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.

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.

Farmers & many rural Iowans face more allergy problems, hearing loss

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Many Iowans have allergies or hearing problems but farmers may be more susceptible to both. Dr. Dwight Jones, an ear, nose and throat specialist in Omaha/Council Bluffs, says some of the most common ailments among rural residents, particularly farmers, are chronic sinus disease and late summer and fall allergies. “People can have chronic runny noses and chronic stuffy noses from chronic sinus disease,” Dr. Jones says. “Chronic sinus disease often times plagues farmers and ranchers and people in the rural community heavily from nasal allergies. If you clear the allergies up, often times the sinus disease will clear up.”

If it doesn’t clear up, he says it can be treated in the office through sinus therapy. During dry seasons, dust from multiple sources is common on farms, whether it’s stirred up by tractors working in the fields or from the gravel road in front of the farmhouse. “All of those kinds of dust lead to increasing problems with asthma and chronic respiratory diseases in the farming and ranching population,” Jones says. “It’s really imperative that they avoid that kind of dust exposure on a chronic, long-term basis, or do something to protect themselves from that type of exposure.”

Years of being around big tractors, trucks and combines can also take a toll on one’s hearing. Jones says that’s another occupational hazard. “Farmers and ranchers work around a lot of heavy equipment, they work around a lot of noisy equipment and they’re especially vulnerable to have damage to their hearing,” Jones says. “They should take care and either wear some kind of hearing protection if possible or avoid long-term exposure to those kind of noises which can lead to sensory neuro hearing loss and tinnitus.”

For farmers and anyone else who suffers from ragweed allergies, he says a relatively new treatment is available. Drops can be taken under the tongue which can eliminate allergy shots and over-the-counter medications.

(Radio Iowa)

Record High Temps likely today (Mon., Sept. 9th 2013)

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

September 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

AREA COUNTIES: SAC-CRAWFORD-CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-CASS-ADAIR-MADISON-TAYLOR-RINGGOLD-

247 AM CDT MON SEP 9 2013

VERY HOT CONDITIONS ARE FORECAST FOR CENTRAL IOWA TODAY WITH NEAR RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES OF 95 TO AROUND 100 DEGREES FORECAST. DEW POINT VALUES BY THE AFTERNOON WILL DROP INTO THE 50S TO LOWER 60S…COMBINED WITH TEMPERATURES THIS WILL ALLOW THE RELATIVE HUMIDITY VALUES TO DROP TO 25 TO 30 PERCENT.

THESE CONDITIONS WILL ACCELERATE THE ONSET OF DEHYDRATION. IT IS RECOMMENDED FOR PERSONS THAT MUST BE OUTDOORS TO DRINK PLENTY OF WATER…TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS AND WEAR LIGHT COLORED AND LOOSE CLOTHING. OUTSIDE EXERCISE SHOULD TAKE PLACE DURING THE MORNING OR DELAYED UNTIL THE EVENING.

A COLD FRONT WILL DROP SLOWLY THROUGH IOWA TUESDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHT. THE HEAT WILL LIKELY PERSIST ACROSS SOUTHERN IOWA THROUGH TUESDAY.

IN ADDITION…THERE IS AN ELEVATED FIRE DANGER MONDAY AFTERNOON ESPECIALLY ACROSS AREAS OF CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN IOWA WHERE DROUGHT CONDITIONS HAVE RETURNED. THE COMBINATION OF LOW HUMIDITY…A GUSTY 20 TO 25 MPH SOUTHWEST WIND AND DRYING VEGETATION COULD LEAD TO QUICK FIRE GROWTH SHOULD A FIRE BE IGNITED.

Emergency haying extended for Cass, Audubon & Guthrie Counties

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 7th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Audubon county FSA office reports emergency haying on CRP acres has been extended until September 20th. Denny Heflin, FSA Director, says  “Farmers can come into their FSA office after they get the work completed, they just need to remember when they get it done they have to go in and certify it and agree to the terms and conditions. The payment reduction is still the same 10% and bales have to be removed within ten days after completing the harvest.”

The measure came about because of the extended period of dry weather. The emergency haying on CRP acres includes Audubon, Guthrie, and Cass Counties.

USDA: Iowa farmland rent averages $255 an acre

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 7th, 2013 by Chris Parks

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A new survey of Iowa farmers says renting an acre of land to grow crops costs a state average of $255 an acre. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that’s an increase of $20 an acre from a year ago and is the highest since the department began compiling comparable records in 2008.

Farmers in Grundy County are paying $316 an acre and those in Ida County $314 an acre, the two highest. The lowest cash rents were paid in southern Iowa with Appanoose County listed at $150 an acre and Van Buren County at $156. Fifteen counties had average rent less than $200 per acre in 2013, compared with 20 counties in 2012.

Cash rent paid for pasture in Iowa, at $49 per acre, was up $3 from 2012.

Carstens Farmstead Days

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Carstens Farmstead in Pottawattamie County is the site for a family fun weekend as the 1880 Farmstead Days are here. This is the 31st year for the Carstens Farmstead Days featuring horse, steam and gas power exhibits. Over two hundred restored antique tractors will be on hand. Terry Torneten, member of the 1880 Carstens Committee, says the event starts out with the most important meal of the day.

He says  “The activities start right on Saturday morning with a breakfast by the Shelby Fire Department. The thresher breakfast will starting at 6:30 in the morning.” The breakfast will be held on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday night is highlighted by the Staley’s chicken supper at 5:30pm with proceeds going towards the maintenance of the farm. This year the Carstens days plans to feature Case IH tractors. Torneton says We have the Heartland JI Case collectors club looking to invite people to bring their tractors to display. They want to make sure this is the biggest turnout of Case IH tractors ever at Carstens.”

As far as entertainment, Carstens has invited Cloggers to perform at 12:30pm on Saturday, Country Kickers America performs on Sunday at 12:30 and a few local bands will play a variety of music during the entire celebration. The 2013 Carstens 1880 Farmstead Days will also have a quilt show, crafts galore and several vendors selling antiques. Admission is $5 per day for everyone nine years or older. The Carstens farm is located off I-80 exit 34 south of Shelby where signs will be posted.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Risk increasing for large grass fires in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

September 6th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

About one-third of Iowa is now in a severe drought and the increasingly dry conditions raise the risk for grass fires. State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds says rural residents who burn ditches or large piles of debris need to be especially careful. “I think people underestimate just how dry the conditions are,” Reynolds says. “The other thing we see, as we start to get into the fields in the next month or so, equipment and machinery are another common cause of fires.”

Prairie or grass fires are also often ignited by discarded cigarettes.”We see an awful lot of people who are throwing cigarettes out of their cars and I’ve not seen a car yet that doesn’t come with an ashtray. We would just encourage people who are traveling through our state to put their cigarettes out in their vehicle in the ashtray,” Reynolds says. A simple spark, combined with the recent low humidity and a little wind, can quickly turn into a large fire.

Reynolds says every year, at least a few Iowans are burned or even killed in “controlled burns” that get out of control. “If we could just remind Iowans…if you absolutely have to burn, make sure you have a water source close by and just be cognizant of the conditions when you burn,” Reynolds says.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa drought worsens in hottest week of the year

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

September 5th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Drought conditions have worsened in a portion of the Midwest including Iowa, the nation’s leading corn producer, as the region experienced its hottest week of the year.Drought Monitor 9-5-13 The extreme heat and near record low August rainfall combined to expand drought conditions from the eastern Dakotas southeastward into western Illinois.  Iowa saw its warmest week since July 2012, with highs topping 104 at Des Moines on Aug. 30.

About 98 percent of the state is in drought. Severe drought expanded to 32 percent of the state from 22 percent the week before. Conditions are mostly unchanged in Nebraska and Kansas. The weekly drought monitor, which tracks conditions from Aug. 27 through Tuesday morning, shows 61.7 percent of the contiguous United States in drought, nearly the same as the week before.