KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Iowa crops doing well according to USDA report

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The majority of Iowa’s corn and soybeans are in good shape, according to the latest report from the USDA. The crop report covers activity through Sunday and places 81-percent of the state’s corn crop in good or excellent condition. The USDA rates 80-percent of the soybean crop in good to excellent condition. Sixty-seven-percent of the crop crop has reached the silking stage, which is a week ahead of average and five days ahead of last year.

Soybeans are also ahead of normal, as blooming reached 66-percent and soybean setting pods hit 20-percent. High winds and hail last week damaged some crops over northern, west-central, central, and east-central Iowa. Heavy rains on Sunday also flooded some fields around the state.

(Radio Iowa)

Local Rainfalls Totals ending at 7:00 am on Monday, July 18

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

July 18th, 2016 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic  1.38″
  • 7 miles NNE of Atlantic  .76″
  • Elk Horn  .36″
  • Massena  1.68″
  • Avoca  2.3″
  • Villisca  2.6″
  • Oakland  4.07″
  • Neola  1.9″
  • New Market 3.78″
  • Irwin  1.07″
  • Missouri Valley  2.36″
  • Persia  1.45″
  • Logan  .72″
  • Woodbine  .16″
  • Clarinda  6″  (updated report)
  • Shenandoah  .33″
  • Adair  .11″
  • Audubon  .16″
  • Council Bluffs  2.18″
  • Creston  2.83″
  • Corning 3.10
  • Red Oak 3.37″
  • Bedford 5.2″
  • Mt. Ayr 3.5″
  • Blockton 3.95″
  • Underwood 2.88″

Conservation Report 07-16-2016

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

July 16th, 2016 by Chris Parks

w/ Bob Beebensee and DNR District Supervisor Brian Smith


Egg prices reach 10-year lows as production outpaces demand

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Eggs have gone from record high prices at the height of the bird flu crisis last year to the cheapest prices in a 10-year span. It’s because young hens are laying lots of eggs, boosting supply, but demand hasn’t come back as strong. Countries that stopped accepting U.S. eggs last year have haven’t resumed imports and companies that make pancake mixes and bread learned to cook without as many eggs.

Three weeks ago, Midwest wholesale egg prices hit a 10-year low of 55 cents a dozen. The record wholesale price was $2.88 a dozen in August 2015. Marcus Rust, CEO of the nation’s second largest egg producer, Rose Acre Farms, says the marketplace will resolve the supply and demand issues in time.

Farmland Values Continue Steady, Gradual Decline

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, NEBRASKA – A steady but gradual decline in farmland values continued into the first half of 2016 across the states served by Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica). Iowa has experienced the greatest decline in average farm values – about 20 percent since the market’s 2013 peak. Nebraska and South Dakota farmland has declined by a more modest 12.5 and 4.8 percent respectively during the same period.

untitledDemand for farmland also is down. Public land auctions declined 8 percent in the first six months of 2016 compared to the previous year. This percentage includes public auctions in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming, as well as Kansas, where FCSAmerica works in alliance with Frontier Farm Credit to monitor farmland values.

Across the five states, lower farm incomes and per-acre profitability continue to put downward pressure on farmland values. Unlike last year, when a strong livestock market led to increased demand for pastureland, values on both pasture and cropland are generally down in 2016. This reflects lower commodity prices for grain as well as cattle.

Twelve-Month Change in Value

State Cropland Pasture
Iowa -5.7% -1.8%
Kansas -0.9% 0.8%
Nebraska -4.7% -2.2%
South Dakota -3.2% -3.1%
Wyoming 1.1% 20.8%

The fall in commodity prices has outpaced the rate of decline in farmland values and FCSAmerica continues to forecast a soft landing for agriculture as the current market correction brings supply and demand back in line.

Below is the average change in benchmark farm values, with the number of benchmark farms appraised in each state noted in parenthesis:

State Six Month One Year Five Year Ten Year
Iowa (21) -4.0% -5.6% 19.6% 139.4%
Kansas (7) -2.0% -0.2%    
Nebraska (18) -4.5% -4.4% 68.5% 212.3%
South Dakota (23) -3.6% -3.5% 79.1% 208.3%
Wyoming (2) 7.8% 10.6% 35.8% 67.7%

Trends in farmland values:

IOWA: Fourteen benchmark farms declined in value during the first six months of 2016, while seven showed no change. The average sale price for cropland has reached a 5-year low, but average land quality continues to be at historically high levels.

About Farm Credit Services of America Farm Credit Services of America is a customer-owned financial cooperative proud to finance the growth of rural America, including the special needs of young and beginning producers. With $25 billion in assets and $4.4 billion in members’ equity, FCSAmerica is one of the region’s leading providers of credit and insurance services to farmers, ranchers, agribusiness and rural residents in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Learn more at www.fcsamerica.com.

2016 Audubon County Fair Queen is crowned

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon County Fair continues through Sunday, in Audubon. Thursday evening, 2015 Fair Queen Tess Albright passed the crown on to Molly Armentrout, who was named the winner of the 2016 Audubon County Fair Queen contest. Molly is the daughter of Tim and Tracey Armentrout, of Audubon. Molly told KJAN her older sister Rebecca Grabel persuaded her to try for the crown and title.

‘Becca was the Audubon Fair Queen about eight-years ago. Molly said also she also wanted to get involved in a new way, because she hasn’t been in 4-H, so she wanted to step out of her “Comfort zone,” and learn a little bit more about agriculture that she doesn’t already know.

Molly is in the green dress

Molly is in the green dress. Thanks to Cassie Irlmeier for the photo.

The path to the stage and her crowning included interviews last week with the Queen candidates. Molly said she just tried to be herself during the interviews, and answer the questions as best as possible. She said she stumbled over the question “If you could have dinner with any person living or dead, who would it be?,” but in the end, it all worked out ok. Molly says she plans on attending Iowa State University after the State Fair Queen Competition. She prefers ISU because it’s closer to home, and because her sister attended the college. At ISU, she’ll study English and Secondary Education.

1st runner-up in the Queen contest was Kaitlin Schultes, the daughter of Chris and Shandy Schultes, of Audubon. Kaitlin will be a Senior at the Audubon High School during the 2016-17 school year. She says she has plans on attending college after graduation, but she’s not sure where that will be at this time. Kaitlin said even though she didn’t think she would enjoy the process of competing for Fair Queen, it turned out to be better than expected.

And, the 2nd runner-up honors went to Taylor Nielsen, the daughter of Robert and Christy Nielsen, of Hamlin. Like Molly Armentrout, Taylor said participating in the Fair Queen contest brought her out of her “Comfort Zone.” Taylor would like to attend college to become a Veterinarian, because she loves animals and wants to make sure they stay healthy and happy.

Grundy County workers taken to hospital after exposure to herbicide

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Fifteen Grundy County field workers were taken to a Marshalltown hospital Thursday after being accidentally exposed to herbicide. Officials were notified of the situation just after 4:30-p.m. Thursday, and set up a decontamination area in the hospital’s parking lot.

The workers were at an undisclosed location in Grundy County and were apparently affected by herbicide from a ground sprayer being carried by the wind to where they were working. Those affected were complaining of sore throats and itchy eyes, and after decontamination were given further treatment.

(Radio Iowa)

Emerald Ash Borer confirmed in Harrison County

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The emerald ash borer (EAB), a destructive and invasive insect of ash trees has been discovered in Missouri Valley. Iowa’s growing number of counties with confirmed detections has now reached thirty-five. Native to Asia, EAB has spread to 27 states since first being identified in Michigan back in 2002. This exotic pest is responsible for the death of tens of millions of ash trees.

The Missouri Valley discovery was the result of an area certified arborist contacting the Iowa EAB Team after visiting some city owned ash trees that a resident had concerns about. After further investigation, an insect specimen was collected by members of the Iowa EAB Team and submitted to the USDA Systematic Entomology Laboratory which officially confirmed it as EAB.

“This find marks the westernmost site that we have found EAB in Iowa to date,” said Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship EAB and gypsy moth coordinator. “Six new counties have been detected with EAB in Iowa this year.”

The adult beetle is metallic green and only about one-half inch long and slender making it difficult to recognize in the landscape. The larvae stage of this wood-boring insect tunnel under the bark of ash trees, disrupting the flow of water and nutrients, ultimately causing the tree to die. EAB infested ash trees include canopy dieback beginning at the top of the tree and progressing downwards, S-shaped feeding galleries under dead or splitting bark, D-shaped exit holes, water sprouts (along the trunk and main branches), and increased woodpecker activity to the bark.

The Iowa EAB Team urges Iowans to use locally sourced firewood, burning it in the same county where it was purchased. Firewood is a vehicle for the movement EAB and other tree-killing pests.

At this calendar date, the treatment window for soil-applied preventive treatment measures (soil injection, soil drench, or granular application) and basal bark sprays has ended. Trunk injections can be done now through the end of August, provided there is good ground moisture. Landowners interested in protecting a valuable and healthy ash tree within 15 miles of a known infestation, should have landscape or tree service companies bid on work and schedule a treatment.

The State of Iowa will continue to track the movement of EAB on a county-by-county basis. Before a county can be officially recognized as infested, EAB must be collected by a member of the Iowa EAB Team and verified by USDA entomologists.

To learn more about EAB and other pests that are threatening Iowa’s tree population, please visit www.IowaTreePests.com.

USDA Report 7-14-2016

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

July 14th, 2016 by Jim Field

w/Andrew Commes.


Do What You Can, With What You Have, Where You Are – Atlantic FFA Washington DC Trip

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 13th, 2016 by Jim Field

Alexis Boes & Emily Sauegling

Alexis Boes & Emily Sauegling

Alexis & Emily

Alexis & Emily

Alexis Boes and Emily Saeugling had the most amazing opportunity attending Washington Leadership Conference June 20th-26th, made possible by many generous donations from our community. Their experience in Washington D.C. was filled with memories that will last a lifetime and knowledge that will aide them in and out of the FFA organization. Alexis and Emily were able to meet new people and explore new places while gaining new information and leadership skills from the WLC facilitators and sessions at the conference. Washington Leadership Conference is a one of kind opportunity and while they can give you a glimpse into the week they had in Washington D.C., to get the full story, one must experience it for themselves.

At the beginning of their week, Alexis and Emily each loaded onto one of the two buses filled with other Iowa FFA members who would also be attending the conference. Roughly 24 hours later they stepped off into Washington D.C. with a huge group of new friends and an appreciation for real beds, clean clothes, and a shower. Their first evening in DC would be spent waiting for hotel rooms, meeting their roommates, experiencing their first meal with complete strangers from around the country, and finally a quick introduction session. They were then split into community groups. Alexis ended up in the “Patriots” with facilitator, Sarah Rutledge, while Emily was a part of the “Campaigners” with facilitator Jake White. After that it was finally lights out.

Each day the members were presented with a theme: Tuesday was Citizenship, Wednesday was Purpose, Thursday was Diversity, Friday was Advocacy, and Saturday was Live A Legacy. These themes were presented in their large group sessions and were more deeply discussed in community groups. Alexis said, “I could see these themes as we traveled throughout D.C. on tours. I loved that they could incorporate our theme into our entire day.”  This allowed both Emily and Alexis to actually put the material covered in the sessions to work in a more real circumstance. On the first day each attendee was given a book that they would use throughout the week in order to learn and figure out what each theme meant to them. Alexis and Emily still have their books and use it to remind themselves of the people they want to be and the impact they want to make.

Alexis & Emily with Congressman David Young

Alexis & Emily with Congressman David Young

Although both girls were at the exact same conference, Alexis and Emily both had entirely different perspectives on each session, tour, and moment at WLC. One of Emily’s favorite places they visited in DC was the Newseum. She loved looking at the headlines that she’d learned about in history class and seeing how those historical events and the way they were presented to the public could impact our nation. Emily stated, “Every place you visit in DC seems to have historical significance whether it be standing where MLK gave his “I Have a Dream” speech or walking around the capitol where so many impactful decisions are made every single day.”  Alexis said, “We traveled by Metro to Arlington National Cemetery. There we were given the opportunity to see the changing of guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Wednesday night we took charter buses around DC to monuments.  My favorite monument was our last stop, the Marine Corps War Memorial, where we held reflections for Wednesday. It was quiet and dark but the light underneath the memorial was on and it showed those six men propping up the American Flag. It’s a feeling I can’t describe, but one I will never forget.”

On Thursday they traveled to the Capitol building where they took a group photo with everyone from Iowa. They also had the opportunity to meet Representative David Young and Senator Joni Ernst from Iowa. They spent two hours touring buildings near the Capitol, and learning about our nation’s government. That afternoon was spent in sessions talking about how diversity affects us every day and how we can relate to each other even if everyone is different.

Friday afternoon they spent planning and perfecting what is called a Living to Serve Plan. Each conference attendee created one and each “LTS plan” was different. Alexis said “I am still developing mine but I have seen members of my community group fulfill theirs and it is awesome to see the impact they made.”  Friday night they experienced what is called a poverty dinner, and both encourage all who haven’t experienced this to try one sometime.

Alexis & Emily with Senator Joni Ernst.

Alexis & Emily with Senator Joni Ernst.

Each session was designed to challenge FFA members into thinking about the future impact they can have in their home and how that impact could change someone else’s life.  The session that especially impacted Emily involved facilitators throwing tubs of bouncy balls on the floor. Each bouncy ball had a different significance such as a teenager dropping out of high school, a child who can’t read, or someone who doesn’t have enough food to eat. The group was told that each person could pick up only one bouncy ball at a time to “fix” these issues. Together they began to pick up all of the balls. Sometimes the group would fill a container up only to have it poured out again and other times specific people would be given permission to pick up handfuls at a time. This was a great opportunity to see the importance of teamwork and how using one’s strengths for issues they are passionate about can impact the world around us.

The last day, Saturday, all of the participants of WLC worked together on a service project to pack more than 61,000 meals for those in need. After lunch they traveled into the city for some free time before their time at WLC ended. Alexis, along with a group of Iowa participants spent the afternoon at The White House and the Museum of Natural History. Alexis said, “These places were breathtaking. I have been to DC before and experienced seeing the White House before, but this time was different because I was older and I was more aware of what was going on. Even though it was my second time it was so much fun! I can’t wait to travel back to Washington D.C. and see everything when I have more time and see how things will change.”

“Nothing can compare to meeting 390 individuals who were very different from myself, but also shared the same passion for the FFA organization that I have,” said Emily Saeugling. They met so many amazing individuals, many of whom they still talk to on a regular basis. Alexis and Emily are so grateful that they had this opportunity – the people they met, the skills and knowledge they gained, and the memories they made will last a lifetime.