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.

Champion steer chosen at Iowa State Fair charity event

Ag/Outdoor

August 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Governor’s Charity Steer Show was held at the Iowa State Fair over the weekend. The show started in 1983 with the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association joining forces with Governor Terry Branstad to raise money for the Ronald McDonald Houses of Iowa. This year, the grand champion steer was shown by Craig Hill, president of the Iowa Farm Bureau. The grand champion steer is owned by Shawnee Tate of Renwick.

Twenty-five local and state celebrities participated in this year’s event and Governor Branstad says it was a big success. “I could tell from the beginning that Craig Hill had a great steer and I’m not surprised he won it,” Branstad says. “It’s a great show and you see the tremendous support and enthusiasm. It’s a great way to promote the beef industry in our state, also, the great charity, the Ronald McDonald House.”

Ronald McDonald Houses are located in Des Moines, Iowa City and Sioux City. The facilities house the family members of seriously ill children being treated in area hospitals. The show has raised more than $2 million in its 31-year run.

(Radio Iowa)

Drought worsens in Iowa as Missouri sees heavy rain & fatal flooding

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

August 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The drought is worsening again in Iowa as heavy rains are causing devastation just to the south. Parts of Missouri got ten inches of rain overnight (Thursday into Friday), bringing flash-flooding, evacuations and at least two deaths. Meteorologist Kurt Kotenberg, at the National Weather Service, says there’s a powerful front between bone-dry Iowa and water-logged Missouri. “It’s brought in a lot of dry, cool air here to the state of Iowa whereas down to the south, there’s been an area of low pressure swinging through and it’s not quite reaching us,” Kotenberg says. “The low pressure and dry air is pushing that low to our south, serving as a shield, preventing that moisture and energy from reaching the state up here.”

While areas of southern Missouri have seen 15-inches of rain in the past two days, parts of Iowa haven’t seen more than an inch of rain in weeks, and there’s little hope in the forecast — for either state’s misery.
“We should be dry Saturday, Sunday, maybe a little bit of a chance (of rain) as we head into Monday, but otherwise, it’s looking dry up here,” Kotenberg says. “Down to the south, Missouri will probably be getting more rain this afternoon into Saturday, so unfortunately, it does not look like they are out of the woods quite yet.” A report released this week shows the drought situation worsening in Iowa.

“A good majority of the state is at least abnormally dry,” Kotenberg says. “Basically the only part that’s above average or near average is the far northeastern portions of Iowa. Interestingly enough, Des Moines is now almost one inch below normal on the year, while the Waterloo area is about ten inches above normal for 2013 on precipitation.” A week ago, only 0.02% of Iowa was in drought. Now, about 16% of the state is seeing drought conditions, mostly in the west and southwest.

(Radio Iowa)

Federal report shows farmland values take big jump, with the biggest jump in the Corn Belt

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

After Iowa farmland values hit a record high late in 2012, a new report from the U-S Department of Agriculture shows farmland values nationwide took another big jump this year. The U-S-D-A’s chief economist Joe Glauber says there was an especially big jump in cropland prices on the agency’s new report versus last year. “Farm real estate value this year was estimated to be $2900 an acre as compared to $2650 an acre, that’s up 9.4%,” Glauber says. “If you look at just cropland, the average per acre is $4000, up from $3540, that’s up 13%.” Iowa’s average farmland values last year were more than double that figure. Glauber says the highest prices for farmland in the latest report are in the Corn Belt where the average acre is worth 64-hundred dollars, also up 13-percent. He says there is a ceiling, somewhere.

“Certainly, the idea that we’ll continue to see 10% increases per year, I think, is unlikely,” Glauber says. Farmland values have risen 50-percent in the last four years and Glauber says the reasons include low interest rates and good, strong income prospects. As for 2014, Glauber says the values may not go up quite as rapidly. “People are looking for income levels to moderate a bit after the strong growth we’ve seen and the fact that we may see slightly higher interest rates,” he says. “Both of those would have negative effects at least on the growth rates of land values. I’m not saying that land values necessarily would decline, but the 10% growth that we’ve seen, certainly that’s unlikely to continue.” The annual survey released by Iowa State University last December showed a record average cost of Iowa farmland at $8,296 an acre. The I-S-U survey showed farmland values increased almost 24-percent over the previous year.

(Radio Iowa)

Group says Iowa sets biodiesel production record

Ag/Outdoor

August 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association says the state has set a record for biodiesel production. The industry group says Iowa’s plants produced 56.7 million gallons of biodiesel during the second quarter of 2013. The plant’s production of 99.5 million gallons during the first six months also was a record. The group says Iowa Department of Revenue records show nine of Iowa’s 12 biodiesel plants reported production.

The fuels association credited the federal renewable fuel standard and the reinstatement of federal biodiesel blender tax credits for the increased production. Biodiesel is primarily produced from soybeans. Iowa has 41 ethanol refineries, which produce the fuel from corn.

Leash on Life 08-08-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

August 8th, 2013 by Chris Parks

Andrea Farrior and Chris Parks discuss the latest happenings at the Atlantic Animal Shelter.

Play

Doc Leonard’s Pet Pointers 08-08-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

August 8th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Dr. Keith Leonard

Play

NORTHEY: FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR WATER QUALITY PRACTICES

Ag/Outdoor

August 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced today (Thusday) that cost share funds are available to help farmers install nutrient reduction practices.  The initial practices that are prioritized for funding this fall are cover crops, no-till or strip till, or using a nitrification inhibitor when applying fertilizer.

“These funds are available to help farmers take steps this fall to reduce nutrient losses,” Northey said.  “This is the first step of implementing the Iowa Water Quality Initiative and we have a lot more work to do, but we are excited to start working with farmers to get voluntary science-based conservation practices on the ground.”

The cost share rate for farmers planting cover crops is $25 per acre and for farmers trying no-till or strip till is $10 per acre.  Farmers using a nitrapyrin nitrification inhibitor when applying fall fertilizer can receive $3 per acre.

Any farmer not already utilizing these practices can apply for assistance.  Farmers are only eligible for cost share on up to 160 acres. Farmers can contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District office to apply. “By allowing farmers to try new practices on a limited number of acres at a reduced cost we want to showcase the benefits of these practices and encourage farmers to incorporate them into their operation,” Northey said.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship received $3 million in one-time funding to support statewide science-based water quality practices.  The Department has set aside up to $1.8 million that will be available to support these practices this fall.  The funds can be used over the next five years and it is anticipated additional rounds of funding will be available that will include assistance for additional nutrient reduction practices, including buffers, bioreactors, wetlands, and others listed in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

(Press Release)

Cass County Extension Report 08-07-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

August 7th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Play

USDA survey shows Iowa cropland getting drier

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

August 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A U.S. Department of Agriculture weekly survey shows Iowa’s cropland is getting drier as most of the state sees little rainfall. The agency says 41 percent of topsoil had adequate or surplus moisture, down 8 percentage points from the previous week. An estimated 54 percent of subsoil was in the adequate to surplus range.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey notes that cooler weather was putting less stress on crops, but the lower temperatures have caused plants to develop more slowly. That comes amid a season in which crops already were far behind five-year averages.

The USDA found that corn conditions worsened slightly, with 5 percent rated very poor, 12 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 41 percent good and 10 percent excellent.

Hungry for home-grown sweet corn? This is Iowa Farmers Markets Week

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowans who love the taste of farm-fresh sweet corn, tomatoes and other just-picked veggies already know where to go — as this is Iowa Farmers Market Week. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says there are more than 220 farmers markets across the state, and you’re never too far away from one. Northey says, “They’re one or two or sometimes three times a week in a location so you kind of have to pay attention to know where it’s at, but boy, once people get going, it becomes something they always want to get to and see what new products are there, meet and see friends and just get caught up on what’s going on.”

Northey says farmers markets sell more than just produce, but that is the number-one lure. “The produce and the changing of the seasons is certainly one of the things that draws folks there,” Northey says. “When strawberries show up or when sweet corn shows up, we see a surge in traffic but there’s also baked goods and crafts and other kinds of things, depending on what each market has.”

About a year ago, the state ag department launched a free downloadable smart phone app which offers a searchable database of Iowa’s farmers markets. Learn more at: www.agriculture.state.ia.us

(Radio Iowa)