Officials with the Cass County Conservation Department are reminding area residents that the Great Backyard Bird Count Program will be held at the Atlantic Public Library Community Room, this Saturday February 11th, beginning at 1-p.m. During the event, you’ll learn how to participate in this wonderful citizen science project, and about basic bird identification.
The first Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) was held in 1998. The 20th annual GBBC takes place February 17th-20th in backyards, parks, nature centers, on hiking trails, school grounds, balconies, and beaches—anywhere you find birds. Bird watchers count the birds they see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, then enter their checklists at birdcount.org. All the data contribute to a snapshot of bird distribution and help scientists see changes over the past 20 years.
The family-oriented program is for bird watchers of all ages, and is free of charge. All you need is basic knowledge of bird identification It is not required that you record every species you see, only those that can be properly identified. To participate in the bird count either call the Conservation Board at 712-769-2372 and receive everything you need in the mail (or pick up in the office), or go to the website: http://gbbc.birdcount.org/ and follow the instructions.
The Cass County Cattleman’s Association held their annual banquet and awards program Saturday night, at the Cass County Community Center, in Atlantic. During the awards and scholarship portion of the program, scholarships were awarded to Haley Carlson, Clayton Sauegling and Tyler McAfee.
Award presented include:
You’re invited to join Iowa State University Extension & Outreach Field Agronomist, Aaron Saeugling, and Iowa State University Farm Coordinator for Southwest Iowa, Jim Rogers, for a one-hour presentation covering the newest farm trials conducted across the state. The Ag Input Meeting for Montgomery County will be held this Friday, February 10th, from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm at the Extension office in Red Oak.
Do you have crop input questions for 2017? Do you wonder what research Iowa State University is doing in southwest Iowa? Do you value independent research results? Would you like to see demonstrations conducted on farm fields? ISU’s Saeugling and Rogers will also answer participants’ questions about crop input in the upcoming growing season.
Ag Input Meetings will be conducted all across southwest Iowa this winter. There will be one held at the Montgomery County Extension Office located at 400 Bridge Street, Suite 2 on Friday, February 10, 2017 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Complementary cookies and coffee will be served. There is no fee to attend and pre-registration is not required.
For more information contact Montgomery County Extension at 712-623-2592.
Shelby County will offer the Commercial Ag Weed, Insect and Plant Disease Management Continuing Instruction Course (CIC) for commercial pesticide applicators Tuesday, February 14, 2017. The program will be shown at locations across Iowa through the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP).
The local attendance site is 906 6th St, Harlan. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the course runs from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The registration fee is $35 on or before Feb. 7 and $45 after Feb. 7. To register or to obtain additional information about the CIC, contact the Shelby County Extension and Outreach office by phoning 712-755-3104.
The course will provide continuing instruction credit for commercial pesticide applicators certified in categories 1A, 1B, 1C, and 10. Topics covered will include information on safe handling and storage of pesticides, laws and regulations, personal protective equipment, and pests and pest management.
Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in Pest Management will be offered at this program. Any interested participant should bring his or her CCA number. Additional information and registration forms for this and other courses offered by the PSEP program can be accessed at www.extension.iastate.edu/PSEP/ComAp.html.
Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources reports 88 out of 99 Iowa’s counties notified the DNR in January that they plan to evaluate construction permit applications and proposed locations for animal confinements by using the master matrix. With 11 exceptions, all counties will use the matrix during the next 12 months. None of the counties who decided against using the Master Matrix are located in southwest Iowa.
Animal producers in the counties choosing to implement the Master Matrix must meet higher standards than other confinement producers who also need a construction permit. They qualify by choosing a site and using practices that reduce impacts on air, water and the community.
Counties that adopt the master matrix can provide more input to producers on site selection, and proposed structures and facility management. Participating counties score each master matrix submitted in their county and can recommend to approve or deny the construction permit. They can also join in DNR visits to a proposed confinement site.
While all counties may submit comments to DNR during the permitting process, counties that adopt the master matrix can also appeal a preliminary permit to the state Environmental Protection Commission. The deadline for enrolling in the program is Jan. 31 of each year.
Find more information, including a map of participating counties by searching for Master Matrix at www.iowadnr.gov/afo.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Some varieties of Skoal, Copenhagen, Cope and Husky brand smokeless tobacco are being voluntarily recalled amid complaints of metal objects, some of them sharp, being spotted in cans.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says all of the recalled products were manufactured at U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company’s facility in Franklin Park, Illinois. The FDA says the company initiated the recall after getting eight consumer complaints about the metal objects in six states. The FDA says the object was visible in each case and there have been no reports of injury.
Most of the company’s cans are not affected by the recall.
A full list of the recalled products is on the FDA’s website . The agency says anyone who has one of the recalled cans can return it for a refund.
Officials at biotech and seed industry giant DuPont say they need an extra three months to complete the merger with rival Dow. Iowa Farmers Union President Aaron Lehman of Polk City says the delay will give union members more time to weigh in with their opposition to the merger, as well as to other proposed pairings in the industry.
“Our farmers at our recent convention were pretty clear about what they thought, that not only this merger but the other mergers going on in agribusines now limit farmers’ choices,” Lehman says. “Innovation tends to take a hit when there’s fewer people doing it.” DuPont is the parent company of the Iowa-founded Pioneer Hi-Bred International. Lehman says the farmers union is also carefully watching deals involving Bayer and Monsanto as well as ChemChina and Syngenta.
“We need to take a long look at all of these large agri-business mergers and see if the farmers’ interests can be protected,” Lehman says. “What we see is less and less options for farmers which will ultimately lead to higher prices.” These mergers are coming at a bad juncture, he says, given the depressed agricultural economy.
“When the industry is under stress and under crisis, there are going to be opportunities for some mergers to take place,” Lehman says. “It just piles another brick on the load that farmers are carrying, along with very low, depressed commodity prices. We have to deal with fewer choices and ultimately higher input prices. The timing couldn’t be worse.” The initial closing date on the Dow-DuPont merger was March but now the companies hope to complete the process by the end of June.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Pork industry experts say U.S. consumers shouldn’t worry about a bacon shortage. The reassurance comes amid news that demand for bacon depleted frozen pork belly supplies in the U.S. to a record low for December. Pork bellies are the cut of the hog from which bacon is derived.
But the industry is confident it can boost hog production enough to avoid any serious shortages. Steve Meyer is a pork industry economist for Express Markets Inc., which tracks industry trends for retailers and foodservice companies.
He expects pork production to increase about 3 percent this year. So if prices do climb, they should stabilize once the industry catches up. Bottom line: A pound of bacon may cost a little more as winter wears on, but prices should stabilize by summer.
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - An invasive weed that can grow up to 7 feet tall has been found in nearly half of Iowa’s counties, and experts say farmers need to act quickly if the plant is found in their fields.
Bob Hartzler is a professor of weed science at Iowa State University. He tells the Telegraph Herald that the species known as Palmer amaranth shouldn’t be ignored and has the potential to drive farmers out of business. The weed prominently appeared in the region’s cotton fields in the 2000s. It was categorized as a “super weed” because of its ability to quickly grow and its resistance to many herbicides.
In 2013, the weed was spotted in five Iowa counties. As of October, it had been seen in nearly half of Iowa’s 99 counties.