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.

USDA Report 06-20-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 20th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Max Dirks

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FFA Field Day prepares participants for competition

Ag/Outdoor

June 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a farmer today? Over the next 50 years, farmers will need to produce more food than has been produced in the last 10,000 years, combined. In order to educate youth about these agriculture issues and topics, the Monsanto Research Farm in Atlantic, hosted an FFA Field Day on June 3rd. All FFA chapters in southwest Iowa were invited to attend the day of fun and farming.

The field day, sponsored by Asgrow® and DEKALB® brands, taught FFA students from Griswold, Clarinda, Southwest Valley and Glenwood High Schools about soil science, insect and weed identification, and other agronomic topics to better prepare them for upcoming FFA competitions. Nancy Faber, district sales manager for Monsanto, said “Our FFA Field Day is a great way to interact with our next generation of agricultural leaders.We went over information to help prepare the students for their upcoming FFA Career Development Events (CDE) contests. I wish the best of luck to all the FFA students at their upcoming events.”

FFA students also had the opportunity to experience a hands-on safety simulator that teaches the importance of safe driving. Students sat behind the wheel of a car and “drove” through various environments using the high-tech Drive Square driving simulator. After putting on special glasses and navigating through various routes, students were shown the dangers of distracted driving.

Monsanto says it has been a proud supporter of the National FFA for the past 50 years. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

(Press Release)

Spencer man bags $1,600 for walleye

Ag/Outdoor, Sports

June 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) — A Spencer man has caught a $1,600 walleye on Big Spirit Lake in northern Iowa. Joe Larson caught a tagged fish that was part of a contest sponsored by the Iowa Great Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. In early May, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources released six tagged walleye in Big Spirit Lake, West Lake Okoboji and East Lake Okoboji for the contest. For anglers who paid $15 and registered for the extended contest, there’s still a chance to win some money for catching one of the tagged fish up until Sept. 1.

Larson caught his fish Thursday and the Chamber of Commerce released details on Tuesday. Proceeds from the Great Walleye Weekend contest go to the Easter Seals of Iowa.

DNR says Iowa boaters need to follow new laws

Ag/Outdoor, Sports

June 19th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa boaters will need to follow new laws designed to protect the state’s lakes and rivers from non-native aquatic species. The Department of Natural Resources says that beginning July 1st, it will be illegal to transport any aquatic plants on water-related equipment. Boaters also will be required to drain all water from boats and equipment before leaving a body of water, then keep drain plugs removed or opened while transporting the equipment.

Signs listing the rules will be posted at public access points. The new laws and earlier regulations are aimed at preventing the spread of creatures such as zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil.

Biologist says Iowa’s pheasant numbers likely down

Ag/Outdoor

June 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Department of Natural Resources biologist says Iowa’s pheasant population likely will decline this year because of the cool and wet spring. DNR upland wildlife biologist Todd Bogenschutz says Iowa’s pheasant population usually increases after mild winters and dry, warm springs. This year, a snowy winter was followed by record-setting cold temperatures and rain. Because of those conditions, Bogenschutz says the pheasant population will likely be smaller than in 2012.

Habitat also has been an issue for the pheasant population, as high commodity prices lead more farmers to grow crops rather than set aside land for wildlife under the federal Conservation Reserve Program. But Bogenschutz says Iowa has made progress in creating more habitat for pheasants through an effort to set aside 50,000 acres of land to aid the birds.

Group opposed to Farm Bill contacting Iowa’s congressional delegation

Ag/Outdoor

June 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The conservative group “Americans for Prosperity” is urging members of the U.S. House to vote against the Farm Bill when it comes up for a vote, perhaps later today (Tuesday). Christine Harbin is federal policy analyst for Americans for Prosperity. “This so-called Farm Bill is filled with food stamps and corporate hand-outs,” Harbin says. Her group objects to the subsidies farmers receive to buy crop insurance, calling that “corporate welfare.”  “It doesn’t overwhelmingly go towards small, struggling farmers like my grandmother and grandfather,” Harbin says. “They go to large, well-connected farm companies.” 

Last week the top Republican in the U.S. House — Ohio Congressman John Boehner — announced he would vote for the Farm Bill. Americans for Prosperity is urging Iowa’s entire congressional delegation to vote against it.  “We’re targeting and trying to hold accountable people on both sides of the aisle because people on both sides of the aisle get the Farm Bill wrong,” Harbin says. 

Americans for Prosperity favors an end to farm subsidies. The group’s Iowa director says farmers are “doing quite well for themselves” and federal farm policy should be “based on free market principles” rather than “handouts.” The group also argues consumers pay too much at grocery store because of Farm Bill policies. Last year lawmakers passed a one-year extension of the 2008 Farm Bill when an updated Farm Bill stalled in the House.

(Radio Iowa)

Ag Sec Vilsack calls for immigration reform as a way to help farming & rural states like Iowa

Ag/Outdoor

June 18th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

U-S Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is calling on Congress to pass an immigration reform bill, asserting it would bring a variety of benefits to the ag industry and to rural states like Iowa. Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, spoke with reporters Monday in a conference call about the start of National Small Business Week.  “As we deal with comprehensive immigration reform, we look for the benefits of trying to fix a broken system,” Vilsack says. “One of the benefits is that immigrants come here with a dream and come here with a hope of a better life and one way that they can do that is by being their own boss and developing their own business, which is why immigrants are more likely than those who currently live here in the United States to start a small business.”

Just last week, a report from the U-S Census Bureau found Iowa’s largest minority group — Hispanics — is gaining population quickly. New data shows nearly 163-thousand Latinos lived in the state as of last July, an increase of better than three-percent in the previous year. “Certainly in the agricultural area, we’ve had a number of examples of families coming in and starting a small fruit or vegetable production facility and having that expand over time to support multiple families,” Vilsack says. “This is in addition to the benefits that agriculture will receive from the comprehensive immigration reform bill with a stable and secure workforce, a guest worker system that works.”

The secretary says passage of the bill will help create jobs, in addition to more taxpayers who can help the country reduce deficits more quickly. The Census Bureau report found the growth rate for Hispanics in Iowa is ten times faster than the state’s overall population.

(Radio Iowa)

Vandals strike Schildberg Recreation Area, Atlantic City Park and Soccer Field

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

June 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

People who apparently have nothing better to do with their time have damaged property meant for the enjoyment and relaxation of others, in Atlantic. During Monday evening’s meeting of the Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors, Director Roger Herring said it’s believed persons from out of town destroyed a park bench at the Schildberg Recreation Area. The incident involving the very first new bench to be installed by a local Eagle Scout wasn’t discovered, until a week ago, when Herring went out to mow.

He says the bench was gone, and next to a picnic table was a round burn mark. Herring learned someone had pitched a tent and camped there the previous weekend. It didn’t take long for him to realize the campers tore apart the bench as used it as kindling for a campfire. Evidence of the fact included the discovery of the bench’s nuts and bolts in the campfire site. Herring says they have received leads in the case, and they don’t point to anyone local.

In another incident, Herring says someone took trash from a can at the City Park in downtown Atlantic last weekend, and dumped it in the men’s restroom. With the heat and humidity allowing the refuse to “Ferment” over the weekend, when the incident was discovered by Park workers, the stench nearly overwhelmed their senses. The culprits didn’t do any other damage, and even returned the trash can to its proper place.

City Councilman Chris Jimerson, who represents the Council on the Parks and Rec Board, mentioned also, that sometime over the weekend, persons on motorcycles tore up the Soccer Field by the Little League Park.  Herring says he believes that young people who are bored, are responsible for “That kind of Mickey Mouse stuff.”

Iowa corn crop continues to lag in stormy spring

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The latest crop report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows Iowa’s cornfields have been hit hard by the wet spring. Twelve percent of the crop is in poor condition, worse among the 18 leading corn growing states. Monday’s report says 4 percent is very poor while 34 percent is fair and 50 percent is good or excellent. Eleven percent of corn plants haven’t emerged from the ground yet and 6 percent of the crop hasn’t been planted. Normally the crop is all in by now and 99 percent emerged.

The USDA already assumes the average amount of corn expected to be harvested per acre in the U.S. to be reduced to 156.5 bushels per acre down from 158 bushels estimated a month ago.

Expansion is the “buzz” word for a Defiance company

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A Shelby County company that produces honey, is planning an expansion of their facilities. Smitty Bee in Defiance is prepping to add close to 20,000 square feet to their plant. The expansion is set to increase capacity by close to 50 percent. The company says the new space is for bottling room, offices, and additional warehouse space and research and development labs. 

Smitty Bee sales have soared to the highest ever in the 80 years of production in part because of the increasing finds of health benefits in honey. The fourth generation family owned operated honey packer and producer says they remain committed to the quality of honey customers have consumed over the years and the expansion will continue to help maintain the high standards along with building the business. 

Smitty Bee in Defiance provides a wide variety of honey products to both industrial and retail customers and can be found at many local grocery stores.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)