KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Report: 96 of Iowa’s 99 counties are now drought-free

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

August 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

After a rainy June and a cool July, Iowa’s starting August almost entirely drought-free. A new report from the National Drought Mitigation Center finds only parts of three counties in far southwest Iowa are still in the very lowest level of drought. Center climatologist Brian Fuchs says all of those heavy downpours in June were a big benefit to Iowa, though they came at a cost. “Not only did we get the rain across the state but associated with that was the severe weather with a lot of wind, a lot of hail, even some tornadoes,” Fuchs says.

Iowa Drought map

Iowa Drought map

“The recovery was influenced by these storms which also brought another form of destruction. Yeah, we put a dent in the drought but we had some suffering in other areas as well.” Governor Branstad is asking President Obama to declare 22 more Iowa counties federal disaster areas from damage sustained in storms from June 26th through July 7th. Thirty-five counties statewide have already been designated federal disaster areas for earlier storms, flooding and tornadoes. While 96 of Iowa’s 99 counties are now drought-free, the latest national picture shows drought is still very much a problem for wide sections of the country.

Fuchs says, “There has been some improvement but much of that improvement has been in the Midwest and Central Plains, the area from Nebraska and Kansas and Iowa and Missouri and Illinois where we have had the abundance of moisture but in that same period, we have seen that drought developing and expanding out in the western U.S.” Drought still plagues a large portion of the country, especially the southwestern and western United States, from California and Nevada to Texas and Oklahoma.

Fuchs says, “A little over a third of the country still is seeing some drought and a little over 10% of the country is seeing extreme drought right now.” The latest survey shows parts of three southwest Iowa counties are “abnormally dry,” the lowest category on the drought monitor: Pottawattamie, Mills and Fremont.

EPC to consider CAFO rules at Aug. 19th meeting in Des Moines

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission will consider adopting rules for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) at its Aug. 19 meeting. Commissioners moved the meeting to the Wallace State Office Building Auditorium, 502 E. Ninth St., Des Moines.

If adopted, the rules will incorporate by reference the federal rules that require CAFOs to comply with national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) permits. The Iowa Legislature directed adopting the federal rules. Adoption was also a condition of a work plan agreement signed between the DNR and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Sept.11, 2013.

The federal rules require confinement feeding operations that are CAFOs and discharge to waters of the U.S. to seek an NPDES permit. Generally, confinements are animal feeding operations that are totally roofed. The U.S. EPA defines a large CAFO as one that confines at least 1,000 cattle or cow/calf pairs, 700 mature dairy cattle, 2,500 finishing swine or 55,000 turkeys.

In other business, commissioners will be asked to approve contracts for watershed projects, statewide groundwater analysis and a food waste study.

The meeting begins at 10 a.m. with public comments to follow. The meeting is open to the public.

USDA Report 07-31-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

July 31st, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin


Posted County Prices for the grains: 07/31/2014


July 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $3.45, Beans $12.41
Adair County: Corn $3.42, Beans $12.44
Adams County: Corn $3.42, Beans $12.40
Audubon County: Corn $3.44, Beans $12.43
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.48, Beans $12.41
Guthrie County: Corn $3.47, Beans $12.45
Montgomery County: Corn $3.47, Beans $12.43
Shelby County: Corn $3.48, Beans $12.41
Oats $3.36 (always the same in all counties)

Iowa official: Goat grazing plan is working

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 31st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

STRAWBERRY POINT, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa government official says the state’s plan to use goats to clear away vegetation is an initial success. Iowa Department of Natural Resources supervisor Mike Steuck tells KCRG-TV the 60 goats have been munching away for two weeks at the Ensign Hollow state wildlife area near Strawberry Point. He said Wednesday that the goats have cleared more than three acres of giant ragweed, stinging nettles, wild parsnip, poison ivy and other undesirable species.

The animals were enlisted to graze seven of the 40 acres in the area. The DNR is paying the goat’s owner $2,000 for the trail project, which includes the goats’ return visit this fall. Steuck says the success of the state’s goat plan hinges on how much vegetation grows back by next year.

Carson Rodeo begins Thursday

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The community of Carson, in Pottawattamie County, is hoping you’ll get into the cowboy spirit and mosey on over to watch some of the craziest eight-seconds ever, during their annual rodeo. The 37th Annual Carson Community Rodeo is scheduled to take place from Thursday, July 31st to August 2nd. The event hosts Mutton Bustin’ every night starting at 8-p.m., followed by professional riders doing their best not to get bucked off by the bulls. Sherm Rotten, Vice President of the Carson Rodeo, says Thursday is kid’s night.

“Thursday night we also have a stick horse race for the kids and I think the first one hundred through the gates get a Carson Rodeo get a wristband they can have. It’s just kind of a good fun, family night.”)
He says the numbers continue to increase. “We end up with over 30 bull riders and almost 30 saddle bronc riders so we are real pleased with that. That’s the third year in a row our numbers have been up so it should be a good show for everybody.”

On Friday, Carson will feature a street dance after the rodeo on Main Street of Carson and Saturday starts with the Carson parade at 10:30-a.m. “It’s a really good parade mainly because the shriners come over for us and make up half the parade. They just have a lot of neat stuff, old cars, motorcycles and acts going through there.”

Carson also features the 33rd annual Country Showdown musical event on Saturday evening before the rodeo. The Carson Rodeo was named Best Small Rodeo of the Year for 10 years by the PRCA but Rotten says with the numbers increase Carson isn’t considered a small rodeo any longer. “We jumped up a class and that’s part of the reason we got a few more cowboys. We put some added money in so we are no longer considered a small rodeo now we are a medium sized rodeo.”

Tickets can be purchased in advance at many locations across southwest Iowa at $10 a piece for adults and $4 for kids or the day of the event for $13 and $5 respectively. You can find more information and the nearest location by visiting www.carsonrodeo.com.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Cases of West Nile Virus Increase in Iowa: 3 reported so far

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Although cases of West Nile virus are typically seen in early autumn in Iowa, three cases of the illness have already been reported in the state. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), current surveillance data shows one case each in Clay, Monona, and Woodbury counties. Sentinel sites have also collected mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus in Central Iowa. The IDPH reminds Iowans to protect themselves against mosquito bites, the way by which West Nile virus is transmitted.

IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says “There has been a lot of media attention on the Chikungunya virus, another mosquito transmitted disease. No cases of Chikungunya have been reported in Iowa; however, it’s important to remember that the best way to avoid Chikungunya, West Nile virus, or other mosquito-borne diseases is to protect and prevent – protect yourself against mosquito bites and prevent mosquitoes from breeding by getting rid of the places they lay eggs.”

She offers these tips to protect yourself:

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.

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 2013, there were 44 human cases of West Nile virus and zero deaths.

To see the latest surveillance report on Lyme disease and to learn more about how to prevent it, visit http://bit.ly/Ux5ZgW.


Study: 80% of future flying drone use will be for agriculture

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, is the subject of much debate, but those remote-control flying robot-cameras may be the wave of the future — for farmers. Craig Hill, a farmer in Milo and president of the Iowa Farm Bureau, predicts the use of emerging technologies that give a farmer a full-color perspective on his fields from far above will prove quite successful for agriculture in the years ahead.ag drone

“Eighty-percent of the use of drones in America will be for agriculture,” Hill says. “This will be a big feature and it actually could be an economic driver in agriculture, both in the services provided and in increased productivity.”

Drones were a topic of conversation at last weekend’s third annual Iowa Farm Bureau economic summit, held in Ames. Hill says another topic was farmland values and how fast they’ve been rising for years. “We have seen about a 345-percent increase in land values over the last decade,” Hill says. “That was not sustainable in the future. Any asset class would have difficulty appreciating by that amount and not having a setback or a period of more stable growth.”

He says most of those who attended the summit believe ag land values will stabilize in the future.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Extension Report 07-30-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

July 30th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson


Wilson Island State Recreation Area set to reopen

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 30th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A state recreation area near Council Bluffs is scheduled to reopen soon. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the Wilson Island State Recreation Area will open its gates Monday. Workers are currently adding fire rings and picnic tables.

The park was originally scheduled to reopen more than a month ago. It was delayed by storms and flooding in June that caused damage to the area. The park has been under cleanup and restoration for several years. Its campground has been closed since it was flooded in 2011.