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Cass County Youth Celebrate National 4-H Week October 1-7

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 28th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Atlantic, Iowa) – Cass County Extension will be celebrating all things 4-H during National 4-H Week October 1-7. Now is the time of year for youth to join and participate in 4-H, a worldwide youth development program, hosted in Iowa by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Cass County 4-H will be hosting a Fall Fest on Sunday, October 8th from 2:00-4:00pm at the Cass County Fairgrounds. The community is invited to come out for an afternoon of family fun! Current 4-H members will be at the event to celebrate 4-H. All are welcome to join in on the fun and see what 4-H all is about.

“We have a variety of fun activities planned which will showcase some of the project areas with hands-on activities, games and fun at our Fall Fest October 8th!” says Katie Bateman, County Youth Coordinator with Cass County Extension. “A 4-H information booth and snacks will be available from 2:00-4:00pm!”

Fall Fest will be a fun event for all ages to come out and celebrate National 4-H Week! You are invited to follow Cass County 4-H on Facebook page, www.facebook.com/CassCoIAExt or search for “Cass County Iowa 4H” on Instagram.

Keep an eye out for Cass County 4-H members, volunteers, and supporters showing their 4-H pride during National 4-H Week. Many of our local 4-H clubs will be creating window displays in local businesses. Other clubs will be doing special events and activities during the week such as wearing 4-H shirts to school or doing service projects around their community!

In addition, the Iowa 4-H Foundation and Cass County 4-H are partnering to host the Iowa 4-H Giving Day (www.iowa4Hgivingday.org), a special 24-hour event, on October 3rd at noon until October 4th at noon. Each year on Iowa 4-H Giving Day, supporters and alumni across the state come together to financially support Iowa’s largest youth organization, to ensure these opportunities continue to be available to youth across the state and at the county level. 4-H supporters can donate online or in person to support programs at the county or state level!

“4-H is a year-round program for youth in grades Kindergarten through 12. National 4-H Week is a great time to show some the wonderful things 4-H offers to youth,” stated Bateman. “In fact, research has shown that young people in 4-H are nearly four times as likely to contribute to their communities and are twice as likely to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs during after school time.”

4-H is active in each of Iowa’s 99 counties and empowers youth to reach their full potential through many different types of experiences including photography, music, woodworking, sewing, livestock and horticulture. 4-H grows confidence, creativity, curiosity, courage, character and much more in youth. 4-H allows youth to use the skills that they learn to go out and make a positive difference in their communities.

Cass County 4-H has more than 300 4-H youth and 100 volunteers involved in the program. Interested in joining 4-H? Contact the Cass County Extension Office at 712-243-1132 or visit the Cass County Extension website at www.extension.iastate.edu/cass.

Local Posted County Grain Prices: 9/28/2023


September 28th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

Cass County: Corn $4.41 Beans $12.28
Adair County: Corn $4.38 Beans $12.31
Adams County: Corn $4.38 Beans $12.27
Audubon County: Corn $4.39 Beans $12.29
East Pottawattamie County: Corn $4.44 Beans $12.28
Guthrie County: Corn $4.43 Beans $12.32
Montgomery County: Corn $4.43 Beans $12.30
Shelby County: Corn $4.44 Beans $12.28

Oats $3.19 (Same in all counties)

FSA’s former state director warns hundreds of millions in CRP payment will be delayed by gov’t shutdown

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 28th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – An Iowan who had a leadership role in the Farm Service Agency a decade ago says a federal government shutdown would delay Conservation Reserve Program payments, which are issued in October. President Obama appointed John Whitaker as Iowa State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency in 2009 and Whitaker was in that role when the federal government shutdown for 16 days in October of 2013.

“CRP payments and other payments are due October 1. The more that we delay making those payments, the more likely it is the federal government will have to pay interest on those payments,” Whitaker says. “That adds to our cost, the cost of doing government.” If Conservative Reserve Program or C-R-P payments aren’t made by October 31st, the federal government is required to pay a penalty and add interest onto those checks. Whitaker says even a week-long federal government shutdown in October would create issues with C-R-P payments.

“It’s going to be more and more difficult to get them all certified and all through the system and the staff is stressed because they know the cost of not getting the payment made and they also know those producers are waiting on those payments,” Whitaker says. “They expect that payment to be paid in early October, not the end of October or in November or later than that.”

Whitaker made his comments during an online news conference organized by the Iowa Democratic Party. Two years ago, the federal government paid 382 million dollars on C-R-P contracts that keep the land out of corn and soybean production for up to 15 years. Farm Service Agency offices will be closed if congress does not pass a spending plan for the next federal fiscal year, which begins Sunday. Whitaker says that means farmers will not be able to submit required reports to the U-S-D-A about cover crops that are being planted this fall.

“You know, Iowa’s agricultural areas are heavily dependent on the USDA and USDA programs,” Whitaker says. Whitaker served on the Van Buren County Board of Supervisors for 10 years. Whitaker served seven years in the Iowa House before he was appointed to lead the Farm Service Agency operations in Iowa.

Cass County Extension Report 9-27-2023

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

September 27th, 2023 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson.


Rain slows harvest for a couple of days

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 26th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – The rain farmers have been hoping for slowed some of the harvest last week. The U-S-D-A reports says rainfall cut the time in the field by about two days. The corn harvest is now nine percent statewide, compared to five percent the week before. The corn harvest is still six days ahead of last year.

The percentage of beans in the bin hit 11 percent last week — up from three percent. The bean harvest is three days ahead of last year, and one day ahead of the five-year average.

Corn harvest in NW Iowa may exceed 200 bushel average

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 26th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – It’s still early, but the harvest season in northwest Iowa is getting off to a good start, according to I-S-U Extension agronomist Leah Ten Napel. “Overall, we have a lot of acres left to go,” Ten Napel says. “A very small percentage has been harvested so far. The areas that are getting harvested are actually at fairly good, harvestable moistures, which is great to hear, and yields are not coming back all too shabby for the year we’ve had.”

Weather conditions during this growing season were widely varied, she says, and so are the yields. “Some of our soybean fields were hit really hard with late-season pests and those yields are going to be down in those areas,” she says, “but overall, corn yields have been average-to-above-average and soybean yields maybe slightly below-average-to-average, so far, what I’m hearing.”

Ten Napel says some farmers are predicting about a 200-bushel average for the corn crop. “I would say for our area of northwest Iowa, we may be over that 200 bushel average, in my area,” she says, “just from what I’m hearing so far.” Ten Napel says much of her region received adequate moisture this season, though she notes, parts of Woodbury and Monona counties, just south of Sioux City, were among the driest in the state.

Iowa Pork enters NIL agreement with Iowa State football players Purchase, Moore, Hamann, Bacon 

Ag/Outdoor, News, Sports

September 25th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Clive, Iowa) September 25, 2023 – The Iowa Pork Producers Association is partnering with four Iowa State University football players to promote the pork industry. Through an NIL (name, image, likeness) deal, Cyclones Myles Purchase, Tyler Moore, Tommy Hamann, and Caleb Bacon are leading the new “Purchase Moore Hamann Bacon” marketing campaign. The goal is obviously to push Iowans to buy pork products. More specifically, they want you to purchase more ham and bacon.

“After the ‘Hamann Bacon’ photo went viral on social media following the Cyclones’ season opener, we knew we had to jump on this opportunity,” said Trish Cook, president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association. “These four young men are not only great football players, they also have strong academic records, and great last names! We couldn’t be more excited to work with them in this fun initiative to publicize Iowa pork.”

October is National Pork Month, aka Porktober, and this promotion will be part of that monthlong celebration. The Iowa Pork Producers Association will run ads on social media featuring the four players surrounded by delicious Iowa pork and strategically using their names to encourage pork consumption. In conjunction with the NIL partnership, the Iowa Pork Producers Association will donate $1,000 of pork to each player’s food pantry of choice. “Iowa pork producers and pig farmers care about their communities, and while this partnership is a fun way to promote our industry, it’s also one way we can give back,” Cook said. “Food insecurity remains an issue for many people and we’re glad to partner with these Cyclone football players to help their local food pantries.”

Myles Purchase, Tyler Moore, and Caleb Bacon were all named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team in 2022. Tommy Hamann was named to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll in 2022. The Iowa Pork Producers Association is pleased to work with these student-athletes to promote pork and the work of Iowa pig farmers, while aiding local communities. “It’s something unique and it feels good to be able to do something for a good cause,” said Cyclones Defensive Back Myles Purchase, a junior from Denver, CO. “It’s a really crazy way to incorporate all of our names and I think it’s a great way to promote Iowa pork producers too,” said Cyclone Tight End Tyler Moore, a redshirt sophomore from Des Moines.

When the picture of Tommy Hamann and Caleb Bacon together on the field went viral on social media, the players had several friends sharing the photo with them. “I think it’s just hilarious being able to use play-on words on our last names in a super clever way to promote Iowa pork and it’s just an all-around great opportunity to bring us all together,” said Hamann, a redshirt freshman defensive end for the Iowa State Cyclones. Caleb Bacon has heard jokes about his last name for much of his life. “People said I should take advantage of it, and it just came to fruition in that picture. I think it’s just good for our teammates and I’d like to thank the Iowa pork producers for the opportunity.” Bacon is a sophomore linebacker from Lake Mills, Iowa.

Iowa is the number one state in the nation for pork production and nearly 150,000 Iowans are employed by the pork industry.

Produce in the Park September 28th Happenings

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 25th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Atlantic, Iowa) – Produce in the Park is a weekly farmers market and community gathering held every Thursday evening from 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM in the Atlantic City Park, through October 12th. This week (Sept. 28th), local musician Sarah Selders will be providing live music and Hungry Spartan Pizza food truck will be on site from 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM. Numerous vendors will be in attendance offering a variety of products including baked goods, produce, sweet treats and crafts.

You can also look forward to the following specialty items with numerous other vendors and community organizations in attendance:

Aubrey’s Bows: assortment of bows including new fall bow collections
Bridgewater Farms: wide assortment of produce including sweet potatoes
Brun Ko Farms: honey, radishes, peppers, sweet snacking peppers, 5, 10 & 20 lb boxes of heirloom slicing tomatoes, onions, garlic & jalapenos and leeks
CK3 Farms: wide assortment of produce including watermelon
Harrisdale Farmstead: assortment of produce including grapes
Imagine Garden Gifts: unique garden gifts including antique, vintage, and repurposed planters.
Kringleman: assorted Danish pastries
Neighborhood Bakehouse: sourdough, baguettes, sandwich bread & pumpkin spice sourdough
Noble Provisions: homegrown ribeyes, beef snacks (jerky, summer sausage, beef sticks), beef brats, patties, pork brats, Italian sausage, & ground pork

Thursday’s featured kids activity will be bounce houses and yard games. Zion Recovery, our September sponsor, will have numerous agencies at the park as well as activities for kids to enjoy.

All vendors accept cash, with many accepting credit cards and Venmo. All qualifying food vendors accept SNAP/EBT (also known as food stamps) with all fresh produce vendors accepting Double Up Food Bucks–coupons given for SNAP/EBT purchases of fresh produce.

For updates and information on Produce in the Park or how to sign up to participate, visit www.produceintheparkatlanticiowa.com. ‘Like’ or ‘follow’ Produce in the Park on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ProduceInThePark) or Instagram (www.instagram.com/produceintheparkatlanticia/).

Produce in the Park is sponsored by: First Whitney Bank & Trust, Cass Health, Nishna Valley Family YMCA, Gregg Young of Atlantic, Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Atlantic.

Ag expert sees proso millet as the ‘crop of the future’ for Iowa

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 25th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – A grain that millions of people in Asia and India eat every day is almost unheard-of in Iowa, but a researcher at Iowa State University says it has the potential to make Midwestern agriculture more resilient, more profitable and more earth-friendly. Pat Schnable, director of I-S-U’s Plant Sciences Institute, says proso (PRO-so) millet is an ideal alternative crop to corn and soybeans, especially as water becomes more scarce, both in drought-stricken Iowa and globally. “Proso millet is extremely water efficient,” Schnable says. “We did some research and discovered that it is probably the most water efficient grain on the planet. It uses about half as much water per bushel of grain compared to corn or wheat. It’s even more water efficient than sorghum.”

Calling proso millet the crop of the future, Schnable says the cereal grain is extremely versatile as it’s eaten by vast populations of humans in products from porridge to bread, and it’s also an excellent livestock feed. Plus, he says, millet is already growing well in plots of Iowa soil, thanks to one big advantage. “Farmers can grow millet without any application of nitrogen fertilizer,” he says. “So even though the yields are 70 to 80 bushels an acre, here in Iowa, by not having to add nitrogen fertilizer, that can make it competitive with corn and beans.” By comparison, corn is now grown on some 90-million acres nationwide, while millet is grown on perhaps 700-thousand acres. Schnable would like to see that figure grow tenfold in the years to come.

“It’s a very easy crop to grow in Iowa and uses exactly the same equipment that you’ve got for corn and beans, so same planters, same combine,” he says. “You do need to get a canola plate for the planter but that’s a pretty trivial expense, just because it’s smaller seeded than corn and beans.” The grain is gluten-free, so it’s being used domestically in various types of 12-grain breads — and it’s even used in those big mixed bags of bird seed. Yet another advantage, Schnable says proso millet can be substituted for corn in the ethanol-making process.

“Because we’re not adding commercial fertilizer, nitrogen fertilizer, it has a low carbon intensity score, which starting in 2025, the federal government is going to start handing out credits to ethanol plants that use low carbon intensity feedstocks, like millet,” Schnable says, “so we see a real growth opportunity there.” Schnable and his son, James — who’s an agronomy professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln — founded an Ames-based company called Dryland Genetics. Its mission is to make proso millet the climate conscious choice of farmers and consumers.


Skyscan Forecast for Sunday, September 24, 2023

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

September 24th, 2023 by Jim Field

Today: Sunny with a high near 77. West wind 5 to 10 mph.

Tonight: Mostly clear with a low around 54.

Monday: Mostly sunny with a high near 77. West northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

Tuesday: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Mostly sunny with a high near 75.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny with a high near 75.

Saturday’s High in Atlantic was 76. Our Low was 55. Rainfall at KJAN from 7-a.m. Saturday to 7-a.m. Sunday amounted to .25″.