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.

Grants awarded to enhance specialty crops production

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 5th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, Wednesday, announced that the Iowa Dept. of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will award more than $260,500 in grants to Iowa organization, to help enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops grown in the state. The department received more than $276,500 through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program from the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, to support the program.

Among the grant recipients, was Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, which was awarded $18,343 for building capacity for southwest Iowa local food producers, to increase specialty crop competitiveness in the region. And, Southern Iowa Resource Conservation and Development was awarded a $24,000 grant for “Farm to where you are: Creating and Enhancing Markets for Southern Iowa Specialty Crop Producers.” In addition, the Iowa Dept. of Agriculture and Land Stewardship was awarded a little more than $55,000, to support connecting growers and schools through the “Farm to School Program.”

Bill Northey says “Specialty crops are a very important part of Iowa agriculture, as they allow farmers to diversify and give customers access to locally grown products.” He says the federal funds will support food safety, research and marketing efforts, that will encourage Iowans to choose fruits, vegetables, nuts and flowers, that are produced in the state. Iowa agricultural non-profit organizations, cooperatives, specialty crop industry associations or organizations, along with producer groups, were eligible to aplly for funding, to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.

Cass County Extension Report 10-05-2011

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

October 5th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olsen


Trumpeter Swan Contest returns to Cass County

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 4th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

 It’s that time of year, when the Cass County Conservation Board asks residents of the county, “When do you think the first Trumpeter Swan will arrive at the Schildberg Quarry in Atlantic?”

A Trumpter Swan (file photo)

 Trumpeter Swans have visited the Schildberg Quarry for, at least, thirteen out of the last fourteen winters. 

Arrival and departure dates of the swans have been as follows:

1997/1998    December 18 – January 2

1998/1999    Nothing on record

1999/2000    December 25 – February 15

2000/2001    November 23 – March 6

2001/2002    December 25 – February 24

2002/2003    November 23 – March 15

2003/2004   November 26 – March 21

2004/2005    November 25 – March 18

2005/2006    November 17 – March 5

2006/2007 October 30 – March 9

2007/2008 November 22- February 14

2008/2009 November 18- March 12

2009-2010 November 19 – January 5

2010-2011 November 5 – February 10

Cass County residents may call in their prediction by no later than November 11th,  to the Conservation Board at 712-769-2372. You can leave a message and return phone number if their staff is not available to speak with you.  Duplicate dates will not be allowed.  For example, if a caller predicts November 25th, no one else will be allowed to predict that arrival date. 

Only one prediction per family will be allowed.  Sponsors of the contest will determine the official arrival of the swans.  The winner will receive a Trumpeter Swan 8×10 print from the Cass County Conservation Board.  Again, the contest is only open to residents of Cass County, Iowa.

Iowa corn lobby calls for passage of trade deals


October 4th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A group that lobbies for Iowa corn farmers is calling on Congress to quickly approve trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama. After President Barack Obama said the White House was close to sending the deals to Congress for final passage, the Iowa Corn Growers Association said Monday all three are needed to expand markets for farmers. The group said South Korea could become an important market for ethanol products, Colombia would stop importing so much corn from U.S. rivals and dropping U.S. exports to fast-growing Panama could rise. President Kevin Ross says it’s frustrating American farmers have lost market share while waiting for Congress. U.S. signed the deals under President George W. Bush but Congress never approved them, which gave the Obama administration the ability to renegotiate details.

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)


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


Cass County Extension Report 09-28-2011

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 28th, 2011 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olsen