Home News Thursday News, April 28

Thursday News, April 28



The area crop specialist says soil temperatures are holding back farmers from planting right now, but that could change quickly.
Area Crop Specialist Joel DeJong says farmers are behind the normal pace for this planting season.

But DeJong says there is still a fairly wide window of opportunity to plant for optimum yield.

Strong winds have caused De Jong concern over soil erosion in fields. Several factors come into play to cause erosion.

DeJong says one surprise this spring is that subsoil moisture levels are good, mainly due to rains late last growing season.

The windy conditions have have parched the topsoil in area fields.

De Jong says farmers have begun planting, and their numbers should quickly grow.

De Jong’s monthly Extension Crop Update noted that those fields which had cover crops or extensive crop residue were better able to hold moisture.



During a House Agriculture Committee hearing on the American cattle market, U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra of Hull criticized the Big Four Meat Packers over their price-fixing and anticompetitive behavior that are severely impacting Iowa’s small, independent beef producers. Feenstra called for greater transparency in the cattle market and a level playing field for small, family producers in Iowa to sell their quality goods to the country and the world.  Last November, Feenstra and Democrat Rep. Cindy Axne introduced the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act to return fairness to the cattle marketplace dominated by four major meat packers.  Earlier this year, Feenstra spoke on the House floor to expose what Iowa’s beef producers say they have known all along – that the Big Four Meat Packers are illegally distorting the market to increase their profits at the expense of Iowa family farmers.


Two people died and one was injured in a 3-vehicle crash north of Sioux Center Wednesday.  The Iowa State Patrol says the two fatalities were in the same vehicle.  Suzanne Barron, 56, of Sioux City, and a passenger, Rene Ross II, 45, of Hull were in a minivan facing west .  The driver failed to stop at a stop sign at the north intersection of US Highways 75 and 18 northwest of Hull.  Their vehicle was struck by an oncoming semi, driven by 46-year-old Jamie Hueschen of Sioux City.  A third vehicle was struck by flying debris from the crash.  Hueschen was taken to Sioux Center Health by ambulance for treatment. The accident occurred around 10-30 am.



Sioux City residents are being asked to voluntarily conserve water because of the ongoing drought. The flow in the Missouri River is low and Sioux City Utilities director Brad Puetz says wells that are used to provide water in the system are low, too.

Puetz says residents can reduce lawn watering, take shorter showers and adjust the length of washing cycles on dishwashers and washing machines — and he emphasizes these are voluntary moves for Sioux City residents.

City officials are reducing street cleaning in Sioux City and will not flush fire hydrants unless it’s necessary. The Missouri River helps replenish the city’s water wells. Puetz does NOT expect the Army Corps of Engineers to boost the water flow out of the Gavins Point Dam upstream in Yankton, South Dakota.

Sioux City Utilities also provides water to South Sioux City, Nebraska and Dakota Dunes, South Dakota. Puetz says if customers start voluntarily conserving water now, it will lower the possibility the city will have to mandate restrictions early in the summer.




The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found nearly 62-percent of Iowans are fully vaccinated.  The number goes higher the older the Iowan is.  For comparison – 87-percent of Iowans 65 and older are fully vaccinated, while about half of those 12-to-29 have had their shots.  State officials confirm more than 95-hundred Iowans have died of COVID since the pandemic began in 2020.  The Mayo Clinic identifies three of the state’s 99 counties as COVID hot spots.  They are Mitchell County along the Minnesota border, Ida County in western Iowa, and Jefferson County in southeast Iowa.



A new report details the healthiest — and least healthy — counties in Iowa, based on more than 30 factors that influence how long and how well people live. Michael Stevenson, a team leader at the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute, says Iowans can log on and see how their individual counties stack up.


One of the big expenses families face is child care. The report finds the typical Iowa family with two children will spend 24-percent of their annual income on child care, just one-point below the national average of 25-percent.


The report’s authors hope the information is used by leaders from public health and health care, business, education, and government to provide everyone a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being.


This is the 12th year for the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program, which offers communities across the nation the tools and resources to help them take action to improve health.




A northwest Iowa woman arrested in New Mexico with illegal drugs has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison. Forty-one-year-old Heather Sorgdrager and another person were caught with more than 42 pounds of meth a year ago. Sordrager admitted in court she planned to bring the drugs from New Mexico to Sioux City. She pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to distribute meth in and around Sioux City.