Friday Afternoon News, February 5
Winter Is A Good Time To Check Windbreaks
(Le Mars) -- During the winter is a perfect time to check your windbreaks, according to a state technician with the Natural Resources and Conservation Services. Chuck Hoelker says walking around your farmstead and feedlots at this time of year can provide you with valuable information helpful in making decisions about your windbreak. Snow drifts in areas of the farmstead could indicate a need for additional snow catch areas to be planted. Hoelker says windbreaks play an important role in the protection of livestock particularly for young animals. By reducing wind velocity and the effects of cold temperatures, a good windbreak can significantly reduce stress on feed energy requirements. The N-R-C-S official says a good windbreak around a farmstead will result in better animal health, lower mortality, reduced feed costs, and increased profitability in your livestock operation. Hoelker says evergreens work well for windbreak protection, but he also recommends planting shrubs.
The N-R-C-S is now offering a cost-share program for farmers and landowners wanting to plant a windbreak. Monte Dowlinger, also is a state technician with the N-R-C-S. He says the N-R-C-S will provide up to 75 percent of the costs for planting a windbreak, with the farmer or landowner paying the remaining 25 percent. He explains the details of the cost-share program.
Dowlinger says a properly planted windbreak will offer many benefits. He says windbreaks have proven to help reduce odors emitting from livestock production facilities.
Dowlinger says windbreaks can also add value to your farm.
The N-R-C-S technician says other benefits to planting a windbreak include: added beauty to the home or farm, reduces the weathering effect on buildings, and provides food and shelter for wildlife.
State Officials Learn No One Has Interest In Former Mental Health Building
CLARINDA, Iowa (AP) - The 128-year-old former mental health institute in the small southwest Iowa city of Clarinda isn't your typical real estate opportunity, and so far no one is rushing to move in.
More than seven months after the state closed the Clarinda Mental Health Institute, much of the sprawling building remains empty, including entire floors that haven't been used in decades. With its gothic architecture set amid lawns and tree-lined paths, the former institute is impressive, but it's also a site that Iowa's governor labeled as outdated and inefficient.
Community members have been working to find occupants for the former hospital but the process hasn't proved to be an easy one as unclaimed inventory piles up and a historic part of the town remains largely empty.
Sanford Band Bill To Be Buried In The Senate
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A bill that sought to punish Stanford University for its band's Rose Bowl halftime show mocking Iowa has been all but buried in the Iowa Senate.
Majority Leader Michael Gronstal told reporters Thursday that he wouldn't schedule the measure for floor debate.
Stanford's band is known for irreverent shows. It poked fun at Iowa in Pasadena on New Year's Day, employing among other things a dancing cow and a frowning farmer formation. The Cardinal beat the Hawkeyes 45-16 in the game.
The bill by Ottumwa Sen. Mark Chelgren would ban collaboration between Iowa's state universities and Stanford until Stanford officials apologize for the band's behavior.
The Des Moines Register reports that Gronstal told reporters "it would probably be good if senators from southern Iowa had a sense of humor."
EATON To Layoff 250 Workers At Shenandoah Facility
SHENANDOAH, Iowa (AP) - Company officials say 250 hourly and salaried positions will be eliminated at the Eaton Vehicle Group plant in the southwestern Iowa city of Shenandoah.
Officials said Thursday the company is moving some of the work to plants in Mexico or Kings Mountain, North Carolina. About 85 Shenandoah positions will be retained to support manufacturing of components for the final assembly of transmissions.
Company officials say the people losing their jobs will receive full severance packages, outplacement services and will be encouraged to seek jobs at other Eaton plants. The company's two other Iowa plants are in Belmond and Spencer.
In October the company said it would eliminate the Eaton plant's third shift, cutting 71 workers' jobs.