KJAN Ag/Outdoor

38th Annual Carstens Farm Days: postponed until 2021; dinner still planned

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 19th, 2020 by Chris Parks

SHELBY, IA  – The Board of Directors of Carstens 1880 Farmstead has decided to postpone Farm Days this year until September 11 & 12, 2021.  This is due to COVID-19 safety considerations.  “We looked at a lot of things before we decided to postpone the show,” said Carstens Board President, Mel Hursey of Shelby.  “We know that the Farm Days Show brings folks from all over and we decided to keep things as safe as we could by postponing.”

The Board met last week and considered what the two-day event’s postponement means to the community.  The difficult decision about postponing Kids Day was also made.  “We want to keep the health and safety of our youngest and oldest visitors and volunteers to the farm a priority.”

“One part of Farm Days that people like will happen this year,” added Hursey.  The Staley’s Chicken Dinner will still be held at the farm on Saturday, September 12, 2020.  It will begin at 5:30 pm.  Public Health guidance will be followed to assure social distancing is available.  “Tables will be added so there will be more room for the crowd,” Hursey said.  This dinner typically draws over 300 as they enjoy the meal and community spirit of the Farm Days Show.

“Be sure to check for COVID-19 updates and the farm on our web site,” Hursey said.  As Public Health information is updated Carstens Board members will adjust plans as needed. “As we look forward in these times, we thank the community, the exhibitors and volunteers for the continuing support of Carstens 1880 Farmstead.”

Iowa turkey producers & processors seek federal help due to COVID-19

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 19th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — There’s still no word from the U-S-D-A on requests from Iowa leaders to help the state’s turkey producers recover from serious production problems caused by COVID-19. Iowa Turkey Federation executive director Gretta Irwin says the pandemic brought a sharp drop in sales and created a backlog of turkeys to be processed. “Iowa’s turkey farmers were impacted by the COVID virus by decreased sales in restaurants,” Irwin says. “As people locked down for those three-plus months and did not go out and eat at a lot of quick-serve restaurants that serve a lot of turkey deli meats, we saw those sales go down.”

Many Iowa restaurants closed or saw a significant drop-off in customers as they shifted to carry-out or delivery only during the height of the pandemic. “That has obviously created an excess inventory in the processors’ warehouses,” Irwin says, “and then that is going to now adversely affect the turkey farmers as they look to cut back production to try to work through that excessive inventory.” Irwin says federal funding is critically needed for the state’s turkey producers as well as for the processors that were hit hard by the pandemic.

“We’re asking for some support for those farmers who are going to be asked to not produce turkeys because of this excess inventory,” Irwin says. “For the processing plants, we are taking advantage of a lot of the other food assistance programs that the government is providing to food banks and to school food service programs.”

Both of Iowa’s U-S senators and the state’s agricultural leaders have asked the U-S-D-A for assistance for turkey producers. In their letter, they asked that agency economists work to devise a formula that allows this niche sector of the nation’s poultry industry to get the help it needs. Iowa is the nation’s seventh-largest turkey producer and ranks fifth in turkey processing.

John Deere restructuring

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 19th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — Quad Cities-based John Deere is restructuring and implementing a new operating model. Spokeswoman Jen Hartmann says it’s been eleven years since the last “global” restructuring. The new model is called the Deere Smart Industrial strategy.  “The new org model is making sure — and this is really at that corporate-level– looking at how we can structure ourselves to be much quicker to market, much more responsive to what customer needs are, and to deliver on those needs very efficiently and quickly,” Hartmann explains.

For the Agriculture and Turf Division, Hartmann says Deere teams will use different approaches to serving customers with large-scale farms in North and South America, plus Australia, compared to mid-size and small growers and producers around the world.  “Whether we are talking about the equipment or technology — what do those corn and soy farmers need most, because that is going to be very different than what a dairy or livestock producer might need,” according to Hartmann, “And certainly very different from what a guy who’s producing oranges in an orchard. So this is going to be looking at that entire lifecycle of the needs of that farmer or producer or rancher.”

The restructuring includes expanding the role of the John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group, since, Hartmann says, technology is the key to improving customer service before, during, and after the sale. They have a chief technology officer Jamie Hindman who she says will be overseeing the intelligent solutions group and the entire technical staff.

She says the intelligent solutions group had been focused on precision agriculture, but all of the tech and support will now be focused on the entire lifecycle of the product lines from construction and forestry to ag and turf. Deere plans to invest in research and development of new technologies. Hartmann says the company’s “smart, connected” machines will help customers save money, increase productivity, and ultimately make more money.

Local 24-Hour Rainfall Totals at 7:00 am on Friday, June 19, 2020

Ag/Outdoor, Weather

June 19th, 2020 by Jim Field

  • KJAN, Atlantic  .3″
  • 7 miles NNE of Atlantic  .25″
  • Massena  .16″
  • Anita  .21″
  • Corning  .07″
  • Red Oak  .21″
  • Avoca  .65″
  • Oakland  .4″
  • Neola  1″
  • Irwin  .31″
  • Missouri Valley 3.64″
  • Carroll  .4″

Elite Octane CEO in Atlantic named to Gov.’s Economic Recovery Board

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 18th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES– Governor Kim Reynolds, today (Thursday), signed an Executive Order establishing the Governor’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. Among those she selected was Nick Bowdish, President & CEO of Elite Octane, with a plant located in Atlantic.

The advisory board will be led by Ben McLean, CEO of Ruan Transportation Management Systems and it will focus on modernizing Iowa’s economy as well as education, health care, workforce and quality of life.

“Iowa’s success has always been about turning obstacles into opportunities,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The Governor’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board assembles an impressive group of business leaders to propel our recovery efforts forward and position Iowa for growth. Iowans will be at the center of this effort as we continue to make our state the best place to live, work and raise a family. I want to thank Ben McLean, CEO of Ruan Transportation for his willingness to serve as the chair and appreciate all those serving on this advisory board.”

“I look forward to getting to work as soon as possible with the incredibly capable and talented group of leaders that will serve on the Governor’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board,” said Ben McLean, CEO of Ruan Transportation Management Systems and Chair of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. “This is about the future and taking an incredibly difficult situation and using it as an opportunity to make Iowa an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

The governor’s full remarks from today’s press conference can be viewed here.

Initial members of the Governor’s Executive Advisory Board are:

  • Ben McLean, CEO of Ruan Transportation Management Systems (Advisory Board Chairman)
  • Nick Bowdish, President & CEO of Elite Octane
  • Mary Andringa, Chair of the Board of Vermeer
  • Randy Edeker, CEO of Hy-Vee
  • Rosalind Fox, Factory Manager at John Deere
  • Dr. Suresh Gunasekaran, CEO of UHIC
  • Dan Houston, Chairman, President & CEO of Principal Financial Group
  • AJ Loss, CEO of Bush Construction
  • Megan Mckay, President of Peace Tree Brewing Company
  • Emily Schmit, General Counsel of Sukup Manufacturing Co.
  • Barbara Sloniker, Executive Vice President at the Siouxland Chamber
  • Adam Wright, President & CEO of MidAmerican Energy Company
  • Diane Young, Director of Technical Services/Owner at Foundation Analytical Lab

The signed executive order can be found here.

Leaf drop on trees due to fungal condition resulting from weather conditions


June 18th, 2020 by Chris Parks

AMES, Iowa — The cool, rainy weather in recent weeks has aided the establishment of newly planted annuals, vegetables, perennials, trees and shrubs. The cool, rainy weather also has been favorable for the development of foliar diseases on some trees.

In this week’s yard and garden article, Richard Jauron, horticulture program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, offers some tips.

For more information, contact ISU Extension and Outreach horticulture specialists at

Why is my sycamore tree dropping its leaves?

The leaf drop is likely due to anthracnose. Anthracnose is a common fungal disease of sycamore, ash, maple, oak and other trees. Anthracnose is most severe in years with cool, wet spring weather. While anthracnose may cause extensive defoliation, it does not cause serious harm to healthy, well-established trees.

large tree.Symptoms of anthracnose on sycamores include brown blotches on leaves, death of young buds and shoots, and leaf drop. In cool, wet springs, affected sycamores may lose most of their initial foliage.

Fortunately, the sycamore trees will continue to produce additional leaves and shoots through early summer. Foliage that develops in late spring and early summer should not become infected as warmer, drier weather suppresses anthracnose. Most sycamores should have a good canopy of leaves by late June or early July.

Since anthracnose does not cause serious harm to sycamores, fungicide treatments are rarely warranted.

My crabapple has begun to drop some of its leaves. Why? 

The leaf drop is probably due to apple scab. Apple scab is a disease caused by the fungus Venturia inaequalis. Cool, wet weather in spring favors apple scab development. Crabapple cultivars differ in their susceptibility to apple scab. Some cultivars are very susceptible to the disease, while others are resistant to apple scab.

Apple scab appears as velvety, olive-green to black spots on crabapple leaves. Heavily infected leaves turn yellow and fall from the tree. Highly susceptible crabapple cultivars may lose a large percentage of their leaves by mid-summer. Fortunately, apple scab does not kill affected trees. The damage is mainly aesthetic.

Sanitation plays a role in controlling apple scab. Raking and destroying the leaves as soon as they fall may help reduce the severity of the infection next season. Apple scab can be prevented by applying fungicides from bud break through mid-June. For most home gardeners, however, controlling apple scab with fungicides is laborious and not practical. The best way to prevent apple scab is to select and plant scab-resistant crabapple cultivars.

Farm Progress Show to be held in Boone in late summer

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 17th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — The 2020 Farm Progress Show will go on in Boone from September 1st through the 3rd, with a few modifications due to the pandemic. The annual outdoor event alternates between Boone and Decatur, Illinois. It regularly attracts up to 150-thousand visitors. Farm Progress Show organizers say while state fairs have canceled due to the loss of money-making attractions, the Farm Progress show is a business event that gives farmers a chance to see equipment up close.

According to a news release, there will be accommodations due to the pandemic like hand sanitizer stations, plus streets set up on the field in Boone will be one-way, for better physical distancing. There’s no mention of staggered or limited admission, but there is a reference to new “All Secure” standards which suggest face masks may be recommended and handshakes discouraged.

Healthy Cass County Shares “Grow Another Row, Cass County!” Produce Drop – off and Pick-up Schedules

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 17th, 2020 by Chris Parks

Healthy Cass County has been encouraging farmers and gardeners to grow a little more food this year to share with others. “Grow Another Row, Cass County!” is a campaign to encourage residents to grow and share more food in 2020. This week the group is releasing produce drop-off and pick-up schedules. “We worked to get sites across the county,” comments
Master Gardener LaVon Eblen.

Produce Drop-off Schedule (where you can share produce with others):
Through September 2020

Anita: 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month: Anita Food Pantry 208 Chestnut St. (pre-bagged produce requested) contact: Tracey Lett (712)249-4996


  • Monday: Cass County Community Center, 805 W 10th St. 10:30 AM-12:30 PM back
    entrance. Contact: Brigham Hoegh (712)249-5870
  • Tuesday: New Life Church, 600 Pine St. 8-10 AM
  • Thursday: Atlantic Food Pantry 19 W. 4th St. (pre-bagged produce requested) Contact:
  • Saturday: American Legion Memorial Building, 201 Poplar St. 3-5 PM

Cumberland: Monday-Thursday: Cumberland City Hall, 216 Main St., 8AM-4PM

Griswold: contact: Donna Reimers (712)789-0236

  • 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month The Lord’s Cupboard (Methodist Church) 100 Cass St. (pre-bagged produce requested). 10-11 AM
  • 1st, 3rd, 5th Tuesdays Faith Lutheran Church, 707 Adair St. 8AM-Noon

Lewis: Thursday: 3HO, 201 1st Lewis St. 10 AM- 3PM

Marne: Every day Barb Fisher’s house (401 Washington St., Marne), 8AM-8PM

Wiota: Wednesday: Bonnie William’s house (309 Allen St.), 8AM-Noon

Produce Pick-up Schedule (where you can find free produce, depending on availability):
Please only take what you need, and be sure to wash produce before eating.


  • Tuesday: New Life Church, 600 Pine St. 10:30 AM- 12:30 PM
  • Saturday: American Legion Memorial Building, 201 Poplar St. 5-7 PM

Cumberland: Monday-Thursday: Cumberland City Hall, 216 Main St., 8AM-4PM

Griswold: contact: Donna Reimers (712)789-0236

  • 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month: Methodist Church, 100 Cass St. 2 PM- 5:30 PM
  • 1st, 3rd, 5th Tuesdays: Faith Lutheran Church, 707 Adair St. Noon- 5:30 PM

Lewis: Thursday: 3HO, 201 1st Lewis St. 10 AM- 3 PM

Marne: Every day Barb Fisher’s house (401 Washington St., Marne), 8 AM -8 PM

Wiota: Wednesday: Bonnie William’s house (309 Allen St.), Noon- 8 PM

For more information on the program and to register for the newsletter, visit

Healthy Cass County is a community-focused volunteer network formed to promote the
health and well-being of Cass County residents. Follow Healthy Cass County on Facebook
@HealthyCassCounty ( Reach out to Cass
County Wellness Coordinator Brigham Hoegh at or call 712-249-5870
more information.

IDPH reports first case of the season of West Nile virus and first-ever Heartland virus

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 17th, 2020 by Chris Parks

The Iowa Department of Public Health announced today that it has received the first reported case of neuroinvasive West Nile Virus this season. The case was confirmed by the State Hygienic Laboratory and is an adult (18 to 40 years old) from Polk County.

About 20 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will have mild to moderate symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches and vomiting. Less than one percent of people infected become seriously ill and rarely, someone dies.

In addition, IDPH has received its first ever report of Heartland virus. The individual is an older adult (61 to 80 years old) in Appanoose County. Heartland virus is a Phlebovirus that is thought to be transmitted by the Lone Star tick and was first discovered in 2009 in Missouri. Since then, cases have expanded across the Midwestern and southern United States. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, anorexia, nausea and diarrhea and treatment is supportive care.

“These reports are an important reminder that as Iowans take advantage of outdoor activities, they should take precautions to prevent tick and mosquito bites,” said IDPH Deputy State Epidemiologist and Public Health Veterinarian, Dr. Ann Garvey.

The best way to prevent tick and mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile and Heartland viruses is to:

  • Use insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always read the repellent label and consult with a health care provider if you have questions when using these types of products for children. For example, DEET should not be used on infants less than 2 months old and oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 years old.
  • Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes, and socks whenever possible outdoors.
  • Eliminate standing water around the home because that’s where mosquitoes lay eggs. Empty water from buckets, cans, pool covers and pet water dishes. Change water in bird baths every three to four days.
  • Stay on trails when walking or hiking and avoid high grass.
  • After each day spent in tick-infested areas, check yourself, your children, and your pets for ticks. Promptly remove any attached tick.

For more information about West Nile virus, visit

For more information about Heartland virus, visit

Farm Service Agency County Committee nomination period underway

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 17th, 2020 by Chris Parks

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2020 – USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is now accepting nominations for county committee members. Elections will occur in certain Local Administrative Areas (LAA) for these members who make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally. All nomination forms for the 2020 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 1, 2020.

“I encourage America’s farmers, ranchers and forest stewards to nominate candidates to lead, serve and represent their community on their county committee,” FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce said. “There’s an increasing need for diverse representation, including underserved producers, which includes beginning, women and minority farmers and ranchers.”

Agricultural producers who participate or cooperate in an FSA program, and reside in the LAA that is up for election this year, may be nominated for candidacy for the county committee. Individuals may nominate themselves or others, and organizations, including those representing beginning, women and minority producers, also may nominate candidates.

Committee members are vital to how FSA carries out disaster programs, as well as conservation, commodity and price support programs, county office employment and other agricultural issues.

Nationwide, more than 7,700 dedicated members of the agricultural community serve on FSA county committees. The committees are made of three to 11 members and typically meet once a month. Members serve three-year terms. Producers serving on FSA county committees play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of the agency.

Producers should contact their local FSA office today to find out how to get involved in their county’s election. Check with your local USDA service center to see if your LAA is up for election this year.  To be considered, a producer must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at

Election ballots will be mailed to eligible voters beginning Nov. 2, 2020. Read more to learn about important election dates.