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.

Larger soybean, smaller corn harvest expected; still records

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has boosted the expected soybean crop to a new record. The agency’s monthly crop update, released Monday, says farmers are expected to produce 4.2 billion bushels of soybeans, an increase of 3 percent from last month’s estimate. It’s also a record for average bushels per acre at 50.6 and acres harvested at 83 million.

The estimated corn crop was reduced to 15.1 billion bushels as compared to last month’s estimate of 15.2 billion. But that still beats the previous high of 14.2 billion bushels in 2014. The huge harvest is still expected to suppress grain prices below farmers’ cost of production, causing most to lose money on corn and soybeans.

Group backs sales tax increase to fund water quality efforts

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A coalition of agriculture, business and conservation leaders say they support a plan to increase Iowa’s sales tax to raise money for water quality and other natural resources programs. The Des Moines Register reports members of Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy Coalition on Monday proposed raising the sales tax by three-eighths of a cent. Organizers say they’ll push their plan at the upcoming legislative session, which begins in January.

The nearly two dozen members of the coalition include the Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Greater Des Moines Partnership and Iowa Ducks Unlimited. The poor quality of Iowa’s waterways has been receiving more attention, especially following a lawsuit filed by Des Moines Water Works against three northwest Iowa counties accusing them of wrongly allowing runoff from farms.

Fire Danger updates to resume in Shelby County

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

September 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert today (Monday), said field and grassland Fire Danger updates will be provided on Monday’s and Thursday’s each week, through the harvest season. The purpose of the updates is to provide accurate data to Fire Chiefs, and the Public at large, regarding the current and expected Fire Danger for approximately 84 hours at a time.

Signs will be updated by 9-a.m. Monday and again by 9-a.m. Thursday, each week. Signs will also be placed in Shelby County communities that agree to change them on the days mentioned.  In rare events, such as vacations or during incidents, the EMS Coordinator may change the sign if requested.  Each community will be responsible for checking www.shelbycountyema.com on Monday, and Thursday mornings to get the current Fire Danger Rating.

Fire Danger rating will be a combination of the National Weather Service Grassland Fire Danger Index, as well as a review of the Probability of Ignition tables.  Based on these factors, the danger will be placed into one of the four categories: Low, Moderate, High and Extreme.

When the Fire Danger is….

  • Low: You are asked to call in and report your burning projects to dispatch at 712-755-2124, and notify your local Fire Chief.
  • Moderate: You are asked to call in and report your burning projects to dispatch at 712-755-2124, and notify your local Fire Chief. Timing for burns should be morning, or evening hours and extinguished by dark unless authorized by Fire Chief due to possible impacts to roads and health from smoke. Burns must be monitored at all times.
  • High: Burning of any kind is restricted unless approval is received from local Fire Chief. Controlled burns that are not reported will result in Fire Department being dispatched, and Fires extinguished if determined to be un-safe. Please call 712-755-2124 with questions
  • Extreme: – Burning is prohibited, unless you have a signed permit from the local Fire Chief. Fires on Extreme days can grow rapidly and pose a risk to the Health and Safety of the Community. If you have any questions please call 712-755-2124.

Seivert says they’re putting this information out to the public as an education tool, to lower the risk to responders and the public, of responding to controlled burns that are being properly carried out.  The importance of the program he says, is getting the Public to call in the burns to the Shelby County EMA, and getting the public in touch with the local Fire Chief who ultimately decides on how burning can be carried out under the published conditions.

Meeting in Oakland this Wed. on flood protection efforts

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

An official with the University of Iowa says a meeting will be held this Wednesday morning in Oakland, with regard to flood protection efforts in the area. Richard Lewis, Senior Research Writer at the U-of-I, says watershed management authorities will be formally creating flood-protection and water quality plans for the East Nishnabotna and West Nishnabotna River watersheds. Planning groups will meet 9-a.m. Wednesday (Sept. 14th) at the Oakland Community Center (614 Dr. VanZee Road), in Oakland.

More details about the meeting can be found here: http://bit.ly/2cH6lvS

Lewis says the meeting is a key step in moving the flood protection planning forward. It comes after the Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa announced last June at meetings in Sidney and Glenwood, that it had obtained $96.9-million to address issues associated with the devastating and dangerous floods Iowa communities experience year-after-year.

Nine watersheds across Iowa will serve as project sites, including the East and West Nishnabotna Rivers.

Conservation Report 09-10-2016

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 10th, 2016 by Jim Field

Bob Beebensee and DNR Conservation District Supervisor Brian Smith talk about conservation topics in Southwest Iowa.


Farm Bureau resolution opens door to group backing new state taxes to finance water quality projects

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 10th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Delegates at this week’s Iowa Farm Bureau policy conference passed a resolution supporting the idea of finding existing or even NEW state tax revenue to finance water quality projects. The group had previously OPPOSED the idea of raising state taxes to finance soil and water conservation initiatives. Farm Bureau president Craig Hill says the group believes a VOLUNTARY approach that provides government incentives to farmers is the best approach.

“Every farm is unique. Every farm is diverse. Every farm is different in its slope or its topography or its drainage and so we need to develop plans that are uniquely qualified for that farm and you don’t do that through regulation,” Hill says. “You do that through voluntary, incentive-based action.” This spring, Iowa lawmakers deadlocked over how to best finance a massive increase in state funding for water quality projects.

For the past few years, the state has been under pressure from the federal government to reduce the amount of farm chemical runoff, then came the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit in 2015. It amounts to a legal challenge of the voluntary approach to water conservation on Iowa farms. “The lawsuit may be a way of bullying farmers in a way,” Hill says. “We don’t think that’s the right thing. We think we all should come together. We all should partner together. We all should figure out how to accomplish out goals and solve the problem together. It doesn’t need to be through a court.”

On Monday, a coalition of groups will hold a news conference to declare support for increasing the state sales tax to pay for water conservation efforts. The Iowa Soybean Association along with environmental groups, Iowa Ducks Unlimited and The Nature Conservancy are listed on a news release as part of the coalition.

(Radio Iowa)

Palmer Amaranth confirmed in Guthrie County

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Guthrie County Extension service report Palmer Amaranth was confirmed in Guthrie County this (Friday) morning. Guthrie County Extension & Outreach will host a meeting on Palmer Amaranth next 7-p.m. Wednesday, September 14th at the Extension Office in Guthrie Center (212 State Street).

Topics to be covered include:

  • The recent discovery of Palmer Amaranth in Guthrie County
  • P-A Identification
  • Plant Biology
  • Current levels of infestations across Iowa
  • and Management possibilities in CRP Plantings and Row Crops.

The session will be presented by ISU Field Agronomist Mike Witt.

For more information on Palmer Amaranth, go to this link: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/article/stopping-spread-palmer-amaranth-aggressive-competitive-weed

Farm Bureau president lobbying for ‘lame duck’ congress to pass TPP


September 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The president of the Iowa Farm Bureau says it’s “vitally important” that congress pass the pending “T-P-P” trade deal before year’s end. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership. Iowa Farm Bureau president Craig Hill says congress should act after the November election, before the new president takes office. “Every day that we delay is a day that we depreciate the value of the agreement,” Hill says. “It’s a multilateral, comprehensive trade agreement. It includes 12 countries which brings net farm income to the positive by about $4.4 billion a year.”

Hill says, unfortunately, the two major party presidential candidates have “poisoned the well” on the trade pact President Obama’s administration negotiated with 11 other “Pacific Rim” countries. “But we’re hopeful. We’re working on it every day. It’s important to America. It’s important to the world,” Hill says. “And after we get this one done, TTIP — which is the European trade deal — could be executed upon. It’s being negotiated now, but we can’t do that until we get TPP.”

The Trans Pacific Partnership involves a dozen countries with a border that touches the Pacific Ocean. Farm groups say the deal would stop countries from using “non-scientific” reasons for barring the import of U.S. commodities, like corn and soybeans as well as pork, beef and dairy products.

(Radio Iowa)

Cedar Falls takes step toward allowing backyard chickens

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) – (The City Council in Atlantic won’t allow a pot bellied pig in the City limits, but…) The City Council in Cedar Falls has taken a step toward allowing backyard chickens. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that the council voted 4-3 Tuesday to revisit a 10-year-old ban on the domestic birds. The council ordered staffers to prepare an ordinance for a future council vote.

A staff review showed many Iowa cities, including Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, allow a limited number of chickens. Cities that don’t include Ankeny, Coralville and Davenport. David Sturch of the city planning staff wrote in a memo to the mayor and council members that city staffers recognize that urban chickens “are a growing trend for people to have them as pets and for egg production.”

Palmer Amaranth Meeting in Shelby County


September 9th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa State University Extension will be holding an informational meeting in Shelby County Sept. 19th, on the current issues surrounding the weed Palmer Amaranth. Officials say the weed has been located in Iowa in the past but has had many more discoveries, within the last year, in first year seeded conservation plantings. The weed has the potential to be detrimental to field crops in the future.

The meeting will discuss plant identification and biology, management tactics and the current infestations in Iowa. You’re invited to join Iowa State Field Agronomist Mike Witt on Monday, Sept. 19th at 9:30-a.m., at the Shelby County Extension office in Harlan.