Tag Archives: Kansas

MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Kansas Department of Agriculture will be one of 15 states participating in a functional exercise the week of Sept. 23-26 focused on the states’ plans for African swine fever (ASF) response and mitigation. The functional exercise, led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will test participants’ abilities to respond to a simulated animal disease event.

KDA conducts an annual statewide exercise to practice the state’s response plan to a foreign animal disease event, typically with a simulation of foot-and-mouth disease. This month’s multistate exercise is focused instead on ASF, which has been confirmed in China and several other countries in eastern Asia, but has not occurred in the United States. Members of the KDA Division of Animal Health have been actively working with federal partners, state agencies of neighboring states, and representatives from the pork industry to enhance the state’s response plan with specific focus on ASF.

This four-day functional exercise, which will be based out of KDA headquarters in Manhattan, will enable KDA and its partners in other state agencies, federal and local government, industry, university and 14 other states to practice this response plan.

The functional exercise will attempt to simulate a real-world response as much as possible, including actual veterinarian testing and laboratory results, along with planning and resource coordination, disease mitigation, public educational information, and permitted movement to allow continuity of business for non-infected operations.

African swine fever is a highly contagious virus that affects pigs, causing high fever, loss of appetite and vomiting, and usually resulting in death. Other livestock species are not susceptible to ASF. There are no human health risks from ASF; it does not affect humans and is not a public health threat. An ASF outbreak in the United States would, however, have the potential to cause enormous economic losses not only to pork producers but to the entire production chain as well as to consumers.

For more information about the multistate ASF exercise, contact KDA at 785-564-6700. Media wishing to monitor the exercise should contact KDA director of communications Heather Lansdowne at Heather.Lansdowne@ks.gov or 785-564-6706 for more information.

One of my favorite cartoons is a “Hagar the Horrible” panel. The picture shows Hagar with arrows stuck in his shield, his boat sinking, obviously having a bad day. He has his hands thrown back and is looking at the heavens and proclaims, “Why me?”

The next panel shows the skies above him open up and a voice say, “Why not!” I think back on that cartoon sometimes when it comes time to advocate for agriculture. Whether it is in D.C., Topeka or a fourth-grade classroom, many times I wonder, why me? Why can’t I just stay home and work on my farm and forget the rest of the world exists?

Truth be told, I suppose I could, but the reality is the days of keeping our noses to the grindstone, minding our own business and not worrying about what anyone else thinks are long gone. I don’t know if you have noticed, but things like social media allow everyone with an opinion and a keyboard to be an expert about agriculture.

That is why it is so important for us to be involved and to advocate for agriculture. We are the true experts, and every one of us pour our blood, sweat and tears into what we do. So, I will ask you this question. If not you, then who will tell our story? We all know that answer, and the alternative is one that should scare us to death.

That is also why it is so important to be active in Kansas Farm Bureau. Alone our voices can be heard, but it is a much greater challenge. Kansas Farm Bureau and, ultimately, American Farm Bureau allow for us to come together as farmers and ranchers to achieve a common goal. It is the power of the individual member to have influence that gives us our grassroots strength.

I know each of us are incredibly busy, and it is so hard to make that sacrifice to be gone from our farms and ranches. Let me assure you the sacrifice is well worth the pain. I truly believe the time I spend advocating for agriculture, whether it is telling our story to school kids or elected officials, is just as important as the time I spend in my tractor seat.

We must all take the time to tell our story. Each of us has one to tell and the public needs to hear it. The days of assuming everyone has ties to agriculture and understands what we do are gone. The public wants to like and trust us, but they need to hear our story from us directly.

The next time your phone rings or that email pops up with an opportunity to advocate for agriculture, I want you to answer the call and tell everyone about the great work we all do every day. We feed a hungry world while protecting the soil, air and water. Why you? Why not.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture has funds available for the national Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP). Through this program, farms, ranches and businesses that produce, process or package certified organic agricultural products may be reimbursed for eligible expenses.

The purpose of the OCCSP is to defray the costs of receiving and maintaining organic certification under the National Organic Program. The program allows state agencies to provide reimbursement to certified organic operators for up to 75% of the operation’s total allowable certification costs, up to a maximum of $750 per certification scope. Scopes include the areas of crops, livestock, wild crops and handling (i.e., processing).

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency administers two organic certification cost share programs, and awards the OCCSP funds to eligible state agencies that serve as administering entities who work directly with organic operations to reimburse organic certification costs. The current period of qualification for organic operations seeking reimbursements is from Oct. 1, 2018, through Sept. 30, 2019, and applications will be accepted through December 15, 2019, or until all funds are expended, whichever comes first.

KDA is committed to serving all Kansas farmers, including lending support to those who wish to market and sell their products as certified organic. For more information, go to the KDA website at agriculture.ks.gov/organic or contact KDA economist Peter Oppelt at peter.oppelt@ks.gov or 785-564-6726.

WASHINGTON -On Wednesday, U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall will help kick off Taiwan’s 2019 Agriculture Trade Goodwill Mission across the U.S., an 11-state journey across the country to meet with state government officials, farmers, exporters, and related industries to explore business opportunities and cooperation. The tour will include a stop in Kansas to meet with representative of the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

“Taiwan is one of the top purchasers of U.S. and Kansas agriculture products annually,” Rep. Marshall said. “I am always excited for the opportunity to show off Kansas agriculture and am eager to welcome representatives of Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture to Washington and help them kick off their travels across the United States.”

Each year, Taiwan buys more than more $4 billion in U.S. agriculture goods, making it one of the top consumers of U.S. products when broken down by per-capita consumption. The U.S. agriculture industry’s relationship with Taiwan is a long and productive one and represents a growing market for Kansas and U.S. products. Wednesday’s ceremony will signify the continuation of this important trade relationship.

TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Soybean Commission (KSC) is requesting research and education proposals for its fiscal year 2021, which begins July 1, 2020. Proposals are due Oct. 15, and an individual may be listed as the principal investigator or educator on only one. The commissioners will review ideas for breeding, production and environmental programs; animal- and human-nutrition or food-safety studies; commercially significant, value-added projects that will use large quantities of soybeans; and domestic or international marketing and transportation programs.

More information about KSC’s priorities, complete instructions and application forms are available at https://KansasSoybeans.org/forms on the web or by calling the Kansas Soybean office at 877-KS-SOYBEAN (877-577-6923). Proposers who gain preliminary approval from the commissioners will make formal presentations Dec. 5-7 in Topeka or via teleconferencing.

The three-day funding meeting will begin at 8 a.m. each day. The commissioners also will discuss current projects, market-development activities, educational programs and administrative items. To obtain a complete agenda or to suggest additional topics for deliberation, contact KSC Administrator Kenlon Johannes at johannes@kansassoybeans.org or at the office.

The Kansas State University recently released three new wheat varieties, which are available to Certified seed growers this fall and will be available to farmers in fall 2020.
The new releases include two hard red winter wheat varieties – KS Western Star and KS Dallas – and one hard white wheat, KS Silverado. They were all developed at the K-State Agricultural Research Center in Hays, Kan. The wheat breeding program at Kansas State University, with locations in Manhattan and Hays, receives funding from the Kansas Wheat Commission through the two-cent wheat checkoff.

Thanks to wheat breeding programs like the one at K-State, producers have ever-improving options of wheat varieties to plant. Whether it’s improved resistance or increased yields, wheat breeders are creating varieties that meet producers’ changing needs.

KS Western Star

KS Western Star was named after the Western Star Milling Company in Salina, Kan. It is adapted to central and western Kansas, eastern Colorado, northwest Oklahoma and southwest Nebraska.

KS Western Star is a medium maturity and medium tall statured variety. It had greater yields than any other hard red winter wheat varieties in the KIN tests in 2017 and 2018. On average over the two years, it yielded more than any common check varieties, including Joe. KS Western Star has resistances to stripe rust, leaf rust and soilborne mosaic virus. It has very good straw strength and grain shattering resistance along with good milling and baking qualities. KS Western Star has good pre-harvest sprouting resistance.

KS Western Star has very good drought tolerance and high yield potential. While it is susceptible to Hessian fly and wheat streak mosaic virus, it has wheat curl mite resistance and intermediate resistance to Triticum mosaic virus.

KS Dallas

KS Dallas was named after retired plant pathologist Dr. Dallas Seifers, who worked at the K-State Agricultural Research Center in Hays and helped to develop the WSM2 gene found in the varieties KS Dallas and Joe. It is adapted to the western half of Kansas, eastern Colorado, northwest Oklahoma, the Texas panhandle and southwest Nebraska.

KS Dallas is a medium maturity and medium height variety. It performed well in western Kansas in 2017 and 2018. KS Dallas has a strong disease package with wheat streak mosaic virus resistance up to 70°F, which is three degrees higher than those resistant varieties with WSM2, such as Joe and Oakley CL. It has moderate resistance to stripe rust and good resistance to leaf rust and stem rust. It is susceptible to soilborne mosaic virus and moderately susceptible to Hessian fly. It has good shattering resistance and pre-harvest sprouting resistance. Its straw strength is about average, which is similar to T158.

KS Dallas has good milling and baking qualities. In general, it has good flour yield, high water absorption and good mixing tolerance.

KS Silverado

KS Silverado is a hard white wheat with medium-early maturity and medium-short height. It is adapted to central and western Kansas. It has very good pre-harvest sprouting resistance. Its shattering resistance is moderate, which is similar to Joe. Its straw strength is very good.

KS Silverado showed resistance to wheat streak mosaic virus in inoculated tests in the growth chamber at 64°F. It has moderate to intermediate resistance to stripe and stem rusts, and wheat blast. It is resistant to leaf rust, Hessian fly, and soilborne mosaic virus. It is moderately susceptible to Fusarium head blight, barley yellow dwarf virus and powdery mildew. Preliminary data showed that it has intermediate resistance to Triticum mosaic virus.

Whether you are looking for high grain yield, rust resistance, heat and drought tolerance, resistance to wheat streak mosaic virus or milling and baking quality, Kansas State University’s wheat breeding program has a variety for you. These three new varieties will be available to Kansas wheat farmers in fall 2020 through Kansas Wheat Alliance associates. Visit kswheatalliance.org for more information on these and other wheat variety options.