KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Cass County Extension Report 3-21-2016

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

March 23rd, 2016 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson

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Atlantic Fire called to leaking anhydrous tank n.e. of town

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 22nd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Fire Department was called to the scene of a leaking anhydrous ammonia tank just before 11-a.m., today. The incident took place about northeast of town, about 1.5 miles east of Olive Street off Troublesome Creek Road. Cass County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Kennon was on the scene, and provided KJAN News with an update at around 11:35-a.m.

He says the nurse tank overturned onto its side near the road. The leak wasn’t too bad, he said, but it was enough for them to be concerned. The primary concern will be the condition of the tank’s valves. Crews were in the process of up-righting the tank to inspect it.

Photo courtesy Mike Kennon, Cass County EMA

Photo courtesy Mike Kennon, Cass County EMA

Winds were gusting out of the west-southwest, so there was no danger to the public, especially since the accident took place in a rural setting.

Kiddie Korral at Sunnyside Park may be open by the end of May

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 21st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department Assistant Director Seth Stasshelm, Monday, said work is continuing on renovations for the Kiddie Korral Shelter house at Sunnyside Park. Staashelm said so far this Spring, grass seed has been placed on the ground, and brick has been ordered from Sioux City Brick for placement around the roof support columns. What’s still left to do is install the water fountain, and work on the fire pit. The Atlantic Kiwanis will come out and help clean-up the playground equipment. Some of the toys are also being replace. Until then, that area will be cordoned-off.  He says they will hopefully have it open by mid-May.

A date for the newly renovated facility has not yet been set, but it’s hoped that will be sometime in May. Reservations will not be accepted for use of the shelter until the end of May. Staashelm said also, work on the East Shelter renovation at Sunnyside Park is their next objective. The roof, he said, needs to be replaced, and the skirting is twisted, something that’s out of the scope of his and Parks Director Roger Herring’s area of expertise. To that end, they contracted with Iron Specialties for the installation of a new, red, tin roof. Their bid amounted to $7,700.

A separate local contractor will handle painting of the columns and rafters, for a total project price of just under $12,000, which is what had been budgeted for using the Local Option Sales Tax Funds. The Parks and Rec Board approved the contracts for work on the Kiddie Korral. Other activities taking place at parks in Atlantic, includes the grading of land near the Dog Park at the Schildberg Recreation Area. The land will be used for a one-way entry/exit, 20 stall parking spaces for the Dog Park. Currently, there are flags in-place, marking where the grading will take place by a tiling company.

And, the East Nishnabotna River Boat Ramp near the Wastewater Treatment Plant is almost finished. Roger Herring said they need to removal piles of rip-rap and dirt for the building of a berm. The earthen berm will be covered with grass cloth and river rock, to dress it up. A drive will pass by the Waterworks berm, and a parking area near the upper end of the boat ramp.

In other business, Herring and Staashelm are awaiting Wednesday morning’s meeting of the Cass County Board of Supervisors, to determine if their request for $40,000 in support of a Vision Iowa CAT grant application, will be approved. If it isn’t, or if the amount requested is less than received, Herring said that would have a big impact on the application. The Atlantic City Council has committed $100,000 in support of the $360,000 grant request for improvements to the Schildberg Rec Area campground site, and there is $40,000 for in-kind services that have been pledged. The grant requires a 50-percent local match (including 25% for in-kind services), or $180,000 altogether.

Shelby County Fire Danger risk remains “High”

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 21st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Bob Seivert, Emergency Management Coordinator in Shelby County, reports the field and grass fire danger category will remain “High” this week. Drying conditions, with minimal precipitation in the forecast, along with increasing daytime winds, means the risk for controlled/planned burns, could quickly spread beyond the intended area. Therefore, any outdoor burns should be conducted during the early morning and late evening hours.

Fire stations and businesses in Shelby County should leave their  Fire Danger” signs in the “High” category, through at least Thursday, when the next update on burning conditions will be provided. High Fire Danger

The Shelby County EMA says you should remember to call your controlled burns in to the EMA Communications center at (712) – 755-2124, and, contact your local Fire Chief before igniting any outdoor burns.

Iowa stopped inspecting egg farms during bird flu outbreak

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 20th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa suspended its inspections of egg farms last year during the bird flu outbreak, and the state still hasn’t resumed the routine checks. The Des Moines Register reports state officials followed the lead of federal investigators in stopping inspections to help limit the spread of bird flu, which prompted the slaughter of 48 million birds nationwide.

Federal inspectors are responsible for large egg-laying farms that typically have more than 3,000 birds. State inspectors make sure smaller farms are following safety regulations. Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says the state plans to resume its inspections when the Food and Drug Administration lifts its own ban on them.

Several other states were bird flu was found also suspended inspections for several months, but most resumed inspections late last year.

Iowa egg farm faces state legal action for wastewater spill

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 20th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — One of the nation’s largest egg farms, which lost millions of hens in last year’s bird flu outbreak, is defending itself against legal action by the state over a wastewater spill that killed 163,000 fish. The Environmental Protection Commission has referred Sunrise Farms to the attorney general for enforcement of violations of state laws and administrative regulations regarding the contamination of about 18 miles of Stoney Creek. The company owns egg-laying barns near Harris designed to hold up to 8 million hens.

An attorney for Sunrise Farms, an affiliate of South Dakota-based Sonstegard Foods, says the wastewater discharge happened a few months after the bird flu outbreak destroyed 3.8 million chickens and the farm was dealing with production issues it had never before experienced.

Cabins at 2 Shelby County parks available for online reservations

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

An official with the Shelby County Conservation Board reports persons interested in reserving one of two the cabins at the Nishna Bend Recreation Area or the cabin at Manteno Park, can do so on the web at www.mycountyparks.com.

Director Nick Preston says all you need to do is to go to the interactive calendar and simply choose the date or dates you want, then place your reservation. You may pay securely using your credit card.

The service is available as much as 24 months in advance, but cabin enthusiasts are encouraged to reserve your dates soon before they all sell out.

Shelby County Fire Danger remains “High” this week

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

March 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency say the light rains in the forecast today will not be enough to stop the potential for fire to spread rapidly. The Fire Danger category will remain “HIGH” until at least Thursday morning, when the next update is expected.

After today and tomorrow, winds and very low relative humidity will combine with the sunshine to rapidly dry the dead vegetation, again, making for dangerous fire conditions.High Fire Danger

The National Weather Service is forecasting very dry and very high fire condition for later this week.
The Shelby County EMA says you should remember to call your controlled burns in to the EMA Communications center at (712)- 755—2124, and, contact your local Fire Chief.

Some boaters still need to register

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says some 10-thousand boat owners are running out of time to register the hull identification number of their boats. D-N-R Boating Law Administrator, Susan Stocker, says the U-S Coast Guard found the numbers from the manufacturers did not meet regulations. “Recently the states have been tasked with making sure and verifying that these boats to have the 12-digit hull identification numbers, H-I-N’s. And so, we’re just trying to give a heads up to the boat owners that still need to register their HINS before they want to register it,”

Stocker says. She says boat owners should have gotten notice. “We’ve sent them an affidavit,” Stocker says, “and so what they do is they fill it out and either do a pencil rubbing or take a photography of their hull identification number to verify it. And then they can either mail it in, email it in or fax it in, and then we’ll process it.” Boat owners will need to verify the H-I-N prior to April 30th in order to renew their boat registration.

Stocker says any boat owner has to register their boat by the deadline or they face a five dollar penalty. Stocker says many boaters are probably getting the itch to get out on the water, and need to get the verification and registration complete. “As the weather does get warmer and everybody will want to get out on the water, we want to be sure they are able to do that by doing a little bit of paperwork before it gets too nice,” Stocker says.

Stocker says there are around 235-thousand boats registered in the state. for more information on the boat registration, go to the D-N-R’s website at: www.iowadnr.gov.

(Radio Iowa)

Produce in the Park Planning Meeting set for March 17th

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 11th, 2016 by Jim Field

The second Produce in the Park meeting will be Thursday, March 17, 4:30 pm at Atlantic Area Chamber of commerce meeting room, 102 Chestnut Street, Atlantic. Vendors of locally grown produce and handmade crafts, and anyone interested in the community event are invited to attend.

The opening date for Produce in the Park is June 2 to be held every Thursday night, 4:30 to 6:30 in Atlantic City Park. The vendor fee is $60 for the season.

An update on funding and expenses will be discussed. Marketing methods, activities and cooking demonstrations are also on the agenda. Decisions are made by the group in attendance.

The mission of Produce in the Park is promoting local food production and consumption, and building community to enhance the health and well-being of residents. Produce in the Park provides opportunities for direct marketing for producers, access to fresh local foods for consumers, social networking and educational opportunities for all participants.

For more information contact Susan Retz, Emily Krengel, LaVon Eblen or the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce.