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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.

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John Schlageck
The end of the line?
Ag Blogs - 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.

Water vision
Ag Blogs - 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.

Where is the farm bill?
Ag Blogs - John Schlageck
Tuesday, 12 November 2013 08:58

To say the farm bill has moved like molasses through Congress the past three years is a gross understatement. This branch of our federal government continues to be mired in the mud of partisan politics.


Congress seems hell-bent on infighting while this nation’s business is left undone. Kansans and other farm-state lawmakers are urging their colleagues to look back to more bipartisan times and do something Congress hasn’t done much of lately – pass a major piece of legislation.

Remember the old axiom: politics is the art of compromise?


Fix obstructions to world trade
Ag Blogs - John Schlageck
Thursday, 17 October 2013 11:09

By John Schlageck

 Kansas Farm Bureau


   U.S. agriculture depends on world trade for its continued viability. More than $141 billion in agricultural goods were exported last year.


   Still U.S. port facilities and waterway infrastructures are decades behind international competitors due to lack of funding.

Make the farm bill a top priority
Ag Blogs - John Schlageck
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 09:48

Talk to anyone in farm country and next to concerns about the need for more rain, the farm bill remains at the top of the list of things Congress must do before the end of the year.

Waste not – want not
Ag Blogs - John Schlageck
Monday, 25 February 2013 16:52

During the last couple of decades, some environmental groups have been less than kind to agriculture. They have bombarded the public with figures on soil loss, pesticide-related mishaps and alleged failed attempts at using herbicides and other crop protectors. Their figures are oftentimes unverifiable.


   Technology is often labeled as the No. 1 environmental enemy by some of these groups. Food producers – farmers and ranchers – view technology as the application of knowledge. As humans, we survive by adapting the environment to our needs.


   Take away technology and humans would be just like other primates – confined to tropical regions and subject to extinction due to environmental changes. To survive, mankind has changed his environment while conserving resources and continually creating new ones.


   Resources are made not born. Land, ores, petroleum – the raw materials of our planet – do not inherently further human purposes.


   Man determines what is useful and how to use it. Topsoil becomes a resource when a farmer prepares the soil and plants wheat seed, for example. Ores become resources when metals are extracted from them.


   During the past two centuries, technology has been creating resources more rapidly than humans have been consuming them. By every measure of price and availability, resources have become more abundant.


   Without science and technology today’s farmers and ranchers would be unable to feed the masses. Farmers use technology responsibly and adopt new farming methods and practices by attending training sessions and courses.


   But new farm technology is expensive. It is in the best interest of farmers to use it carefully and sparingly. Misuse would add to the cost of production, which would result in an even lower return on their investment.


   Farmers use agricultural chemicals only when necessary. When they use chemicals, farmers follow label directions designed for public health and safety. When a rancher uses antibiotics and other animal health products for their stock, they follow proper drug use practices. When new advances in biotechnology are discovered, farmers must abide by stringent testing and monitoring practices that ensure only safe products in the marketplace.


   Food produced in the United States is safe. More than four decades of Food and Drug Administration testing has shown the majority of our fruits and vegetables have no detectable pesticide residues. This underscores that American farmers use pesticides properly. Our grain and cereal crops are among the cleanest and most wholesome in the world.


   Countless laws help ensure our food is safe. Billions of dollars are spent to support food and agricultural safety and quality inspection. The private sector, combined with state and local governments, also spends billions on similar activities.


   Farmers and ranchers support efforts to evaluate and enhance the current regulatory and food monitoring system. Agricultural producers want to work with all parties toward maintaining safe food, but this industry must avoid policy changes that are based solely on fear or false information.


   Decisions affecting the course of agricultural production remain critically important and will have far reaching implications on our quality of life. We must be careful in determining long-term policies. Farmers and ranchers will continue to maximize their production capacity with an ever-watchful eye on food safety, quality and our environment.


Kansas is your customer
Ag Blogs - John Schlageck
Monday, 04 February 2013 00:05
While food safety will always be the cornerstone of our food production process, allegiance is making inroads into why and where consumers buy their products.
Too early to tell on harvest
Ag Blogs - John Schlageck
Wednesday, 30 January 2013 14:40
Travel anywhere in the Sunflower State and people will tell you it's dry. It's so dry the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared last week that all but one of the 105 Kansas counties is in a drought disaster. This clears the way for farmers and ranchers to seek low-interest emergency loans.
Silence is golden
Ag Blogs - John Schlageck
Monday, 24 December 2012 11:51

 Today, information bombards us like a meteor shower. It’s everywhere.

 Each day our eyes see thousands of images on television and computer screens. Our ears hear thousands of words. Many people read thousands of words on the printed page.


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