KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Iowa State Fair opens this week, an excellent showcase for Iowa agriculture

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

One of the state’s top summertime tourist attractions, Thursday marks the start of the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Besides the concerts, midway rides and deep-fried foods on a stick, Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey says the fair serves as an excellent opportunity to educate consumers about Iowa’s number-one industry: agriculture.

“It is really important,” Northey says. “We have a million people come through there in the 11 days of the fair and an awful lot of those folks don’t have much exposure to agriculture except maybe at the state fair. It’s important to take that opportunity, offer them a taste of it, and maybe even meet somebody who raises some of the food they eat every day.” Northey says there are plenty of examples of animal husbandry and animal welfare seen at the fair, which serves as another form of agricultural education for consumers.

“From the Animal Learning Center where you can see baby calves and chicks and pigs being born, that’s one of the busiest buildings at the fair,” Northey says, “to being able to walk into the exhibitions where you see the showing (of livestock) going on and being able to go into the barns and see animals being cared for and families and kids working together to take care of those animals.” Northey says many commodity organizations distribute information to fair attendees, and the state ag department will feature two exhibit booths, one in the Agriculture Building and the other at the Varied Industries building.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic 1 of 25 cities to receive “Branching Out” grants from Alliant Energy

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic, Massena, Clarinda and Creston are among 25 communities from across Iowa to be awarded “Branching Out” grants for tree planting this fall. The grants from Alliant Energy amount to $132,000 altogether, and is in collaboration with Trees Forever. The funds will allow for the purchase of trees and their planting by volunteers. Experts from Trees Forever make sure the projects improve energy efficiency, as well as teach volunteers to plant and care for trees correctly.

Atlantic received a $2,800 grant to plant trees near the Atlantic Nursing and Rehab Center. Massena received $1,000 for planting on donated, vacated land from the City of Massena. Clarinda will use its $4,600 in funds to plant trees along a new trail in the main city park, and Creston received $10,000 for planting of trees on the campus of Southwestern Community College, Highlakes Gun Club, Graceland Cemetery, a walking and biking trail, and Crowmell City Park.

Ethanol producers work to “rebrand” gas pumps nationwide

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa and Nebraska, the nation’s two largest ethanol-producing states, are launching a joint effort to “rebrand” gasoline pumps nationwide with stickers promoting the American Ethanol brand. Kelly Brunkhorst, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board, says the project stems from the past five years of partnership with NASCAR and the pro stock car racing circuit’s use of E-15 fuel.

“This American Ethanol brand has really started to stand out as a very recognizable brand within NASCAR,” Brunkhorst says. “As states work in partnership with NASCAR through this, we thought this was a great opportunity to continue that brand awareness, now on pumps.” The plan is for stickers with the red-white-blue and green logo to be placed on gas pumps nationwide that offer the ethanol blends. Brunkhorst says this initiative will help provide consumers with a consistent experience at the pumps, whether they choose E-10, E-15, E-30 or E-85.

“As consumers pull up to the pump, they can see that American Ethanol brand and that American Ethanol label and understand the value it brings to them,” he says. “As they travel across the United States, they’ll be able to consistently see this label on blends, especially in states that require labeling such as Nebraska and Iowa, and they’ll know the consistency of a home-grown, renewable-based biofuel that’s grown right here in Nebraska and Iowa.” Brunkhorst says the stickers are already going out to hundreds of retailers.

“For those retailers who haven’t submitted their requests for those new, updated American Ethanol labels, they can just go to Nebraska-Corn-dot-org,” he says, “and there’s a form they can fill out and submit to us and we’ll get them sent out.” Iowa is the nation’s leading ethanol maker, producing 3.8 billion gallons a year, while Nebraska is second with more than two-billion gallons a year. Iowa has 42 ethanol plants and Nebraska has 24.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa’s 1st West Nile Virus case of 2015 confirmed in Ringgold County

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) today (Friday) announced testing by the State Hygienic Lab (SHL) has confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus in Iowa this year. The case is an adult female (18 to 40 years of age) from Ringgold County, who is recovering. IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says “This West Nile case should serve as notice that the virus is out there and Iowans should take precautions.”

West Nile virus is transmitted through mosquitoes. The best way to prevent the virus is to eliminate mosquito breeding areas and to use insect repellent when outdoors. Iowans should take the following steps to reduce the risk of exposure to West Nile virus:

Use insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always read the repellent label and consult with a health care provider if you have questions when using these types of products for children. For example, DEET should not be used on infants less than 2 months old and oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 years old.

Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes, and socks whenever possible outdoors.
Eliminate standing water around the home because that’s where mosquitoes lay eggs. Empty water from buckets, cans, pool covers and pet water dishes. Change water in bird baths every three to four days.

Quinlisk notes that using an insect repellant containing DEET provides protection against both mosquitoes, which can carry West Nile virus and ticks, which can carry Lyme disease. So far this year, there have been 111 cases of Lyme disease in Iowa.

Approximately 20 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will have mild to moderate symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches and vomiting. Less than one percent of people infected become seriously ill and rarely someone dies. Since West Nile first appeared in Iowa in 2002, it has been found in every county in Iowa, either in humans, horses, or birds. In 2014, there were 15 human cases of West Nile virus and zero deaths.

For more information about West Nile virus, visit http://bit.ly/1iTO2Vc. To learn about Lyme disease, go to http://bit.ly/1MSWe4G.

Governor’s Charity Steer Show celebrates 33rd year at Iowa State Fair

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The 2015 Governor’s Charity Steer Show will take place 4-p.m. Sat., Aug. 15th, at the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion at the Iowa State Fair. It’s the 33rd consecutive year the beef industry has raised funds to help families who utilize the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa.

Celebrities will lead 25 steers around the ring, vying for the championship designation, as well as appealing to the crowd for a showmanship award. Among the steer being shown are those owned by….

Hayden Van Meter, of Red Oak – shown by Mike Pearson, from IPTV’s Market-to-Market.
Nick Pedersen, of Underwood – shown by Chris Edgington, President, Iowa Corn Promotion Board
Sadie Graham, of Stanton – shown by Jim Miller, Wartburg Wrestling Coach Emeritus
Mitch Holcomb, of Winterset – shown by Des Moines radio personalities
Reagen Miller, of Charter Oak – shown by Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Immediately following the competition the steers will be sold at auction with proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa. Both the show ring event and the auction are open to the general public.

Since the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association began the Governor’s Charity Steer Show in 1983, the effort has raised more than $2.5 million for the Des Moines, Iowa City and Sioux City Ronald McDonald House Charities. The houses provide a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children being treated in area hospitals.

Youth participating in the 2015 Governor’s Charity Steer Show will also be learning additional information about the beef industry on Thursday and volunteer some time at the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Des Moines on Friday, Aug. 14th .Any individual or business interested in participating in future shows, can contact Doug Bear at IBIC, 515 296-2305.

DNR investigating weekend fish kill in Carroll County creek

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Thursday (Today), said the DNR last Sunday investigated a fish kill on Purgatory Creek in northeast Carroll County after receiving a report of thousands of dead fish in the creek. The DNR found several species of dead fish, including minnows, sunfish and bullheads along approximately one and a quarter miles of the creek, extending northeast into Calhoun County. The fish appeared to have been dead several days.

Field tests showed normal dissolved oxygen levels and no ammonia in the stream. There were no unusual odors or visual signs of contamination. The DNR collected water samples from the creek for testing. Test results from the laboratory should be available in several weeks. However, the test results may not show a pollutant due to the time lapse and heavy rainfall in the area.

Anyone seeing evidence of a fish kill should call the DNR’s environmental hot line at 515-725-8694 immediately. The sooner the event is reported, the more likely a pollutant can be identified and traced to its source. The DNR will continue to investigate for the source of the fish kill.

Posted County Prices for the grains, 08-06-2015

Ag/Outdoor

August 6th, 2015 by Chris Parks

Cass County: Corn $3.28, Beans $9.60
Adair County: Corn $3.25, Beans $9.63
Adams County: Corn $3.25, Beans $9.59
Audubon County: Corn $3.27, Beans $9.62
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.31, Beans $9.60
Guthrie County: Corn $3.30, Beans $9.64
Montgomery County: Corn $3.30, Beans $9.62
Shelby County: Corn $3.31, Beans $9.60
Oats $2.38 (always the same in all counties)

(Information from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency offices)

Iowa cropland value declines 6 percent from year ago

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 6th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Iowa cropland value dropped the sharpest in the United States in the past year, falling 6.3 percent as low grain prices weakened the value in the nation’s leading corn producing state. Cropland value fell to $8,200 an acre after climbing to $8,750 last year. Iowa cropland values shot up more than 56 percent from 2011 to 2014.

Cropland values declined in 10 states while the others remained static or grew. Texas saw the biggest jump at 9.5 percent to $1,840 an acre. Nationally, cropland grew an average of 0.7 percent. New Jersey has the most valuable cropland at $13,500 an acre after a 3.8 percent increase. California is second at $10,690 and Arizona third at $8,320 an acre. Iowa is fourth.

2015 AtlanticFest Tractor Ride

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Horizon Equipment to bring you the 2015 AtlanticFest Tractor Ride. Horizon Equipment is your local John Deere Dealership, serving the area since 1926. Registration for the Tractor Ride will begin 7-am Saturday, Aug. 8th, at the Cass County Fairgrounds, with breakfast provided by Lindeman Tractor.

The ride will depart at 8-a.m. for Duke Aerial and Precision Parts. Upon return, tractors will be parked along 6th street, and riders will enjoy lunch at the Senior Center provided by Country Tire. The annual AtlanticFest Tractor Ride is organized by the Lions Club of Atlantic.

For more information about the AtlanticFest Tractor Ride, or additional AtlanticFest information visit www.atlanticiowa.com or call the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce at (712)243-3017.

Farm Leasing Arrangements Meeting Scheduled for August 11th & 26

Ag/Outdoor

August 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

As summer winds down, the ISU Extension Farm Management Team is hosting Farmland Leasing informational meetings across the state. The annual meetings are offered to address questions that land owners, tenants or other interested individuals have about leasing farmland, as well as to provide resources to make decisions regarding farmland ownership, management, and leasing practices as they plan for the future.

Cass County Extension will be hosting a meeting on Tuesday, August 11th from 9-until 11:30-a.m., at the Cass County Community Center, 805 West 10th Street in Atlantic. A meeting in Page County will be held in Shenandoah on August 26th, also from 9-until 11:30-a.m., at the Rose Garden on W. Ferguson Avenue.

The Farm Leasing Arrangements meeting in Atlantic will focus on current issues related to farmland ownership, management and leasing arrangements. Tim Eggers, ISU Extension & Outreach Field Agriculture Economist will discuss Trends in Farm Land Values, Cash Rental Rates and Costs of Production. The special emphasis topic for this year’s farm leasing arrangements is negotiating a fair cash rental rate. Attendees will gain understanding of current cash rental rate surveys and factors driving next year’s rents such as market trends and input costs. Additional information on the 2014 Iowa State Land Value Survey, 2014 Farm Bill, flexible leases, Corn Suitability Rating Index (CSR2) and Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy will also be discussed.

The Farm Leasing Arrangements meetings in Atlantic and Shenandoah cost $15 per person, and pre-registration is requested by August 10th for the Atlantic session, and August 24th for the meeting in Shenandoah, to ensure space is available. Each registrant will receive a 100-page workbook with resources regarding land leasing agreements such as surveys, sample written lease agreements and termination forms and many other publications, as well as a copy of the day’s presentation.

To pre-register for the Atlantic location, call the Cass County Extension office at 712-243-1132 or email xcass@iastate.edu. To pre-register for the Shenandoah session, call the Page County Extension Office at 712-542-5171.

Information on other leasing meeting locations around the state, as well as links to ISU Extension farmland leasing resources, can be found on the Ag Decision Maker website at http://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/info/meetings.html