KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Lawyer: Jail term for egg exec would be improper

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A defense attorney says disgraced egg producer Austin “Jack” DeCoster should be kept out of jail when he’s sentenced for food safety violations linked to a 2010 salmonella outbreak. Attorney Frank Volpe filed a motion this week arguing that it would be unconstitutional for DeCoster to receive jail or home confinement. He says the only appropriate sentence is a fine and probation.

DeCoster and his son, Peter, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. They face up to a year in jail. Their company, Quality Egg, pleaded guilty to bribing a federal inspector, selling misbranded food and introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.

Volpe argues DeCoster is being held responsible because he was a corporate officer and had no criminal intent. Sentencing hasn’t been scheduled.

USDA Report 10-09-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

October 9th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin


Mosquito/Pest Mgmt. course for commercial applicators set for 10/23


October 9th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with ISU Extension in Shelby County say the County will host a Mosquito/Public Health Pest Management Continuing Instructional Course (CIC) for commercial pesticide applicators on Thursday, Oct. 23rd. The program will be shown at locations across Iowa through the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Pest Management and the Environment program.ISU Extension

The local site for the Oct. 23 CIC is at the Shelby Co. Extension office at 906 6th Street, Harlan. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. followed by sessions from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The registration fee is $35 on or before Oct. 16 and $45 after Oct. 16. To register or to obtain additional information about the CIC, contact the ISU Extension and Outreach office in Shelby County by phoning 712-755-3104.

The 2014 course will provide continuing instructional credit for commercial pesticide applicators certified in categories 7D (Community Insect Management), 8 (Public Health Pest Control) and 10 (Demonstration and Research). The course will cover topics such as an update on laws and regulations; effects on groundwater and other non-target sites; pesticide toxicity and exposure; pesticide stewardship; and an update on mosquitoes, ticks and other public health pests.

Additional information about this and other courses offered through the PME Program may be accessed at www.extension.iastate.edu/PME.

DNR Investigates manure release in Guthrie County

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is investigating manure released from a cattle feedlot about 10 miles west of Guthrie Center to a tributary to David’s Creek last week.

Owner of the 14,000-head-capacity beef feedlot, Matt Van Meter, reported the manure release at 3:34 p.m. Oct. 2, about eight hours after discovering a break in an irrigation pipe. Van Meter estimates 200,000 gallons of liquids from a solids settling basin were released, but the amount is uncertain because he’s unsure when the pipe broke.

A DNR environmental specialist tested ammonia levels in the runoff and water quality in the stream Thursday night and Friday. Field tests showed ammonia levels of at least 10 parts per million in the runoff from the feedlot, which is high enough to cause a fish kill. However, it was raining Wednesday night, stream levels were high and field tests did not show elevated ammonia levels in the stream.

Friday, the DNR checked the stream for 10 miles below the feedlot and did not find any dead fish. The Van Meter feedlot has a national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) permit which allows facilities to discharge pollutants under certain conditions, such as heavy rainfall, if the permit conditions are followed.

The DNR is checking records and investigating the incident to determine if the facility was operating according to NPDES permit conditions. However, the DNR expects to take enforcement action on failing to report the manure release within six hours of discovery. DNR may take additional enforcement action depending upon results of the investigation and laboratory results from stream samples.

Cass County Extension Report 10-08-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

October 8th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson


USDA Expands Access to Credit to Help More Beginning and Family Farmers


October 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2014 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will improve farm loans by expanding eligibility and increasing lending limits to help more beginning and family farmers. As part of this effort, USDA is raising the borrowing limit for the microloan program from $35,000 to $50,000; simplify the lending processes; updating required “farming experience” to include other valuable experiences; and expanding eligible business entities to reflect changes in the way family farms are owned and operated. The changes become effective Nov. 7.

“USDA is continuing its commitment to new and existing family farmers and ranchers by expanding access to credit,” said Harden. “These new flexibilities, created by the 2014 Farm Bill, will help more people who are considering farming and ranching, or who want to strengthen their existing family operation.”

The microloan changes announced today will allow beginning, small and mid-sized farmers to access an additional $15,000 in loans using a simplified application process with up to seven years to repay. These efforts are part of USDA’s continued commitment to small and midsized farming operations, and new and beginning farmers.

In addition to farm related experience, other types of skills may be considered to meet the direct farming experience required for farm loan eligibility such as operation or management of a non-farm business, leadership positions while serving in the military, or advanced education in an agricultural field. Also, individuals who own farmland under a different legal entity operating the farm now may be eligible for loans administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). Producers will have an opportunity to share suggestions on the microloan process, and the definitions of farming experience and business structures through Dec. 8, 2014, the public open comment period.

FSA is also publishing a Federal Register notice to solicit ideas from the public for pilot projects to help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of farm loan programs. Comments and ideas regarding potential pilot projects will be accepted through Nov. 7, 2014.

Since 2010, USDA has made a record amount of farm loans through FSA — more than 165,000 loans totaling nearly $23 billion. More than 50 percent of USDA’s farm loans now go to beginning farmers. In addition, USDA has increased its lending to socially-disadvantaged producers by nearly 50 percent since 2010.

These programs were made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.


USDA: Iowa corn harvest 3 weeks behind schedule, latest soybean harvest in three decades

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The latest crop conditions report, released Monday by the USDA, shows only five-percent of Iowa’s corn has been harvested. That’s about three weeks behind the normal schedule. Cool weather and abundant rain in some areas put Iowa’s corn maturity about six days behind the five-year average.

Many growers are like Winnebago County’s Wayne Johnson, who reports corn kernels are retaining 25-percent moisture — about 10-percent more than can be stored without spoiling. Johnson says when he does begin harvesting, maybe in a week to 10-days, the corn must be dried using L-P gas. That takes extra work and money.

“It puts high demands on driers and so, instead of just harvesting it and dumping it in a bin — which is a wonderful way to harvest — you need to get it into a wet holding, then transfer it to a drier, then transfer it out of the drier to its final storage,” Johnson says. “So it takes a lot of extra work when you have to dry and a lot of extra gas to dry.”

The USDA report places 76-percent of Iowa’s corn crop in good to excellent condition. Iowa’s soybean harvest, at nine-percent complete, is the lowest percentage harvested by this date in over 30 years. Seventy-four-percent of the state’s soybean crop is listed in good to excellent condition.

(Radio Iowa)

Riverton reopens after floodwaters recede

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 3rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has reopened the south entrance and boat ramp at the Riverton Wildlife Management Area in Fremont County, after floodwaters receded off Hwy. J46, west of the town of Riverton.

Much of the parking area at the boat ramp has a few inches of water on it, but it is still usable, said Matt Dollison, wildlife biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The water is currently about 2.5 feet above normal crest in the main area. The walk in area on the southwest side of the main Riverton WMA tract and the Jensen tract south of the town of Riverton were both unaffected by the flood waters and are only slightly above normal crest. The north portion of the access road to the main area still currently has water on it so it is closed at this time.

October 4th is the opening day of waterfowl season and Riverton is a heavily used waterfowl hunting area.

Trumpeter Swans will return to Cass County…but when?

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 2nd, 2014 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?” You can call in your prediction (by November 11th) to the Conservation Board at 712-769-2372, leave a message and return phone number if the staff are not available. swan

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. Call anytime until November 11th to make your prediction. One prediction per family, please. The sponsors of this contest will determine the official arrival of the swans. The winner will receive a Trumpeter Swan 8×10 print from the Cass County Conservation Board.

The contest is only for residents of Cass County.

Trumpeter Swans have visited the Schildberg Quarry for, at least, sixteen out of the last Seventeen 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


Group wants investigation of Iowa rabbit deaths

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – An animal welfare group is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate the death of four rabbits used for research at the University of Iowa. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports a USDA routine inspection report from August found four rabbits died in June during a study. The report says the animals died of unexpected study complications.

The USDA report says the researchers did provide care for the animals, but didn’t contact or consult with a veterinarian about their health. A University of Iowa spokesman says the school has addressed the USDA report internally. He says the university is committed to complying with regulations governing the care and use of animals in research.