KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Get ready to nominate your favorite tenderloin for best in state

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 17th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Pork Producers begin their 16th annual search for Iowa’s Best Tenderloin Wednesday. Pork Producers spokesman, Ron Birkenholz says the tenderloin is an item many restaurants across the state have on the menu. “We’re hoping for another good turnout — we had over three-thousand nominations last year with 271 different establishments named in the contest,” Birkenholz says. “We know there’s a lot of good tenderloins out there and we hope people will nominate them,” Birkenholz says.

Nominations for the best tenderloin can be submitted at the I-P-P website www.iowapork.org Birkenholz said the deadline for all entries is June 5th. He says the contest generates good publicity for the eateries. “It’s good for the business, all of the past winners have told us that their business has increased exponentially after wining the contest. Even the runners up — we name a top five — and even those restaurants see a major increase in their business,” according to Birkenholz.

2017’s Best Pork Tenderloin in Iowa was from the Grid Iron Grill in Webster City.

The winning tenderloin is announced during “Pork Month” in October. It’s something he says the creators of the tenderloins anxiously await. “It puts them on the tenderloin map if you will,” Birkenholz says, “we have people all over the midwest that follow this contest and love tenderloins and want to go to the winner’s restaurant and try it. So, it’s a great deal for the entire industry.”  Last year’s winning restaurant was the “Grid Iron Grill” in Webster City.

(Radio Iowa)

Top official with Nat’l Corn Growers Assoc. discusses possible E15 waiver

Ag/Outdoor

April 17th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

President Trump said last week he would support lifting restrictions on ethanol sales, a move that could provide a boost to Iowa corn growers. There are still questions, however, if that waiver to allow E15 to be sold year-round will require Congressional action. Lynn Chrisp (of Hastings, Nebraska) is first vice-president of the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board. He says the N-C-G-A believes the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to make that change. “We have taken a stand for a long time that this can be an administrative fix, as far as extending the waivers to E15 and blends above that,” Chrisp said.

The E-P-A currently bans the sale of E15 during the summer. At the same time, N-C-G-A continues to call on the E-P-A to stop giving RIN hardship exemptions to oil refiners. “It has a real negative effect on the RFS (Renewable Fuels Standard), to the point that it’s going to reduce the obligation by as much as a billion gallons – which is just something that cannot happen,” Chrisp said.

It looks like the E15 and RIN issues could get tied up in the courts for some time. According to Chrisp, the N-C-G-A is “up for that fight.” Trump’s comments about ethanol came in a meeting last Thursday at the White House. The meeting included Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds.

(Radio Iowa, w/Thanks to Ken Anderson, Brownfield Ag News)

Weather delays Atlantic Parks and Rec Projects

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 16th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department Director Seth Staashelm said Monday evening, that work on various projects have, as you might expect, been delayed by the weather. With regard to the Schildberg Recreation Area (SRA) west shelter, Staashelm said a pre-construction meeting with Precision Concrete Services will be held next month, with construction slated to begin around May 12th, weather permitting. Inspection should be completed by June 28th, with opening soon thereafter.

Staashelm said the City of Atlantic Street Department started the site work for the East playground at the SRA. Once that’s done, landscape fabric will be applied, as well as perforated pipes for drainage. Sidewalk work will follow. Seth said also, donations have started to arrive for memorial or dedicated sponsor benches. Those are being ordered.

On May 18th and 19th, construction will begin on the playground equipment. Several groups have stepped forward to help out on the 19th, to assemble the equipment. There will be hot dogs available for volunteers, who will begin work at around 8-a.m. and stay until it’s finished that same day. Tools will be made available, but you’re welcome to bring your own. Gloves are also necessary.

Staashelm said site work on the Lake #3 Trail at Schildbergs will begin as soon as weather permits. As for the Community Parks Projects, there was a meeting between Staashelm and ISU Extension representatives with regard to the layout and what needs to be planted at Mollett and Cedar Parks. With regard to the Sunnyside Park Entrance Sign, Staashelm said the old entrance pillars will be demolished and new footings established.

Once the supports are in-place, decorative pillars and rock landscaping will be accomplished, with the assistance of the Girl Scouts. Seth says when all is said and done, “It’s going to be quite a statement coming in off 10th Street into Sunnyside Park.” Weather has delayed the project, but it’s hoped things can get underway in May.

Earth Day was moved from this Saturday to April 28th, due to a conflict with the 100th Anniversary of ISU Extension. If there is rain or snow on that date, the event will be cancelled. Earth Day at the Schildberg Rec Area involves volunteers cleaning-up the park from 11-a.m. until 2. Hot dogs and chips will be made available. Volunteers should meet at the west end of the park.

Love Atlantic, according to Staashelm, will be held May 5th and 19th. The event is an initiative of community members who will be working May 5th on sprucing up the 7th Street Corridor through downtown Atlantic, and on May 19th groups will be working on parks projects at Schildberg and Cedar Park, the latter of which includes maintenance work and removing the old teeter-totter. Also, a High School Service Learning Day takes place April 25th, where students will be working a couple of hours on parks projects, pickup up debris, cleaning the pool and putting down mulch in the City Park, among other projects.

And, finally, Seth Staashelm said the campground at the SRA is “still pretty full,” with employees of the ethanol plant and others. People are anxious to fill vacancies as quickly as they are made available. Seth said the campground has generated $48,000 in revenue as of the end of March, with $56,000 expected by the end of April. Expenses, such as more water and electricity, but the revenue has outpaced the expenses, and Staashelm said some of those campsites will be occupied until June. Better signage is expected to be in place within the next couple of weeks.

Iowa’s annual frog and toad survey underway

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 16th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Volunteers are helping Iowa DNR wildlife biologists monitor the state’s frog and toad populations. The research of the amphibians, which start “singing” around this time of year, could tell scientists more about the state’s water quality. The DNR’s Stephanie Shepherd says frogs and toads are tied to the health of their environment. “They can actually breathe through their skin and they soak up their environment,” Shepherd said. “It’s what makes them so vulnerable to toxins and pesticides and things in the water that aren’t supposed to be there.”

Field work training sessions for the frog and toad call survey were held last week in Sioux City and Ladora. The survey, conducted since 1991, is one of the longest running in the country. According to the DNR, over 13,000 call surveys have been done on more than 1,200 wetland sites in 82 of Iowa’s 99 counties.

(Radio Iowa)

Shelby County Fire Danger: Moderate through Thursday morning

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 16th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency is asking fire stations and participating partner businesses, to place their Fire Danger placards in the “Moderate” category from today (Monday), through Thursday. While the forecast calls for rain and a rain-snow mix Tuesday night into Wednesday, the rest of the week looks to be dry, sunny and windy, which will aid in drying vegetation and crop residue in the fields. Any controlled burns should be conducted with caution. Always notify your local fire chief before conducting controlled burns on your property.

Atlantic Parks & Rec Board to meeting Monday evening

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 16th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The City of Atlantic’s Parks and Recreation Board will meet this evening in the Council’s Chambers, at City Hall. Their meeting begins at 5:15-p.m., and includes updates from Parks and Rec Director Seth Staashelm, on the following projects:

  • Schildberg Development Project: A) West Shelter & B) East Playground.
  • Lake #2 Trail
  • Community Parks
  • Sunnyside Entrance Sign
  • IDAL’s (IA Dept. of Ag & Land Stewardship) Water Quality Initiative.

Later in the meeting, Staashelm will discuss Earth Day, the clean-up for which was moved from this past Saturday, to April 28th (due to the weather). He’ll also talk about “Love Atlantic, and the High School Service Learning Day on April 25th, along with a campground status report.

You’re Invited: Guthrie County Extension Open House

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 15th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

In celebration of Extension week, which is April 16th-21st, and in honor of their 100 year anniversary, the Guthrie County Extension & Outreach office will be hosting an Open House at their newly renovated office at 212 State Street, Guthrie Center on Friday, April 20th from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

While at the Open House you can enjoy cookies and a drink while you tour the newly renovated office, meet their new Office Coordinator, celebrate Extension and meet and speak with some of the County Specialists!

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach brings the Iowa State campus to you here in Guthrie County. Their educational programs focus on agriculture, feeding people, keeping them healthy, helping communities prosper and thrive, and turning the world over to the next generation better than we found it. We’re building a strong Iowa. Contact the Guthrie County Extension office with any questions at 641-747-2276.

EAB confirmed in Taylor and Carroll Counties

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 13th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – The Emerald ash borer (EAB), an ash tree-killing insect introduced from Asia, has been discovered for the first time in Taylor and Carroll Counties. EAB has now been detected in 57 Iowa counties since first being found in Iowa in 2010. The recent discoveries took place in Clearfield in Taylor County and a rural area west of Carroll in Carroll County. In both instances a tree service alerted the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship after recognizing potentially EAB infested ash trees. The presence of EAB was later confirmed after insect specimens were collected at both sites.

Since its initial discovery in the U.S. in the Detroit area in 2002, this pest is responsible for killing tens of millions of ash trees. At this time EAB has been found in 32 states. Since the beetle only travels short distances on its own, people serve as the primary mode for transporting EAB to new areas. In the larval stage beneath the bark of a tree it can unknowingly be transported in firewood or other wood products. The Iowa EAB Team strongly urges Iowans to use locally sourced firewood, burning it in the same county where it was purchased.

EAB-infested ash trees can include branch dieback in the upper crown, water sprouts along the trunk and main branches, vertical bark splits, D-shaped emergence holes, S-shaped tunneling under loose bark, as well as woodpecker damage. EAB larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the part of the tree that moves nutrients up and down the trunk. Ash trees usually die within 2-4 years.

Wintery weather delays pork plant construction but opening is still on target

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 13th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The recent snowfalls and prolonged foul weather have caused delays in construction of the massive 240-million-dollar pork processing plant in north-central Iowa. Ron Prestage, the C-E-O of North Carolina-based Prestage Farms, says they’re still making excellent progress on the huge structure near Eagle Grove in southern Wright County, in spite of the weather.

“I’ve been amazed at the work that’s been accomplished in pretty tough conditions,” Prestage says. “I’d say as a result of some of that, we’re probably a little behind schedule but I don’t think it’s a really big deal. We still intend to start processing pigs in the plant before the end of the year.” One of the set-backs was missing the goal to finish putting the roof on the facility last fall before the cold, wet weather arrived.

“We ended up with kind of a wet December and we didn’t have 100% of the roof on before it started getting wet, either from snow or rain,” Prestage says. “You have to do things kind of the hard way where you have to go in and remove muddy soil out from underneath those areas that you’re pouring floors on.” Prestage says key staff members are being brought on board, but the big hiring push won’t come for a few months yet.

“We’re in the process of finalizing some of the stuff with the state of Iowa and the local community colleges for training,” Prestage says. “We’ve already started hiring people, for example, plant engineers, IT people, accounting people and stuff like that.” As many as one-thousand workers will be needed to run the plant. Interviews and hiring for those hundreds of positions won’t likely start until mid-summer.

(Radio Iowa)

Wildflower Walk set for April 28th north of Atlantic

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 12th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Cass County Conservation service report the Conservation Board is offering a great opportunity for you to observe spring woodland wildflowers not far from Atlantic. A Wildflower Walk program will be held at the Pellett Memorial Woods beginning 9-a.m., April 28th. There is no charge to participate.

Oak Strollers Nature Club for Families are welcome to join at this event. You’re invited to walk through the early spring wildflowers with Cass County Interpretive Naturalist Lora Kanning, and learn the names, uses and history of the Wildflowers.

Those in attendance will meet at Pellett Memorial Woods- located just outside of Atlantic, ½ mile north and ¾ mile east of the KJAN radio station.