Home News KLEM News for Wednesday, November 1

KLEM News for Wednesday, November 1


Harvest is drawing to an end in northwest Iowa.  Area crop specialist Leah Ten Napel says a continued drought made for a rough, uneven, season from planting to harvest.

Ten Napel says multiple dry years can cause damage to fields. Dryness over three years – what damage does it cause – and what can producers do about it.


There was a wide swing in yields for soybeans and corn across Ten Napel’s 9-county district.


A report of shattering bean pods at harvest in some parts of Iowa, but it wasn’t much of a problem for local producers.


Now that harvest is winding down, producers have other tasks on which to focus.


The dry spell have caused producers to work on restoration of their pasturees.



They have several options to consider.




There is a four-way race for two seats on the Le Mars Community School board.  One of those candidates is Zach Lancaster, a Le Mars optometrist.


Lancaster was urged to run for the seat.   At the suggestion of a former board member


Lancaster says he’s qualified for the school board because he is active and involved in the community.


Lancaster has no specific ideas he wants to pursue, but recognizes there is one prominent matter that’s soon to be before the board.

Lancaster wants to keep his focus on the students as a member of the school board.


He thinks Le Mars students fared better than other districts during the covid disruption.


Lancaster says the city of Le Mars’ Vision 2045 plan will have a strong impact on the school district


Lancaster want voters to back his vision of working on the school board.


The four candidates for the two at large seats include Lancaster, Scott Eilts, Shawn Olson, and an incumbent, Kyle Plathe.


Plymouth County Information Technology Director Shawn Olson informed the Board of Supervisors Tuesday that a project to connect fiber optic service to southwest Plymouth County was approved. Olson says he applied for a grant under the Governor’s Rural Broadband Initiative. The contractor, Premier Communications, was informed that the application for a 3.8 million dollar grant was approved. This will be applied to the project, which has an overall estimated cost of 12 million dollars. Olson says once this project is completed, all the rural area of Plymouth County will have high-speed fiber optic service. Premier Communications has other contracts in the county that they are completing. They are currently working in the rural area around Struble and Craig, and are also connecting individual customers in Brunsville, Struble and Craig.


The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors received information on property and casualty insurance from Rob Bixenman of Perspective Insurance. Bixenman told the Supervisors that total premiums for 2023-24 at renewal will be 375-thousand dollars, up 56-thousand from the current policy. That’s an increase of 17.5%. The county’s assets have increased in value as well, to 51.2 million dollars. Property covered under Automotive and physical damage has a value of 4.5 million dollars.



The Iowa Department of Agriculture says a second commercial turkey flock in Buena Vista County has tested positive for bird flu.

This is the 4th overall positive case in Iowa in the last month and the third in northwest Iowa.

Governor Kim Reynolds had already signed a disaster proclamation for Buena Vista County effective through November 19th, granting disaster area status to that county after the first infected flock was detected back on October 20th.

Commercial and backyard flock owners should report sick birds or unusual deaths among birds to state or federal officials.

If producers suspect signs of HPAI in their flocks, they should contact their veterinarian immediately.


The Lewis and Clark Regional Water System is the recipient of 7 million dollars from Rural Water Funding under the President’s Investing in America Agenda. A total of 65 million dollars will be spread among six projects that are planned or under construction. These projects are through the Bureau of Reclamation, and are located in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and New Mexico. This follows somew 658 milion dollars in spending under the infrastructure plan passed by the Congress. The $7 million for the Lewis & Clark Rural Water System in South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota will support expansion of the water treatment plant near Vermillion, South Dakota.


U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-Hull) announced that his office will hold fall traveling office hours this November. Representatives from Feenstra’s office will be in 18 counties. This round of visits does not include Plymouth or Sioux Counties.

Woodbury County – Feenstra’s Sioux City office in the Federal Building – Monday, November 6th, 9 AM – 10 AM
Buena Vista County – Storm Lake Public Library – Wednesday, November 8th, 9 AM – 10 AM
Ida County – Holstein Public Library – Wednesday, November 8th, 2 PM – 3 PM
O’Brien County – Sheldon City Hall – Wednesday, November 8th, 2 PM – 3 PM
Lyon County – Rock Rapids Public Library – Thursday, November 9th, 10 AM – 11 AM

Feenstra representatives will help constituents with casework relating to passports, veterans’ benefits, IRS issues, and other federal programs. Traveling office hours were also held this past spring.

Iowans in the 4th District can also stop by Congressman Feenstra’s district offices Monday – Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM CT in Fort Dodge, Council Bluffs, and Sioux City or visit Feenstra.House.Gov to submit a casework request.


The Democrat who finished third in the 2016 Iowa Caucuses is now being considered for the post of commissioner of Social Security. Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley will go before the U-S Senate Finance Committee this week for his nomination hearing, and Republican Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley will be among the lawmakers asking him questions. Grassley says he met with O’Malley recently and says “his heart is in the right place,” but he’ll wait until the hearing’s over on Thursday to decide whether to vote for him. The long-term viability of Social Security is the subject of much concern, but Grassley says they likely won’t be talking with O’Malley about that topic during the hearing on Thursday. He says they’ll focus more on how O’Malley would run the agency.