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 workers have shots at regaining Tyson jobs


January 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) – The 60 workers who lost their jobs at the Tyson plant in northwest Iowa’s Cherokee could return if business were to pick up and more production were needed.  After Friday’s layoff, the plant still employs about 500 people. The plant produces deli meats.

Tyson spokesman Dan Fogleman says the company will be working with the 60 to see whether they meet job requirements for openings at Tyson’s other northwest Iowa plants. And, he says, jobs also could open up with normal attrition at the Cherokee plant. Tyson finished an expansion at the Cherokee plant in 2010 after it shifted production from an Oklahoma plant. The Cherokee plant has lost a couple hundred jobs in recent years.

Agriculture scholarships available to Iowa seniors


January 20th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa high school seniors with plans to pursue agricultural studies in college have a chance at some scholarship money. The Iowa Soybean Association is offering 10 scholarships worth $1,500 each. A student in each of the state’s nine crop districts will be awarded a scholarship. Officials will then select one student from that winning group for an additional $1,500 prize.

Applications, which include an essay and recommendation letters, are due March 1. The winners will be announced April 15. The association says scholarship recipients work in agriculture careers that range from sales to research.

Pork producers mull cost of eliminating sow crates


January 18th, 2014 by Chris Parks

AMES, Iowa (AP) – As the use of small crates to confine pregnant sows is phased out in large-scale pig operations, an Iowa State University swine expert says pork producers have some difficult and potentially costly decisions to make about how to handle pregnant sows.

Tyson Foods and Smithfield Foods, two leading pork producers, are moving away from using gestation crates, small enclosures which limit movement of pregnant sows.

Increasing pressure from retailers, consumers, and animal rights activists is forcing the change.

Iowa State University swine veterinarian James McKean says allowing multiple sows to share more spacious pens requires producers to retrofit existing facilities or build new ones, which could be expensive.

The European Union banned the use of gestation crates last year and other countries are considering similar polices.

Slower growth likely in rural areas of 10 states

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Economic growth will likely slow in rural parts of 10 Midwest and Western states in the months ahead. A monthly survey of rural bankers released Thursday shows the region’s overall economic index falling to 50.8 in January from December’s 56.1. The index ranges from 0 to 100, and any score above 50 suggests growth in that factor in the months ahead.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says declining farm prices are hurting the economy. And most bankers say they expect the economy to be hurt by the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to reduce the amount of ethanol that must be blended into gasoline.

The report covers rural parts of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

USDA Report 01-16-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

January 16th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Max Dirks


ISU professor leads study of farm field erosion


January 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — An agronomy professor at Iowa State University is developing a way to determine how much soil is lost from farm fields from sudden heavy rain. Downpours can create what is called ephemeral gullies — temporary washouts that carry valuable topsoil from fields. Agronomy professor Richard Cruse is leading a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Integrated Water Quality Program project to study the issue and develop better ways to control such erosion.

Global studies show that the world’s cropland is losing topsoil faster than new soil is forming, reducing cropland’s fertility. Such erosion also increases the amount of phosphorous and nitrate carried into streams, lakes, and rivers. Cruse says the land’s ability to retain water also decreases as more sediment is washed down a river leading to even more erosion.

Cass County Conservation Director’s update

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Conservation Director Micah Lee provided the County Board of Supervisor’s with a quarterly update on the department’s activities during his report Wednesday morning. Lee said with the Winter months comes a decrease in the amount of work they can accomplish, but prior to the season setting in, Cold Springs State Park was winterized and closed for the season. The preparation included tree trimming along the roadways, and the off-season assembly of new picnic tables.

He said everything that needs to be replaced at Cold Springs should be completed by the time the park opens in the Spring. A new 40-foot driveway will also be installed and completed after loads of dirt is received. At the Nodaway Wildlife Area, trees were removed and parking lots posts were replaced, after someone yanked them out to gain vehicle access.

General clean-up and maintenance were conducted on the T-Bone Trail and at the Pellet  Memorial Woods, where a split-rail fence was replaced. Lee said the State Forester is looking into getting approval for the removal of some invasive tree species. At the West Nodaway Wildlife Area, native grasses and brome grasses were planted over a 15-acre area, which should help to bring pheasants and other wild life to the area.

They also planted 90 trees in the Outdoor Education Classroom area over the past Summer and wrapped cages around them to prevent damage from deer rubbing against the trees. Work is also nearly complete on the pit toilets. Other clean-up and maintenance work was conducted on the Hitchcock Recreation Area. Lee said Cass County Naturalist Lora Kanning saw around 700 people during the last quarter through 35 programs held in the County.

Cass County Extension Report 01-15-2014

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

January 15th, 2014 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson


USDA surveys Iowa farmers on irrigation practices


January 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farmers using irrigation for crops are getting a survey in the mail from the U.S. Department of Agriculture about their water use and irrigation practices. The USDA says the survey will provide the only comprehensive information on irrigation activities and water use by Iowa producers. The agency says in a statement released Tuesday the information gathered will help in the development of improved technology, better equipment and more efficient water use practices.

The survey also will include an additional focus on nursery and horticultural operations. Surveys were mailed early this month to 625 producers who indicated they used irrigation in the 2012 Census of Agriculture. Responses are due back by Feb. 10.

IA Beef Cattle Forum set for Jan. 22nd in Carroll County


January 13th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A reminder for cattle producers:  The West Central Iowa Beef Cattle Forum will be held Wednesday, Jan. 22nd, at the American Legion in Arcadia.  Chris Clark, beef program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, said the conference agenda will include a several timely topics and will include information for feedlot, stocker, and cow/calf producers.

Aaron Saeugling, ISU Extension and Outreach Agronomist will provide information on the use of cover crops as alternative forage sources and will focus on practical tips and expectations for cover crop use in west central Iowa. Jan Shearer from the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine will speak about cow/calf and feedlot lameness issues and Grant Dewell from the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine will give a presentation about the veterinary feed directive and judicious use of antibiotics.

Ken Hessenius, Iowa DNR Supervisor Field Office #3 will present on the Iowa DNR/EPA work plan and how that may impact cattle producers over the next few years.  Shane Ellis, ISU Extension and Outreach Farm Management Specialist do a beef market update/outlook presentation.  Matt Deppe, ICA CEO and Justine Stevenson, ICA Director of Government Relations will also be present to provide updates on Iowa Cattlemen’s Association activities.

The program at the American Legion in Arcadia begins at 9:00 a.m. with registration at 8:30 a.m.  Lunch will be provided and will be served at approximately 12:15 p.m.  There is no cost for this event, but registrations are necessary to properly plan for meals. Please make reservations by Jan. 17 by calling either the ICA office at 515-296-2266, or the Iowa State University Armstrong Research Farm in Lewis, 712-769-2600. For more information about the event please contact Merle Witt at the ICA office or Chris Clark at the ISU Armstrong Research Farm.