KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Large harvest equipment rolling on Iowa roads

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 3rd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa motorists are reminded harvest time is underway and drivers should be prepared to encounter combines and other large farm equipment on the road. Chuck Schwab, a safety specialist with Iowa State University Extension, says rear end collisions are among the most common crashes involving farm machinery. “Motor vehicles go at a much higher rate of speed than agricultural equipment, so you have this fast closing distance and rear end collisions are very prominent if you’re not prepared to stop,” Schwab says.

When attempting to pass farm machinery, Schwab urges motorists to be patient and make sure they know the farm equipment won’t be turning left. “You need to make sure you’re in line and know that they’re not turning left, watch for the signals and the movement of equipment before you make that pass,” Schwab says.

In addition to roadway collisions, Schwab says the most common type of farm vehicle related accidents include roll-overs involving tractors, lawnmowers, and all terrain vehicles.

(Radio Iowa)

West Nile virus still a threat to Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 1st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Public Health is reminding you to remember to protect yourself against mosquitoes if you are out taking advantage of the remaining warm fall days. Deputy State Epidemiologist Ann Garvey says one threat in particular is still looming. “Late summer and early fall through October is really the peak time when we see West Nile transmission,” Garvey says. ” I think that a lot of us are pretty cognizant and throw in the sunscreen and throw in the bug repellent in the summer months. But as we get into the fall, sometimes we forget that.”

Doctor Garvey says you should remember the key times of the day when the mosquitoes are active. “Mosquitoes here in Iowa that transmit West Nile Virus are most active from really the dusk ’til dawn hours. And so again — it’s important to wear repellent — especially during those hours,” Garvey says. Garvey says the West Nile carrying mosquitoes like stagnant water to breed in, so it is important to dump out standing water.

There’s been a lot of water in some areas due to flooding, but she says that doesn’t mean the population of West Nile mosquitoes has dramatically increased. “Generally speaking when we have flooding events we tend to see what we call flood water mosquitoes, which aren’t as good at transmitting diseases like West Nile virus,” Garvey explains. “But this time we are having kind of the peak West Nile season overlap with some of out flood events So, while a majority of those mosquitoes in flooding events will be floodwater mosquitoes, there will be some that are the likely types that can transmit West Nile Virus.”

There have already been more than one dozen cases of West Nile confirmed. She says there have been 15 human cases confirmed and they are investigating several more which leads them to believe they will have more cases than last year. There are also cases of West Nile in horses and in mosquitoes caught in monitor traps, so Garvey says they know it is out there. Mosquitoes like the warm fall nights just like you do.

“Mosquitoes do really well in the 80-degree temperatures and above. And they do okay in the 70-degrees. Once we get kind of below the 60’s, it’s pretty cold for them and they often go dormant,” Garvey says. Doctor Garvey says the best repellent contains the chemical known as DEET, and says you should read the label before applying it to children.

West Nile can be fatal in some cases, and the last time that happend in Iowa was in 2010 whent there were two deaths. For more information about West Nile virus, visit the Iowa Department of Public Health’s website.

(Radio Iowa)

Shelby County Fire Danger is “High” this weekend

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 1st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert said Friday, the Fire Danger Index in the County will be “High” this weekend, due to the dry harvest conditions. Seivert says that means extra precautions should be taken when planning an open burn. He says while the ground may still be damp, the vegetation is very dry, and it may ignite and burn more rapidly. The “High Fire Danger” rating will remain in-place until Monday, when the next update on conditions will be made available.High Fire Danger

2016 National 4-H Week – Celebrate Montgomery County 4-H!


September 30th, 2016 by Chris Parks

national 4-h week logo RGB(Red Oak, IA) – Now is the time of year for youth to join and participate in 4-H, the youth development program of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

4-H grows confidence, creativity, curiosity, courage, character and so much more by allowing youth to use the skills they learn to go out and make a positive difference in their communities.  Help Iowa 4-H celebrate the outstanding impact youth have made throughout the state during National 4-H Week October 2-8.

4-H is active in each of Iowa’s 100 county extension districts and empowers youth to reach their full potential through many different types of experiences including photography, music, woodworking, sewing, archery, livestock and horticulture. Youth have fun while gaining valuable skills in communication and the arts, citizenship and leadership, science, technology, engineering and math, as well as healthy living and personal life management by being involved in 4-H.

“4-H in Montgomery County encompasses many aspects – from community clubs to Clover Kids and afterschool STEM programs,” states Chelsea Cousins, ISU Extension and Outreach Program Coordinator. “It’s a great way for youth in our community to develop lifelong skills and explore possible careers interests.”

As National 4-H Week fastly approaches it is important to remember the 4-H pledge, which is recited at nearly every 4-H club meeting, and what it teaches. ‘I pledge my Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to greater loyalty, my Hands to larger service and my Health to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world.’

To learn more about how 4-H youth development is empowering young people in Montgomery County, visit extension.iastate.edu/4h, give us a call at 712.623.2592 or stop by our office at 400 Bridge Street, Suite 2 Red Oak, IA

Iowa Ag Secretary urges Iowans to visit the state’s apple orchards and pumpkin patches this Fall


September 30th, 2016 by Chris Parks

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today encouraged Iowans to get out and enjoy Iowa apples, pumpkins and other fall produce by visiting one of the many farms that sell directly to consumers or at the local farmers market.  Timely rains and a warm September have helped produce a plentiful apple and pumpkin crop in Iowa.

“Visiting a local apple orchard or pumpkin patch give you an opportunity to enjoy the freshest locally grown produce and also help support these hard working families and give them the chance to showcase their farm,” Northey said.  “We are hearing reports of very good apple and pumpkin crops across the state and now is the time to get out and enjoy fresh, Iowa-grown produce and make great family memories.”

There are more than 900 acres of apple trees in the state comprised of dozens of great varieties. Orchards are located throughout the state.  Visiting a local orchard is a great way to find new varieties that may not be available in a grocery store.  Ask to try a sample and be adventurous.

Pumpkin production has nearly tripled in the last 3 decades to well over 900 acres at last count.  In addition to family fun carving a jack-o-lantern, pumpkins are also an extremely versatile ingredient in cooking.  Pumpkins make great pies, casseroles and soups.  Pumpkin seeds and flowers can also be cooked and enjoyed.

Many farms also host fall festivals with great family activities such as hay rack rides, corn mazes, local music and other activities in addition to the opportunity to pick your own apples or pumpkins.

A list of apple growers and pumpkin patches can be found on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s directory at:  https://www.idalsdata.org/fmnp/index.cfm

USDA Report 9-29-2016

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 29th, 2016 by Jim Field

w/Denny Heflin.


Cass County Extension Report 9-28-2016

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 28th, 2016 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson.


Cass County Forest Health Walk and Emerald Ash Borer Information Meeting set for October 3rd in Atlantic

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 27th, 2016 by Chris Parks

Local residents are invited to a free, two part workshop on trees this coming Monday, October 3rd. A Forest Health Walk and Emerald Ash Borer Informational meeting is taking place at the Cass County Community Center in Atlantic from 3 to 7 PM on the 3rd.

From 3:00-4:30 PM, the program will begin with a Forest Health Walk. Meet at the Cass County Community Center for this car tour/walk that will travel through Sunnyside Park and be led by Lindsey Barney, DNR Forester and Seth Staashelm, Atlantic Parks and Rec Director. Discussion will focus on common tree and forest health issues, pointing out examples on the walk.

The tour will return to the Cass County Community Center by 4:30 PM, where participants will have an hour break, to find dinner or eat on the grounds before the program resumes at 5:30 PM.

The second part of the program, from 5:30-7:00 PM, will be an Emerald Ash Borer Informational Meeting for Cass County and nearby residents at the Cass County Community Center. Topics covered will include Emerald Ash Borer History and Life Cycle, EAB identification, EAB Management Options, and ash tree alternatives for Cass County. Presenters will be Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and Lindsey Barney, Iowa DNR District Forester.

There is NO COST to attend this workshop, but pre-registration is requested; call the Cass County Extension Office at 712-243-1132 to pre-register or visit www.extension.iastate.edu/cass for more information. Participants are welcome to attend both sessions, or only one, based on their interest level.

The workshop is presented in partnership by ISU Extension in Cass County, Atlantic Parks and Recreation, Iowa DNR and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

Sec. Northey: Proposed new rules on anhydrous “wrong on several levels”


September 26th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Strict new rules for storing a popular farm fertilizer are proposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Iowa’s top farm advocate says the rules are “wrong on several levels.” Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says the rules needs to be thrown out and OSHA should go back to the drawing board. He says the proposed regulations stem from a fatal accident, but they really shouldn’t.

“The premise, coming about after the Texas fertilizer explosion, is completely unrelated to any concerns and it doesn’t really address any concerns around anhydrous ammonia itself,” Northey says. “It’s been a real reach for OSHA to be able to address anhydrous this way.” The blast at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas in April of 2013 leveled the small town, killed 15 people and destroyed dozens of homes. Investigators determined the explosion was caused by a fire that was intentionally set and was not caused by any breach in safety protocols.

Northey says implementation of the regulations will cause a host of problems. Northey says, “It’s just wrong on several levels and there’s certainly not enough time to be able to implement any changes, even though the changes really are not appropriate for what’s needed.” Northey says the cost of complying with the rules comes at a time when farmers and ranchers are already struggling financially and can’t really handle the extra burden.

“Every dollar matters on the farm,” Northey says. “Even with good crops in many areas of the corn belt, those dollars are not going to go far enough to pay for all the costs of putting that crop in the ground and to add extra costs, especially with no benefit to safety, just seems like the wrong thing to do.” Northey says the rules will hurt the smaller, independent retail fertilizer dealers the most.

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture is asking OSHA to delay enforcement of its new requirements for storage of anhydrous ammonia until at least July of 2018.

(Radio Iowa)

Report: 31% of Iowa soybeans fed to Iowa pigs


September 24th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

An analysis of how Iowa’s soybean production is utilized finds that nearly one of every four rows of soybeans is fed to the more than 38 million pigs raised annually in the state. Aaron Putze is director of communications for the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), which conducted the study. “I can’t say that was something new, but it certainly did reinforce how important pig production in Iowa is to the Iowa soybean farmer,” Putze says.

That’s one reason why ISA backed Prestage Foods’ recent efforts to locate a new pork processing facility in Iowa. “More importantly than that, it’s a win for Iowa — to have close to 1,000 additional jobs that are expected to come online with that facility,” Putze says. “Plus the additional bidding for pigs that will result on the open market, the potential additional hogs fed to satisfy the new demand, and the need then for more grain production.”

Putze says pig production creates a market for 2.7 million tons of soybean meal per year, or 31 percent of all soybeans processed in the state. Poultry, including laying hens, broilers and turkeys, account for another 6.4 percent of meal usage.

(Brownfield Ag News/Radio Iowa)