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.

USDA awards contracts to 2 companies for bird flu vaccines

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A federal agency has awarded contracts to two companies to manufacture a bird flu vaccine. But officials haven’t decided whether to give the doses to poultry to protect against a disease that led to the destruction of 48 million chickens and turkeys this spring. The Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday it had awarded contracts to Harrisvaccines of Ames, Iowa, and Ceva, a company based in France. The USDA didn’t release the cost of the contracts.

As part of the agreement, the companies agreed to manufacture an unspecified number of doses, store them for up to five years and deliver them throughout the U.S. within 10 days. The USDA says it would need to decide whether the treatment would be effective and weigh potential trade effects before using any vaccine.

Southwest Iowa lagging behind in harvest

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The latest U-S-D-A crop report shows the harvest is 12 days ahead of last year for corn and 10 days ahead for soybeans, but one section of the state is lagging well behind those numbers. Iowa State University agronomist Aaron Saeugling monitors 12-southwest Iowa counties.  “In southwest Iowa it’s going to be a long fall,” Saeugling says.

That’s because constant rains, some often several inches, delayed planting and kept some fields from being planted. That makes for a lot of different scenarios in the fields. ”I’ve got producers who are wrapping up soybeans and I’ve got producers that haven’t started,” according to Saeugling.

It’s not all of southwest Iowa — not even all of some farms. “So for those guys it’s kind of bittersweet,” Saeugling says, “they’ve got fields that are yielding better than they ever dreamed of. They’ve got fields they won’t harvest.” Either way, the area is well behind the statewide average for corn of 20 percent harvested and 65 percent for soybeans. “If I had to average — probably pushing really close to fifty-percent on beans. Corn right now, maybe twenty percent,” Saeugling estimates.

In contrast, in northwest Iowa where things were drier, an agronomist reports two-thirds of the corn and nearly all of the soybeans are already harvested.

(Radio Iowa)

POSTED COUNTY PRICES, 10/14/15

Ag/Outdoor

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $3.32, Beans $8.38
Adair County: Corn $3.29, Beans $8.41
Adams County: Corn $3.29, Beans $8.37
Audubon County: Corn $3.31, Beans $8.40
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $3.35, Beans $8.38
Guthrie County: Corn $3.34, Beans $8.42
Montgomery County: Corn $3.34, Beans $8.40
Shelby County: Corn $3.35, Beans $8.38

Oats $2.17 (always the same in all counties)

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

Lagging farm economy worries state financial experts

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 14th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

A three-member panel of financial experts is lowering its estimate of state tax collections. The Revenue Estimating Conference is still predicting overall state tax revenue will be up three-point-four percent for the year, but the group shaved 121 million dollars off the total compared to its March prediction. Iowa Department of Management director Dave Roederer says he and the other two panel members are concerned about what’s happening in the farm economy.

“When producers are producing corn and soybeans at a loss, that means that there’s going to be less revenue coming into the state,” Roederer says. Roederer says when farmers have a down year, that tends to have a ripple effect throughout the Iowa economy. Roederer, though, points to Iowa’s low unemployment rate as a positive sign.

“The economy is more partly cloudy than anything else,” Roederer says. The state is just three months into the budgeting year and Roederer says there’s no cause for alarm since the group is still predicting Iowans will pay 235 MILLION dollars MORE in taxes this year than last.

(Radio Iowa)

Shelby County implements Fire Danger Monitoring

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Service Officials, including Fire Chiefs, Law Enforcement, and Emergency Management will begin twice weekly updates on local fire danger conditions. Signs placed strategically in each community, primarily at the fire Stations will indicate what the fire danger is for any particular day.

This program, implemented in 2010, resulted in a reduction of fire responses countywide. The continuous bi weekly fire danger assessments are provided by email to the media, Fire Chiefs, and others who support the program on their web pages, through radio, and cable TV information pages. Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Seivert says that has reduced the need for the county to implement a complete burn ban.

If you live in Shelby County and need to burn a pile of brush, debris, or buildings, contact the Emergency Management Agency at 755-2124. The dispatchers will obtain the location and nature of the planned burn and will provide the caller with the Fire Chiefs contact information. Through this expanded communication process, Seivert says they have found some burns can be rescheduled to a different time of day, where wind and moisture level is more acceptable. The Fire Chiefs can have input as to how the burn can be conducted safely and be aware of the activity should it become unmanageable.

Shelby County has four, distinct, color coded levels:
LOW – You are asked to call in and report your burning projects to dispatch at 712-755-2124, and notify your local Fire Chief.
Moderate – You are asked to call in and report your burning projects to dispatch at 712-755-2124, and notify your local Fire Chief. Timing for burns should be morning, or evening hours and extinguished by dark unless authorized by Fire Chief due to possible impacts to roads and health from smoke. Burns must be monitored at all times.
High – Burning of any kind is restricted unless approval is received from local Fire Chief. Controlled burns that are not reported will result in Fire Department being dispatched, and Fires extinguished if determined to be un-safe. Please call 712-755-2124 with questions.
Extreme – Burning is prohibited, unless you have a signed permit from the local Fire Chief. Fires on Extreme days can grow rapidly and pose a risk to the Health and Safety of the Community. If you have any questions please call 712-755-2124.

The Emergency Management Agency uses a combination of the National Weather Service, actual local field measurements, and assessment of local conditions in determining the potential for dangerous fires. With continuing dry weather expected, the availability of fuel through the drying out of the crops will continue to increase the potential for devastating fires, here, in Iowa. The goal is to prevent fires, through good communication, public cooperation, and planning.

Iowa Transportation Commission approves funding for State Recreational Trails Program

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 13th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Transportation Commission today (Tuesday) approved $3.4 million for six State Recreational Trails Program projects. Included among them was the Hospital Connector Trail Bridge, in Manning, which received $222,300.
The State Recreational Trails Program was created in 1988 with the purpose of developing and maintaining recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both motorized and non-motorized trail users. The funding is available to cities, counties, state agencies, local governments, and nonprofit organizations through an annual application-based program.

Burn ban possible in Cass County

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

October 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees reports Cass County Fire Chiefs have been discussing a possible Burn Ban for Cass County. The Chiefs contacted Cass County Emergency Management Director Mike Kennon, after receiving some concerns by local residents. McNees says at this time, the overall consensus is to remind residents that conditions today (Monday) are very dangerous and ANY open burning should not be conducted. All precautions should be taken by farmers harvesting their crops to clean and maintain their equipment to help prevent equipment fires that could easily result in a large out of control field fire.

Atlantic Chief Mark McNees says also, “ At this moment it seems to be a typical fall harvest season with a large fuel load of unharvested crops. However, there are still reasonably green areas surrounding fields and some areas that are fairly wet in parts of the county. At the current pace, and with the two week outlook in the forecast, it appears much of the harvest will be completed within 2 to 3 weeks. I would not encourage any open burning until later in the fall or early winter when the crops are out and there may have been some more precipitation. It would be best to wait as long as possible. If conditions worsen greatly a ban may be issued and residents will be advised.”

Grassland Fire Danger Index 10/12/15

Grassland Fire Danger Index 10/12/15

It is best always to contact your local fire department chief before any burns are conducted to get their advice and to give notice that a burn is being planned. Cass County has been very successful the past few years in keeping wildland fires from occurring by communicating with residents in this regard.

McNees added, “Several area departments have specifically trained to conduct prescribed burns for CRP mid management burns, and have instituted programs to do other planned, controlled burns for landowners in their districts. This provides a much safer and timely outcome for everyone. Fire departments can train, plan, and conduct land burns at times when they have personnel, and landowners benefit from the control of such burns.”

Landowners are encouraged to contact their departments now if they would like to discuss such burns, including the timing, areas, and costs. McNees says “ last year Atlantic began a program for prescribed burns and it became difficult to get them all done when several waited until late to make requests. Departments want to stay within their districts, but will aid neighboring departments if necessary, which is another reason to contact your department to see if they have such a program instituted and can assist the landowner.”

Federal grants will help programs for new farmers, ranchers

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 12th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Several Nebraska and Iowa organizations will receive some of the $17 million in grants the federal Agriculture Department is handing out to help new farmers and ranchers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the grants recently. The money helps support programs to train and support beginning farmers and ranchers. An Iowa State University program will receive $698,393 to help aging farmers plan for succession at their operations.

 

DNR officers to get assault rifles

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 10th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Department of Natural Resources offices assigned to state parks are getting more firepower to go along with their handguns. D-N-R spokesman Kevin Baskins says the officers are now learning to use assault rifles that will be assigned to them. “We made a purchase of 37 A-R-15’s. There are actually 34 officers who are in training to be certified on these,” Baskins says. Baskins says the state parks are safe but the officers often assist other law enforcement agencies such as country sheriffs or state troopers.450px-Stag2wi_

“A lot of our state parks are located in more remote areas of the state and that includes some of the counties that don’t have very high populations,” according to Baskins. “So, at times, our officers do provide mutual aid.” Baskin says the rifles will allow the officers to be prepared for any situation they might face. “One of the unfortunate realities of today is that we want to make sure that our officers have equipment that meets the standard of what they might encounter in some of their everyday duties in the parks,” Baskins says.

Baskins says they are sworn peace officers who can enforce any of the laws on the books. The state park officers must pass proficiency tests before being issued a rifle.

(Radio Iowa)

USDA lowers corn, soybean harvest estimates by 1 percent

Ag/Outdoor

October 9th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has slightly lowered its corn and soybean harvest estimates based on updated harvest figures across the U.S. Farmers are expected to bring in 13.56 billion bushels of corn, about 1 percent lower than the September estimate but still the third largest crop on record. Record per-acre corn yields are expected in 11 states – including Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

Soybean production estimates are also 1 percent lower. But the 3.89 billion bushels would be the second largest on record. Best-ever yields are expected in seven states, including Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota. About a fourth of the nation’s corn crop has been harvested, which is slightly behind average. Soybeans are ahead of the five-year average with 42 percent harvested.