WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A new government report forecasts an even more bountiful winter wheat harvest in Kansas than had been expected.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service on Tuesday said the state’s crop this year is forecast at 330 million bushels, up 19% from last year. The more optimistic forecast is based on crop conditions on June 1.
The agency is predicting average yields in Kansas of 50 bushels an acre, up 12 bushels from a year ago.
Those extra bushels per acre are bolstering the anticipated harvest in a year when fewer acres overall are anticipated to be harvested. The report says Kansas is expected to harvest 6.6 million acres, down 700,000 acres from last year.
I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds. The opening of the FFA creed, and a phrase near and dear to the heart of every member who has ever put on the corduroy. It is a phrase that speaks to the very core of who we are as farmers and ranchers and one of the reasons Kansas Farm Bureau supports FFA.
This past week I had the honor of representing KFB at the Kansas FFA Convention, and I must admit being a bit selfish when it comes to volunteering for this gig. I don’t know what it is about the convention that fires me up, but I find no matter how bad the weather or the current situation in agriculture is, I am ready to tackle anything after attending. This year certainly tried to test that.
Maybe that was why this convention was extra special; I was fortunate enough to spend three days on the state officer nominating committee. It was three days of intense interviews with the candidates and long hours, but it also was three days of getting to know 13 incredible young adults. It was an experience I wish I could have shared with everyone.
I got to hear the hopes and dreams of these young leaders as they start their journey in life. I experienced the unbridled enthusiasm and optimism of the best and brightest Kansas FFA has to offer and let me tell you the future is bright. This group of young people have a passion for agriculture and a burning desire to serve their communities. They all know they are going to accomplish something great; they just don’t know what that will be yet.
If you have doubts about the character of our youth, I challenge you to spend a day at the Kansas FFA Convention. You will find several hundred of the very best examples of what we hope our kids will be. All clad in the blue and gold, they will make you feel good about the future.
That is why it is so important all of us invest in the future of agriculture by supporting FFA, 4-H and FCCLA. The money and time we give to these organizations is not a donation, rather it’s an investment in our future. Will all the youth in these organizations come back to the farm? No, but many will find careers in agriculture. Even more will go on to find careers in other fields, and that is OK.
That is why I am so proud to support and help fund these great youth organizations. Through our contributions we must continue to grow future generations of leaders. Why? Because, I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds.
TOPEKA, Kan. — By 2030, the baby boomer generation will all be retirement eligible. This will open opportunities in agriculture for the next generations to move into leadership positions. In preparation, the Kansas Cooperative Council (KCC), is supporting younger generations and introducing them to the possibilities within the cooperative network.
On May 20, 2019, thirty-five college interns traveled from across Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Illinois to learn about the cooperative business structure, patronage and how to get the most from their internship. KCC partnered with Arthur Capper Cooperative Center Director, Brian Briggeman, to deliver the training. In addition, Mitch Williams, President and CEO of KFSA Insurance Agency, shared leadership insights and how to make the most of an internship experience.
Allayna Hanson, Summer Intern with MKC, enjoyed the program and said she was “excited to take what I learned here and apply it to my internship this summer. I am really excited about working with farmers and understanding why co-ops are important to them.”
The interns will be participating in programs at Kansas based cooperatives and will spend their summer learning about agronomy, sales, communications and even information technology. Many people don’t realize the numerous career opportunities that are available in cooperative businesses.
“We value our intern program here at Jackson Farmers. Through this program we strive to provide hands on experience to the young people who become part of our team. In return we get the benefit of their fresh ideas, and hopefully, down the road, a new permanent member of our team,” says Doug Biswell, President and CEO of Jackson Farmers Inc., Holton, KS.
The students value the experience as well. It gives them an opportunity to explore different career options and see cooperative career paths up close. “I am really looking forward to gaining management skills through this opportunity,” says Tom Harmon, Summer Intern with Skyland Grain LLC.
The KCC is a voluntary trade association representing all forms of cooperatively structured business in Kansas. The mission of the KCC is to promote, support and advance the interests, business success and understanding of agricultural, utility, credit and consumer cooperatives and their members through legislation and regulatory efforts, education, and public relations. To learn more about the KCC, please visit the website at www.kansasco-op.coop.
Governor Laura Kelly has sent a request to President Donald Trump asking for emergency federal assistance to help address the widespread severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that have plagued Kansas in recent days.
The letter details the events leading up to the request and asks for Direct Federal Assistance for:
(1) Swift water rescue support;
(2) Shelter management support including short-term housing assistance;
(3) Mass care and human services support through commodities;
(4) Technical support and possible staffing for state logistics staging areas;
(5) Possible technical support regarding hazardous materials spills and orphan containers.
The request also anticipates the need for debris removal, which poses an immediate threat to lives, public health, and safety.
“Kansas is experiencing damage from severe weather and historic flooding due to extended heavy rain,” Kelly said. “Today I sent a request to President Donald Trump for emergency federal assistance for response and recovery. We are working with our local, state, and federal partners to ensure Kansans have the resources they need at this challenging time.”
Named in the request are the 46 Kansas counties listed in the state declaration originally signed by Kelly May 9 and later amended. These counties include Allen, Anderson, Barber, Barton, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clark, Clay, Cloud, Coffey, Comanche, Cowley, Crawford, Dickinson, Doniphan, Elk, Franklin, Geary, Greenwood, Harvey, Jefferson, Kingman, Lincoln, Lyon, Marion, McPherson, Meade, Montgomery, Morris, Neosho, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Pottawatomie, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Riley, Rush, Saline, Sumner, Wabaunsee, Wilson, and Woodson.
The request was made under the provisions of Section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5208 (Stafford Act), and implemented by 44 CFR § 206.35. Also today, the Kansas Division of Emergency Management sent out a request through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact for an advanced team to assist with coordinating interstate resource requests, and geospatial information system specialists to assist with development of mapping products.
“In order to proactively expand our resources and ensure the Kansas Division of Emergency Management has everything it needs to assist local partners and keep people safe, we have requested through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact an advanced team to assist our personnel. As we work with impacted communities, I want to ensure that every resource is being brought to bear to assist local emergency personnel so we can keep people safe and limit damage to property.”
Two barges broke loose and floated swiftly down the swollen Arkansas River in eastern Oklahoma on Wednesday, spreading alarm downstream as they threatened to hit a dam.
The emergency was the latest consequence of storms and torrential rains that have ravaged the Midwest, from Texas through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois.
Authorities urged residents of several small towns in Oklahoma and Kansas to leave their homes as rivers and streams rose.
The Arkansas River town of Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, was one such town. Town officials ordered a mandatory evacuation Wednesday afternoon because of the river’s rising level.
But Wednesday evening, a posting on the town’s official Facebook pagesounded the alarm about the runaway barges for its 600 residents: “Evacuate Webbers Falls immediately. The barges are loose and has the potential to hit the lock and dam 16. If the dam breaks, it will be catastrophic!! Leave now!!”
There was no word by midnight Wednesday where the barges were on the river, but local television stations showing live video of the river and the lock and dam said they had not yet arrived.
For the third consecutive day, dangerous storms prompted numerous tornado warnings and reports of twisters touching down, most in Missouri and Oklahoma.
The National Weather Service said it had received 22 reports of tornadoes by late Wednesday evening, although some of those could be duplicate reporting of the same twister.
One tornado skirted just a few miles north of Joplin, Missouri, on the eighth anniversary of a catastrophic tornado that killed 161 people in the city. The tornado caused some damage in the town of Carl Junction, about 4 miles (6.44 kilometers) north of the Joplin airport.
A ‘violent tornado’ touched down in Jefferson City, Missouri, causing possible fatalities, heavy damage at 11:43 p.m. on Wednesday. The mayor of the capital city had earlier issued a mandatory evacuation for an area involving a handful of homes. The city’s airport also has been evacuated.
The Arkansas River was approaching historic highs, while the already high Missouri and Mississippi Rivers were again rising after a multi-day stretch of storms that produced dozens of tornadoes. Forecasters predicted parts of Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas could see more severe weather Wednesday night into Thursday.
“The biggest concern is more rain,” Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said during a news conference following an aerial tour with Tulsa Mayor G.W. Bynum and other officials Wednesday morning.
The deluge inundated roadways, closing highways in 22 Oklahoma counties and 17 Kansas counties, along with more than 330 Missouri roads. Amtrak suspended train service Wednesday and Thursday along a route between St. Louis and Kansas City because of congestion and flood-related delays.
The Arkansas River, which was just above 37 feet (11 meters), or 9 feet (2.74 meters) above flood stage, at Muskogee, Oklahoma, was expected to eventually reach 43.5 feet (13.26 meters). Officials encouraged residents in several communities along the river to leave their homes.
But Bynum, Tulsa’s mayor, said his city of more than 400,000 people was safe so far.
“The levee system is working the way it’s supposed to right now,” he said.
Near Crescent, about 34 miles (55 kilometers) north of Oklahoma City, erosion left several homes hanging over the swollen Cimarron River. One unoccupied home rolled into the river Tuesday, and authorities say others could collapse.
More than 9 inches (23 centimeters) of rain has fallen since Sunday in parts of Oklahoma after an already rainy spring.
“Any rainfall we get just continues to saturate the soils that are already saturated. Especially rivers and streams,” said Oklahoma State Climatologist Gary McManus.
“There is simply nowhere for this water to go” as it flows downstream from Kansas, according to McManus.
In Kansas, residents in parts of the city of Iola, along the Neosho River, were being urged to evacuate and officials had set up on emergency shelter at a community college, said Corey Schinstock, assistant city administrator. If the river reaches its predicted crest of 27.8 feet (8.47 meters) Thursday, it would be the second-worst flood ever for the town of about 5,400 residents.
Elsewhere, the Mississippi River was at or approaching major flood stage from Iowa through southern Missouri and Illinois. At St. Louis, the Mississippi was expected to crest Monday at nearly 12 feet (3.7 meters) above flood stage. If that holds, the Coast Guard will likely close the river to navigation for the second time this month.
Along the Missouri River, about 50 levees in Missouri could be overtopped by Saturday as high water levels move downstream, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The river was expected to crest Thursday at 36.1 feet (11 meters) near the town of Glasgow, Missouri, overtopping agricultural levees and inundating some homes, highways and parkland.
Deaths from this week’s storms include a 74-year-old woman found early Wednesday morning in Iowa. Officials there say she was killed by a possible tornado that damaged a farmstead in Adair County. Missouri authorities said heavy rain was a contributing factor in the deaths of two people in a traffic accident Tuesday near Springfield.
A fourth weather-related death may have occurred in Oklahoma, where the Highway Patrol said a woman apparently drowned after driving around a barricade Tuesday near Perkins, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) northeast of Oklahoma City. The unidentified woman’s body was sent to the state medical examiner’s office to confirm the cause of death. Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Keli Cain said she isn’t yet listed as what would be the state’s first storm-related death.
Michael L. Day has been selected to lead Kansas State University’s department of animal sciences and industry beginning Aug. 11.
For the past four years, Day served as head of the department of animal science at the University of Wyoming. He was on the faculty in the department of animal sciences at The Ohio State University from 1985-2015, holding a research and teaching appointment focused on reproductive physiology of beef cattle.
“Dr. Mike Day comes to us with a great reputation as a research scientist, accomplished teacher and promising administrative leader,” said Ernie Minton, interim dean of the College of Agriculture and interim director of K-State Research and Extension. “He is an outstanding choice as the next academic leader for the department of animal sciences and industry and an ideal cultural fit for the department, the College of Agriculture, and K-State as a whole.”
The department of animal sciences and industry is the largest academic degree program at K-State, and among the largest of its kind nationally. The department records the greatest research expenditures of any single academic department in K-State’s Higher Education Research and Development report to the National Science Foundation, topping $15 million annually.
Day holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in animal science with an emphasis on reproductive physiology from the University of Nebraska. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry from the University of Missouri.
Since 2000, Day has received approximately $1.5 million in funding in support of his research. He has published 99 peer-reviewed scientific papers, along with hundreds of abstracts, proceedings, books and book chapters. He has been an invited speaker at numerous national and international settings.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the department of animal sciences and industry as head,” Day said. I am looking forward to working with faculty, staff, students and stakeholders as we move the department forward as a leader in animal and food sciences.”
COLBY, Kan. — The trade conflict between the United States and China, which began brewing early last year pulled U.S. corn prices down an average $0.20 per bushel per month in the first six months of 2019, according to a Kansas State University agricultural economist.
“Since December 2018, U.S. corn prices had been moving in a pattern contrary to a normal seasonal price pattern found in Kansas, with essentially no seasonal price increases,” said Dan O’Brien, K-State Research and Extension agricultural economist in a report released May 17.
Seasonally, corn prices tend to move higher during the spring and summer when the crop is planted and growing and often come down during the fall harvest when the new crop is available to the market.
Much of the focus in recent months has been on how the trade tensions have cut soybean exports to China, pushing soy prices lower, O’Brien said, but the potential spillover effect is that U.S. farmers will plant fewer acres to soybeans this year and instead plant more corn.
“And that sentiment has held sway among the corn trade until recently in mid-May 2019 when 2019 U.S. corn planting problems became serious enough to cause corn futures prices to begin trending higher,” he said, referring to unusually wet spring weather which delayed planting in some areas.
After analyzing data, O’Brien said that from January to May this year, U.S. corn prices were $0.07 to $0.34 per bushel under levels they would have been if normal, seasonal average price patterns – those that are typically seen in Kansas – had prevailed.
Market perceptions about the trade negotiations seem to have had a negative effect on U.S. corn markets, said O’Brien, citing trader data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that confirmed a bearish “short” sale aggregate position of speculative traders that started in January 2019 and trended to record bearish levels in April. Someone with a “short” position in the futures market makes money as the price of a commodity declines.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture also increased its projected U.S. corn ending stocks-to-use to 14.45% in May 2019 from 11.85% in January for the corn crop harvested last year. During that time, the only changes affecting supply and demand were on the usage side, with market expectations for U.S. corn use declining, he said. USDA also projected this year’s average corn price in May at $3.50 per bushel, down $0.10 from its projection in February.
Further, China may be eyeing Brazil’s crop as it moves away from buying U.S. corn.
“The success of the 2019 Brazilian second corn crop also contributed, likely in a sort of ‘piling on’ negative, confirming manner,” O’Brien said.
With the trade dispute ongoing even as farmers are planting this year’s crop, he said, CFTC data indicate traders are beginning to focus more on planting concerns linked to weather-related delays, with some speculators moving away from short positions and toward the long side, indicating they think prices may go up. It remains to be determined, however, if the trade conflict will continue to weigh on the market to the same degree that it did through mid-May.
More information is available on the K-State agricultural economics website www.agmanager.info
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture – cosponsored the Agricultural Export Expansion Act of 2019, legislation to remove a major hurdle for American farmers and ranchers to selling American agricultural products in the Cuban market. The bipartisan bill would support jobs in Kansas and across the country by lifting restrictions on private financing for U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba.
“This bipartisan legislation, which would allow for the private financing of ag exports to Cuba, represents an important step forward in our work to open Cuban markets for Kansas farmers and ranchers,” said Sen. Moran. “With low commodity prices and an ongoing trade war, our producers can only benefit from increased market access.”
The 2018 Farm Bill took steps to help American agriculture access the Cuban market by allowing funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture export promotion programs for U.S. agricultural products to be used in Cuba. However, the biggest barrier for producers as they seek access to Cuba is the Trade Sanctions and Reform Act (TSRA) prohibition on providing private credit for those exports, which forces Cubans to pay with cash up front for American-grown food. As a result, American farm goods have become less competitive, and Cuba has turned to other countries who are able to directly extend credit to Cuban buyers for transactions. This bill would amend the TSRA to allow for private financing of agricultural exports and level the playing field for American farmers competing in the global market.
The legislation is authored by U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and is cosponsored by U.S. Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Angus King (I-Maine), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).
Full text of the legislation can be found here.
Item to note:
- In March, 2017, Sen. Moran introduced the Cuba Trade Act of 2017, legislation that would fully restore trade with Cuba.