KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Dairy farms asked to consider breeding no-horn cows


March 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Food manufacturers and restaurants are taking the dairy industry by the horns on an animal welfare issue that bothers activists but is little known to consumers. Horned calves are common in dairy herds and farms routinely remove the horn buds by burning or gouging them out before horns develop. Horns are hazardous because unruly cows can gore farm workers or other animals.

General Mills, Nestle, Denny’s are among companies pushing increased breeding of cows born without horns — called polled cattle. PETA says it’s made progress over three years with several major dairies incorporating polled genetics to eliminate dehorning.

The National Milk Producers Federation says breeding hornless dairy cows is worth exploring but that the industry believes removing the horn buds is a safe and “minimally disruptive, uncomfortable process.”


Deadline Approaching for Grants to Support Local Garden Projects

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Spring is the time to plan and plant your gardens. With that in mind, the Cass County Master Gardeners group reminds you that they are again offering grant money to be used in the 2015 growing season, to encourage gardening to grow food and/or beautify local communities. The deadline to apply for the funds is next Monday, March 30th. Master Gardner

The grant monies may be used for gardening education purposes in addition to growing food and beautification purposes. The David Williams Master Gardener Grants are offered to honor the many years of service Master Gardener David Williams provided as a long-time volunteer, with the Master Gardener program and other community organizations, including a term as Cass County Master Gardener president in 2012.

Any Cass County not-for-profit group or individual may apply. Schools, churches, libraries, 4-H clubs, Scouts, and individuals working to improving their communities can use the money to begin or improve gardens or landscaping, or to provide education for their members or the public. To ensure the money is helping a wide variety of community organizations, groups who were funded by 2014 grants will not be eligible to apply in 2015. Each grant has a maximum value of $300. The application must also include plans for teamwork and sustainability. Consideration for the environment is also an important selection factor.

Once again, applications must be received by Monday, March 30th for consideration. They may be submitted by mail or email. Grant recipients will be informed of their selection by the end of April. For more information, or with questions, call the Cass County Extension office at 712-243-1132, email keolson@iastate.edu, or stop by the Extension Office at 805 W. 10th St in Atlantic. You may also contact committee members Judy Kennedy, Marla Anstey or Linda Edelman. Application forms can be picked up at the Extension Office, or printed from the Cass County Extension website www.extension.iastate.edu/cass.

Shelby County Fire Danger remains “Moderate” through the weekend

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency says the Fire Danger Index will remain in the “Moderate” category, through next Monday. Officials say if you have a large burn, please notify your Fire Chief, prior to ignition. If you call the Emergency Mgmt. Agency at 712-755-2124 for assistance, if needed. Moderate Fire Danger rating

The EMA says you should “Always have a plan, Never leave a burning pile unattended , be aware of the direction and speed of the wind, and avoid smoking out neighbors or those who may have respiratory problems.”

Emergency Manager Bob Seivert says they expect the fire danger conditions to worsen next week.

USDA Report 03-26-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

March 26th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin


State on the lookout for bird flu

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

State officials are keeping an eye out for signs of a bird flu that has recently been discovered in other states. State Veterinarian David Schmitt says the influenza is highly pathogenic, or has a high death rate, particularly in turkeys and chickens. “It first appeared in the northwest part of the United States in the Pacific Flyway in some commercial and backyard poultry that were affected. It’s now show up in the Mississippi Flyway here in the central states region — first in Minnesota and then a couple of turkey farms in Missouri, one in Arkansas, and then a backyard group of birds in Kansas,” Schmitt explains.

Schmitt says waterfowl carry different types of influenza across the country. “This one here happens to be an H-5-N-2, it’s highly pathogenic, and birds in this flyway as in other flyways, they commingle in the northern countries and they can bring it back. And when they’re coming through they stop, and they can be shedding it in their feces,” Schmitt says. There have been some samples taken of snowgeese in Iowa and so far the disease has not show up in the state.

“That’s pretty exciting, because it means that hopefully everybody is doing their due diligence as far as in protecting their birds,” Schmitt says. It’s an important issue to Iowa as the state is a leader in egg laying and a leader also in turkey production. Schmitt says he’s confident those industries are taking the proper steps to keep the disease away. “In the state of Iowa, our commercial operations are very well in tune in as far as biosecurity operations,” according to Schmitt. “Certainly a lot of those have seen what’s going on and have even intensified and reviewed those biosecurity to make sure that it is not introduced into their populations of birds.”

He says the operations have had such biosecurity measures in place long before this outbreak in other states. He says the operations don’t allow visitors and those who come in cannot have any contact with birds in the last three days, and he says those who work in the facilities are not allow to own their own private birds. Schmitt says anyone who keeps chickens or other birds privately should take precautions.

“If you are walking through areas where wild waterfowl have been and you have a backyard population — its extremely important to change your shoes, make sure things are clean before you walk in with any poultry,” Schmitt says. Schmitt says the influenza cannot be transferred to humans and is not a health concern in that regard.

(Radio Iowa)

IA State Parks Featured in America’s Top Family fishing and Boating Spots Sweepstakes

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 25th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources say the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) is searching for the top 100 family fishing and boating spots across the nation, and several Iowa state parks are among those being considered. Iowans participating in the vote can ensure their favorite places to boat and fish are recognized nationally.

Iowa locations include Lake Macbride (Solon), Lake Pahoja (west of Larchwood),
Little River Watershed Lake (west of Leon) and Green Valley Lake (northwest of
Creston). Entrants can vote daily until April 12, 2015 for the three parks they
feel offer the best experience based on family amenities, location and the
likeliness to catch a fish or enjoy a day on the water. The parks with the most
votes will be placed on 2015 America’s Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots

To learn more about the sweepstakes and to vote for your favorite parks, got to
www.takemefishing.org and click on the link to America’s Top Family Fishing and Boating Spots Sweepstakes. Visit the Iowa DNR web site at www.iowadnr.gov for more information about each Iowa location including amenities, popular fish species and fish stocking information.

Cass County Extension Report 03-25-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

March 25th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ ISU Extension Program Coordinator Kate Olson


Farmers have until next Tuesday to choose a Farm Bill program

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 25th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa farmers have just under a week remaining to decide which federal farm program is best for them. Jeff Davis, the Farm Services Agency director for Plymouth and Sioux counties, says March 31st is the last day farmers can elect between the three farm bill programs. Davis explains the provisions of the ARC-co which is based on county figures. “So, you use your county yields and prices to create a revenue,” Davis says. “If our county doesn’t reach that, you get paid on whatever base you have in that commodity and you can receive the payment no matter whether you plant the commodity or not.”

Davis says farmers may want to inquire about the ARC-ic program which allows farmers to place all farms under one program. “That deals with the revenues for the entire farm, which can mean two or three different farm numbers,” Davis says. “It’s everything that’s in that program. That’s a little more difficult to explain. You’d have to just sit and go through the numbers with that one.”

Farmers have another option, too.  “We have the PLC program which is all based on price,” Davis says. “If price goes for corn below $3.70, then there would be a payment, but that would be an average price for the marketing year. At this point, they are projecting a little bit, possibly, of a payment but we’ll have to wait and see on that.”

Davis says whatever farm program a farmer decides upon, they will remain with that program through 2018. He says farmers can also sign up one farm with one program and another farm with a second program, or they can split the programs with different crops. Davis encourages farmers to visit their county F-S-A office prior to next Tuesday’s deadline in order to have all of the options explained.

(Radio Iowa)

NE woman arrested on Cass County warrant associated w/cattle theft

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 24th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Cass County report a Nebraska woman was arrested Monday on a Cass County Theft warrant. 42-year old Amy Louise Springer, of Omaha, was charged with Felony Theft in the second degree.  The charge stems from the theft of cattle from Freund Brothers Farms in January, at which time 57-year old Ervin John Jacob, of Omaha, was also charged. Springer was taken to the Cass County Jail where she is being held on $5,000 bond.

Shelby County Fire Danger “Moderate” 3/23-26

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 23rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency says with a burst of cool weather and moisture expected over the next few days, they’re asking businesses and fire stations in the County to place their “Fire Danger” signs in the “Moderate” category for the next few days. The next update will be Thursday, March 26th. Moderate Fire Danger rating