KJAN Ag/Outdoor

DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge to close for holidays

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 23rd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge visitor center is closing for the Christmas holiday starting on Sunday. Refuge officials say it will remain closed through Monday and reopen for regular business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The visitor center will also close for the New Year’s Day federal holiday on Jan. 1. It will reopen on Jan. 2. The seasonal sections of the refuge tour road and refuge grounds will remain open during those federal holidays.

DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge is located 25 miles north of Omaha on U.S. Highway 30 between Missouri Valley, Iowa, and Blair, Nebraska.

Beekeeping courses offered in 36 Iowa cities during the new year

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 23rd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Iowans who might be considering taking up beekeeping in the new year will have plenty of opportunities to learn what all the buzz is about. A record number of 36 courses will be held across Iowa during 2018 for both the beginner and advanced beekeeper. Dustin Vande Hoef, spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture, says the courses are very informative. “These are often put on by local extension officers or community colleges and led at the local level but working with our state apiarist,” Vande Hoef says. “We’ve collected them so folks can get a sense of where all the classes are and if they’re interested, I encourage them to look into them and consider signing up.”

Most of the classes charge a fee, from 35 to 100-dollars, though some are free and several are starting in January. “Actually, a lot of them, it’s a series of classes and a number include a site visit where they’ll go out to a place where they’re keeping bees and get an understanding,” Vande Hoef says. “There are some full-day classes where it’s just one day but many it’s a series of hour or two classes at night or on weekends and they’ll go through it in a series of classes.”

There are now about 45-hundred beekeepers in Iowa who manage more than 45-thousand colonies of honey bees. “We continue to see interest both at the hobbyist beekeeper level where they have a hive or a handful of hives that they keep and use the honey and give it to their friends as gifts,” Vande Hoef says, “but we also are seeing growth in the commercial size where they’ll have hundreds or maybe thousands of colonies where they’ll hire those out to go pollinate crops.”

Iowa honey bees produce about four-million pounds of honey every year, valued at over eight-million dollars. Meanwhile, the economic value of honey bees as crop pollinators in Iowa is estimated at $92 million annually. Find details about the classes at the website: http://www.abuzzaboutbees.com

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa man gets 33 months for faking farm loan documents

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A man who faked grain contracts so he could obtain farm loans from Farm Credit Services of America has been sent to prison. Prosecutors say 53-year-old Michael Royster, of Clear Lake, was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids to 33 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $1.1 million in restitution. He’d pleaded guilty.

Prosecutors say Royster faked the contracts in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015. The documents were aimed a misleading loan officers into thinking cooperatives or other buyers were storing more of his and his son’s corn and soybeans that they actually were.

2018 Commercial Manure Applicator Training Scheduled for Shelby County: Registration deadline is December 29

Ag/Outdoor

December 21st, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Commercial manure applicators should plan to attend the Commercial Manure Applicator training program scheduled for Thursday, January 4, 2018, from 9 a.m. to noon. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will conduct the required three-hour training workshop at that time. There is no fee to attend the workshop, but commercial applicators must register by December 29 by contacting the ISU Extension and Outreach Shelby County office at.712-755-3104. Commercial manure applicators needing to recertify and those wanting to certify for the first time should attend. The workshop will provide the required three hours of annual training and will cover rules for applicators as well as land-application requirements, snow/frozen ground regulations, spill response, compaction, biosecurity, manure application uniformity updates, team communication, manure and hydrogen sulfide safety, and evaluation review.

All currently certified commercial manure applicator licenses will expire on March 1, 2018 Commercial applicators can attend training throughout the year, but if they were previously certified, they should plan to attend training and submit the forms and fees to DNR prior to March 1, 2018, to avoid paying the late fees. Certification fees for commercial manure applicators have not changed for 2018. ISU Extension and Outreach will charge a $10 fee to applicators choosing to view the certification materials on a non-scheduled reshow day at the county office. For this reason, all applicators are encouraged to attend the workshops or to plan to view training materials on the scheduled reshow date at their local county extension office. The fee will not apply to workshops or scheduled reshow dates.

Please contact your county extension offices to determine which days are scheduled for the manure applicator certification programs. Due to scheduling conflicts, many county extension offices will no longer accept walk-in appointments to watch the training videos. If attending the Jan. 4 commercial manure applicator program or watching the three-hour video is not convenient, commercial applicators may contact their local DNR field office to schedule an appointment to take the certification exam. In addition to needing an appointment to take the exam, applicators must bring a pencil and photo i.d., and should plan to bring a calculator.

Applicators have another option, online certification, which an applicator can take their training on-line at DNR MAC eLearning site at https://elearning-dnr.iowa.gov/. The applicator will need to sign-in and get an A&A account. Commercial manure applicators hauling, handling or land-applying primarily dry or solid manure are encouraged to attend the dry manure applicator workshops scheduled for February 2018. Dates and locations can be found in the link below. For more information about the commercial applicator program contact the ISU Extension and Outreach Shelby County office at 712-755-3104 or access a list of the training locations at: http://www.agronext.iastate.edu/immag/certification/macprogrampostcard.pdf

Cass County Extension Report 12-20-2017

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

December 20th, 2017 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson.

Play

Sheriff’s office says teen worker died in Iowa farm accident

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

WALL LAKE, Iowa (AP) — Western Iowa authorities say a 17-year-old boy has died in a farm accident. The Sac County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Monday that first responders were dispatched around 12:45 p.m. Saturday to the farm northwest of Wall Lake. They found Ethan Nissen in the cab of a farm machine that had rolled over. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The office says Nissen was scooping manure when the accident occurred.

Prestage reaches key milestone in construction of $240M pork plant

Ag/Outdoor

December 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The massive pork processing plant that’s under construction in north-central Iowa is approaching an important milestone, as winter arrives next Thursday. Ron Prestage, the C-E-O of North Carolina-based Prestage Farms, says the roof is nearly complete on the sprawling structure near Eagle Grove in southern Wright County. Prestage says, “When we got started in construction, which was essentially early April of this year, the goal was to try to get to the point where we had the roof on and we were somewhat ‘winter proof’ to be able to continue construction once it did start snowing.”

The roof should be finished in a matter of days on the 240-million dollar facility. Almost a year of work remains before the plant is ready to open, but that should be able to continue uninterrupted once the roof is complete. One vital component to the facility’s success is water. “We’ve got one well down and we’ll do the second well next spring,” Prestage says. “The well is 1,980 feet deep and it will produce something almost insane like 2,000 gallons of water a minute.”

Prestage chose to locate the pork plant near Eagle Grove after Mason City officials rejected plans for the plant in their city. The facility will be one of the larger employers in the area and about a thousand people will work at the plant itself, not counting the host of supporting roles, like truck drivers. “We have a lot of people, even though we haven’t really started advertising for positions, we’re getting frequent calls from people in north-central Iowa who are interested in jobs and interested in knowing what kind of jobs are going to be available,” Prestage says.

The completion of the Prestage Farms pork processing facility is set for late next fall, Prestage estimates about 11 months from now.

(Radio Iowa)

Farmhouse for free in southwest IA, but buyer must move it off owners’ land

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 15th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

ELLSTON, Iowa (AP) — Bargain hunters beware! A four-bedroom farmhouse in southern Iowa listed online for free comes with a catch: The new owner must move the building from the current owners’ land. Roger and Linda Dolecheck say in a Craigslist ad that the Ringgold County home will be torn down this winter if no one takes up their offer.

The Des Moines Register reports that the Dolechecks have been trying for years for sell the house where they raised their four children. The two-and-a-half-floor farmhouse is assessed at $52,700, even after the Dolechecks invested $150,000 in repairs. It also has historic value as the home to landmark hybrid corn innovation in Depression-era Iowa.

Roger Dolecheck says he just needs to find somebody who would like to live in an old house with character.

2018 licenses on sale today

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

December 15th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say beginning today (Friday), you can purchase your Iowa 2018 hunting and fishing licenses! Find a nearby Iowa license vendor, or get your license on the DNR’s online sales site.  A hunting or fishing license also makes a great gift for the holidays. You’ll just need the recipient’s social security number AND birthdate. Or you can call the DNR customer service desk at (515) 725-8200 for assistance looking up a person’s license information to make the purchase.

Here’s a list of popular licenses from which to choose:

Angler’s Special 3-Year License: $53.00 — save $4.00 compared to the price of three annual licenses
Hunter’s Special 3-Year License: $86.00 – save $10.00, and includes hunting with habitat fee
Outdoor Combo: $47.00 — annual hunting, fishing and habitat fee included
Annual Resident Fishing License: $19.00
Annual Resident Hunting License: $19.00 plus $13.00 habitat fee required
Visit the DNR’s license page for a complete list of licenses available. We hope you enjoy Iowa’s outdoors in 2018!

Thousands of hogs killed in Emmet County fire

Ag/Outdoor, News

December 14th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Six fire departments helped battle a fire that destroyed three hog barns early this (Thursday) morning in Emmet County. Gruver Assistant Fire Chief Wes Baddeley says the fire was reported around 1:30 a-m southeast of Dolliver. Baddeley says when firefighters arrived on scene the center building was completely engulfed in flames, fire was coming from the east building and smoke from the west building. Firefighters were on scene for about six-and-a-half hours.

Baddeley says the damage was so extensive that a cause of the fire could not be determined. The three hog buildings were a total loss. About 25-hundred sows and four-thousand piglets inside the buildings were killed. Baddeley says the total dollar loss is estimated at about ten million dollars.

(Radio Iowa)