recommendation by Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein allowing district FFA students to attend the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, this fall. Erik Miller, Agricultural Education Instructor/FFA Advisor, told the board it’s a great opportunity for seven students who are selected to attend the convention to learn and make new friends from around the country. Miller said it’s a good way for the FFA chapter to gain publicity, as well as leadership experience.

The convention is slated to take place October 30th through November 2nd. The keynote speaker is University of Louisville Head Basketball Coach Rick Pitino, who will talk about his 10 step motivational process to success. Other speakers include New York City Fire Dept. veteran Joe Torrillo, who was twice buried in the twin tower collapses on 9-11, as he took part in rescue efforts, and, others. Entertainment includes a concert by Country music star Dierks Bentley, a rodeo, hypnotist show and a dance.

Miller says more than 5,000 students are expected to attend the convention, which allows the students to come out of their local group shell, and meet people they might otherwise not have had the opportunity to meet.

Miller says giving students an assignment to collect names of other students from around the country and its territories makes for a good “ice-breaker.” He says usually, the first night of the convention, the kids stick together in the same group they came in, but by the end of the convention, they’ve made new friends and shared experiences. It also gives them “life lessons” on how to stay safe in the big city.

The trip is being paid for through local fundraising efforts, and other sources. It’s the first time in over 10-years students from Atlantic have attended a national FFA convention.

Irlbeck Begins Duties as County Youth Coordinator

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the ISU Extension Service in Cass County said today (Monday),  Carroll County native Beth Irlbeck began her work as the Cass County Youth Coordinator on July 22nd.

Beth Irlbeck

Beth Irlbeck

Irlbeck met many members of the Cass County 4-H program and the local community during the Cass County Fair, while at the same time learning the ropes for next year’s event. Her position has fulltime responsibility for youth outreach programming and 4-H program management in Cass County. She replaces Susan Oliver, who held the position for the past four and a half years.

Beth is a graduate of Iowa State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in public service and administration in agriculture. She has a strong background as a former member in both the 4-H and FFA programs growing up in Carroll County.

The public is invited to stop by the Cass County Extension Office at 805 W. 10th Street in Atlantic, and welcome Beth to her new position. She is available to answer any questions you may have regarding 4-H and youth programming, as well as providing information on resources available through Iowa State University Extension in Cass County. Beth can also be reached by calling the Cass County Extension Office at 712-243-1132.

USDA issues new reports on corn, soybean progress

Ag/Outdoor

August 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Thirty-nine percent of Iowa’s corn crop is in “good” condition, according to a weekly report issued today (Monday) by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The agency lists 10-percent of Iowa’s corn in “excellent” condition, 34-percent is “fair,” 12-percent “poor,” and five-percent of the corn is in “very poor” condition. Iowa Farm Service Agency Director John Whitaker says more than 70-percent of the state is now on the USDA’s Drought Monitor as being abnormally dry.

“I drove around the state over the weekend, at least the northern part of the state, and it is surprising how quickly we can turn dry after the damp, wet weather we had this spring,” Whitaker said. In another report issued today (Monday), the USDA lowered the anticipated size of the nation’s corn crop. The forecast now calls for farmer to harvest 13.763 billion bushels, down from 13.95 billion bushels forecast last month. Whitaker says many Iowa corn growers have been concerned with both the lack of rain and the lack of heat.

“But at the same time, the fact that it has been cool has been good for the crop. Corn develops well in cool weather. It truly is a cool season grass. But, we do need moisture,” Whitaker said. Nine-percent of Iowa’s soybean crop is labeled in “excellent” condition by the USDA — 39-percent of the state’s soybeans are in “good” condition, 37-percent “fair,” 11-percent “poor,” and four-percent “very poor.” U.S. soybean production is forecast at 3.26 billion bushels in 2013, up 8 percent from last year, but down from a prior estimate of 3.42 billion bushels.

(Radio Iowa)

Animal welfare group damages Iowa butter cow

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An animal welfare group poured red paint over the Iowa State Fair’s butter cow, but the damage was quickly scraped away and the iconic sculpture is back on display.

(Photo via Radio Iowa)

(Photo via Radio Iowa)

Iowans for Animal Liberation, which promotes veganism, claimed responsibility in a Sunday news release, saying the paint represents the millions of animals killed annually for food.

The Iowa State Patrol says the attack occurred overnight Saturday after someone broke into the locked refrigerated area of the Agriculture Building where the sculpted cow is displayed. The attackers poured red paint over the sculpture and scrawled, “Freedom for all,” on a display window.

Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Scott Bright says the damage was cleaned up quickly Sunday morning and that the display opened as usual.  Bright called it a “mild case of vandalism.”

Champion steer chosen at Iowa State Fair charity event

Ag/Outdoor

August 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Governor’s Charity Steer Show was held at the Iowa State Fair over the weekend. The show started in 1983 with the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association joining forces with Governor Terry Branstad to raise money for the Ronald McDonald Houses of Iowa. This year, the grand champion steer was shown by Craig Hill, president of the Iowa Farm Bureau. The grand champion steer is owned by Shawnee Tate of Renwick.

Twenty-five local and state celebrities participated in this year’s event and Governor Branstad says it was a big success. “I could tell from the beginning that Craig Hill had a great steer and I’m not surprised he won it,” Branstad says. “It’s a great show and you see the tremendous support and enthusiasm. It’s a great way to promote the beef industry in our state, also, the great charity, the Ronald McDonald House.”

Ronald McDonald Houses are located in Des Moines, Iowa City and Sioux City. The facilities house the family members of seriously ill children being treated in area hospitals. The show has raised more than $2 million in its 31-year run.

(Radio Iowa)

Drought worsens in Iowa as Missouri sees heavy rain & fatal flooding

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

August 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The drought is worsening again in Iowa as heavy rains are causing devastation just to the south. Parts of Missouri got ten inches of rain overnight (Thursday into Friday), bringing flash-flooding, evacuations and at least two deaths. Meteorologist Kurt Kotenberg, at the National Weather Service, says there’s a powerful front between bone-dry Iowa and water-logged Missouri. “It’s brought in a lot of dry, cool air here to the state of Iowa whereas down to the south, there’s been an area of low pressure swinging through and it’s not quite reaching us,” Kotenberg says. “The low pressure and dry air is pushing that low to our south, serving as a shield, preventing that moisture and energy from reaching the state up here.”

While areas of southern Missouri have seen 15-inches of rain in the past two days, parts of Iowa haven’t seen more than an inch of rain in weeks, and there’s little hope in the forecast — for either state’s misery.
“We should be dry Saturday, Sunday, maybe a little bit of a chance (of rain) as we head into Monday, but otherwise, it’s looking dry up here,” Kotenberg says. “Down to the south, Missouri will probably be getting more rain this afternoon into Saturday, so unfortunately, it does not look like they are out of the woods quite yet.” A report released this week shows the drought situation worsening in Iowa.

“A good majority of the state is at least abnormally dry,” Kotenberg says. “Basically the only part that’s above average or near average is the far northeastern portions of Iowa. Interestingly enough, Des Moines is now almost one inch below normal on the year, while the Waterloo area is about ten inches above normal for 2013 on precipitation.” A week ago, only 0.02% of Iowa was in drought. Now, about 16% of the state is seeing drought conditions, mostly in the west and southwest.

(Radio Iowa)