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.

Cass County Extension Report 02-11-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

February 11th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Extension Program Coordinator Kate Olson

Play

USDA may turn new focus on excessive use of antibiotics for livestock

Ag/Outdoor

February 11th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The budget President Obama sent to Congress asks for more than one-billion dollars to fight antibiotic resistance, with some of the focus on animal agriculture. Under the proposal, the U-S-D-A would get 77-million dollars to find ways to reduce use of the drugs in livestock. Hans Coetzee, a veterinary medicine professor at Iowa State University, says antibiotic resistance can make common medications ineffective, meaning, sick people or sick animals don’t get better.

Coetzee says, “We recognize that when both MDs and veterinarians are using the same class of drugs to treat disease, that we both have responsibilities to ensure that we’re using those drugs prudently and responsibly.” He says it’s important to develop new animal care strategies to stop the spread of antibiotic resistance.  “It would be prudent for us in production agriculture to find ways to minimize the amount of antibiotics used, to most effectively use the drugs that we have, and then to identify alternatives,” Coetzee says.

The president’s proposal nearly quadruples the U-S-D-A money designated for such research.

(Radio Iowa)

US farmers expected to see 32 percent drop in income in 2015

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Net income for U.S. farmers is expected to fall by nearly 32 percent this year because of low crop prices and increasing expenses, placing many farmers in an unprofitable situation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture released estimates on Tuesday that show 2015 is expected to be the second year in a row that farmers will see their income fall. Income was down 16 percent from 2013 to 2014.

The report estimates net farm income will be $73.6 billion in 2015, down from $108 billion in 2014. It was at a record $129 billion in 2013. The report also anticipates that as income falls, expenses will increase by one-half percent. Government programs that pay farmers when commodity prices are low are expected to increase 15 percent this year.

Atlantic Parks and Rec Board approves preliminary Kiddie Korral site plan

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department’s Board of Directors, Monday, discussed the preliminary site plan prepared by Snyder and Associates Engineers, for the Kiddie Korral shelter, at Sunnyside Park. Parks and Rec Director Roger Herring said once they started tossing about ideas, Herring’s main concern was the location of the new shelter.

Site plan for Kiddie Korral

Site plan for Kiddie Korral

He feels it needs to be moved 10 to 15-feet south of the current location, and change the orientation of the building to a more southwesterly direction. Herring said the building also needs to be handicapped accessible, and there needs to be some kind of a service road.)

Other plans call for replacing the current fire pit with one similar to that which was recently installed at the Camblin Addition Shelter, a walkway to the shelter and other features for the surrounding area. The Board gave Herring the go-ahead to pursue the purchase of a pre-fabricated arch-beamed, metal roofed 30-by-50-foot shelter, that simply needs to be assembled on a concrete pad.

Snapshot of the proposal shelter for the Kiddie Korral at Sunnyside Park.

Snapshot of the proposal shelter for the Kiddie Korral at Sunnyside Park.

The shelter’s pad and electrical systems are not included in the $30,000 cost of the building, which will likely be paid for through the Local Option Sales Tax. A commitment from the Kiwanis and other sources of fundraising will help to defer the remainder of the costs.

In other business, the Atlantic Parks and Rec Board approve the filing of an application for a TAP (Transportation Alternatives Program) grant for the Schildberg Recreation Area Lake number 2 Trail.  There is a little more than $300,000 available for the grant period ending Feb. 27th. Herring says they hope to get $153,000, with a 20-percent local match, which he intends to seek during the next meeting of the Atlantic City Council.

The Nishna Valley Trails group is seeking funds from the City, County and other entities as well as through grants, to bring build a connector trail from the Rec Area to the Atlantic Municipal Utilities’ well heads near the Atlantic Little League Diamonds across from KJAN.

Proposed additional trail around Lake #2 at the Schildberg Rec Area.

Proposed additional trail around Lake #2 at the Schildberg Rec Area.

Herring said the Lake #2 trail is critical to fulfilling the goal of bringing in hikers and bicyclists to the Rec Area, which can be a destination focal point for outdoor enthusiasts and bring more traffic into downtown Atlantic.

New Iowa land trust seeks to preserve farmland for growing healthy food

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 7th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The first-ever statewide non-profit organization to preserve farmland from urban sprawl is launching its operations. Suzan Erem, of West Branch, is president of the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust, or SILT. Erem says the new organization will be focused to protecting Iowa farmland to grow healthy food. “We’re going to be targeting land that’s surrounding our growing communities,” Erem says. “Market farmers are having trouble staying close to their markets. They’re under pressure either from development or from commodity farmers. Either way, the land prices go up and it makes it much harder for them to stay close to the community where they’re trying to sell their produce.”

Farmers, she says, are often land rich and cash poor. “If we don’t have a non-profit taking the pressure off of the land from development or commodity prices, there’s no way to keep it from going up and up and up,” Erem says. “Every time somebody buys land, they count on 30 or 40 years from now, selling it at a higher price.” Working with city planners and private developers, she says small farms can be built into a community’s planning process.

“If we can’t take the land out of the equation, we’re always going to have our farmers farming with one arm tied behind their backs with this debt,” Erem says. “The land trust will protect the land and keep it just for local food production which eliminates that competition with the other pressures.” Independent, family farms help to provide a diverse, healthy landscape which she says will increase nearby home values while attracting new businesses seeking a high quality of life for employees.

Learn more at: www.silt.org.

USDA Report 02-05-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

February 5th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Max Dirks

Play

Local trails group asks Atlantic City Council for funding of Connector Trail

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 5th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday, listened to a presentation from a representative with the Nishna Valley Trails (NVT) group, and their request for $50,000 in funding to help in their efforts to continue progress on the “Troublesome Creek Connector Trail.”

Dave Chase speaks to the Atlantic City Council.

Dave Chase speaks to the Atlantic City Council.

Dave Chase said last summer, the group applied for and received a $96,000 Iowa Department of Natural Resources REAP (Resource Enhancement and Protection) Grant, for the organization’s latest project. It was one of seven out of 24 projects that had applied for and received funding from the state for cities the size of Atlantic.

The $550,000 project involves the construction of about a 1.5-mile recreational trail and the use of a 12-foot wide single-span pedestrian bridge. The bridge itself has not yet been purchased. Chase said the group has raised more than half the funds needed to purchase the bridge needed to span Troublesome Creek, through a Community Drive, which has brought in a little over $50,000 since Christmas. He said the group has also filed a number of grant applications, but even if those are approved, it still won’t be enough to help complete the project, which is why NVT came to the City of Atlantic to ask for additional help.

Chase and City Administrator John Lund discussed the possibility of using a portion of the Community Progress Fund which is derived from the Local Option Sales Tax, to leverage more of the grant funds.  If the City Council should approve the $50,000 matching funds request, it would be combined with $50,000 from the County, which Chase said he intends to pursue as well. He said their goal is to raise all the necessary funds by this spring, with bid-letting at the same time, and construction getting underway this fall. He said the engineering aspect of the project has been completed.

The City of Atlantic’s Community Promotion Commission is set to consider a request from NVT for $10,000, during their meeting at Noon, today (Thursday).

Cass County Extension Report 02-04-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

February 4th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Play

Seed Treatment Course Scheduled for Feb. 18

Ag/Outdoor

February 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

RED OAK, IOWA Montgomery County will host a Seed Treatment Continuing Instructional Course (CIC) for commercial pesticide applicators, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. The program will be shown at locations across Iowa through the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP).

The local attendance site is ISU Extension and Outreach Montgomery County, 400 Bridge Street Suite 2. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the course will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. The registration fee is $35 on or before Feb. 11 and $45 after Feb. 11. To register or to obtain additional information about the CIC, contact Jodie at the ISU Extension and Outreach office in Montgomery County at 712-623-2592.

The course will provide continuing instructional credit for commercial pesticide applicators certified in categories 4 and 10. Topics to be covered include equipment calibration and safe application techniques; pests, pest management and pesticides; and issues concerning treated seed.

Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be offered. Interested participants should bring their CCA number for the CEU sign-in sheet.

Additional information and registration forms for this and other courses offered by the PSEP team can be accessed at www.extension.iastate.edu/PSEP/.

Lawmakers back effort to preserve Iowa farmland

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 3rd, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers are getting behind an effort to preserve farmland in the state. Sen. Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, and Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, a Republican from Wilton, said Tuesday they would serve on an advisory board to the new Sustainable Iowa Land Trust. The organization seeks to preserve land in Iowa for farming and to make it more affordable for beginning farmers.

The legislators said the effort would benefit Iowa. They are not planning any immediate legislation, but will start discussions about what the state could do to help. Suzan Erem is president of the Iowa Land Trust. She said the group will try to help reclassify land to preserve it for farming and will seek to acquire parcels that could be leased to farmers.