KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Cass County 4-H Mardi Gras a little over 1 week away!

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Youth Coodinator Beth Irlbeck says “Cass County 4-H Clubs would like to invite the public to attend their annual 4-H Mardi Gras carnival on Sunday, March 6th.” Irlbeck says “Mardi Gras includes fun, food, & carnival-type games for kids of all ages. The event is scheduled from 2:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. at the Cass County Community Center in Atlantic.”

There will be many activities for families at this year’s event, including: Plinko; Ring Toss; Dessert Walk; Walking Taco Stand; Sponge Throw;,Youth Council Mardi Gras Jail; Bucket Pong, and much more.

The Youth Action Committee and Youth Council are sponsoring this county-wide event and would like to invite all Cass County families to come out and join the fun. It is intended to be a low cost, family-friendly event for everyone in the county. Irlbeck said “You don’t have to be in 4-H to attend.” Admission is 50-cents per person and tickets cost ten-cents each. Each 4-H club determines how many tickets to charge to
play their game. All proceeds from this event go to the 4-H clubs, Youth Council, and the Cass County 4-H Program.

Shelby County EMA issues reminder about Spring Field Fire Season

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 25th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Services Association, which is comprised of all Fire, Ambulance, Emergency Management and Law Enforcement services in Shelby County, is reminding land owners and managers about the upcoming Spring Field Fire Season. Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert says Shelby County sees an increase in fire activity every year in the spring and fall when residents start igniting burn piles, or prescribed fires on CRP land to meet land management objectives.

Shelby Co EMAOften times he says, fires are ignited on days when weather conditions are less than favorable. When those burns are started they can cause escape fires which put lives, environment, and property in danger. Seivert says the Shelby County Emergency Services Association, in coordination with local Fire Chiefs are asking you to call the Shelby County Emergency Management Office at 712-755-2124 to report your controlled burning projects.

When you call in you will simply be asked the size of your project, a number you can be reached at, start and stop times of the planned burn. The Shelby County Emergency Management Office will also ask that you provide the local fire chief with notification.  A burn plan can be used to assess the safety of all burns. The EMA office, can assist in completing these, and will have the form posted on their web site. wwwshelbycountyema.com

Fire Danger Rating Boards located in all communities will be updated twice a week. Most of them are located at your community fire station. If you are unsure where the Fire Danger Rating sign is located, contact one of the members of your local fire department, they will be happy to let you know where it is.

An electronic copy of the Fire Danger Rating Board will be available at www.shelbycountyema.com. The purpose of the system is to visually let the public know when the conditions are safest to carry out your burning projects. The system is not a permitting process or authorization to burn it just lets you know if conditions are favorable.

Shelby County’s cooperative system will allow the authorities to dispatch Emergency Resources immediately on report of smoke when the fire danger is determined to be HIGH or EXTREME. On HIGH days fire resources will be dispatched and make a decision on whether it is safe to continue the burning. If the Fire Chief or his designee think conditions are not safe they may extinguish the fire.

On EXTREME days all fires will be extinguished unless a permit or waiver has been signed by the Chief of the local fire department.

USDA Report 2-25-2016

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

February 25th, 2016 by Jim Field

w/Denny Heflin


Cass County Extension Report 2-24-2016

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

February 24th, 2016 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson


FFA marks FFA Week touting all-time record membership in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 24th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s F-F-A members are celebrating F-F-A Week by holding events like pancake dinners and driving their farm tractors to school. Joshua Remington, executive director of the Iowa F-F-A Foundation, says there’s been a big increase in membership in the 226 chapters statewide. “Statewide, there’s 14,847 of us and we’re super-excited because that actually is an all-time record membership.”

He says the organization is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. “People might think the FFA is slowing down or growth is slowing down and membership might not be what it is as people move to more urban areas, but it’s a record membership as people pay more attention to things like where their food comes from, water quality and overall production of food,” Remington says.

He says agricultural education prepares students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber and natural resources systems.
“Agriculturalists, by and large, tend to be excellent stewards and they want to pass on that land from generation to generation and have a great opportunity there,” Remington says. “Plus, we know that many parents value the career choices their students are making.”

He says there are 11 jobs for every single applicant in the ag industry. Learn more at www.iowaffa.com or www.ffa.org.

Iowa leads the nation in grain bin entrapment deaths

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 23rd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) – A new Purdue University study says grain bin entrapments and other confined space accidents on the nation’s farms fell to their lowest level in a decade last year. Iowa led the nation with seven incidents.

Purdue’s study shows the U.S. had 47 entrapments in grain bins and other confined spaces in 2015. That’s 34 percent less than 2014’s 71 entrapments and the fewest since 46 were recorded in 2006. Purdue says 25 people died last year in entrapments, down from 31 in 2014.

But Bill Field, a Purdue professor of agricultural safety and health, says many nonfatal entrapments go unreported each year because there’s no mandatory national reporting system.

In addition to Iowa, other states reporting grain bin entrapment deaths include: Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin and South Dakota.

Paddlefish season on the Mo. & Big Sioux Rivers opens March 1st


February 23rd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The paddlefish fishing season opens March 1st on the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers and runs through April 15 (sunrise to sunset). The paddlefish season was opened on those rivers March 1st, 2015 after being closed since 1986 due to concerns of habitat loss and declining population numbers.

Anglers fishing for paddlefish must have a valid Iowa fishing license, along with a special paddlefish license and unused transportation tag. The paddlefish license is required for snagging the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers and is limited to Iowa waters only. New this year, Iowa anglers are allowed to fish the Big Sioux River from bank to bank from the Missouri River confluence to the I-29 Bridge.

Paddlefish are one of the largest freshwater fish in North America. They feed on microscopic organisms called zooplankton. Since they are filter feeders, they can’t be caught with the traditional hook and worm. Snagging is the only efficient method of catching paddlefish.DNR logo

Use heavy weights (from one ounce on up to 4 or 4-1/2 ounces), a medium-heavy to heavy rod at least six feet long and braided line of at least 50 pound test strength. Treble hooks can be no larger than 5/0 or measuring more than 1-1/4 inches in length when two hook points are placed on a ruler. A gaffe hook or other penetrating device cannot be used as an aid in landing a snagged fish. Wear a lifejacket and bring along dry clothes.

Paddlefish prefer slower, deep water. “These fish are extremely migratory, traveling hundreds of miles. They will try to get out of the current when they can so areas behind wing dykes with slow moving, deep water are places to target,” says Van Sterner, fisheries biologist. “They don’t associate with the bottom like catfish, but with be suspended so watch the electronics and if they are there, you should see them.”

The paddlefish slot limit on the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers requiring the release of all 35-45 inch fish protects the primary breeding stock. Most of the fish harvested will probably be below the slot limit. To properly measure a paddlefish, use a flexible tape and measure along and over the center line contour of the fish while it is lying flat. All paddlefish measuring 35-45 inches from the front of the eye to the natural unaltered fork of the tail must immediately be released alive.

Immediately after being caught, the transportation tag issued with the license must be visibly attached to the fish’s lower jaw. It is the angler’s proof of possession of the carcass; it must be attached so it cannot be removed without mutilating or destroying the tag. The transportation tag must be attached before the carcass is moved in any manner from the place of harvest and remain affixed to the paddlefish until it is processed for consumption. The paddlefish shall remain intact except for the snout in front of the eye until the fish reaches the final processing place, defined as the angler’s residence or the location where consumption occurs.

If you catch a jaw-tagged fish (numbered band in the lower jaw), call the phone number on the tag and report the tag number, date of capture, capture location and eye-to-fork length. The Iowa DNR and other state fisheries agencies tag paddlefish to better understand and manage populations. Tagging provides valuable information to estimate population size, fish movement and growth.

For more information about Iowa’s special paddlefish season, visit the DNR website at www.iowadnr.gov/fishing.

Nodaway Valley Feeders wins 2016 National Beef Quality Assurance Feedyard Award

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 22nd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The National Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Program has recognized a local beef producer during the National Cattle Industry (NCI) Convention held in San Diego, CA. Nodaway Valley Feeders was the 2016 BQA Feedyard Award recipient. Nodaway Valley Feeders, a previous 2015 Iowa BQA Award recipient, is owned and managed by Todd and Kristi Drake of Nodaway.

Officials say National BQA Award recipients exemplify continual improvement within their operations, encourage fellow producers to implement BQA practices, operate sustainable cattle businesses, and display the beef industry’s daily commitment of proudly producing safe, wholesome and healthy beef.

The Drakes’ attention to detail, according to the NCI, ensures the highest quality beef is produced from healthy cattle. Management techniques at Nodaway Valley Feeders include, but are not limited to, acclimating newly weaned calves to their feedyard, implementing BQA Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) throughout their family’s operation, and working closely with local and consulting veterinarians.

In addition, the Drake family and crew incorporates BQA principles as part of their daily activities for their operation and are key cattle industry influencers who promote BQA principles. Doug Bear, Director of Industry Relations for the Iowa Beef Industry Council and BQA State Coordinator, says “The BQA Program’s mission is to build beef demand by maximizing consumer confidence in beef while exceeding their eating expectations. The National BQA Awards are a way to recognize the outstanding men and women from across the country who put great tasting beef on our consumer’s plate each and every day.”

Bear went on to say “This year’s five national award recipients are a testament to cattlemen caring for their land and livestock while being involved in their local communities. The Drake family is working diligently to implement the newest, safest, most efficient animal health, handling, daily management and record-keeping practices.”

For additional information on the national awards or the Iowa BQA program, visit www.iabeef.org and click on the For Producers tab.

John Deere is one of the world’s “most admired” companies


February 22nd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Deere & Company is being named one of the world’s Top 50 Most Admired Companies. That’s according to Fortune Magazine’s annual ranking, a report card on corporate reputations. The research reviewed 1,500 companies’ performance on nine criteria, including innovation, management and finances.

The Moline, Illinois-based Deere & Company ranked 46th on the list. The top 5 companies for 2016 were Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and Walt Disney. Deere is Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa lost 500 farms last year as average farm size edges up

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lost 500 farms last year, continuing a trend seen in recent years in which there are fewer farms operating and those that remain are becoming larger. The number of farms in Iowa has fallen about 1.6 percent in the last five years while the average farm size has increased 1.5 percent.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says most of the loss was smaller farms with sales of less than $10,000. Iowa posted a total of 87,500 farms in 2015. Total land in farms was 30.5 million acres. That’s about the same as the year before. The average farm size rose slightly to 349 acres. Nationally, the number of farms fell by 18,000 last year to 2.07 million.