KJAN Programs

Farmers should scout for Corn Molds and Ear Rots This Harvest Season


October 20th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) has received several questions from southwest Iowa producers about corn mold this harvest season. Based on producer descriptions of black mold or black dust that becomes airborne when the plants are disturbed, common corn smut is the most likely culprit in many of these cases.

Corn smut is caused by the fungus Ustilago maydis or Ustilago zeae and at harvest can typically be identified as black masses of spores that create a dark dust when the corn plants are disturbed.



This spore material often is described as powdery or sooty in consistency and can be found on various parts of the corn plant including ears, tassels, stalks, and leaves.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist Chris Clark said corn smut can impact grain quality and yield but generally is not directly associated with mycotoxin production. “If a mold in question is truly corn smut, the grain can probably be fed to livestock without any great concern about toxicity,” he said.

Corn smut can, however, be confused with other corn molds and fungal ear rot organisms that can produce dangerous mycotoxins. Corn plants are susceptible to numerous fungal organisms, some of which are commonly associated with mycotoxin production. Iowa State veterinary toxicologist Steve Ensley said Aspergillus, Fusarium, Gibberella, and Penicillium organisms are most commonly associated with production of mycotoxins that can be negatively impact animal health and performance.

There also is evidence that smut-infected ears are more susceptible to infection by Fusarium and Aspergillus. The smut fungus may not directly produce mycotoxins but can potentially cause greater susceptibility to secondary infections with organisms that are associated with mycotoxin production. That’s why it’s important to scout fields and identify corn molds affecting the crop.

The Iowa State VDL offers mycotoxin screening of grain and feed samples. Producers can find sampling guidelines, submission forms, prices and other information on the VDL website here https://vetmed.iastate.edu/vdl/resources/client-services/pathogens/mycotoxins. The site also includes a great deal of information about mycotoxins including species affected and health effects.

Clark and Ensley are available to address questions and concerns about corn molds and mycotoxins.  Clark can be reached at (712) 250-0070 or by email at caclark@iastate.edu.  Ensley can be reached at (515) 294-2783 or by email at sensley@iastate.edu.

Tiptoeing through the (future) tulips (a lot of them) in Lee County…


October 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

MONTROSE, Iowa (AP) – Lee County’s community members have attempted to set the world record for most people planting flower bulbs simultaneously. The Hawk Eye reports that about 1,700 students and community members tried Tuesday to double the previous record of 850 people in the United Kingdom. County participants had five tulip bulbs to plant within an hour, and officials say the task was completed in less than 30 minutes.

Dana Millard with Lee County Economic Development, and one of the event’s organizers, says Guinness World Records must verify paperwork before the potential record is acknowledged. Conservation group Pheasants Forever donated tulips to the event and considers it an investment in the future of nature conservation.

Vertical farming idea proposed for Davenport riverfront


October 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) – Preliminary discussions have begun over a proposal to bring a hydroponic, vertical farming operation along the Davenport riverfront. The Quad-City Times reports that Friday’s Fresh Market operation is in a 40-foot, insulated shipping container. Local farm owner and manufacturing consultant Andrew Freitag says the container is one of the models his company uses to promote sustainable farming practices.

The company and the Davenport Levee Commission are discussing the proposal. Commission executive director Steve Ahrens says there are many details to be worked out before any plan could come to fruition. According to Freitag, the shipping container uses an LED lighting system as well as 90 percent less water and 50 percent less nutrients than traditional farming methods. Freitag says the operations could be a year-round source for the Food Hub and farmers market.

Former RFA chair discusses future of ethanol


October 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

A Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) director says the auto industry’s path to improved fuel economy will include higher blends of ethanol. Randall Doyal, CEO of Al-Corn Clean Fuel in southeast Minnesota, says the ethanol industry is keeping up with advancements in automobile technology. “We’re trying to get a higher and higher fuel economy, and the auto industry is saying that the way to get there is through higher compression, smaller and lighter engines that produce more horsepower from less, but require higher-octane fuels. And they are looking at somewhere around 30 percent ethanol,” Doyal says.

Iowa is the nation’s top ethanol producer. Doyal says the RFA is hitting some roadblocks as the organization works to educate consumers on the benefits of E-15 and higher blends of ethanol. “It’s always been a frustration to me that, in the U.S., we’ve listened to oil folks and others who’ve said that you can’t even use 10 percent blend…yet, you can drive any car that we make in the U.S. down to Brazil and you’re going to be running on 27 percent ethanol and your car will do just fine,” Doyal said.

Doyal, who recently completed his term as RFA chairman, says more infrastructure is needed to facilitate higher ethanol blends and provide additional choices at the pump. According to the Iowa Corn Grower’s Association, around 47 percent (1.3 billion bushels) of the corn grown in Iowa is used to create nearly 30 percent of all American ethanol.

(Radio Iowa/Mark Dorenkamp, Brownfield Ag News)

Denison man suffers self inflicted injury on his way to hunt deer

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa DNR said Tuesday a Denison man suffered a self inflicted gunshot wound to his thigh from a pistol he was carrying in his waistband shortly after he began walking to the field to hunt deer with his muzzleloader.  The injury occurred around 5 p.m. Monday,, in southern Crawford County. 54-year old Daniel Gehling was taken to Denison hospital and then flown by helicopter to Omaha medical center for surgery. He is currently in stable condition.

Gehling was heading to the field with his wife Carolyn. He adjusted the gun in his waistband when it discharged. Carolyn called for help and then applied pressure on the wound until rescue personnel arrived.

It is common for hunters who have a permit to carry, to carry a pistol with them while hunting. It is illegal to have a pistol in possession while archery hunting.

Iowa’s pheasant season begins October 29

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s pheasant hunting tradition will begin another chapter on October 29, when nearly 60,000 hunters will pursue ringnecks during the season opening weekend in fields across the state. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources annual August roadside survey predicts Iowa pheasant hunters can expect to have good hunting this fall, and likely more company in the field. The optimistic mood is a natural outcome of five consecutive years of higher population surveys and hunter harvests.

The survey found an average of 21 pheasants per 30 mile route statewide, with higher counts coming from counties crossing the state diagonally from northwest to southeast. The statewide average in 2015 was 24 pheasants per route.IA DNR Outdoor logo

“At this point, it appears much of our corn and beans will be out of the fields by the opener, which will concentrate birds to grass areas and make hunters happy. If we have good weather, I think we could see a bump in hunter numbers and birds harvested,” said Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife biologist for the Iowa DNR.

Bogenschutz said he has noticed more birds near field edges and along the roads as the crops have been coming out. “I’ve been seeing some birds around on my way in to the office and have been getting a few phone calls from around the state from people also seeing birds,” he said. ““The birds are here, we need hunters to return.”

Iowa’s pheasant population could sustain a harvest of 500,000 roosters, but it will not reach that level until there are 90,000 hunters afield. In 2015, some 55,000 hunters harvested 270,000 Iowa roosters. Hunters can read the August roadside survey, review hunting regulations, buy a license and find a place to hunt online at www.iowadnr.gov/hunting .

REAP public private cost share grants approved

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Natural Resource Commission for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources approved two Resource Enhancement and Protection Public Private Cost-share grant requests from the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation at its October meeting. The projects were awarded more than $510,000.

Public private grants are used for land acquisition with 75 percent of the acquisition costs come from REAP and the remaining 25 percent coming from private contributions.

REAP Private Public Grants:

Fremont County, Botna Bottoms Acquisition, $135,750 – The project will combine two EWP/WRP properties into one 179-acre tract bordering the East Nishnabotna River. Botna Bottoms contains quality wildlife habitat, including: grassland, riparian woodland, wet prairie, sedge meadow and wetland. Funds received for this project will transfer the property to the IDNR – Nishnabotna Wildlife Unit. Major benefits of this acquisition include public hunting, wildlife and plant habitat and improved water quality.

Fremont County, Biscuitroot Bluff, $378,972 – The goal of this project is to protect and restore property in Fremont County along the Loess Hills Scenic Byway that contains rare Loess Hills remnant prairie and oak woodlands. Funds received for this project would be used for acquisition of 173.2 acres. Future use includes wildlife and native plant habitat, public hunting and scenic views.

REAP city parks and open spaces grants approved

Ag/Outdoor, News

October 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The Natural Resource Commission of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources approved Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) grants to 22 cities for use in parks and open spaces during its October meeting.  The projects were awarded nearly $2.4 million.  There were 53 applications for the grants.

The REAP City Parks and Open Space competitive grants help cities establish natural areas, encouraging outdoor recreation and resource management. Cities were separated into three categories: population under 2,000, population 2,000 – 25,000 and population over 25,000.

For cities with a population of under 2000: The City of Manning received $29,184 for the Trestle Park Trail. The project will construct 2,700 feet of concrete trail from Third Street (near downtown), along the West Nishnabotna River and end at the new Trestle Park. Trestle Park will feature an area for children, but primarily focuses on young adults with horseshoes, volleyball, outdoor exercise equipment, shelter house and more. Regional plans are also being developed and this segment would serve as part of the path through Manning when regional trails are developed.

For cities with a population of 2,000 to 25,000: The City of Carroll received $122,218 for the Carroll Recreational Trail – Segment A. Trail Phase I would connect Northeast Park and Veterans Memorial Park in the City. The trail length is approximately 0.8 miles.

Backyard & Beyond 10-18-2016

Backyard and Beyond, Podcasts

October 18th, 2016 by Jim Field

LaVon Eblen talks about things to see and do.


Pork Chops with Apples & Stuffing (10-18-2016)

Mom's Tips

October 18th, 2016 by Jim Field

  • 6 boneless pork loin chops (1″ thick)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 package (6 oz.) crushed stuffing mix
  • 1 can (21 oz.) apple pie filling with cinnamon

In a skillet, brown pork chops in oil over medium-high heat.  Meanwhile, prepare stuffing according to package directions.  Spread pie filling into a greased 13″ x 9″ x 2″ baking dish.  Place the pork chops on top; spoon stuffing over chops.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

YIELD:  6 servings.