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.

Free Gardening Webinars to Focus on Tree Concerns

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Master Gardener program is once again offering a series of summer webinars free to all local residents with an interest in gardening. The theme for the 2014 Summer Webinar Series is “Totally Trees.” As the Emerald Ash Borer marches across the state, homeowners need to be prepared to recognize signs of damage, know what control options are available, and consider alternatives for replacement trees. All sessions will be held from 6:30-8:00 p.m. The Cass County Extension Office is a local host site.

On Thursday August 14th, ISU Extension Entomologist, Mark Shour, will speak on Tree Pests, with a focus on recent pests of trees such as the Emerald Ash Borer and the impact of these pests on the Iowa landscape. On Thursday September 4th, Jeff Iles, Extension Nursery and Landscape Specialist, will speak on Ash Alternatives, providing ideas of other species of trees to consider planting in the home landscape.

Local participants will watch the presentation live from campus, projected onto a large screen, and have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the topic live with the presenter. There is no charge to attend the classes, and no requirements to attend previous sessions. Anyone with an interest in the topic is welcome to attend and learn.

Study details millions of tons of Iowa farmland lost to soil erosion

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A new study shows significant soil erosion in Iowa this year. Craig Cox, with the Environmental Working Group, says soil erosion is a major problem for water quality, and it also hurts farm production while damaging the environment. “From this spring through June, about 15-million tons of Iowa soil was eroded from farm fields,” Cox says. “That estimate doesn’t include the amount of soil from these ephemeral gullies which is what our study looked at.” The study found almost one-third of that lost soil came from just four counties: Adair, Cass, Clayton and Pottawattamie.

The report surveyed 63-million acres of cropland and found about 35-million acres had a moderate-to-high need for more conservation measures. Cox, the E-W-G’s senior vice president of ag and natural resources, says the study found evidence of farming conservation practices that have helped recently, but he says more needs to be done to reduce soil erosion.

“There were additional conservation measures taken and in four of the five cases there were new grassed waterways or there were grassed waterways that were fixed,” Cox says. “In one case, there was a cover crop and it worked, those practices worked incredibly well and they really solved these problems.” Cox says it’s unfortunate that federal policymakers have cut back on funding for conservation and the Conservation Reserve Program has faded to only 25-million acres nationwide, including about one-and-a-half million acres in Iowa.

(Radio Iowa)

Dunkerton man finally getting tractor back


August 8th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — After 15 years, a northeast Iowa man is getting his tractor back. Kenny Kass told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that he first agreed to lend his restored 1915 Waterloo Boy tractor to the Grout Museum District in Waterloo for six months. Then they wanted it for a year. And now, 15 years have passed. Kass, who lives near Dunkerton, says “I just wanted it out here.”

The tractor, which Kass restored over two months in 1985, will join his collection of 75 to 80 other restored tractor. The Waterloo Boy tractor followed the invention of the first gasoline-powered tractor by John Froelich, who joined with others to organize the Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Co. The business was sold to Deere & Co. in 1918.

Tour the northern Loess Hills prairies on Aug. 16th

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources invites you to take a day to visit prairies in the northern Loess Hills Aug. 16.th The tours are hosted by Iowa Prairie Network, with DNR, Woodbury County Conservation and Iowa Native Plant Society co-sponsoring the first field trip.

The first field trip, “Insects and Wildflowers of the Prairie,” will start north of Sioux City. Open to the public, the tour kicks off at 10 a.m. from Spirit Knoll, three miles north of Stone State Park’s west entrance on state Highway 12. Join insect enthusiast M. J. Hatfield who will be sweeping for insects, doing some show and tell, and educating about insects. Bill and Dianne Blankenship, and Kevin Pape, DNR park ranger, plus many others will help with prairie plant identifications.

Spirit Knoll will be dedicated as a state preserve Oct. 11 with programs and field trips that day, also.

Iowa Prairie Network is providing additional field trips in the afternoon. Bring a brown bag lunch to eat at Calumet Shelter at Stone State Park. A visit to Mount Talbot State Preserve in the park will follow a brief annual meeting. Then those who are interested can make a short trip north to Broken Kettle Grasslands to visit The Nature Conservancy’s Stevenson Preserve.

There will be a dinner at Bill and Dotty Zales’ home in the rural Loess Hills of Plymouth County, a few miles from Broken Kettle, followed by a campfire and camping (if desired).

Please RSVP by Aug. 13 for dinner (and indicate if you prefer vegetarian lasagna) to Dotty Zales at 712-540-0952 or zales66@hotmail.com, or to Dianne Blankenship at bennaid@hotmail.com. Also, indicate if you plan to camp.


Ag Dept offers a chance to picture yourself in agriculture

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Agriculture Department is offering those who’ve never set foot on a farm a chance to do so at the Iowa State Fair. Ag Secretary Bill Northey says all you have to do is visit the Ag Building at the fair. “We’ll have an exhibit that allows folks to stand in front of a screen, and get their picture taken, and choose a scene of agriculture to be behind them. We are calling it ‘Picture themselves in Agriculture’,” Northey explains.

Northey says those in agriculture are right at home at the fair, but he says it’s also provides a lot of insight for others.  “It is really a great place for non-farm families to come and see animals and agriculture and learn more about agriculture,” Northey says. “We’d like to have them come to the Agriculture Building to see that. We have animals giving birth on the grounds, we have the buildings, we have the show arenas.”

Northey says non-farm families can visit and go home understanding a little bit more about agriculture. Northey says most Iowans are impacted by agriculture in some way and probably don’t know it. “We have a lot folks that have jobs that sell things to those farmers, that work for companies that buy things from those farmers and process it. And frankly , we have a lot of folks who wouldn’t even necessarily think they are in an agricultural job. They are at a bank, and insurance company and an awful lot of the business they do in those businesses are related to the farm or folks that are working with farmers.” The Iowa State Fair opened today (Thursday) and runs through August 17th.

(Radio Iowa)

USDA Report 08-07-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

August 7th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Max Dirks


Atlantic City Council authorizes letter of support for NVT REAP grant

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, authorized Mayor Dave Jones to sign a letter of support for a local trails group’s grant application. Dave Chase, with Nishna Valley Trails, Inc., (NVT) approached the Council during their regular meeting saying the letter would help in the processing of a REAP (Resources Enhancement and Protection) Grant from the State of Iowa, for the completion of a section of the T-Bone Trail into Atlantic. Chase said the Iowa Legislature set aside $16-million dollars for REAP-type projects. Applications for a share of that money are due by the middle of this month.

Map showing the proposed trail [dark line] (which runs just north of KJAN)

Map showing the proposed trail [dark line] (which runs just north of KJAN)

The project will cost $550,000, with half that going to pay for a 162-foot long, 12-foot wide pedestrian bridge that will cross Troublesome Creek.Unlike a previous enhancement grant which required a 20-percent local match and has since been paid back, Chase said REAP does not require any additional funds. He said $780,000 has been set aside for projects in communities the size of Atlantic. Chase said funds from the REAP grant would also serve to enhance the Vision Iowa Grant that the Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department will apply for next year to link existing trail systems.

That means it would be very beneficial enhancement to the Schildberg Quarry Recreation Area and Trail. Only three-miles of the 20-mile T-Bone Trail remains to be completed before it is connected to Atlantic. Chase said the Cass County Resource Enhancement Committee has also agreed to sign-off on the application. And, he said NVT has $124,00 in the bank but will continue to seek sources of revenue to get the project completed. When completed, the T-Bone Trail will extend to the Atlantic Municipal Utilities’ well head trail, as well.

Official urges motorists to be aware of more ATVs, ORVs on Iowa roads

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two tragic accidents this past week involving all-terrain and off-road utility vehicles are refocusing attention on safety as well as efforts to allow utility vehicles on city streets and county roads. David Downing of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says sales of A-T-Vs and O-R-Vs — the short-hand for “off-road utility vehicles” — are growing rapidly. “You’re seeing more and more of those vehicles and as the counties start to open up their roads and city jurisdictions open up their roads for ATVs and ORVs, obviously there’s more interaction with motor vehicles and all kinds of other things,” he says, “so people need to be aware of that.”

On Saturday, four 14-year-old boys were killed when the utility vehicle they were riding in was hit by a pick-up truck that ran a stop sign near Epworth. Two nine-year-old boys died in an A-T-V accident Monday on a farm near Mount Vernon. Representative Curt Hansen, a Democrat from Fairfield who taught driver’s ed for 43 years, urges Iowans to take the safety courses that are available.  “They don’t handle like a vehicle designed for roadway use and so there’s a lot of limitations that people have to realize,” Hansen says.

Downing says his agency offers an A-T-V safety course. “You can take the class online. It’s available 24 hours a day or you can take a hands-on class,” Downing says. “There’s also the ATV Safety Institute, which you get a certificate back from them, the manufacturers, when you purchase an ATV, then you’re able to take the course free of charge.” Downing says A-T-V drivers have to learn how to shift their weight to balance the machine as it moves. Representative Hansen says he worries about the larger, off-road utility vehicles that have bench seats.

“They’re almost golf carts on steroids,” Hansen says. “They’re just very, very fast and the vulnerability increases with the increase in speed.” Four-wheel A-T-Vs may be driven on rural roads and county highways today if they’re being used for farming. Some local city and county ordinances also allow A-T-Vs, golf carts and other off-road utility vehicles on local roads, but the operator has to be a licensed driver, the vehicle can’t go more than 35 miles an hour and the hours of operation are limited to between sunrise and sunset.

A bill that would have allowed A-T-Vs and off-road utility vehicles on every rural road and county highway in Iowa passed the House this spring, but stalled in the Senate. Representative Brian Moore, a Republican from Bellevue who has been pushing for the legislation, says it only would have applied to Iowans who are above the age of 16 and who have a valid drivers license. “Of course, you get stuff out on the road, four-wheelers and ATVs and more traffic out on the road, there’s going to be a risk,” Moore says. “There’s a risk on bicycles. There’s a risk on walking.”

Moore says he doesn’t plan to introduce the bill again in 2014 unless there are major changes in the make-up of the state senate and he determines the bill could pass the the senate.

(Radio Iowa)

2014 Cass County Fair FFA Recap

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 5th, 2014 by Jim Field

By Haley Carlson
Atlantic FFA Reporter

This year Atlantic FFA had a very successful year at the 2014 Cass County Fair. FFA members competed a variety of different livestock categories and other Fair activities. 20 FFA members participate this year. To start the Fair 3 Atlantic FFA members participated in the King & Queen Contest. FFA member Tyler Christensen was crowned Fair King and Mr. Congeniality. FFA member Wyatt Saeugling was crowned Fair Prince. Representing the ladies, Calley Klindt was a finalist for Fair Queen.

On Friday Calley Klindt and Heather Reyna showed at the FFA Rabbit show. Klindt’s 6 Class Junior Doe earned a Purple Ribbon and won the class. Reyna’s 6 Class Junior Buck won its class earning a purple as well. In the 6 Class Senior Buck class Reyna’s rabbits earned a Lavender, Blue, and Red Ribbon. In the 6 Class Senior Doe Reyna’s rabbits earned a Lavender, and 2 Blue Ribbons. In the 4 Class Junior Doe Reyna’s rabbit earn a lavender and Klindt’s earned a blue. In 4 Class Senior Buck Reyna’s rabbit earned a lavender. In the 4 Class Senior Doe Reyna’s rabbit earn a Red ribbon.

This year in the Horse Show FFA member Carly Westphalen won Reserve Champion FFA Showmanship with her horse.Tyler C and Carlie W

On Friday Afternoon 3 teams competed in the FFA Livestock Judging contest. 14 teams from across Southwest Iowa competed this year. Atlantic FFA Team 2 placed 4th overall with a total score of 887 points. Team members included Clayton Saeugling, Adam Freund, Morgan Barkley and Emily Saeugling. Atlantic FFA Team 1 which consisted of team members Wyatt Saeugling, Reid Nichols, Marshal McDermott, and Nate Moen placed 6th overall. Atlantic FFA Team 3, which consisted of FFA members Haley Carlson, Tyler Petter, Lexi Freund, and Cole Jipsen placed 8th. In the Individual Contest Tyler Petty placed 4th and Reid Nichols placed 7th.

To end the day Atlantic FFA members helped with the Mutton Bustin event before the Rodeo. Atlantic FFA member Morgan Barkley said, “The Fair is so much fun, but exhausting. It always goes way too fast.“

On Saturday the Atlantic FFA started the day by working in the FFA Foodstand. FFA members took 2 hour shifts helping to serve Hot Dogs, Nachos, Walking Tacos, and the World Famous FFA Maidrites. “I think the Foodstand had an excellent year and continues to thrive once we build a new one”, said FFA member Haley Carlson. The Foodstand is run by the Atlantic, CAM and Griswold FFA Chapters. All the money made from the foodstand will pay for the trophies and ribbons handed out at the fair as well and saving for a new building. Our county FFA chapters were very fortunate to receive a donation from the Trevor Frederickson Memorial Fund. This fund was established after Trevor lost his life in an apartment fire in 2009.

Haley C and Tyler CAlso on Saturday Tyler Christensen and Heather Reyna showed FFA Lambs. Heather had two lambs in the FFA Black Face Individual Class 1 earning a Purple and a Lavender Ribbon. Tyler’s lamb in class 4 earned a Blue Ribbon. In FFA Black Face breeding Ewes Reyna’s lamb earning Blue Ribbon and in FFA White Face Breeding Ewe class Reyna’s lamb earned a Lavender Ribbon. Reyna also won the Reserve FFA Showmanship award. FFA member Heather Reyna said, “I had a busy Fair. I showed FFA Rabbits, Sheep and Poultry. It was long week, but a lot of fun.”Tyler C and Wyatt S

On Sunday morning the FFA Swine Show was held in the show ring. The Showmanship contest was the first event of the day. Atlantic FFA had 7 member compete this year. Wyatt Saeugling won Champion Showmanship and Emily McDermott was Reserve. In the FFA Pen of Three Market Hog class Clayton Saeugling won Champion and Wyatt Saeugling was the Reserve. Paige Sorensen earned a Purple ribbon, Emily McDermott earned Lavender ribbon, Marshall McDermott earned a Blue ribbon, Kyle Redinbaugh earn a Blue ribbon, with their pens of three. In the FFA Market Barrow class Haley Carlson earned a Lavender and Blue ribbon, Clayton earned a Lavender ribbon, Emily earned a Blue ribbon, Paige earned 2 Blues, Kyle earned 2 Blue ribbons, Marshal earned a Blue ribbon. In the Individual Market Gilt Class, Wyatt Saeugling won Champion and Marshal McDermott was the Reserve. FFA member Wyatt Saeugling said, “I did very well showing my livestock this year. This is my last year and I am going to miss waking up before the sun to work on calves, walk pigs and all of the other little things that go along with it. It has been a life changing experience.”

On Sunday afternoon the FFA Poultry Show was held outside the poultry barn. In the Commercial Egg Pen of Three Heather Reyna was the Champion. In the Individual Large Fowl class Heather won 2 Red ribbons. In the Bantam Class Calley Klindt won Reserve Champion and won a Blue and Red ribbons and Heather won a Blue ribbon. In the Duck Class Calley won a Blue ribbon Heather won Purple. In the FFA Geese Tyler C and Wyatt Sclass Calley was the Champion and Heather was the Reserve Champion. In the FFA Turkey Division Heather won a Purple ribbon. In FFA Pigeon Division Calley Klindt was Champion and Reserve. The final class was FFA Showmanship, the Champion was Calley Klindt.

The Final event for Sunday was the FFA Feeder Calf Show. In the FFA Feeder Heifer Show Mark Jacobsen earned Champion and a Blue ribbon.

Emily MOn Monday the FFA Beef show started the day. In the Market Heifer Division, Emily McDermott earned a Lavender, Marshal McDermott earned a Blue ribbon, Gabrielle Jordahl earned a Blue ribbon. In the FFA Market Steer Show, Haley Carlson earned a Purple ribbon, Wyatt Saeugling earned a Lavender ribbon, Clayton Saeugling earned a Lavender ribbon, Marshal McDermott earned a Blue ribbon, and Mark Jacobsen earned a Lavender and Blue ribbons. Later in the evening Carlson won Champion FFA Market Steer.

The FFA Goat show finished off the livestock portion of the Fair. In the FFA Market Goat Show, Haley Carlson was Champion. Tyler Petty was Reserve Champion and he earned a Blue ribbon. Morgan Barkley earned a Blue ribbon. In the FFA yearling Doe class Haley Carlson and won Champion. In the FFA Showmanship event Haley Carlson won Champion.

Eric Miller, Atlantic FFA Advisor said, “Overall the Fair was a success for all of our FFA members. I think we will have more FFA members participate in the future.” FFA member Lexi Freund said, “I have recently joined FFA and got to participate in working the foodstand and also livestock judging, which I thoroughly enjoyed.”

The Atlantic FFA members would like to thank all who donated trophies for the FFA shows at county fair this year as well.

FFA Sweet Corn For Sale

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 5th, 2014 by Jim Field

By Haley CarlsonFFA Sweet Corn 14
Atlantic FFA Reporter
The Atlantic FFA Chapter is selling Sweet Corn this year at HyVee in Atlantic. The project began with a class discussion on a possible fundraiser and an educational learning opportunity. FFA Seniors Wyatt Saeugling, Tucker Sager, and Steven Wright began the process of gathering information about starting the project. Steven contacted Steve Jorgensen from Farm Service Co-Op about donating the seed. This year we planted Syngenta Sweet Corn. Farm Services Co-Op in Atlantic has been a big supporter of this project from the beginning. FSC donated fertilizer for our Sweet Corn plot. They have also donated a sign for the plot. Lindeman Tractor in Atlantic has also been a strong supporter of this project. This year Lindeman’s donated the use of a planter for our project.

To increase the educational component of this project the 2014-15 FFA Officer team was responsible for making a business presentation to Atlantic HyVee Store Director Amy Jordahl, Produce Manager Brent Magee, Atlantic School Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein, and High School Principal Heather McKay. Each member had a different section of the presentation to work on. The officers business plan consisted of seed selection, equipment, sales and marketing.

FFA members Marshal McDermott and Clint Hansen broke ground west of the Atlantic Bus Barn in late April. The first round of planting took place at the beginning of May. Two additional plantings took place about 15 days apart. As the summer progressed, members of Atlantic FFA checked the sweet corn and made sure that it was growing properly.

On Friday, August 1st, 9 FFA members harvested 97 dozen ears of corn for HyVee, with additional harvesting happening every week. The FFA Sweet Corn will be sold for the next few weeks. HyVee Store Director Amy Jordhal said, “Hy-Vee is proud to be supporting our Atlantic FFA members. The commitment and dedication that these young adults have put into this real life experience has been top notch. Hy-Vee is proud to support all of our local growers, providing our customers with produce that truly is ‘field to table’.

On Thursday August 7th from 11-7 pm Atlantic HyVee will have a Sweet Corn Feed. This is an all you can eat Atlantic FFA Sweet corn, served with 2 pieces of fried chicken and creamy coleslaw – $7.00 Atlantic FFA members will be on site from 11-1 and 4-6 to help serve. They will be accepting donations that will go to construction of the new FFA Foodstand at the Cass County Fairgrounds.