KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Indianola man falls more than 20 feet from tree stand

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 17th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

WARREN COUNTY — An Indianola man was injured while climbing into his tree stand on Sunday while deer hunting. Officials with the Iowa DNR said today (Tuesday), 24-year old Bobbie Joe Stephens fell approximately 23-feet into a ravine while hunting on private land in southern Warren County. He had not been able to hook up to his harness at the time of the fall. He was able to call a hunting partner for help after falling.

Stephens was taken to a Des Moines area hospital and was treated for broken ankle. Further investigation revealed the tree stand straps were broken due to weather exposure over time. The tree stand had been left up since last season. The DNR reminds hunters if you leave your tree stand out year-round, be sure to check the straps before using the tree stand.

World Food Prize kicks off with comments from former USDA chiefs

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 17th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Five former U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture helped kick off this week’s World Food Prize events in Des Moines. Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack spent eight years as President Obama’s Secretary of Agriculture. Vilsack says it’s important to say to the rest of the country agriculture is the “most significant industry” in the U.S. “You’re talking about 23 million people who are employed by the food and agriculture industry,” Vilsack said. “…You’re not just dealing with a small segment of society here. You’re dealing with something that impacts everyone every single day.”

Dan Glickman, a former Kansas congressman, served as U.S. Ag Secretary in President Bill Clinton’s administration. He says farmers must do better at explaining the benefits of genetically-modified crops to more vocal consumers. “People who do want to know what’s in their food, how it’s produced, where it’s produced, whether it’s safe, who grew it and all those kind of things,” Glickman says. “And that power of the consumers is going to impact a lot more players in agriculture. Farmers and ranchers have to be a big part of it.”

Mike Johanns — a former Nebraska governor and U.S. Senator — served as ag secretary during George W. Bush’s administration. He says some of the answers to the debate about water quality will come with advances in technology and equipment.

“Twenty years from now or even 10 years from now we’ll look back and we’ll look at our agricultural practices today and we’ll ask ourselves: ‘Why did we do that?'” Johanns says. “You see the sprayers out in the field. You see the airplanes and all of a sudden they’re dropping whatever they’re dropping onto the fields. I think we are working our way to a day where science is going to help us solve these problems.”

Johanns and Glickman made their comments during taping of an Iowa Public Television program that will air October 27th.

(Radio Iowa)

Rain has delayed Iowa, Nebraska corn and soybean harvest

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 16th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Rain has kept Iowa and Nebraska farmers out of corn and soybean fields in the past few weeks significantly delaying the harvest.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says just 32 percent of the Iowa soybean crop has been harvested, the lowest percentage harvested by this date since 1985 and only 13 percent of the corn crop for grain is finished, the smallest percentage harvested by this date since 2009.

In Nebraska corn is 17 percent finished behind 32 percent last year and the 39 percent average. Just a third of the Nebraska soybean crop has been harvested, well behind 59 percent last year at this time and the five-year average of 67 percent.

Atlantic Parks & Park Board meeting preview

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 16th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors will meet this (Monday) evening at City Hall, during a regular monthly session. Action items and/or new business on their agenda include that which pertains to: The Schildberg Rec Area Development Project (Update); Schildberg Eastside Playground approval; Schildberg Committee (Update); Lake 3 stabilization update & approval for trail replacement; Sports Complex planning (Update); Cedar Park Shelter (Approval for electrical outlets); and a review of Public Gardens rough concept plans.

In his report to the Board, Director Seth Staashelm is expected to announce the Park Restroom will be closing this Wednesday (Oct. 18th), and that the winterizing of fountains will begin the week. He’ll also discuss 10-year planning that begins this winter; Internship for Summer, 2018, and Campground hydrant preparations.

The meeting takes 5:15-p.m., at City Hall.

New FARMS Act before Congress could expand ag markets

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 16th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

New legislation moving through Congress is designed to expand markets for farmers in Iowa and nationwide. It’s called the Local Food and Regional Market Supply – or FARMS – Act. Anna Johnson, a policy program associate with the Center for Rural Affairs, says the bill aims to help producers sell locally. “This bill does three things to help local foods,” Johnson says. “The first thing is, it helps farmers reach new markets, and then it increases access to healthy foods for low-income populations, and the third thing is that it strengthens the infrastructure for local foods to reach market.”

The bill also proposes giving school districts more leeway in buying from local sources. She explains more about how it would boost access to healthy foods for people in low-income brackets. “USDA has a program called the Seniors Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program, which helps seniors access fresh, healthy food at farmer’s markets,” Johnson says. “One of the proposals here is to expand that to also be available to low-income veterans. That will not only help out veterans, it would also expand the markets for producers.”

Johnson says parts of the bill could be included in the 2018 Farm Bill that’s being crafted now. She says recent years have been tight for agriculture and this would help. “Farmers who are selling into local markets have been expanding,” Johnson says. “This would help address a couple of those bottlenecks or limitations to existing supply chains that they’re running into that are keeping them from expanding their businesses and keeping additional farmers from entering into these channels.”

Johnson says the bill also would expand loan and grant opportunities through the Farm Service Agency, which could help to increase meat and dairy processing capabilities for small producers. The Center for Rural Affairs is based in Lyons, Nebraska.

(Radio Iowa, w/Thanks to Learfield’s Mike Loizzo)

Former Iowa DNR official: Livestock farm fund was misspent

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 13th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The former manager of a state program that regulates Iowa livestock farms and the manure they produce alleges money dedicated by law to the program has been illegally diverted for other uses by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Gene Tinker, who was laid off last month after 14 years as the DNR coordinator of animal feeding operations, says there should be plenty of money to pay him since the state gets $1.6 million a year from fees paid by the farms the program oversees.

State Sen. David Johnson also believes money in the fund has been spent elsewhere even though a 2005 state law prohibits it. Johnson says he plans to seek a special audit of the fund. DNR spokesman Alex Murphy says the agency “fully denies the allegations.”

USDA releases Iowa corn and soybean harvest predictions

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 13th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — A new report predicts this year’s corn and soybean harvests in Iowa will fall short of records set last year. The USDA report is based on conditions as of October 1. The forecast calls for the corn yield in Iowa to average 191 bushels per acre, up four bushels per acre from the September forecast but down 12 bushels per acre from last year. Overall, Iowa corn production is forecast at 2.46 billion bushels.

If the prediction holds, it would mark the third highest yield and production on record behind 2016 and ’15. Soybean production is forecast at 557 million bushels, with a yield of 56 bushels per acre. If realized, it would be the second highest production on record behind last year. The yield forecast would be the third highest on record. Last year, the average soybean yield in Iowa was 60 bushels per acre.

More info. online at https://www.nass.usda.gov

Iowa groups join ‘Clean It Up Tyson’ coalition

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 12th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Environmental Council, the Des Moines Water Works and 18 central Iowa businesses have joined a coalition urging Tyson Foods to adopt new land-use rules for producers who supply livestock to Tyson slaughtering plants. Elise Peterson-Trujillo is a Des Moines-based organizer for Mighty Earth, a Washington, D.C.-based environmental group. “Unfortunately, the meat industry is currently driving production practices of feed grains that pollute our waterways with excess fertilizer pollutants,” she said. “Tyson Foods is the company most responsible for driving these polluting practices.” Tyson is the country’s largest meat company, producing about one out of every five pounds of meat purchased by American consumers. Susan Heathcote is the water program director for the Iowa Environmental Council. She says if Tyson required producers to plant oats or other cover crops on harvested corn and soybean fields, nitrate run-off could be reduced by as much as 40 percent.

“We really want to continue to make sure that we have a productive agricultural landscape,” Heathcote says. “It’s a big part of our economy, but we need to do that in a way that doesn’t add to the water quality problems, especially nitrate in our drinking water is a big issue in Iowa.” Heathcote spoke Wednesday morning during a news conference in Des Moines that was organized by the “Mighty Earth” group. Des Moines Water Works C-E-O Bill Stowe also spoke at the event, which was held on a Des Moines River bank. “Look out at that water,” Stowe said. “It looks more like cappuccino than it does drinking water. That’s because it has suspended solids. A lot of soils and a lot of nutrients associated with the soils are coming into our water because of land practices, but it’s also full of bacteria and the bacteria, to a large extent, is coming from livestock rearing.”

A spokeswoman for Tyson says Mighty Earth “is making misleading claims about” Tyson and overlooking “the many ways crops are used including human consumption and biofuel.” Tyson’s spokeswoman says “real change” requires a broad coalition, not just the actions of a single company, and Tyson is collaborating with a wide variety of stakeholders and groups “to promote continuous improvement.”r improving Tyson’s “environmental footprint.” Tyson has meat processing facilities in Council Bluffs, Waterloo, Storm Lake, Perry and Columbus Junction.

(Radio Iowa)

Time for the Trumpeter Swan Contest in Cass County

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 12th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Conservation Board is asking you…When do you think the first Trumpeter Swan will arrive at the Schildberg Quarry (In Atlantic)?  They’re asking you to “Please call in your prediction (by November 10th) to the Conservation Board at 712-769-2372, leave a message and return phone number,” if staff are not available.  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.  S

Call anytime until November 10th to make your prediction.  One prediction per family, please. The sponsors of this contest will determine the official arrival of more than 6 trumpeter swans to Lake 4.  The winner will receive a Trumpeter Swan 8×10 print from the Cass County Conservation Board.  This contest is only for residents of Cass County.

Here is a list of previous arrival dates:

Trumpeter Swans have visited the Schildberg Quarry for, at least, seventeen out of the last eighteen 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

2011/2012 November 17 – February 21

2012/2013 November 24– March 4

2013/2014 November 12- April 7

2014/2015 November 11- April 6

2015/2016 November 22- March 24

2016/2017 November 19- March 9

USDA Report 10-12-2017

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

October 12th, 2017 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin