KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Deer hunts set at DeSoto, Boyer Chute refuges

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

August 9th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

MISSOURI VALLEY, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says there will be deer hunts this fall at DeSoto and Boyer Chute national wildlife refuges. There will be two hunts at DeSoto: Oct. 18-19 and Dec. 20-21. Both hunts are muzzleloader and antlerless deer only.

All hunters must possess a DeSoto access permit for the hunts. These are free and can be obtained on the DeSoto’s website, http://www.fws.gov/refuge/desoto/, at the visitor center or by contacting Mindy Sheets at mindy_sheets@fws.gov or 712-388-4802.

The Boyer Chute hunt will run Dec. 13-21. This hunt also will be antlerless and muzzleloader only. DeSoto and Boyer Chute national wildlife refuges sit north of Omaha, Nebraska, along U.S. Highway 30 between Missouri Valley, Iowa, and along U.S. Highway 75 near Fort Calhoun, Nebraska.

Peabody claims title of 2014 Iowa State Fair Big Boar

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A giant pig, raised by a group of Iowa State University graduates in honor of a fallen friend, is the winner of the Iowa State Fair’s Big Boar contest. “Peabody” weighed in at 1,273 pounds. Peabody was also the nickname for Brad Peyton, who recently died of pancreatic cancer. He was 57. His friend, David Schaefer, said Peyton grew up showing pigs at the State Fair and longed to win the Big Boar contest.



“Two years ago, we had another boar that was presented and finished second to a boar from Indiana,” Schaefer said. Peyton’s pig in 2012 was named “Fred Hoiboar” and was presented by Iowa State men’s basketball coach Fred Hoiberg. The team that raised Peabody sold T-shirts, raising $3,000 for the Shining City Foundation, a nonprofit organization that Peyton helped found that builds medical clinics and other projects in remote, underserved areas of China, Africa, and other countries.

“He was an incredible guy,” Schaefer said of Peyton.”He had a lot of passion for people who don’t have a lot.” Peabody will be on display for the remainder of the Iowa State Fair, which ends on August 17. The five-year-old boar beat out “Big Mac” who weighed in at 1,142 pounds. This year’s winner of the State Fair’s “Super Bull” contest (that’s B-U-L-L) is “Big Daddy.”

The bull, raised on Stalcup Farms in Prescott, tipped the scales at 3,012 pounds.

(Radio Iowa)

"Big Daddy"

“Big Daddy”

Master Gardener Classes to Start in September

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Anyone interested in attending 40 hours of training to become a Master Gardener is encouraged to contact the Cass County Extension Office for information on classes forming this fall. The registration deadline for fall Master Gardener classes is Wednesday, September 3. The regular fee for the classes is $195; after September 3 a $50 late fee will be assessed. Currently 29 sites across Iowa are planning to offer training this fall, including a site in Cass County. This will be the only training class for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Fall trainees will receive the newly revised Resource Guide for Iowa Master Gardeners with hundreds of new photos to enhance the text. Adobe Connect sessions begin Sept. 16 and run through Nov. 5. Class-on-campus dates will be October 18 and October 25. Let your local coordinator know if you need to make up the class-on-campus session so that you can be assigned to attend on one of those dates.

For more information on the Summer Garden Webinar Series, to sign up for the 2014 Master Gardener Classes, or for other resources and information on gardening, 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.

Free Gardening Webinars to Focus on Tree Concerns

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

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 theme for the 2014 Summer Webinar Series is “Totally Trees.” As the Emerald Ash Borer marches across the state, homeowners need to be prepared to recognize signs of damage, know what control options are available, and consider alternatives for replacement trees. All sessions will be held from 6:30-8:00 p.m. The Cass County Extension Office is a local host site.

On Thursday August 14th, ISU Extension Entomologist, Mark Shour, will speak on Tree Pests, with a focus on recent pests of trees such as the Emerald Ash Borer and the impact of these pests on the Iowa landscape. On Thursday September 4th, Jeff Iles, Extension Nursery and Landscape Specialist, will speak on Ash Alternatives, providing ideas of other species of trees to consider planting in the home landscape.

Local participants will watch the presentation live from campus, projected onto a large screen, and have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the topic live with the presenter. There is no charge to attend the classes, and no requirements to attend previous sessions. Anyone with an interest in the topic is welcome to attend and learn.

Study details millions of tons of Iowa farmland lost to soil erosion

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A new study shows significant soil erosion in Iowa this year. Craig Cox, with the Environmental Working Group, says soil erosion is a major problem for water quality, and it also hurts farm production while damaging the environment. “From this spring through June, about 15-million tons of Iowa soil was eroded from farm fields,” Cox says. “That estimate doesn’t include the amount of soil from these ephemeral gullies which is what our study looked at.” The study found almost one-third of that lost soil came from just four counties: Adair, Cass, Clayton and Pottawattamie.

The report surveyed 63-million acres of cropland and found about 35-million acres had a moderate-to-high need for more conservation measures. Cox, the E-W-G’s senior vice president of ag and natural resources, says the study found evidence of farming conservation practices that have helped recently, but he says more needs to be done to reduce soil erosion.

“There were additional conservation measures taken and in four of the five cases there were new grassed waterways or there were grassed waterways that were fixed,” Cox says. “In one case, there was a cover crop and it worked, those practices worked incredibly well and they really solved these problems.” Cox says it’s unfortunate that federal policymakers have cut back on funding for conservation and the Conservation Reserve Program has faded to only 25-million acres nationwide, including about one-and-a-half million acres in Iowa.

(Radio Iowa)

Dunkerton man finally getting tractor back


August 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — After 15 years, a northeast Iowa man is getting his tractor back. Kenny Kass told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that he first agreed to lend his restored 1915 Waterloo Boy tractor to the Grout Museum District in Waterloo for six months. Then they wanted it for a year. And now, 15 years have passed. Kass, who lives near Dunkerton, says “I just wanted it out here.”

The tractor, which Kass restored over two months in 1985, will join his collection of 75 to 80 other restored tractor. The Waterloo Boy tractor followed the invention of the first gasoline-powered tractor by John Froelich, who joined with others to organize the Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Co. The business was sold to Deere & Co. in 1918.

Tour the northern Loess Hills prairies on Aug. 16th

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources invites you to take a day to visit prairies in the northern Loess Hills Aug. 16.th The tours are hosted by Iowa Prairie Network, with DNR, Woodbury County Conservation and Iowa Native Plant Society co-sponsoring the first field trip.

The first field trip, “Insects and Wildflowers of the Prairie,” will start north of Sioux City. Open to the public, the tour kicks off at 10 a.m. from Spirit Knoll, three miles north of Stone State Park’s west entrance on state Highway 12. Join insect enthusiast M. J. Hatfield who will be sweeping for insects, doing some show and tell, and educating about insects. Bill and Dianne Blankenship, and Kevin Pape, DNR park ranger, plus many others will help with prairie plant identifications.

Spirit Knoll will be dedicated as a state preserve Oct. 11 with programs and field trips that day, also.

Iowa Prairie Network is providing additional field trips in the afternoon. Bring a brown bag lunch to eat at Calumet Shelter at Stone State Park. A visit to Mount Talbot State Preserve in the park will follow a brief annual meeting. Then those who are interested can make a short trip north to Broken Kettle Grasslands to visit The Nature Conservancy’s Stevenson Preserve.

There will be a dinner at Bill and Dotty Zales’ home in the rural Loess Hills of Plymouth County, a few miles from Broken Kettle, followed by a campfire and camping (if desired).

Please RSVP by Aug. 13 for dinner (and indicate if you prefer vegetarian lasagna) to Dotty Zales at 712-540-0952 or zales66@hotmail.com, or to Dianne Blankenship at bennaid@hotmail.com. Also, indicate if you plan to camp.


Ag Dept offers a chance to picture yourself in agriculture

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Agriculture Department is offering those who’ve never set foot on a farm a chance to do so at the Iowa State Fair. Ag Secretary Bill Northey says all you have to do is visit the Ag Building at the fair. “We’ll have an exhibit that allows folks to stand in front of a screen, and get their picture taken, and choose a scene of agriculture to be behind them. We are calling it ‘Picture themselves in Agriculture’,” Northey explains.

Northey says those in agriculture are right at home at the fair, but he says it’s also provides a lot of insight for others.  “It is really a great place for non-farm families to come and see animals and agriculture and learn more about agriculture,” Northey says. “We’d like to have them come to the Agriculture Building to see that. We have animals giving birth on the grounds, we have the buildings, we have the show arenas.”

Northey says non-farm families can visit and go home understanding a little bit more about agriculture. Northey says most Iowans are impacted by agriculture in some way and probably don’t know it. “We have a lot folks that have jobs that sell things to those farmers, that work for companies that buy things from those farmers and process it. And frankly , we have a lot of folks who wouldn’t even necessarily think they are in an agricultural job. They are at a bank, and insurance company and an awful lot of the business they do in those businesses are related to the farm or folks that are working with farmers.” The Iowa State Fair opened today (Thursday) and runs through August 17th.

(Radio Iowa)

USDA Report 08-07-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

August 7th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Max Dirks


Atlantic City Council authorizes letter of support for NVT REAP grant

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, authorized Mayor Dave Jones to sign a letter of support for a local trails group’s grant application. Dave Chase, with Nishna Valley Trails, Inc., (NVT) approached the Council during their regular meeting saying the letter would help in the processing of a REAP (Resources Enhancement and Protection) Grant from the State of Iowa, for the completion of a section of the T-Bone Trail into Atlantic. Chase said the Iowa Legislature set aside $16-million dollars for REAP-type projects. Applications for a share of that money are due by the middle of this month.

Map showing the proposed trail [dark line] (which runs just north of KJAN)

Map showing the proposed trail [dark line] (which runs just north of KJAN)

The project will cost $550,000, with half that going to pay for a 162-foot long, 12-foot wide pedestrian bridge that will cross Troublesome Creek.Unlike a previous enhancement grant which required a 20-percent local match and has since been paid back, Chase said REAP does not require any additional funds. He said $780,000 has been set aside for projects in communities the size of Atlantic. Chase said funds from the REAP grant would also serve to enhance the Vision Iowa Grant that the Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department will apply for next year to link existing trail systems.

That means it would be very beneficial enhancement to the Schildberg Quarry Recreation Area and Trail. Only three-miles of the 20-mile T-Bone Trail remains to be completed before it is connected to Atlantic. Chase said the Cass County Resource Enhancement Committee has also agreed to sign-off on the application. And, he said NVT has $124,00 in the bank but will continue to seek sources of revenue to get the project completed. When completed, the T-Bone Trail will extend to the Atlantic Municipal Utilities’ well head trail, as well.