KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Local 24-Hour Rainfall Totals ending at 7:00 am on Wednesday, August 16

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

August 16th, 2017 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic  1.89″
  • 7 miles NNE of Atlantic  1.44″
  • Massena  1.00″
  • Elk Horn  1.51″
  • Anita  1.56″
  • Audubon  1.05″
  • Guthrie Center  .3″
  • Manning  1.01″
  • Corning  1.1″
  • Red Oak  1.27″
  • Oakland  .64″
  • Underwood  .6″
  • Missouri Valley  2.47″
  • Logan  2.15″
  • Woodbine  4.59″
  • Glenwood  .17″
  • Villisca  .65″
  • Carroll .3″
  • Creston  .38″
  • Hastings  .32″

Deer hunting licenses are now on sale

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 16th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

If you wish to hunt deer this season, don’t forget to pickup your license. The Iowa DNR says licenses to pursue Iowa’s world class deer herd went on sale Tuesday, Aug. 15th, at more than 700 license sales agents statewide and online at www.iowadnr.gov.

Resident Iowa hunters may purchase one any deer license for a gun season, one any deer license for archery season and one county specific antlerless deer only license. The number of county specific license quotas for antlerless deer only has changed for 22 counties – 11 counties quotas increased and 11 counties quotas decreased. Hunters may purchase one antlerless only deer license until Sept. 15, then as many as they want until the season ends or quotas fill.

The price of an Iowa deer license is $28.50. Excluding fees for license vendors and required $1 fee to fund Help Us Stop Hunger, the price of an Iowa deer license has remained the same since 1991.

All milk from dairy cows at Iowa State Fair is being dumped this year

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 15th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

All of the milk collected from dairy cows being shown at the 11-day Iowa State Fair will be dumped. In years past, the milk was sold to a Des Moines area co-op for production into cheese. This year, however, the longstanding buyer backed out and no one else stepped up. Dairy farmer Doug Lyons of Castalia says it’s a commentary on the larger picture of the dairy industry. “It’s just a fine way of saying we have too much milk in the country and we don’t have to mess with it, we’re not gonna take the chance,” Lyons says. “That’s why they’re not doing it.”

Dairy farmers at the fair can milk their cows in the popular, window-lined milking parlor. Fairgoers can watch as cows are led into stalls and connected to milking machines. Lyons says it’s unfortunate the milk is all going to waste. “I did get paid for the milk and it did help, but showing cows is not a money maker,” Lyons says. “It’s more just for advertising the farm.”

Lyons says when his herd generates attention at the fair, that can lead to breeding sales down the road. The state fair runs through Sunday.

(Radio Iowa, w/Thanks to Amy Mayer, Iowa Public Radio)

Crops conditions get worse with continued drought

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

August 15th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Dry weather continues to impact Iowa’s corn and soybean crop. The U-S-D-A weekly crop released Monday afternoon shows corn condition declined so three percent of the crop is in very poor condition compared to two percent last week. Nine percent is rated in poor condition, compared to eight percent rated that way last week. Eighty-one percent of the corn crop is rated in fair to good condition — but just nine percent is rated excellent.

The soybean crop also saw a drop with four percent rated in very poor condition — compared to three percent last week. The report shows 11 of the soybeans are no rated in poor condition — an increase of two percent compared to last week. Seventy-eight percent of the bean crop is rated in fair or good condition, with just seven percent rated in excellent shape.

(Radio Iowa)

Neely-Kinyon Organic Farm Field Day Scheduled for Tuesday, August 22

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 14th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Learn the latest about Iowa organic crop research from ISU and organic practices on the farm at a field day Tuesday, August 22 near Greenfield, Iowa. The tour runs from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Neely-Kinyon Memorial Research and Demonstration Farm, 2557 Norfolk Avenue, Greenfield.

Highlights of the farm tour will include the Long-Term Agroecological Research (LTAR) experiment, which is one of the oldest comparisons of organic and conventional crops in the U.S., and the Organic Vegetable Research (OVR) experiment, which compares performance of organic production with cover crops versus tilled and mulched systems.

You’ll enjoy a light supper at 5:30 p.m., followed by a talk from Denise O’Brien, organic farmer with her husband Larry Harris at Rolling Acres Farm in southwest Iowa. The farm produces vegetables from Asian greens to zucchini, fruit, flowers and herbs, along with heritage turkeys and free-range chickens. Denise is a founder of Women, Food and Agriculture Network, a prior candidate for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, and served as a USDA agricultural advisor in Afghanistan.

Denise will share tips for successful organic production that she has developed over the years and discuss summer 2017 growing and marketing opportunities and challenges.

For more information, contact Kathleen Delate 515-294-7069. The Field Day is supported by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

New fundraising record set at Iowa State Fair’s steer show

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 14th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A new record was set at the Iowa Governor’s Charity Steer Show and Sale at the Iowa State Fair over the weekend. The sale generated 271-thousand dollars for the Ronald McDonald Houses of Iowa, pushing the total raised over 35 years past the three-million mark. The winner was Governor Kim Reynolds showing a steer owned by Cody Von Glan, of Vail. Reynolds says she’s thrilled to carry on the tradition started by former Governor Terry Branstad.

“This is the 35th annual Governor’s Celebrity Steer Show and I just have so much respect and admiration for these young kids that put the time and effort into raising these steers and the proceeds that go toward the Ronald McDonald Houses,” Reynolds says. “They’re to be commended.”

The Ronald McDonald Houses services families with children needing medical attention and Reynolds says a new house is being built in Des Moines. The governor’s winning steer was sponsored by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and the Iowa Beef Industry Council. Council Chair Steve Rehder, says the show raises money for a great cause and helps promote the cattle industry.Rehder says, “It’s a tremendous event to display the beef industry and how we want to work with people and the Ronald McDonald Houses, I can’t think of a better way to do that then the way they help families when families are in need.”

Alec Gotto of Dyersville won the People’s Choice Award, a young man who shows while in an electric wheelchair. Iowa Secretary of Ag Bill Northey was the showmanship winner.

(Radio Iowa)

Several factors can keep wind turbines from turning

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 12th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

If you’ve driven through areas of the state where there are wind turbines you may’ve noticed there are times when the giant blades are not moving. Alliant Energy spokesman, Justin Foss, says his company expects a 40 percent operating capacity for the turbines they install. “New designs, new technology and better understanding of how they operate is allowing us to generate energy from them more often,” Foss says.

He says the turbines can stop if there is not enough wind, and also have to be shut down if the wind is too strong. “It needs a wind speed of between seven and 45 miles-an-hour to operate. Our new turbines are going to go from between just below seven all the way up into 60 mile-an-hour winds to be able to generate that energy,”Foss says, “that’s just improved design and technology that allows them to capture more of that wind and turn it into energy.”

The turbines are also shut down for maintenance. “They do go through routine maintenance at least twice a year — so each turbine gets serviced at least twice a year — so they will shut that down while it’s being serviced,” Foss explains. The capacity of the power grid is another factor that might lead to turbines being shut down. “Sometimes we just get too much wind on the grid. And it’s not because we’ve got too much wind here, but maybe there is just not enough demand on that day,” Foss says. “We see that Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays we have the lowest demand on the power grid. And if you’ve got too much energy going onto the grid that will cause problems and you have to shut some stuff off to match the demand with how much is being generated.”

He says all the changes have allowed them to increase the turbine use to 40 percent. “If you look back just a few years ago — even a decade ago — it was in the 20’s and 30’s,” Foss says. Information from the American Wind Energy Association says Iowa generates nearly 37 percent of is electricity from wind.

(Radio Iowa)

Local 24-Hour Rainfall Totals ending at 7:00 am on Friday, August 11

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

August 11th, 2017 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic  .05″
  • Anita  .04″
  • Council Bluffs  .1″
  • Clarinda  .03″

Iowa commodities group leader calls Gulf dead zone “disturbing”

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 9th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Scientists says the largest-ever dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is now about the size of New Jersey. They blame nutrient pollution coming primarily from farms, as well as urban and suburban runoff. Iowa Soybean Association President Rolland Schnell says he’s concerned agriculture is being unfairly blamed for a large part of that oxygen-starved watery graveyard.

“It’s definitely disturbing,” Schnell says. “In Iowa, we like to talk about our one water situation. We’re all responsible for the water, whether it’s urban or industry or agriculture. In Iowa, we’re doing some really innovative things, developing watershed plans that are developed by the local community, by the farmers.”

Schnell says his group is working with a coalition to come up with legislation to address water quality and runoff issues. “We did not get it passed in last year’s legislature,” Schnell says, “but this year, we’re going to have a very innovative and complete bill to allow funding for watershed projects to be developed that are going to make a significant difference in our water situation, at least our farms.”

Schnell says farmers have been — and are continuing to be — environmentally-responsible because they use water just like urban residents. “Farmers want clean water, too, and we’re doing our part as best we can,” Schnell says. “We’ve made a big difference over these last few years. It is an issue, especially in Iowa. We have very high organic soils that, in heavy rain periods, release nitrates whether we apply fertilizer or not.”

The runoff affecting the dead zone is what’s known as non-point source pollution and is not federally regulated. It’s also difficult to control.

(Radio Iowa)

Master Gardener Training Available this Fall

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 8th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Extension to host training sessions beginning mid- September

AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Master Gardener program will hold its core training sessions this fall for individuals interested in becoming Master Gardeners.

The Master Gardener program is looking for people who are passionate about volunteering and gardening. No previous garden knowledge is required. The program equips volunteers to grow in knowledge about gardening best practices, and in return they are asked to share that knowledge with their local communities through projects that contribute produce to food banks to enhance food security, make Iowa’s communities beautiful, and educate local residents and youth on gardening. Cass County has a large, active group of Master Gardeners- with over 80 individuals having completed the program over the past 30 years, and more than 30 currently reporting service hours each year.

“Master Gardeners provide information and education to Iowans,” said Susan DeBlieck, ISU Extension and Outreach Master Gardener assistant coordinator. “They are excellent community resources who help make the state a better place to live.”

The Cass County Extension office will be one of the training locations for the Master Gardener class this fall. Classes will begin Tuesday evening September 19, and run through November 14. The trainings will be held from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Tuesdays weekly. There will also be three hands-on workshops held during the course of the trainings, as well as a training session held on the Iowa State University campus on Saturday, October 7 and 21.

Those interested in being trained as a Master Gardner can apply online at https://mastergardenerhours.hort.iastate.edu/application-form.php. Applications for the Master Gardener Program are due by September 1 to participate in 40 hours of Master Gardener training. Training fees are $195 for all materials and classes. Persons who are unable to apply online can contact the Extension Office for assistance in applying to the program.

After completing the course, Master Gardener trainees start their work as volunteers within the community, volunteering 40 hours in the first year to graduate from “trainee” status, and 20 hours per year after that to maintain their active status, while building their gardening know-how by participating in ten hours of continuing education annually. Master Gardeners donated nearly 120,000 volunteer hours during 2016, providing the equivalent of $2.6 million of labor to help beautify and educate Iowa communities, and address ongoing food security issues.

Individuals not interested in becoming a Master Gardener and fulfilling volunteer requirements can still participate in the training. The ProHort program allows individuals to gain knowledge while earning a certificate of completion. Cost for the ProHort program is $550 and does not include any volunteer requirements.

For more information on the Master Gardener classes in Cass County, please contact the Cass County Extension office at 712-243-1132 or email Program Coordinator Kate Olson at keolson@iastate.edu.