KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Cass County Extension Report 07-01-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

July 1st, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson


Ex-Iowa egg farm manager gets probation after assisting feds

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A former Iowa egg farm manager will avoid jail time after cooperating with investigators in a criminal prosecution stemming from a 2010 salmonella outbreak. U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett sentenced Tony Wasmund to four years of probation Tuesday after the government said he provided “substantial assistance” in the salmonella case. Bennett imposed no restitution or fine on Wasmund, of Willmar, Minnesota.

Wasmund worked for egg tycoon Jack DeCoster, whose Iowa operations caused the outbreak that prompted the recall of 550 million eggs and sickened thousands. Under a plea deal, Wasmund pleaded guilty in 2012 to his role in bribing a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector to allow sales of eggs that didn’t meet federal standards. He cooperated in an investigation that led to convictions of DeCoster and his son Peter.

Heavy rains lead to high bacteria in water a state beaches

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The weekly tests of the water near 10 state park beach areas showed high levels of bacteria last week — the most since the second week of testing when there were 13. The D-N-R’s Mary Skopec says all the rainfall is the biggest factor. “We’ve had several pretty intense rainstorms come through the state, so it is typical for this early in the season to have a number of beach advisories,” Skopec says. “But I think as we move through into the drier part of the summer, hopefully some of those advisories will go away.” The rain serves as a conduit for the bacteria to get into the lake.

“It washes any bacteria that are on the beaches or surrounding the beaches, or in the area surrounding the lake, into the water where people swim. So we have seen for many years with heavy rains, the bacteria levels really jump up,” according to Skopec.
Skopec says sunshine is the cleanser that clears the bacteria out. “The increase in the bacteria really depends on the lake, but generally within one to two days the numbers come down. Especially if we gave sunny calm weather, the bacteria drop out and numbers get a lot better,” Skopec says. Many lake levels are up right now after the rains — which can also lead to an increase in bacteria.

“The high water levels can have an impact. We do know that the near beach areas, the beach sands can actually be a source of bacteria,” Skopec says. “Goose droppings on the beach for example, can be washed into the lake. And so when those lake levels are higher because of high levels of rainfall or flooding — we do get some of that — geese droppings moving into the lake area. So, it will be a problem for awhile.” Beaches with high levels of bacteria have green signs posted on them.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa State Fair will pair butter cow with Monopoly game

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Organizers of the Iowa State Fair are pairing the event’s famous butter cow sculpture with another butter piece celebrating the Monopoly board game. Officials say the accompanying piece, which changes every year, will this summer celebrate the game’s 80th anniversary.

Sarah Pratt designs the butter cow each year as well as a second piece. She is expected to feature some famous Monopoly pieces alongside the game’s main character, Rich Uncle Pennybags. Monopoly was first commercially sold in the 1930s. The property trading game has been printed in more than 37 languages.

The Iowa Star Fair is scheduled Aug. 13-23 in Des Moines.

Farmers encouraged to update info. on straw & hay directory

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is encouraging Iowa hay and straw producers to register or update their listing on the Iowa Hay and Straw Directory. The directory lists Iowa producers with hay and straw for sale, as well as organizations and businesses associated with promoting and marketing quality hay and straw.IA Dept of Ag-Land Stewardship

Northey says “The directory has been a great tool for both buyers and sellers and we hope farmers will take the time to review and update their information so that it remains a valuable resource. This directory can serve as a critical link for those producing hay and those looking to buy, so we encourage Iowans to take advantage of this free directory.”

The listing is available to interested buyers throughout the nation, however only sellers from within Iowa can be included on the list. Names are gathered throughout the year with added emphasis now that hay harvest has started. Sections within the Hay and Straw Directory include “Forage for Sale,” “Forage Auctions,” “Hay Associations,” “Forage Dealers,” “Hay Grinders” and “Custom Balers.”

Farmers interested in listing should visit the Department’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov. An application form can be found by going to the “Bureaus” link and then selecting “Agricultural Diversification and Market Development.” Then click on “Hay & Straw Directory” on the right side of the page under “Directories.”

For those without internet access, call the Hay/Straw Hotline at 800-383-5079. The Department will fax or send a printed copy of the application to be filled out. The Department is also supporting the Iowa Crop Improvement Association’s “Iowa Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage and Mulch Certification Program.” Through this program Iowa forage and mulch producers can take advantage of many emerging market opportunities for “Certified Weed Free” products.

For more specific information on this program producers should contact the Iowa Crop Improvement Association at 515-294-6921. More information can also be found by visiting http://www.iowacrop.org/Forage_Mulch.htm.

State water situation looking good after concerns in April


June 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Recent concern that drought conditions might creep back into the state have been washed away by continues and sometimes large rainfalls. Tim Hall of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the water picture is much different now than it was in April. “We were almost an island in the middle of really dry conditions in Nebraska and Kansas and the Dakotas and Minnesota over into Wisconsin,” Hall says. “And there was some fear that those dry conditions would continue to creep into the state.” But Hall says the drought concerns have faded away for our state and those around us.

“The rains we’ve had regionally have really pushed the drought conditions back in the Upper Midwest and it really bodes well for us in the immediate future,” Hall says. He says most of the severe drought conditions in the U-S are now west of the Rocky Mountains. Northwest Iowa is the only area of the state that is showing drier than normal conditions right now. “Those areas that are drier than normal are small and still shrinking. There’s just some very minor areas in northwest Iowa that we are watching carefully for long-term water availablity,” according to Hall.

Heavy rains last week caused flash flooding and now stream flow conditions are above normal for three quarters of the state. Hall says we could see more of the flash type flooding in the future if things stay wet. “Whether the next rainfall is going to have the same impact of the one we just saw is the fact that the soil moisture is pretty high right now,” Hall expalins. “The stream flows can do down — and I expect they will — but if the soils remain pretty wet, and we get another decent rainfall, there’s really no place for that rain to go.” He says that’s one of the downsides to pulling out of the drought conditions and moving the other way.

“One of the things we saw early in this season and into last year — is when the soil is pretty dry and we get a good rainfall, a lot of that rain ends up soaking in. That’s sort of run its course. And if the soil is pretty wet, any rainfall we get is going to show up as runoff,” Hall says. “So, it’s a timing issue of where the streams are, and it’s also a soil moisture issue.” Hall says overall the water condition in the state right now is pretty good.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa crops take a hit in last week’s severe weather


June 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The severe weather that rolled through Iowa last week has threatened crop yields across the state. The USDA’s latest crop report issued Monday places 83-percent of the state’s corn crop in good to excellent condition. Soybean emergence rose to 96-percent, which is on par with the five-year average, but 11 days behind last year’s crop. Seventy-eight percent of Iowa’s soybeans are rated in good to excellent condition. Iowa State University Extension Agronomist Mark Johnson monitors a nine-county region that received up to 8 inches of rain in a 24-hour period last week.

“Normally when you drive around after a heavy rain, you see these ponds and maybe they (cover) a quarter acre or maybe half-an-acre. When I was out in Carroll (County), l saw 10-acre ponds. Greene was maybe a little bit better and Dallas was a little bit better. Those counties really took a hit,” Johnson said. It’s too late to replant those water-logged corn fields, according to Johnson.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic FFA Competes at Iowa FFA Agronomy CDE

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 29th, 2015 by Jim Field

Left to right:  Clayton Saeugling, Nate Moen, Garrett Schwanke, Adam Freund

Left to right: Clayton Saeugling, Nate Moen, Garrett Schwanke, Adam Freund

The Atlantic FFA Chapter placed 6th as a team in the annual Iowa FFA Agronomy Career Development Event held at Iowa State University in Ames on June 4, 2015. Members of the 6th place team included: Adam Freund, Clayton Saeugling, Garrett Schwanke, and Nate Moen. Their agricultural education instructor and FFA Advisor is Mr. Eric Miller. A special thank you to Aaron Saeugling for assisting the team. Team member Clayton Saeugling said, ”This was a very enjoyable, but challenging contest. This is my favorite Career Development Event of the year. We get to compete against many other great teams, to place 6th was a big accomplishment.”

FFA teams including 90 individuals from 27 chapters participated in this year’s Career Development Event designed to provide the student an opportunity to display their agricultural knowledge and skills in the area of Agronomy. Activities included demonstration of skills and problem solving in Agronomy, including crop, weed, insect and seed identification; crop and seed judging and evaluation; and grain grading. A written examination and computer application activities were included along with a team problem solving competition.

The Iowa State University Department of Agronomy hosted the event and provided T-shirts to all participants. The Agronomy Career Development Event was coordinated and conducted by Mr. Dennis Miller and other faculty and staff with the Agronomy Department at Iowa State University in Ames. The Iowa Crop Improvement Association provided lunch to all participants in the event.

Ag Students Gain Insight for the Future of Agriculture

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 29th, 2015 by Jim Field

Front Row Left to right: Secretary Of Agriculture Bill Northey, Haley Carlson, Emily Saeugling, Braden Bean, Cale Pellett, Kyle Redinbaugh Back Row:  Eric Miller, Adam Freund, Garrett Schwanke, Clayton Saeugling, Representative Jack Drake

Front Row Left to right:
Secretary Of Agriculture Bill Northey, Haley Carlson, Emily Saeugling, Braden Bean, Cale Pellett, Kyle Redinbaugh
Back Row: Eric Miller, Adam Freund, Garrett Schwanke, Clayton Saeugling, Representative Jack Drake

LEWIS, Iowa—More than 35 high school ag students from FFA chapters across Iowa recently had the opportunity to get an up-close look at several agricultural topics during a field day hosted by Wyffels Hybrids. Students heard from industry experts and participated in hands-on activities with real-world applications.

Students learned from keynote speaker, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, about careers in ag and the growing need for talented and driven people in agriculture.

“I think the future is important and young adults need to realize they need to start thinking about their future and what they want to do with it. This event is a great way to layout the different careers in agriculture to better understand some interests that the students may have. With the growing industry there are many opportunities for the next generation,” Bill Northey said.
Members learned about topics ranging from livestock feed rations and food science, to agronomy and precision ag, to horticulture, native species and ag engineering.

“The field day was another great educational opportunity for the local FFA Chapters. I really enjoyed day and hope that Wyffels continues this program,” Atlantic FFA Chapter member Haley Carlson said.

This event continues to grow in popularity with high school students as it provided a large array of information on agriculture, and potential careers.

“The Wyffels Hybrids FFA Field Day for the Future has continued to grow in its exposure throughout southwest and west central Iowa in its four years. I continue to be impressed with the interest and interaction these future leaders of ag have, and show during our training,” said Bill Backhaus, Region Manager for Wyffels Hybrids.

Wyffels Hybrids donated $25 to FFA chapters for each student participant, plus a matching donation to the Iowa FFA Foundation.

About Wyffels Hybrids
Wyffels Hybrids, headquartered in Geneseo, Ill., is one of the nation’s largest independent seed corn companies. Focusing strictly on developing and marketing elite corn hybrids, the company is dedicated to providing corn growers in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Ohio River Valley with exceptional products, the latest agronomic information, and unmatched customer service and product support. To learn more or request information, visit www.wyffels.com or call 1-800-369-7833.

Bird flu means educational displays replace birds at fairs

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

CENTRAL CITY, Iowa (AP) – The ongoing bird flu outbreak has forced competitors at the Linn County Fair and other poultry events in the state to prepare educational displays and leave their birds at home. But the 79 participants in this weekend’s Linn County competition got to meet Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey.

Northey visited the fair Saturday to speak about poultry health and the bird flu. He encouraged the young people who developed 4-H projects and told them he was glad they were interested in agriculture. Iowa, Nebraska and many other states where bird flu has been found decided to prohibit poultry events this year to help limit the spread of the disease.