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.

Fire Danger in Shelby County rated as “High”

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Coodinator Bob Sievert has increased the fire danger level in his county to “High,” due to a lack of moisture and anticipated strong winds. Sievert says the County has received less than one-quarter of an inch of moisture since Monday. The lack of moisture, coupled with forecasted strong winds over the next couple of days, mean conditions in the fields will be extremely dry, and result in an increased risk of field fires caused by machinery, or timber fires created by open burning. Sievert notes that Shelby County is not currently in a burn ban. Cass and Greene Counties have instititued Burn Bans here in western Iowa.

Seivert is asking residents of Shelby County to call 755-2124 to report any controlled burns. The caller will be instructed to notify their local Fire Chief. He says it’s hoped that by increasing public awareness and through public cooperation, officials can avoid placing the County in a burn ban.

Wilson Trailer lays off workers in Iowa and Mo.

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Wilson Trailer Co. is laying off 68 workers at its plants in Sioux City and Moberly, Mo., citing a slowdown in the national economy and bad weather in crop-producing states. The Sioux City-based company produces livestock, grain, flatbed and gooseneck trailers. Demand fell this year in the wake of a multitude of bad weather, from flooding along the Missouri River to drought in some Midwest and southern states.

Human Resources Director John Kreber says the company hoped to avoid the layoffs, but the reductions became necessary. Employees were told of the decision at a meeting in late September. The layoffs are effective Oct. 31.

USDA approves ag disaster declaration that covers 60 counties

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 12th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The U-S Department of Agriculture approved a request from the governor for ag disaster designation Wednesday for 27 Iowa counties that were hit by severe weather that ranged from flash flooding to drought. Iowa Ag Secretary, Bill Northey, says the federal designation will allow farmers to apply for federal help.  Northey says it offers the chance for them to be eligible for disaster payments through what’s called the “SURE” program. Northey says the rules for the federal aid make the counties bordering the disaster counties to be eligible too. He says there are 33 counties that qualify as “contiguous counties” under the disaster declaration. Northey says farmers need to check to see if they qualify for assistance. Northey says they need to go into the U-S-D-A Farm Service office and find out how the program will work for them as he says each case will be a little different.

The 27 counties included in this declaration are: Clarke, Jones, Mahaska , Montgomery, Van Buren, Davis, Keokuk, Marshall, Page, Wapello, Decatur, Lee, Mills, Polk, Washington, Fremont, Linn, Monona, Tama, Wayne, Henry, Louisa, Monroe, Taylor ,Woodbury, Jefferson and Lucas. The 33 contiguous disaster counties are: Adams, Cedar,Dubuque,Jasper,Pottawattamie, Appanoose, Cherokee,Grundy,Johnson,Poweshiek, Benton, Clinton, Hardin, Madison, Ringgold, Black Hawk, Crawford, Harrison, Marion, Story, Boone, Dallas, Ida, Muscatine, Union, Buchanan, Delaware, Iowa, Plymouth, Warren, Cass, Des Moines and Jackson. Farmers in the eligible counties have eight months from the date of secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loan assistance.

Pioneer announces new Iowa research center

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 12th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Pioneer Hi-Bred is expanding its seed research in central Iowa. The company announced plans Wednesday for a new research facility in Dallas Center. The company says in a news release that it will support corn breeding, corn and soybean product testing and help farmers in western and central Iowa, eastern Nebraska and northwest Missouri. Pioneer has had a research location in Dallas Center since 2004. Construction is to begin this month and be finished in the spring.

The new facility is the latest in a series of projects by Pioneer, including a $40 million research facility in Johnston that is expected to create 400 jobs. Pioneer, which is headquartered in Des Moines, is a subsidiary of Wilmington, Del., chemical maker DuPont Co.

Bigger corn surplus could slow food inflation

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 12th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) – Food prices could rise more slowly next year because farmers have a bigger surplus of corn on hand than previously thought. The Department of Agriculture estimates farmers have 206 million more bushels of surplus corn on hand at the start of this year’s harvest. That means farmers will have 866 million bushels of corn on hand at the end of next summer. That’s higher than last month’s forecast of 672 million bushels. The bigger surplus could bring down corn prices, which soared to record levels in June because of limited supplies. Corn is an ingredient in everything from animal feed to cereal to soft drinks. So cheaper corn could ease broader food prices. It takes about six months for corn prices to trickle down to products at the grocery store.

Scenic byway sign installation wrapping up in western IA

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 11th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) said Monday, crews are completing the installation of signs for the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway and the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway in the Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County area. Thanks to grant funds made available through the Federal Highway Administration, the DOT is installing a new sign system for all the Scenic Byways in Iowa. Each of the 11 scenic and heritage byways across the state has a unique logo in a similar framework easily identifiable as an Iowa byway. The images are on reflective signs, with directional information added at decision points for the traveler.

The Loess Hills National Scenic Byway signs are now being installed in our area. The Loess Hills were named one of Iowa’s Scenic Byways in 1998 and received National Scenic Byway recognition in 2000 by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Loess Hills National Scenic Byway stretches along the western edge of Iowa through Fremont, Mills, Pottawattamie, Harrison, Monona, Woodbury, and Plymouth Counties. The Loess Hills National Scenic Byway also goes down Broadway in Council Bluffs, from highway 6 to 7th street. The public is invited to an unveiling of the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway signs on October 13th, at 4-p.m., in the offices of the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce, in the renovated Hughes-Iron Historic Building, at 149 West Broadway. 

The new Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway signs have been in place for a short time. They feature a distinctive “L” on a red, white, and blue background. The Lincoln Highway Association was created in 1913 in Detroit, Michigan. The first transcontinental highway, Old Lincoln Highway was officially 3,389 miles long from New York City to San Francisco. In Pottawattamie County, the road goes down county road L20, North Broadway in Council Bluffs, continuing on West Broadway towards Dodge Street in Omaha over the Missouri River.

Missouri River opens for boat traffic

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 10th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Missouri River in Iowa is open for boaters again. Boats have been off-limits all summer because of flooding. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says Monday that the Missouri River as well as the Big Sioux River in northwest Iowa are now open. The agency says with fall fishing picking up and the second duck season a few weeks ago, the rivers could get busy. Officials are urging boaters to be careful because the river level is still high, and there are many obstacles under the surface, including logs and sandbars. Most of the public access areas on the Missouri River remain closed, but the DNR is working to clean and inspect the boat ramps and parking lots, which will reopen as conditions allow.

Nishna Valley Trails meeting

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 10th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A local trails group is inviting the public to attend tonight’s meeting in Atlantic. The Nishna Valley Trails Association will gather at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on East 14th Street, beginning at 6-p.m.

During the meeting, the group will hear from a representative with the Western Iowa Tourism Council, and, receive updates on the development of trails in the Atlantic area.

Area youth take home top honors at Ak-SAR-BEN

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Morgan McDermott shows off her award for Reserve Champion Feeder Calf Showman (Ak-Sar-Ben photo)

Four southwest Iowa youth walked away with top honors at last month’s 2011 Aksarben 4-H Stock Show. More than 2,000 4-H families from a ten-state area participate in the show, held September 22nd-through the 25th, in Omaha. In our area, Morgan McDermott, of Atlantic, was named the Reserve Champion Feeder Calf Showman. The daughter of Rex and Beth McDermott, Morgan also exhibited the Overall Reserve Champion Feeder Calf Steer at Aksarben.

Madisyn Jorgensen of Guthrie Center, exhibited the Reserve Champion Division II Market Steer at the show. Kysa Downing of Creston, exhibited the Overall Champion Feeder Calf Steer. Tyler Long of Creston, exhibited the Champion Simmental Breeding Heifer. And, Seth Warren of Glenwood, exhibited the Champion Division III Market Hog.

To be eligible to exhibit at the Ak-Sar-Ben 4-H Stock Show, the 4-H member must have been at least 10 years of age by January 1st, 2011.

IA Dairy Issues Whole Milk Recall

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship today said that whole milk with an expiration of October 22, 2011 from Farmers All Natural Creamery in Wellman, Iowa is the subject of a voluntary recall due to concerns that at least some of the milk from that facility may not have been properly pasteurized. The Department conducted laboratory testing on the finished product by State Laboratory Evaluation Officers that have been certified by the FDA.  The results tested positive for residual phosphatase indicating that the milk may not have been properly pasteurized and therefore could present a risk if consumed. Farmers All Natural Creamery believes 954 gallons of milk have been sold to four distributers; UNFI (Aurora, CO), UNFI (Lancaster, TX), Calma Optimal (Franklin Park, IL), and Natural brands (Wood Dale, IL). 

The milk was manufactured on October 3rd with an October 22, 2011 sell by date.  Milk from Farmers All Natural Creamery can be identified by the plant number 19888 printed on all gallon containers.  The four distributers have since been notified and milk is being pulled from shelves.  If the public has any concerns they should return the milk to the store it was purchased from. These milk products should not be consumed.