KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Cass County Extension Report 3-8-2017

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

March 8th, 2017 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson.


Six Iowa state parks to host University of Iowa wildlife camps

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 7th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

This summer, six Iowa state parks will host University of Iowa Wildlife Camps for families living near the parks. The popular conservation education day camp program will be offered at Maquoketa Caves, Mines of Spain, George Wyth, Springbrook, Viking Lake and Ledges state parks.

“Wildlife Camps have been a popular educational and recreational experience in the Iowa City area for more than 25 years and we are excited to share this program with kids across the state,” said Jay Gorsh, program coordinator. “Campers can expect to spend a week exploring, learning, playing – in the wild!”

The expansion of the University of Iowa program comes after Wildlife Camps received a REAP (Resource Enhancement and Protection) CEP (Conservation Education Program) grant from the Department of Natural Resources to pilot the program in Iowa state parks.

The camps are for students entering 3rd-6th grade.  Activities will focus on the wildlife, natural habitats and unique features of each state park. Dates of each day camp are as follows:

·         Viking Lake State Park (Stanton): June 12-16

·         George Wyth State Park (Cedar Falls): June 19-23

·         Springbrook State Park (Guthrie Center): June 26-30

·         Ledges State Park (Madrid): July 10-14

·         Maquoketa Caves State Park (Maquoketa): July 17-21

·         Mines of Spain State Recreation Area (Dubuque): July 24-28

Registration is open and enrollment will be limited to 40 students per camp. To register and learn more about the camps visit recserv.uiowa.edu/wildlife-camps-state-parks.

Local 24 Hour Rainfall Totals ending at 7:00 am on Tuesday, March 7

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

March 7th, 2017 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic  .18″
  • Massena  .25″
  • Clarinda  .4″
  • Schleswig  .31″
  • Logan  .32″
  • Bedford  .18″
  • New Market  .45″
  • Red Oak  .4″
  • Carroll  .65″
  • Shenandoah  .23″

Grants offered to Iowa ag education organizations

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 7th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation is offering five grants of up to a thousand dollars ($1,000) to help more people understand the role of agriculture in everyday life. The foundation’s executive director, Will Fett, says any organization that has agriculture education as part of its mission can apply.

“That might be local FFA chapters, local 4H clubs, county farm bureaus, soil and water conservation districts, anybody who really values agriculture and learning about agriculture,” Fett says. Less than two-percent of the U.S. population is connected with production agriculture, yet it accounts for as much as 15-percent of the nation’s workforce.

“The agriculture literacy challenge grants are intended to help people connect the science behind agriculture, to understand the food production system, and how it has value in their daily lives,” Fett says. The grants can be used to fund innovative lessons, activities, speakers, and other projects. The deadline for the grant applications is April 9th.

(Radio Iowa)

ISU study finds nitrogen fertilizer, in proper doses, is good for soil health


March 6th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

An Iowa State University report shows applying nitrogen fertilizer at certain levels to corn and soybeans helps maintain carbon in the soil, bringing a range of environmental and production benefits. I-S-U agronomy professor Michael Castellano co-authored the study and says there’s long been disagreement among scientists and farmers over fertilizer’s impact on the soil. “A lot of folks are under the impression that nitrogen fertilizer, particularly anhydrous ammonia, may be bad for soil health, it may degrade the carbon and the organic matter in our soil,” Castellano says. “We found just the opposite in our studies across the state, all the way from northwest Iowa to southeast Iowa.”

Researchers collected soil samples from the four I-S-U research farms at Sutherland, Ames, Chariton and Crawfordsville in 1999 and 2000 and then again 15 years later after each site received regimented applications of nitrogen fertilizer. “We observed that nitrogen fertilizer was in fact very important for maintaining and improving soil health,” Castellano says. “The reason why it maintained or improved soil health is because it’s critical to increase the production of crop residues in the soil.”

The test compared soil health for various levels of fertilizer applications — be it too low, too high or at optimum levels. “We think by looking at the range in nitrogen fertilizers, we really cleared up this uncertainty about whether nitrogen fertilizer is good or bad for soil health,” Castellano says. “We found that it’s good right up until that optimum level but beyond that, there’s just no improvement to be seen from adding more.”

Funding for the study came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture.

(Radio Iowa)

Hunters killed 3,000 fewer deer in Iowa last year compared to 2015

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

March 4th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Hunters in Iowa killed just under 101,397 deer this past season. Iowa DNR wildlife researcher Tyler Harms says that’s about 3,000 fewer than in the 2015-16 season, but nearly identical to the harvest from two years ago. “We’ve been holding right around that 100,000 mark for the last few years, which to us is a good sign – indicative of a stable deer population in Iowa,” Harms says.

A big factor in the lower numbers this past year was unseasonably warm weather early in the season, according to Harms. He admits some hunters are a frustrated they aren’t seeing as many deer as they’d like. “What we’re hearing, overall statewide, is hunters are pretty pleased with the numbers,” Harms says. “Obviously, that’s going to change depending on specific areas in the state.”

The deer population in southeast Iowa, for example, has decreased. That’s due in large part to a disease outbreak known as E-H-D. “That are was hit pretty hard with epizootic hemorrhagic disease a couple years ago, which can have some pretty drastic impacts on local population,” Harms says.

The Iowa DNR has a goal to manage for a deer population that can provide a harvest of between 100,000 and 120,000 deer each year, based on the recommendations agreed upon by a state deer task force. Around 170,000 hunters took part in the latest deer season. Harms says deer hunting license sales have been “stable” over the last 5 to 6 years.

(Radio Iowa)

Local poultry producers invited to attend a meeting about processing project

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 3rd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

(Oakland, Iowa) –Western Iowa poultry producers are invited to a meeting about a poultry processing project on Thursday, March 9th at 6pm at the Oakland Community Center (614 Dr. Van Zee Rd., Oakland, IA 51560). Local farmers are working with Golden Hills RC&D to aggregate poultry for transport to a USDA-certified processor. The project was piloted last fall and the meeting will discuss future processing details and logistics.

The group will be coordinating a group purchase of chicks to be ready for processing on the same date this spring, and likely with follow-up dates after that. Birds would be picked up at two or three locations in Western Iowa and transported to a USDA-inspected facility in Eastern Nebraska. Kevin Ellis, Poultry Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) will also be at the meeting to answer questions about poultry production.

Producers who join the project will have their birds shipped collectively to a USDA-certified processor in Southeast Nebraska, saving time and money while expanding market opportunities to various wholesale and retail outlets in Iowa and other states. Live birds will be transported to the processing facility using a local contracted hauling company. Processed birds will then be shipped via refrigerated truck to restaurants, stores, consumers, or a cold storage facility in Harlan, depending on the producers’ preferences.

Funding for this project was made possible by the Local Food Promotion Program managed by the Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, with matching funds from Golden Hills RC&D. For more information about the project, visit www.swiffi.org/poultry or contact Golden Hills RC&D at 712-482-3029 or lance@goldenhillsrcd.org.

Loess Hills Alliance Day on the Hill is March 13th

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 3rd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Golden Hills RC&D (Resource, Conservation and Development), in Oakland, invite you to join them Monday, March 13th at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines.  Loess Hills Alliance (LHA) members and legislators are invited to a “Meet and Greet,” with refreshments from Noon until 4-p.m. in the Iowa State Capitol Rotunda.

It’s an opportunity to learn more about LHA’s history and current work, as well as build relationships with other members and state legislators. The Meet and Greet will also help publicize the Loess Hills Alliance and inform members of the public and the media about the organization.

Shelby County Fire Danger continues to be Moderate this weekend

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 3rd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency reports the County FIRE DANGER index will continue in the “Moderate” category this weekend, due to the anticipated dry, sunny and windy conditions. Dry vegetation is creating the potential for controlled burns to spread out of control.

The next Local update will be Monday, March 6th.

Agronomy Class for Women to be Held at the Iowa State University McNay Memorial Research Farm


March 2nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Agronomy in the Field is a multi-session workshop being offered to women landowners, farmers, conservationists and other women who are interested in learning more about agronomy.  This series of workshops will be held monthly at the McNay Memorial Research Farm near Chariton, IA. The farm is located at 45249 170th Ave, Chariton, IA 50049.

The goals of this series are to strengthen agronomic skills for women that allow for better decision-making, provide a better understanding of inputs for crop production, see and understand different conservation practices and increase confidence in communication with spouse, farming partner, ag retailer or tenant.

“We plan to cover topics on planting conditions, crop growth and development, replant considerations, weed, disease and insect identification, pest management principles, scouting techniques, forage and pasture management, and additional practices and topics as they come up,” said Rebecca Vittetoe, ISU Extension Field Agronomist.

This series is designed to be hands-on and conducted in the field to see real-time conditions.  Each session will be approximately one hour long; you do not need to commit for the entire season to attend.

There is no charge for this series, but you must register either by signing up here: http://eepurl.com/cw1tA9 or by contacting Extension Field Agronomist, Rebecca Vittetoe at rka8@iastate.edu or 319-653-4811.

A start date will be identified this month and shared with registrants. The first session will be prior to planting, and will look at grazing cover crops. Agronomy in the Field is sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach in cooperation with NCR-SARE Partnership Grant Project ONC17-031.  Local support is provided by Lucas, Marion, Monroe, Warren, and Wayne County Extension.

(ISU Extension Press Release)