Home News Monday News, July 11

Monday News, July 11

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DE JONG-RAIN
The area crop specialist says recent rainfalls are beneficial short-term, while corn enters a crucial development stage. Joel De Jong at Plymouth County Extension says the rains in late June and early July mimic a pattern seen a year ago.

There are parts of De Jong’s district where moisture remains short.

The long term drought in Plymouth and Woodbury County isn’t affected by recent rains, but it maintains crops for now.

De Jong says cooler weather with no precip is still beneficial to area corn crops.

The rains in the past week will help improve stressed crops.

In the next three weeks, Moisture levels will be critical. Corn plants go through the pollination stage, which requires increasing amounts of moisture.

 

STUDENT LOANS
This is the time of year when college students learn how much financial aid they will get in the fall and how much extra money they will need. The C-E-O of Iowa Student Loan, Steve McCullough, says parents and students need to do some research when it comes to student loans, as the Federal Direct Plus loan has a higher interest rate than the loan the state can provide. McCullough says their website at student-loan-dot-org can help you see your options. There’s been a lot of talk from the Biden Administration about forgiving student loans. McCullough says the shouldn’t be a factor in any student loan decision right now.

 

HIRING REFUGEES
Iowa has a labor shortage at the same time there’s an influx of refugees, so Iowa Workforce Development is now partnering with resettlement groups to place Iowa’s newest residents in jobs. Stephanie Moris, director of the Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa, says before a business hires a refugee, resources should be in place, as more businesses are open to hiring non-English speakers.

Moris says employers need to be innovative when it comes to addressing barriers like language and transportation for refugees. That’s why IowaWorks developed the three-part series on how to tackle such issues. They’re now available online for businesses across Iowa to access. Edgar Ramirez helped lead the webinar series and says he sometimes sees businesses hire refugees without forethought.

Ramirez says he wants the state to focus on building more infrastructure for refugees. He’s helping to organize job fairs across Iowa that will specifically spotlight the refugee community in the coming months.

 

ABORTION RALLIES
Iowans who support and those who oppose abortion held events in Des Moines this weekend. A couple dozen people gathered outside of a Roman Catholic cathedral downtown Saturday and prayed together, and then walked to the Statehouse to pray more. Pulse Life Advocates co-hosted the event, and board president Tom Quiner says his Catholic faith teaches that human life begins at fertilization and it is always unjust to kill an innocent person. Thousands of people gathered outside the Iowa Capitol Sunday to call for abortion to remain legal in the state. Several groups — including Planned Parenthood and the Iowa Coalition for Collective Change– hosted the event with people in the crowd holding signs and wearing shirts declaring their support for abortion.

 

DROUGHT MONITOR

The latest U-S Drought Monitor shows dry conditions persist and, in some cases, are worsening in parts of the state. The weekly report shows most of Plymouth County and parts of Cherokee and Woodbury Counties are in extreme drought. Much of northwest Iowa is classified as in severe or moderate drought or abnormally dry. The report does not reflect rain fell in Iowa since Tuesday morning and some areas, including Woodbury, Plymouth, and Sioux Counties, did get intense showers.

 

LE MARS COMMUNITY SCHOOL BOARD

The Le Mars Community Schools Board of Education meets tonight. Their meeting will begin with a hearing on the high school ball diamond renovation project.  They will also review construction bids, and consider their course of action.  The school board will also consider second reading of a new policy on the use of video cameras at the schools and in school transportation.

 

FARMLAND RENT SEMINAR

A series of seminars about renting or owning farmland will take place in northwest Iowa in early August.  Iowa State University Extension hosts the seminars. At these seminars, ISU Extension Staff review market prices and factors influencing 2023 cash rental rates for farmland.

The Plymouth County Seminar will be August 8 at 6 pm at the Plymouth County Extension office in Le Mars.  The Woodbury County seminar is Tuesday, August 9 at the Extension office in Sioux City. The Sioux County Seminar is Wednesday, August 10 at the Extension Office in Orange City.  There is a registration fee for the seminars, and participants are urged to register in advance.  Call your local extension office for more details.

A survey of farmers, landowners, realtors, bankers and professional farm managers found cash RENT for high quality corn and soybean ground in Iowa averaged in the range of 250 dollars per acre for the CURRENT growing season. An average acre of Iowa farmland was valued at about 98-hundred dollars last fall. In May, a farm in Plymouth County sold for 25-thousand dollars an acre.

 

KAYAKING

Lakes and rivers were busy during the Independence Day holiday and that is expected to continue throughout the summer — with many people trying their hand at kayaking.  D-N-R river programs outreach coordinator, Todd Robertson, says you shouldn’t head out onto rivers without doing a little preparation.

He says you have to be prepared for both ends of the spectrum from swollen lakes, to ones that are down.

Robertson says kayaks have been flying off the shelves the last couple of years.

He says the D-N-R has a kayak and canoe school you can access on their website on how to paddle. They also offer classes and Robertson says some retailers that sell boats that actually give short lessons. Robertson recommends before you buy a kayak or canoe that you rent one and they’ll give you some quick instruction. He says there are also a lot of online videos that can be helpful in learning about paddling.