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.

Partnership reduces deer herd, helps to feed iowans in need

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say it’s been 10 years since the DNR and the Food Bank of Iowa joined to promote a new program to help reduce the size of Iowa’s deer herd, and help Iowans in need receive a healthy meal. The Help Us Stop Hunger (HUSH) program allows hunters to donate any legally harvested deer to a participating locker as a way to encourage hunters to harvest more deer.

Lockers process the donated deer into ground venison in specially labeled two pound packages that are picked up by the local food bank and distributed in the community.  HUSH lockers have processed 56,000 donated deer providing more than 11 million meals since the program began. The program exemplifies Iowans helping Iowans. Jim Coffey, who coordinates the HUSH program for the DNR, says “We asked our hunters to harvest additional deer to reduce the herd size and the HUSH program gave them an option to donate the additional venison to help their fellow Iowans in need. We have a lot of lockers who enjoy the program and participate because it supports their local community.” Carey Miller, executive director of the Food Bank of Iowa, said “We are so grateful for this partnership and program,” says . “It has helped put a high protein, low fat product into the hands of hungry Iowans.”

Since its inception, the program served an important role to help reduce the deer herd, but that role will be changing. As the deer population approaches the management goal, the program will not be used as much for population control as it will be for certain situations, like hunters wanting to support their local food bank or for hunters participating in special population management hunts in urban areas or park settings. The Iowa program is viewed nationally as one to emulate and states from Hawaii to Nebraska call on Coffey looking for the recipe to replicate Iowa’s success.

Every deer license sold includes a $1 fee that supports the HUSH program. The program is administered through the Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund of the Iowa DNR. Lockers are paid $75 for each HUSH deer processed and participation in the program is voluntary. In 2012, 89 lockers participated in the HUSH program. The Food Bank of Iowa received $5 per deer to pick up and distribute the venison.

More information on the DNR’s HUSH program is available online at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/DeerHunting/HelpUsStopHungerHUSH.aspx

Leash on Life 04-11-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

April 11th, 2013 by Chris Parks

Info from the Atlantic Animal Shelter.

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Doc Leonard’s Pet Pointers 04-11-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

April 11th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Dr. Keith Leonard

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Wildflower Walk to be held in Cass County later this month

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Conservation Board will hold a Wildflower Walk in a little over two weeks The free program will take place  at the Pellett Memorial Woods north of Atlantic, beginning at 9-a.m. on April 27th.  

Everyone is invited to join Cass County Naturalist Lora Kanning for a walk through the early spring wildflowers. During the event, you will learn the names, uses and history of the Wildflowers. Those in attendance will also have the opportunity to view one of Southwest Iowa’s best locations to observe spring woodland wildflowers.

The Pellett Memorial Gardens is located one-half mile north and three-quarters of a mile east of the KJAN studios, on North Olive Street.

Cass County Conservation Update

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Conservation Director Micah Lee provided the County Board of Supervisors with a quarterly report on progress and activities associated with the Conservation Department, during the Supervisors’ meeting Wednesday morning, in Atlantic.  Lee said over the past quarter, conservation staff have been in a maintenance mode, and getting ready for the camping season. He said at the Cold Springs State Park near Lewis, the dead trees were cut down and removed that were impinging on the roadway. Trees were also removed along the Rock Cut Trail to improve access. Micah said he’s still working with the Iowa DNR with regard to the widening of the south driveway entrance.

Widening the driveway would make it easier for the larger camping vehicles to access the park. They’ve also been working at grading the roads and filling potholes. The same type of work has been conducted at the Nodaway Recreation Area. Cleanup activities have also been underway on the T-Bone Trail. Those efforts have been made easier thanks to a new piece of equipment the Conservation Department received. Lee said a grant from the Cass County Community Foundation allowed them to purchase a UTV – Utility Terrain Vehicle – and a rotary brush, which will be used to remove twigs, leaves and gravel much faster than before. Previously, hand brooms and blowers were used to clean-up the trail.

At the Pellett Memorial Woods, staffers did minimal clean-up work to keep the walking path accessible, but still natural appearing. Lee said they added mulch at the entrance, so visitors’ feet don’t get muddy, in addition to some trimming. At the West Nodaway Recreation Area, boundary fences were repaired, and measured for food plots in preparation for planting this Spring. At the Cass County Outdoor Classroom, Micah says approximately 80 dead Scotch Pine trees which were infested by beetles were cut down. Replacement, beetle-resistant Blue Spruce trees, have been ordered and will be planted as soon as possible. Some Willow Trees were trimmed, and rock placed on the roads. Other clean-up work has been conducted along the Hitchcock Nature Area walking trail.

Lee said also, that Cass County Naturalist Lora Kanning has provided 113 environmental education programs over the past quarter, and spoke with more than 2,129 people in the process.

Judge: Iowa State U. must shield ‘pink slime’ data

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A judge has blocked Iowa State University from releasing documents about food safety research conducted for the maker of the beef product that critics call “pink slime.”  District Judge Dale Ruigh ruled last month that releasing the information would cause “irreparable harm” to Sioux Falls, SD-based Beef Products, Inc., by revealing information about proprietary food-processing techniques.

BPI filed legal action seeking to block the release in 2010 after the records were requested by a Seattle law firm specializing in food safety. The New York Times later sought the documents.  The research was conducted by professor James Dickson, who was hired by BPI as a consultant in 2002. Dickson says his research has found that a process in which ammonia is applied to meat makes the product safer by killing bacteria.

Prairie Rose Restoration update

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say the Prairie Rose Lake restoration project is heading in the right direction. The over $3 million project started back in July 2011 when the lake was dewatered allow construction work to begin in the basin. Since that time, the DNR has dredged the basin, added fish habitat and modified the spillway to keep carp from returning to the lake. Brian Hayes, Fisheries Biologist for the Iowa DNR, says the gate was closed back in September 2012 and the lake is finally seeing some water.  “I estimated about 50 acres of surface acres of water out there. When the lake is full, we have about 175 acres of water. So we have about a third of the lake out there. Volume wise it is a pretty small percentage. But those snow storms in March saw some water movement and we captured some water.”

He says now is the time to introduce fish back to the lake. “We are going to introduce Bass, Blue Gill and Catfish this spring and summer. That is what we want to initially establish. Once they are established then we will introduce crappie. Right here in the spring, we will start with adult large mouth bass. We have a goal of getting 200 in there, about 1 bass per surface acre. That will be enough to see some reproduction of large mouth bass this summer. The blue gills were over-wintered on the other side of the state. Anytime now, they will drain that pond and bring the fish over in a truck. Those blue gills will provide food for the bass.”

Even though the drought conditions over the fall and winter slowed down the process of filling Prairie Rose Lake, Hayes says there were some benefits as well. “The drought was beneficial because we had that goal getting the common carp out of the Prairie Rose lake basin and out of the watershed. The drought really reduced the amount of standing water in the shed, stopped the tile flow and the carp had no place to hide from us. So we feel really good about the prospects of getting the carp out of the watershed and that is important for the water quality benefits.”

Hayes says the fishing in Prairie Rose Lake will take time, and the public needs to cooperate. “We were looking at an issue about we are always going to have carp in the West Nishnabotna River, not very far from Prairie Rose Lake. We really need cooperation from the public, we can’t have them moving fish into Prairie Rose Lake especially when they don’t know what they are doing. Leave it up to us. It’s an issue we are looking at and addressing. We always want to get that message out to the public, leave the stocking up to us. We will try and provide the best fishing out at Prairie Rose Lake.”

The DNR will be working this summer on hydraulic dredging once the lake re-fills.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)

Planting season not off to the quick start it got last year

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The first state crop and weather report that came out Monday shows a much different start to the planting season compared to last year. Farmers spent little or no time in the field last week preparing the ground for planting. Iowa Agriculture Secretary, Bill Northey, says farmers are “getting antsy” as they remember last year at this time when the temperatures were in the 70′s and preparations were farther along. “And they remember at this time on the calendar they were looking at when to plant corn, and they had their planters ready to go,” Northey says. “They had probably a lot of the field work done, certainly likely all the fertilizer applied and in some cases some of the herbicide applied out there as well. So they were ready to plant at this time.”

There were some farmers who decided it was worth the risk and already had some corn in the ground by this time last year. But Northey says the early birds have been sidelined now by the cool weather. “We had a good Fall, so some work — some of the fertilizer application and other things that could get done was done — but so far this Spring almost no fieldwork has been done or at least very little fieldwork done across the state,” according to Northey.

He says in April 2012, 75-percent of the state’s oat crop was in the ground. This year just over 10-percent has been planted. Northey says farmers are willing to wait another week or two to plant –especially if soil moisture levels are being recharged. He adds that dry conditions last week were good for livestock producers who often deal with muddy pastures and feedlots this time of year.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Extension Report 04-10-2013

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

April 10th, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

 

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Iowa uses new system for boat registrations

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

April 10th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials are using a new system for organizing boat registrations in the state. The state Department of Natural Resources says a boat’s registration information, title and decals will be on one document. Registrations will be handled in the county where the boat owner resides. Nonresidents can register in the county where the boat primarily will be used.

Officials encourage owners to bring in their current registration for a renewal, since it includes information that’s needed in the new system. That includes the boat’s make, model, model year, hull identification number, length and width. About 235,000 boats will be registered in April. Registrations are good for three years.