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.

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.

Corn harvest advances in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The corn harvest in Iowa is under way with farmers focusing on getting storm damaged crops out of the fields first. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey released his weekly crop report Monday, saying this week’s sunshine will help dry the corn and let the harvest move forward. He says some scattered soybean fields have been harvested but the harvest is a week away for most soybean farmers. Sixty percent of the corn crop is mature, about one week behind last year but four days ahead of normal. Fifty-five percent of the corn crop is in good or excellent condition with just 16 percent being poor or very poor. Sixty-two percent of the soybean crop is in good or excellent condition with just 12 percent being poor or very poor.

First of 18 meetings is tonight on DNR’s Resource Enhancement Program

Ag/Outdoor

September 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Iowans will get the chance to help guide the plans of the state’s Resource Enhancement and Protection Program, known as REAP, at a series of 18 meetings statewide starting tonight (Tuesday) in Cedar Falls. Tammie Krausman is a spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “These meetings are for anyone who has an interest in natural resources and outdoor recreation,” Krausman says. “They should really consider attending so they can give their voice and help shape the future for Iowa’s natural resources and outdoor rec.” For more than two decades, she says REAP has been a positive force in Iowa’s outdoor recreation and conservation activities.

Krausman says, “REAP is a 22-year-old program that’s given out $260-million that has funded parks, soil and water and habitat improvements, roadside prairies, historical development and conservation education.” She says Iowans are invited to offer their views on REAP at the meetings, in addition to a chance to take part in a REAP Congress next January at the Iowa House of Representatives.

“The Congress is a very cool thing,” she says. “You sit at the legislators’ desks and you can vote. People at that time provide motions or votes on what they want to have happen to the REAP program, perhaps they want to keep the formula the same, perhaps they want increase funding for REAP.” Iowa legislators appropriated 15-million dollars to the program last year and 12-million this year. The full funding of the REAP Act is at $20 million. Tonight’s meeting is in Cedar Falls with meetings to be held over the next month in 17 cities, including: Shenandoah, Council Bluffs, Carroll, and Creston. Learn more at: www.iowadnr.gov/Environment/REAP

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic Parks & Rec Board discusses skate park options

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors Monday, continued discussion with regard to the skateboard park, and whether or not it should be moved to another, more centrally located area. Councilman Kern Miller has explored the possibility of moving the park to a lot located across the street from Iowa Western Community College, because it was thought the concrete pad for the half-pipe out at Sunnyside Park might have been originally intended for use as a Parks and Rec maintenance shed, but Mayor Dave Jones said that was never the case.  He says contrary to rumors, the pad was poured for a skateboard park, because the half-pipe is a heavy piece of equipment.

Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring said the pad would require extensive modifications in order to build a shed at that location. He added there are other options when it comes to building a new maintenance shed, including a location further off to the south of the skate park. He says the utilities are already in place to make the location useable.

Park and Rec Board members said the proposed location for a new skate park is too small, too close to a local church, and that Iowa Western Center Director Ann Pross was not willing to say either way whether they would want it located on the lot across the street.  Herring said the half-pipe, which was damaged when it was moved to it’s current location, and is currently unusable, can be repaired, resurfaced and sealed, and left where it is, for about $2,500.

He says the location that they have is adequate, if they get some pieces added to the pipe once it‘s repaired, that will make it more user friendly, including “rails.” Herring says the people who use the park are willing to step forward to get the funds necessary to make that happen. Herring says the people who use the skate park vary in age from the early teens to their mid-30’s. He says “They deserve a place to skateboard,”  other than on peoples’ driveways, and city sidewalks, and Herring credited Councilman Miller for his efforts to make sure there is a place for the skateboarders to enjoy their sport.

Schildberg Quarry Trail ribbon cutting to be held Thursday

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 20th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Parks and Recreation Director Roger Herring said Monday, a public “Open House” event will be held Thursday evening for the newly resurfaced Schildberg Quarry Recreation Area Trail, around Lake number One. Herring said the trail is done, with the exception of seeding, which has been delayed because of recent rains.  He says the Chamber will hold an Ambassador’s ribbon cutting ceremony at 10-a.m., with another ribbon cutting and public open house later that same evening, from about 5:30-until 7.

The trail he says, has seen a lot of use, but hopes are that the event planned for Thursday will make more people aware of what’s available at the Recreation Area, and the work that has been done to make it more user friendly.

The Parks & Rec Board is also looking at placing bag dispensers at the entrance to the park, so that persons who walk their dogs can dispose of their animals’ droppings. There may also be signs urging people to be considerate of others, by picking up their dogs’ droppings.

Herring said another idea is to include signs showing a map of the trails, and the distance for each trail, so people can keep track of their walking mileage.

Weekend festival in western Iowa celebrates aronia berry

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A festival dedicated to a type of berry many Americans haven’t heard of is taking place this weekend in western Iowa. Saw Mill Hollow in Missouri Valley is believed to have the largest aronia berry crop in the country. Andrew Pittz says his father, Vaughn, first heard about aronia berries being used in a juice drink.  “We looked into it and it was a native North American plant that no one was growing,” Pittz said. “So, we took it upon ourselves to plant the first 207 cultivated aronia berry plants in the United States.” That was 1995. Today, the Pittz family manages 25 acres of aronia berries. The dark colored berry has long been popular in Russia and Poland. Pittz says sales are picking up in the U.S. among those searching for healthier food products.

He notes studies have shown the aronia berry contains two to four times the antioxidants of a blueberry. “And the blueberry is kind of the go to super fruit,” Pittz said. Aronia berries have a unique tart taste, lacking the sweetness of grapes and blueberries. Pittz admits aronia berries probably aren’t best in the raw.  “It might not be as good – eating it fresh – as a grape, blueberry or raspberry. But, because of its profile, it makes a great wine and it bakes really well. There are all kinds of things you can do with it,” Pittz said. The 4th Annual North American Aronia Berry Festival is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both today (Saturday) and Sunday.

learn more about the event at: www.sawmillhollow.com.

(Radio Iowa)

Pumpkin found growing in Iowa tree

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 16th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

GREENFIELD, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa couple have discovered an eerie presence in their pear tree, just in time for the approaching Halloween season. Phil and JaNelle Lovely, of Greenfield, recently discovered a pumpkin growing in the tree. The couple say they have no idea how the pumpkin ended up in their tree, but it appears to be the work of Mother Nature. A nearby garden vine climbed the tree, giving the now-green pumpkin the appearance of having sprouted from one the tree’s branches. JaNelle says people have been stopping by to see the suspended pumpkin since it was discovered on Labor Day. She’s hoping it remains in the tree until it turns orange.