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.

ISU researchers developing new ethanol co-product


August 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Researchers at Iowa State University are on the verge of marketing a new product that promises to add more value to ethanol production. Hans van Leeuwen is a civil, construction and environmental engineering professor at ISU. He’s leading a team that’s converting ethanol leftovers into a food-grade fungus. “It’s turned out to be an excellent feed for poultry and it is also suitable for pigs,” van Leeuwen says. “We have conducted some extensive pig feeding trials and we are in the process of doing some more.”

The ISU researchers have produced the “MycoMeal” in a pilot plant in Nevada. Much of the stillage leftover from ethanol production is already turned into distillers dried grains that are sold as feed for cattle. Adding fungus to the remaining liquid from the stillage produces the MycoMeal. “This particular fungal material has a very high protein content and more importantly, some specific essential amino acids that cannot be synthesized by the pigs,” van Leeuwen says. The researchers are still studying how MycoMeal effects tissue growth and intestinal health in pigs, but van Leeuwen says it could replace other forms of food for animals.

“It’s equivalent, more or less, to soy meal, which is more valuable that distillers dried grain. It could also possibly substitute for fish meal, which is even more expensive,” van Leeuwen says. “Fish meal sells for about $1,500 a ton, so if we can achieve substitution of all or part of the fish meal, that would certainly go a long way in making the ethanol plants more profitable.” Van Leeuwen believes MycoMeal could eventually prove beneficial to more than just ethanol, pig and poultry producers.

“When you think that millions of people die annually as a result of malnutrition in underdeveloped countries, particularly in tropical Africa, there’s a possibility of supplementing the diets of these people with this high protein, high essential amino acid MycoMeal,” van Leeuwen said. The production technology could save United States ethanol producers up to $800 million a year in energy costs, according to van Leeuwen. He also said the technology can produce ethanol co-products worth another $800 million or more per year, depending on how it is used and marketed. The fungi-production process has two patents pending.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic Parks & Rec Board to meet Monday

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Parks and Recreation Board will gather Monday evening at the City Park shelter in downtown Atlantic, for their regular meeting. The session begins at 5:15-p.m., and will include an update an Eagle Scout project proposal for the Camblin Addition at Sunnyside Park, and an update on the Eagle Scout bench project at the Schildberg Recreation Area. There will also be updates on the Department’s various Capital Improvement projects and the Campground area, Dog Park and Signage, at the Schildberg Recreation Area.

In his report to the Board, Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring will provide a review of the Schildberg Committee meeting, the Sunnyside Pool calendar, and City Park tour, along with a review of projects completed, and future projects being considered.

The next regularly scheduled meeting is September 17th at 5:15-p.m., in the Council’s Chambers at City Hall.

Appeals court rejects challenge on ethanol


August 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has rejected a challenge to Environmental Protection Agency decisions allowing an increase in ethanol content in gasoline. In a 2-1 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said trade associations of engine manufacturers, food producers and petroleum producers did not have standing to sue because they failed to show that their members are harmed by the EPA action.

In two decisions, the agency approved the introduction of a gasoline blend of up to 15 percent ethanol for use in light-duty vehicles from model-year 2001 and later. The national gasoline supply is largely a blend with 10 percent ethanol. Ethanol producers, who sought the 15 percent option, say the ruling keeps a pathway open that could enable ethanol demand to expand.

IA DNR asking public to report deer deaths

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says it has received scattered reports of dead deer around water sources this summer. D-N-R wildlife research supervisor, Willie Suchy, says they believe the dead deer are due to a disease called E-H-D. “Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, ant it’s a virus that’s transmitted by a biting midge. And in dry years deer get concentrated around somewhat limited water and if they happen to be going to a water source where the midges are around and they get infected, then you can have a more significant die off than that local area and that’s what we’re seeing,” according to Suchy. He says they are asking the public to report any deer that are dead or don’t appear to be acting normally.

He says you should call your local D-N-R officer if you see something like this. “The other thing is we are always on the lookout for animals that are diseased and sick. And right now if it’s E-H-D there’s not much you can do, the disease will take its course. But there are other things we can monitor for,” he says. Suchy says the deaths due to E-H-D don’t pose a major threat to the deer population. “At this point it’s above what we normally would see and this is kind of what we would be expecting with the dry weather,” Suchy says. He says the last big outbreak of 1988 and deer numbers then were down a little bit, but he says they bounce back.

The disease has also shown up in Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri and Michigan. E-H-D remains active until rain disperses the deer or a heavy frost kills the midges.

(Radio Iowa)

Atlantic family to be honored at the Iowa State Fair

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic family is one of six from across Iowa to be honored with “The Way We Live Award,” at the Iowa State Fair. Mick and LaVon Sager were selected from 75 total entries. According to fair officials, the award “Honors “industrious Iowa families who demonstrate a daily dedication to animal agriculture and exemplify farm values derived from hard work and a love for the occupation of farming.” The Omaha World-Herald reports the Sager family raises about 200 hens, 60 calves, 32 ewes, 14 turkeys and two llamas on their 20-acre spread about four miles northwest of Atlantic.

A fair spokesperson cited the farm as the epitome of a small, diversified, family farm. In selecting the Sagers for the award, the fair is recognizing Mick and LaVon for passing on the lessons of farm life to their kids. The Sagers will receive their award at 10:30 a.m. today (Saturday), at the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center on the fairgrounds in Des Moines. Mick Sager is a roads foreman for Cass County, while LaVon is a para educator for Atlantic Community Schools. Neither are full-time farmers. The couple has four children.

Expert: Drought isn’t going away anytime soon

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

August 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

An expert on droughts says the one that’s settled over Iowa and most of the region isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. Michael Hayes, director of the National Drought Mitigation Center, says a big ridge of high pressure has built up over the central U-S, diverting rain elsewhere. Hayes says Iowa’s long-range forecast calls for hot, dry conditions into October. “Maybe there’s some hope beyond that, but it’s a little bit early to say,” Hayes says. “So, that’s not the best news, certainly. Those are expectations. Those outlooks can change and we certainly hope that’s the case.”

Despite withering crops, brown lawns and shallow waterways across Iowa, Hayes says the drought’s affects are not deep yet, because this is a severe one-year event — at least so far. “If this were to extend into a second year or a third year, then we certainly would have more of those concerns,” Hayes says. While some have made comparisons to the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s, Hayes says this drought is most comparable to the 1988 drought. One unusual note, he says the drought which now grips the entire Corn Belt actually began this past winter.

Hayes says, “What’s been interesting about this drought is we had such warm temperatures over the wintertime and in the early spring that a lot of our soil moisture was already depleted and then that just allowed the temperatures to get pretty extreme across a large part of the central U.S.” The National Drought Mitigation Center is based at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

(Radio Iowa)

Living Loess Family Day Saturday, August

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

This Saturday the Living Loess Family Tour features Garden Grove eatery and Harvest Studio for a truly nature filled experience.  In addition to the beautiful vistas of the Loess Hills this time of year, the scent of lavender, the pleasures of aronia berries, wine art, gourmet food, jewelry, and the appreciation of hardwood creations- the July Living Loess Family Tour Day August 18 features the Garden Grove restaurant and Harvest Studio mini-classes.

The Garden Grove restaurant just on the outskirts of Crescent, Iowa, is a local- “you’d better get in line early” favorite.  With mouth-watering menu selections, the Garden Grove is an experience in itself.  Plan ahead this Saturday so as to not miss this unique culinary delight.

An unidentified woman using the art technique which will be taught this Saturday at harvest Studio during the Living Loess Tour 9am-3pm. (Pott. Co. Conservation/photo)

The second opportunity is a special class using charcoal and pastel sticks on large pieces of brown paper.  Using the side of the drawing stick gives more freedom of expression.  Stop by Harvest Studio this Saturday for a free mini class on this technique.  The artist, Cynthia Gehrie, is offering a 10% discount on paintings and prints this Saturday only.  For more details, log onto www.harveststudioonline.com.

Plus, all the traditional Living Loess attractions will be open August 18.  Living Loess is a collaboration of nine artisan attractions located within 20 miles of each other nestled in the Loess Hills in Pottawattamie and Harrison counties in western Iowa.  The group opens its doors every third Saturday of the month from May to October offering programs and discounts to the public.  All nine locations will have special activities Saturday, from 9am-3pm.

Visitors are encouraged to pickup a passport at any of the Living Loess stops.  After the passport is signed by all nine entities, they will be entered into a drawing at the end of the season to win a handcrafted Hope Chest from Loess Hills Wood Works along with products and gift certificates.

Living Loess attractions include: Gallaher Designs, Garden Grove Eatery, Harrison County Historical Village and Welcome Center, Harvest Studio, Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek Creamery, Loess Hills Lavender Farm, Loess Hills Woodworks and Sawmill Hollow Family Farm. The Living Loess Tours inaugural season last year was very well received.  Hundreds of visitors enjoyed this hands-on experience in the beautiful Loess Hills.

The group also offers individual group tours upon request for groups 15 or larger.  To schedule a group tour call 1-800-228-6878.  For more information on Living Loess, log on to www.livingloess.com or call 712-642-2114.  Brochures are also available in the Council Bluffs Chamber Visitor Center, 149 W Broadway in downtown Council Bluffs.

(Press Release – Pottawattamie County Conservation Board)

Bluffs Woman Captures Horseshoe Title at State Fair

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

August 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Chalk up another “W” for Cathy Carter. The Council Bluffs woman captured her 31st Class A Iowa State Women’s Horseshoe pitching Championship earlier this week, in Des Moines. The Omaha World-Herald reports Carter, a former Class-B Champion who moved up to Class-A this year, won the title 30 years in a row before being sidelined last year by a broken ankle. Her victory during Sunday’s competition came over last year’s winner, Shirley Fletcher, who placed second in the event.

Carter, a lifelong resident of Council Bluffs, owns cleaning business in the community. She’s a winner in another area, as well. Two weeks ago, Carter became engaged to Joe Jones.

Fewer Anterless Deer Tags will be Available this Season

Ag/Outdoor, Sports

August 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Hunting licenses for deer went on sale for the first time Wednesday and a D-N-R spokesman says the number of “deer tags” available is dropping in some areas. Deer research biologist Tom Litchfield, says efforts to reduce the deer herd by increasing the number of female or antlerless deer taken have been successful. “Back in 2003 the availability of antlerless licenses was greatly increased in Iowa, and now in 2012 approximately two-thirds of the counties in Iowa are at the target levels, which was to return deer populations back to the mid to late 1990 levels,” Litchfield explained. Litchfield says the drop in deer numbers will be reflected in the available licenses.

“There’s going to be approximately 13-thousand fewer antlerless only licenses available, and these reductions all occurred in eastern Iowa counties — 20 eastern counties — so there will be fewer antlerless licenses available in those counties,” Litchfield says. He says the cutback is a direct result of the success of the plan to harvest more does to help bring down the overall deer population. “It’s do to our deer herd declining in numbers and being at goal throughout most of the state,” Litchfield says. There will also be a change in the combination of licenses available.

“Starting this year we’re starting to go back to the way regulations were prior to 2006, so for 2012, a hunter who purchases an early muzzleloader license will not be able to purchase an antlerless only license in either of the two shotgun seasons,” according to Litchfield. Not all counties are down to their goals for deer numbers, so Litchfield says the hunting numbers will vary based on regions.”Hunters in the northwestern and the north-central portions of the state will see deer numbers similar to what they saw last year, possibly a few more since we had such a nice mild winter,” Litchfield says. “Throughout the remainder of the state — eastern Iowa, southern Iowa, central Iowa — by and large, what hunters will see are fewer deer than last year because the herd is still declining.”

The D-N-R is also eliminating the Thanksgiving weekend antlerless season and cutting the late January season by one week. You can find out more about the deer hunting seasons and where to buy a license on the D-N-R’s website at: www.iowadnr.gov.

Hotline sees uptick in calls due to continued drought

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

August 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

While we’ve seen a few breaks from the hot, dry weather, the worst drought in decades is stressing some of us out and calls to the Iowa Concern Hotline are rising. The service offers information referral, a friendly ear and legal advice, if necessary. Hotline director Margaret VanGinkle says questions lately are about how to handle household finances as prices rise due to the drought. “What happens if we have to pay more for milk and groceries and then the price of gas has gone up, too,” VanGinkle says. “Where am I going to find funds to pay for that when my budget is already pretty tight now?”

Forecasters don’t expect a break from the current weather pattern until October, but some fear the drought could continue well beyond this fall and into next year. Van Ginkle says callers are worried about the potential for a prolonged drought. She says, “If there is a shortage of rural water and they’re being asked to cut back on water with their livestock, how does that effect the operation especially on those really hot days, just a concern that might happen.”

Once known as the Rural Concern Hotline, the service was launched by the Iowa State University extension in 1985 to offer advice to struggling farmers during the Farm Crisis. As the name now implies, VanGinkle says the Iowa Concern Hotline is not exclusive to the agriculture community. The number is 800-447-1985. Phone calls are free and confidential.

(Radio Iowa)