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.

Atlantic Parks and Rec Board approves 5-year plan

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors met Monday evening, and approved a 5-year plan for improvements throughout the parks system. Director Roger Herring and Assistant Director Seth Staashelm went through and rated the priorities the Board had discussed during their special meeting October 7th, and as we’ve mentioned previously, the number one priority is the Schildberg Recreation Area.

The Campground project at Schildberg is tops on the list. It includes installation of water and electric loops and hook-ups, as well as a dump station, with restrooms and showers. It’s hoped a Vision Iowa grant will pay for a majority of the costs associated with those improvements. Applications for the Vision Iowa Grant are due in by July 2016 for the Nov. 2016 grant cycle.

Also included among the major projects is: The replacement of a damaged section of trail with concrete, around Lake #3 at Schildberg: Development of the west side of the Rec Area with a restroom, running water and drinkable water access. The plan also includes an ADA compliant boat access ramp for Lake #2. Further down the list of major improvements over the next five-years, according to the plan, is asphalting or paving the gravel road on Iowa Avenue into the Rec Area, and a multi-purpose shelter complete with vending machines, and, a playground area.

Other major projects, not associated with the Schildberg Rec Area, include: the Trail connecting the Bull Creek Pathway and East Ridge Park; A master plan for swimming pool renovations; and Multipurpose Activity Center/Closed All-weather shelter.

In other business, Roger Herring said grading for the Kiddie Korral at Sunnyside Park is complete, as well as installation of piers for the footings needed to support the new shelter, once it’s built, the concrete slab, and a service walkway. Herring said construction of the new shelter structure is expected to begin November 7th, weather permitting. And, progress is finally being made on the boat ramp for the East Nishnabotna River, next the City of Atlantic’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The final pour of the whole ramp is set for this Wednesday, weather permitting. Once it’s cured, the ramp will be slipped into place and anchored. Afterward, landscaping will get underway and a gravel parking lot will be installed. The Iowa DNR is covering half the cost of the cement for the project, or $20,000. And, with regard to the Nishna Valley Connector Trail project, Roger Herring said the bridge and completion of the trail to just west of KJAN, will bring a positive economic impact to the community, especially as it expands eastward through the AMU Well fields.

He says AMU is in the discussion phase of improving their trails system, including the possibility of paving the current, gravel trail around the well heads.

Red Flag Warning is posted, farmers beware during harvest

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A Red Flag Warning is posted statewide today (Monday), for all but a few counties in northwest Iowa. The National Weather Service says the risk of wildfires is high due to strong winds, low humidity and dry vegetation. Farmers need to be especially cautious as they harvest dry crops. Iowa State University Extension ag engineer Kris Kohl says a recent survey found strong winds are the most common cause of combine fires.

File photo (area field fire March 2014)

File photo (area field fire March 2014)

“Wind is the number-one factor, especially when you’re above 25 miles an hour, to having fires,” Kohl says. “If we are harvesting, be very careful about bearings and stuff sitting on it because if we get a fire going, it’ll really take off.” He says farmers might be wise to give their equipment frequent breaks to cool off and for clean up.

“Stop every two or three hours and take a leaf blower and blow all of the chaff off of things,” Kohl says. “Check bearings to make sure nothing is getting hot. Bearings and exhaust are the two things that are prevalent when we have fires from combines.”

Two years ago, there were two major combine fires in northwest Iowa, which prompted the survey. Last week’s windy conditions contributed to several large fires in North and South Dakota. Forecasters say there’s a chance for some showers in Iowa tomorrow (Tuesday) though some areas of the state haven’t had significant moisture in several weeks.

(Radio Iowa)

Shelby County Fire Danger Index: Extreme!

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 19th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency is asking local fire departments and businesses in the county who possess “Fire Danger” signs, to place those signs in the “Extreme” category. High wind, low humidity, and significant crop left in the field will make for extreme fire danger this week. Any fires that start will be difficult to control and could spread rapidly. No burning is allowed during this period.

Extreme Fire DangerThe next update will be Thursday Morning.

Atlantic Parks Board to discuss & possibly approve 5-year plan

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors is set to meet Monday evening in the Council’s Chambers at City Hall. During the 5:15-p.m. session, the Board will further discuss and possible take action on approving a 5-year plan for parks and recreation, in Atlantic.

The new Nishna Valley Trail Connector bridge in-place near the KJAN studios.

The new Nishna Valley Trail Connector bridge in-place near the KJAN studios.

The Board held a special meeting on Oct. 7th to draft their “wish list” for the parks system. Following that meeting, Parks Director Roger Herring said the Board’s number one priority, was the continued development of the Schildberg Recreation area, and the seeking out of grant funds from Vision Iowa and other sources, especially with regard to the campground area at Schildberg. The Board will receive an update on the campground project, during their meeting.

During Monday’s meeting the Board will also receive an update on the Kiddie Korral at Sunnyside Park. The shelter was demolished after Labor Day, and work was scheduled to have begun Oct. 1st on the concrete portion of the shelter. They’ll also receive a report on the status of Boat Ramp access to the East Nishnabotna Rover, located near the Atlantic WasteWater Treatment Plant.

In other business, the Atlantic Parks and Rec Board will discuss and receive an update on the Nishna Valley Connector Trail project, and its impact on the Parks and Rec Department.

About 70 Wind Cave bison to be transferred to preserves

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, S.D. (AP) — Bison from Wind Cave National Park are scheduled to be transferred to preserves in South Dakota and other states to help form new or boost existing herds. The National Park Service says about 70 bison are part of this year’s relocation effort. The bison transferred out of state are going to Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Illinois.

The transfers are allowed under an agreement between the Park Service and The Nature Conservancy. Wind Cave’s bison herd is known for its high levels of genetic purity and diversity.

The approximately 70 animals set to be transferred will be among the dozens of bison that will be blood tested Tuesday. The park tests the bison every year. The animals also get an ear tag and are weighed and measured.

Iowa group seeks more permit oversight for pipeline

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 18th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A group that opposes a proposed oil pipeline across Iowa says it’s asking a federal agency’s regional office to be more stringent in permitting a private company access to waterways in the path of the project. Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement says it wants the Army Corps of Engineers’ district office in Rock Island, Illinois, to change how it is reviewing permit applications from Dakota Access LLC for parts of a pipeline that will also run through North Dakota, South Dakota and Illinois.

The Army Corps of Engineers helps oversee the country’s waterways. A district office spokeswoman says it is following the policies in place for reviewing the applications. The two sides plan to meet soon. The Iowa Utilities Board is reviewing a separate permit application for the pipeline.

Iowa streams have good flow heading into winter

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 17th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

You won’t have much trouble traveling most of Iowa’s waterways this fall. Tim Hall with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources keeps an eye on water levels. He says the U-S Geological Survey looks at around 100 gauges across the state to get a composite stream flow. “We’ve been running just slightly on the wet side or normal for the year — so stream flow is a little big higher than it would be normally this time of year — which is a pretty good place to be,” Hall says. He says the water in the streams and creeks is important.

“Stream flow contributes to a lot of things, it provides for habitat for fish and aquatic species, for migratory birds, its’ an ecosystem indicator. So, we kind of like to see stream flow at normal,” according to Hall. Stream flows often drop down in the winter time. “Being a little big higher than normal is great going into the winter….it’s going to replenish farm ponds, it’s gonna keep low-lying areas with some water in them, so that there’s plenty of moisture out there when spring rolls around,” Hall says.

The statewide average precipitation was a little more than four inches in September, and ranked it as the 50th wettest September in 143 years of records.

(Radio Iowa)

Shelby County Fire Danger “High” through this weekend

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency says the grassland/field fire danger level will remain “HIGH” through this weekend. Continued drying conditions, make the potential for grassland and standing corn fires higher than normal. Caution should be observed when burning and, notices provided to your local Fire Chief . High Fire Danger

The next local update will be Monday October 19th.

Uncertified Commercial manure applicators involved in Carroll County manure spill

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources said Thursday (Oct. 15th), a collision that occurred between two manure tankers owned by Schon Manure Hauling about 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 9th, led to a 9,500-gallon manure spill near Coon Rapids in Carroll County. No one was hurt. A DNR investigation Oct. 10th verified manure did not reach a water source or a tile
intake. The manure applicators cleaned up the spill, spreading manure in the crop
field and incorporated it.

Of three employees involved in the incident, only one, Brady Brehmer, was certified
as a commercial manure applicator. Chris Edwards and Jamie Hansen were not
certified, although they finished annual training in February. The business and
employees completed certification Oct. 13 by paying the required fees.

Alison Manx, DNR environmental specialist, says “Producers should make sure they are hiring certified manure applicators. Even businesses who are hiring from
another business should check to make sure the person they are hiring is certified.”

The first and easiest way to check is to ask to see their 2015 manure applicator
certificate and business certificate, and check the expiration date. Other options to check commercial certification status include:

  • Look at currently certified businesses on the Iowa State University Extension
    and Outreach website at www.agronext.iastate.edu/immag/maccma.html
  • Call the local Extension office
  • Call Colleen Conroy at 515-725-8268 at the DNR.
  • Call the regional DNR field office.

The DNR will consider appropriate enforcement action for not having current
certification as manure applicators. Manure applicators who need to renew their certificates can schedule an appointment with their local Extension office to complete video training or with their DNR field office to take a test. Certification is not complete until paperwork is filed with DNR and fees have been paid.

Cover crop planting deadline extended


October 15th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Winter hardy cover crops can now be seeded until Nov. 1 in northern Iowa and November 15 in southern Iowa for farmers participating in cost share programs

DES MOINES –Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Acting State Conservationist Richard Ellsmore with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) today said that planting deadline for cover crops for farmers participating in state cost share programs and most federal financial assistance programs has been extended.

“We have seen significant growth in the number of farmers using cover crops and number of acres that they are used on. There are an estimated 236,000 acres of cover crops supported by just state cost share programs. Some crops were delayed by wet weather this spring and this extension will help farmers still be able to use this important water quality practice even if their harvest is delayed,” Northey said.

Farmers intending to plant wintery hardy cover crops that are North of Highway 20 now have until November 1, 2015 to get the cover crops planted. Farmers south of Highway 20 now have until November 15 to plant and still qualify for assistance.

The following applies to cover crops planted during the extension period (Oct. 16 – Nov. 1 North of Highway 20 and Oct 16 -November 15 South of Highway 20):

· Cover crops will be seeded as soon as possible after harvest of the principal crop.

· The cover crop to be seeded must be winter hardy (i.e. cereal rye, winter wheat, triticale).

· The cover crop will be no-till drilled in crop residue.

· Allow cover crop to add growth as long as possible in the spring prior to termination to maximize benefits. Must be allowed to grow until at least 6 inches for those participating in federal programs.

· The extension does not apply for all federal programs. Contact your NRCS office if you have questions.

Farmers approved for cost-share assistance who are still unable to plant cover crops should contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) office.

For questions on the extension of the seeding date for State funded programs such as Iowa Financial Incentive Program (IFIP) or Water Quality Incentive (WQI) Program contact the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship at (515) 281-5851. For questions on the extension of the seeding date for Federal funded programs such as Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) or Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contact Barbara Stewart, State Agronomist, NRCS at (515) 323-2260.