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.

Farm group leader says 2014 legislature was good to Iowa growers

Ag/Outdoor

May 5th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The leader of a large Iowa farm group says the 2014 state legislative session, which wrapped up last Friday, was a successful one for agriculture and funded several much-needed programs. Brian Kemp of Sibley, president of the Iowa Soybean Association, says major victories included passage of energy legislation to boost biodiesel production as well as support for agricultural research. “We had an extension of the biodiesel producer tax credit and E-15 credit, that’s a 2% credit that’s extended for three years,” Kemp says. “They’re certainly showing their support with an increase of almost $1M in ag research to the ag experiment station.”

Legislators also funded the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Iowa State University. He says an important ag program that received significant funding helps producers with technology. “The Iowa Soybean Association On Farm Network was also supported with $400,000 that will help producers do their own research with GPS technology on their own farms,” he says.

Kemp says he’s disappointed lawmakers failed to pass an increase in the state’s gasoline tax, which would have pumped new funding into the state’s fund for repairs to roads and bridges.  “This is a very difficult year to get an increase in the fuel tax through, it’s an election year,” he says. “We’re very likely going to bring that back next year and spend some time promoting that through the legislature.” Kemp says House Ag Committee Chairman Josh Byrnes of Osage made great last gasp effort to get transportation needs funded but fell just a bit short as time ran out.

(Radio Iowa)

Erosion may cost Iowa farmers $1 billion each year

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Rain and wind is washing away enough of Iowa’s fertile topsoil to potentially reduce crop yields by $1 billion, so researchers are working to develop a better way to measure erosion. The Des Moines Register reports researchers think parts of Iowa could be losing up to 12 times more soil that government reports suggest.

Iowa State University professor Rick Cruse is leading a team developing a new method to measure erosion’s impact that could paint a grim picture. Some of the most severe erosion happens in western and southeastern parts of Iowa.

State Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says erosion may be getting worse because conservation programs have been scaled back.

Swan release events to be held at two area lakes

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 2nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Wilderness officials say they plan to release a total of eight swans into two southern Iowa lakes this month, as part of a restoration effort. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Adams County Conservation Board will release four trumpeter swans at east Lake Icaria boat ramp, located six-miles north of Corning on Highway 148 at 9-a.m. Tuesday, May 8th, and, four trumpeter swans will be released in Union County May 9th at Summit Lake, one mile west of Creston on Highway 25. Both events are open to the public.

The birds are being released as part of a statewide trumpeter swan restoration effort. Less than 70 trumpeter swans remained in the lower 48 states by the early 1930s. Both release events will feature a 20-minute presentation on the swans, which includes an opportunity to touch and view the birds up close. Trumpeter swans are the largest North American waterfowl. They can weigh up to 32 pounds with an 8-foot wingspan.

DNR plans Trumpeter Swans release at Summit Lake

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will release four trumpeter swans at Summit Lake, one mile west of Creston on Highway 25 at 10-a.m., on May 9th. The release site is the boat ramp on the south side of the road. The release is open to the public and will take place rain or shine. The event includes a 20-minute swan/wetland presentation, a unique opportunity to touch and view the swans up close, and a historic photo opportunity with the kids.

As the largest North American waterfowl, these magnificent all-white birds can weigh up to 32 pounds with an 8-foot wingspan.

Trumpeter swans were once common in Iowa, but were gone from the state by the late 1880s. By the early 1930s, only 69 trumpeter swans remained in the lower 48 states. The trumpeter swans being released are part of the DNR’s statewide trumpeter swan restoration effort.

“Iowa By Trail” mobile app released

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A website and mobile application that provide an interactive map of bike trails in central Iowa is being released today (Thursday). The free app is being released by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) and spokesperson Hannah Inman says it’ll be expanded statewide in time for RAGBRAI in July. Inman says “This app is pretty neat because it’ll have all 1,800 miles of trails in the State of Iowa on it,” Inman says. “You’ll be able to geo-locate yourself and follow yourself on the trail, keeping track of your mileage, how fast you’re going, and what trails you’ve completed.”Trails App 2

The I-N-H-F is also working with local communities across the state to build “points of interest” into the app.  “As we do that, you’ll be able to find the hidden gems, the great businesses along the trails, as well some cultural, historical, and natural resource information that are unique to the trails,” Inman says. Private donations and grants have helped pay for the development of the “Iowa By Trail” mobile app and website. Inman says it’s cost about $200,000 and there’s more to raise.

“We have fundraised for the marketing, the content creation, the Apple, and the website version. Now, all we’re doing is fundraising for the Android version and we’re hoping that will be completed and out this fall,” Inman says. The West Des Moines-based company Shift Interactive created the “Iowa By Trail” app.

(more info. at www.inhf.org/iowabytrail.cfm)   (Radio Iowa)

USDA Report 05-01-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

May 1st, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Max Dirks

Cass County Extension Report 04-30-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

April 30th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Planting off to slow start due to weather

Ag/Outdoor

April 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Weather has the planting season off to a slow start. The U-S-D-A crop report says the rains have kept farmers out of the fields, but improved the soil moisture in most areas. Soil temperatures remain a concern for farmers planting in northern Iowa. The report says 15-percent of the projected state corn crop has been planted — which is 13-percent ahead of last year — but 18-percent behind the five year average. Some corn has started to emerge.

Soybean planting has yet to fully take off as there were just scattered reports of beans being planted last week.

(Radio Iowa)

Pott. County Trail system moving forward

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 29th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Pottawattamie County Trails Board is preparing the next steps for developing county-wide trails. In a press release, the board says they are engaging an engineering firm to begin surveying, designing and preparing cost estimates for Phase 1. The board continues to talk with private citizens asking for donations of any size including cash donations and gifts of grain or land and applying for various grants as they come available.

The Pottawattamie County Trails Board has been meeting regularly for the past few years to develop trails throughout the county and a small group of regular participants have been working hard to create a county-wide network to benefit all residents. Based on the plan, which was developed by the committee through public participation with assistance from the National Park Service RTCA program, the board has begun working to raise money and finalize the Phase 1 route from Council Bluffs to Neola and a second route from Council Bluffs to Hitchcock Nature Center. Both of the routes total nearly 27 miles and will be 10’ wide poured concrete trails.

The trails board has raised nearly $1 million toward their goal with the help of grants, local funding efforts and the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors support. The committee has also partnered with the Pottawattamie County Conservation Foundation as a way to receive donations until the board receives their 501©3 status. The plan going forward is to begin building phase 1 as early as spring 2015.

If you would like to donate to the project or volunteer to assist, contact the Pottawattamie County Trails Board members through their Facebook page by search “Pottawattamie County County-wide Trail Plan.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Burn bans rescinded in Mills & Page Counties

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

April 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The last two southwest Iowa Counties with bans in-place for open burning have been rescinded. The State Fire Marshal’s Office Friday, announced bans which had been in-place since March 19th for Mills and Page Counties were removed today (Friday, April 25th).

And, while there are currently no counties in Iowa under a Burn Ban, area fire officials are asking residents to be very careful when making the decision to conduct controlled burns. Area grass lands and fields are still very dry. Low humidity and forecast strong winds this weekend can cause a controlled burn to quickly become uncontrolled. Care should also be used when using fire pits and grills.

Rain in the forecast for later in the weekend should help to minimize the threat of any explosive fire danger.