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.

State water situation looking good after concerns in April


June 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Recent concern that drought conditions might creep back into the state have been washed away by continues and sometimes large rainfalls. Tim Hall of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the water picture is much different now than it was in April. “We were almost an island in the middle of really dry conditions in Nebraska and Kansas and the Dakotas and Minnesota over into Wisconsin,” Hall says. “And there was some fear that those dry conditions would continue to creep into the state.” But Hall says the drought concerns have faded away for our state and those around us.

“The rains we’ve had regionally have really pushed the drought conditions back in the Upper Midwest and it really bodes well for us in the immediate future,” Hall says. He says most of the severe drought conditions in the U-S are now west of the Rocky Mountains. Northwest Iowa is the only area of the state that is showing drier than normal conditions right now. “Those areas that are drier than normal are small and still shrinking. There’s just some very minor areas in northwest Iowa that we are watching carefully for long-term water availablity,” according to Hall.

Heavy rains last week caused flash flooding and now stream flow conditions are above normal for three quarters of the state. Hall says we could see more of the flash type flooding in the future if things stay wet. “Whether the next rainfall is going to have the same impact of the one we just saw is the fact that the soil moisture is pretty high right now,” Hall expalins. “The stream flows can do down — and I expect they will — but if the soils remain pretty wet, and we get another decent rainfall, there’s really no place for that rain to go.” He says that’s one of the downsides to pulling out of the drought conditions and moving the other way.

“One of the things we saw early in this season and into last year — is when the soil is pretty dry and we get a good rainfall, a lot of that rain ends up soaking in. That’s sort of run its course. And if the soil is pretty wet, any rainfall we get is going to show up as runoff,” Hall says. “So, it’s a timing issue of where the streams are, and it’s also a soil moisture issue.” Hall says overall the water condition in the state right now is pretty good.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa crops take a hit in last week’s severe weather


June 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The severe weather that rolled through Iowa last week has threatened crop yields across the state. The USDA’s latest crop report issued Monday places 83-percent of the state’s corn crop in good to excellent condition. Soybean emergence rose to 96-percent, which is on par with the five-year average, but 11 days behind last year’s crop. Seventy-eight percent of Iowa’s soybeans are rated in good to excellent condition. Iowa State University Extension Agronomist Mark Johnson monitors a nine-county region that received up to 8 inches of rain in a 24-hour period last week.

“Normally when you drive around after a heavy rain, you see these ponds and maybe they (cover) a quarter acre or maybe half-an-acre. When I was out in Carroll (County), l saw 10-acre ponds. Greene was maybe a little bit better and Dallas was a little bit better. Those counties really took a hit,” Johnson said. It’s too late to replant those water-logged corn fields, according to Johnson.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic FFA Competes at Iowa FFA Agronomy CDE

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 29th, 2015 by Jim Field

Left to right:  Clayton Saeugling, Nate Moen, Garrett Schwanke, Adam Freund

Left to right: Clayton Saeugling, Nate Moen, Garrett Schwanke, Adam Freund

The Atlantic FFA Chapter placed 6th as a team in the annual Iowa FFA Agronomy Career Development Event held at Iowa State University in Ames on June 4, 2015. Members of the 6th place team included: Adam Freund, Clayton Saeugling, Garrett Schwanke, and Nate Moen. Their agricultural education instructor and FFA Advisor is Mr. Eric Miller. A special thank you to Aaron Saeugling for assisting the team. Team member Clayton Saeugling said, ”This was a very enjoyable, but challenging contest. This is my favorite Career Development Event of the year. We get to compete against many other great teams, to place 6th was a big accomplishment.”

FFA teams including 90 individuals from 27 chapters participated in this year’s Career Development Event designed to provide the student an opportunity to display their agricultural knowledge and skills in the area of Agronomy. Activities included demonstration of skills and problem solving in Agronomy, including crop, weed, insect and seed identification; crop and seed judging and evaluation; and grain grading. A written examination and computer application activities were included along with a team problem solving competition.

The Iowa State University Department of Agronomy hosted the event and provided T-shirts to all participants. The Agronomy Career Development Event was coordinated and conducted by Mr. Dennis Miller and other faculty and staff with the Agronomy Department at Iowa State University in Ames. The Iowa Crop Improvement Association provided lunch to all participants in the event.

Ag Students Gain Insight for the Future of Agriculture

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 29th, 2015 by Jim Field

Front Row Left to right: Secretary Of Agriculture Bill Northey, Haley Carlson, Emily Saeugling, Braden Bean, Cale Pellett, Kyle Redinbaugh Back Row:  Eric Miller, Adam Freund, Garrett Schwanke, Clayton Saeugling, Representative Jack Drake

Front Row Left to right:
Secretary Of Agriculture Bill Northey, Haley Carlson, Emily Saeugling, Braden Bean, Cale Pellett, Kyle Redinbaugh
Back Row: Eric Miller, Adam Freund, Garrett Schwanke, Clayton Saeugling, Representative Jack Drake

LEWIS, Iowa—More than 35 high school ag students from FFA chapters across Iowa recently had the opportunity to get an up-close look at several agricultural topics during a field day hosted by Wyffels Hybrids. Students heard from industry experts and participated in hands-on activities with real-world applications.

Students learned from keynote speaker, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, about careers in ag and the growing need for talented and driven people in agriculture.

“I think the future is important and young adults need to realize they need to start thinking about their future and what they want to do with it. This event is a great way to layout the different careers in agriculture to better understand some interests that the students may have. With the growing industry there are many opportunities for the next generation,” Bill Northey said.
Members learned about topics ranging from livestock feed rations and food science, to agronomy and precision ag, to horticulture, native species and ag engineering.

“The field day was another great educational opportunity for the local FFA Chapters. I really enjoyed day and hope that Wyffels continues this program,” Atlantic FFA Chapter member Haley Carlson said.

This event continues to grow in popularity with high school students as it provided a large array of information on agriculture, and potential careers.

“The Wyffels Hybrids FFA Field Day for the Future has continued to grow in its exposure throughout southwest and west central Iowa in its four years. I continue to be impressed with the interest and interaction these future leaders of ag have, and show during our training,” said Bill Backhaus, Region Manager for Wyffels Hybrids.

Wyffels Hybrids donated $25 to FFA chapters for each student participant, plus a matching donation to the Iowa FFA Foundation.

About Wyffels Hybrids
Wyffels Hybrids, headquartered in Geneseo, Ill., is one of the nation’s largest independent seed corn companies. Focusing strictly on developing and marketing elite corn hybrids, the company is dedicated to providing corn growers in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Ohio River Valley with exceptional products, the latest agronomic information, and unmatched customer service and product support. To learn more or request information, visit www.wyffels.com or call 1-800-369-7833.

Bird flu means educational displays replace birds at fairs

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

CENTRAL CITY, Iowa (AP) – The ongoing bird flu outbreak has forced competitors at the Linn County Fair and other poultry events in the state to prepare educational displays and leave their birds at home. But the 79 participants in this weekend’s Linn County competition got to meet Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey.

Northey visited the fair Saturday to speak about poultry health and the bird flu. He encouraged the young people who developed 4-H projects and told them he was glad they were interested in agriculture. Iowa, Nebraska and many other states where bird flu has been found decided to prohibit poultry events this year to help limit the spread of the disease.

Iowa hog inventory of 21 million is second largest on record

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The latest report on the status of the Iowa hog industry shows the state with 21 million hogs on Iowa farms as of June 1. That’s the second highest number ever since records began in 1870. The highest figure was December 2014 when the state had 21.3 million hogs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which released the report Friday, says the latest figure is a 10 percent increase over the inventory of a year ago.

Iowa is the nation’s leading pork producer by far. The figures show Minnesota is second with just over 8 million hogs and North Carolina is right at 8 million. Illinois had 4.6 million, Nebraska 3.2 million and Missouri 2.9 million. The national inventory is 66.9 million head.


Extra law officers out on the water this weekend

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 26th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

An effort called “Operation Dry Water” begins today (Friday) as federal, state and local law officers look to prevent drunken boating. The Iowa D-N-R’s boating law administrator, Susan Stocker, says officers make their presence known on the state’s lakes and rivers in the operation that runs through Sunday. “Last year we were able to check approximately 11-hundred boaters and we contacted more than 354 vessels that were out there,” Stocker says.

Stocker says boating drunk can have severe consequences for you and your passengers. “More than 71 percent of our boating fatalities in 2014 involved alcohol. So we are stepping up the effort….in order to curb the intoxicated boater who wants to operate a boat,” Stocker says. Twelve people were arrested on the Mississippi River for operating a boat while under the influence, and Stocker says it once again a focus for Operation Dry Water.

“We will continually find that area with a lot of D-W-I arrests,” Stocker says, “and so we need to realize and put it into perspective, it runs the whole length of the state. So, we are talking all they way north-east from Allamakee County all the way to the south-east. So, that’s why we have a lot of D-W-I arrests on the Mississippi River.” The one dozen arrests for drunken boating on the Mississippi last year were part of 41 overall arrests. Eight people were arrested at Coralville Lake last year, five at Clear Lake, four on the Des Moines River and three at Saylorville Lake.

There is a simple step you should take to keep things safe. “Make sure that you do have a designated driver — just like if you were driving a car you would have a designated driver — to operate a boat. And or, wait until you are done for the afternoon to enjoy a beverage on the shore,” Stocker says. The blood alcohol level for boating while intoxicated was reduced in 2001 from point-one (.10) percent to point-zero-eight (.08) percent to make it the same level as driving a car while intoxicated.

(Radio Iowa)

USDA Report 06-25-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 25th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin

Iowa farm equipment maker Kinze lays off 215 workers


June 25th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

WILLIAMSBURG, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farm equipment maker Kinze Manufacturing says it must lay off 215 workers as business has slowed because of the impact of low grain prices on farmer purchases. The privately held company based in the eastern Iowa near Williamsburg makes planters and grain carts.

The company released a statement that says it had earlier this year implemented a 30-hour work week in an effort to avoid permanent cuts, but current demand for its products does not support full staffing. Office and factory workers are affected. Remaining workers will return to a 40-hour work week.

Deere and Co., another major farm equipment maker laid off 910 workers in its Iowa factories and 500 in Illinois in January.


Cass County Extension Report 06-24-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 24th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson