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.

Tickets to Iowa bacon festival on sale in December

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Tickets to a popular bacon festival in Des Moines will go on sale next month. Organizers of the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival will sell tickets online Dec. 12 beginning at 12:12 p.m., at precisely 13 seconds past the minute. The Feb. 1st festival at the Iowa State Fairgrounds will have a Las Vegas theme that pays homage to Elvis Presley. There will also be a bacon-themed chapel for couples looking to get married at the event.

The festival is entering its seventh year and expanding its space at the fairgrounds. Organizers plan to admit 12,000 visitors, a jump from 9,500 last year.

Iowa cattlemen raising funds for blizzard victims in South Dakota

Ag/Outdoor

November 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association has launched an effort to help cattle ranchers in South Dakota who are trying to recover from a natural disaster. The untimely blizzard that hit western South Dakota in early October killed anywhere from 20-to-30-thousand (20,000 to 30,000) cattle, according to government estimates. Matt Deppe is CEO of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, which is calling on its members to donate toward the relief efforts in South Dakota. Deppe is hoping $2,000 will come from each Iowa county.

“That’s about the value of a bred heifer right now,” Deppe says. The storm that struck the Black Hills on October 4 packed 70 mile per hour winds and left behind snow drifts that were up to 10 feet high. The collection of Iowa donations from cattle producers is being coordinated by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation. Deppe says the foundation will send 100-percent of the Iowa dollars to the South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund.

“We’d like to get our donations in by the middle of December and turn around and send right up to the South Dakota crew,” Deppe says. Payments from individuals, businesses and county groups should be made out to the Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation with a notation that the money is for the South Dakota ranchers. Those donations can be mailed to: Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation, 2055 Ironwood Ct., Ames, IA 50014. Deppe is asking donations be made prior to Iowa Cattle Industry Convention in Altoona, December 9-11.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa corn harvest 88 percent complete

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The corn harvest is 88 percent complete in Iowa, about 8 percentage points ahead of normal and soybeans are 98 percent done, three days ahead of average. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says farmers finished with harvest have begun fall field work including tilling, fertilizer applications, and conservation practice construction.

He says the 12 percent of the corn crop still in the field represents an estimated $1 billion worth of grain yet to be harvested in Iowa. Much if it is showing high moisture levels and may require drying before it’s marketed. Iowa is on track for a 2.2 billion bushel corn crop, up 18 percent from last year.

Soybean production is estimated at 415 million bushels, slightly above last year’s 414 million bushels.

Cass County Extension and Outreach Hosts Beef Project Meeting

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Cass County 4-H & FFA Beef Project participants are encouraged to attend a Beef Project Meeting on November 19 at 6 PM at the Cass County Community Center. Information will be shared about project selection, management practices, and weigh-in information. Chris Clark, ISU Extension and Outreach Beef Program Specialist will also give tips for new and experienced beef project participants.

“The beef project has always been popular in Cass County. This meeting is a great way to kick off the year and get members thinking about participating in the beef project even before weigh-ins on December 28,” stated Beth Irlbeck, Cass County Youth Coordinator. “A meeting like this should help expand the  knowledge of the project and encourage advancement in the project area.”

Youth will also have to opportunity to discuss carcass data information, ask for clarification related to the beef project at the Cass County Fair and find out information about Beef Weigh-in, scheduled for December 28, 2013 from 8 AM-1 PM at the Cass County Fairgrounds Scalehouse.

For more information about the beef project, contact the Cass County Extension Office at 712-243-1132.

Elevator drier fire in Jacksonville Tuesday morning

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

About 600 bushels of corn were lost when a grain bin drier caught fire this (Tuesday) morning, in Jacksonville. Kimballton Fire Chief Bill Allen told KJAN News crews responded to the Peterson Bros. Elevator in Jacksonville at around 5-a.m. Allen said when they arrived on the scene, they determined the grain drier had caught fire sometime during the night, but the flames were contained to the drier itself. 

The situation was precarious, as there were flames shooting from the drier, and several fully loaded grain bins nearby. Allen says it took fire fighters about 30-minutes to knock down the blaze, but being full of corn, it continued to smolder. Crews were able to access a crane to separate the drier from the rest of the machine, cut it open and get to the source of the smoke and flames. They remained on the scene until 11-a.m. Allen says the fire apparently started within the drier itself.

He says there was an apparent mechanical failure that caused the corn to heat up and ignite. The Chief says efforts by firefighters from Kimballton, Elk Horn and Harlan to control the flames enabled the elevator to remain open for business.

There were no injuries reported and none of the actual grain bins were compromised.

Shelby County Fair Board elects new officers

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Fair Board selected a new president and vice president Monday evening. The Fair Corporation met at their annual meeting in Kimballton and selected Kent Ganzer of Harlan as the new president. Kent was serving as the vice president the past two years while Mark Peterson was president. The board elected Justin Ahrenholtz as the new Vice-President.

During the meeting, Peterson gave a report on the number of exhibitors and exhibits that were submitted to the 2013 Shelby County Fair. The fair saw 742 livestock exhibits from 4-H and FFA members while the open class had 258. Meanwhile the non-livestock exhibits totaled 525 from 4-H and FFA and another 761 in the open class.

The Shelby County Fair Board also discussed next season’s project as they are working towards a brand new show ring and are taking donations. The board has recognized a need for air conditioning in the 4-H building and has applied for grants. The current show ring at the Shelby County Fairgrounds is nearly 50 years old and in addition there are safety and ventilation concerns. The new replacement arena will be an open walled, steel building with ample room for animal preparation, new safer gates and more seating including handicap accessibility. The estimated cost of the show ring is $150,000 while the air conditioning project is another $25,000. A third project has been established to add cement alleys near the horse barn.

The Shelby County Fair Board reported over $100,000 has been raised thus far for the ring. If you would like more information or donate to any of the three projects, log on to www.shelbycountyfair.org to download the donation form or talk with any fair board member. Two businesses were given awards also during the Shelby County Fair Board meeting. The Harlan News Advertiser and Tribune and the Harlan Pizza Ranch received the business appreciation awards.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Sen. Grassley joins chorus of ethanol backers in bashing AP story

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is joining other ethanol supporters in criticizing an Associated Press story that focuses on the negative side of growing an increasing amount of corn for fuel in Iowa and across the Midwest. The report accuses farmers of polluting water supplies with fertilizers and rolling over millions of acres of conservation land, while destroying wildlife habitats. Grassley, who has farmed for decades in northeast Iowa, defends the profession and the corn-based fuel.

“Ethanol has been a bright spot in our American energy policy,” Grassley says. “For instance, I filled up my flex-fuel car yesterday for $2.39 with 85% ethanol.” The national average for regular unleaded gas is three-17 a gallon, and it’s three-oh-three in Iowa. Officials at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association call the A-P report inaccurate and misleading. Grassley agrees, particularly with the claim about so much fertilizer that’s allowed to runoff into our waterways.

“You don’t put all those ingredients into the soil with the idea you want it to end up down in the Gulf of Mexico,” Grassley says. “You can’t afford that.” He takes exception to the allegations farmers are poor stewards of the environment or are wasteful or negligent with chemicals and their conservation practices. Grassley says, “Farmers take all kinds of precautions to keep the investment they have in producing a crop or raising livestock to make sure it’s done in an economical way because they’re not going to be in farming if they don’t do that.” The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association called the A-P story a “smear of ethanol” which “misrepresents” Iowa farmers “with a hidden anti-ethanol agenda.” Grassley agrees.

“You’ve got to remember that farmers drink the water, eat the same food as the city people do,” Grassley says. “They’re going to want to make sure that it’s safe for themselves as well as for everybody else.” The Renewable Fuel Standard is a federal mandate that more and more ethanol is blended into our gasoline as the years pass. Grassley, a Republican, says, “Big oil is using its power and money to try to get rid of this Renewable Fuel Standard because it likes crushing its competition.” He adds, “Affordable and abundant energy is fundamental to America’s economic strength, economic security, and even our national security.”

Other critics of the A-P story include U-S Ag Secretary and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, who says some elements of the report are simply “not true” and are “inaccurate.”

(Radio Iowa)

ISU research tracks economic impact of local food sales

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Sales of locally-grown food accounted for at least nine-million dollars in economic activity in Iowa last year according to a new report. Researchers at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University tracked “institutional purchases” of locally-grown food by grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes and schools. The researchers say this is the first attempt to try to measure the economic impact of regional food systems in Iowa.

Their work went beyond the traditional concept of a grower selling to a consumer at a farmers’ market to track sales between growers and businesses. Restaurants, grocery stores and other bulk purchasers reported buying nearly nine million dollars worth of locally-raised food products. On average, local food purchases accounted for a little less than nine percent of an institution’s overall food budget.

(Radio Iowa)

Farm Bureau offers farm lesson grants to teachers

Ag/Outdoor

November 12th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa Farm Bureau program designed to teach children about agriculture is opening the process for teachers to apply for grant money. The Teacher Supplement Grant program was established in 2003 and this year will award $200 to teachers in language arts and science who develop classroom programs that help students learn about agriculture. Farm Bureau has awarded nearly $100,000 to teachers in the last three years of the grant program.

The organization says with one of six Iowa jobs related, indirectly or directly, to agriculture, there’s a great need to bring creative agriculture education to Iowa’s elementary students to help them understand how farming is part of their everyday lives.

Teachers are encouraged to incorporate lessons of food safety, seed genetics, and environmental practices in their current curriculum.

Iowa Farm Bureau to conduct Farm Income Tax webinar

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Annual farm income tax preparation is a real challenge with changing tax codes and regulations. To help farmers through this process, the Iowa Farm Bureau is hosting a farm income tax webinar this Friday, November 15th, at 1:00 p.m.

Event speakers will draw on their experiences to provide useful, timely information for participants. Speakers include Roger McEowen, Director of the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation (CALT) at Iowa State University, and Charles Brown, President of AgriFinancial Services, LLC. The event will be available live, online to anyone wishing to attend. The webinar will also be recorded and available exclusively to Farm Bureau members online, along with webinar handouts.

Farmers can access the webinar from their home or farm office by going to www.iowafarmbureau.com, finding the webinar banner and entering the forum as a guest on the day of the event. Local sites are also being organized where farmers will gather to view the event together. In Southwest Iowa, the Cass County Extension Office in Atlantic and the Adair County Extension Office in Greenfield are the two local viewing sites. Other locations are set up around the state, and interested farmers are encouraged to visit the Farm Bureau website for an updated list of local viewing sites. No pre-registration is required for online or local viewing sites.