Home Ag Blogs

Market snapshot

Grain prices - April 15, 2014
Courtesy Cargill Grain, Hutchinson

Wheat – $7.50 bu.
Milo - $4.69 bu.
Soybeans – $14.63 bu.
Corn - $4.82 bu.

Sponsored by:

Click here for all market info

Are you getting the best cash price for your grain?
Enter your zip code:



Ag Blogs
‘New tricks’
Mick Rausch
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 10:34

I am getting ready to purchase some heifers from my son-in-law to begin my next chapter in life – running a beef herd. I am sure it will be a little different than what I am used to with dairy cows, but I am looking forward to it.

After getting out of the dairy business last year, I still have some of my heifers left. I have been selling them as springers so I still have some to breed them and then sell them next spring. I cannot imagine trying to calve 40 to 50 cows in a short amount of time, but I will soon find out.

Read more...
 
Logan Co. rancher optimistic even after drought challenges
Lynn Kirkham
Friday, 11 April 2014 09:14

What a year it has been to be a rancher and farmer in western Kansas.

Read more...
 
Does the Tea Party Represent Agriculture?
Tanner Ehmke
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 09:28

Plans to cut income taxes in Kansas shifts burden to farmers and ranchers

Editor's note: Tanner Ehmke wrote this column in 2012

The Tea Party has swept across politics like a prairie fire and seems to be gaining even more momentum in a volatile election year. Here in Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback is making an example of what a Tea Party nation would look like with draconian spending cuts. But he’s not stopping at spending. He has also proposed eliminating income taxes for small businesses and reducing personal income tax to stimulate economic growth – a plan that he hopes will lead to complete elimination of income taxes altogether in Kansas.

Read more...
 
Recent court rulings have big implications for agriculture
Jim Sipes
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 09:25

An onslaught of new court cases will affect the very core of our country – agriculture.

The tactics in Washington, D.C., have turned toward regulation through litigation. When the environmental community doesn’t get Congress to enact new rules, they sue a government agency, claiming it hasn’t done its job under existing legislation. The recent judgments have been damaging to the agriculture industry. Here are a few of the cases:

Read more...
 
What’s ‘good,’ ‘bad’ for you really just depend
Michele Boy
Monday, 31 March 2014 09:46

The long, cold winter is hopefully coming to an end. The plains of western Kansas have blown hard, sometimes gusting over 50 mph. But to complain about the wind in western Kansas is like complaining about rain in Seattle. Do you not know where you live?

During this bitterly cold winter my body has gotten sick for a few long bouts of a deep, croupy cough. And I have had to pay particular attention to my health – in particular, my nutrition.

Read more...
 
Setting the Stage for Flint Hills Prescribed Burning in 2014
Karl Brooks
Thursday, 27 March 2014 08:07
Much-needed moisture in eastern Kansas these past two winters has set the stage for a more typical Flint Hills tall grass pasture burn scenario in 2014.  More growth on these grasslands, vital to the Kansas livestock industry, boosts the potential for higher smoke emissions than we have seen for a while.
Read more...
 
Ag backbone of Kansas
Guest Columnist
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 08:21

"Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness." - Letter from Thomas Jefferson to George Washington (1787)

Dear Fellow Kansan,

Where does your food come from?  If you’re like many Americans, your answer may be the grocery store.  You, I and 155 other people ate today because of one American farmer. An increase of 800 percent over the past 73 years! Where in 1940, each farmer produced enough food to feed 19 people.

We officially recognize our farmers, ranchers and all they do to make our lives better during Agriculture Week, March 23-29, 2014. This year’s theme is “Agriculture: 365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed." Farmers not only produce food, fiber and fuel, they contribute to a strong economy. In fact, the total impact of agriculture and agribusinesses account for 20 percent of the state’s economy, according to Kansas Inc.

Read more...
 
Planting time is a critical time on the farm
Steve Clanton
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 15:26

 

 

It’s the time of the year to make and finalize planting decision.

I don’t like seed companies pushing the issue of what I want to plant in November. There are times I like to be contrarian to what everybody else is pushing to plant. Looking at September corn, KC wheat and soybeans, I see these prices on March 7 giving me net income per acre of 106, 78 and 199 respectively. These income figures are up 61 percent, 54 percent and 20 percent, respectively from the first of the year even though prices are only up 11 percent, 14 percent and 8 percent.

Read more...
 
Efforts from sunflower test will yield profit, growth data
Mark Pettijohn
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 14:22

I drilled a cover crop at a 45-degree angle following wheat harvest. The next day, I planted 30-inch row sunflowers.

This year I copied an idea that I learned about through a webinar. The idea was to grow a cash crop within a cover crop. The cover crop and the cash crop would work in tandem, cooperate and allow a cash crop to be harvested.

Read more...
 
Doomsday Preppers
Anthony Ruiz
Monday, 10 March 2014 14:40

It seems every time you turn on a television a “science network” is showing a “reality” show about “prepping.” Folks are concerned zombies, foreign nationals, or their own governments will soon bear down upon them with a wrath of extreme proportions. I catch myself watching these shows from time to time. I mean hey, knowing how to build a catapult is a useful skill for an extension agent. Crazy things happen at the fair ...

Read more...
 
Water vision is an issue for all Kansans
Steve Baccus
Friday, 07 March 2014 18:49

Last October, Governor Brownback issued a call to establish a 50-year water vision for the state.  The effort is designed to focus on the Ogallala Aquifer and Kansas reservoirs.

Most Kansans know of the vast underground water supply in the Ogallala, which stretches from the Dakotas to Texas and includes a major portion of western Kansas.  Most benefit in some way from the enormous economy which has been fueled since the 1940s by ready supplies of water supporting irrigated agriculture and livestock industries across western Kansas. These businesses provide jobs, sustain many rural Kansas communities and fuel a massive economic engine benefitting all citizens.  But the demand on the Ogallala exceeds its recharge potential.  State goals are to “extend and conserve” the life of the aquifer and recent economic studies have shown every drop we save today will be of much greater value in the future.

Read more...
 
Proper vaccinations important for replacement heifers
Guest Columnist
Monday, 03 March 2014 11:35

By Stacy Campbell

Cattlemen in Ellis County and the area recently gathered for a program titled "Transition of the Heifer into Your Herd." Extension Beef DVM Larry Hollis had some interesting data and accompanying discussion about scours management, the effect of time of colostrum feeding to newborn calves and vaccination of cows and bulls pre-breeding.

Unfortunately, he ran out of time before he could discuss vaccinations of replacement heifers.

Read more...
 
Farm tenancy in Kansas 1917-2014
Tom Giessel
Friday, 21 February 2014 16:43

The Twentieth Biennial Report of the Kansas State Board ofAgriculture was published in 1917. The very first chapter was dedicated to the topic of Rural Welfare and began withan article by George E. Putnam, Associate Professor of Economics in Lawrence, Kansas. He devoted the first twenty pages to the topic of Farm Tenancy in Kansas.

The concern of farm tenancy was a front-burner issue of the day.  His report was a rather extensive document of the percent of land ownership, versus rented lands. Coupled with those numbers was an equally thorough examination of the overall evils of tenant farming, and its impact on rural communities. In those early days, tenant farmers were under the thumb of outside interest and money.

Read more...
 
Looking for Good News?
Vance Ehmke
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 16:36

Wheat and More….or less

If you’re a crop farmer looking for good news in USDA’s recently released 10-year outlook, you are simply out of luck.
Read more...
 
Get on a stick to the Kansas State Fair
Amy Bickel
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 09:38
 Amy Bickel Kansans, get off the pot.

Or, as the Kansas State Fair is suggesting, “Get on a stick” and plan to head to this year’s 10-day September festivities.

Read more...
 
Couple's love transcended their losses
Kathy Hanks
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 08:59

Even after losing two wives to cancer, Don Schinstock wasn't afraid to love again.

Read more...
 
Shop Ideas Worth Repeating
Vance Ehmke
Monday, 10 February 2014 15:37
Wheat and More…or Less


After collecting farm shop ideas from farm magazines for 35 years, we finally built a new shed which incorporated many of these ideas borrowed from other farmers around the nation. You might find some of these same ideas will have a place in your shop.

Read more...
 
We're winter wimps compared to pioneer ancestors
Kathy Hanks
Thursday, 06 February 2014 09:06

County Lines

When snow blankets the earth and my toes turn numb as I shovel the driveway in 2-degree temperatures, I imagine myself in a Willa Cather novel.

But, in reality, I am no Antonia.

Read more...
 
In drought-ridden western Kansas, please snow
Michele Boy
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 08:26
Here it is, the big snow we have been waiting for.
Our drought-ridden county has 6 to 9 inches of snow forecasted. As much as we hear the usual, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” you can see the sparkle in people’s eyes. Giddiness! 
Read more...
 
The end of the line?
John Schlageck
Monday, 03 February 2014 11:49
In some areas of western Kansas the winter wheat crop continues to show signs of stress. Constant windy conditions and a lack of snowfall or other moisture is turning the crop bluish brown in color.

Hamilton County crop and stockman Steven Hines says the winds have been terrible.

Read more...
 
A hard lesson
Kathy Hanks
Saturday, 01 February 2014 20:45

County Lines

“Be Kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle” - Philo of Alexandria

Leaving the woman’s home Amy Bickel and I thought we had found the perfect face to portray the food stamp series.

Read more...
 
Water vision
John Schlageck
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 19:03

altBy John Schlageck
Kansas Farm Bureau

 

   You never miss the water till the well runs dry. No truer words have been spoken about Kansas water needs. Mired in the midst of a four-year drought, the Ogallala Aquifer continues to decline. Reservoirs –critical water storage structures for much of the state – fill with sediment.

At the current pace throughout the next 50 years, the Ogallala Aquifer could be 70 percent depleted while Kansas reservoirs may be 40 percent filled with sediment. What does this bode for the future of the SunflowerState? How do we sustain the lifestyle we enjoy? How do we grow the economy? How do we ensure life in Kansas will continue to be desirable?

These questions are relevant to all Kansans. And while the Ogallala Aquifer is often viewed through the nozzle of a center pivot system, this topic is far more than that. Irrigation stimulates higher land values, greater crop production and increased production inputs that result in enhanced county, regional and state prosperity. It has supported the world’s largest animal industry whose feed yards and packing plants grow and sustain Kansas communities and the people who live there.

Read more...
 
A little time for rest, and maybe deep cleaning
Michele Boy
Friday, 17 January 2014 18:01

You know how on the first day of school your notebooks were pristine, pens and pencils zipped neatly in your binder, and you were up early with a bit of nervous excitement to tackle the year ahead?

Remember those days?

Read more...
 
A look back at the Kansas wheat harvest - 1956
Amy Bickel
Friday, 10 January 2014 15:34

Each June, entire communities gear up for wheat harvest.

My hometown of Gypsum is no different. The excitement of the annual summer rite has been part of the Saline County town’s culture since it was founded in the 1880s. Trucks still line up behind the scales at the white elevator on the outskirts of town – one of the mainstays when many other businesses have long shuttered.

Not far outside of town is our family farm – land first farmed by my great-great grandparents in the late 1800s. That includes a parcel my great-great grandfather Henne homesteaded. To obtain the land, my dad tells me, Granddad Henne had to live on each 80-acre tract for six months of the year, so he pulled his home back and forth between each area for seven years – when the land was finally proved up.

However, farming has changed since my agrarian ancestors first settled in Kansas on 160-acres of land. It’s changed since my dad was in high school in the early 1950s. Combines and tractors are larger. Seed technology is better. Semi trucks take wheat to the elevator – not small pickups. Even tillage practices are different in an era of no-till farming.

Better technology means bigger farmers and fewer farmers. Gypsum has no need for a school anymore, or a grocery. The town’s hardware store closed last year.

My brother sent me a video from YouTube video originally produced by Cornell University and Encyclopedia Britannica in 1957.

“The Wheat Farmer” video largely shows the small town of Gypsum and the farmers surrounding it amid harvest in 1956. It gave me a glimpse back to my father's childhood on the farm – with its antiquated technology and a slower-paced lifestyle.

It shows a local farmer plowing and replowing the soil. It shows the farmer filling a small drill to begin the fall planting.

“Most of his several hundred acres are in wheat, but a few milk cows help the family budget,” the narrator says of a practice that has long disappeared with today’s more diversified crop farmer.

It shows the Gypsum high school – now a dilapidated building – still open, the local 4-H club meeting inside of it. In addition, of course, gender roles are clearly defined – the narrator stating that girls often take cooking and food preservation projects while the boys’ projects teach them about production agriculture.

Finally, the wheat is ripe, the farmer gets out his open-air combine and he and his son begin the annual harvest. The wife and daughter bring lunch to the field.

“They’re doing fairly well, getting about 25 bushels an acre,” the narrator says. “On a very good year, some farmers might get over 50 bushels an acre.”

Yes, life on the farm has changed in the past 60 years. Nevertheless, I did notice one thing that has remained constant.

Wheat harvest still involves people – farm families working together to get the job done.

 

 
Ethanol answer
Guest Columnist
Thursday, 02 January 2014 09:09

A war is brewing between the ethanol industry and the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA wants to reduce the mandated amount of biofuels that go into the nation's fuel supply, while the ethanol industry understandably doesn't want that to happen.

Read more...
 
«StartPrev1234NextEnd»

Page 1 of 4
 
You need to upgrade your Flash Player

Login Form



Explore Other Kansas Sites