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.

Iowa trout, walleye fishing improving over time

Ag/Outdoor, Sports

May 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Fishing in Iowa has improved significantly over the past three decades thanks to efforts the state and other groups have made. The Des Moines Register reports the improvement is especially noticeable when it comes to the prized game fish of walleye and trout.

Today, 42 streams in Iowa are sustaining trout populations. Thirty years ago only five streams in the state had self-sustaining trout populations. Officials say a variety of efforts by the state Department of Natural Resources, environmental groups and property owners have helped.

For instance, reducing the amount of soil that gets washed into streams and rivers has helped improve the habitat for fish. The improved fishing conditions will likely be popular in Iowa because 46 percent of the state’s residents say they fish.

FISH KILL INVESTIGATED IN CARROLL COUNTY

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say a fish kill was being investigated in Carroll County. The fish died in Brushy Creek near Halbur. A spill of anhydrous ammonia occurred shortly before noon on Saturday at the West Central Coop facility in Halbur.

It is suspected that runoff from washing the area where the spill occurred reached a tributary of Brushy Creek. A DNR inspection of the area on Sunday afternoon found dead fish along approximately two miles of Brushy Creek. Most of the fish were smaller fish species.

The DNR will return to the area on Monday to complete an assessment of the fish kill.

Cass County Extension Offers Tractor and Machinery Safety Certification

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the ISU Extension office in Atlantic say the Cass County Extension and Vo-Ag Teachers from Atlantic, CAM and Griswold schools will be teaching a 24-hour tractor and machinery safety certification course for local youth May 28-31 at the Cass County Fairgrounds. The training is required by law for any 14 or 15 year olds who want to safely operate a tractor over 20 HP and other machinery on a farm, acreage or any other business. Any youth who want to work in an operation that requires equipment operation must have this certificate. Youth aged 13 must be turning 14 during the summer of 2014 in order to be eligible for the certificate. 24 hours of training, including both a written and driving test, are required for participants to be certified.

While the certificate is required for 14 and 15-year old’s to be eligible for employment, anyone age 13 or older, including adults, is welcome to register for the class, as a wide variety of tractor, machinery and general farm safety topics will be taught. Participants will get some time “hands-on” driving farm machinery, as well as class time with Extension/Vo-Ag instructors and representatives from other local businesses and organizations.

The class dates are Wednesday, May 28 from Noon to 5 PM; Thursday, May 29 from Noon to 6 PM; Friday, May 30 from Noon to 5 PM and Saturday, May 31 from 8 AM to 4 PM. A $40 registration fee covers all class materials, including lunch for all 4 days of the course. Registration forms can be picked up from the Cass County Extension office or any Cass County Vo-Ag instructor. Forms are also available online at www.extension.iastate.edu/cass to print and return. Pre-registration is requested by Tuesday, May 27th,  to ensure enough materials and food are available for course participants. For more information, call the Cass County Extension Office at 712-243-1132 or email xcass@iastate.edu.

7th Annual Western Iowa No-till (WIN) Field Day to Focus on Soil Health

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with ISU Extension in Cass County say the 7th Annual Western Iowa No-till (WIN) Demonstration Field Day, scheduled for June 17th at the Carstens 1880 Farmstead south of Shelby, Iowa, will address a wide variety of topics for local producers interested in learning more about the practical application of no-till production practices and management of soil heath and fertility. Registration opens at 8 AM with coffee and rolls available. Local agribusinesses will be on hand to visit with producers in the morning and showcase their services/equipment.WINlogocolorweb[1]

The field day program begins at 9 AM with a weather and market outlook from Bryce Andersen with DTN. At 10 AM, rotating breakout sessions will cover nitrogen rate calculation and the evolution of cover crops in corn production. The breakout sessions will be followed by a lunchtime discussion on understanding soil biology and improving soil health. After lunch, keynote speaker Barry Kusel will share his experiences using cover crops successfully in his row crop farm in Carroll County.

Anyone with an interest in the practical application and impact of no-till production, whether looking for ideas to begin adopting no-till practices or a long-time no-till producer looking to improve production results, is encouraged to attend this field day. Nearly 200 ag producers and ag professionals attended the 2013 event, learning about effective soil stewardship strategies. In addition to the educational sessions at the 2014 WIN Field Day, there will be plenty of time for farmers to visit informational displays, vendor exhibits and network with other producers. 4 hours of CCA Credits have been applied for, and will be available at no cost for Certified Crop Advisors needing additional continuing education units this year.

There is no charge to attend this event, but pre-registration is requested by June 12th to ensure a lunch will be available. A free steak sandwich lunch with sides and dessert will be provided to all attendees, with steaks cooked by the Shelby County Cattlemen. Registration can be completed by e-mailing csgorham@iastate.edu or by calling the Harrison County Extension Office at 888-644-2105. More information is available at many local ISU Extension and NRCS offices, or can be found online at www.extension.iastate.edu/cass.

The field day is brought to you by NRCS, ISU Extension and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) in Harrison, Pottawattamie, Cass and Shelby Counties, along with many local supporting agribusinesses. 2014 Business Sponsors include Farm Bureau in East & West Pottawattamie, Shelby, Cass & Harrison Counties, Brokaw Supply Company, Sorensen Equipment Co., HTS Ag, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Shelby County State Bank, United Bank of Iowa and Bartlett Grain Co.

Persons with disabilities who require accommodations to attend or participate in meetings/events/functions should contact Dale DuVal at 712-644-2210, Ext 3, (Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339) or Dale.DuVal@ia.usda.gov by June 13th.

USDA announces changes to fruit, vegetable and wild rice planting rules

Ag/Outdoor

May 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has announced fruit, vegetable and wild rice provisions that affect producers who intend to participate in certain programs authorized by the Agricultural Act of 2014. “Similar to previous programs that we’ve administered, planting fruits, vegetables or wild rice on base acres on a farm can result in a payment reduction for program participants,” said John Whitaker, State Executive Director for the Iowa FSA.USDA logo

Producers who intend to participate in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs are subject to an acre-for-acre payment reduction when fruits and nuts, vegetables or wild rice are planted on the payment acres of a farm. Payment reductions do not apply to mung beans, dry peas, lentils or chickpeas. Planting fruits, vegetables or wild rice on acres that are not considered payment acres will not result in a payment reduction. Farms that are eligible to participate in ARC/PLC but are not enrolled for a particular year may plant unlimited fruits, vegetables and wild rice for that year but will not receive ARC/PLC payments for that year. Eligibility for succeeding years is not affected.

Planting and harvesting fruits, vegetables and wild rice on ARC/PLC acreage is subject to the acre-for-acre payment reduction when those crops are planted on either more than 15 percent of the base acres of a farm enrolled in ARC using the county coverage or PLC, or more than 35 percent of the base acres of a farm enrolled in ARC using the individual coverage.

Fruits, vegetables and wild rice that are planted in a double-cropping practice will not cause a payment reduction if the farm is in a double-cropping region as designated by the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation.

For additional information on fruit, vegetable and wild rice rules, visit www.fsa.usda.gov or contact your local USDA Service Center.

DNR to hold meeting on Beaver Lake water quality

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 23rd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is holding a public meeting to discuss the results of a study completed on the quality of water in Beaver Lake, located west of Des Moines in Dallas County. The meeting is set for 6 p.m. June 10 at the Raccoon Valley Bank in Adel.

The 34-acre Beaver Lake is on the state’s list of impaired waters because it has high levels of algae cause by too much phosphorous which impacts the recreation at the lake. The plan explores the amounts and sources of phosphorus and offers potential solutions to reduce those levels. High phosphorous levels often result from runoff of fertilizers from farmland.

After gathering comments, the DNR will forward a final plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval.

USDA: Fewer farm workers hired, pay slightly more

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the number of workers hired directly by farms in Iowa and Missouri during the reference week of April 6-12, was down 25 percent from a year ago. The USDA collects Farm Labor Survey data for January, April, July and October for 15 geographic regions. Iowa and Missouri make up the Cornbelt Two Region. In April this year 21,000 workers were hired in the two-state area compared with 28,000 a year ago.

The report says farm operators in the two-state area paid workers an average wage of $15.25 this year up $1.18 from a year ago. Nationally farm operators paid hired workers an average of $12 per hour during this year’s reference week, up 1 percent from the previous year.

Atlantic FFA Farm Safety Day

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic FFA had a “Farm Safety Day” Friday May 9, 2014. The chapter invited the 5th grade classes from Schuler Elementary to come up to the high school to learn all about farm safety. The nine stations stations started off with FFA/Ag Department run by FFA officers Haley Carlson and Emily McDermott. This station talked about the FFA and what the Atlantic chapter does. Also they talked about the Agriculture Department in the high school and the classes available.

Environmental/Farm Safety with Alexis Boes and Carly Westphalen:These FFA members talked about the safety precautions to take when around a farm or in the environment in general. Tractor Safety with senior FFA members Steven Wright and Tucker Sager: This station had a tractor with them to show the students the safety precautions to take when around and operating a tractor. PTO/Auger Safety with Clint Hansen and Tevin Krause: These boys talked about what a PTO (Power Take­Off) and how it attaches to an auger. Also they talked about the safety precautions to take when being around or operating an auger. This station also had a tractor with an auger attached to it for their presentation.

Lawnmower Safety with FFA officers Marshal McDermott, Adam Freund and Clayton Saeugling. These officers talked to the 5th graders about how to be safe when they are around or operating a lawn mower. The members used a lawn mower with their presentation. The next four stations included Chemical Safety with FFA members Kyle Redenbaugh and Wyatt Saeugling. Also ISU Agronomist, Aaron Saeugling teaching Chemical Safety. This station talked about all different kinds of chemicals used on a farm and the precautions to take when using chemicals.

ATV Safety with freshman members Morgan Barkley, Nate Moen, and Haylee Valekia. This group had a presentation board to explain the ways to be safe when riding or operating an ATV. With personal experience, the group also explained the consequences to an ATV accident. Motorcycle/Moped Safety with Skylar Svoboda, Tyler Christensen, and Reid Nichols. As the 5th graders will be able to operate a moped in the next few years, these boys explained to their groups the importance of being safe when riding on or driving a moped or motorcycle. This station had a moped and helmet with them Friday as an example.

The final station was Chainsaw/Weed Eater Safety with Colin Peterson and FFA officer Calley Klindt.
These two FFA members explained to the students the responsibility when operating a chainsaw or weed eater and the safety precautions to take when near these two pieces of equipment. This station also used a weed eater and chainsaw for examples.

Each station had a ten minute presentation ready for the 5th graders. To keep the kids focused each station had a quiz at the end with treats for prizes. The FFA members were very pleased with the attention and questions asked by the students. Fifth grade teacher, Gini Jordan said, “My students enjoyed being exposed to not only the many aspects of safety in agriculture, but the need for safety with mowers and mopeds, too. The event was well­planned and the high school students were prepared to share their information in an interesting way.” Atlantic FFA President Marshal McDermott said, “The FFA members had a fun time teaching the kids about safety in the agricultural field.”

The Atlantic FFA Chapter would like to thank Lindeman Tractor Inc., for allowing the chapter to borrow a tractor for the afternoon! The chapter would also like to thank Aaron Saeugling for donating his time to speak at the Chemical Safety station for the afternoon! We would also like to thank all the FFA members and parents that let us use their equipment for the day.

The Atlantic FFA hopes to make this an annual event to do every spring with the elementary or middle school kids. With 9 different stations and over 120 kids presenting or listening, the day went perfect!

by Haley Carlson – Atlantic FFA Reporter

USDA Report 05-22-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

May 22nd, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Max Dirks

Farmers Market Vouchers for Seniors 2014

Ag/Outdoor, News

May 22nd, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Connections Area Agency have announced that the state is continuing the Farmers Market voucher program for senior citizens. With this program, seniors meeting income requirements can obtain vouchers that they can use at participating area Farmers Markets to buy $30.00 worth of fresh, locally grown produce. If you have questions about eligibility, check with your local senior center. Applications for the vouchers will be available at your local senior center by May 28th.

Your completed application guarantees you a booklet, but there is a limited number, so contact your local senior center if you are interested in this program. Once you have a completed application, you can return to your local Senior Center on June 9th or thereafter, to pick up your vouchers. Seniors (age 60 and older) in Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie and Shelby counties will receive their vouchers through their local senior center.

Program Criteria:
· Must be at least 60 years of age or older
· Annual income must be less than
$21,590 Single
$29,101 Married
· Only one original application allowed per individual. No photocopies or duplicate applications allowed

Dates to Remember:
· May 28, 2014: Applications will be available at all local Senior Centers and in Council Bluffs at The Center, 714 S. Main
· June 9, 2014: Vouchers will be available for seniors with completed application forms at all local Senior Centers outside of Council Bluffs
· June 17, 2014: Council Bluffs Farmers’ Market voucher distribution at The Center, 714 S. Main from 9am – Noon for seniors with a completed application.