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KJAN Ag/Outdoor

Iowa DNR partnering on solutions for lower Missouri River flood risk management

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 25th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES — The Iowa DNR reports the agency is working with stakeholders and agencies from across the Missouri River basin to identify problem areas and potential solutions for flood impacts along the lower Missouri River.  The study will use existing data and hydraulic models, along with stakeholder input, to define existing conditions and develop conceptual-level solutions for identified problem areas, and to develop a flood risk management plan.

In 2019, runoff from the Missouri river basin was at near-historic levels all year. This unprecedented amount of runoff resulted in the lower Missouri River staying above flood stage at multiple locations for nearly nine months, causing billions of dollars of damage to homes, businesses, agricultural production, levees and natural resources across five states, including Iowa. The historic nature of the 2019 flood, in addition to severe flooding over the past decade, served as a catalyst for the governors of Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri to come together to discuss solutions for improving the resiliency of the lower Missouri River basin.

Once problem areas have been identified by state partners and stakeholders, a set of criteria will be developed to rank and prioritize them. That prioritized list, along with any other relevant background information and ideas for potential solutions, will be provided to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for further analysis. The information gathered and analysis completed will be documented in a flood risk management plan for the entire lower Missouri River, which can be used at the state and local level to help inform flood risk management decisions moving forward.

To kick off the first phase of the study, the Iowa DNR is releasing a short introductory video to introduce the study in further detail and outline the schedule for seeking stakeholder input on additional problem areas. A series of virtual meetings is anticipated for late July. The project is a partnership between the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Kansas Water Office, and the Kansas City and Omaha districts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

For more information, contact Tim Hall, Iowa DNR’s Hydrology Resources Coordinator, at tim.hall@dnr.iowa.gov.

Atlantic Area Chamber Ambassadors Visit Schildberg Recreation Area

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 25th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Chamber Ambassadors were hosted by Atlantic Parks & Recreation on Thursday, June 25th. The Ambassador’s viewed a new bath house that was constructed last year and officially opened this spring. The bath house also has a concession stand area that can be rented out for parties, family reunions, etc. A playground was also built last fall that is now available for use. Both projects were built with funds from a grant. Bryant Rasmussen, Parks & Rec Director, stated new entry signage has been placed at the parks using signage found from 30 years ago that was refurbished.

Ambassador’s Pictured Left to Right: Sue Muri, Steve Anderson, Debbie Leistad, Jim Kickland, Michelle Heath, Rich Perry, Dolly Bergmann, Kerry Jepsen, Bill Saluk, Colt Doherty, Bryant Rasmussen, Dawn Marnin, Jennifer McEntaffer, Jessi Klever, Kennedy Plowman and Lana Whestphalen. (photo submitted)

The edible, public gardens are beginning to produce product. Bryant mentioned they have implemented a new biking program for community members and visitors to utilize. They currently have nine bikes that can be rented to use around town. Their plans for the rest of the year are to catch up on maintenance and implement more native grasses and wildlife areas at their parks.

For more information regarding parks or to make reservations at park shelters or the campground, contact 712-243-3542 or visit www.atlanticiowa.com.

USDA Report 6-25-2020

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 25th, 2020 by Jim Field

w/Brandon Schuering.

Play

$5 million from JBS USA for Council Bluffs, Marshalltown, Ottumwa

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 24th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — The company that owns meat processing plants in Council Bluffs, Marshalltown, Ottumwa is making a five MILLION dollar donation for coronavirus response and other initiatives in those three cities. J-B-S U-S-A operates pork plants in Ottumwa and Marshalltown and has two facilities in Council Bluffs that process sliced and cooked meats that are sold in stores. According to a news release from J-B-S U-S-A, the five MILLION dollars will be used to support COVID-19 emergency response and relief efforts, to address food insecurity and to strengthen long-term community infrastructure in the three cities.

J-B-S representatives will work with local officials to identify projects and all funds will be committed by December 31st. J-B-S employs more than 48-hundred people at its four plants in Iowa. According to the company, it pays local pork producers nearly one-point-seven BILLION dollars for hogs that are slaughtered at the plants in Ottuwma and Marshalltown.

Cass County Extension Report 6-24-2020

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 24th, 2020 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson.

Play

Iowa finds no violations at Tyson plant with deadly outbreak

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 23rd, 2020 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s workplace safety agency says an inspection didn’t uncover any violations at Tyson Foods’ largest pork processing plant, where several employees died after contracting the coronavirus.The Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration closed its investigation into the Tyson plant in Waterloo earlier this month without sanctioning the meat company.

Tyson’s Fresh Meat workers file in for a tour of safety measures put into place after the plant had to shut down due to a Covid 19 outbreak, Wednesday, May 6, 2020, in Waterloo, Iowa. On Tuesday, state officials announced that nearly 1,400 workers at three Tyson Foods pork processing plants in Iowa had tested positive for the virus. (Brandon Pollock/The Courier via AP)

County officials and workers have alleged that in March and early April, Tyson workers did not have adequate personal protective equipment to stop the spread of the virus and were not social distancing. The company says it has taken numerous safety steps since then. Black Hawk County has said more than 1,000 of the Waterloo plant’s 2,800 workers had tested positive for the virus or antibodies by early May.

Sweet corn expected after Fourth July

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 23rd, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — A small stretch of cold weather is going to keep sweet corn from being available by the Fourth of July this year for one grower who often has the first corn on the market. Mike Penick grows corn near Carlisle and has this assessment of how the crop is doing…”Well, that’s an open-ended question there,” he laughs, “some if looks excellent. Some of it because of the yearly growing conditions — the corn looks okay — we are just kind of thin on population. We just don’t have as much out there as we would like.”

Penick says his first sweet corn will likely be ready the week after the holiday. “Somewhere between the 8th, tenth, twelfth of July, somewhere right in the. It’s kind of open to how the heat comes along,” Penick says. He says the Fourth of July delivery date is what they hope for, but don’t get every year. “I’ve got about 20 years of records and about 50 percent of the time we get it ready by the Fourth of July,” Penick says. He says everything was going good for earlier harvest until one setback.

“The cold we had in late April and May. It just sit there and done nothing for the longest period of time,” according to Penick. Penick says the growing conditions had been pretty good since that slowdown. “We’re actually sitting in a pretty garden spot for rainfall and so we haven’t gotten the big rains either. So it’s growing extremely fast right now, but it just got cut back so much from the early cold,” he says. Penick was planting another round of corn when he talked with Radio Iowa about the season. He tries to stagger planting to keep corn available throughout the season.

“We try to sell for about 60 days — so this corn I’m planting right now will come roughly about Labor Day or such a matter,” Penick explains. Penick says his other vegetables have been doing well too — including tomatoes. “I waited on the tomatoes until after the frost that came there in May and they took right off and have tomatoes…I have no greenhouse vegetables, everything is outside. They’re progressing pretty good,” Penick says.

Wet conditions delayed the sweet corn last year and the first corn was on the market at about the same time Penick predicts for this year.

Page County Fair to only showcase FFA and 4H, all else canceled

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 23rd, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – Some county fairs in Iowa have canceled this year’s events due to COVID-19, while others are still on, but in a reduced fashion.  In Page County, the Fair Board has canceled everything except for 4-H and F-F-A events at next month’s fair in Clarinda. Page County Youth Coordinator Lexy Davies says it was a difficult decision, but one they are comfortable with.  “I’m really proud of the Page County Fair Board and Page County Extension council,” Davies says. “Everybody has been able to work together and come up with a really good plan for our 4Hers and FFA exhibitors.”

Davies says they’re still giving 4-Hers and F-F-A members an opportunity to show their projects and animals at the fair, which was the number-one priority when it came to decision making.
“We know our 4H and FFA members work really hard,” Davies says. “They spend a lot of time working on projects and livestock. They deserve not only the chance to show off their talent and hard work, but to be recognized for what they have done.”

The first event of the fair will be the static livestock judging on July 21st. The swine shows will take place on July 22nd. Horse, sheep and goat shows will be July 23rd followed by poultry and rabbit showings on July 24th. The beef and pet shows will be on July 26th.

Crop growing weather expected to return

Ag/Outdoor

June 23rd, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — Warm weather that’s good for the crops is expected to return for the rest of the week after rain cooled things off. National Weather Service Meteorologist, Cory Martin, says it won’t be anything too overbearing for now. He says we are looking at high temperatures in upper 70’s to low 80’s and then next week back into the upper 80’s with a return of the humidity. Martin says the humidity will let us know next week that we are moving into July. And he says the crops will add to the mugginess. “We get into July and the corn starts feeding into that humidity as well,” Martin says.

The corn planting finished ahead of the last several years and the new crop report out Monday shows it is doing well with 85 percent rated in good to excellent condition. The soybeans are following right along with 96 percent emerged — which is 16 days ahead of last year and one week ahead of the five-year average. Soybean condition rated 84 percent good to excellent.

DNR offering Field to Fork program for deer

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 22nd, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — The Iowa D-N-R is offering a course again this year designed to teach all you need to know about hunting deer from start to finish. The D-N-R’s Jaime Cook oversees the “Field to Fork” program. “It’s a program designed for adults who have very little or no hunting experience to get a chance to get out and try it in the field,” he explains.  You are taught how to use a compound bow to hunt deer and are also taught how to dress the deer and prepare the meat to put in your freezer. Cook says the shows on T-V make it seem like a simple thing to do. “Looks can be very deceiving, you can watch a ten-minute YouTube video and feel like you are ready to take it on,” Cook says. “I am relatively new to deer hunting myself — just been hunting about five years — you know it’s tiresome by the time you get your animal down, you find it you trail it and then you start to field dress it.”

He says the course takes you through the whole process with experts. “As we approach the fall they are going to have some study at-home lessons, we’ll be providing some printed material as well as some online video supplements,” according to Cook. “They’ll all need to make sure they have hunter education requirements satisfied her in the state as well. We’ll have some online zoom meetings or video chats to have some Q&A as well.”  The D-N-R will also provide some in-person instruction in how to best prepare the venison for storage and eating. “We will have someone on hand that will walk them through how to field dress, how to butcher, how to prepare their meet for freezer storage, and then we are going to be working with a local chef,” Cook says.

He says the idea is to get more people into hunting and also fill the need for those who want to bring home their own meat. “Quite the freezer filler I should say in terms of being able to go out and do it yourself. And that’s also a bit thing, people are really concerned about where their meat comes from these days and they want to have an active part in procuring it and bringing it home,” Cook says. The Ames classes for the Field to Fork program have already filled, but they are accepting applications for Waterloo classes.

The program is limited to ten people at each site, and you can learn more details online or fill out an application at IowaDNR.gov.