Tag Archives: Kansas

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.

The Winter Wheat Tour made it’s final turn back to the north, to return to Manhattan where it all started just two days prior. Traveling through the flint hills wheat fields were limited, but most cars were able to take in several stops. The major note coming along with the fields was saturated wet conditions. K-State Agronomist Romulo Lollato commented, “The wet fields could lead to more disease pressure if conditions continue.”

The first wheat field of the final day. (RRN Photo)
Taking some of the final measurements of the 2019 Winter Wheat Tour (RRN Photo)
Back in Manhattan the tour ended at the International Grain Building on K-State’s campus. The three-day average yield for the fields that were calculated was 47.2 bushels an acre. While an estimated 7 million acres of wheat were planted in the fall, the Kansas wheat crop varies in condition based on planting date. Wheat that was planted prior to October rains looks good while wheat planted when farmers could get back in fields after the rains is not faring as well. What Mother Nature has in plan for the wheat crop still remains unseen, but the tour captures a moment in time for the yield potential for fields across the state. Tour participants saw wheat that was significantly behind schedule, with most areas a week to 10 days behind normal development.
Giving the final car updates in Manhattan (RRN photo)
Many tour participants had never stepped foot in a wheat field before. These are the millers, bakers, food processors and traders who buy the wheat that Kansas farmers grow. If these fields make it to harvest, the resulting crop will go into breads, but also a number of other food items, from snack cakes to donuts to seasonings, batters and coatings for fish, chicken and appetizers.
Farmers were also in attendance so customers were able to interact with the men and women who produce the product they purchase. Gary Millershaski, a farmer from Lakin, is a wheat tour veteran who believes in the value of the opportunity to get these customers out in the field (and to get their boots a little muddy, too).
“The connections that we make on this tour are unlike anything else,” said Millershaski. “Having producers and our customers driving around in the same vehicles, there’s just a lot of information that gets shared both ways. It helps them learn about the challenges of production and the frustration of the prices we get, and we get to learn about the changing dynamics between them and their customers. It helps to put faces to the wheat they receive. We’re not a number to them after the tour… We’re real.”
The official tour projection for total production of wheat to be harvested in Kansas is 306.5 million bushels. This number is calculated based on the average of estimated predictions from tour participants who gathered information from 469 fields across the state.
Scouts reported seeing widely varying wheat conditions (due, in large part, to planting date) along the route. While there were sightings of rust and other disease in south central Kansas, many stops saw signs of nitrogen deficiency.
In addition, scouts from Nebraska and Colorado met the group in Colby, Kansas, to give reports from their states. The estimate for the Nebraska wheat crop is 47.4 million bushels, down from 49.5 million bushels last year. The estimated yield average is 44 bushels per acre. In Colorado, the estimated yield was 46.5 bushels per acre. Production in Colorado is estimated at 97.2 million bushels, up from 70.5 million bushels last year. Oklahoma reported that the state’s production is estimated at 119.27 million bushels with 37.38 bushels per acre. Approximately 4.2 million acres were seeded last fall.
Scott Foster invites Clay Patton into the studio’s to talk about his trip: http://bit.ly/2VaMZJi

Day two of the 2019 Hard Winter Wheat Tour is the longest and for some the most grueling of the wheat tour. Starting in Colby Kansas and taking several routs, one of which passes through Oklahoma, all 20 cars and nearly 80 tour members ended the day in Wichita.

For my car, Blue Route Car 3, our odometer rolled 457 miles at the end of the day.

Day 2 Blue Route 2019 Hard Winter Wheat Tour

Heavy fog and rain plagued the beginning of the trip and kept us from evaluating fields until near Syracuse Kansas. Overall South West Kansas looked to have a very strong stand of winter wheat that is healthy. Little disease pressure was noted and most of the wheat was in the flag or almost boot stage.

Cracks on top of the ground show that the top soil could use a little moisture. Just below the surface though the current soil profile looks to be fairly wet. (RRN Photo)

The next field to tour turned out to be a story of two fields near Big Bow Kansas. On the East side of the road was a thick and lush stand of winter wheat, Row spacing was a little unusual at 16 inches compared to the 7.5 & 10 inch rows we had seen up to this point. On the West side of the road the stand was thinner and more discolored. Plus saw fairly heavy weed pressure from mustard weeds and cheat grass.

The East side of the road wheat field at Big Bow KS. (RRN Photo)
The West side of the road field near Big Bow Kansas. (RRN Photo)

As we rolled on we took our culture stop at the Dalton Gang Hideout in Mead Kansas. This is a nice quick travel stop for those that are fascinated by old west outlaws. The Dalton Gang was a notorious train robbing gang that met their fate when they tried to rob two banks in Coffeville Kansas in the late 19th century.

The Dalton Gang Hideout Museum Meade Kansas. (RRN Photo)

As we headed further east our yield estimates started to drop with thinner stands of wheat. Then in Clark County near Protection Kansas we saw our first wheat heads. Yield estimates stayed consistent and seeing heads made the overall count easier to conduct.

Green wheat heads started to emerge near Protection Kansas. (RRN Photo)
The stand was fairly tall, but looked to have good stalk strength. (RRN Photo)

The final field of the day near Danville is the only one that showed disease pressure with Smut showing up on several plants throughout the field.

Overall on day 2 our car made 11 stops with an average yield estimate of 44 bushels per acre.

The entire tour made 200 stops and had an average yield estimate of 47.6 bushels per acre. The two day running total came to 440 stops with an average of 47.2 bushels per acre. Looking historically this tour is 1 bpa behind the 2018 tour and 5.4 bpa ahead of the 2018 tour.

The third and final leg will occur today and end back where it all started in Manhattan. There all estimates will be taken in and the tour will produce it’s estimate for the 2019 Kansas Winter Wheat Crop.

Justin Gilpin has the full day 2 recap here: https://post.futurimedia.com/krvnam/playlist/wheat-tour-justin-gilpin-recaps-day-2-6633.html

Claire Hutchins, US Wheat Associates Market Analyst, discusses why it’s important for her to be on the wheat tour: https://post.futurimedia.com/krvnam/playlist/wheat-tour-is-about-education-6634.html

Nebraska:  Milk production in Nebraska during the January-March 2019 quarter totaled 357 million pounds, down 2 percent from the January-March quarter last year, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The average number of milk cows was 59,000 head, 1,000 head less than the same period last year.

Kansas:  Milk production in Kansas during March 2019 totaled 328 million pounds, up 3 percent from March 2018, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The average number of milk cows was 164,000 head, 7,000 head more than March 2018. Milk production per cow averaged 2,000 pounds.

Access the National publication for this release at:

https://usda.library.cornell.edu/concern/publications/h989r321c

Find agricultural statistics for your county, State, and the Nation at www.nass.usda.gov

MANHATTAN, Kan – Kansas’s number of farms and ranches increased during 2018, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The number of farms and ranches in the State, at 58,900, was up 300 farms from 2017.

Numbers of farms and ranches in Kansas with less than $100,000 in agricultural sales increased 200 farms from a year earlier while operations with more than $100,000 in agricultural sales increased 100 farms.

Land in farms and ranches in Kansas totaled 45.8 million acres, unchanged from 2017. The average size of operation, at 778 acres, was down 4 acres from a year earlier.

Nebraska’s number of farms and ranches declined during 2018, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The number of farms and ranches in the State, at 45,900, was down 400 farms from 2017. Numbers of farms and ranches in Nebraska with less than $100,000 in agricultural sales decreased 200 farms from a year earlier while operations with more than $100,000 in agricultural sales decreased 200 farms.

Land in farms and ranches in Nebraska totaled 45.0 million acres, unchanged from 2017. The average size of operation, at 980 acres, was up 8 acres from a year earlier.

Access the National publication for this release at:
https://usda.library.cornell.edu/concern/publications/5712m6524

Find agricultural statistics for your county, State, and the Nation at www.nass.usda.gov

Wheat buyers from Morocco and Tunisia got an up close look at the intricacies and reliability of the U.S. grain infrastructure during the April 12-19 Cochran Fellowship Program’s experience in Kansas and Texas. Morocco and Tunisia are part of the Middle East-East and North Africa (MEENA) region which has the largest volume of wheat imports from all origins. While market share in the MEENA region has fallen, there are several expanding end use market segments that hold promise for U.S. wheat. These niche products include specialty artisan and frozen doughs and pre-mixes, pasta from non-durum flour, and growing biscuit, cracker and confectionary products. These products need the high or low protein (depending on the product) wheat with the high quality traits that American wheat is known for.

“While it’s unfortunate that U.S. market share in the MEENA region has dropped due to increased competition, there are some real opportunities for us in those specialty products,” said Aaron Harries, Vice President of Research and Operations for Kansas Wheat. “The U.S. wheat industry has to remain visible to those buyers in order to capitalize on these emerging opportunities, and bringing the Cochran Fellows to Kansas is a great way to do that.”

 

Kansas was the first leg for the Cochran Fellows team. During their first day in the state, the participants visited the research space at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center, received an overview of the U.S. grain handling infrastructure and grain quality assessment at the IGP Institute, toured the Kansas State University Hal Ross Flour Mill and the OH Kruse Feed Mill and ended their day at the Anderes farm near Junction City. The next day participants visited the Cargill Shuttle Train Loader near Topeka and the Federal Grain Inspection Service Technical Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

 

Morocco and Tunisia’s sub-region relies heavily on grain imports with bread and durum wheat as the most prominent imported cereals. These countries imported 17.35 MMT wheat of all origins in MY16/17, and 1.6 MMT of US wheat in MY16/17, 85% of which was HRW and 14.3% was durum. Morocco does buy smaller quantities of hard red spring, but mostly relies on hard red winter wheat to fill the shortage of domestic or EU production. Tunisia mostly buys U.S. durum.

 

Team participants also visited Houston, Texas. While there, the Cochran fellows experienced Port Houston up close and personal with a Sam Houston Boat Tour along the Houston Ship Channel. This unique opportunity helped buyers to visualize international cargo vessels and operation at the port’s Turning Basin Terminal. Next the Cochran fellows visited the Lansing Terminal to get a full-fledged field-to-vessel look at the country’s wheat industry.

 

“The members of this group of Cochran Fellows were engaged and excited about the U.S. wheat industry,” said Harries. “It’s experiences like these that help to build, or solidify, trading relationships with our export markets.”

 

The Cochran Fellowship Program provides short-term training opportunities to agricultural professionals from middle-income countries, emerging markets, and emerging democracies. Approximately 600 Cochran fellows come to the United States each year to work with U.S. universities, government agencies, and private companies. They receive hands-on training to enhance their technical knowledge and skills in areas related to agricultural trade, agribusiness development, management, policy, and marketing. Since the program’s inception there have been more than 18,000 total fellows from 126 participating countries.

TOPEKA, Kan. — At its 123rd annual meeting in Wichita, Kansas Grain and Feed Association (KGFA) chose Deb Miller, general manager of Stockton Farmers Union Mercantile and Shipping Association, as its first-ever chairwoman. Miller was chosen by the association’s 16-member board of directors to serve her two-year term leading the association through April of 2021.

“It’s such an honor to be chosen as the first chairwoman of this storied association,” Miller said. “As an industry, we’ve had many trials and tribulations, but we’ve always persevered, adapted and succeeded. We’ve done pretty well in the last 123 years, and we’re just getting started.”

Miller is the 90th industry leader to be picked into KGFA’s pinnacle role after previously serving three terms on the board of directors beginning in 2011.

“Throughout her career, Deb Miller has been an unmatched leader and innovator in the grain industry,” KGFA president and CEO Ron Seeber said. “We are honored to have her at the helm.”

KGFA members also picked Bob Tempel (WindRiver Grain LLC, Garden City) as vice chairman, Brent Emch (Cargill, Inc., Olathe) as second vice chairman and Troy Presley (CoMark Equity Alliance, Cheney), Devin Schierling (Team Marketing Alliance, Moundridge) and Allen Williams (ADM Grain Co., Overland Park) as board members.

During its 123rd annual gathering at the DoubleTree Airport hotel on Monday and Tuesday, nearly 230 KGFA members enjoyed networking and educational activities. Members heard a keynote address from Dan Oblinger, a hostage negotiator on how improved listening techniques and skills will enhance leadership qualities in the workplace and Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle provided an update on the Kansas political landscape after the legislature’s first adjournment last week.