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.

New Big Lake Park Signage Installed as part of IWF “Art in the Park” Initiative

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa West Foundation say local artist Charley Friedman used community input to help create signage for Council Bluffs’ biggest park. The “I” in the new Big Lake Park signage is officially dotted. The majority of the new signage was installed last month, but just recently a fish that serves as a nod to nature as well as the “I” in “Big” completed the look.Big Lake

One of Council Bluffs’ largest parks, Big Lake Park stretches 200 acres around a bend in the Missouri and rests in the shadows of the Loess Hills. It contains four lakes, one large one to the north and three smaller ones to the south. The south side also includes two playgrounds, a large covered picnic shelter, a fishing dock, a baseball diamond, a soccer field and jogging/biking trails. The lakes are stocked with trout, bluegill, bass and catfish.

Big Lake Park is just one of the local parks receiving new signage as part of the Iowa West Foundation’s “Art in the Park” Initiative.” Funded in 2014, the $200,000 initiative allows for the replacement of weathered park identifications signs in six community parks. All signs were designed by local artists, as a way for them to showcase their work to the region.

Pete Tulipana, President and CEO of the Iowa West Foundation, said “The park signs were also designed using input from the community. They contributed concepts and ideas at public meetings that the artists took to heart and it reflects in the Big Lake signage.”

Charley Friedman, of Lincoln, Neb., is the artist who fabricated the sculpture with naturally rusting COR-TEN steel and cast aluminum animals. Friedman said “Art and nature are two sides of the same coin in that both inspire creativity and imagination. Signage can be droll, but the signs that I’ve seen by the other artists give a specificity and individuality to each park.” Friedman said also, “I wanted the Big Lake sign to have a Jellystone Park/Yogi Bear kind of esthetic.”

Of the other five parks, Roberts Park (1000 N. 25th St.) and Kirn Park(100 ½ 5th Ave) signs were completed in July and August, respectively. Larry Foster, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Council Bluffs, said he expects Cochran Park (100 S. 21st St.) and Westwood Park (1200 S 35th St.) signs to be complete in April.

The last park sign to be completed will be Sternhill Park (1031 N. 8th St.). “Art in the Park” is coordinated by the Council Bluffs Parks, Recreation and Public Property Department, with assistance from the City Public Art Commission, and overseen by art curator Joel Damon.

(Update) Change of location for NRC/DNR meeting on April 9th

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

In an update to our story this past Wednesday, officials with the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources say the location for the April 9th Natural Resource Commission meeting has been changed to 8:30-a.m. in the Harlan Fire Department meeting room at 906 Cyclone Ave., in Harlan.The NRC was set to have met at the Nishna Bend Recreation Area. The presentation and tour departure location remains the same.

On April 8, local DNR fisheries and state parks staff will give commissioners a presentation at the Nishna Bend Rec Area, 516 Maple Road, Harlan, before departing for a field tour of Prairie Rose State Park and the lake restoration project. The field tour and presentation will take place between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. The meeting, presentation and tour is open to the public.

For more information, click on this link: http://www.iowadnr.gov/InsideDNR/BoardsCommissions/NaturalResourceCommission.aspx

Iowa Ag secretary expects slowing demand from China for soybeans


April 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Agriculture Secretary, Bill Northey, says there are indications demand for soybeans in China may not be increasing as much as previously thought. Northey just returned from a trade mission to China with the Iowa Soybean Association. “Historically we’ve always heard how much the feed business is going to grow — and it has over the last 15-years between 10 and 15-percent every year — double digit growth,” Northey says. “This time we heard a little more reticence. Folks saying that they think that there is an opportunity for the feed business to grow, but that it won’t grow as fast as it has in the past.”

Northey says China is a huge market for Iowa soybeans which are used for feed or oil for human consumption. “That still will probably be there, there’s not reason for that to back down. But, I think it’s unlikely that we’ll see as big a growth as what we have in the past,” Northey explains, “and that was part of what led to some pretty strong years recently in prices. Not only short supply, but big demand from China. We may not see that kind of increasing demand that we’ve seen in the last few years.” He says some of the drop in demand for soybeans to feed hogs could be offset by use in aquaculture.

“I think we’ll see less growth in the pork business, and some would say maybe even a slight shrinkage in the next few months or year or so. But, continued growth in the aquaculture side where there’s demand not only domestically but internationally for more fish products and farm-raised fish,” Northey says. Northey says the trade mission provided valuable information while also bolstering Iowa’s relationship with a key trading partner.

“It’s important to let them know about U-S dependability and supply. That we are going to have production here that they can depend on. We’ve got ports that work — South America has had some issues — although we had issues in the west, we didn’t have issues with our Gulfport shipments from the U-S to China. It’s important to keep those relationships good as well as learn what the future opportunities are.” Northey says they traveled mostly in the southern part of China, and visited two of the country’s largest feed manufacturers.

(Radio Iowa)

Shelby County Fire Danger reduced to “Moderate”

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Management Director Bob Seivert says the County’s “Fire Danger” index will be “Moderate,” from now through Monday, April 6th. Residents are asked to call in and report your outdoor burning projects to Shelby County dispatch at 712-755-2124, and notify your local Fire Chief.Moderate Fire Danger rating

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.

Lightning sparks field fire Thu. morning

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

April 2nd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Storms that rolled through western Iowa early this (Thursday) morning, brought with them some ground thirst-quenching rain, and intense lightning. At around 12:35-a.m., firefighters from Griswold and Lewis were dispatched to a field fire reported to have started when lightning hit a power pole in the area of 560th and White Pole Road, northwest of Lewis. The hit took out a power line, knocking out the source of electricity for Lewis.

The Lewis Elementary School was closed this (Thursday) morning, because of the power outage. Crews were working on repairing the line and restoring power as quickly as possible.

Natural Resource Commission to meet April 9th in Harlan

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Natural Resource Commission (NRC) of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will meet at 8:30 a.m., April 9th, at the Nishna Bend Rec Area, 516 Maple Road, Harlan. On April 8th, local DNR fisheries and state parks staff will give commissioners a presentation at the Nishna Bend Rec Area before departing for a field tour of Prairie Rose State Park and the lake restoration project. The field tour and presentation will take place between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. The meeting, presentation and tour is open to the public.

For a copy of the meeting agenda, click here: http://www.iowadnr.gov/InsideDNR/BoardsCommissions/NaturalResourceCommission.aspx

Burn Ban implemented in Audubon County effective 4/2/15

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Effective at noon on Thursday, April 2nd, Audubon County will be placed under a “Burn Ban,” which prohibits the use of open burning. The ban is being put in-place when it is determined open burning constitutes a danger to life or property.

According to Iowa Code, a proclamation issued by the state fire marshal does not
prohibit a supervised, controlled burn for which a permit has been issued by the fire chief of the fire district where the burn will take place, the use of outdoor fireplaces, barbecue grills, properly supervised landfills, or the burning of trash in incinerators or trash burners made of metal, concrete, masonry, or heavy one-inch wire mesh, with no openings greater than one square inch.

A violation of the burn ban constitutes a Simple Misdemeanor, under Iowa Law.


Report: Iowa farmland values fell 11 percent over past year

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 1st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A new report says Iowa’s average farmland values fell 11 percent over the past year after a drop of 4.6 percent a year earlier. The Des Moines Register reports  that the Realtors Land Institute says the new average per-acre figure is $7,372, compared with $8,286 a year earlier.

Kyle Hansen with the Realtors Land Institute says farmland values could drop up to 20 percent more over the next three years, depending on the direction of commodity prices. Corn and soybean prices have declined 40 to 50 percent since their high in 2012.

Nationally, farm income is projected to drop 32 percent this year on top of a 16 percent decline in 2014.

Cass County Extension Report 04-01-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

April 1st, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Program Coordinator Kate Olson

USDA: Record soybean acres expected, corn acres to drop

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 31st, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Farmers are expected to plant a record number of soybean acres this year, but less corn as that grain’s profit potential remains low due to slumping prices. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s first report of the new crop season says farmers will plant 84.6 million acres in soybeans, up 1 percent from last year’s previous record of 83.7 million acres.

Corn planting will fall to 89.2 million acres, down 2 percent from last year. It’s the third year of acreage decline. Soybeans are favored because they cost less to grow and prices haven’t fallen as quickly as corn. The report is based on 84,000 farmer surveys completed in early March.