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.

Branstad to testify before EPA on fuel standards

Ag/Outdoor

December 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Terry Branstad will go to Virginia this week to testify against a proposal to reduce the amount of ethanol required to be blended into gasoline. Branstad announced his plans Tuesday, saying he’ll testify Thursday at a public hearing organized by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA proposes to reduce by almost 3 billion gallons the amount of biofuels required to be blended into gasoline in 2014.

Branstad is among many politicians and industry executives who are defending the current levels of ethanol and biodiesel in the nation’s fuel supply. At a recent event, Branstad argued the EPA has embarked on a war on corn that threatens thousands of jobs. Iowa is the nation’s leading corn producer and top ethanol maker.

First shotgun deer season opens Saturday

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 2nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The first shotgun deer season in Iowa opens this coming Saturday (December 7th), while the bow hunting season that’s underway will continue through January 10th. D-N-R wildlife research supervisor, Willie Suchy says your odds of taking a deer get better in the shotgun season. “In 2012 the shotgun hunters had 35-40-percent success and archery was right around 25, in that neighborhood — so about 10-percent less,” Suchy says. While the chances are better you’ll get a deer with a shotgun,

Suchy says bow hunting has some of its own advantages. “Archery has allure from two aspects of it,” Suchy explains, “One is it’s a longer season so you’ve got more time to spend. You get to kind of specialize on working on deer.” And the second factor is some hunters believe the lower success rate of bow hunting tests their skill more. “I think it’s a challenge for some people,” Suchy says. Hunters have to prepare differently for each method.

“Hunting is a very safe activity overall and the dangers are a little bit different between hunting with a bow and hunting with a shotgun or firearm,” according to Suchy. “Bow hunters tend to sit in stands and trees and most of the injuries tend to occur in mishaps in stands where they fall.” The shotgun season sees more problems with hunters not using proper safety practices. “With firearms it’s more of making sure that you’re shooting at a clear target so you know where the bullet is going to go — so if you’re hunting in a group there’s nobody in danger,” Suchy says.

The first shotgun deer season runs through December 11th. The second shotgun season runs December 14th through the 22nd.

(Radio Iowa)
Find out more at: www.iowadnr.gov.

Economist challenges idea of aging farmer crisis

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Agriculture economists have long warned that aging farmers are staying on their land longer, delaying turnover to a younger generation. But Ohio State University agriculture economist Carl Zulauf says the fears have been overstated. Zulauf said in a report last month that history shows there’s an influx of young farmers when it’s possible to earn a good living. Farm income will likely reach a record $131 billion this year.

Iowa State University economist Mike Duffy still worries that the percentage of farm land held by people older than 75 has increased at an unprecedented pace in the last two decades. Lindsey Lusher Shute, a 34-year-old farmer from Clermont, New York says getting started has been “incredibly difficult” but she and her husband are slowly making it work.

Water levels being lowered on Missouri River

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 30th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Water levels on the Missouri River below Gavins Point Dam have been falling in recent days and the levels will continue to fall as releases from the dam are further cut back. Dave Becker, operations manager for the U-S Army Corps of Engineers at the dam, says they are headed into their winter flow pattern which will be lower this year as the region is still recovering from the drought of 2012. Becker says, “We have been stepping down our releases at 3,000 cubic feet per second per day, starting on (November) 23rd, hoping to get down to about 15,000 CFS.” Once that level is reached, he says it’s typical to hold up on any further cuts in the flow rate.

“They’ll run 15,000 for a few days and see if we’re still meeting the water needs downstream and if we are, they’ll probably inch us down to 12,000,” he says. Not only is navigation an issue, but some communities along the Missouri River have intakes for their water systems at certain heights. Flows coming from the dam are well below what would be normal for winter levels, as the reservoir system upstream is still rebounding from the effects of last year’s drought.

“On a normal situation, when the reservoir system is at a level where we can support that, we have a winter flow of 17,000,” Becker says. “Because we’re a little low in the reservoir system yet, they’re conserving water.” Even though 2013 has been a little wetter than normal, the system is still recovering from the severe drought of 2012. With the changes following the months-long flood of 2011, Becker says 12,000 cubic feet per second today is equivalent to a flow of 8,000 cubic feet several years ago.

(Radio Iowa)

Villisca man named Farmer of the Year by a non-profit organization

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 29th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The non-profit Easter Seals Iowa organization has named a 50-year old Villisca man as its “Farmer of the Year.” The Daily NonPareil reports Russell Boseck received the honor Nov. 19th during the Easter Seals Iowa annual meeting at Camp Sunnyside, in Des Moines. Easter Seals is a group that ensures people with disabilities and special needs have equal opportunities. Russell has farmed for 20 years and utilizes a wheelchair.

Boseck said he overcame a lot of things because of his disability. He was still motivated to do hard work on his father’s farm, which he took over about six years ago. Boseck started a bottle calf program for day-old calves. He cares for about 200 calves each year. He then transports, raises and sells them. A new calf barn also was designed with a steel structure, which allowed small pens to be placed for wheelchair accessibility.

Boseck sells his cattle mostly through Internet sales and livestock auctions. His customers have included those from western Nebraska, South Dakota and Kansas City, Mo.

Ethanol’s rise can mean loss of hunting lands

Ag/Outdoor

November 27th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Since the government began requiring ethanol be added to gasoline, the states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska have lost 2.8 million acres of land set aside in the U.S. Conservation Reserve Program.

Hunters, who are big business in that part of the country, say they have felt the loss of habitats for ducks, pheasants, grouse and other wildlife as native grasslands that provided shelter to the birds have been overtaken by corn and soy crops, the main feedstock used to produce ethanol.

Pheasant harvests in the region have declined by 44 percent since 2006. The owner of a Nebraska hotel popular among hunters says, “Everything’s against the pheasants right now.”

Cass County Extension Report 11-27-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

November 27th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Play

Deer donation program starts up again in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 27th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A popular deer donation program is starting up again in Iowa. The state Department of Natural Resources says the program, Help Us Stop Hunger, involves hunters bringing in a whole deer that will be processed into packages of ground meat. The Food Bank of Iowa coordinates the distribution of the meat to local food pantries.

Jim Coffey, who coordinates the program, says hunters simultaneously reduce the deer herd and provide needed protein to the food bank. Iowa hunters have donated more than 56,000 deer to the program since it began. More than 5,200 deer were donated last year, resulting in 800,000 meals.

Cass Co. Conservation announces Swan Contest winner

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Naturalist Lora Kanning says a winner has been selected in a contest to guess the arrival date of Trumpeter Swans at the Schildberg Recreation Area. Kanning says the sponsors of the contest have determined the official arrival of the swans as November 12th. On that day, 12 Trumpeter Swans were there and stayed more than twenty-four hours. The winner is Jean Granger, of Atlantic. She will receive a Trumpeter Swan 8×10 print from the Cass County Conservation Board.  Cass County Conservation thanks to all who participated.

Economist: plenty of demand for record corn crop

Ag/Outdoor

November 26th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

An ag economist with Iowa State University Extension predicts there will be plenty of demand for this year’s record corn crop. Earlier this month, the USDA predicted U.S. corn growers will produce 14 billion bushels and ISU Ag Economist Chad Hart says the 4.9 billion bushels forecast for ethanol use seems about right. “Things look like they’re stabilizing for the ethanol industry, so I think that 4.9 (billion bushels) number is a pretty good one,” Hart says.

The USDA estimate for corn used for ethanol was raised about 200 million bushels compared to the last report in September. Iowa is expected to lead the nation in corn production with over 2.2 billion bushels. Hart says if there is a bullish argument for corn, it’s in the potential for strong exports.  “We’ve already seen some tremendous response there,” Hart says. “In 2012, the corn market export got cut in half. We’ve seen it rebound and the USDA is putting it at 1.4 billion bushels. I think we could get up around 1.6 (billion) because of the pace we’ve seen thus far. We’ve got some customers out there for our corn.”

Hart says there is one country in particular that has a big demand for U.S. corn: China. “China does not like to buy corn. They like to be self-sufficient, but this year, even with a record corn crop domestically in that country, they’re still importing a lot of corn from us,” Hart says. “In fact, during the government shutdown, they were our biggest buyer of corn.”

The USDA’s final crop report for this season, released Monday, shows 97-percent of Iowa’s corn acreage is harvested. Dry conditions continue to threaten the next growing season. Around 55-percent of Iowa’s crop acreage is rated as short to very short of subsoil moisture as the soil freezes.

(Radio Iowa)