KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Le Mars native works for US Ag Secretary

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 15th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

U-S Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s visit to Iowa last week spurred questions about the possibility of Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey joining the U-S-D-A. No announcement happened during Perdue’s visit to Nevada, but he did point out that a Le Mars, Iowa woman serves as his executive assistant. Rachel Pick started working in Washington, D-C as part of Senator Chuck Grassley’s staff before becoming an employee of the U-S Senate in the Sergeant-At-Arms office. She says meeting Perdue was happenstance.

She says Perdue needed help getting to the Senate office building for one of the hearings, and Pick says a friend asked her if she would meet Perdue and his family and help them get to the hearing.

Pick is a 2003 graduate of Le Mars Gehlen High School and grew up on a farm with her parents Wayne and Kelley Pick. She says her friend told Perdue of her farm background and that led him to ask her about a position in his office. “Had a phone interview and then a couple of personal interviews over the weekend, and then on Monday they extended an offer to me,” Pick explains. “So, it was a fast and furious interview process to get over here — but I’m glad it happened.”

Pick works with Perdue’s scheduler to be sure he gets to meetings and other appointments on time. Former Morningside College professor, and rural Hinton resident Sam Clovis joined the U-S-D-A shortly after Donald Trump took office. Pick says she sees him quite often. “His office is currently just down the hall from me, so they commonly refer to us as the ‘Midwest Maffia,” Pick says. “I think we were both kind of surprised to realize that we grew up just about 25 miles away from each other. So, when we talk about home it brings up lots of good memories, and its nice to have someone in the office that knows almost to the county intersection of where you are talking about.”

Pick says Secretary Perdue often talks to her about her opinions on ag issue. She says she keeps an aerial picture of her family farm on her desk and whenever Perdue meets with cabinet members or others, he points out. “And I think that’s really cool that he does appreciate the fact that I did grow up on farm and that my dad still farms,” Pick says.

Pick says she thought she would end up being a teacher in elementary education and special education when she was in high school, and had no idea that she would end up in Washington D-C.

(Radio Iowa)

Grain truck driver who caused Iowa bridge collapse cited

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 13th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

CRESCO, Iowa (AP) — A man accused of driving a 30-ton (30.48-metric ton) grain truck over a small county bridge with a 3-ton weight limit, leading to its collapse, has been cited. Cedar Rapids television station KCRG reports that the truck’s driver was cited for violating a weight embargo.

The collapse happened early the morning of May 5 on Cattle Creek Road over the Upper Iowa River east of Cresco. Officials say the bridge was designed to hold no more than the weight of an average pickup truck, and a sign warning of the span’s limit was clearly posted. Officials say the loaded grain truck caused it to buckle and collapse. No one was injured.

Officials say the river is back open to canoers, kayakers and other rafters.

Bigfoot morel mushrooms found in southern Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 12th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Bigfoot’s been spotted in southern Iowa — the mushroom variety — not the big hairy ape-like creature. The Iowa D-N-R is showing a picture of large morel mushrooms on its Facebook page that was sent in by the daughter of the man who found them in southern Iowa. The D-N-R’s Alan Foster says the large yellow-colored morels are different from their smaller yellow counterparts.

“It’s technically a separate species — at least from the training that I’ve received. It’s a morchella crassipes, more well known as bigfoot,” Foster says. And it’s one that pretty much signals the end of the season in that particular area.” The bigfoots are the last in the line of the morels that pop out in spring.

“With the progression of morel growth, we start with the greys, and then we get the yellows that are typically four to five inches tall. And then we get the bigfoots. Like their name implies, they can be a foot tall and as wide as a pop can,” Foster says. The recent discovery of the monster mushrooms fits in with the way the entire season has gone.

“It’s been a good season, it’s been kind of weird. We had perfect conditions as far as temperatures, daytime, nighttime soil temperatures. Moisture was good. But it was really strange, people were finding greys in southern Iowa while people in central Iowa were finding yellows. Some people were finding decent groups, some people just find ten or 12,” Foster said.

Michaela Welch took this picture of her grandfather, Everett Garr, and the bigfoot morels he found.

I mean, it’s been a solid season, but I wouldn’t say it has been gangbusters.”  The area of the state where you hunt mushrooms could dictate how well you did in finding them. “I think with the fluctuation of weather patterns and stuff, certain areas didn’t get what they needed, and certain areas did,” Foster says. If you haven’t been out hunting morels yet this season, time maybe running out.

Foster says this weekend may be about the end unless you can find some in the northern part of the state. He says some of his friends are heading to northeast Iowa this weekend and if they don’t find any mushrooms, they will be done for the season. The photo that’s getting all the attention was sent into the D-N-R from Michaela Welch, and shows her grandfather, Everett Garr, and the bigfoot morels he found in southern Iowa two weeks ago.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa corn farmers make “tremendous progress” planting, up to 2M acres a day

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 11th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Despite Wednesday’s heavy rain in parts of the state, Iowa State University Extension crop specialist Joel DeJong says Iowa’s farmers have been making good progress since the weekend U-S-D-A report that showed about half the state’s corn crop was in the ground.

“We’ve had magnificent days since Sunday,” DeJong says. “There’s been estimates that we’re planting well over a million acres a day in Iowa, probably closer to a million-and-a-half if you do the math, maybe even close to two-million acres a day. We’re making tremendous progress.”

The forecast calls for warmer temperatures for most of the state through the weekend, into the 70s and 80s, with no more chances for rain until Tuesday. With the warm-up, DeJong says corn that was planted a month ago is beginning to appear. “For those producers who planted in very early April, the 11th and 12th of April, we had a few people that planted then, that corn should be up by now,” DeJong says. “We saw some emergence for those hybrids last week, but we hadn’t accumulated a lot of growing days until we got into late last week.”

Corn planted around the 23rd and 24th of April should be emerging very soon. In recent weeks, Iowa has seen early spring snowstorms, wet conditions and very cold temperatures, which has been difficult for the emerging corn plants. “They struggled. You can see tissue damage from those 22-degree temperatures and the really cold nights we had in the mix,” DeJong says. “You can see tissue damage on the chute but it looks like most of them did get above ground and they’re leafing out okay. I’ve heard a couple of reports from a county that says the cold really did mess up the germination and we’ve had some real problems.”

DeJong says it’s likely a majority of the state’s corn farmers will not have to replant their seed.

(Radio Iowa)

Local 24-Hour Rainfall Totals at 7:00 am on Thursday, May 11

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

May 11th, 2017 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic  .73″
  • Elk Horn  .82″
  • Massena  .49″
  • Oakland  1.5″
  • Glenwood  1.83″
  • Red Oak  .36″
  • Clarinda  .13″
  • Shenandoah  .51″
  • Missouri Valley .54″
  • Woodbine  .42″
  • Carroll  .61″
  • Bedford  .23″
  • Council Bluffs  .72″

Frederickson Fund donates $500 to Friends of Lake Anita

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 10th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Trevor Frederickson Memorial Fund has donated $500 to the Friends of Lake Anita. Fund spokesperson and Trevor’s mom, Melanie Petty, says the funds will be used for the FLA’s upcoming kids fishing clinic, which will be held the first Saturday in June. Josh Peach with the DNR said participation in the clinic continues to grow each year. Volunteers are on hand to show kids different species of fish found in the lake and answer any questions they might have. It’s a fun free event for the entire family.

Fishing was a favorite outdoor activity of Trevor’s. Melanie Petty said “We are happy to donate in his memory.”

Josh Peach and Melanie Petty

She asks you to please consider supporting the Trevor Frederickson Memorial Fund by golfing in the annual T-Fred Golf Tournament which will be on August 12th, 2017, at Nishna Hills Golf Club. If you don’t golf, you can still stop by the clubhouse and bid on silent auction items that are set up throughout the day. Other merchandise will also be available to purchase.

Cass County Extension Report 5-10-2017

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

May 10th, 2017 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson.


Atlantic City Council to take up Chicken issue w/recommendation from CPC

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 10th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

When the Atlantic City Council next convenes, they’ll act on a recommendation from the City’s Community Protection Committee, with regard to the allowing of chickens within the City limits. The CPC met Tuesday evening to discuss the amending of the City Code to allow chickens. The Committee voted 2-to 1 to recommend approval, with Gerald Brink voting No, Chris Jimerson and Ashley Hayes voting in favor of the recommendation.

If the Council approves, the matter will be return to the CPC to write the rules that will be incorporated into an amended ordinance. The re-write will then go back to the Council. Councilman Gerald Brink said no one he’s spoken with or heard from is in favor of allowing chickens inside the City limits, but Councilperson Hayes said she’s hearing just the opposite.

Brink said he doesn’t buy into the “eggs are cheaper if you raise chickens at home” point of view, saying “You can buy eggs for 49-cents a dozen…you’ve [still] got to feed the chickens.” Councilman Chris Jimerson said people who want chickens aren’t concerned about the price of eggs, as most were back when the Bird Flu hit Iowa. Hayes agreed. Jimerson said “This newer generation isn’t so much concerned about price. They’re concerned about the quality they’re getting,” and if they feed the chickens themselves, they know what goes into the final product. Hayes said also, that they can profit from the sale of eggs produced in excess of what they can use in their household.

Atlantic City Administrator John Lund said he’s checked with Red Oak, Shenandoah and Harlan about their poultry ordinances. Harlan doesn’t allow them, Red Oak allows a Farmland Animal permit, with the City Administrator conducting inspections. And Shenandoah only allows them in Agricultural areas outside of town.

Separately, the Committee was not in favor of allowing Ducks within the City limits, but if the “yes/no” measure is approved by the Council, that too will come back before the Committee for rule writing.

Recent good weather helping Iowa farmers with field work

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

May 10th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Up until today (Wednesday), at least, Iowa farmers were putting in some long hours, taking advantage of good weather while they can, to get all their crops planted. Robert Lynch, who farms north of Fort Dodge, says he worked nearly around the clock on Sunday and finished planting one of his corn fields early Monday morning.

The USDA’s weekly crop update shows 52-percent of the state’s corn acreage was planted as of Sunday. That’s about a week behind last year’s pace, but just a little later than average. “The corn is probably right on line. If we try to get in by the sixth to eighth of May to get our corn finished up, and turn right around and do the beans, it’s probably right on line,” Lynch said. “The beans will be good to get in this early too.”

Statewide, nine-percent of the soybean acreage is planted. That’s about two days behind average.

(Radio Iowa, w/thanks to Dean Borg, Iowa Public Radio)

Flooding hits parts of Missouri River basin, but experts say it’ll be moderate

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

May 8th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

A report from the U-S Army Corps of Engineers finds runoff into the Missouri River reservoir system is increasing, but it’s still well within the flood capacity. Nicole Shorney, a hydraulic engineer with the Corps’ Omaha office, says parts of the region are seeing some flooding, but nothing too severe.

“The 2017 calendar year runoff forecast is 29.7-million acre feet or 117% of average,” Shorney says. “Based on this runoff forecast, the May 1 system storage, the tributary project storage and Plate 6/1 in the Master Manual, the service level adjustment of 5,000 CFS that was made in April will continue through May.”

Corps engineer Joel Knofczynski says they have adequate space for all the predicted runoff. Knofczynski says releases from Gavins Point Dam are being adjusted due to downstream flooding. “Gavins Point releases averaged 28,500 cubic feet per second in April,” Knofczynski says. “In early May, releases were reduced to 21,000 CFS for several days to lessen downstream flooding. As downstream flows recede, releases will be increased to about 34,000 CFS by around mid-May.”

The Corps’ monthly report shows mountain snowpack runoff into the basin is now peaking.

(Radio Iowa)