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.

Experts: Cattle need extra care in coming sweltering days

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says cattle will need extra care as the weather in Nebraska and Iowa becomes hotter. The department’s Agriculture Research Cattle Service says precautions should include checking water sources and developing a plan to have an emergency water source available. Plans could include contacting neighbors with firefighting equipment to hose down cattle that are experience heat stress.

Cattle with reduced lung capacities from previous sickness and black-hided cattle are more susceptible to heat. The department says that while sprinklers can be used, overusing them can create more humidity, which in turn could increase a lot’s heat index.

 

New northeast Nebraska lake drawing anglers, boaters

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

HUBBARD, Neb. (AP) — A newly opened lake in northeast Nebraska is drawing anglers and recreationalists from the area, including across the Missouri River in Iowa. The Sioux City Journal reports that the gates on the Danish Alps State Recreation Area near Hubbard opened Wednesday.

Located just south of Nebraska Highway 35, the park is named for the local hilly terrain that is reminiscent of the Danish homeland of the immigrants who settled in the area. The 746-acre park includes RV and tent camping, equestrian camping facilities, day use areas, a walking and hiking trail and equestrian trail.

The centerpiece is 226-acre Kramper Lake, named after Vince Kramper, a Dakota City farmer and conservationist. The lake has been stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, black crappie, walleye and channel catfish.

Bashor crowned Adams County Fair Queen

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Adams County Fair Queen was crowned during a ceremony Friday evening, in Corning. Chris Nelson, with the Adams County Extension Service reports 18-year old Nichole Bashor, the daughter of Terry and Mary Bashor, of Corning, was awarded the title and honors.

First runner-up was 18 year old Mikayla Moore, the daughter of Corey and Deana Moore, also of Corning. Second runner-up was 16-year old Molly Oglesbee, the daughter of Josh Ogglesbee and Becky Oglesbee, of Corning.

The Adams County Fair continues its run through July 15th. Find out more at http://www.myadamscountyfair.net/

Blue-green algae causing concern at some Iowa lakes

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Some Iowa lakes are having issues with blue-green algae blooms. Mary Skopec oversees the D-N-R’s water monitoring program for state park beaches. “We advise people to use caution if they enter a lake that has a blue-green scum,” Skopec says. “Sometimes the looks like someone spilled paint on it, and there are thick mats of algae. If you see that, you should really avoid going into that water or letting your pets drink that water.” Skopec says the algae releases dangerous toxins.

“The toxins can affect the liver as well as the nervous system. In the most extreme they can cause respiratory distress. Often times we see issues with nausea or diarrhea, headache, that kind of thing,” according to Skopec. “So, it can make people quite ill — and it has in isolated cases caused pet deaths deaths, dog deaths around the state.” She says avoid drinking the water in those areas or putting your head under the water in those areas.

The D-N-R says a “substantial” fish kill on Crystal Lake seven miles west of Forest City in Hancock County is linked to an algae bloom over the Fourth of July weekend. Three lakes — Black Hawk, Pine Lake, Twin Lake — have advisory signs posted after D-N-R testing showed issues with blue-green algae.

In addition, testing showed relatively high levels of toxin for clear water on Lake Geode, Lake of Three Fires (near Bedford), and Green Valley Lake (Near Creston) — though those lakes didn’t have signs of algae blooms. Some Iowa beaches also have signs posted for high-levels of bacteria this week: Backbone Lake, Denison Beach on Black Hawk Lake, Lake Geode, Lake Macbride, Pine Lake, and Union Grove Lake. While Iowa waters have issues with bacteria and algae blooms, a 14-year-old boy died this week after being infected by an amoeba after swimming in a Minnesota lake. Skopec says the amoeba is not a major concern here.

“At this point I wouldn’t be too worried about it, because it’s a very isolated condition,” Skopec says. She says the amoeba that causes the problem likes specific water conditions. “The amoeba is really related to water temperature. And if the water temperatures are high enough, it is possible for them to end up in water in Iowa. The fact that it was found further north of us does present some challenges in terms of whether we might see that or not,” Skopec says.

“Normally it likes those warmer temperatures and so I think we are learning more about where they might occur. But at this point I would say it is a very isolated incident in Minnesota, and people should avoid waters that are extremely warm,” she says. “A lot of times they occur where there is a warm spring, or extremely hot stagnant water. So, if they avoid that hot stagnant water, they should be okay.” The amoeba enters the brain through the nose. Skopec says again, if you avoid drinking water with any of these issues and don’t put your head under the water, you should be okay. You can find out more about the beach water monitoring program at: www.iowadnr.gov.

(Radio Iowa)

Farmers encouraged to apply for cover crop & other cost share programs

Ag/Outdoor

July 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is reminding Iowa farmers that funds are available to help install practices focused on protecting water quality. Practices eligible for this funding are cover crops, no-till or strip till, or using a nitrification inhibitor when applying fertilizer.

The cost share rate for first-time users of cover crops is $25 per acre, no-till or strip till are eligible for $10 per acre and farmers using a nitrapyrin nitrification inhibitor when applying fall fertilizer can receive $3 per acre. Farmers are eligible for cost share on up to 160 acres. First-time users that apply by July 24 will be the first applications funded. First-time users that apply after July 24 will still receive priority consideration, but funds will also be made available to farmers that have used cover crops in the past for cost share assistance at $15 per acre.

“We already have $1.6 million in applications from more than 700 farmers interested in doing more on their farm to protect water quality. This includes first-time uses of cover crops as well as farmers who have tried them before and are willing to do even more,” Northey said. “Fortunately, as a result of the significant increase in funding for water quality, we have addition funds available. I hope interested farmers will contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District soon to learn more about the assistance that is available.”

Farmers are also encouraged to visit their local Soil and Water Conservation District office to inquire about additional opportunities for cost share funding through other programs offered at their local SWCD’s. The cost share assistance was announced on May 12. Since then, the Governor has signed into law $9.6 million to support the Iowa Water Quality Initiative, which is an increase of $5.2 million from the $4.4 million provided last year.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship also received $6.75 million for conservation cost share, a portion of which can be used on management practices such as cover crops. In the last 2 years this program has been available, over 1,400 farmers put in new nutrient reduction practices on over 144,000 acres. The state provided about $3.4 million in cost share funding to help farmers try a water quality practice for the first time and Iowa farmers provided at least another $3.4 million to support these water quality practices.

More information about the initiative can be found at www.CleanWaterIowa.org.

Land-Lease meeting set for Aug. 6 in Guthrie County

Ag/Outdoor

July 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Guthrie County Extension Service reports there will be a land lease meeting on Thursday, August 6, at 6 pm at the Extension office, in Guthrie Center. The cost to attend is $20 per person if you pre-register, and $25 per person without pre-registration.

Attendees will receive a land leasing handbook with reference and resource materials. The workshop will last approximately 2 ½ hours. Shane Ellis, ISU Farm Management Specialist for the west central region of the state, will be presenting.

To pre-register, call 641-747-2276.

Governor’s awards honor environmental leaders

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Twelve Iowa organizations and businesses will receive Environmental Excellence awards from Gov. Terry E. Branstad this summer. The awards are the premier environmental honors in Iowa. Among the winners is the Guthrie Center Community Schools, in Guthrie Center. The district will receive Special Recognition for Habitat Restoration and Environment Education.

The Governor said “The vision and initiatives undertaken by the award recipients to benefit Iowa’s citizens both economically and environmentally are recognized and celebrated through these awards. They showcase the commitment being made to make Iowa a better state now and into the future.”

Branstad will present awards to the recipients at a recognition ceremony at 3 p.m. Aug. 4th in the Capitol Rotunda, located at 1007 East Grand Avenue in Des Moines. The public is invited to attend.

For more information about the Governor’s Iowa Environmental Excellence Awards, go to www.iowadnr.gov/eeawards.

Posted County Prices for the grains (7/9/15)

Ag/Outdoor

July 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $3.82, Beans $9.86
Adair County: Corn $3.79, Beans $9.89
Adams County: Corn $3.79, Beans $9.88
Audubon County: Corn $3.81, Beans $9.88
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.85, Beans $9.86
Guthrie County: Corn $3.84, Beans $9.90
Montgomery County: Corn $3.84, Beans $9.88
Shelby County: Corn $3.85, Beans $9.86
Oats $2.54 (always the same in all counties)

Iowa’s sweet corn crop is looking very good

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

We hear reports on Iowa’s corn and soybean crops from the U-S-D-A every week, but one thing we don’t hear updated often is the condition of Iowa’s -sweet- corn crop.Sweet Corn Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey says so far, so good. “We’ve seen just a little sweet corn coming around and we’ll see a lot more in the next several weeks,” Northey says. “I’m hearing there’s a really good crop out there and it’s a great time of year for sweet corn.”

Northey said the condition of the sweet corn crop varies in different areas of Iowa. “We have some parts of the state that have gotten too much water,” he says, “so in those cases, if the sweet corn was in a low area and got too much water, that may be either hard to harvest or may even be such that it just drowned out pieces of that sweet corn or set it back.” Favorable reports have come from many sections of the state, especially northwest and north-central Iowa.

Northey says the first locally-grown corn started appearing around the 4th of July weekend and vendors are ready to sell the golden ears. “It’s a great time to pick up sweet corn at farmers markets,” Northey says. “There’s a lot of local sweet corn that’ll be sold in our grocery stores and of course, we have a series of festivals around that are centered on sweet corn, from now until almost Labor Day.”

Some of the bigger sweet corn festivals in the state include those in Adel on August 9th, West Point on August 13th and Des Moines on August 29th.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa pheasant harvest up 30% in 2014

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Pheasant hunters in Iowa saw a lot more birds last year, according to data compiled by the Department of Natural Resources.

Pheasant Hunting

Pheasant Hunting

Kevin Baskins is a spokesman for the DNR. “For the third consecutive year, we’ve seen a harvest increase for pheasants,” Baskins said. “It looks like it’s up 30-percent in 2014 to an estimated 216,000 roosters.” The harvest estimate released this week is based on an annual survey of hunters following the season. The biggest factor in the growing pheasant population involves the fact that Iowa has experienced several consecutive mild winters.

“We went through an extended period where the winters were just brutal on the pheasant population,” Baskins said. “Once crops get harvested and we start getting snow on the ground, there really isn’t much habitat in a lot of places for pheasants to kind of escape the elements.” Pheasants weren’t the only species to show a harvest increase in 2014. Hunters also killed more quail, rabbits, squirrels and doves.

“We also saw a corresponding increase in the interest,” Baskins said. “Our total number of (small game) hunters was up 9-percent to more than 63,000 in 2014,” Baskins said. DNR officials are predicting hunters will enjoy even bigger small game populations this coming fall and winter. The agency will get a better idea of the state’s population of pheasants, quail, rabbits and partridge during an annual roadside survey conducted over the first two weeks of August.

(Radio Iowa)