KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Grand opening set for first large cellulosic plant


August 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new era of ethanol fuel production will begin soon as Iowa refineries begin full operation using materials other than corn kernels. Iowa has two major cellulosic plants under construction that will use corn plant leaves, stalks and cobs to make ethanol.

The first to go online is Project Liberty, a plant in Emmetsburg built by Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based ethanol-maker POET and Royal DSM, a biotechnology company based in the Netherlands. The $250 million plant, set for a grand opening Sept. 3, will produce up to 25 million gallons annually.

It’s among the first facility of its size in the country to make ethanol from plant material. A $225 million DuPont plant at Nevada, in central Iowa, will start production this fall and make 30 million gallons annually.

Cass County cracks down on “mudders” – 3 cases went to court

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

You may recall last November, KJAN News mentioned the Cass County Board of Supervisors had authorized County Engineer Charles Marker to work with County Attorney Dan Feistner, in an effort to draft a Resolution it’s hoped would put a little more “bite” into a State law penalizing those who use 4-wheel drive vehicles to tear up County dirt roads after it rains. Today (Friday), Feistner told the Board of Supervisors the efforts of law enforcement has resulted in action being taken against some of the parties responsible for the damage.stelprdb5097804

Feistner said there have been convictions and/or guilty pleas made in association with the Criminal Mischief charges filed against three individuals who “played” in the mud with their 4-wheel drive vehicles on Level B roads. If Probable Cause is established, Feistner said other charges will continue to be filed against persons who destroy dirt roads, which become muddy during periods of heavy or consistent rain. The individuals who have already been convicted or plead guilty to the offense are being required to pay restitution to the Secondary Roads Dept.

Supervisor Mark Wedemeyer wanted to make clear that farmers who are using the roads to get to their crops are not the ones being charged with destroying the roads. Feistner agreed. He said the incidents in question were clearly intentional, whereby the trucks “fishtailed” down the road one-quarter mile or more and could not be retrieved by conventional means. He said they obviously had not entered the road by mistake and simply got stuck.

Feistner said also, if it had been a farmer, they wouldn’t have run from law enforcement.
Anyone who sees an obvious case of “Mudding” on county roads, is urged to call law enforcement with a description of the vehicle, direction of travel, and if possible, a license plate.

In other business, the Board approved a Resolution placing a Public Measure on the Nov. 4th General Election ballot. The measure calls for the appointment of township officers by the Board of Supervisors, rather than by election. Auditor Dale Sunderman points out 14 townships are now by appointment by the Board. The change would affect Edna and Union Townships.

John Deere to cut 600 jobs, most in central Iowa & Quad Cities

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

After reporting a deep drop in quarterly earnings earlier this week, Deere and Company now plans to lay off more than 600 workers at four of its manufacturing facilities, including one in central Iowa and two in the Quad Cities. Deere spokesman Ken Golden says the job cuts will be coming at the Des Moines Works in Ankeny, at the Harvester Works in East Moline, Illinois, the Seeding and Cylinder Works in Moline, Illinois, and at the plant in Coffeyville, Kansas.

“The largest number on today’s announcement is from the John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline,” Golden says. “That’s about 425 employees at that location. Des Moines is going to have 110 employees on indefinite layoff.” Deere is Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer and the company announced third quarter earnings on Wednesday of 850-million dollars, down 150-million from a year ago. Ag equipment sales dropped eight-percent in the U-S and Canada, 11-percent globally.

“We are always going to align the size of our manufacturing workforce with the market demand for our products,” Golden says. “Our employees are aware of that and so there is going to be some flux in the size of the workforce.” There are two ways the company makes adjustments, Golden says, like with extended shutdowns at each facility based on what’s being produced there.

“For instance, in Des Moines, all of the employees will be on an extended shutdown through September 29th,” Golden says. “When we place someone on an indefinite layoff, as we have done today, we are not projecting a particular date that they will be called back. That’s the unfortunate thing.” Deere is also implementing a seasonal shutdown affecting most of the manufacturing workforce at its Ottumwa Works. Production will be cut in the fourth quarter to meet market demand, which Golden says, is “not anything new for us.” Deere revised its full-year earnings projection to three-point-one billion dollars, compared to its spring prediction of three-point-three billion.

(Radio Iowa)

Pigs, cows and votes: Candidates try for farm cred

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — For candidates in the Midwest, almost nothing tops a photo opportunity with a barnyard animal or a colorful anecdote about life on the farm. Take Mary Burke, a former business executive running as a Democrat for governor in Wisconsin, who recently paused to check out the cows at a county fair. Or Illinois venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, who talks about his dairy farmer grandfather as a role model in his Republican bid for governor.

And then there is Iowa U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst, who gained national attention with an ad touting her hog castration skills. Most voters in these states don’t work on farms. Most candidates don’t either. But many of those seeking office seem to be stretching farther than ever for a barnyard background to establish common-man authenticity.

Record corn crop forecast for Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A new report from the Iowa Agricultural Statistics Service is forecasting the state will have a record corn crop this year. Director Greg Thessen says the forecast is based on conditions as of August 1st. It calls for a total corn yield of more than 2.44 million bushels and 185 bushels per acre. Thessen says of the nine districts in the state, four are forecast to post record yields; central, east-central, south-central, and southeast. All nine districts are predicted to have higher yields this year compared to last.

The statewide 185 bushels per acre forecast compares to 165 bushels per acre last year. If realized, the 2014 yield would be three bushels higher than the previous record set in 2009. Thessen isn’t surprised by the forecast, despite the wetter-than-usual spring and the less than ideal growing conditions in July.
“There was a patch of dry weather in July, but evidently the crop had enough moisture from the earlier rains,” Thessen said. “And with the cool weather, it sort of eliminates some of the water requirements that (the corn crop) would have needed, so that was beneficial.”

Soybean production in Iowa is forecast at just over 502 million bushels, up 22-percent from last year’s production of 411 million bushels. The record soybean yield in the state is 525 million bushels, in 2009. Thessen believes the soybean yield forecast to be released in September could be dramatically different from this month’s report. “The weather during August does have a big impact on the soybean crop,” Thessen said. “We won’t know the answer until we get back out into the fields at the end of this month.”

The current forecast calls for a soybean harvest of 50 bushels per acre — an increase of 5.5 bushels from 2013.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa Waterfowl Seasons Approved

Ag/Outdoor, Sports

August 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Natural Resource Commission of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources approved the 2014-14 migratory game bird hunting seasons during its monthly meeting on Thursday (Aug. 14th).

In the north zone, the seasons for ducks, coots and mergansers is Oct. 4-19 and Oct. 25-Dec. 7, the youth waterfowl season is Sept. 27-28, Canada goose and brant season is Sept. 27-Jan. 2, White-fronted geese is Sept. 27-Dec. 9 and light geese is Sept. 27-Jan. 11.

In the south zone, the seasons for ducks, coots and mergansers is Oct. 4-8 and Oct. 18-Dec. 11, the youth waterfowl season is Oct. 11-12, Canada goose and brant season is Oct. 4-Jan. 9, White-fronted geese is Oct. 4-Dec. 16 and light geese is Oct. 4-Jan. 16.

In the Missouri River zone, the seasons for ducks, coots and mergansers is Oct. 4-8 and Oct. 25-Dec. 18, the youth waterfowl season is Oct. 18-19, Canada goose and brant season is Oct. 11-Jan. 16, White-fronted geese is Oct. 11-Dec. 23 and light geese is Oct. 11-Jan. 16.

Commissioners also approved reducing the daily bag limit for canvasbacks to one. A statewide special September Teal season is Sept. 6-21. The daily bag limit is six with a possession limit of 18 of green-winged, blue-winged and cinnamon teal only. No other ducks may be taken.

Special September teal season shooting hours are different than regular duck season hours. Teal season shooting hours are sunrise to sunset. The migratory game bird hunting regulations booklet is available online at www.iowadnr.gov/hunting.

Posted County Prices 08/14/2014


August 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $3.32, Beans $11.89
Adair County: Corn $3.29, Beans $11.92
Adams County: Corn $3.29, Beans $11.88
Audubon County: Corn $3.31, Beans $11.91
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.35, Beans $11.89
Guthrie County: Corn $3.34, Beans $11.93
Montgomery County: Corn $3.34, Beans $11.91
Shelby County: Corn $3.35, Beans $11.89
Oats $3.10 (always the same in all counties)

DNR says urban deer hunts are working

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

August 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A state conservation officials says hunters stalking deer in and around the state’s largest metro areas have had success in keeping the animals in control. Bill Bunger, a wildlife biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says urban hunts have thinned the herd. “Generally speaking sure, there’s spots where access is still a little bit limited to the deer. And that’s kind of by choice of the people who live in that area. But everywhere where they have been able to put hunters has made a big difference,” Bunger says. Hunters have taken 53-hundred deer from the Des Moines and surrounding metro areas since 1997. Hunters do all their work in urban areas with bows.

“We extend the season a little bit for ’em, it starts a little bit earlier than our regular archery season,” Bunger explains. “And we run it through the gun season — because there are no conflicts with the shotgun hunters of course in town. And we run it a little longer into January as well.” There are also urban deer hunts in eastern Iowa. “Waterloo does hunt, and they’ve done it probably a year longer or so than in the Des Moines area, and they are very much successful over there,” Bunger says. He says Cedar Rapids has had hunts for a number of years and he says they’ve seen an impact with the number of roadkill deer going down.

Residents of urban areas get concerned when the deer population climbs and the animals start eating gardens, hosta and other plants. Bunger says even though the population levels for deer have come down, the cities keep a watch on them and continue the hunts each year. “Deer numbers just aren’t stagnant, so if you walk away from it, they are going to go back up over time. So, it’s just kind of an ongoing process,” Bunger explains. He says most cities have task forces that keep track of the deer population to determine where they should hunt.

“The Des Moines area in particular, they actually with the help of the Army Corps pay for an aerial survey by helicopter every year. Most of the cities as a rule just hunt every year,” Bunger says. He says the cities do look at the populations and maybe determine they’ve harvested enough deer and need to the hunting to other areas. Many of the deer taken are donated to the D-N-R’s “HUSH” or Help Us Stop Hunger program to be distributed through local food banks. Bunger says other cities allow the hunters to take home the animals for their own use.

(Radio Iowa)

The search is on for the ugliest tacklebox in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

August 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

If the tackle box out in your garage is rusted through, busted up or has otherwise seen better days, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources wants to see it. The DNR says it will accept photos of Iowa’s ugliest tackle boxes for a contest to run this August on Facebook, with the winner receiving a new tackle bag and lures courtesy of the Des Moines Chapter of the Izaak Walton League and Mid-Iowa Bassmasters.

Ugly tackle box photos can be submitted to photos@dnr.iowa.gov by Aug. 18th. The DNR will post photos from selected finalists to the DNR’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/iowadnr, at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 20, where Iowans can then vote for the ugliest tackle box in the state.

The photo with the most Facebook likes, comments and shares will win the new tackle box and gear, valued at $100. Official contest rules are available on the DNR website at www.iowadnr.gov/portals/idnr/uploads/files/Uglytackleboxofficialrules.pdf

Photo entries will also be posted to the DNR’s Pinterest boards at www.pinterest.com/iowadnr.

The Des Moines chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America provided the tackle box for this contest. Learn more about the group and its work to improve outdoor recreation and protect natural resources at http://desmoinesikes.com.

The lures were provided by the Mid-Iowa Bassmasters. Learn more about the group’s stewardship efforts and work to promote fishing in central Iowa at http://www.midiowabassmasters.org.

Proposed fishing regulations the topic of 4 public meetings in IA

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

August 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has scheduled four public meetings to discuss proposed changes to the state fishing regulations for 2015. One of the hearings will take place 6:30-p.m. Sept. 2nd, at the Lewis and Clark State Park Visitor Center, (21914 Park Loop) in Onawa.

The DNR is proposing a series of rule changes to make the regulations easier to understand, to protect lake improvements, remove duplicate language in the Iowa code and to enhance fishing opportunities.

The proposals also include: allowing the DNR to manage walleye populations in the same manner as it does bass by posting length limit signs at lakes; removing hand fishing as a legal means of take for all rough fish; establishing a paddlefish season on the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers; and removing duplicate trotline or throw line language in the Iowa Administrative code.

At the hearing, persons will be asked to give their names and address for the record and to confine their remarks to the content of the proposed amendments. Any persons who intend to attend the hearing and have special requirements, such as those related to hearing or mobility impairments, should contact the DNR and request specific accommodations.

Any person may submit written suggestions or comments on the proposed amendment through Sept. 4, 2014. Written materials should be addressed to Martin Konrad, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 502 East Ninth Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034, by fax at 515-281-8895 or by email to martin.konrad@dnr.iowa.gov.