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.

USDA Report 09-19-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 19th, 2013 by Chris Parks

From the Cass and Audubon County FSA and NRCS offices w/ Max Dirks.

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IA Farmland values up 20 percent in August

Ag/Outdoor

September 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A U-S-D-A survey finds the value of Iowa farmland and farm buildings rose dramatically in the past year. According to the U-S-D-A, Iowa farmland sold for an average price of 84-hundred dollars an acre in August — a 20 percent increase from the same month a year ago. No other Midwestern state is recording farm land values that high. The average price of farmland in Illinois in August was 78-hundred an acre; in Minnesota it was 47-hundred-50; in Wisconsin it was 44-hundred. Nebraska and Missouri farmland was selling for an average of about three-thousand an acre in August. In the Dakotas, it ranged from 17- to 18-hundred an acre. Economists say Iowa’s farm land price boom has been directly tied to farm income gains.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Extension Report 09-18-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 18th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

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ISU researchers develop way to help hog farmers with PEDV

Ag/Outdoor

September 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa State University researchers have developed a new tool to help fight a virus sweeping across U-S hog farms that has the potential to kill entire litters of piglets. Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus has been confirmed in 17 states including Iowa since its first appearance last spring. Iowa State University’s John Johnson says they’ve developed a test that identifies the animal’s immune response to exposure to help determine when it’s safe to move the hogs.

“If we say, well, the P-C-R is negative but they are antibody positive, then the producer and their veterinarian have to assess the amount of risk they’re willing to assume on moving those animals,” Johnson says. But, Johnson says, if both tests are negative, producers can be confident their pigs won’t infect a new herd. Johnson says researchers are still trying to understand this virus. “There’s just a whole lot we don’t know yet about PED as far as the whole epidemiology of the disease,” according to Johnson.

P-E-D-V is particularly devastating for piglets and entire litters can be wiped out — which poses serious economic impacts for producers. P-E-D-V has been confirmed on almost 600 farms, but is not dangerous to humans.

(Radio Iowa)

This is National Farm Safety Week

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Those who track farm injuries say grain bin accidents and wrecks involving all-terrain vehicles are increasing, while the number of children killed in farm-related accidents is on the decline. This is National Farm Safety and Health Week and Carolyn Sheridan — director of the “AgriSafe” program at Spencer’s Hospital — says operating a farm isn’t a “one-person show.”

“This involves the entire family many times or extended family members, so when we talk health and safety we need to…decide who’s doing the jobs…Maybe we’re asking somebody who’s young to do a job they’re not quite prepared for or maybe a farmer who’s maybe retired (or) slightly retired and they might be helping through the harvest season…What are we going to be doing different to keep those people safe?” Sheridan asks. “…Remember, throughout life we have different skill sets. You know, we may have a teenager who may be asked to do something different throughout the harvest because we need the workforce. So, what is our workforce made up of and what can we do make sure that we’re keeping them safe all through the harvest?”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, tractor roll-overs are the leading cause of death on the farm. Sheridan, who is a farm wife herself, counsels folks on the farm to ask questions. “And I maybe not have driven that tractor since last harvest and I don’t remember exactly what I’m supposed to do and we’re busy and maybe I don’t ask for the right instructions or remember those sorts of things,” Sheridan says, “or maybe that tractor seat isn’t far enough ahead for me and it’s hard for me to get those brakes and things.”

On average, about 112 kids under the age of 20 die each year from farm-related injuries. Sheridan says there are a number of things families have to consider in order to keep kids safe on the farm. “Do we have safe play areas? Are we taking them along with us?” Sheridan says. “What about after school? They’re coming home alone, you know are they’re going to look for us? — things such as that.” The latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows those working in the agriculture sector are in the most dangerous line of work in America. National Farm Safety Week was first established in 1944 and is held the third week in September.

(Radio Iowa)

COVER CROPPING IN FRUIT AND VEGETABLE PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

Ag/Outdoor

September 16th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Ames, Iowa – The sustainable vegetable production lab in collaboration with researchers at Iowa State University, USDA-National Laboratory for Agriculture and Environment and USDA-SARE are teaming up to offer three cover crop workshops this fall at the following locations:

September 27 (Friday) – Armstrong Research Station, Lewis, IA

October 4 (Friday) – Horticulture Research Station, Ames, IA

October 11 (Friday) – Muscatine Island Research Station, Fruitland, IA

Funding for these workshops is provided by USDA-SARE Professional Development Grant Program. Workshops are geared towards commercial horticulture field extension specialists, county extension horticulturists, regional food systems working group members, local food organizations, IFVGA & PFI board members, and IDALS & NRCS personnel. Fruit and vegetable growers interested in learning about cover crops are also welcome. This workshop is co-sponsored by The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

Participants attending the workshops will learn about cover crop types, planting, management, benefits, and issues associated with cover cropping in fruit and vegetable cropping systems. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will conclude by 3:15 p.m. A noon meal will be served. Depending on weather, there will be an opportunity to assess cover crops under field conditions. Live cover crop plants will also be on display inside.

Registration is free but required for arranging lunch. To register, please contact Leann Plowman-Tibken (leann@iastate.edu; 712-769-2600). You may also contact Leann for more information on speakers and topics or check out our website at wallacefdn.org.

(Press Release)

Crops withering in the dry weather as more burn bans are put in place

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

September 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Drought conditions are worsening across Iowa with 98-percent of the state now in some form of drought and 42-percent in severe drought. Joel De Jong, an agronomist with the Iowa State University Extension, says crop conditions are actually in good shape in northwest Iowa, as the region’s gotten some moisture. De Jong says given the late planting this spring, some plants are being forced to mature faster.

“That doesn’t give us as much time to fill those kernels and fill those bean pods,” he says. “Yet, I still think we’re tolerating the drought reasonably well. We had some rainfall in August and it’s helping us out.” De Jong says further east, crop conditions drop off dramatically. He says to the south, in the Denison and Carroll areas where corn silage harvest has begun, some of that is being combined. He says one more good rain would help carry northwest Iowa crops through.

“We are still filling bean pods in a lot of fields and we’re filling kernels in a lot of fields,” he says. “A little more moisture helps get us a little more dry matter and moderating these temperatures is going to do some of the same thing.” While highs last week were in the hundreds in parts of Iowa, highs now are back in the 60s and 70s.

Few problems are reported with plant diseases, although there have been signs of sudden death syndrome and white mold as well as soybean cyst nematode. He says there have also been some spots of Goss’s Wilt along the Iowa-Minnesota border.

(Radio Iowa)

Dry weather prompts warnings on open burning

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

September 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s weather has cooled off significantly in the past few days, but conditions are still extremely dry. Bans on open burning are now in effect in seven Iowa counties. Dan Wood, with the Iowa Fire Prevention Bureau, is urging residents to be extremely careful with fire, even in places where there isn’t a ban. Fire chiefs and emergency managers get together and assess the threat, he says, especially with crops drying and the danger from people intentionally setting fire to weeds in ditches or fields.

Looking at the forecast, which only calls for a few scattered showers, Wood says it’s likely more counties will ask the Fire Prevention Bureau to approve more burn bans. “When conditions are drier than normal and things are dry, fire tends to move faster and it’s easier to catch things on fire simply because there’s no moisture in the ground and there’s no moisture in the leaves and grass,” Wood says. “It’s easier for things to catch on fire and it moves quicker and can really get away from you.” Wood says each individual county and fire protection district will decide when to end their bans on open burning. The current list includes: Audubon, Calhoun, Clinton, Greene, Muscatine, Scott, and Webster.

(Radio Iowa)

SW IA Electric Co-ops receive a combined $16-million to improve electric service

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

U-S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today (Thursday) announced funding for projects in seven states, to improve electric service for about 7,000 rural customers. Rural Utilities Service Administrator John Padalino made the announcement on the Secretary’s behalf during a regional meeting of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The loan guarantees are made available through the Rural Utilities Service of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development. They include more than $5 million for smart grid projects and nearly $3 million to improve electric service for Native Americans.

In Iowa, the Farmers Electric Cooperative, Inc., based in Greenfield, will receive $10 million. The funds will be used to serve 305 customers, build 273 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan includes $60,000 for smart grid projects. And, the Southwest Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative based in Stanton, is receiving $6 million. The funds will be used to serve 336 customers, build 133 miles of distribution line, and make other system improvements. The loan includes $145,711 for smart grid projects.

Officials say altogether, the more than $136 million in USDA loan guarantees will help build more than 2,200 miles of line, fund more than $5 million in smart grid projects and make other system improvements.

Judge refuses to block new meat labeling rules

Ag/Outdoor

September 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Meat industry groups say they’ll continue fighting new label rules requiring specific information about the origin of their products even though a federal judge refused to block the rules. The new rules took effect in May requiring clear information about where animals grown for meat were born, raised and slaughtered on labels for steaks, ribs and other cuts of meat.

A judge said Wednesday he won’t issue a preliminary order blocking the label rules, but he didn’t decide the overall lawsuit. Officials at the American Meat Institute trade group for packers, processors, and suppliers say they will appeal Wednesday’s decision and keep fighting the new rules. Seven other industry groups joined AMI in the lawsuit because they say the rules are too costly and don’t provide any health benefits.