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.

Leash on Life 09-12-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 12th, 2013 by Chris Parks

Andrea Farrior and Chris Parks discuss the latest information from the Atlantic Animal Shelter.

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Doc Leonard’s Pet Pointers 09-12-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 12th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Dr. Keith Leonard

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USDA Report 09-12-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 12th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Max Dirks

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Iowa agrees with EPA to boost farm inspections

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials have signed an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that increases the number of livestock farms routinely inspected, requires more farms to obtain permits, and more strictly enforces violations when manure leaks into rivers.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources signed the work plan Wednesday after years of negotiating with EPA, which had threatened to take over enforcement of federal Clean Water Act rules itself if Iowa didn’t step up.

The agreement requires on-site inspections of farms with more than 1,000 cows or 2,500 hogs. That’s about 3,200 farms in Iowa. Smaller farms also may be inspected if they’ve had recent spills or are near streams or rivers. Environmental groups which have lobbied for stricter enforcement say the plan is a good first step.

Southwest Iowan adopts “Smart Farm” technology

Ag/Outdoor

September 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A southwest Iowa farmer is one of the first to adopt “smart-farm technology” that allows him to manage most everything on the farm from his smart phone. Joe Hossle says hooking up his farm near Emerson to the technology is an ongoing operation. “We started adapting that approximately a year ago and we’ve been adding and adding and adding ever since. There’s more apps it seems every day,” Hossle says. “We have an app for the water in the house — the water flow — the electrical current situation in the house, the temperature controls, whether it gets too warm or too cold in the house.”

The temperature is also controlled in his workshop, and he’s hooking up his grain bins to monitor them. “We’re going to put an app on there and a put device on there to monitor the heat within the bin and the moisture of the grain that’s in the bin. Of course, we have our surveillance cameras — which are well worth their weight in gold actually — just being able to look and see what’s going on in the farmstead, whether I’m here or in Minneapolis, Minnesota visiting my son,” Hossle says. He can also monitor feed levels for livestock, door locks and fuel tanks.

An official with Iowa LinkedUP says the smart farm technology will be available in many other parts of the state in the coming months. The official says the extension of fiber-optic cable in rural areas of the state and increased broadband coverage through new cell towers has made the system possible. Hossle has an agreement with Iowa Network Services for the technology. It costs between five and six thousand dollars to install, but Hossle says the security the system provides is well worth it.

“I feel very at ease whether I am two miles away or 200 miles away, or I could undoubtedly be two-thousand miles away and feel secure,” Hossle says. Hossle made his comments at a recent demonstration of the smart-farm technology at his farm.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Extension Report 09-11-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 11th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

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Iowa part of USDA Conservation Innovation Grants

Ag/Outdoor

September 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa is involved in four of 33 Conservation Innovation Grants announced Tuesday by U-S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Vilsack, the former Iowa governor, said during the announcement that the Natural Resources Conservation Service is already doing a good job in instituting conservation projects.  Vilsack says “One of the critical components though for us maintain our edge in conservation is for us to continue to be innovative, and innovation will be key to managing the capacity to manage and adapt to climate changes,” Vilsack says. “It will be key for us to continue to learn and expand on our soil health campaign. It will be the foundation upon which our ecosystem market effort will be built. And it obviously is critically important to water quality.”

Vilsack highlighted one of the grants that involves Iowa. It’s for the multi-state Conservation Technology Information Center. “Which is really going to focus on providing information to expand on the benefits that cover crops can provide. The economic benefits to landowners, the environmental benefits that can accrue,s well as the crop production and ag management benefits that accrue from cover crop production,” Vilsack said.

Cover crops can be grasses or small grains that are planted between the primary crop production times to protect the soil. Researchers from Iowa will use the 482-thousand dollars given to the center along with those from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota and South Dakota. “This award will basically fund roughly a thousand acres that will help us hopefully dispel some of the myths that may be in the countryside that have discourage producers from focusing on cover crop production,” according to Vilsack.

A companion project at the University of Tennessee will take a longer-term look at the impact of cover crops. Iowa State University received a grant of 485-thousand-850 dollars to study different mixes of cover crops and how they can use up excess nitrogen in the soil. Iowa will also be involved in a Environmental Defense Fund project that won 992-thosuand-dollar grant to study how to decrease nutrients that run into the Mississippi River, the Western Lake Erie Basin and elsewhere.

The final Iowa project involves the Women, Food and Agriculture Network’s effort to increase soil health practices among women who own farmland. Vilsack said each of the projects will provide valuable research. “This is going to be important information that we’ll obtain from these innovative grant recipients. And will help to educate and assist us in the future in terms of conservation program,” Vilsack said.

The innovation grants were created in the 2008 Farm Bill, and Vilsack said it is important that Congress take action to pass a new Farm Bill to ensure these types of programs continue.

(Radio Iowa)

First corn harvesters are in the fields, gathering specialized grain for hybrid varieties

Ag/Outdoor

September 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

While the full-scale corn harvest won’t start in Iowa for a couple of weeks, farmers are now beginning to bring in the first loads of specialized grain. In central Iowa, near Ankeny, Paul Mens runs a corn picker that’s designed for harvesting ears that will be shelled at a nearby Monsanto seed corn processing plant. “On a seed corn harvester, we pick it in the ear and we do not have a yield monitor,” Mens says. “In my opinion, for what this has been through, the yield is real good. They don’t tell us what each variety or inbred is supposed to make, we don’t have a clue, but this has done real well. You can tell where the wet spots were, where it was too wet this spring, but overall, it’s doing real well.”

Monsanto is paying Mens to harvest ears from the stalks that were detasseled earlier in the season for a future hybrid seed corn variety. “This is an earlier variety,” he says. “We’re actually the only ones running. There are four picker groups that pick for our plant at Grinnell. We’re the only ones running right now. Nobody else is going. This earlier variety came on before the dry weather hit. As we get further into the season, we’ll see how bad that did hurt.”

Iowa’s market corn harvest likely won’t begin until fall arrives in just under two weeks on September 22nd. Harvesting this specialized corn is considered a preview of the drought’s impact on the crop.

(Radio Iowa)

Deere to build larger tractors at its plant in Brazil

Ag/Outdoor

September 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Quad Cities-based Deere and Company is planning a major expansion in Brazil. The company announced Monday it will spend 40-million-dollars to add production of another line of tractors, the eight-R, at its plant in the city of Montengro. Spokesman Ken Golden says demand is growing in Brazil for higher horsepower models like the eight-R. “This is true across the world as far as high-production agriculture uses our larger tractors — the eight-R, the nine series — for the real workhorse activity that goes on in high production farming,” Golden says.

The five-year old plant in Brazil already manufactures three smaller models, the five, six and seven-thousand (5,000/6,000/7,000) series. Making the larger horsepower tractors in the country opens up a new financing option for Brazilian growers. Golden says it will allow for a public financing program that subsidizes their interest rates. “Until you manufacture the product in Brazil, the product does not qualify for that kind of financing,” Golden says. He says this expansion in Brazil will not affect production or employment at the Waterloo (Iowa) plant where several lines of tractors, including the eight-R, are now being made.

“It’s not competitive right now to build a tractor in Waterloo and move it over to Brazil. Because of the financing package, the tariff cost, we’re not cost competitive in Brazil with the eight-R tractor,” according to Golden. “By building them there we will increase our capacity for building the eight-R tractors around the world, and we will be cost competitive in Brazil.” Production of the eight-R in Brazil should begin in 2015. John Deere first came to Brazil in 1979, when it invested in a joint venture in the country. In 2008, it announced plans to build its own factory there.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa crops continue decline with little rain

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Another week of higher than normal temperatures and the driest week since mid-January combined to further damage corn and soybean crops in Iowa. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says just 35 percent of corn and 33 percent of soybeans are now in good or excellent condition both down from more than half rated in those categories just a month ago.

A higher percentage of both crops moved into the poor or very poor category with 28 percent of corn in the worst shape up three percentage points in a week and 30 percent of soybeans a six percentage point increase. Statewide average precipitation for the past week was only four-hundredths of an inch. Normal is seven-eighths of an inch.

Temperatures for the week averaged 4.3 degrees above normal.