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.

Shelby FSC to Pay $21,450 Civil Penalty for Sale of Restricted Use Pesticides

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the U-S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Kansas report Farm Services Cooperative (FSC), of Shelby,Iowa, has agreed to pay a $21,450 civil penalty to theUnited States for the unauthorized sales of restricted use pesticides. 

According to an administrative consent agreement filed by EPA Region 7 in Lenexa, Kan., the Shelby FSC on three occasions sold restricted use pesticides to an individual that was not certified to apply such pesticides, violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).  

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship conducted an inspection of the Shelby facility on November 19th, 2012.  The inspector documented the sale of the restricted use pesticides Atrazine and Grazon to persons not certified to apply such pesticides on three occasions in May and June of the same year. 

Restricted use pesticides are highly toxic chemicals whose misuse may pose significant potential harm to human health or to the environment. Under FIFRA, a restricted use pesticide can be applied only by or under, the direct supervision of a certified applicator. Sale or distribution of restricted use pesticides to persons not certified to apply such products and their subsequent misuse or misapplication may result in environmental harm or in injury or death to persons. 

As part of its settlement with the EPA, Farm Services Cooperative has certified that it is presently in compliance with FIFRA and its regulations.

Cass County Extension Report 05-29-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

May 29th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Play

Wet spring raises soybean sudden death risk

Ag/Outdoor

May 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The cool wet spring has delayed planting for corn farmers but it also has presented a problem for soybean producers. A soil-borne fungus that thrives in excessively wet years causes a disease known as sudden death syndrome in soybean plants. It can destroy entire fields or parts of fields. In 2010, Iowa farmers lost about 28 million bushels of soybeans to SDS.

Leonor Leandro, Iowa State University assistant professor of plant pathology, says the key is to plant resistant soybean varieties. She says conditions favoring SDS include compacted soils, soils with poor drainage, and fields with a history SDS. Leandro says a drier summer will reduce the risk of SDS. If the plants get into reproductive stages and the weather turns wet, the disease may surface.

Soggy weather delays corn, soybean planting

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 85 percent of Iowa’s corn crop and 40 percent of the state’s soybean crop has been planted. The estimates released Tuesday by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service show the corn crop is far behind the five-year-average of 98 percent for this time of year. The soybean crop’s five-year average is 83 percent planted by this time.

Although planting is behind the average due to a cold spring and recent persistent rain, farmers were able to make a lot of progress during a dry stretch last week. The rain also has improved pasture and range conditions, with 89 percent now seen as in fair, good or excellent conditions, though some land along streams has flooded.

Flooding impacts several state parks in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reports Springbrook State Park, near Guthrie Center, is closed due to flood conditions on Springbrook Creek and the Middle Raccoon River. Three other state parks overlooking scenic Iowa rivers are also closed after heavy rainfall sent the rivers out of their banks, flooding the parks. George Wyth State Park, in Black Hawk County, will likely be close through the weekend due to flood conditions on the Cedar River. 

Dolliver State Park, in Webster County, closed at noon Monday, when theDes Moines River left its banks. The river blocked access to the cabins and campground, but the north shelter and south lodge and group camp remain open. Walnut Woods State Park has been closed in anticipation of the City of West Des Moines closing And, Walnut Woods Drive due to a flood warning for the Raccoon River. The DNR is contacting all reservations to arrange for a refund. Updates will be provided on the DNR’s website www.iowadnr.gov/Destinations/StateParksRecAreas/ClosureInformation.aspx 

In addition to the campground closures, the Neal Smith Trail, along the Des Moines River, will likely be flooded when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers increases the water release from Saylorville Lake. Signs and barricades will be posted alerting users of the closure. Rock Creek State Park will reopen once the electric pedestals are inspected. As of Sunday, Rock Creek Lake had returned to its banks.

Program aims to help Iowans learn to garden & feed themselves

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 28th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Gardening is being promoted to Iowans through a new statewide initiative that’s designed to reach out to people who’ve never grown anything as well as current gardeners who might be able to grow a little more to give away. Angie Tagtow is project coordinator for Cultivate Iowa. “We are focusing our efforts on low-resource Iowans to encourage them to think about gardening as a way of not only putting fresh foods on their plates but also saving their food budget and hopefully improving health and food security,” Tagtow says. 

The project also targets existing gardeners, encouraging them to grow more produce and donate it to a nearby food pantry or community group. Gardening doesn’t need to take a lot of time or money, in fact, she says it should save you both commodities. Through gardening, Tagtow says you can keep some green in your pocket while also putting green on your table. “You don’t need to have a back yard to grow a little bit of your own food,” Tagtow says. “If you go to the Cultivate Iowa page and click on the garden link, we’ve got some simple steps in which all of us can do to grow some really wonderful vegetables in containers.” 

In fact, using containers as a garden also means fewer weeds to pull. The website, www.cultivateiowa.org, contains a trove of downloadable information on how to start the process of tilling the soil and growing delicious veggies. ”Tomatoes and peppers are great container garden as well as backyard garden plants,” Tagtow says. “Easy to grow, they’re some of the best-tasting vegetables that we have and some of the vegetables that we most often eat here inIowa. So, tomatoes and peppers and greens also do really well whether it’s directly sewn into the ground or in containers as well.” 

To get started, she says, all you really need is a container, potting soil and either seeds or plants. For established gardeners who can grow a little extra to donate, CultivateIowaenables them to make pledges, find nearby organizations that accept fresh produce and track their donations.

(Radio Iowa)

6th Annual Western Iowa No-till (WIN) Field Day is near

Ag/Outdoor

May 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the ISU Extension Service say the 6th Annual Western Iowa No-till (WIN) Demonstration Field Day, scheduled for June 11th at the Carstens 1880 Farmstead south of Shelby, will address a wide variety of topics for anyone interested in learning more about practical application and trouble-shooting for no-till production. The day starts at 8-a.m., when registration and vendor displays open. A wide variety of local agribusinesses will be on hand to visit with producers in the morning and demonstrate their services/equipment.

The field day begins at 9-a.m., with breakout sessions covering common challenges of corn-on-corn no-till and an overview of recent Iowa Soybean Association trials on deep ripping and nitrogen placement. The breakout sessions will be followed by a weather outlook for the coming crop year, and a lunchtime discussion on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. After lunch, keynote speaker Neil Harl will present “A Look Ahead for Agriculture: Major Concerns on the Horizon”. Lunch will be provided free of charge to all in attendance, including steak sandwiches grilled by the Pottawattamie County Cattlemen. The day will wrap up with a presentation on achieving success in long-term no-till and cover crop usage from an Iowa producer perspective.

Anyone with an interest in the practical application of no-till production, whether looking for ideas to begin adopting no-till practices or a long-time no-till producer looking to improve production results, is encouraged to attend this daylong educational event. In addition to the educational sessions at the 2013 WIN Field Day, there will be plenty of time for farmers to visit informational displays, vendor exhibits and network with other producers. 4 hours of CCA Credits have been applied for, and will be available at no cost for Certified Crop Advisors needing additional continuing education units this year.

There is no charge to attend this event, but pre-registration is requested by June 6th to ensure a lunch will be available. Registration can be completed by e-mailing csgorham@iastate.edu or by calling the Harrison County Extension Office at 888-644-2105. More information is available at many local ISU Extension and NRCS offices, or can be found online at www.extension.iastate.edu/cass.

Survey: More younger Iowans are buying farmland

Ag/Outdoor

May 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s high land values are having an impact who owns farmland in the state. Iowa State University agricultural economist Mike Duffy is releasing the results from the 2012 Farmland Ownership Survey and says it appears the economy has been good to Iowa’s young people.
Duffy says, “We’re seeing an increase in the land owned by people under the age of 35 and I think this is a reflection of the boom period.” Duffy says more young adults see opportunities on the farm and are returning to rural areas of the state after college. But, he says the youngest landowners are also the most likely to be holding mortgages. Among all pieces of Iowa farmland, 78-percent are owned free of debt. On the other side of the coin, Duffy says some farmers are working into their 70s and 80s and the demographics of farmland ownership reflect that.

Duffy says, “We now have 30% of the land, three in every ten acres, is owned by somebody over the age of 75.” He expected that number to be even higher. Still, he says young people are buying land, while the percentage of land owned by the mid-career age group has declined slightly. Iowa State conducts its farmland ownership survey every five years.

(Radio Iowa)

Climatologist: 2013 weather pattern doesn’t bode well for crop production

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

May 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The month of May is winding down and weather-wise, it’s been marked by extremes. Elwynn Taylor is climatologist with Iowa State University Extension. He notes the state broke a record from 1947 for May snowfall and also set record high temperatures for the month. “When we get extremes like that, it is not considered a good omen for what will come with the season,” Taylor says. Taylor notes 2013 has mirrored the weather of 1947 – and that doesn’t bode well for corn and soybean production this year.

“1947 is in the category of being one of the six worst years for crop production and that includes the Dust Bowl,” Taylor says. Like this year, 1947 was marked by a very wet spring. “Then, it went hot and dry in the middle of July and August. That’s when the destruction to the corn came in,” Taylor said. With around 25-percent of Iowa’s corn yet to be planted as we approach Memorial Day, Taylor says corn yields will likely be below trend once again this year.

(Radio Iowa)

Spring rain, no frost could mean big Iowa harvest

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 24th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says growers are hopeful for a bountiful crop of spring produce that could begin showing up at farmers markets soon. Northey says a cool spring delayed the crop a bit, but the weather has improved and timely spring rain and the lack of a killing frost could produce a big harvest.

Produce such as strawberries, asparagus and rhubarb is beginning to become available, and later crops such as radishes, carrots, green beans and leafy greens should be harvested soon. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website lists the state’s farmers markets as well as farm stands and many farms where people can buy produce. Go to www.IowaAgriculture.gov , and click on Data Searches and Directories on the bottom right side of the page.