KJAN Programs

Farmland prices fell in Nebraska, rose in Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 12th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A farm management company says average prices for high-quality farmland have dropped over the past year in Nebraska but slightly risen in Iowa. The Omaha World-Herald reports that Farmers National Co. gathered sale price information from land grant colleges, Farm Credit banks and other industry sources.

The report says an acre of irrigated cropland in Nebraska averaged $9,000 last year, down from $9,500 in 2016 and $10,000 in 2015. The average for farmland in Iowa was $10,500 last year, up from $10,100 in 2016 and 2015. Randy Dickhut is senior vice president of real estate operations for Farmers National. He says prices are more stable than in previous years, despite a slight dip in prices in many states.

Average prices have been dropping steadily since 2013 because of lower prices for farm goods.

Backyard & Beyond 1-12-2018

Backyard and Beyond, Podcasts

January 12th, 2018 by Jim Field

LaVon Eblen visits with Atlantic Library Director Michelle Andersen.

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Heartbeat Today 1-12-2018

Heartbeat Today, Podcasts

January 12th, 2018 by Jim Field

Jim Field visits with Cass County Veteran’s Affairs Director Mitch Holmes about programs available to local veterans.

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Coalition poll finds support for sales tax increase to fund Recreation Fund

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 12th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

A coalition of conservation, recreation and ag groups released a new poll Thursday, showing support for an increase in the state sales tax to fund water quality projects through the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation president, Joe McGovern, says support has been strong since the fund was created by a constitutional amendment in 2010. “But this last polling of 69 percent — and that’s 69 percent saying they support the trust fund by raising the sales tax — those are strong numbers,” McGovern says.

The proposal is to raise the sales tax by three-eights of a cent, and the amendment requires the increase to go into the fund. McGovern says two-thirds of that increase would go to water quality projects. “Right now we estimate that would put 187 million into the trust fund,” McGovern says, “over two-thirds would go directly to water quality measures to help the nutrient reduction strategies.”

The sales tax hasn’t been increased, so the there hasn’t been money put into the fund. He says tax increases are not something anyone wants — but he says Iowans have shown they support one if the money goes to a specific source. McGovern says the recent increase in the gas tax is an example. “You know when you think about the gas tax, we all knew there were needs. We knew that we had failing bridges, we knew that we had roads that needed repair. so, when those taxes are used for what they say they are going to be used for, people understand that, Iowans expect that,” McGovern says. “That’s why we went the route of the constitutional amendment. So that when this fund was created, it would be protected.”

McGovern is hopeful Iowa lawmakers will see the poll and support and approve a sales tax increase. “We know we have budget issues, we know we have tax reforms being talked about. So, if this can be part of a larger conversation, if this can be something that’s comprehensive, we know there’s some water quality needs out there. We’re thinking much bigger,” according to McGovern.

The poll was commissioned by Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy (IWILL) Coalition. The coalition executive council is comprised of leaders from the American Heart Association, Ducks Unlimited, Iowa’s County Conservation Boards, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Iowa Soybean Association, Pheasants Forever and The Nature Conservancy in Iowa.

(Radio Iowa)

‘Forward contracting’ could help farmers turn a better profit

Ag/Outdoor

January 12th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Iowa farmers face continued low commodity prices, with little hope for improvement, but a technique called forward contracting may help boost the bottom line. Ed Kordick, a marketing specialist at the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, says farmers have a better chance of earning profits if they implement a marketing plan that includes forward contracting to sell their grain in the spring instead of fall. “History has shown us that, not every year, but often that springtime — March, April, May, early June — can be some of the best pricing opportunities,” Kordick says. “It’s not going to happen every year but the uncertainty is greatest in the market at those times.”

Kordick says the strategy isn’t ever guaranteed, but over the course of time, it will prove to be successful. He says farmers need to formulate price goals. “Those are set up by their own cost of production and what type of a realistic price rally could be seen,” he says, “but then also tying that price goal to a date, March, April, May, early June, and get what they think is comfortable done in a pre-harvest sale.” Kordick suggests farmers take out crop insurance as another means of risk protection, but he recommends following pre-determined marketing dates from their plan. “The folks that follow a disciplined marketing plan come out just a little bit better,” Kordick says. “Plus, what I think is very important in these tight margin times, is they reduce their risk before harvest. If we wait until that harvest price, that’s often when supplies are greatest and we can take some of that risk off the table ahead of time.”

In order for farmers to be successful marketers, he says they need to know their cost of production, remove emotion when making decisions, have a marketing plan, and have the discipline to follow that plan.

(Radio Iowa)

Heartbeat Today 1-10-2018

Heartbeat Today, Podcasts

January 10th, 2018 by Jim Field

Jim Field visits with Cass County Naturalist Lora Kanning about the Conservation trip to see the Sandhill Cranes in Nebraska on March 26-27 and the fill the feeder program for the local trumpeter swans.

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Cass County Extension Report 1-10-2018

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

January 10th, 2018 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson.

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Iowa Farmers Ready for a Revival

Ag/Outdoor

January 10th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Farming is the heart of Iowa, and growers and producers from across the state have the opportunity to share ideas on how agricultural diversity can help rejuvenate rural communities. Practical Farmers of Iowa is accepting registrations for its upcoming annual conference, themed “Revival.” Dozens of topics will be examined that highlight diversification and healthy ecosystems. Along with his wife, Lori, Matthew Weise of Earlham will talk about adding beef cattle to their vegetable and poultry operation. As a past attendee, he’s excited to share his experience. “I just want to be able to help other farmers that are possibly going to add a beef enterprise or a grass-fed beef enterprise to their farm, ’cause when you’re starting out something new, it’s easy to miss some details and not necessarily know all the questions to ask.”

There will be more than fifty sessions led by farmers on a variety of topics including production, marketing, conservation and advocacy. The conference will be held January 19th and 20th at Iowa State University in Ames, and pre-registration ends tomorrow (Jan. 11th). Hundreds of farmers, researchers and agriculture supporters are expected to attend. And Wiese says it’s a great way to connect and build relationships with others of like mind and practice. “The amount of information being shared, ideas being tossed around, ideas being explored between farmers to figure out what’s going on or how to solve problems that they’re facing or how to improve things. Everyone is so willing to interact with each other and help each other out.”

English farmer and bestselling author James Rebanks will deliver the keynote address and share his experience using traditional farming methods in the modern world, and how old farming ways can be the answer to a sustainable farming future.

(Iowa News Service)

Senator Grassley discusses RFS battle, Northey USDA nomination

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 10th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says there are no new developments in the impasse between corn-state and oil-state senators over possible changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Grassley says there have been no discussions, since before Christmas, regarding Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s concerns with the RFS. “We have asked the two segments to sit down and talk and get some understanding of each other’s position, as a next step,” Grassley told reporters on a conference call Tuesday.

Cruz has proposed helping oil refiners by placing a 10-cent cap on Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). But Grassley says biofuels industry groups have made their position very clear to him. “The industry tells us that such a cap on RINs would be just catastrophic to ethanol, that it would be a no-go,” Grassley said, “and Senator (Joni) Ernst and I expressed that to Cruz.” As for Cruz’s continued hold on Iowa ag secretary Bill Northey’s U.S.D.A. nomination, Grassley said it’s time to take a different approach. “We’re going to have to proceed separate from anything dealing with the RFS on Northey,” Grassley said. “Northey is entitled to an answer of when is he going to be dealt with in the United States Senate.”

Cruz has blocked a Senate vote on Northey’s nomination to be U.S.D.A. Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation. According to Grassley, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has committed to clearing the way for a Senate vote on Northey’s nomination. But there’s still no indication of when that might happen.

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

Search underway for stolen cattle in SW Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 9th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

The hunt is on for cattle rustlers in southwest Iowa. Montgomery County authorities are investigating the theft of more than 30 cattle from a local sale barn. Livestock owner Don Wolfe says the calves were stolen early Sunday morning from a sale barn a few miles west of Red Oak.

“There are 34 head of black and black-white faced steer calves, with an average weight of 416 pounds. They were stolen in the early morning hours of January 7th,” said Wolfe. He says it appears the thief or thieves targeted a particular pen inside the sale barn.

“We had left the barn at 2:30 in the morning,” he said, “and had went home. We had to leave it unlocked, because there were two of our guys that wanted to load out. We got the okay. Then, this one man had bought two pens of cattle. But, we had three pens of cattle. The cattle walked right by three pens, and they picked this particular pen of calves.” “There’s something fishy about it, but we don’t know what it is,” Wolfe added. He speculates the stolen cattle may still be in the area.

“They’re probably within a two-county area from us right now,” said Wolfe. “They’re probably in a background lot, and they probably took all the green tags. All these cattle were weaned and vaccinated, with Iowa green tags. And, I would say they probably took the green tags out when they got them there, and they’re in a background lot within a 60-mile radius of us.”

Anyone with information regarding the cattle theft should contact the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at 712-623-5107 or Montgomery County Crimestoppers at 888-434-2712. A $3,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of suspects involved in the thefts.

(Radio Iowa)