KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Will Frazee to Be Inducted into Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame

Ag/Outdoor

August 16th, 2016 by Chris Parks

Will Frazee of Montgomery County will be inducted into the 2016 Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the 4-H Exhibits Building at the Iowa State Fair on Sunday, Aug. 21. Ninety-two Iowa counties are participating this year and have selected 119 inductees for their outstanding service and dedication to 4-H. Inductees will be presented a certificate as they are introduced on stage.

Will Frazee will be recognized at 3:30 p.m. A reception will follow the presentations.

Will has been a long time Montgomery County 4-H supporter.  As a 4-H parent to son Curt and daughter Krista, club and project area leader, Fair Board member, Committee member and Chair of 4-H and Youth committee for many years, Will has done it all!   Will has been active in state and national beef organizations and travelled the world promoting Iowa products.  He is currently serving as a director of Iowa Farm Bureau. From the beginning a young boy wanted to grow up to be a farmer, and he did with the help of family, friends, and 4-H.

“Counties select inductees for their exceptional work in contributing to the lives of 4-H members and the overall 4-H program,” said Chelsea Cousins, Program Director at ISU Extension and Outreach Montgomery County. Many inductees served as club leaders, youth mentors, fair superintendents or fair board members, Iowa State University Extension county council members, county youth council members, fair judges, financial supporters, chaperones or ISU Extension staff members. The inductees have demonstrated dedication, encouragement, commitment and guidance to Iowa’s 4-H’ers through the years.

“Volunteers provide the head, heart, hands and health to our Iowa 4-H program. This is a wonderful opportunity to recognize those who have made a difference in the lives of our Iowa youth,” said John-Paul Chaisson-Cardenas, Program Leader, Iowa 4-H Youth Development.

The Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame was initiated in 2002 to help commemorate the 100th anniversary of 4-H. A summary of previous honorees will be on display at the 2016 Iowa State Fair in the 4-H Exhibits Building.

Information about previous inductees to the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame also is available on the Iowa 4-H Foundation website, organized by year and by county. Go to http://www.iowa4hfoundation.org/ and select “Recognition.”

State, Federally Funded Cover Crop Acres Increase 22 Percent

Ag/Outdoor

August 16th, 2016 by Chris Parks

DES MOINES, IOWA, Aug. 16, 2016—Iowa farmers planted about 64,000 more cover crop acres funded through state and federal incentives in the fall of 2015 compared to fall 2014 – a 22 percent increase.

Iowans planted 291,267 cover crop acres last fall compared to 227,256 in 2014 with help from state and federal conservation programs. The numbers include funding from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) through the Water Quality Initiative (WQI), State Cost-Share, and local watershed projects. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides farmers assistance for cover crop through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).

Cover crops such as cereal rye, winter wheat and hairy vetch are helping farmers provide ground cover and living roots in the soil throughout the year. This helps improve soil health, water infiltration, and soil biology, reduce soil erosion and weed competition, trap excess nutrients in the soil, and even provide livestock grazing.

Barb Stewart, state agronomist for NRCS in Iowa, credits the increase in cover crop acres to the amount of outreach and education to famers from conservation groups throughout the state, along with more farmers paying attention to soil health and water quality the past several years.

“A few years back many farmers were more careful, experimenting with 10- and 20-acre cover crop plots,” said Stewart. “Many of those farmers are now planting hundreds of acres of cover crops, and even growing and harvesting their own cover crop seed.”

Washington County in southeast Iowa stands out in total acres planted in fall 2015, with twice as many (19,974) than any other Iowa county through conservation programs. District Conservationist Tony Maxwell, who runs the NRCS office in Washington, says the conservation culture has a lot to do with their success. “We have a long history of early adoption of conservation practices, like no-till,” said Maxwell. “That has made the transition to cover crops much easier.”

Maxwell says challenges Washington County farmers have faced in the past are helping them overcome any difficulties establishing cover crops. “Many issues farmers face with cover crops, such as the carbon penalty associated with high amounts of organic matter and planting into heavy residue in cool, wet conditions, are problematic in no-till corn, too,” he said. “We have experienced no-tillers who have faced these challenges before, and can overcome them much easier.”

NRCS and IDALS are both anticipating cover crop acres to increase by about 15 percent next year in Iowa, based on 2016 program signups. “We continue to see interest in cover crops grow,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, “both from farmers brand new to the practice as well as those who have been doing it for a couple years.”

Northey says even in challenging economic times in agriculture, farmers are seeing the benefits cover crops provide and putting their own money toward cover crops and other practices focused on protecting water quality and improving soil health.

For more information about cover crops and other practices and programs to help address natural resource concerns on your land, visit your local USDA Service Center for planning assistance.

Wallace Foundation and ISU to Host Neely-Kinyon Field Day on Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 16th, 2016 by Chris Parks

Cover crops are among the topics set for the August 23, 2016, field day at the Iowa State University Neely-Kinyon Research and Demonstration farm near Greenfield, Iowa.

 The field day will start at 4 p.m. at the farm located at 2557 Norfolk Avenue, Greenfield, Iowa. Directions: Two miles south of Greenfield on Highway 25, one mile east, and a half mile north.

 Iowa State researchers and extension specialists will be discussing the challenges of the growing season, including weather, nitrogen and weed management; the opportunity of cover crops for farmers in southwestern Iowa; organic cropping systems; and monarch/pollinator habitat.

 The farm tour will include a demonstration site for the project called Science-based Trials of Row-crops Integrated with Prairie Strips, or STRIPS. It has found that incorporating strips of perennial prairie plants in crop fields reduces soil and nutrient movement for a relatively low cost.

 The Neely-Kinyon farm consists of 160 acres owned by the Wallace Foundation for Rural Research and Development, which leases it to Iowa State. The farm is managed as a satellite of the Armstrong Research and Demonstration Farm near Lewis.

 A light meal will be served at 6:00. The field day is open to the public at no cost.

USDA crop report has 83% of Iowa corn and soybeans good to excellent

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 16th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s top crops are faring well, according to the latest report from U.S. Department of Agriculture. Eighty-three percent of both the state’s corn and soybean crops are rated in good to excellent condition.The USDA report released Monday states above normal rain allowed Iowa farmers to work the fields an average of just four-and-a-half days last week.

(Radio Iowa)

Prosecutor seeks to dismiss flag desecration case

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The prosecutor in a northwest Iowa county will not pursue a flag desecration charge against a man who protested a crude oil pipeline crossing his property by hanging an American flag upside down at his home. Homer Martz was charged Friday under a state law a federal judge ruled unconstitutional in December 2014. The Iowa Legislature has declined to remove the law from the books.

Calhoun County Attorney Tina Meth Farrington says the sheriff’s deputies who charged Martz weren’t aware courts had struck down the law. She called on lawmakers to repeal it immediately “so that other citizens and law enforcement are not caught in this type of situation again.”

Martz, a 63-year-old U.S. Army veteran, is upset the state is allowing Texas-based Dakota Access to forcefully condemn his property.

Iowa agency announces participants in water quality program

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa agency has announced the latest participants in a voluntary program that encourages farmers to use water quality practices that could reduce farm runoff. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced Monday it was distributing $3.8 million to nearly 2,000 farmers for its cost-share program that helps them offset expenses for implementing water quality practices.

Water quality is expected to be a big issue in the Iowa Legislature next session amid growing disagreement on how to address farm runoff. Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey discussed the program at the Iowa State Fair. He says farmers are committed to investing in water quality.

Some environmental advocates have challenged the long-term benefits of a voluntary program. The federal government estimates there are roughly 87,000 farms operating in Iowa.

Soybean growers in Iowa warned of potential diseases

Ag/Outdoor

August 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa soybean growers are on the lookout for a number of diseases just as most plants are setting pods. Sudden death syndrome in soybeans is being reported in many parts of Iowa. Todd Claussen, director of agronomy for Ames-based Landus Cooperative, says infected beans will shut down early. “They’ll senesce early and they’ll drop leaves faster,” Claussen says. “You can’t do anything with it now, but as you move into next season you have to think about the history of a specific farm. One, you start with genetics, and two, you can treat with a soybean seed treatment that is highly effective.”

Soybean aphids are also starting to show up in greater numbers, according to Claussen. “Aphids like it mild. They like 77-78 degrees — their reproduction will go through the roof if that be the case,” Claussen said. “We are ramping up and have expectations to pull that trigger here rather soon.” White mold could also be a problem for soybean growers this year, according to Claussen.

The latest U-S-D-A report rated 82 percent of Iowa’s soybeans in good to excellent condition. Monday’s report found 94 percent of the state’s soybeans were blooming, which is six days ahead of last year. Seventy-nine percent of soybeans were setting pods, about one week ahead of normal.

(Radio Iowa/Brownfield Ag Network)

Feds predict record corn, soybean yield; lower prices likely

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Farm field surveys reflecting excellent spring planting conditions and favorable summer weather have prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to boost harvest expectations for corn and soybeans to record highs. Ten states are expected to set new bushels-per-acre corn yields, including top U.S. producers Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska.

The USDA’s report Friday says overall, farmers are expected to harvest 15.2 billion bushels of corn — a billion more than 2014’s record 14.2 billion. A record soybean crop of 4.06 billion bushels also is expected, beating 3.9 billion bushels last year. But with a huge harvest comes a big problem: There’ll be the most grain in nearly 30 years to store. That’s likely to push prices lower, which will make it harder for farmers who rent land to make a profit. It’ll also make for cheaper livestock feed.

Local Rainfall Totals ending at 7:00 am Friday, August 12

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

August 12th, 2016 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic 1.45″
  • 7 Miles NNE of Atlantic  1.21″
  • Audubon  1.47″
  • Avoca  2.3″
  • Bagley  2.75″
  • Bedford  2.85″
  • Carroll  1.75″
  • Clarinda, 2.9″ (13 miles sw of Clarinda, 3.56″)
  • Corning  5.3″
  • Denison  1.9″
  • Elk Horn  1.1″
  • Glenwood  1.65″
  • Harlan, 1.25″
  • SE of Irwin, 1.62″
  • Kirkman, 2.0″
  • Massena  1.46″
  • Missouri Valley  .91″
  • Oakland  1.75″ (3 miles w. of Oakland, 2.75″)
  • Neola  1″
  • New Market  3.01″
  • Red Oak  2.34″
  • Shenandoah  3.85″ (4.3″ at the Shenandoah Golf Course)
  • Sidney, 3.76″
  • Underwood  .66″
  • Villisca  5.3″ (updated)

Bankers say farm income declining in region

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 12th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The Federal Reserve says farmers are borrowing more to cover their operating expenses because farm income continued to decline in during the second quarter in Midwestern and Western states. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Missouri, said Thursday that 75 percent of the bankers surveyed reported shrinking farm income.

The value of irrigated farmland in the region fell 5 percent while non-irrigated land and pastures both declined 3 percent.

Roughly half of the bankers said loan repayment rates were lower in the second quarter. And the number of loans with severe repayment problems grew to 7 percent. That’s up from roughly 3 percent in 2011 to 2013.

The 10th Federal Reserve District covers Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Colorado, northern New Mexico and western Missouri.