Tag Archives: Kansas

In September, the Kansas Department of Agriculture participated in a trade mission to Uruguay, where Kansas purebred beef cattle producers had the opportunity to research and develop new markets for beef genetics. They attended Expo Prado, the most prominent livestock show in Uruguay, to understand the quality of the beef cattle and to network with Angus breeders who were at the show. In addition, the team took several tours to see how U.S. beef cattle genetics are working in production systems in Uruguay.

The team representing Kansas on the trade mission included: Gene Barrett, Barrett Cattle; Joe Carpenter, Downey Ranch, Inc.; Kevin Kniebel, Kniebel Cattle Co.; and Shirley Acedo, KDA advocacy, marketing, and outreach.

“I really enjoyed visiting with the semen company representatives to hear their thoughts on what their customers’ demands are,” said Kevin Kniebel. “We were able to maximize our time spent with companies and producers.”

Uruguay has become an importer of Kansas products in recent years. In 2017, Kansas exported over $100,000 of goods to Uruguay, much of which were animal products, which includes genetic material such as bovine semen or embryos. The team learned that cattlemen in Uruguay have expressed a preference for Angus genetics; 60 percent of the cattle in Uruguay are Angus.

“Our Kansas beef producers were able to explore several cattle ranches in the northern and western parts of Uruguay,” said Acedo. “They gained a good perspective of the importance of rotational grazing in the relation to the profitability of the local beef industry as well as the significance of U.S. genetics to the improvement of their cow herds.”

The trade mission was organized by KDA and funded through U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc., using funding through the Market Access Program. USLGE is a nationwide livestock-specific, not-for-profit trade association representing the International Market Development interests of the U.S. dairy, beef, sheep, swine, and horse breeding industries. KDA strives to encourage and enhance economic growth of the agriculture industry and the Kansas economy by exploring and expanding both domestic and international marketing opportunities. The Kansas Ag Growth Project identified beef cattle international market development as a key component for state growth.

An audit of state agency responses to two recent wildfires in Kansas showed that the state’s wildfire suppression training and mitigation programs do not sufficiently prepare the state for wildfire response, according to Kansas State Forester, Larry Biles and Fire Management Officer, Mark Neely. They spoke before the state’s legislative budget committee on Oct. 3 in Topeka.

“We are encouraged to see the legislature focus on what is the state’s most rapidly growing hazards – wildfires,” said Biles.

Biles and Neely provided a review of the opinion from the Kansas Forest Service and KFS Advisory Council on the Legislative Post Audit on wildfire suppression in the state.

The LPA was conducted in response to the Anderson Creek and Starbuck wildfires – the two largest fires in the last 50 years which caused significant damage in several counties.

The LPA sought to answer one central question: “Is Kansas’ wildfire suppression system adequately designed and resourced to effectively suppress wildfires?” The finding of the LPA was no, Kansas wildfire suppression training and mitigation programs do not sufficiently prepare the state for wildfire response.

“We believe the audit describes the inadequacies of a wildfire suppression system at the state level,” said Neely.

State agencies are deployed to wildfires when the fire has exceeded the ability and resources at a local fire response level.

“KFS believes it is important to point out that the LPA is not a judgement on the ability of locals to suppress wildfires, it is an evaluation on the state level response, once a wildfire has exceeded the ability and resources at the local level,” Neely said.

“Local fire authorities possess the skills and knowledge to effectively handle the majority of fires in our state. We can provide additional support and training for the instances when a wildfire surpasses the response ability at a local level,” he added.

One recommendation of the LPA was to amend state law to designate a single entity to lead the state’s wildfire suppression system. The LPA stated that the state should ensure the entity has sufficient firefighting equipment, certified firefighters and wildfire management personnel, and state funding to effectively and independently lead the state’s wildfire suppression system.

In response to the LPA, Biles said that, “KFS has the expertise, qualifications, and experience to provide assistance and high-quality training to firefighters, emergency managers and local authorities. Additionally, it is our goal to continue fuel reduction projects and promote prescribed burning benefits.”

In his address to the legislative budget committee, Biles proposed that KFS should be designated as the lead agency of wildfire suppression in the state.

“We recognize that many stakeholders will continue to be involved with wildland fire management and KFS looks forward to working alongside those agencies to provide an effective and efficient wildland fire suppression system in Kansas,” Biles said

Kansas wheat farmers have a unique opportunity to export wheat into African and Asian markets. Unfortunately for Australian wheat farmers, their crop has been plagued by drought and freeze. They won’t be able to meet the export demand for the white wheat they grow. This gives Kansas wheat farmers the chance to meet this international demand. Planting decisions made now will affect the supply that is available over the next year, while Australia’s exports lag.

Jay Armstrong, a Kansas wheat farmer who serves on the Kansas Wheat Commission and recently returned from a trade mission to Nigeria and South Africa, says wheat buyers in Sub-Saharan Africa are looking to the U.S. to help fill this void. The 2018 Sub-Saharan Africa Board Team trip was sponsored by U.S. Wheat Associates, the U.S. wheat industry’s export market development organization.


Australia is the only competitor to the U.S. in the hard white wheat market. Australia recently lowered its production forecast by nearly 13 percent, cutting its exports to a 10-year low.


Countries such as Taiwan, Korea and Nigeria, who look to Australia to purchase the white wheat they need for their products, are looking to the U.S. to source hard white wheat in the wake of this forecast.


“Because Australia is not going to be able to meet demand for white wheat, buyers are coming to the U.S. for hard white wheat,” said Justin Gilpin, CEO of the Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas Association of Wheat Growers. “We are, right now, in the beginning of a long window, where we can fill this demand by planting hard white wheat now for harvest next summer.”


Gilpin says this window continues through this marketing year and into next marketing year. Because of Australian production shortfalls, prices on Australian wheat are high.


“Farmers need to be considering hard white wheat as they are making planting decisions,” said Gilpin. “This demand will continue through next year’s harvest.”

For farmers who are looking to plant hard white wheat this fall, there are a number of excellent varieties available. The variety Joe, which was developed by the K-State breeding program, has good milling quality and also carries a gene for resistance to Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus, which has caused wide-spread damage in western Kansas, where hard white wheat is best adapted.
The caution with planting hard white wheat remains what it has been for years – know where you will be delivering your wheat prior to planting. However, with hard white wheat acres increasing in recent years, more elevator locations are handling it at harvest time and beyond.
Eric Sperber, CEO of Cornerstone Ag in Colby, Kan., says they have sent many samples of hard white wheat to Nigeria for them to do bake tests and overall quality tests. The feedback has been positive.
“Because Australia is having problems, we are getting some of this business,” he said.
High Plains Platinum hard white wheat is being loaded in western Kansas to meet this demand. The High Plains Platinum brand represents a high set of quality standards for hard white winter wheat.
With the feedback he received from his trip, Armstrong predicts, “We will have a higher demand than what we can grow.”


Nebraska feedlots, with capacities of 1,000 or more head, contained 2.33 million cattle on feed on September 1, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This inventory was up 8 percent from last year. Placements during August totaled 480,000 head, up 2 percent from 2017. Fed cattle marketings for the month of August totaled 470,000 head, unchanged from last year. Other disappearance during August totaled 10,000 head, unchanged from last year.


United States Cattle on Feed Up 6 Percent

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.1 million head on September 1, 2018. The inventory was 6 percent above September 1, 2017. This is the highest September 1 inventory since the series began in 1996.

Cattle on Feed – By State
                                  (1,000 hd   –   % Sept 1, ’17)
Colorado …….:             900                105
Iowa …………….:             680                106
Kansas ………..:            2,310                104
Nebraska ……:            2,330                108
Texas …………..:            2,680                103

Placements in feedlots during August totaled 2.07 million head, 7 percent above 2017. Net placements were 2.02 million head. During August, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 430,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 335,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 460,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 475,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 240,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 130,000 head.

Placements by State
                                 (1,000 hd   –   % Aug, ’17)
Colorado …….:            205          117
Iowa …………….:              82            89
Kansas ………….:          520           105
Nebraska …….:           480           102
Texas ……………:           415           108

Marketings of fed cattle during August totaled 1.98 million head, slightly above 2017. Other disappearance totaled 55,000 head during August, 12 percent above 2017.

Marketings by State
                               (1,000 hd – % Aug, ’17)
Colorado …….:          190            100
Iowa …………….:          100             99
Kansas ………..:           430            97
Nebraska ……:           470           100
Texas …………..:           440            101



TOPEKA, Kan. — As fall harvest ramps up, farmers should think about the annual Kansas Soybean Yield and Value Contests. Entries must be postmarked no later than Dec. 1.

Kansas State University (K-State) Extension personnel or a designee must witness the harvest. A designee may be anyone not involved with the farm enterprise. For example, a family member or input supplier may not serve as the witness.

Pertaining to harvest, some of the contest rules’ highlights include the following.

  • An entry shall consist of one field of at least five contiguous acres. Farm Service Agency measurements will serve to verify a field’s size if entered in its entirety. If not, the harvest witness must take measurements with a measuring wheel, GPS device or smartphone app. If using an electronic method, a color printout must accompany the entry.
  • Contestants should notify their Extension county offices of when harvest is to begin as early as possible.
  • The harvest witness must inspect the combine’s grain hopper and verify it is empty before harvest begins.
  • Only official elevator-scale tickets shall verify the soybeans’ weight. While a minimum of 5 acres must be checked, the entire field’s weight may be taken.

Thanks to the Kansas Soybean Commission (KSC), the highest dryland and irrigated yields in the contest each will receive a $1,000 award. In each district, first place will win $300, second will earn $200, and third will receive $100. A winner could earn an additional $1,000 for achieving or surpassing 100 bushels per acre.

The No-till on the Plains organization will supply additional prizes in the no-till categories.

Managed by the Kansas Soybean Association (KSA), the contests are free to all Kansas farmers. There is a limit of one entry per field. One person may enter multiple categories — conventional or no-till, dryland or irrigated.

Farmers may enter the value contest, which evaluates protein and oil contents, without entering the yield contest and vice versa.

The complete rules are available at http://KansasSoybeans.org/contests on the web, from the Kansas Soybean office (877-KS-SOYBEAN, 877-577-6923 or info@kansassoybeans.org) and in K-State Extension offices across the state.

Doug Shoup, Ph.D., Scranton, a former K-State crops specialist, coordinates the project for the KSA Board of Directors.

“This is an incentive for farmers to maximize soybean yield and protein and oil contents and an opportunity to share the production practices that achieve those high levels of yield and value,” he said.

Winners will receive their plaques, certificates and monetary awards during the Kansas Soybean Expo, Jan. 9, 2019, in Topeka.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health has received notification of multiple confirmed cases of West Nile virus (WNV) in horses across the state over the past few weeks. Confirmed cases have been reported in Lyon, Seward, Neosho, Marion and Wichita counties.

WNV is a preventable disease, with annual vaccinations that have proven highly effective. All of the confirmed cases of WNV in Kansas were in unvaccinated horses or horses with an unknown vaccination history so were assumed to be unvaccinated. All horse owners should consult with their local veterinarians and make a vaccination plan for their horses.

WNV is a virus that can infect humans, horses, birds and other species. Horses infected with WNV can have symptoms that range from depression, loss of appetite and fever to severe neurologic signs such as incoordination, weakness, inability to rise, and hypersensitivity to touch or sound. WNV can be fatal in horses. If you see symptoms of WNV in your horse, contact your veterinarian immediately.

The virus is carried and transmitted by mosquitoes; it is not directly contagious from horse to horse or from horse to human. WNV is a reportable disease in Kansas, which means veterinarians are required by law to report any confirmed cases to the State Veterinarian.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Department of Agriculture hopes to start issuing licenses for farmers to grow industrial hemp in time for next year’s spring planting season.

Agency spokeswoman Heather Lansdowne told the Lawrence Journal-World on Friday that proposed rules and regulations were submitted earlier in the week to the Department of Administration. That’s the first step in a long process required to establish an industrial hemp program in Kansas.

The program will initially allow growing hemp only for research. But officials said in an economic impact statement that a successful research-based pilot program may lead to the eventual legalization of commercial industrial hemp.

Kansas lawmakers in April authorized the agriculture department to issue licenses allowing industrial hemp for research, and for other businesses to research potential commercial uses of the crop.