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.

Zoned Out: Removing Barriers to Wind Energy in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 30th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa is already among the nation’s leaders in wind energy, but a new report points to changes that the state could make to turn what can still sometimes be a stormy process for new operations into much more of a breeze. The study is from the Center for Rural Affairs. Wind Turbines

Energy and Climate Program Associate Lu Nelson with the Center for Rural Affairs says instead of a dual approach of needing both local and state zoning approval, Iowa should consider going with a single source of oversight. “That would take applications, that can approve permits and that would set a firm timeline for the process, but then find a place where local communities can come in and weigh in on the project.”

Iowa already gets about 27 percent of its energy from wind power and the latest industry estimates say that could surpass 40 percent by 2020. Nelson says it’s important Iowa try to streamline the process in the short-term with the federal plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants due out this summer, possibly as early as next week.

“As wind is continuing to get cheaper and as we know that there will be some desire to invest even more in wind energy with the EPA Clean Power Plan,” he says. “It’s good to begin planning this sort of thing now and looking at how we can improve before we’re having to backtrack and make up for not preparing.” Nelson says another suggestion in the report to improve the process is with the creation of a state map that lays out which areas would be best for wind energy, taking into account wildlife, the environment and the ability to link into transmission.

(Iowa News Service)

USDA Report 07-30-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

July 30th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Max Dirks

Environmental group pushes DNR for tougher clean water standards

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 29th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement are turning in petition signatures to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, calling for tougher enforcement of the Clean Water Act. Jess Mazour, I-C-C-I’s farm and environment organizer, says the comments were focused on the D-N-R’s draft list of impaired waterways. She says more accountability is needed.

“We decided we were going to get as many comments as we can, offering a solution to some of these problems,” Mazour says. “In our eyes, issuing Clean Water Act permits and holding factory farms and manure polluters accountable is one way we can start cleaning up Iowa’s waters. We got about 2,000 comments collected online and in person from across the state and then we hand-delivered them to the DNR.” Mazour says tougher rules and better enforcement are needed to protect the state’s waters.

“Not a single hog confinement in Iowa has a Clean Water Act permit and the current permitting system is not working, obviously, because we continue to have manure spill after manure spill,” Mazour says. “We know these factory farms are basically getting away with polluting and the DNR’s not doing anything about it. We think the Clean Water Act will give them tougher regulations to follow and then start cleaning up our water.” Mazour says the agency could use more state dollars to be able to enforce state environmental regulations.

“The DNR needs more funding to hire more inspectors,” she says. “Right now, there’s only 15.75 full-time equivalent inspectors for over 9,000 of these facilities in Iowa. Obviously, the Clean Water Act needs to be implemented. They need to start issuing tough fines and penalties when manure spills occur.” The DNR’s most recent list of impaired waterways in Iowa is at 725, that’s up from 630 in 2012.

(Radio Iowa)

Cass County Extension Report 07-29-2015

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

July 29th, 2015 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olson

Iowa dad, son die after being overcome by manure pit fumes

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

CYLINDER, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a 58-year-old Iowa man tried to rescue his son who was overcome by fumes in a hog manure pit, but both men later died. The accident occurred Saturday afternoon in the northwest Iowa community of Cylinder. The Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office says Gene Opheim and his 32-year-old son, Austin, were making repairs when Austin was overcome by the gases. His father then entered the pit to save his son but also was overcome.

Fire and rescue personnel were called to the scene. The Sheriff’s Office says the men were removed from the pit and taken to Palo Alto County Hospital in Emmetsburg, where they were pronounced dead.

Cass County Fair Beef selection show results from Mon. evening

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 28th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The prelude to today’s big livestock sale at the Cass County Fair was held Monday evening, with the Parade of Champions and Grand Champion Beef Selection Show.  Among the big winners during Monday’s event were Lindsey Dinkla and Hannah Carlson. Carlson exhibited the Grand Champion Market Heifer, which weighed 1,388-pounds. Hannah is the daughter of Mike and Pat Carlson. Lindsey Dinkla, the daughter of Gary and Beth Dinkla,  exhibited the Grand Champion 4H Market Steer, which weighed-in at 1,326-pounds.

The Reserve Grand Champion Market Heifer was shown by Caroline Pellett, with the Pymosa 4H Club. She is the daughter of Brad and Kristi Pellett. The Reserve Grand Champion Market Steer was shown by Haley Carlson, with the Pymosa 4H Club. Haley is the daughter of Mike and Pat Carlson. Haley also exhibited the Grand Champion FFA market heifer.

Marshall McDermott, of the Atlantic FFA displayed the Reserve. Marshall is the son of Mike and Melanie McDermott. Eric Plagman showed the Grand Champion FFA Market Steer. Eric is the son of Mike and Kristi Plagman. The Reserve went to Nate Moen, of the Atlantic FFA. His parents are Clint and Laura Fruend.

The livestock sale gets underway at 8-a.m. and will conclude when all the animals are sold. Breakfast will be served at the Foodstand from 6:30-until 10-a.m.

IA Ag Sec Northey comments on latest crops report


July 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today (Monday), commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October. Northey said “The continued pattern of rain showers and storms moving across the state means crops generally have plenty of moisture, which is not usually the case in late July. While there are certainly areas that have seen some crop damage due to the weather, in general both corn and beans are in good condition across much of the state.”

A dry start with rain near the end of the week allowed Iowa farmers 5 days suitable for corn fieldwork for the week ending July 26, 2015, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were reports of crop stress due to the hot, dry weather, as well as weed problems in soybeans. Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 6 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 16 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 5 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 16 percent surplus. Northwest Iowa was the driest area of the State with one-quarter rated very short to short on topsoil moisture. Eighty-three percent of the corn crop had reached the silking stage or beyond, with 11 percent reaching the dough stage. Corn condition rated 83 percent good to excellent.

Soybeans blooming or beyond reached 78 percent. Thirty-seven percent of soybeans were setting pods, slightly ahead of average. Soybean condition rated 76 percent good to excellent this week. Oat acreage turning color or beyond reached 96 percent, with 57 percent of the oat crop harvested for grain or seed, 5 days ahead of last year. Oat crop condition rating increased to 81 percent good to excellent.

The first cutting of alfalfa hay neared completion, while the second cutting reached 68 percent, one day behind last year, and nearly a week behind the average. The third cutting of alfalfa hay got underway this week. Hay condition was rated at 68 percent good to excellent, while pasture condition rated 77 percent good to excellent. Livestock saw some stress during the day, but generally recovered at night.

Reward grows in connection with chainsaw carving thefts

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson


Photos provided to the Atlantic Police Dept. courtesy Laura Bacon with the Atlantic News Telegraph.

A group of concerned area citizens is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the return of two chainsaw carvings taken sometime Sunday night from the Cass County Fairgrounds.  The pig and goat head carvings were created over the last couple of days by Doyle Chainsaw Artist and are to be auctioned off tonight (Monday) at the fair as part of a fund raising effort for the fair.IMG_7494

A reward is being offered for information leading to the return of the carvings. Anyone who might have any information about the theft is asked to contact the Atlantic Police Department, the Cass County Extension Office, or any Fair Board member. Anyone wanting to contribute to the reward fund can contact Bill Simons (249-9503) or Allen Zellmer.

Outdoors woman workshop set for Sept-18-20 in Guthrie Co.

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

July 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

Women can work on developing their wild side by registering for the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshop coming up Sept. 18-20. The weekend workshop is held at the Springbrook Conservation Education Center in Guthrie County. Julie Sparks, DNR Becoming an Outdoors-Woman coordinator, says “This workshop is an excellent opportunity for women 18 years or older to try a wide variety of activities they may never have had the chance to experience. We have top-notch instructors, our class sizes are kept small and the setting at Springbrook is beautiful, particularly in the fall.”

Workshop topics include basic fishing, fly fishing, birdwatching, archery, beginning shooting, basic motor boat skills, kayaking, survival skills, stand up paddling, Dutch oven cooking, basic camping and much more. The $150 registration fee covers food, lodging and materials for the workshop.

Women thinking about participating are encouraged to sign up soon, as many classes fill quickly. Brochures and registration forms are available online at www.iowadnr.gov/bow or by contacting Julie Sparks, at 515-725-8285 or julie.sparks@dnr.iowa.gov.

Final, full day of activities at the Cass County Fair

Ag/Outdoor, News

July 27th, 2015 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Fair wraps up the last, full day of activities in Atlantic, today. Tomorrow, breakfast will be served at the Foodstand from 6:30-to 10-a.m., and the livestock sale will take place beginning at 8-a.m. On tap for this morning, is the Best of Show in the Outdoor Show Ring, Best of Iowa show at 9:30 in the Community Center, and at 11-a.m., the Watermelon Feed in the Outdoor Show Ring. As always, the commercial exhibit building will open at 10-a.m. for you to check out the various vendors and artisans.

Today’s Noon Special at the Foodstand is Roast Beef, with hot beef being sold this evening at 5.  The Foodstand is open until 10-p.m.

This afternoon, the Style Show will be held in the Community Center, beginning at 4-p.m., with Building Awards being presented at that time, as well. At 6-p.m. is the Parade of Champions in the Outdoor Arena. The Grand Champion Beef Selection in front of the Grandstand starts at 7-p.m., and Mud Volleyball in the Horse Arena gets underway at 8-p.m.