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.

Pest Control Operators Course Offered Dec. 3, 2014

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County will host a Pest Control Operators Continuing Instructional Course (CIC) for commercial pesticide applicators Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. The program will be shown at locations across Iowa through the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Pest Management and the Environment (PME) program.

The local site for the Dec.3 CIC is 906 6th Street, Harlan. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. followed by sessions from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The registration fee is $60 on or before Nov. 26 and $70 after Nov. 26. To register or to obtain additional information about the CIC, contact the ISU Extension and Outreach office in Shelby County by phoning 712-755-3104.

The 2014 course will provide continuing instructional credit for commercial pesticide applicators certified in categories 7A, 7B, 8, and 10. The course will cover topics such as effects of pesticides on groundwater and other non-target sites; effective bed bug and termite treatments, new and efficient cockroach and rodent control, and pesticide application techniques that limit human exposure.

Additional information and registration forms for this and other courses offered through the PME Program can be accessed at www.extension.iastate.edu/PME.


Corn harvest is ahead of the average for the first time this year

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 18th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The latest U-S-D-A crop report says farmers harvested one-tenth of the state’s corn crop during the week that ended Sunday. The report says cold temperatures and snow halted most other ag activities during the week. Ninety-two percent of Iowa’s corn acreage was harvested which matched 2013 and is two days ahead of the five-year average. It’s the first time this season that corn harvest was ahead of the normal pace. The cold weather was welcome by some, including Brad Sorenson, who farms 24-hundred acres near Harlan.

“We got done Friday. Had to wait ‘til the ground froze so we could finish up,” Sorenson says. The rain-soaked fields had kept Sorenson and others from making progress. “Ground was so saturated that the ground had to freeze to carry the weight of the combine and the grain cart so we could get the last fields done,” Sorenson explains. “It was somewhat of a struggle this year.” Although the weather was wet, Sorenson says things eventually turned out pretty well when it came to the harvest.

“In early October, they we were afraid we’d have to spend 20 to 25 cents a bushel to dry it. And, the weather went in our favor and it dried in the field for us, and we saved a lot of money doing that,” according to Sorenson. Only about ten-percent or less of Iowa’s corn crop remains in the fields. South-central Iowa continued to trail behind the rest of the state with only 79-percent of the corn harvest complete. The soybean harvest was nearing completion with 98-percent of the acreage harvested.

(Radio Iowa)

Syngenta faces dozens of lawsuits over GMO seed

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — More farmers are filing lawsuits against agrochemicals giant Syngenta in a legal battle tied to the sale of a genetically modified corn seed. Agrisure Viptera is genetically altered to kill corn-eating bugs and is approved by the United States. It was marketed to farmers in 2011.

But China, a major corn market that refuses to buy genetically modified crops it hasn’t tested, had not agreed to import it. It began rejecting U.S. corn last year when Viptera was detected. More than 50 lawsuits have been filed and hundreds more are being prepared. The lawsuits say losing China as a buyer has cost corn farmers more than $1 billion.

Syngenta says the lawsuits are without merit and upholds the right of farmers to use approved new technologies.

Sentencing set for disgraced Iowa egg producers

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge has scheduled a February sentencing for the father and son whose Iowa egg farms were linked to a huge 2010 salmonella outbreak. U.S. District Judge Mark W. Bennett ruled Thursday that Quality Egg owners Austin “Jack” DeCoster and Peter DeCoster will be sentenced during hearings that begin Feb. 9 in Sioux City and could last five days.

The DeCosters pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. They face up to one year in jail, but their attorney is arguing for a fine and probation. Quality Egg also faces a fine after pleading guilty to bribing a federal inspector, selling misbranded food and introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.

The outbreak sickened thousands of people nationwide and shook public confidence in the egg industry.

Got leaves? Leave them until it warms up or you’ll damage your grass

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 14th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

More snow is in the weekend forecast as colder-than-normal temperatures persist for much of Iowa in the teens, 20s and low 30s. Many of us still have leaf raking and other yard work to do before winter arrives, but midwest educator John Fech says the best thing you can do for your lawn is to keep off the grass.  “When you’ve got that layer of ice out there, it’s really best to just lay off of it,” Fech says. “If you’ve got a big pile of leaves, you’ve got a big pile of leaves and you can get to it when we get some warmer days. You can get some crunching on that ice and break off a lot of crowns of the grass. To be on the safe side, wait until it warms up a bit.”

Many Iowans’ evergreen trees emerged with brown needles after a tough winter last year, so he says preventative care may be called for if you have those trees. “Our broadleaf evergreens really took it on the chin last year,” Fech says. “On days when we get above freezing, say when we get above 35 or 40 degrees, there is a material called an anti-dessicant, an anti-drying agent that you can apply to them. Typically, three times over the winter. Pick out a day when we do perk back up into the high 30s and go from there.”

If you’ve planted trees on your property in the past year, you’ll likely want to protect those, too, for the winter ahead.  “Put some sort of tree protector on the trunk, a stiff piece of PVC that you split down the middle,” he says. “That would work real well to protect it against rabbit damage, squirrel damage, mouse damage.”

Parts of Iowa may see one or two more inches of snow fall on Saturday though forecasters say we should see more seasonable, warmer temperatures -perhaps- by late next week.

(Radio Iowa)

Trumpeter Swan Contest: We have a winner!

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The sponsors of the Cass County Conservation Board’s Trumpeter Swan arrival date contest have announced there is a winner of the contest. The official arrival of the swans was November 11th There was on that day 5 Trumpeter Swans were there and stayed more than twenty-four hours. The winner is Pansie Hoffman.

She will receive a Trumpeter Swan 8×10 print from the Cass County Conservation Board. Cass County Conservation thanks to all who participated in the contest, which was open to Cass County residents only.

USDA Report 11-13-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

November 13th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Max Dirks


Carroll resident turns corncrib into gazebo

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

CARROLL, Iowa (AP) – Some residents of Carroll are annoyed when they look into a neighbor’s backyard and see a corncrib that’s been turned into a gazebo. Allen Nieland lives near the property, and he told Des Moines television station KCCI that the corncrib would look nice on an acreage or a farm, but it just doesn’t fit the character of his subdivision. The corncrib is the see-through type with a metal roof.

Nieland says he’s started a petition to have the corncrib removed. But city officials say the corncrib meets zoning and building codes and is legal because it’s being used for outdoor entertainment, not to store or dry corn.

Another neighbor, Brad Kirsch, says the corncrib is better to look at “than junk cars or an old boat.”

Gates to limit access to Lake Manawa

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say gates will be installed at Lake Manawa State Park between now and next spring, to limit access to the park. The Daily NonPareil says the change, announced Wednesday, came after residents showed concern about “security issues” and “roads to nowhere.” About 20 people attended a Wednesday meeting at the Council Bluffs Fish and Game Club to discuss an October forum about two projects at the lake that, when combined, will cost more than $10 million.

Todd Coffelt, Iowa DNR Bureau Chief for the state parks, says the gates will restrict access to the park before 4 a.m. and after 10:30 p.m.  Bike trails and 24-hour overnight fishing will not be restricted.

Last month, residents were asked to gather feedback from their neighbors and bring it to Wednesday’s meeting. Residents were mostly concerned with public safety and a dredging project that would remove 5 million cubic yards of sand from the lake to promote water clarity and a healthier wildlife environment. Iowa DNR officials stressed the need for residents to address 51 proposed full-hookup campsites that would be created under the proposed plan.

Coffelt says the department has been working on renovating the park’s campsites for about 14 years, but residents were more worried about overall safety and future park usage. Many who attended the meeting echoed comments about keeping troublemakers out of the park and the effects of the dredging project slated to begin by summer 2015.

Coffelt said residents need to stay focused and agree on camping renovations before officials can move forward with the projects. The department has $400,000 set aside for the campsites, but the remaining funds must be raised by community groups.

Farmers donating food are eligible for a tax credit


November 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today (Wednesday) highlighted the Farm
to Food Donation Tax Credit and encouraged eligible farmers to consider applying.  Iowa farmers who donate self-produced food commodities to food banks and food pantries can now qualify for the credit on state taxes, which is equal to 15% of the value of the commodities donated during the tax year or $5,000 whichever is less.

“Iowa farmers care deeply about their communities and this new tax credit program may provide some additional tax benefit to farmers who donate food to a food bank or food pantry,” Northey said. “As we see more farmers raising fresh produce, this new tax credit program is something they should be aware of as they consider food donations.”

The program was created by the Iowa Legislature in 2013 and is effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. To qualify for the tax credit, producers:

* must produce the donated food commodity
* must transfer title to the donated food commodity to an Iowa food bank or Iowa
emergency feeding organization registered with the Iowa Department of Revenue
* shall not receive compensation for the transfer
* shall not donate a food commodity that is damaged or unfit for human consumption
* shall donate a food commodity that meets the requirements of the federal Emergency Food Assistance Program.

Producers will receive an authorized receipt from the Registered Iowa Food Bank or Iowa emergency feeding organization for the donation. All authorized receipts for a calendar year should be sent together to the Iowa Department of Revenue by January 15th. The Department will issue the producer a tax credit certificate which must be included with the producer’s tax return.

Tax credits are not refundable, but can be credited ahead to the tax liability for the following five years. The value of the food commodity is self-assessed but must be determined in the same manner as a charitable contribution of food for federal tax purposes. Donation evaluation worksheets are available on at https://tax.iowa.gov/farm-food-donation-tax-credit.