KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Wildland fire suppression grants available to rural fire departments

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 20th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

AMES – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources forestry bureau, working in coordination with the US Forest Service has grant money available for Iowa’s rural fire departments to help battle wildfires. The grants offer funding assistance for wildfire suppression equipment, slide in units, hoses, nozzles, adapters, portable tanks and pumps, personal protective equipment and communications equipment.

Additionally, if a fire department has a special need that can be tied directly to wildfire suppression, this grant allows for such special requests. The grant provides 50 percent reimbursement for wildland fire equipment with a maximum reimbursement grant of $3,500 per department.

Gail Kantak, DNR state wildland fire supervisor, reminds fire departments that they should send her a Wildland Fire Report whenever they respond to a wildland fire or provide assistance to a prescribed or controlled wildland fire. Departments actively returning these reports can receive priority points in the Volunteer Fire Assistance grant application scoring process.

“It is important for rural fire departments to return these reports so we can assess the actual demands on our rural fire departments as a result of wildfire activity,” Kantak said. “The wildland fire reports are compiled locally and nationally and reported to Congress.”

The Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant applications are due October 15, 2016.  In mid-June, fire departments were mailed information about the Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant. The grant application package and the Wildland Fire Report form are also available online at www.iowadnr.gov/fire.

Local Rainfall 24-Hour Totals ending at 7:00 am on July 20

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

July 20th, 2016 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic  1.68″
  • 7 miles NNE of Atlantic  2.68″
  • Massena  1.49″
  • Wiota  1.7″
  • Missouri Valley  .74″
  • Creston  .8″
  • Persia  .81″
  • Logan  .32″
  • Council Bluffs  .09″
  • Bedford  .06″
  • Irwin  .51″
  • Villisca  .25″
  • Glidden  1.1″
  • Fort Dodge 3.61″

Ag group donates $150K to help NW Iowa counties fight DM Water Works lawsuit

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Soybean Association’s board of directors has voted unanimously to spend 150-thousand dollars to help Sac, Buena Vista and Calhoun counties defend themselves against a federal lawsuit brought by the Des Moines Water Works. Association C-E-O Kirk Leeds says the organization supports the three northwest Iowa counties because the suit could impact farmers statewide and this will bring a quicker end to the case.

“We ultimately think we’re going to be successful in throwing this case out,” Leeds says. “If you look around the country and certainly look around Iowa and the work we’re doing in Cedar Rapids, for example, it’s a great example of farmers and urban folks working together.” He says the court action takes away from the cooperative and proactive approach farmers have taken on water quality and nutrient management.

Leeds says, “It’s unfortunate because it certainly has distracted many of us from the work that was going on before and that continues but certainly at a distracted pace as relates to cleaning up the water and and improving nitrogen management.” He says the suit is also hurting efforts by farmers and the utility itself from implementing programs and practices to address water quality.

“It has taken dollars away from those programs, not only for farmers and farm organizations and the counties but also Des Moines Water Works,” Leeds says. “Before this is said and done, this first round in the lawsuit will have over $3-million invested in legal fees.” That’s money he says could have been invested in improving the water works’ facilities and in helping farmers to make the needed changes.

The lawsuit filed in March of 2015 charges the county supervisors allegedly allowed nitrates coming from 10 drainage districts to pollute the Raccoon River, a primary water source for 500,000 customers in Des Moines. The case is scheduled to go to trial in June of 2017.

(Radio Iowa)

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)