KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Fremont County farmer takes the helm of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 25th, 2017 by Chris Parks

JOHNSTON, Iowa –  September 25, 2017 – This month, Duane Aistrope, a Fremont County farmer, assumed the role as Iowa Corn Promotion Board President (ICPB).  Iowa corn farmers elect their peers to the ICPB in overseeing the investments of the Iowa corn checkoff. The Board’s primary activities include domestic and foreign market development, research into new and value-added corn uses, and education on the corn industry and helping to tell the story of Iowa’s farm families.

“The Promotion Board works year-round to continuously create opportunities for long-term corn grower profitability,” explained Aistrope. “Our efforts are focused on new uses, expanding ethanol usage domestically as well as internationally, and trade for corn in all forms.”

Aistrope, a graduate of Iowa Western Community College, has been farming for 37 years. In his current operation, he raises corn and soybeans, and operates a cow/calf operation. He and his wife, Roberta, have three children. Duane has served as Chair of the Exports and Grain Trade Committee and currently serves as the Innovation and sustainability leader for the US Grains Council Action Team.

“The Iowa Corn Promotion Board identified market development as one of its top priorities,” he stated. “As corn farmers continue to get more efficient at producing a bountiful crop, we need to have markets for all those piles of corn. We understand that to advance this industry we need to expand markets and persistently promote corn in all forms.”

Duane wants to promote the increased usage of corn-ethanol in Iowa and help to identify additional uses for our corn such as exports, bio plastics, and DDGS.

He currently is a member of the Fremont County Corn and Soybean Growers and Farm Bureau. He has been on the FSA County Committee for 27 years, a township trustee for 20 years and a 4-H leader for 21 years. Aistrope has served leadership positions in the Fremont County Farm Bureau including President and Vice-President. He has also served on the Fremont County Fair Board.

For more information about the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, its programs or the farmer-leaders who serve on its board, go to www.iowacorn.org.

Weather impacting early fall leaf color

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

September 23rd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Unseasonably warm weather has held off the cool fall days in Iowa and that’s impacting the transition of some trees to their fall leaf colors. State Forester Jeff Goerndt says dry weather has also had an impact on the changing of leaf colors. “I think the dryness has affected us a great deal — the warm weather sets it back,” Goerndt says. He says the cool fall days are important to the process. “Usually the colors are best when you have just warm, balmy days and then cool, crisp, clear nights,” according to Goerndt.

Goerndt says it is early for central and southern Iowa and the colors should improve as we move deeper into fall. “In the next couple of weeks it’s going to start getting a little better,” Goerndt says. “I just can’t tell right now how brilliant it is going to be. I’ve got a couple of hard maples in my yard that are usually quite brilliant — but they haven’t done anything yet. I think you’re going to see a lot more oranges and browns and yellows this year.”

He lives in Chariton in the south-central part of the state and says northeast Iowa has a larger variety of trees and usually has some of the best leaf color in the state. And northeast Iowa has had more rain this year too, which should help the color. He says the Loess Hills corridor had some good leaf color. Goerndt says the drought conditions in the southern part of the state could have a longer term impact on trees beyond impacting leaf color. “They’ll be a little deficient. The thing about drought is you can’t really predict what it’s going to do as far as long term affects, because it can affect a tree for several years afterwards,” Goerndt says.

The D-N-R provides a weekly fall color report each Monday afternoon. Updates are available by calling the D-N-R fall color hotline at 515-233-4110 and online at www.iowadnr.gov/fallcolor.

IA DNR to up the number of deer samples in west after positive CWD cases in Nebraska

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 22nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will take a more concentrated look at the deer who roam along the state’s western border with Nebraska this fall to screen for Chronic Wasting Disease. The move comes after five deer harvested in southeast Nebraska in 2016 tested positive for the disease. The C-W-D coordinator for the D-N-R, Terry Haindfield, says the effort will be similar to what they’ve done when C-W-D has been detected in other border states. “We’ve been obviously watching the eastern border along Wisconsin and Illinois and also Minnesota and Missouri. But now we are watching our some of our border to the west along the Missouri River due to some positives in southeast Nebraska,” Haindfield.

The effort starts with meetings Monday and Tuesday. He says they are going to talk to the public about the increase surveillance from Woodbury down to Fremont counties. Haindfield says they normally take 15 samples in every county.  But he says they increase the number of samples in those border counties of states where C-W-D has been found and that’s what’s going to happen now on the western side of the state.  “We’re doing anywhere from 100 to 150 samples from hunter-collected deer in those areas — that’s our goal anyway for this fall,” Haindfield explained.

The western counties have the “Big Muddy” between them and the infected deer in Nebraska, but Haindfield says it’s not an impenetrable border. “Those border rivers are not immune to crossing from deer — they can obviously swim those — but they still are physical barriers. So that does give us somewhat of a nice hope that they might not have crossed that yet.”  While it hasn’t been conclusively proven, it’s believed the infected deer in eastern Iowa may’ve come across the river there based on their location. “We’ve had 18 positives total, 17 being in Allamakee and one new one in Clayton County northwest of Elkader this last fall,” Haindfield says.

Haindfield says he’s been impressed with the way the people in northeast Iowa have stepped up to help collect samples and track the deer there. He says the support has been “tremendous” after their meetings there and he says that’s why it is important for people in western Iowa to attend the meetings and find out what is going on. “Hunters and landowners have stepped up greatly in helping us get those samples, and also to help stop the spread of chronic wasting disease,” according to Haindfield.

The first meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p-m Monday (Sept. 25), in the Lewis and Clark State Park Visitor Center, three miles west of Onawa. The second is set for 6:30 p-m Tuesday (Sept. 26) at the public library in Missouri Valley.

(Radio Iowa)

City of Atlantic Bow Hunting permit applications available

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

September 21st, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Police Chief Dave Erickson reports anyone interested in bow hunting within the Atlantic City limits for the 2017-18 hunting year, may receive a permit application from the Atlantic Police Department during their regular business hours (8-a.m. to 4-p.m., M-F). The permit will allow you to harvest antlerless deer, and once you have reported the harvest to the Atlantic Police Dept., you will be allowed to harvest a buck.

Bow hunters who qualified last year with the P-D do not need to do so this year, but you still need to pick up the permit application, fill it out and return it to the Police Department. New Hunters will have to contact the A-PD and set up a time with Chief Erickson, in order to qualify. Land owners who wish to allow bow hunters to hunt on their land, should contact the Police Department at 712-243-3512 during regular business hours, in order to sign-up.

Erickson said the number of deer causing damage to plants and vegetation inside the Atlantic City limits have been down in recent years, due to the success of the Urban Deer Control program.

The Wellmark Foundation awards more than $1 million in Large MATCH grants

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 20th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Wellmark Foundation has awarded 12 Iowa organizations Matching Assets to Community Health (MATCH) grants. Organizations were able to request up to $100,000 in grant funding. To ensure community support for the grant project, communities were challenged to match this grant amount dollar-for-dollar. Each of the grant recipients submitted projects that can help individuals, families and communities achieve better health through safe and healthy environments that encourage physical activity and access to and consumption of nutritious foods.

“The Wellmark Foundation is proud to award a cumulative total of $1,020,000 to these grant recipients,” said Becky Wampler, The Wellmark Foundation executive director. “These organizations are focused on sustainable initiatives that will improve the well-being of citizens in the communities they serve for years to come.”

Among the 12 Iowa organizations that were able to successfully raise matching funds and were awarded grants, was the Dallas County Conservation Foundation, which received $90,000 for Phase 1 of the Raccoon River Valley Trail to High Trestle Trail Connector. Officials say the trail project is a significant link between two major statewide trails: the Raccoon River Valley Trail and the High Trestle Trail. The connector, which is nine miles overall, starts in Perry and follows a former railroad right-of-way to the east until it connects to 130th Street.

This is farm safety week

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

This is National Farm Safety Week. It is designed to call attention to the dangers of farming, especially during harvest season. Iowa State University Extension Agricultural Engineer and Safety Specialist Chuck Schwab says agriculture ranks as one of the most dangerous and deadliest. He says agriculture has roughly two-point-two deaths for every 100-thousand workers, which is a highest rate in the U-S, surpassing mining, construction, manufacturing and transportation. He puts the issue in perspective. “It really means that a lot of people leave for the day to go to work and got out there in the fields and do something, and don’t come home,”Schwab says.

Schwab says the most common accidents involving agriculture include: tractor roll-overs, A-T-V roll-overs, roadway collisions with farm equipment, grain suffocation, electrocution, and machine entanglement. He says one reason for the high rate of agriculture injuries and deaths is the wide age demographic of the people involved with agriculture, from the young to the old. “Agriculture doesn’t have that cap where you get to 65 and you stop farming,” Schwab says, “and so we see a lot of older farmers out there. And what happens with older farmers — you tend to have different reaction times, you have balance issues, hearing issues, sight, and so all these issues play a role in how you make good safe decisions.”

The Iowa State University Safety Specialist says the same is true with the younger generation, those 18 and younger. He says they should be given more supervision until they gain experience. Schwab says farmers need to be in shape for the physical demands of the business, and he says the best thing you can do is to take a break from the action and have a moment of rest. He says it’s important to be in top condition, and taking the break allows you to get away from the operation and make sure your mind is thinking clearly.

Schwab says it’s similar to athletes who keep themselves in shape, stay hydrated, and then rest when needed so they stay sharp and focused. Schwab says that helps prevent mistakes on the playing field and can do the same in the farm fields too.

(Radio Iowa)

Local 24-Hour Rainfall Totals ending at 7:00 am on Tuesday, September 19

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

September 19th, 2017 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic  .36″
  • Massena  .18″
  • Elk Horn  .13″
  • Anita  .93″
  • Manning  .37″
  • Logan  .73″
  • Missouri Valley  .51″
  • Creston  .07″
  • Red Oak  .46″
  • Carroll  .26″
  • Denison  .46″
  • Underwood  .24″
  • Corning  .1″
  • Glenwood  .65″

Commission seeks status quo budget for DNR

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission is recommending that the general operating budget for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for NEXT year be the same as THIS year’s budget. That recommendation now goes to Governor Reynolds and she’ll submit her proposed budget to legislators in January. D-N-R director Chuck Gipp expects the hiring freeze in his agency will stay in place. He’s been shifting staff around to deal with vacancies and retirements in the state park system.

“A perfect example was a park in southwest Iowa,” Gipp says. “It was a two-person park. One of those people transferred up to Prairie Rose State Park, where there was a vacancy. That person left at Waubonsie said: “I don’t want to be a one person park,’ so he retired — so we are currently operating that park with a temporary transfer.”

Waubonsie State Park is near Hamburg in the southwest corner of Iowa. It has seven miles of hiking trails and eight miles of trails for horseback riders, plus a small, seven-acre lake. The Environmental Protection Commission is recommending a one-million dollar increase in state spending on state park INFRASTRUCTURE. However, that money would come from the separate “Environment First” fund where state gambling taxes are deposited.

(Radio Iowa)

State regulators reject tougher livestock confinement rules

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

State regulators have unanimously rejected a petition seeking tougher environmental standards for livestock confinements. Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement sought the changes. Members of the group voiced their anger after the Environmental Protection Commission’s vote. Regulators determined they lacked the authority to adjust the so-called “master matrix.” Those are the rules that govern where livestock confinements may be built.

Commission member Joe Riding of Altoona — a former legislator — says the law establishing those standards was passed 15 years ago and it’s time for the legislature to revisit the issue. “Bringing the stakeholders together,” Riding says. “I don’t care how messy it might be.” Commissioner Barbara Hovland of Mason City says it’s up to legislators to review the law.

“I am a firm believer that they created it and they need to start discussing it,” Hovland said. A lengthy period of public comment came before the commission’s eight-to-zero vote. Farm groups like the Pork Producers argued the proposed changes would create a moratorium on new construction of livestock confinements. Farm Bureau member Brianne Streck of Moville says she and her husband “work hard to raise livestock the right way.”

“The supporters of this petition would like to make you think that I am the face of evil,” Streck said. “…Changing the master matrix to give others the ability to pick and choose where and how we can raise livestock would be detrimental to young farmers like me and, more importantly, the rural communities that live and thrive on us.” Backers of the petition argued Iowa is making little progress in cleaning up polluted waterways and it’s time for tougher rules on livestock manure. John Lichty of West Des Moines is a member of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.

“Why is there even a question? Why is it farmers first, the rest of us go to hell — excuse my language,” he said. “I’m not against farmers, but…it’s all about profit. Money first, the heck with the rest of us. That’s all I’ve got. This is disgusting.” In 2002, the Iowa legislature passed statewide standards for livestock confinements, including the required distance between a confinement and a neighbor’s house.

A state construction permit is required for confinements of a certain size. The Des Moines Register recently reported the Department of Natural Resources reviewed images from satellites and found five-thousand previously unknown confinements in Iowa. About 13-hundred of them were large enough to require some form of state oversight.

(Radio Iowa)

Gov. Reynolds signs overweight loads proclamation

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 18th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation Monday allowing the transportation of overweight loads of corn, soybeans, haw, straw, silage and stover. The proclamation will expire Nov. 17, 2017. Gov. Reynolds said she is “Pleased to sign this proclamation allowing Iowa farmers to move their crops in an effective and efficient manner.Farmers are a critical component of our state’s economy, and this proclamation ensures they’re able to transport their crops ahead of deteriorating weather conditions.”

The proclamation allows vehicles transporting corn, soybeans, hay, straw, silage and stover to be overweight (not exceeding 90,000 pounds gross weight) without a permit, but only for the duration of this proclamation. The action is intended to allow loads transported on all highways within Iowa (excluding the interstate system) and those which do not exceed a maximum of 90,000 pounds gross weight, do not exceed the maximum axle weight limit determined under the non-primary highway maximum gross weight table in Iowa Code § 321.463 (5) (b), by more than 12.5 percent, do not exceed the legal maximum axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds and comply with posted limits on roads and bridges.

The Iowa Department of Transportation is directed to monitor the operation of this proclamation to ensure the public’s safety and facilitate the movement of the trucks involved in our state’s harvest.