KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Iowa’s governor in California, making pitch to businesses

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 7th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Governor Terry Branstad is in California today (Tuesday), at the BIO International Convention. He’s touting a new state tax credit for companies that develop new uses for the byproducts left behind when ethanol and biodiesel are made. “I went to Montreal last year to tell them that we were proposing it. It passed the House,” Branstad says. “This year it passed both the House and the Senate. It’s now law, or I guess January 1st it takes effect, but we’ve already got a number of companies that are looking at it.”

Starches, sugars and oils are the left-overs from “biofuel” production. Iowa’s new “biochemical tax credit” will provide up to 10-million dollars a year to companies that develop new products from those left-overs. “I just think this is the next generation of quality jobs that are going to be able to be created because we have this biochemical tax credit,” Branstad says. “I want the world to know it and this is a great forum to be able to talk about that.”

More than 15-thousand executives from companies in the world’s biotech and pharmaceutical industries are gathered in San Francisco for the week-long “BIO” convention Branstad’s attending. As Branstad meets with executives considering Iowa because of his new biochemical tax credit, he will pitch the idea of setting up operations on or near existing biofuels plants.

“You know, already you’ve got the complex at Eddyville where they’re making all kinds of products,” Branstad says. Experts say about 30 chemicals left over from biofuel production hold the greatest potential for development.Branstad will be in California ’til Thursday. Branstad will visit the San Francisco headquarters of McKesson while he’s there. Last year, McKesson picked Clear Lake as the site for a new warehouse in its pharmaceutical distribution network. Branstad also plans to make “prospecting” calls on California-based businesses that are considering expansion plans in Iowa.

(Radio Iowa)

World Pork Expo opens Wednesday with almost 900 exhibit spaces from 50 countries

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 6th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Almost 50 nations will be represented at the World Pork Expo which opens this week at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. Sheila Warrick is general manager for the 28th annual event, which she says will be much larger this year. “We’re actually up to almost 900 exhibit spaces this year all throughout the fairgrounds,” Warrick says. “We’re completely sold out in the Varied Industries Building, in the Agriculture Building, we’re around the Swine Barn and throughout a lot of outdoor space this year. You’ll definitely almost need two days to get through everything.”

The three-day expo features a series of seminars and workshops, including some which might not be associated with raising hogs. “We added a topic this year on cyber security,” Warrick says. “People might not think that’s applicable to a pork operation, but it is. As everything goes to more of a database management and you’re putting all of your operations online, that information is obviously important to producers so it doesn’t get lost or interrupted.”

Last year, 23-thousand visitors attended the expo, which opens on Wednesday.  www.worldpork.org

(Radio Iowa)

Cuban Ag Secretary visits Iowa Farm

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 4th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

U-S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and his Cuban counterpart Gustavo Rodriguez Rollero toured a central Iowa corn and soybean farm Friday, and talked about water, soil, and energy. Vilsack — with an interpreter behind him — says he wants the ban on exports to the country lifted.  “I sincerely hope that at some point in time in the near future Congress sees the wisdom of ending the embargo — allowing us to have an even closer relationship,” Vilsack says. “In the meantime, U-S-D-A has authorized the used of commodity checkoff resources for education and training, and we will be continuing to encourage more collaboration. We have a lot to learn from each other.”

Speaking on the farm near Polk City, Vilsack says dropping the embargo would allow Iowa and the rest of U-S agriculture to send more goods to Cuba. “They in turn have a tremendous  opportunity to import into the U-S organic production. High-value added opportunity. That is why we are on this farm,  to show that there is a commitment to organic, but a need for more,” Vilsack says.

Rollero spoke with an interpreter. “We believe that there are many areas of agriculture that we have common views, and what is left to be done is to deepen our collaboration,” Rollero says.

The two signed agreement to work together on a list of agricultural issues. “And I am certain that this will allow both parties to know each other better, to strengthen our cooperation,  and in the end this will be to the benefit of agricultural development,” according to  Rollero.

The agreement covers seven areas. “First and most important is the issue of seeds and phytogenetic resources,” Rollero says. “This is the basis for the development of agriculture. There won’t ever be a farmer who can improve his production if he doesn’t improve his seeds.”

Vilsack, a former governor of Iowa, says Cuba is also an ally for the United States on some hot-button international agriculture issues, such as food safety and animal health regulations.

(Radio Iowa)

Western Iowa No-till Field Day set for June 21st

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 3rd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Western Iowa No-till (WIN) Demonstration Field Day, scheduled for June 21st at the Carstens 1880 Farmstead south of Shelby, Iowa, will address a wide variety of topics for local producers interested in learning more about the practical management of soil heath, fertility and alternative crop rotation systems. Registration opens at 8-a.m., with coffee and rolls provided by Farm Credit Services of America. Local agribusinesses will also be on hand beginning at 8-a.m., to visit with producers in the morning and showcase their services/equipment.

(File photo) Western IA No Till Day at Carstens 1880 Farmstead

Western IA No Till Day at Carstens 1880 Farmstead (photo from the Carstens Farmstead website)

The field day program begins at 9-a.m., with rotating breakout sessions. John Sawyer, Iowa State University Agronomy Department, will cover nitrogen application timing and rates, while Rick Bednarek, State Soil Scientist with USDA-NRCS discusses maintaining and managing soil health. The breakout sessions will be followed at 11-a.m., by an overview of 2016 Iowa Weather & Long-Term Trends, presented by Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist with IDALS.

At 11:45, the program will break for lunch, with a barbeque lunch available on grounds for $5. After lunch, Matt Liebman, Iowa State University, will discuss the benefits of diversifying corn-soybean rotations by adding a non-traditional crop. To wrap up the program, Tim Youngquist, Iowa State University Ag Specialist, will give an overview of the STRIPS Trial project- Science-based Trials of Row-crops Integrated with Prairie Strips- and discuss project implementation in a row-crop setting.

Anyone with an interest in the practical application and impact of soil conservation practices, whether looking for ideas to begin adopting no-till practices or a long-time producer looking to improve production results, is encouraged to attend this field day.  There is no charge to attend this event, but pre-registration is requested by June 15th to ensure a lunch will be available.

A barbeque lunch, with sides, dessert and a drink, will be available for $5 the day of the event. Registration can be completed by e-mailing csgorham@iastate.edu or by calling the Harrison County Extension Office at 888-644-2105. More information is available at many local ISU Extension and NRCS offices, or can be found online at www.extension.iastate.edu/cass.

The field day is brought to you by NRCS, ISU Extension and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) in Harrison, East & West Pottawattamie, Cass and Shelby Counties, along with many local supporting agribusinesses. 2016 Business Sponsors include Farm Bureau in East & West Pottawattamie, Shelby & Harrison Counties, Avoca Seed, Cyclone Seed, HTS Ag, Farmers and Merchants State Bank, Heartland Ag, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Sorensen Equipment Co. and United Bank of Iowa.

Halted in bird flu outbreak, federal egg inspections resume

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 2nd, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has resumed inspections of egg-handling facilities more than a year after they were suspended due to the nation’s worst bird flu outbreak. FDA spokeswoman Lauren Sucher says the agency resumed inspections Wednesday.

Federal on-site egg inspections at processors with 3,000 or more birds were suspended in 21 states in May 2015 after the FDA consulted with state veterinarians concerned about spreading the bird flu virus. States inspect smaller operations.

About 49 million turkeys and chickens were euthanized or died of the bird flu virus in 15 states, including more than 24 million egg layers in Iowa, the nation’s leading egg producer. The inspections are done primarily to prevent salmonella contamination in eggs.

USDA Report 6-2-2016

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 2nd, 2016 by Jim Field

w/Amanda McNees.


Manure spill into a small Union County creek

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 1st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa DNR said Wednesday that a Union County maintenance crew accidentally nicked a hose used to transport manure Tuesday afternoon, while they were mowing. The incident happened in a right-of-way about one-mile north of Thayer. Officials said while the hose was not in use, about 800 to 900 gallons of residual manure leaked from a small hole. An unknown amount of manure reached an unnamed tributary of Four Mile Creek.

Iowa Select representatives reported the spill as they responded, quickly placing small dams in the unnamed creek to collect manure and pumping it out to land apply it. DNR staff checked the unnamed creek Tuesday. Field tests showed low ammonia levels. They found no dead fish.

Wednesday morning, DNR was on site and concluded most of the released manure probably remained in the right of way or on the shoulders of the gravel road. Iowa Select continues to clean up, scraping and gathering manure along the road edges. The DNR will consider appropriate enforcement action.

Beef prices fall as ranchers boost herds

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 1st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Expansion in the country’s beef cattle herd is bringing cheaper meat prices to the grocery store. Lower costs for feed and other incentives over the past three years sparked the nation’s beef producers to bring more cattle to market. Iowa State University economist Lee Schulz says lower retail prices arrived a bit quicker than expected.

Schulz says, “What many of us thought would be a much longer, prolonged process to get to this new price level, really occurred in the last 3 months of 2015.” Schulz says a new report from the U-S Department of Agriculture shows ground beef is about 30 cents a pound cheaper now than it was a year ago.

Schulz says, “We’ve seen increases in beef production really started in late 2015 and into 2016, so from the year-over-year standpoint, that increase in production will lead to lower prices.” As the approaching summer heats up, he says other meats that are popular on the grill, like steaks and ribs, should also have lower prices than last year.

(Radio Iowa)

ICA BeefMeets to focus on success and profitability June 28th in Atlantic


June 1st, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association has announced the presenters for their first annual BeefMeets, to be held at the Cass County Community Center in Atlantic, on June 28th. The event begins with an 8:30-a.m. Registration and the opening of a Trade Show.
The educational sessions, which will also be held later this month in Spencer, Independence and Riverside, will be full of tips to maximize both short-term and long-term success in every sector of the cattle industry. More information on the event in Atlantic is available at http://www.iacattlemen.org/southwestregionalbeefmeet.aspx BeefMeets_SW2
Speakers will address issues that affect both cow/calf and feedlot operations, from heifer development and best weaning practices to managing cattle under roof and hiring exceptional labor. Lenders and economists will be on hand to provide their perspective on the current ag economy and strategies to get through this down cycle.

BeefMeets are replacing the Iowa Cattle Industry Convention, which has traditionally been held in Des Moines in the winter. In an effort to reach more cattlemen across the state, four day-long regional BeefMeets will be held in June. In addition to educational sessions, BeefMeets will include lunch, a full tradeshow, and a social gathering at the end of the day. District breakouts will give cattlemen a chance to weigh in on issues affecting their business, and Eldon McAfee will address some of the legal challenges farmers in Iowa are facing, including the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit and numerous nuisance suits.

Other activities throughout the day include an Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation auction fundraiser during lunch, a free Youth Beef Team training at 1:15, and a social event following the keynote in the afternoon. Join the local county cattlemen’s group outside for samples of new beef products and cold drinks.

Early registration ends June 13 and prices go up $10 at that time. All cattlemen are invited, but there is a discount for ICA members. Students are free. Register online today at www.iacattlemen.org.

Rainfall Totals ending at 7:00 am on June 1

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

June 1st, 2016 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic  .39″ (10.27″ in May)
  • 7NE of Atlantic  .46″
  • Elk Horn  .81″
  • Creston  .18″