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.

Lab: Iowa egg company warned of salmonella in hens

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Records show an Iowa State University scientist found evidence sick hens at farms owned by an Iowa egg producer were “almost certainly” laying eggs contaminated with salmonella months before one of the nation’s largest outbreaks of food-borne illness. Testing records filed as part of a civil lawsuit show scientists at ISU’s Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory found salmonella in manure at several Iowa egg-laying plants and in the internal organs of dead birds in the months before the August 2010 recall of 550 million eggs.

The laboratory reported the results to the company requesting tests, but scientists say they had no legal or ethical obligation to alert regulators or consumers since salmonella is not a reportable disease. Lab director Rodger Main says it was up to the company to take appropriate action.

Iowa farmers sign up nearly 100,000 acres into CRP

Ag/Outdoor

June 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa farmers have agreed to put nearly 100,000 acres of land into the government’s Conservation Reserve Program. The Iowa Farm Service agency says 99,684 acres were accepted into the program during the general signup period. The CRP preserves land prone to erosion and reduces runoff of fertilizers and other chemicals into streams and rivers. The program also helps establish habitat for wildlife. 
 
Farmers are paid to set aside the land and not use it for crops.  At the end of last year 1.7 million acres of Iowa farmland was enrolled resulting in payments to farmers of nearly $213 million.  The USDA says farmers enrolled 3.9 million acres into CRP this year nationally during general signup. A total of 29.6 million acres of farmland is enrolled.

Iowa farm broadcaster Pearson dies at home

Ag/Outdoor

June 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

EAST PERU, Iowa (AP) – Well-known farm news broadcaster Mark Pearson has died at his home in Madison County. Chief Deputy Jason Barnes of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department told The Des Moines Register that Pearson died Sunday at his farm home near East Peru of an apparent heart attack.  The 54-year-old Pearson was host of the “Market to Market” program on Iowa Public Television and co-hosted a program about agricultural news on WHO-AM radio.Pearson had worked as assistant secretary of the Iowa Department of Agriculture.

Feet of sand leave farms wasteland after flooding

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

MISSOURI VALLEY, Iowa (AP) — Hundreds of farmers in Iowa and Nebraska are still struggling to remove sand and fill holes gouged by the Missouri River, which swelled last summer with rain and snowmelt and overflowed onto thousands of acres of farmland. While the river flooded parts of Montana, the Dakotas, Kansas and Missouri, the worst damage was in Iowa and Nebraska. Iowa farmer Mason Hansen has been working for months to clear his property, but about 160 acres still look like a desert, with sand piled up to 4 feet high. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved more than $20 million in disaster aid to help Iowa and Nebraska farmers with the cost of moving sand, grading land and filling holes. But most farmers say that will cover only part of their costs.

2 bulls in SW Iowa test positive for venereal disease

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Friday, said that two bulls in southwest Iowa have tested positive for trichomoniasis (trik-uh-muh-NEYE’-uh-sis), a venereal disease in cattle.  The facility itself was not identified. Bovine trichomoniasis is a reportable disease in Iowa.  There are no clinical signs of illness in the bulls, but it can be spread to cows and causes infertility. Farmers buying bulls are encouraged to make sure the animals are tested for the disease before being introduced into the herd or to purchase virgin bulls. The Department has issued an order of quarantine for the facility where the disease was found.  The quarantine will remain in place until further testing confirms the disease is no longer present in the herd. This is the first known case of the disease in Iowa but there have been more than 200 cases in Missouri.

Summer Pest making the season’s 1st appearance at Carter Lake

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Swimmer’s itch is starting to make its presence known to swimmers at Carter Lake near Council Bluffs. The good news is that parasitic little pest that can cause welts and itching, only lasts a few weeks and is not life-threatening. The condition is caused by flatworms, a parasite.

The flatworm eggs are transferred to water by bird droppings. The eggs hatch and infect snails, from which the free swimming form of the flatworm larvae emerges. In the absence of a suitable host such as a bird, the parasite will attempt to penetrate the skin of humans, and quickly dies after that, causing an allergic reaction below the skin resulting in welts and itching.

Officials say the symptoms are not life threatening and generally disappear within a few days. An antihistamine along with calamine lotion can be used to treat the affected areas. Swimmer’s itch is most prevalent along beaches pounded by waves.

Officials say the most preventive measure is to reduce the amount of time in the water and to quickly dry off when getting out of the lake. For more information on swimmer’s itch visit the following websites:

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/swimmersitch/    

 http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/swimmers-itch/DS00902

USDA Report 05-31-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

May 31st, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Dave York

Iowa seeks payment plan options at farmers markets

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Iowa is scrambling to develop a plan for spending federal money to expand payment options at its 200 farmers markets. An appropriations bill provides $4 million in funding to increase farmers markets participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps. Iowa is to receive about $161,000. The Gazette in Cedar Rapids says the money has to be obligated by Sept. 30. The funds are to expand the availability of wireless point-of-sale equipment in farmers markets not currently participating in SNAP. Tracy Penick of the Iowa Department of Human Services says the challenge is that vendors use individual devices to run SNAP cards, while the funding is designed to go to farmers markets as a whole.

Ag Sec Vilsack approves closing of FSA office in Union County

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

John R. Whitaker, Iowa State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency (FSA), today (Wednesday),  announced that USDA Secretary Thomas A. Vilsack has approved the closure of three FSA county offices in Iowa, including those in Union County, Decatur and Appanoose Counties. The process will begin immediately.  After the required notifications have been provided to producers, FSA employees and office landlords, closure dates will be established and made publically available.  

FSA Administrator, Bruce Nelson said in a Press Release, “FSA places the utmost priority on ensuring that our services to producers remain strong as this consolidation process begins.”  The agency will provide farmers and ranchers affected by closures an opportunity to choose the most convenient neighboring county office with which to conduct their future business with the agency.  In addition, all employees in the closing office will be provided in opportunity to continue to work with FSA.  

Officials say as a federal agency, FSA has been affected by widespread budget reductions made by Congress.  Since 2011, the Agency has lost 1,230 permanent employees through voluntary early separation and normal retirement.  In addition, FSA has been forced to reduce discretionary administrative expense by over 30 percent in the last fiscal year alone. For a complete list of FSA county offices affected by the decision, go to:  http://www.fsa.usda.gov/officeconsolidations

REFERENDUM TO INCREASE THE CORN CHECKOFF TO BE HELD JULY 10

Ag/Outdoor

May 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board today (Wednesday) announced plans to conduct a referendum on July 10, 2012 to increase the corn checkoff by ¼ cent per bushel.  The checkoff is currently ¾ of a cent per bushel and if the increase is approved would be 1 cent per bushel. Any producer who raised and marketed at least 250 bushels of corn from September 1, 2010 to August 31, 2011 is eligible to vote at any county extension office in the crop reporting district where they live from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on July 10. Growers who wish to vote by absentee ballot may do so by contacting the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.  Producers may call 515-281-5321, email cornvote@IowaAgriculture.gov or visit the Henry Wallace Building, 502 E 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50319 to solicit an Absentee Ballot Request Form. The Absentee Ballot Request Form must be signed and returned to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.  The producer will then be mailed an Absentee Ballot. Absentee Ballot Request Forms must be postmarked by June 27, 2012 and Absentee Ballots must be postmarked by July 10, 2012. 

The corn checkoff was last increased in 2008 to the current rate of ¾ cent per bushel marketed.  The checkoff is collected on corn that enters commercial channels but not on grain used on-farm.  Producers are able to request a refund of their checkoff contribution and that will not be affected by the vote. The Iowa Corn Checkoff was established by producer referendum in 1977.  The Iowa Corn Promotion Board, made up of farmers elected by their peers, invests checkoff dollars for research, education, promotion, and market development.  The maximum checkoff allowed under Iowa code is 1 cent per bushel.