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.

Posted County Grain prices, 11/20/15


November 20th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $3.26, Beans $8.16
Adair County: Corn $3.23, Beans $8.19
Adams County: Corn $3.23, Beans $8.15
Audubon County: Corn $3.25, Beans $8.18
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.29, Beans $8.16
Guthrie County: Corn $3.28, Beans $8.20
Montgomery County: Corn $3.28, Beans $8.18
Shelby County: Corn $3.29, Beans $8.16

Oats $2.18 (always the same in all counties)

(Information from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency offices)

Adams County wind turbine will be nation’s tallest

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — MidAmerican Energy says a wind turbine being built in southern Iowa will be the nation’s tallest. The Des Moines Register reports the utility is building the turbine in Adams County as part of a 64-turbine development that should be completed by the end of the year.

Unlike regular towers built of steel, the taller tower will be concrete. The tower will rise to 377 feet, compared to a typical 263 feet, and when the blade is added the height will reach 554 feet. That’s nearly as tall as the Washington Monument.

Mike Gehringer, MidAmerican’s vice president of renewable energy, says by building the tower higher, the turbine can generate more electricity. He says such towers could make some “low-to-medium wind resource areas” viable for wind energy.

Holiday Harvest Market set for 11/23

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Community Center will be transformed into a bustling holiday market on Monday, November 23rd, from 3:30 to 7:30 pm. Officials with Cass County/ISU Extension say you can stay warm and cozy as you find fresh, locally grown produce for your Thanksgiving gatherings, decorations for your holiday table, or gifts for a special loved one.

Get some help with your holiday baking from southwest Iowa bakers…think pies, quick breads, artisan yeast breads, pastries, cakes and more. A variety of seasonal fall vegetables will be available to prepare fresh for your table, and you can also enjoy the tastes of summer by shopping an assortment of preserved jams and jellies. Locally produced apples, honey, popcorn and more will round out the list of foods for sale!

Many food vendors will be providing samples for shoppers to enjoy as they browse, and complimentary coffee and water will also be available. In addition to edible treats, shoppers will also find unique holiday gifts and home decor made by local artisans. Get a head start on your holiday shopping or find the perfect accent for your holiday decorating. From hand-crafted jewelry and accessories to bath and body products; finding a personalized gift (or a treat for yourself) will be a snap! To decorate your home, or spread cheer to a friend, look no further than locally made rugs, blankets, horseshoe art, home décor and many other hand-crafted items. With over 23 vendors registered so far, there’s sure to be something for everyone!

Fun activities for youth, educational booths and a festive atmosphere will make this an event the whole family can enjoy. A full list of registered vendors, as well as other activities and special events is posted online at the Cass County Extension website (www.extension.iastate.edu/cass) and updated regularly. You can also follow the Produce in the Park Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ProduceInThePark) for current event information and updates on vendors.

The Holiday Harvest Market is sponsored by Farmers Markets of Cass County, Cass County Local Food Policy Council, and City of Atlantic Community Promotions Commission, in partnership with the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce.

Atlantic FFA Heads to Kentucky

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 16th, 2015 by Jim Field

Clayton Saeugling, Garrett Schwanke, Nate Moen, Lexi Freund, Haley Carlson, Emily Saeugling, Cale Pellett

Clayton Saeugling, Garrett Schwanke, Nate Moen, Lexi Freund, Haley Carlson, Emily Saeugling, Cale Pellett

The Atlantic FFA loaded up seven members and one advisor and headed off to Louisville, Kentucky this past week to attend the 88th National FFA Convention and Expo! The group which included seniors Haley Carlson, Clayton Saeugling and Garrett Schwanke, Juniors Nate Moen and Lexi Freund and sophomores Emily Saeugling and Cale Pellett along with advisor Eric Miller left Tuesday, October 27th to head down. With a 13 hour drive over, the chapter went out to eat and explored the hotel before turning in for the night.

Wednesday marked the first day of the National FFA Convention and the Atlantic FFA started it off at the Louisville Slugger Museum. Here, members toured the factory and learned the history, evolution, and even processing of these bats. Members were also able to witness history as fresh bats were carted by to be shipped off to be used in the World Series! Everyone received a miniature baseball bat of their own after the tour.

Finally the time had come where the Atlantic FFA made its appearance at the 88th National FFA Convention around mid-afternoon. There, the chapter attended the first general session where officers gave reflections on the convention.. During this session, FFA members heard from an inspirational speaker that goes by the name of Rick Rigsby. Dr. Rigsby speech entailed many humorous, but also sad stories that all incorporate leadership and doing what’s morally right. This motivational speaker was a great way to end the first general session.

Thursday morning the FFA members spent the day at the Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby. The Atlantic FFA took a tour of the racetrack and learned about derby history. Inside the museum FFA members got to see all different types of derby wear and history. Also a oval room was set up to watch a movie about a day at the derby.

The morning continued to expo center, which is the size of five football fields and filled with 450 exhibitors that represent colleges, agriculture, US armed services, auto & truck companies, and fundraising. At noon, the Atlantic FFA gathered for the Iowa picture. This picture is a group photo of all the FFA members that attend national convention from the state of Iowa. Also Atlantic FFA attended the second round of the talent competition where 15 solo or group acts performed their musical talents. The chapter also stayed for the third general session, where the main event was the Stars of America pageant. The pageant includes special “Star” recognitions such as American Star Farmers or Stars in Agribusiness. These are individuals who have exceeded the expectations of others in the various categories.

On Friday, the group created their own tour in a way, for the reason that a tour through one of the many caves in Kentucky was cancelled due to excessive rain. After driving around for a short amount of time, one member suggested driving through the Burnheim National Forest and exploring it for themselves. In the forest, there were many “nature trails,” and walking paths to see the beauty of the landscape. After exiting the forest, the Atlantic FFA made their way to the Jim Beam distillery, where another self-given tour was presented to the group by their own advisor, Mr. Miller. The last place the Atlantic FFA went was the General George S. Patton Museum on Fort Knox. After touring the museum and taking a picture in front of a tank used in the Army, members went back to the convention center to hear Caleb Gustin give his retiring address, as well as listen to Brad Montague, creator of the series “Kid President” on Youtube. His speech was about promoting the world to do awesome things through easy and fun ways.

Haley Carlson, Lexi Freund, Emily Saeugling, Nate Moen, Cale Pellett, Garrett Schwanke, Clayton Saeugling

Haley Carlson, Lexi Freund, Emily Saeugling, Nate Moen, Cale Pellett, Garrett Schwanke, Clayton Saeugling

Saturday at the 8th session 4 Atlantic FFA members earned their American FFA Degree. Kristin Johnk, Chancey Richards, Wyatt Saeugling and Tucker Sager each walked across the stage to receive the Golden Key of the FFA, the highest award ever granted in the organization. After waving goodbye to Louisville around 10:30 a.m., the journey home had begun. Two stops were made along the way for food plus one at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, which is currently being renovated. Some members decided that five minutes of swaying 630 feet in the air from the wind was enough, so everyone packed up and got back on the road again.

The Atlantic FFA returned home at about 10:30 p.m. full of memories and fresh ideas on how to better their chapter. All members and even advisor Mr. Miller can agree in the saying that they took something very positive away from this event.

Senior, Haley Carlson said, “The 88th National FFA Convention continued to fuel my passion for agriculture in hopes of achieving my goals of state office someday. I got to reconnect with old friends and make many new ones. My favorite part was getting the chance to talk with state and national officers before sessions. I learned about the agriculture opportunities around the country. What sticks with me the most is that anyone, no matter who you are or where you come from, can wear the blue and corduroy jacket.”

Sophomore, Emily Saeugling said, “My first national convention was a really cool experience. I’m excited for the opportunities in FFA and I am really glad I had this experience.”

Got turkey? Expect slightly higher prices, thanks to bird flu

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Thanksgiving is ten days away and Iowans will likely be paying a little more for the centerpiece of the feast, according to poultry science expert Ron Kean. “Turkey prices will be up slightly this year,” Kean says. “We’re still suffering some effects from the avian influenza outbreak. Probably, prices will be up 10 to 15% from last year.”

Prices will be even higher, he says, for fresh turkeys or organic turkeys. “For frozen turkeys, the typical price will be maybe $1.15 to $1.20 a pound, would be my expectation,” Kean says. “And again, there will always be sales and some stores will cut that price to get you in the store.”

The bird flu wiped out about 10% of nation’s turkey production this spring. Iowa had more than 70 outbreaks of bird flu in 18 counties, which led to some 32-million turkeys and chickens being euthanized. There is concern migrating wild birds — ducks and geese — will bring another round of avian flu as they make their way south this fall but, so far, so good.

(Radio Iowa)

City officials to consider pledge for agricultural center

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Sioux City officials are preparing to vote on a pledge for the city to provide $2 million and 12 acres for an agriculture exposition and learning center near the former site of a food manufacturing facility. The Sioux City Journal reports the city council will be asked Monday to vote on the pledge, which will be contingent on a $1 million pledge from Missouri River Historical Development and a $2 million pledge from Woodbury County.

The city’s commitment would take $200,000 annually for 10 years from the capital improvement plan budget. The proposed project at the site of the former John Morrell Plant will cost about $11 million to $14 million total. Member of the Ag Expo and Learning Center Board, Dennis Gann, says the facility could open as early as 2017 if all the funding is secured.

MO. Valley berry farm among 9 businesses to receive USDA grants

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 16th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Nine Iowa businesses have won rural development grants from the U-S-D-A worth more than one-point-two million dollars. Among them, is Sawmill Hollow, in Missouri Valley, which received $250,000 in grant funds to help market an organic aronia berry product line in 15 key markets.

U-S-D-A Rural Development State Director, Bill Menner, says the grants are part of the “Value-Added Producer” program. “These grants are intended to help ag producers add value to their products. Sometimes they’re doing feasibility studies, sometimes it’s working capital, sometimes it’s helping them to promote the products. But these are all value-added producers who are doing really interesting things in rural communities,” Menner says.

The producers make and grow a variety of items, including goat cheese and lotions. “There’s an orchard that’s going to produce hard cider,” Menner says, “three different dairies using working capital to enhance or increase their production, and there’s even a grower out in western Iowa who is growing what are called aronia berries — which are the new super fruit.” The grants range from 43-thousand up to 250-thousand dollars.

“These producers have to show us a plan for their business, they have to show us how they’ll use the money, they have to have feasibility built into it. It’s actually a pretty complicated process,” Menner says.

Also included among the grant recipients, was Penoach Winery and Nursery in Adel, which received $48,000 in grant funds will be used to assist the winery to expand markets and increase sales.

(Radio Iowa)

Tractor museum in Avoca honored in Congress

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The owner of a tractor museum in Avoca received a surprise in the mail, recently. According to the Daily NonPareil, Jerry Mez, who owns the Farmall-Land U.S.A. Museum with his wife, Joyce, received word from Rep. David Young congratulating the business on 10 years in Avoca. Additionally, the Republican – who represents Iowa’s third district, which includes Pottawattamie County – commended the Mez family on the Congressional floor. He received the letter and Congressional record notice, which he now proudly displays at the museum located just off Interstate 80.

Mez is an International Harvester tractor man, collecting the implement for 40 years. The couple opened the museum a decade ago and today it boasts about 225 tractors, along with a plethora of memorabilia. A Young staffer had read about the museum and passed it on to his boss. The representative honored the museum in Congress on July 21st.

Jerry Mez thought that’d be the end of it. But he heard about an International Harvester auction in Frederick, Maryland, located about 45 miles outside Washington D.C.  He and his wife made the trip east and set up a meeting with Young.

USDA: Commodity prices at low point now where production costs aren’t met

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

More predictions point toward gloomy financial times ahead for Iowa farmers as commodity prices trend lower for corn and soybeans. Rod Johansson, an economist with the U-S Department of Agriculture, says those commodity prices have continued to drop and have now reached a crucial point. “They may be coming down so far that in some cases, farmers aren’t meeting the cost of production,” Johansson says. Despite predictions for record or near-record yields, the abysmal prices mean many farmers may have to make some difficult decisions as they plan for the months ahead.

“Producers start digging into their capital reserves and they also see a reflection in the negotiated land rent values,” he says. “We would expect to see an increase in loan activity occurring in the banking sector.” As they head into spring planting season in a few months, some Iowa farmers may chose to leave select plots of land unplanted, as it may cost more to grow a crop than the crop is worth.

Johansson says, “Marginal production acres, low-yield acres, high-cost production acres would likely exit from production if prices remain too low to cover production costs on those acres.” Some farmers may have to dip into their rainy day funds to make ends meet. He says the good news is there are back-up plans in place as many farmers have insurance and there are safety net programs built into the Farm Bill.

(Radio Iowa)

Organic ingredients company moving into old Sioux City plant

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – An old tool plant in Sioux City is being transformed for use in processing organic ingredients. The Sioux City Journal reports that American Natural Processors Inc. wants to expand its contract manufacturing business at the former Sioux Tools plant. Company owner Mark Schuett says the century-old structure would be used to process specialty organic and nongenetically modified proteins as well as for packaging, warehousing and distribution.

Schuett told the newspaper he didn’t have an estimate on the total cost of the project, which is expected to be finished by next fall. The project is expected to create 20 to 25 jobs.