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.

Dry, windy weather ups fire risks in Iowa harvest

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 4th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa farmers are being urged to be careful as the harvest kicks into high gear. Dry and windy weather has increased the fire risk. Some law enforcement officials have asked farmers to stop harvesting until conditions improve. The weekly crop report on Monday shows 91 percent of the corn crop is now mature with 12 percent harvested for grain or seeds. Both are behind last year but ahead of the average. Fifty-eight percent of the corn is in good to excellent shape. Twenty-one percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, which is behind last year and the average. Sixty-five percent of the soybeans are in good or excellent condition. State climatologist Harry Hillaker says last week was the ninth week of the past ten with below normal precipitation.

Railroads warn of the dangers of hunting on the tracks

Ag/Outdoor, Sports

October 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Railroad officials in Iowa are urging hunters to resist the temptation to hunt on railroad property. Iowa Northern Railroad director of administration, Josh Sabin, says walking on or near the tracks is illegal and it’s dangerous because trains are not like car where the driver can just hit the brakes and stop. “An engineer may not be able to spot someone ahead of them until he’s right on top of them and no matter how hard and engineer tries — especially with a full train with a little bit of speed — and even if it’s an empty train, it’s going to take quite a distance to get the train stopped,” Sabin says.

He says it can take up to one mile to get the train to stop. Many types of wildlife migrate and feed along the edges of freshly harvested fields, but Sabin says if you see the tracks, you should avoid the area around them. Sabin says most railroads are 25 or 50 feet on either side of the track so you need to stay at least 25 or 50 feet away as you approach a railroad right of way that’s where the trespassing starts. He addes that  they don’t want to spoil anyone’s enjoyment of the outdoors, but safety is also a factor. In addition, Union Pacific railroad officials say their railcars are often carrying unusual freight such as wind turbine parts which hang over the tracks by several feet and can be dangerous if someone is walking nearby. You can face a fine if you are caught trespassing on the railroad line.

Corn expert says Iowa yields will be widely varied this fall

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

One ag industry expert says corn yields are expected to be widely varied across Iowa this fall. Roger Elmore, a corn specialist at the Iowa State University Extension, says several factors come into play, including the July heat wave. Elmore says very warm nighttime temperatures in parts of Iowa sped up the maturity of the corn, but it may end up limiting yields.  “That high night temperature…truncated the growing season, meaning, the seed fill period was less than normal, maturity was reached faster than normal, and all of that would add up to light kernels and if all of that did happen, we’ll see a lighter yield,” according to Elmore.

He says growers who tried to capitalize on higher corn prices by planting corn on the same land where they grew corn last year may be disappointed with this year’s yields. “We always expect to see a pretty significant yield difference when you’re comparing corn following corn to corn following soybeans. On average, over the years, the best data we’ve got across the state of Iowa suggests that difference is about 14 or 15-percent.”

He says that average could be as low as zero-percent or as high as 30-percent, based on the year, the weather, the environment, the hybrid and other factors. According to Elmore,  Iowa farmers can plan on seeing losses if they’re planting the same crop on the same land back-to-back.  He says “On average, if you’re trying to run a spreadsheet analysis on things, just calculate in a 14 or 15-percent yield reduction from corn following corn.”  If stalk conditions are good, Elmore says producers should delay harvest during this dry fall weather to allow the corn to dry down in the field. 

(Radio Iowa)

IOWA FARM BUREAU STUDY ESTIMATES MISSOURI RIVER FLOODING TO CAUSE $207 MILLION IN CROP AND ECONOMIC LOSSES

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

This year’s devastating flooding on the Missouri River caused an estimated $207 million in lost crop sales and related economic activity in six western Iowa counties that border the river, according to a new study commissioned by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF). The flooding began in late June when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened up a series of dams in the Dakotas to release water caused by heavy snows and record rains. Farmers are finally seeing the floodwaters recede and assessing the damage which includes severely damaged roads and the destruction of several hundred thousand acres of corn and soybean fields.

The study focused on Fremont, Pottawattamie, Mills, Woodbury, Harrison and Monona counties and analyzed the direct and indirect economic impacts from crop losses from flooded fields, said Dave Miller, IFBF director of research and commodity services. The study also factored in the impact of lost wages as the income of the lost crops won’t circulate in the western Iowa communities.For the farmers in the six-county region, the flooding cost $46.1 million in net income compared to pre-flood estimates.  That total included losses on flooded acres that can’t be harvested, as well as yield losses from affected crops that were within a mile of the flooded area. The study also factored in the cost of seed, fertilizer and other inputs that farmers had already invested in their 2011 corn and soybeans before the fields were damaged or wiped out by flooding. The study also accounted for potential crop insurance indemnity payments that farmers will receive because their crops were destroyed, as well as payments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Revenue Assistance payments (SURE) program, which provides financial assistance for crop production and or quality losses due to a natural disaster.

Fremont County suffered the highest losses, at an estimated $52.2 million; with $43.9 million in direct crop income loss and $8.3 million indirect losses from the damaged fields. Harrison County suffered $36.7 million in crop and other economic losses, and Monona County lost $32.3 million. Losses in the remaining Missouri River counties were: Pottawattamie at $31.2 million; Mills at $22.2 million and Woodbury at $14.7 million. The study measured losses of economic activity from lost crop sales and didn’t factor in losses to personal property, or the steep cost of rebuilding roads, levees and other infrastructure damaged or destroyed by the months of flooding.

Dave Miller, IFBF director of research and commodity services, says  “This is really just the tip of the iceberg on economic losses from the flooding.” He says they “Hope the study will provide valuable information to help farmers, community leaders and lawmakers as they rebuild the region and push for policies to prevent or minimize flooding in the future.”

USDA Report 09-29-2011

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 29th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Max Dirks

Play

Cass County Extension Report 09-28-2011

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 28th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olsen

Play

Iowa’s Archery Deer Hunting Season Begins October 1

Ag/Outdoor, Sports

September 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

One of Iowa’s most popular hunting seasons begins October 1st, when the archery deer hunting season opens. “We had over 57,000 bowhunters last year and I expect we will have a similar number this year,” said Tom Litchfield, state deer biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  “Our herd is in good shape statewide, but hunters can expect to see fewer deer in most areas of the state.” Because of this, Litchfield said that while the antlerless quotas for all counties are unchanged from last year, hunters may need to refrain from shooting as many does as in past years especially in eastern Iowa. Hunters need to continue to work with landowners where deer numbers are still strong.

Iowa’s bow season attracts hunters who spend much of their time in tree stands often alone for hours at a time, so checking safety equipment is an important part of their hunting plan.  “Hunters should check all their gear to make sure it’s in proper working order, especially tree stands and safety harnesses,” Litchfield said.  “Hunters should always wear a safety harness and use caution when climbing. Falls associated with tree stand use are the most common hunting accidents during the bow season.”

Iowa’s bow season is Oct. 1st through Dec. 2nd, and then opens again Dec. 19th through Jan. 10th, 2012. Hunting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. All deer taken must be reported using the harvest reporting system by midnight the day after the deer is recovered.  Accurately reporting the harvest is an important part of Iowa’s deer management program and plays a vital role in managing deer populations and future hunting opportunities.  For hunters with Internet access, the online harvest reporting is the easiest way to register the deer. Hunters can report their deer online at www.iowadnr.gov, by calling the toll free reporting number 1-800-771-4692, or at any license vendor.  

Additional Hunting Options

In addition to the bow season, many of Iowa’s urban areas and some state parks offer special hunts that bowhunters can participate in.  These hunts often have extra requirements so contact the organization listed in the hunting regulation brochure before going afield.

(IA DNR Press Release)

City of Griswold takes over Conklin Fish Farm Rec area

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 22nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Maintenance and care of the Conklin Fish Farm near Griswold will soon no longer be under the auspices of the Cass County Conservation Service. During Wednesday’s meeting of the Cass County Board of Supervisors, CCCS Director Micah Lee said the Griswold City Council recently accepted a resolution to take control of the maintenance duties at the farm, which is a public attraction and camping site. Lee said the City thinks it can do a better job of making progress at the park, and with the Conservation Services’ budget being as tight as it is, the staff have a hard time moving as fast as people would like, as far as getting major projects finished. The current contract is only for a management agreement, which has a 30-termination clause if either side feels the other is not fulfilling the terms specified in the agreement. 

He says last Thursday, the Conservation Board voted to accept the resolution as presented, and allow the City of Griswold to seize the management agreement, for a number of reasons. He says their reasoning for that is because there’s not enough manpower, money, or time available for his staff to handle all of the county’s parks and recreational areas. Lee says the camping receipts also indicate the farm is not profitable for the Conservation Service to operate. He also said well-intended efforts by a local group to take care of the area actually ended-up costing the CCCS money, that wasn’t budgeted for. 

With the Conservation Boards’ approval of the City-prepared resolution, the City of Griswold will assume full responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep at the Conklin Farm, beginning January 1st, 2012. The resolution does not need the approval of the Cass County Supervisors, but will need to be reviewed by the Cass County Attorney before it becomes official. Lee said as much as he’d like to keep the farm, there’s just too much for his staff to handle right now, trying to maintain the rest of the County’s parks.

Cass County Extension Report 09-21-2011

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 21st, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olsen

Play

Tyson Fresh Meats settles sex bias cases

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) – Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. is paying $2.25 million to settle federal allegations of sex discrimination. The Labor Department says Tyson will distribute the payment as back wages, interest and benefits to more than 1,650 qualified female job applicants who were rejected for employment at plants in Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska. Tyson entered into two consent decrees with the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which brought the cases. Tyson Fresh Meats is a subsidiary of Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods Inc., and one of the world’s largest processors of beef and pork.