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.

Farmers donating food are eligible for a tax credit

Ag/Outdoor

November 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today (Wednesday) highlighted the Farm
to Food Donation Tax Credit and encouraged eligible farmers to consider applying.  Iowa farmers who donate self-produced food commodities to food banks and food pantries can now qualify for the credit on state taxes, which is equal to 15% of the value of the commodities donated during the tax year or $5,000 whichever is less.

“Iowa farmers care deeply about their communities and this new tax credit program may provide some additional tax benefit to farmers who donate food to a food bank or food pantry,” Northey said. “As we see more farmers raising fresh produce, this new tax credit program is something they should be aware of as they consider food donations.”

The program was created by the Iowa Legislature in 2013 and is effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. To qualify for the tax credit, producers:

* must produce the donated food commodity
* must transfer title to the donated food commodity to an Iowa food bank or Iowa
emergency feeding organization registered with the Iowa Department of Revenue
(https://tax.iowa.gov/sites/files/idr/documents/FarmToFoodOrganizations.pdf)
* shall not receive compensation for the transfer
* shall not donate a food commodity that is damaged or unfit for human consumption
* shall donate a food commodity that meets the requirements of the federal Emergency Food Assistance Program.

Producers will receive an authorized receipt from the Registered Iowa Food Bank or Iowa emergency feeding organization for the donation. All authorized receipts for a calendar year should be sent together to the Iowa Department of Revenue by January 15th. The Department will issue the producer a tax credit certificate which must be included with the producer’s tax return.

Tax credits are not refundable, but can be credited ahead to the tax liability for the following five years. The value of the food commodity is self-assessed but must be determined in the same manner as a charitable contribution of food for federal tax purposes. Donation evaluation worksheets are available on at https://tax.iowa.gov/farm-food-donation-tax-credit.

2015 “Excellence in Agriculture” Scholarship Applications Now Available

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

(RALSTON, Iowa) Nov. 12, 2014 —High school seniors pursuing a career in agriculture or an ag-related field are invited to apply for the West Central® Cooperative’s 2014 Excellence in Agriculture scholarship.West Central Co-Op logoWest Central Co-Op logo West Central CoOp logoThe Excellence In Agriculture scholarship program awards four $1,500 scholarships for any accredited post-secondary program. Applications are available at any West Central location, from area high school guidance counselors, or online at west-central.com

Scholarship Requirements:

1. Applicant and/or parent must be a voting member, in good standing, of West Central.

2. Applicant must be a high school senior and graduate in the spring of the 2013-2014 school year.

3. Applicant must have a cumulative high school GPA of 2.5 or better on a 4.0 scale through his/her junior year.

4. Applicant must pursue a career in agriculture or enter an ag-related field of study at any accredited post-secondary school of his or her choice.

5. Dependents of directors and officers of West Central are not eligible to apply for these scholarships.

Applications must be returned by Jan. 30, 2015. If you have questions regarding West Central’s Excellence In Agriculture scholarship program, please contact Alicia Clancy, Director of Communications, at (712) 667-3334.

About West Central

West Central is a farmer-owned cooperative connecting producers of agricultural products to a global network of processors and end-users. Headquartered in Ralston, Iowa, West Central’s agronomy, animal nutrition and grain businesses span 12 Iowa counties with 27 locations. In 2013, the company was ranked #41 on the USDA’s list for largest farmer-owned cooperatives nationwide based on revenues and assets.

 

Cass County Extension Report 11-12-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

November 12th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Play

Snow could reduce corn harvest in Upper Midwest

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The season’s first snowstorm could be bad news for farmers in the Upper Midwest where corn remains in fields. At least 4 inches of snow could fall overnight in South Dakota where about 40 percent of the crop remains, and in Minnesota where about a third remains. Most of the storm is expected to stay north of corn and soybean areas in Wisconsin and Michigan.

Iowa State University agriculture economist Chad Hart says a snowstorm could reduce the harvest if ears of corn are knocked off or plants fall over. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says soybean farmers will harvest 3.96 billion bushels, up 31 million bushels from the October estimate. The corn crop is slightly smaller at 14.41 billion bushels, down 68 million bushels from the October estimate.

DNR to meet with Lake Manawa group on park reovations

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reports officials will meet with a working group of Lake Manawa State Park area residents and park users on Nov. 12th, to continue discussions on plans to improve the heavily used state park. The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday, at the Game and Fish Club, on Lake Manawa.

Responding to feedback from the Oct. 14 meeting on the proposal to move the campground will likely be the focal point of discussion. The DNR has been discussing plans to improve the campground for 14 years.

Todd Coffelt, chief of the Iowa DNR’s State Parks Bureau, says “Lake Manawa is unique. It has many different types of users, from the sailing club, to mountain bikers, campers, anglers and picnickers. Plus its part of a neighborhood in the largest metro area in Iowa and each one of those constituencies has a different idea of what they want from the park.” What the DNR heard during the October meeting was concerns from local homeowners’ association members about the proposed location of the new campground in relation to the homes, vegetation and water level management for the lake and safety and security issues in the park.

The park draws many visitors from Omaha, as well as from Council Bluffs and the surrounding area. It is attractive to Nebraskans because Iowa parks do not require a park entry permit. Lake Manawa hosts around 1.5 million visitors each year easily ranking as Iowa’s most visited state park and its campground is in the top 10 busiest in the state.

Farmers can sign up for new farm bill programs starting next Monday

Ag/Outdoor

November 10th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa farmers can sign up for two new programs that were included in the latest Farm Bill starting next week. Val Dolcini, administrator of the Farm Service Agency, says farmers actually have several months to determine what works best for them and to make a selection between the Agricultural Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage programs. Sign-up begins next Monday, November 17th.

Dolcini says, “We’re really building a fair amount of time into this process so that farmers have an ample opportunity not only to use the web-based tools to make that important program election, but to talk with their family members, partners, business advisers and others about what may be best for their particular individual operation.” Dolcini says farmers have until March 31st to make a selection. Also, farmers need to update their base acres and planting history information with their local F-S-A office. The deadline to complete that is February 27st.

“These programs are different from previous FSA programs in that it really requires the farmer to dig in a little bit deeper to what program election makes the most sense for their operation,” Dolcini says, “which is why we’re building in a good bit of time here.” Farmers were notified back in September about the need for the updates on acreage and planting history. For more information, visit: www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA

(Radio Iowa)

Funds available for water quality projects

Ag/Outdoor

November 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today (Thursday) encouraged eligible groups to apply for grants to support projects that will improve water quality in the state. Approximately $830,000 is available through the Watershed Improvement Review Board to support qualifying projects.

Funds are available to local watershed improvement committees, soil and water conservation districts, public water supply utilities, county conservation boards, cities and counties. Funds are typically matched with other funds by the organizations receiving assistance and will support a variety of projects across the state focusing on protecting water quality and improving the health of the state’s waterways.

Projects eligible for funding include, but are not limited to, those addressing agricultural runoff and drainage, flood prevention, stream bank erosion, municipal discharge, storm water runoff, unsewered communities, industrial discharge and livestock runoff. Each project can request up to $250,000 in funding. The grants will be under contract to implement the projects for a maximum timeframe of April 2015 to December 2017.

Atlantic Eagle Scout completes Sunnyside Park project

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

An Atlantic teen working to receive his Eagle Scout badge has completed a project at Sunnyside Park to earn the award. Grant Podhajsky recently completed his Eagle Scout Service project with the help of Troop 54 and others in the community. He designed and helped to build a fire pit surrounded by log benches near the Camblin Shelter at Sunnyside Park.

On May 19th, Grant approached the Atlantic Park and Recreation Board with his proposal to replace the existing deteriorated fire pit.Soon after Grant was given approval to proceed, it was discovered that the original fire pit was constructed by the Atlantic Lions Club. For many years it was used for the Lions’ annual steak cookout.When the Lions Club learned of the project the offered their full support.

Grant Podhajsky recently completed his Eagle Scout project. He is shown accepting a donation to cover expenses from Merle  Elsberry,representing the Atlantic Lions Club.

Grant Podhajsky recently completed his Eagle Scout project. He is shown accepting a donation to cover expenses from Merle
Elsberry,representing the Atlantic Lions Club.

Oversight of the project was provided by Atlantic Parks and Recreation Director Roger Herring.The Parks and Recreation Department was also a main supporter of the project.Most notably they provided the pea gravel and the timber boarder.

Grant says he’d like to thank Rob Stamp for helping with the demolition after the scouts uncovered four very large footings.Also, thanks to Ashton Ellingson of Brayton for cutting the log benches with his portable saw mill.Over 150 hours of work when into planning and constructing the project.

Cass County Extension Report 11-05-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

November 5th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Play

Northey elected to 3rd term as Iowa ag secretary

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Northwest Iowa farmer Bill Northey has been elected to a third term as Iowa’s agriculture secretary. Voters Tuesday elected the Republican Northey over Democrat Sherrie Taha, a sculptor from Des Moines. Northey, who farms near Spirit Lake, has served as agriculture secretary since 2008.

In his campaign, he called for continued implementation of a voluntary water quality initiative that encourages Iowa farmers to prevent erosion and minimize fertilizer and manure runoff. He also supports promoting technological advances to farmers that will make them more efficient and able to use less fertilizer.