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Cass County Extension Report 6-17-2020

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

June 17th, 2020 by Jim Field

w/Kate Olson.

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DNR officers help overturned personal watercraft on Lake Manawa

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 16th, 2020 by Chris Parks

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – The DNR and Council Bluffs Fire Department were notified of a personal watercraft that had overturned on Lake Manawa, Sunday, June 14.

Multiple individuals, including a six-year-old boy, had tipped over a personal watercraft and were unable to get it turned upright and get back on board.

All of the individuals were wearing life jackets at the time of the incident, but the strong winds and boat wakes created large waves and made it difficult for the child to stay above water.

A DNR Conservation Officer, two DNR Water Patrol Officers and a DNR Park Ranger were able to rescue two individuals including the six-year-old boy.  The boy was assessed by first responders and released at the scene. He gave the DNR Conservation Officer a big hug and told him that police officers were his favorite.

Quad Cities Deere plant makes thousands of face shields for VA workers

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 15th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — Health care workers at dozens of Veterans Affairs facilities nationwide are being provided with protective face shields made at a John Deere plant in the Quad Cities. In April, the seeding factory in Moline, Illinois, switched from making farm equipment to P-P-E. Project leader David Ottavianelli says more than 400-thousand shields were produced and a quarter of them were sent to those who care for veterans.

Ottavianelli says, “That led to us eventually delivering over a 135,000 shields to approximately 40 different VA facilities in about 26 states.” Although production on the face shields has wrapped up, Ottavianelli says they can easily switch back if COVID-19 begins to surge again. “We’ve learned a lot in this conversion so we actually have the facilities that if needed could be converted back over to produce this plus we also understand those supplies chains so we’ll be able to get that material quickly,” he says.

Ottavianelli says the additional shields that were not distributed to V-A facilities have been sent to Homeland Security facilities in Iowa and Illinois to be part of their inventory.

So far, so good for Iowa’s corn and soybean crops

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 15th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — With virtually all of the state’s corn and soybean crops planted, most of them well ahead of schedule, farmers across the region are reporting the plants look to be emerging in very good shape. Kelvin Leibold is a farm management specialist with the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in north-central Iowa.

“We started off this spring with a very favorable planting season, for the most part, and that helped us out,” Leibold says. “We ended up with a bit more rain than we wanted and we saw the corn plants struggle a bit to go from the primary root system to the main root system, but now we’ve got enough heat and we seemed to pop through that.” Some areas of the state have water standing in the fields, though Leibold says he’s crossing his fingers that the weather will cooperate.

“We do have some areas around that have standing water in the potholes because we’ve had some pretty significant rainfall events,” Leibold says. “But we’re going to go into the hotter, warmer, drier part of the year with a good soil profile and that should help us sustain yields as we move forward.” Leibold says many growers are looking forward to the opportunity for record yields this fall.

“Hopefully, we can avoid serious events like hail storms, although we’ve had a couple of issues with that already this year,” Leibold says. “That’s always a concern as we get through the season, but none the less, there is optimism for some outstanding yields as we go forward here the rest of the summer.” While some fields are wet, it’s a far cry from 2019 when prolonged flooding forced a number of Iowa producers to abandon their acres for the entire growing season.

2020 Governor’s Charity Steer Show will go on in some fashion

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 15th, 2020 by Chris Parks

Plans are underway for the 38th Annual Governor’s Charity Steer Show (GCSS) to be held on August 15, 2020.

The event, which raises money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa, would typically be held at the Iowa State Fair. However, with the postponement of the 2020 fair, show organizers are actively making adjustments to plans.

“The Governor’s Charity Steer Show is a long-standing tradition and benefits a very good cause,” says Tanner Lawton, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association staff member and co-chair of this year’s GCSS. “We’ve known for the past few weeks that the show and auction probably wouldn’t be the same as it has been in years past, but our priority is making sure that we have a successful fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Iowa.”

This historic philanthropic event has raised over $3.8 million to help provide a home away from home for families of children who are being treated in nearby hospitals. Ronald McDonald Houses are located in Des Moines, Iowa City, and Sioux City. The location for this year’s show is yet to be determined, but we should have more information in the coming weeks.

Twenty-five steers from across the state will compete for the championship designation, showmanship honors, and the People’s Choice award. Each of the steers has been raised by an Iowa youth involved in the cattle industry, and celebrities will accompany the young steer owners.

Immediately following the competition, the steers will be sold at auction with proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa. Last year’s auction raised more than $284,000.

Atlantic Parks & Rec Board electronic meeting set for Monday

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 14th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Parks and Recreation Department Board of Directors will hold one more electronic meeting, Monday. The session takes place by Zoom (link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89345157289?pwd=ZE1xY2RnbHpwVVVqckc4b2plclZEZz09), beginning at 5:15-p.m.  On their agenda is an update on COVID-19 and related matters; And, Update/Discussion with regard to: Community Gardens; The Schildberg Campground;Pool Painting and Fireworks. The Board will also discuss a request for proposal (RFP) for a new mower.

In his report, Parks Director Bryant Rasmussen will talk about:

  • Nest Boxes/Eagle Scout Project
  • Mulch in the City Park and Schildberg flowerbeds
  • Thinned-out Willows around Schildberg lakes
  • Wild Parsnip
  • July: “Parks and Recreation Month”
  • and the Parks and Rec Bikes are tuned-up and ready to use.

Meatpacking rebounds but high prices and backlogs to persist

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 11th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Meat production has rebounded from its low point during the coronavirus pandemic when dozens of plants were closed, but experts say consumer prices are likely to remain high. They also say it will take months to work through the backlog of millions of pigs and cattle that was created this spring, creating headaches for producers.

Mike Drinnin reaches out to a cow at a feedlot in Columbus, Neb., Wednesday, June 10, 2020. Drinnin, who owns feedlots in Nebraska, said everyone involved in raising and feeding cattle felt the squeeze this spring when beef and pork processing plants were operating at roughly 60 percent of capacity amid the coronavirus pandemic. It’s welcome news that production is now above 95 percent of last year’s level, but a backlog of millions of pigs and cattle remains. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

The U.S. Agriculture Department says beef, pork and poultry plants were operating at more than 95% of last year’s levels earlier this week. That was up from about 60% in April at the height of plant closures and slowdowns at the height of the plant closures and slowdowns.

DNR announces food storage capacity grant offering

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 11th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES — The Iowa DNR is offering a new grant opportunity to help address food waste, an issue that negatively impacts environmental, economic and social sustainability in Iowa and across the country. The competitive grant opportunity helps efforts to expand storage and cold storage of donated food. Food banks, food pantries and other non-profit organizations receiving donated food for distribution to food insecure Iowans are eligible to apply.

Information and application materials can be downloaded under the “food waste” tab at www.iowadnr.gov/FABA. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until available funds have been awarded.

Pottawattamie County Fair Board cancels 2020 Fair

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 11th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Pottawattamie County Fair Board said today (Thursday), “With heavy hearts and much discussion, the Pottawattamie County Fairboard has made the decision to postpone all non-4-H/FFA contests and events for the 2020 Pottawattamie County Fair in Avoca. There will be no ATV/Snowmobile races, Mud Races, Tractor pull, or open class events at this year’s Pottawattamie County Fair.”

They said also, “This was a tough decision to make, but the health and welfare of our community comes first. Our youth will be able to exhibit the work they have done on their projects with
a different format. We will be live streaming the livestock shows and posting pictures and results of all the youth contests on our website and Facebook pages.

We thank you for your support and understanding and hope to get back to the type of fair we all love in 2021.”

Ohio State University soil professor gets World Food Prize

Ag/Outdoor, News

June 11th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A soil scientist whose research has led to improved food production and a better understanding of how atmospheric carbon can be held in the soil improving climate change is this year’s recipient of the World Food Prize. Rattan Lal is a professor of soil science at Ohio State University and founding director of its Carbon Management and Sequestration Center. He was announced as the 2020 winner of the prize during an online ceremony on Thursday.

Lal’s research has demonstrated how healthy soils result in higher crop yields, while requiring less land, chemicals, tillage, water and energy. The foundation that awards the $250,000 prize is based in Des Moines.