KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Shelby County Fire Danger remains “Moderate”

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

November 6th, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Management officials report the Fire Danger level in the County will remain MODERATE this week, at least through Thursday morning, when the next report comes out. Operations Director Jason Wickizer says winds are expected to remain below 12-MPH, and precipitation is in the forecast for the next 24 hours. Relative humidity’s will drop into the middle 30’s which could cause control issues with the 12 MPH wind, however long term humidity’s are forecast to be over 50%.  Persons planning a controlled burn of brush, fields or other field/ditch type material, should notify their local Fire Chief.

Conservation Report 11/04/2017

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

November 4th, 2017 by Chris Parks

Bob Bebensee and DNR Conservation Officer Grant Gelle talk about all things outdoors. Topics this week include deer accidents, public lands, upland bird season, and trapping opener.

Play

DNR looking at expanding use of falconry

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 3rd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is taking public comments on changes to regulations for falconry. D-N-R Wildlife Research Supervisor, Chris Ensminger, says the changes would allow you to use native birds.”We’re looking at the possibility of providing people the opportunity to take falcons for use in hunting. So, it’s not harvesting obviously falcons obviously, it using them for hunting scenarios,” Ensminger says. He says the change is due in part to the resurgence of the birds in Iowa.”Those populations have grown and are doing very well,” Ensminger says, “We also have a large number of bird that migrate through the state. And so there’s opportunities there for those individuals who participate in falconry to use that resource.”

Falcons can be trained to hunt various prey by those licensed to do so. “There’s different seasons for those things… what we are looking at is possibly expanding those opportunities,” Ensminger says. The public comment period is open through November 8th.  Comments should be emailed to wildlife@dnr.iowa.gov.

(Radio Iowa)

DowDuPont seeking buyer for Iowa cellulosic ethanol plant

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 2nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

 

NEVADA, Iowa (AP) — DowDuPont has announced it’s seeking a buyer for its 30-million gallon, $225 million cellulosic ethanol plant in central Iowa. The Des Moines Register reports that DowDuPont has shuttered operations at the Nevada, Iowa, plant and cut 90 workers.

The move is part of DowDuPont’s announcement Thursday it will cut its global workforce by 5-7 percent and shutter some buildings. The cellulosic ethanol plant, which opened in 2015, is considered the next generation in renewable fuel production. It uses corncobs, husks and stalks to produce the biofuel. A skeleton crew will maintain the plant until a new buyer is found.

DowDuPont says the operation no longer fits its strategic plan. Iowa has two other large cellulosic ethanol plants. One is in Emmetsburg and the other is in Galva.

Clovis asks Trump to withdraw his nomination to USDA science post

Ag/Outdoor, News

November 2nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Sam Clovis, the former Morningside College professor who served as national co-chair of the Trump presidential campaign, has asked the president to withdraw his nomination to serve as the top science officer in the U-S-D-A. Clovis sent President Trump a letter, saying “the political climate in Washington has made it impossible for him to receive balanced and fair consideration” for the U-S-D-A job. Court documents released this week show Clovis was the campaign supervisor of volunteer foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulus. Papadopoulus has pleaded guilty to lying to the F-B-I about his contacts with Russians. Clovis, in his letter to the president, said attacks on Trump and his team are increasing every day and have turned into a “blood sport.” Clovis said didn’t want to be a distraction to Trump’s agenda.

Clovis concluded his letter by saying he remains a devoted and loyal supporter — and will continue to serve as a senior White House advisor in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Clovis was a radio talk show host in Sioux City before running for the U.S. Senate in 2014. He joined the Trump campaign in August of 2015.

(Radio Iowa)

Shelby County Fire Danger category changed to MODERATE for the next few days

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

November 2nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Shelby County Emergency Management officials say as the winds subside, and precipitation is in the forecast for Friday, they will change the Fire Danger Level in the County to the MODERATE category, until Monday.  They caution Fire Chiefs, however, that the air mass will be in place with very little venting which means smoke from controlled burns will remain in the area for extended time frame.  If someone wants to do a larger controlled burn that could cause some visibility and health issues adjacent to the burn area.

Corbett calling on Iowans to call Cruz over Northey block

Ag/Outdoor

November 2nd, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Ron Corbett — the Republican who’s challenging Governor Kim Reynolds — is urging Iowans to call in and complain about the roadblock preventing Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey from taking a new job. “As you may know, Bill Northey’s nomination to the USDA is being held hostage by ‘big oil’ interests in some sort of political payback,” Corbett says.

Corbett, who is the mayor of Cedar Rapids, has recorded a phone message that’s being sent by an automated system to thousands of Iowans. Corbett recites the office phone number for Texas Senator Ted Cruz — who is blocking a senate vote on Northey’s nomination. “If you’re like me, you’re sick and tired of the dysfunction we have in politics. When a good, qualified and honorable man like Bill Northey is being held up, the DC swamp is winning,” Corbett says. “Join me in calling US Senator Ted Cruz and tell him to stop the political games and let Bill Northey’s nomination go through.”

Governor Reynolds told Iowa reporters she is disappointed in Cruz’s action, but will rely on Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst to lobby Cruz directly. Cruz has told reporters in D-C that he’s waiting for the Trump Administration to meet with him and other oil-state senators. Cruz and eight other senators from states with oil refineries want to air their concerns about the federal production mandates for ethanol and biodiesel.

Last month 30 Midwestern senators successfully pressured the E-P-A’s administrator to back off a plan that may have reduced the biofuel production mandate.

(Radio Iowa)

Iowa’s furbearer season begins Nov. 4

Ag/Outdoor, Sports

November 1st, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s furbearer season opens Nov. 4, and the outlook for 2017 is good as populations are stable to increasing statewide. Vince Evelsizer, furbearer biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said that while prospects for a good season are there, the number of participants usually follows the fur market. “When prices are good, we have higher participation. When the market is forecasted to be down, like it is again this year, so is participation. But that lack of competition provides an opportunity to introduce someone new to trapping or someone who’s been out of the sport for a while to come back,” he said.

The recent peak in trapping came in 2013 when nearly 21,000 Iowans purchased a furharvester license. In 2016, about 14,500 furharvester licenses were sold. Evelsizer expects participation in the 2017 season will be similar to 2016. “This is another opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, enjoy trapping, even if the market isn’t great,” he said.

Furharvester population trends and market forecast

Muskrats – Population, particularly in northern Iowa, is doing well. Prices likely similar to 2016.

Raccoons – Population is strong, but market forecasts are low. Best opportunity is for large adults in prime condition – from Thanksgiving through December.

Coyotes – Population and price is steady. Coyote fur price has been buoyed by the international trim trade.

Beaver – Population is trending up slightly but varies by region

Mink – Population is steady.

Bobcats – Population is expanding in western and eastern Iowa and increasing in numbers. Prices are similar to 2016.

Otters – Population is stable to slightly increasing. Prices are similar to 2016.

Regulations and Ethics

There are no new regulations for 2017. Furharvesters must have a valid furharvester license and habitat fee to hunt or trap all furbearers except coyotes and groundhogs. Coyotes and groundhogs may be hunted with a hunting or furharvester license. Furharvesters are reminded to respect private property, property boundaries, and the 200 yard separation distance from occupied dwellings or driveways. All traps must be checked every 24 hours, except those which are placed entirely underwater and designed drown the animal immediately.

Otters and bobcats

Furharvesters are required to contact a conservation officer within seven days of taking an otter or bobcat to receive a CITES tag which must remain with the animal until it is sold. They are also asked to turn in the lower jaw or skull of all otters and bobcats harvested to the Iowa DNR, which is used for a population and harvest monitoring.

Coyotes versus wolves

While there are no known wolves currently in Iowa, an occasional wolf will wander through. The Iowa DNR has information at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Conservation/Iowas-Wildlife/Occasional-Wildlife-Visitors showing how to distinguish coyotes from wolves. “Wolves are state and federally protected. If it looks too big or something doesn’t look right, take a second or third look before pulling the trigger,” he said.  “Be sure of the target before taking the shot.” While wolves are protected, bears and mountain lions are not. “We encourage anyone who comes across a bear or mountain lion to enjoy the incredible experience but leave them alone unless there is a safety threat,” Evelsizer said.

Farmers reminded to monitor their mental, as well as physical, health

Ag/Outdoor

October 31st, 2017 by Ric Hanson

Farming remains one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. due to the potential for PHYSICAL injury. However, the occupation can also take a toll on a person’s MENTAL health. Doctor Michael Rosman of Harlan is a farmer who also works in the field of agricultural behavioral health. He says most people are well aware of hazards on the farm like heavy machinery and confined spaces, but another risk often goes unnoticed.

“The psychological injuries that occur in farming are less well understood,” Rosman says. “It isn’t what the farmer has done, but conditions that are beyond our control that make farming so perilous. Like weather events, change in agricultural policy or market conditions – those kinds of factors.”

A recent study by researchers at the University of Iowa found the suicide rate among farmers is now 50 percent higher than during the peak of the farm crisis in 1982. Rosman says many farmers allow stress to compound and spiral out of control.

“Most of us can handle two stressors, but when we get to three, they overwhelm us,” Rosman says. “We initially try to overcome the stresses by working even harder. But, when we do that, we usually deprive ourselves of sleep, adequate recreation, and we begin to become overly distressed.”

As stress sets in, Rosman says so do biological factors associated with depression. There’s help for anyone experiencing a stress overload, including farmers. “If we seek treatment or assistance, such as medications and counseling to deal with the stresses, we can restore perspective,” Rosman says. “But, sometimes we avoid seeking help because we’re so bent on trying to take care of things ourselves.”

A program operated by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is designed to give farmers and all Iowans access to stress counselors and other resources at no charge. The Iowa Concern Hotline is active 24 hours a day, 7 days per week at 1-800-447-1985.

(Radio Iowa)

Manure from dairy farm blamed for deaths of 60K fish

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 31st, 2017 by Ric Hanson

(Update) NEW VIENNA, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are blaming a manure runoff from a dairy farm for killing about 60,000 fish in eastern Iowa. The farm is situated about 3 miles (5 kilometers) east of New Vienna. The fish kill was reported Oct. 9 after fish carcasses were spotted in two creeks downstream in Dyersville. The Iowa Natural Resources Department has issued a notice of violation to the owner, John Hoefler, and is expected to seek restitution for the fish. Among the dead were minnows, white suckers and creek chubs.