KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Posted County Grain Prices: 9-15-16


September 15th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $2.81, Beans $9.20
Adair County: Corn $2.78, Beans $9.23
Adams County: Corn $2.78, Beans $9.19
Audubon County: Corn $2.80, Beans $9.22
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $2.84, Beans $9.20
Guthrie County: Corn $2.83, Beans $9.24
Montgomery County: Corn $2.83, Beans $9.23
Shelby County: Corn $2.84, Beans $9.20

Oats $1.87 (always the same in all counties)

(Information from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency offices)

Iowa Supreme Court mulls Water Works farm drainage lawsuit

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court must now decide whether to weigh in on a lawsuit that pits Des Moines Water Works against upstream farmers accused of contaminating rivers with nitrates from fertilizer. The justices heard arguments today (Wednesday) in the case, which asks the court to decide whether agriculture drainage districts have immunity from lawsuits and whether the water utility can seek monetary damages.

Water Works officials say removing excess nitrate from water cost $1.5 million last year alone. The agency sued three northwest Iowa counties that oversee 10 agricultural drainage districts.

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and corn and soybean growers associations are offering to help pay legal fees for the counties. The lawsuit, in federal court in Des Moines, is on hold until the Iowa Supreme Court makes its ruling.

Local Rainfall Totals ending at 7:00 am Wednesday, September 14

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

September 14th, 2016 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic  .3″
  • Elk Horn  .16″
  • Avoca  .5″
  • Oakland  .2″
  • Clarinda  1.25″
  • Glenwood  .57″
  • Red Oak  .8″
  • Missouri Valley  .31″
  • Carroll  .01″
  • Bedford  .04″
  • Underwood  .32″
  • Sidney  .28″

Cass County Extension Report 9-14-2016

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 14th, 2016 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson.


Cropland rent drops again in 2016


September 14th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The U-S-D-A’s National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) latest report shows the average amount of money farmers pay to rent land for crop production in Iowa has gone down again in 2016. The report shows that average rent for cropland in the state of Iowa dropped 15 from last year — or about six percent — to 235 dollars an acre. The Deputy Director of NASS for the Upper Midwest Region, Doug Hartwig, says they gather information directly from the producers.

He says they look at 100 percent cash rent, not a hybrid mix, and they break it down by cropland and pasture.Hartwig says the reasons for that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. “Looking out there and seeing what the prices are in the commodities and the livestock, you can probably correlate that back to that as far as lower crop prices are probably going to put pressure on that cash rent value to go down a little bit,” according to Hartwig.

Hartwig says the questionnaires are sent out in February, first by the mail-out/mail-back method. For those forms NASS doesn’t receive back, they do a phone follow-up or allow producers to report the information over the internet. By the time numbers are gathered, Hartwig says it’s usually an 80 percent response rate overall. He says the participation and high response rates allow them to provide accurate numbers for operators and landowners.

While average cropland rent dropped from last year, average pasture rent moved in the other direction — up two dollars from last year to 52 dollars. That’s about a four percent increase. In further detail, the report shows that the south-central region of Iowa averaged the lowest rent for cropland, at 173 dollars an acre, which is 62 dollars below the state average. This region includes Union County, along with Clarke, Decatur, Madison and Ringgold. The next two lowest regions were the southeast and southwest. The southwest region includes Adair County, as well as Adams and Taylor. The average of 216 dollars an acre is notably higher than the south-central, but still lags behind the state average.

The counties closer to the Missouri River showed considerably higher rent numbers. According to the report, the one county in the state with the lowest cropland rent value is Lucas County, coming in at 150 dollars an acre. The northern half of Iowa appeared to bring the overall state average up. Northwest Iowa’s Ida County had the highest average cash rent for non-irrigated cropland, at 281 dollars per acre, followed by Grundy County in northeast Iowa, at 277 dollars an acre. Individual counties are surveyed every two years, while the state average is done every year.

(Radio Iowa)

Midwest governors send letter to EPA seeking ethanol changes

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Seven Midwest governors have sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency seeking regulation changes intended to increase sales of gasoline blended with a higher percentage of ethanol. The governors of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota sent a letter Tuesday to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy requesting new standards that would allow stations to sell more gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol rather than the current standard of 10 percent ethanol.

The letter says the current setup “is stifling the widespread adoption” of E15 ethanol blends. The governors — five Republicans and two Democrats — are all from leading ethanol-producing states. The letter was also sent to President Barack Obama.

Bike Your Park on Sept. 24th

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Thousands of people across the country are expected to participate in the inaugural Bike Your Park Day on Saturday, Sept. 24. This new national event promotes exploration of parks and public lands by bicycle. Iowa’s state parks make beautiful biking destinations for families and friends, especially now, with cooler temperatures and changing seasons. Many state parks connect to more extensive bike trail systems, giving cyclists choices of distance and difficulty.DNR logo

Worth a consideration next time you want to pedal a park are the following:

Big Creek State Park is one Iowa state parks’ best biking destinations. Located just north of Polk City, the park hosts miles 23-26 of the Neal Smith Trail. Riders can explore the wooded areas, prairies and shorelines in the park or continue on to downtown Des Moines. From the parking lot at Big Creek Beach, riders can go two miles east on 142nd Avenue to access the High Trestle Trail. The park’s location between these trails makes it an ideal park for bicycling opportunities.

George Wyth State Park makes a great biking park because its trails adjoin the Cedar Valley Trail system with more than 100 paved miles. There are many looped routes ranging from 6.2 miles to 50+ miles. The park also has 10 miles of soft trails for biking.

The main “stem” of the Iowa Great Lakes Trail system is a 14-mile, ten-foot-wide, hard surface trail with many arteries to explore Iowa’s Great Lake and the vast array of parks, beaches, lakeshores and other public areas that surround them.

Green Valley State Park’s 3.5-mile paved trail starts in the campground, follows much of the lake’s east side and finishes near the Green Valley Lake dam. The trail connects with 3 miles of other paved trails south of the lake traveling through a wildlife management area, past Southwestern Community College and ending in the town of Creston. Other grass multi-purpose trails in Green Valley State Park also offer bikers a soft-trail experience.

Pine Lake State Park has 2.6 miles of beautiful paved bike trail connecting its cabins and campground to its beach and fishing accesses on the Upper and Lower Pine lakes. Bikers can add about 3 more miles to their ride by starting at Deer Park in the town of Eldora, crossing the Iowa River and heading north on the park’s bike trail to Hwy S56. The road will take riders to two Hardin County areas, where the bike trail picks up and goes through Tower Rock to Pine Ridge Park

Honey Creek State Park and Resort Guests at Honey Creek Resort, on Lake Rathbun, can choose from a variety of bike types to rent or bring their own to enjoy the surrounding beauty of the resort. The whole resort is bike-friendly. On the wooded peninsula across from the resort is Honey Creek State Park with miles of paved roads inviting cyclists to tour the 800-acre park and catch a glimpse of the wildlife it holds.

Discover new parks or experience your favorites in a new way. Whatever the case, celebrate them as great bicycling opportunities, on Bike Your Park Day, Sept. 24.

For more information about Iowa’s state parks visit www.iowadnr.gov/parks To find a nearby Bike Your Park ride, publicize your own ride for others to join, find a Bike Your Park ambassador for answers and suggestions.

Three-Mile Lake Fish Renovation Planned for September 20-22


September 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will begin a fish renovation at Three-Mile Lake in Union County on Sep. 20th. DNR staff will treat the watershed streams on Sept. 20-21 with Prentox® PrenfishTM, a plant-based fish toxicant commonly known as Rotenone to eradicate the current fish population, and the lake on Sept. 22nd.

Due to restrictions listed on the Rotenone label, Three-Mile Lake will be closed to public access on Sept. 20th and will remain closed until a sub-sample of fish can survive for a 24-hour period or 14 days post-treatment, whichever occurs first.IA DNR Outdoor logo

The DNR plans to restock the lake this fall with bluegill, blue catfish, and walleye  fingerlings. Adult largemouth bass and other species will be stocked next spring.

Scarce cash in land of plenty: Farmers adjust to downturn

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

MAXWELL, Iowa (AP) – The men and women who are growing what’s expected to be the biggest corn crop the United States has ever seen won’t benefit from the milestone. Prices are so low that for the third consecutive year, most corn farmers will spend more than they earn. It’s a similar story for soybean producers.

That’s left farmers across the country cutting costs, dipping into savings or going further into debt to make it through the year. Federal crop insurance and government payments will offer some help, and most farmers have an off-the-farm job or a spouse who supplements the family’s income.

But the drop in farm profits raises questions about agriculture’s boom-and-bust cycles and why people adhere to what at times is seemingly not a sustainable business model.

Iowa Farm Bureau offers to pay for the defense of farmers, rural Iowans in the Des Moines Waterworks lawsuit

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 13th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) and the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) have offered to underwrite the legal costs for the defense of the drainage districts targeted in the Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) lawsuit so the northwest Iowa drainage districts, farmers and rural citizens can focus on defending the lawsuit without the impossible task of covering the cost of a multi-million-dollar lawsuit.

The offer was extended to the supervisors in Buena Vista, Calhoun and Sac counties last week, since the supervisors act as trustees for the 10 drainage districts being targeted by DMWW’s lawsuit.  IFBF President Craig Hill says “Protecting farmers is really core to our mission at Farm Bureau. With one in five jobs directly tied to agriculture, rural Iowa has much at stake. If DMWW prevails in its lawsuit, it has the potential to adversely impact every Iowa farmer and farmers throughout the United States. We believe it’s essential for the future of Iowa agriculture and our rural communities for us to do what it takes to ensure the lawsuit is appropriately defended with adequate resources.”

A few months ago supervisors in the targeted counties ended their relationship with the Agricultural Legal Defense fund, which left drainage districts without sufficient resources to defend against the urban lawsuit. Drainage districts do not have ratepayers or general taxing authority with which to raise funds for these types of expenses.  To date, litigation costs for both sides combined have exceeded $2 million in the lawsuit.

The DMWW’s suit has garnered national attention, since it seeks to effectively change the Clean Water Act, forcing regulations and potential penalties on farmers; such action would put roadblocks on farmers’ efforts to continue trying new, innovative conservation practices to improve water quality.

The trial for the lawsuit is currently scheduled to be held in June of 2017.