KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Montgomery County farmers win “Good Farm Neighbor” Award

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 24th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today (Tuesday) announced that Kirk, Kent and Kevin Swanson from Montgomery County have been named the winners of the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award.  Northey will present the award to the family on Thursday, January 26th.  The ceremony will be held at the Coalition to Support Iowa Farmer’s booth (1923) at the Iowa Pork Congress, which is held at Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

Northey said “The Swanson family does things right in how they care for their animals, protect the environment and serve their neighbors and community.  It is great to be able to recognize a deserving family like this in front of their peers during Iowa Pork Congress.  Iowa is fortunate to have outstanding livestock farmers like the Swanson family all across the state and I encourage anyone to consider nominating a livestock farmer in your community for this distinguished award.”

Kirk, Kent and Kevin own 4 K Farms, which is a farrow-to-finish hog business with 20 boar studs and also sell semen to other hog farmers. The family was nominated for the award by their neighbor Dennis Carlson.  In his nomination Carlson highlighted the family’s care for the environment and also their active involvement in the community.  The Swanson family has planted a wind break and also uses cover crops, buffer strips and terraces to prevent erosion and protect water quality.

They are also active in the community including regularly hosting tours of their farm.  The family has helped many young 4-H students get started showing pigs by providing starter pigs and hosting a workshop to help them care for their animals.  Kirk is also the Montgomery County Fair Swine Superintendent and also regularly judge’s swine shows.

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor award, made possible through the financial support of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers, recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in doing things right. This includes caring for the environment and their livestock and being good neighbors. It is named in memory of Gary Wergin, a long-time WHO Radio farm broadcaster who helped create the award.

Anyone interested in nominating their neighbor for the award should write a letter or e-mail explaining why their neighbor should receive this designation.  Applications may be submitted to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Attn: Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award, Henry A. Wallace Building, Des Moines, IA 50319 or emailed to Communications@iowaAgriculture.gov.

Area meetings to highlight results from farmer-owned 184 acre research plot


January 23rd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Landus Cooperative invites area growers to a series of informational sessions to learn about results from the largest farmer-owned cooperative research plot in the nation.

Landus Cooperative’s agronomy team will highlight four years of data from the cooperative’s 184-acre Research Plot in Farnhamville, Iowa as well as results from nearly 90 corn and soybean seed plots statewide.  The Landus Cooperative Research Plot was home to 19 different projects last year.

“This is a mass of field data results not available by any other farmer-owned agronomy retailer in the nation,” explained the cooperative’s director of agronomy, Todd Claussen. “Our team has done the work to drill down to actionable steps our growers can take to improve their bottom line.”

Sessions will focus on the return on investment (ROI) for a variety of management practices and issues including Sudden Death Syndrome, the impact of seed rate as compared to planting date as well as the benefits of fungicide.

Registration for all events begins at 9:30 a.m. with the meeting beginning at 10:00 a.m. In the KJAN listening area, meetings will be held Tuesday, Jan. 31st in Atlantic, at the Cass County Community Center, and in Carroll on Feb. 7th at the Carrollton Inn.

Iowa farmers can now get text alerts from FSA office

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 23rd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Farmers and ranchers in Iowa now can get notifications from their county Farm Service Agency office through text messages on their cell phones. John Whitaker, director of the Iowa F-S-A office, says whether producers are in the field, on a tractor or even on horseback, this service enables vital notifications to get through.

“What we’re trying to do is get immediate, important messages out to producers, say a deadline that’s approaching or, like last weekend, when we had severe weather and there were livestock losses,” Whitaker says, “just important information they can use right at their fingertips.”

While producers nationwide can sign on to the program, Whitaker says the texts can be sent on a county-by-county basis and all messages will come from your nearest county office. “The idea is, we don’t want you to get messages from the entire country,” he says. “We want these to be very specific to the county office, particularly if it’s something like storm damage or crop reporting or something like that.”

The goal is to quickly disseminate the information producers need. “We don’t spend as much money on paper newsletters as we did years ago,” Whitaker says. “Sometimes, we only send a couple a year instead of one every month. It helps us control our costs when we do that but we want to get the information out to producers in a timely manner.”

Contact your local F-S-A office for details.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa wine makers and grape growers hold annual conference

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 21st, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The state’s top wine makers will be recognized at a conference in central Iowa next month. Nicole Eilers is spokeswoman for the Iowa Wine Growers Association which is celebrating the state’s best operations. There are nominees for several awards, including the top two. “For Vineyard of the Year, we have Corey Goodhue with North River Valley Vineyard and Victor Rose Vineyard in Indianola,” Eilers says. “For Winemaker of the Year, we have Terry Smith with Summerset Winery and Anne Zwink with Soldier Creek Winery in Fort Dodge.”

The winners of all categories will be announced at the association’s annual conference in Ames. Eilers says Iowa’s wine industry is growing and thriving. “Currently, we have just over 100 wineries and we have nearly 300 vineyards across the state,” Eilers says. “It’s been a time for research on new grapes that grow in the cold climate as well as just fine-tuning wine-making techniques.”

The conference is being held on February 5th and 6th at the Gateway Hotel & Conference Center in Ames. There will be speakers and sessions focused on improving practices and knowledge in enology — the study of wine — as well as viticulture, marketing and business, and industry exhibitors showcasing the latest tools, products and services.

Learn more at : www.iowawinegrowers.org

(Radio Iowa)

Iowan Sam Clovis takes job with USDA

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 21st, 2017 by Ric Hanson

An Iowan who has been an advisor to Donald Trump during the presidential campaign is moving into the job in the U-S Department of Agriculture. Sam Clovis of Hinton, Iowa was sworn after Trump was sworn in so he can begin his duties.Clovis says they are setting up what they call a beachhead team to ensure they have a smooth transition between the administrations.

Clovis did not go into detail about his specific U-S-D-A duties, but says the Trump administration will be marked by a very conservative agenda. “I’ve been personally involved over the last several weeks of making sure the policy implementation that we are going to see from day one — starting this afternoon forward — I will say without qualification it is the most conservative agenda I have seen come from a Republican presidency in a long time,” Clovis says. “I may be more conservative than Ronald Reagen’s was.”

He does say that President Trump has assured him that biofuels will continue to be a major part of America’s energy plan. “It is our distinct guidance that we keep to an all of the above energy plan,” Clovis says. He says he’s already talked with incoming Energy Secretary Rick Perry about the issue.

Clovis formerly supported the former Texas Governor when Perry ran against Trump early in the G-O-P presidential race. Thousands of protesters opposing Trump lined the streets of Washington today, with some clashing with police. Clovis says he has never seen protests to this level after an election but thinks he partly knows why so many have come to the capitol. He says people are coming to get attention through social media and other media. “And this is why I think they are motivated to do it more than anything else, because it allows them to get the attention across the world,” Clovis says.

Clovis added that he’s disappointed by the number of those who don’t want to reconcile with the fact that Trump is now president. “I honestly don’t think I’ve every seen anything in our history like this where we’ve seen such adamant digging in on the part of the opposition over anything,” Clovis says. “Because I think a lot of has to do with the American people decided — and not the elites in Washington.”

Clovis is a veteran who has run for the U-S Senate, state treasurer, and was also a former professor and radio talk show host.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa dairy to pay $160K in settling water pollution lawsuit

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 20th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A northwest Iowa dairy has settled a federal lawsuit and promises action to prevent future manure discharges into nearby streams. Prosecutors also said Thursday that Meadowvale Dairy, of Rock Valley, has agreed to pay a $160,000 civil penalty. The proposed consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court.

The lawsuit filed last February alleges that since 2001, Iowa has cited Meadowvale a dozen times for failures to maintain adequate storage for effluent.  The complaint says Meadowvale operates waste systems for two interconnected feeding operations for a total of about 10,000 head of cattle. It says wastewater from two of Meadowvale’s facilities entered two tributaries of the Big Sioux River in violation of the dairy’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits.

Trout stocking at Big Lake postponed

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

January 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Council Bluffs – The trout stocking scheduled for tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 20th) at Big Lake has been postponed until spring due to rapidly deteriorating ice conditions. The Iowa DNR says the family fishing event scheduled for this Saturday, Jan. 21 has been cancelled, and will not be re-scheduled.

Bankers: Weak farm prices biggest threat to rural economy

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 19th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Bankers across Middle America say depressed farm commodity prices are the biggest threat to the economy this year in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states. The overall economic index in a monthly survey of bankers for the region remained in negative territory at 42.8 in January, down slightly from December’s 42.9. Survey officials say any score below 50 suggests an economic decline.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says livestock commodity prices have tumbled by 7.3 percent and grain commodity prices by 11.7 percent in the last year. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

Goss says the rural economy is improving in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota, while all the other states are trending lower.

Cass County Extension Report 1-18-2017

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

January 18th, 2017 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson.


Atlantic Parks and Rec Board approves donation of one-room school house

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 17th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors, Tuesday evening, voted to accept from the Lions Club, the donation of a little, one-room school house already located at Sunnyside Park. The Lions Club is currently maintaining the structure, which was built in 1870 and relocated to just off Sunnyside lane, in 1960.

Parks and Rec Director Seth Staashelm said the Lions want to donate the house to the Parks Department (a non-profit organization), because the Lions (also a non-profit group), want to apply for grants that will enable them to maintain the building (including new siding), and improve the surrounding landscape.

The Parks and Rec Board also agreed with the Schildberg Recreation Area Committee, that 20 electrical pods to be installed at the Rec Area Campground site, should be metal and purchased from Kriz-Davis for around $3,450. That would be less expensive than a marina-style, fiberglass pod that had been proposed.
Seth Staashelm told the Board that the Enhance Iowa CAT grant application (pertaining to improvements at the Schildberg Recreation Area) is finished, and has been submitted to the Enhance Iowa Board.

The thick, spiral bound application spells out the amount of support the application and proposed project has, including matching funds from the City and County, and in-kind labor contributions. He said they hope to receive an invitation to appear before the Enhance Iowa Board, in a couple of weeks and make a presentation, as well as to answer any questions. If the grant is approved by this April, it will help to cover phase 1 of the Schildberg Recreation Area project, which involves electrical and water hook-ups to the camping pads, along with a new storm-safe shower and shelter house.

Staashelm reminds the public that shelter house reservations at one of the five City Parks are being accepted for groups and families. Already there are reservations made to this month. If you would like to reserve a shelter for an event or family get together, you can do so online at the Parks and Rec website (http://www.atlanticiowa.com/atlantic/city-departments/parks-recreation/reserve-a-shelter/) or call Seth Staashelm at 712-243-3542.