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.

Cass County Extension Report 10-03-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

October 3rd, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Meetings planned to discuss future of Iowa state parks

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is hosting a dozen public meetings to discuss the future of Iowa’s state parks. Kevin Szcodronski, state parks bureau chief with the DNR, says the forums will help the agency develop a five-year plan to improve the parks’ amenities. The meetings are taking place this month at 12 state parks. “It’s just an open book meeting, if you will, to get a good idea of what the people who use that park are thinking about that park’s future,” Szcodronski said. Two of the public meetings were held Monday in Creston and Tuesday in Boone. Ten more meetings remain – including two forums Thursday night at Gull Point State Park near Spencer and Backbone State Park near Strawberry Point.

Although improvements at state parks can be costly, participants are encouraged to bring all their ideas. “We specifically ask people in attendance, if money was no object, what would you like to see in that park? We’re thinking into the future quite a ways, so you really can’t let finances deter you,” Szcodronski said. At the same time, park users are being asked to be reasonable with their requests. “After they get done with their wish list…then we ask them, ‘O.K., given money is a factor, what should we focus on?’ We kind of bring them a little back to reality and talk about some of the top priorities that are within reasonable means,” Szcodronski said.

Upcoming meeting dates/locations:
Oct. 4 Gull Point
Oct. 4 Backbone
Oct. 8 Stone
Oct. 9 George Wyth
Oct. 9 Rock Creek
Oct. 9 Pleasant Creek
Oct. 11 Wapello
Oct. 11 Bellevue
Oct. 15 Waubonsie
Oct. 18 Prairie Rose (meeting to be held at the First Baptist Church in Harlan at 6pm, not at the Park itself)**

Learn more at www.iowadnr.gov

(Radio Iowa)

Survey: Iowa economy still doing well but may be in for fall soon

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 3rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa is among three “shining stars” in the Midwest, according to the latestly monthly economic survey of business leaders and supply managers in nine states. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says Iowa, North Dakota and Oklahoma are all energy-producing states and their economies are prospering. Goss predicts Iowa and some of the other farm states in the region may soon take a big hit.
“Agricultural equipment sales are still doing reasonably well but I don’t see that can hold up,” Goss says. “That’s going to come down and punch some of the growth we’re now seeing in South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa, pulling that down, Kansas down as well.”

Goss says there is some weakness in non-durable goods like food production while biofuels and ethanol production are not holding up. “The 2012 drought has yet to put a dent in business activity for agriculture equipment manufacturers in Iowa, but has negatively influenced retail sales,” Goss says.

(Radio Iowa)

11 IA organizations receive grants to promote specialty crops

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today (Tuesday), announced that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will be awarding $244,000 in grants to Iowa organizations to help enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops grown in Iowa. Among the recipients is: The Southern Iowa RC&D in Creston – which received $23,928 to gather economic and social impact data in rural southwest Iowa to support specialty crop production; and, the Golden Hills RC&D in Oakland –  which received $24,000 to support creating, marketing and promoting the Iowa Loess Hill AVA Wine Trail.

The IA Dept. of Ag and Land Stewardship received $271,296.81 through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service to support the program. Iowa agricultural non-profit organizations, cooperatives, specialty crop industry associations or organizations, and producer groups were eligible to apply for funding to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.

“Specialty Crops”  eligible under the program are fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.  The funds not passed through to Iowa organizations will be used by the Department to administer the grant. The maximum grant award from the Department to sub-grantees is $24,000 and administrative and indirect costs are not allowed. The Department received 29 proposals requesting assistance and the 11 chosen were selected by an independent review committee of nine industry stakeholders.

Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey said “Specialty crops are a very important part of Iowa agriculture as they allow farmers to diversify and give customers access to locally grown products. ” Northey says “These federal funds will support a variety of efforts that will make these Iowa grown crops more available and encourage Iowans to choose fruits, vegetables, nuts and flowers that are produced right here in our state.”

Iowa harvest ahead of schedule

Ag/Outdoor

October 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s corn and soybean harvests have passed the halfway point as farmers move quickly to get the drought-damaged crops out of the fields. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 56 percent of the corn and 54 percent of the soybeans have been harvested. That’s a week or two ahead of normal. The USDA says in Monday’s weekly report that the condition of the corn improved slightly, with 47 percent rated poor or very poor, 33 percent fair and 20 percent in good or excellent shape. Soybeans are rated 31 percent poor or very poor, 37 percent fair and 32 percent in good or excellent condition. Iowa continues to be dry. The state saw just .17 inches of rain in the past week, below the normal of .77 inches.

State Cost-Share Funds Available for Planting Cover Crops in Cass County

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Soil & Water Conservation District Commission (SWCD) report they have designated $5,000 of their Iowa Financial Incentives Program (IFIP) funds to offer cost-share assistance to individuals for planting cover crops on cropland in Cass County.  Cover crops are used to reduce soil erosion and capture residual fertilizer to protect soil resources and water quality.

Farmers interested in this assistance should come into the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office at the USDA Service Center on 503 W. 7th Street in Atlantic or call the office at 712-243-3180.  Applications will be accepted on a “first come – first serve” basis.  Approved applications will receive a one-time payment of $20.00 per acre on a maximum of 25 acres.  Applications need to be made by Monday, October 8th .

Cass County Pheasants Forever Youth Hunt

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

October 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Youth ages 12-to 17 can discover pheasant hunting for FREE, during the Pheasants Forever member guided hunt, on Sat., Oct. 20th.

Pictured: 2011 Cass County Pheasants Forever Youth Hunt. Courtesy Lora Kanning.

The event will be held at Hansen Outfitters in Anita.  Cass County Conservation officials say the group will leave the Atlantic Hy-vee parking lot at 7:30-AM, and will return at approximately 12:30- PM. Lunch will be provided.

There are limited youth spots available. The deadline to sign up is October 17th 2012.  Call Jason Jordahl at 243-7988 to sign up, and for more information.  Interested youth must have taken a Hunter’ Education Course in order to participate in the event. A shotgun may be provided if a youth does not have access to one. If this is the case, you are asked to mention that, when signing up.

Shelby County Fire Danger to remain “High”

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Manager Bob Seivert said today (Monday), that the Fire Danger level in the County will remain in the “HIGH” category through at least Thursday, October 4th. The Fire Danger rating in Shelby County is based on input from local fire chiefs and the Emergency Manager, and weather factors.

Controlled Burns should only be conducted with the knowledge of the local Fire Chief.  Open burning is discouraged. Seivert said last week, that he expects the Fire Danger to remain High throughout the month of October.

Sign Up for 2011 FSA SURE Progam to Begin

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 29th, 2012 by Chris Parks

State Executive Director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency John R. Whitaker announced that disaster assistance under FSA’s Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program begins on October 22, 2012.

In order to be eligible for SURE a farm or ranch must meet the following requirements: 1. At least a 10 percent production loss on a crop of economic significance.  2. Insured all economically significant crops.  3. Been physically located in a county that was declared a primary disaster county or contiguous county by the Secretary of Agriculture under a Secretarial Designation.  Without a Secretarial Disaster Designation, individual producers may be eligible if the actual production on the farm is less than 50 percent of the normal production on the farm due to natural disaster in 2011.  Other insurance qualifications do apply.

Those producers that suffered a loss in 2011 are encouraged to visit their local FSA office to learn more and to apply.

For more information about the SURE program or other disaster assistance programs you can visit the FSA’s website at www.fsa.usda.gov.

Western Iowa Cattle Sickened by EHD

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 27th, 2012 by admin

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship today said that more than fifteen cattle herds primarily in western Iowa have had animals contract the Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) virus.

EHD is a virus that is spread by biting midges and primarily affects deer.  A hard freeze kills midges and will stop the spread of the virus.

EHD can cause illness in cattle, including fever, ulcers in the mouth and gums, swollen tongue, excessive salivation, and lameness or stiffness when walking.  Death loss is uncommon in cattle and there is no evidence that the EHD virus can infect humans.

EHD rarely affects cattle, but the wild whitetail deer population in southern and western areas of Iowa and surrounding states is seeing the disease at high levels.  EHD is common in whitetail and other deer in some years and can be fatal in these deer.

Cattle farmers are advised to use insect control as a preventative measure to reduce the risk of having cattle that become infected.  Farmers who notice signs of illness in cattle are encouraged to immediately contact their veterinarian.