Tag Archives: Kansas

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — A new government report shows Kansas farmers are harvesting fewer bushels of winter wheat this year. The forecast released Friday is based on crop conditions July 1.

The Agriculture Department’s National Agricultural Statistics Service revised the government’s earlier estimate downward to 307 million bushels in Kansas. That is 9% fewer bushels than were cut last year in the state. The latest forecast is based on an average yield of 48 bushels per acre, down 4 bushels from 2019.

It also estimates growers in Kansas will cut 6.4 million acres of wheat, down 2% from last year.

MANHATTAN — “Now’s the time to start getting your entry in for the Kansas State Fair’s Market Alfalfa Show,” says Carole Schlender, Contest Manager.

Entries for the contest must be pre-entered and the sample mailed by August 15 to the Kansas State Fair, Competitive Exhibits Department, 2000 N. Poplar, Hutchinson, 67502-5598. Please write, “Market Alfalfa Show” on the package.

“Alfalfa is a vital forage crop in the state and the contest helps to recognize and reward the importance of quality alfalfa, adds Roger Black, President of the Kansas Forage and Grassland Council. The council is a sponsor of the Market Alfalfa Show along with providing a plaque for the winner.

All samples are analyzed by SDK in Hutchinson, KS and judged based on relative feed value, crude protein and a visual observation. Sampling should be done using a forage core sampler. Samples not exhibiting evidence of being collected with a forage core sampler will be disqualified.  It is recommended that ten bales be sampled and mixed. For help in sampling, contact your local county extension office.

For numerous reasons, the Kansas State Fair will only be accepting online entries, effective immediately. If you should need assistance for any reason, please contact their office at 620-669-3881 or 620-669-3621. You may also email nicole.jaskoski@ks.gov.


MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State University officials handed out 15,000 pounds of flour on Thursday during a drive-through event held at the recently re-opened Hal Ross Flour Mill, north of campus.

Gordon Smith, head of the Department of Grain Science and Industry, said the event was held to help people who may be struggling to obtain basic food supplies.

Shortly after the event began, a line of cars stretched about 300 yards from the flour mill to Manhattan’s Kimball Avenue. By the time it finished just before 7 p.m., Smith estimated that 1500 cars came through the impromptu drive-through, each receiving a 10-pound bag of freshly-milled, Kansas flour.

“We knew nothing about how this was going to go,” said Smith, noting this is the first time the Department of Grain Sciences and Industry has conducted a free distribution of flour.

About 20 volunteers – including K-State police officers, faculty and staff; employees from the Kansas Wheat Commission and the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers; and Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam and others from that agency — helped to guide the cars along the drive-through distribution, all wearing masks and observing social distancing while loading the flour into cars.

Based on the number of bags distributed, they were handing out just over six bags per minute – or one every 10 seconds — for four hours.

While the global pandemic limited most operations on the K-State campus, the Hal Ross Flour Mill was getting needed updates and repairs. On re-opening the mill, several faculty members and Smith had an idea to help fill the void of short flour supplies in local grocery stores.

Working in partnership with the Kansas Wheat Commission and the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers – groups supported by Kansas wheat farmers — the university milled 20,000 pounds of wheat, a process that took about 10 hours.

From that, they yielded 15,000 pounds of flour, or 1,500, 10-pound bags. Smith said the volunteers gave away the last bag of flour at 6:45 p.m. Thursday – just 15 minutes short of their planned ending.

“We had a guy come by who is in the army and he tells us, ‘I think of this like military service…it’s pure service to the community,’” Smith said. “That was really nice to hear.”

K-State’s Department of Grain Science and Industry offers the world’s only bachelor’s degrees in milling, bakery and feed science and management. For more information on those and other programs, visit https://www.grains.k-state.edu.

This is day 5 of the Kansas Wheat Harvest Reports, brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association.

Stephanie Bell from Skyland Grain, Hugoton, in Stevens County, reports that the area is about 75% done with harvest, with mostly irrigated fields remaining. Harvest has been running smoothly and they expect to be done by the end of the week. She said yields have been better than expected. Test weight is averaging 61 pounds per bushel, and proteins are ranging from 11-12%. Acres in the area are down from last year.

Roger Rohr, who farms in Seward County, said his harvest began on June 13 and he has about three days left. Yields have been better than expected, averaging about 50 bushels per acre. He did have some freeze damage with heads not fully filled. While he had fewer acres of wheat this year, he expects to plant more this fall.

Ernie Theilen, OK Coop Grain Co, Kiowa, in Barber County, reports that they took in their first load on June 7 and that the area is about 90% complete. Yields have been really good this year; most have been above average. He attributes this to the overall growing season, newer varieties and good grain fill weather. While proteins have been slightly lower than average, some of the later wheat they received had higher proteins than earlier wheat. This year’s crop has been really exceptional and had above average test weights.

Randy Fritzemeier who farms in Stafford County, reports that he began harvest on June 16. Harvest has been really good for him so far, with above average yields, ranging from 40 to 70 bushels per acre. He has about a week to 10 days of harvest remaining, and says he may be one of the earlier people in the county to find wheat that is dry enough to cut.

“Some people can’t find any dry wheat,” he said. He planted the Kansas Wheat Alliance varieties Zenda and Larry this year, and they are performing well for him.

“We received moisture at the right times and cool weather for grain fill,” he said. “And, no mud holes this year.”

The 2020 Harvest Report is brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association. To follow along with harvest updates on Twitter, use # wheatharvest20. Tag us at @kansaswheat on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to share your harvest story and photos.


This is day 4 of the Kansas Wheat Harvest Reports, brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association.

Wheat harvest has been progressing quickly in Kansas’ southern counties and is moving farther north every day. Test weights and yields have been good in most locations. Weather forecasts for Thursday evening through Saturday are calling for chances of rain and thunderstorms, which could put a halt to harvest for a few days.

Rusty Morehead from Progressive Ag in Wellington in Sumner County reports that wheat harvest began on June 6. They are around 65-70% finished and expect to be complete within the next week. Yields are averaging around 55 bushels per acre, and most of the fields have big, full wheat heads. The average protein is 10%, but some is as high as 11-12%. Average test weight is 63 pounds per bushel.

According to Todd Dean of ADM Grain Co. of Greensburg in Kiowa County, farmers were starting to harvest on June 9, which was slightly earlier compared to normal. Yields have been averaging around 40 bushels per acre for continuous wheat and 65 bushels per acre for fallow. Test weights have been good at 62.25 pounds per bushel.

Bryce Ackerman from Offerle Coop Grain & Supply Co. in Edwards County reports that harvest began June 12 in Bucklin and their northern areas started the following day. Progress is rolling smoothly, but rain in the forecast Thursday could slow it down. Yields are averaging 50-60 bushels per acre this year, as expected, but that is not better than last year. Proteins have been variable, ranging from 9% to as high as 13%, with the overall average in the 10s. Test weights are great, averaging 62 to 64 pounds per bushel.

The 2020 Harvest Report is brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association. To follow along with harvest updates on Twitter, use # wheatharvest20. Tag us at @kansaswheat on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to share your harvest story and photos.


MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Kansas Department of Agriculture has announced that vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) was confirmed in horses in Butler County on June 16, 2020. Kansas becomes the fourth state in the U.S. to have confirmed cases of VSV this year.

The infected horses live on different private residences in south central Kansas. When clinical signs were first identified on a premises in Butler County, KDA contacted veterinarians in the region to alert them of the possibility of VSV, which led to additional suspect cases in the area. Upon receiving the laboratory confirmation, KDA established a quarantine on the three affected premises. KDA has tested a number of other animals in the region which are showing clinical signs consistent with VSV, and are awaiting final laboratory testing.

“Protecting the health and safety of horses and other livestock in Kansas is our highest priority,” Dr. Justin Smith, Animal Health Commissioner said. “We encourage all livestock owners across Kansas to be aware of the clinical signs of VSV and follow best practices to limit exposure to insects. Livestock owners should take extra precautions to limit exposure to other animals.”

VSV is a viral disease which primarily affects horses, but can also affect cattle, sheep, goats, swine, llamas and alpacas. In horses, VSV is typically characterized by lesions which appear as crusting scabs on the muzzle, lips, ears, coronary bands, or ventral abdomen. Other clinical signs of the disease include fever and the formation of blister-like lesions in the mouth and on the dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, ears, hooves and teats.

Infected animals may refuse to eat and drink, which can lead to weight loss. Vesicular stomatitis can be painful for infected animals and costly to their owners. Humans can also become infected with the disease when handling affected animals, and can develop flu-like symptoms.

The primary way the virus is transmitted is from biting insects like black flies, sand flies and midges. Owners should institute aggressive measures to reduce flies and other insects where animals are housed. VSV can also be spread by nose-to-nose contact between animals. The virus itself usually runs its course in five to seven days, and it can take up to an additional seven days for the infected animal to recover from the symptoms. Premises with animals diagnosed with VSV are quarantined for at least 14 days after the last affected animal is diagnosed. There are no USDA-approved vaccines for VSV.

VSV is considered a reportable disease in Kansas. Any person who suspects their animals may have VSV should contact their local veterinarian or state animal health official.

When VSV was confirmed in neighboring states this spring, KDA implemented increased importation requirements from the affected regions to help prevent the spread of VSV into Kansas. Because of the confirmed case in Kansas, other states and Canada are likely to increase restrictions on livestock imports. Animal health officials strongly encourage all livestock owners and veterinarians to call the animal health authority in the destination location for the most current import requirements prior to travel.

For more information about VSV, including documents outlining symptoms, fly control practices, and current situation reports, please visit the KDA website at www.agriculture.ks.gov/VSV. If you observe clinical signs among your animals, contact your veterinarian right away. For questions about VSV in Kansas, please contact the KDA Division of Animal Health at 785-564-6601.

This is day 3 of the Kansas Wheat Harvest Reports, brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association.

Reports from the southern counties of Kansas indicate that harvest is continuing to progress with above average yields; however, areas slightly to the north are still a little too wet and green for harvest to get rolling, but are drying out quickly.

Mark Lubber with WestBred reports that harvest started on Wednesday, June 10, in Kiowa in Barber County. He said they are seeing better than expected yields, mostly in the mid-40s in Barber County, but higher in the south central part of the state. Protein levels are slightly lower than average, ranging from 9-10%. He speculates that this is mainly because farmers shorted inputs because of pessimism on the yields and in the market. He said that the hot and dry weather conditions and lack of nightly dew is allowing combines to run easily.

Troy Presley from CoMark Equity Alliance LLC in Cheney in Sedgwick County reports that harvest in their area began on June 12. He said that harvest started quickly, but has slowed down a little bit because there is still some green in the fields. He expects harvest in the area to be 75% complete by the end of the week. Yields are averaging about 15-20% better than expected, due to good fill and big heads. The area is averaging about 50-55 bushels per acre. He said while protein is a little lower this year, there is a lot of variability. Test weights are great, averaging 63.5 pounds. The area didn’t have much disease and they did see some fungicide application. He estimates that they will be finished in 12 days, assuming they don’t receive rains.

Martin Kerschen, who farms in Sedgwick and Reno Counties, reports that his harvest began on Saturday, June 13. He says they are pretty happy with harvest and their yields, which have been near 70 bushels per acre. The fields that were sprayed with fungicide are a few days behind the ones that weren’t sprayed, so they haven’t started cutting their best fields yet. The weather has been good for harvest, with dry and windy conditions, but they would like a rain soon to help their fall crops. While many people have cut back their wheat acres to switch to other crops, he hasn’t. “We’ve made as much money on wheat as we have on corn and soybeans over the past few years,” he said.

Kevin Kelly from Two Rivers Coop in Arkansas City in Cowley County reports that harvest began on June 5 and will be complete by the coming weekend. This is much earlier than last year, when they weren’t finished until the last week of July. He said test weights have been high, averaging 63 pounds. Yields are higher than expected as they had good grain fill.

Jill Zimmerman who farms in Cowley County reports that harvest is going really well. Their wheat is yielding 45-80 bushels per acre, with some even higher than that. She said protein is ranging from 9-12%, and test weight is averaging 64-66 pounds. She says it has been a really good year.

The 2020 Harvest Report is brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association. To follow along with harvest updates on Twitter, use # wheatharvest20. Tag us at @kansaswheat on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to share your harvest story and photos.


The latest crop progress report shows the hot and dry weather in the Midwest has yet to impact major crop conditions. It has though significantly dropped the top and subsoil moisture. Winter wheat harvest continues to roll on pace with it’s five year average doubling week to week.

Corn planting is considered complete by NASS across the country. Thus the crop progress report this week starts off with corn emergence, which like planting, is nearly complete. 95% of the countries corn crop has emerged – 3% ahead of the five year average. Kansas has seen 95% corn emergence – an increase of 9% from the previous week. Nebraska has 98% corn emergence – just 2% ahead of the five year average. While several states are at the 98-99% emergence rate, only one state has reached 100% emergence. That is North Carolina which only needed 2% more to emerge from last week to reach 100%.

Nationally, the corn crop did see a slight drop in condition rating going from 75% good to excellent to 71% good to excellent. Kansas corn condition fell 6% from last week to 54% good to excellent. Nebraska’s corn rating fell 12% to 71% good to excellent. Pennsylvania still runs one of the strongest corn crops in the nation at 91% good to excellent, improving 1% since last week.

The soybean planting report was still released this week, but it is quickly nearing the 100% mark. Nationally 93% of the soybean crop is planted, up 7% from last week and 5% ahead of the five year average. Nebraska inched 2% week to week to officially finish soybean planting. Kansas improved 10% week to week to 89% complete. That is 13% ahead of the five year average.

Soybean emergence continues 6% ahead of the five year average nationally at 81%. Nebraska soybean emergence is now rated at 94% – 10% ahead of the five year average. Kansas opened it’s lead on the five year average to 20% this week with 73% of the soybean crop already emerged. No state has hit the 100% emergence rating yet.

The national soybean condition is rated 72% good to excellent, equal with the rating a week ago. Nebraska soybeans dropped 4% from 82% yo 78% good to excellent. Kansas soybean rating fell 3% to 64% good to excellent. Iowa saw a large drop week to week on the soybean rating. Going from 82% good to excellent last week to 72% good to excellent this week.

Grain sorghum planting is continuing at a steady pace, up 15% from last week nationally to 79% good to excellent. Nebraska sorghum planting is 9% ahead of the five year average to 97% complete. National sorghum rating fell 7% to 48% good to excellent. Nebraska sorghum is rated 55% good to excellent.

Winter wheat is almost completely headed out. Nationally 91% of the crop is considered headed out. Nebraska is still lagging 7% from the five year average to 85%. Kansas is right on pace at 99% headed out. Montana is the furthest from being completely headed out at only 28%. That is up 23% from last week, but 19% behind the five year average.

Winter wheat harvest doubled week to week from 7% to 15% complete. Right on pace with the five year average. Kansas is 1% ahead of the five year average at 9% complete. Nebraska has yet to start winter wheat harvest. Texas is the furthest along with winter wheat harvest at 38% complete. Up 15% from last week and 16% ahead of the five year average for Texas.

The winter wheat crop is rated 50% good to excellent down 1% from a week ago and down 14% from a year ago. Kansas winter wheat is rated 45% good to excellent. That’s an increase of 3% from last week. Nebraska is rated 43% good to excellent. A drop of 23% from last week. Colorado is holding at 31% good to excellent, but 16% is still rated very poor. Oklahoma is the only other state with double digit very poor rating at 14% very poor. Oklahoma also has 46% of the winter wheat crop rated good to excellent.

Pasture and range condition is not fairing well in the heat and wind. Kansas pasture and range fell 6% to 49% good to excellent. Nebraska pasture and range also fell 6% to 66% good to excellent.

Topsoil and subsoil moisture both saw double digit drops week to week in several states. Kansas topsoil is now considered 47% adequate to surplus. Down 15% from last week. Nebraska topsoil moisture is rated 61% adequate to surplus down 16% from last week. New Mexico has the driest top soil with a 45% very short rating. Kansas subsoil moisture is rated 59% adequate to surplus down 9% from last week. Nebraska subsoil moisture is rated 74% adequate to surplus. That is down 12% from last week. Some state are still near saturated at the subsoil level. Alabama is rated 93% adequate to surplus for subsoil moisture.

See the full crop progress report here: https://downloads.usda.library.cornell.edu/usda-esmis/files/8336h188j/pk02cx87g/rx914b27v/prog2520.pdf

Clay Patton recaps the report here:


MANHATTAN, Kan. — Early on in the COVID-19 virus pandemic, it looked like agriculture might be an area that would maintain some semblance of normalcy. Farmers and ranchers tend to work in more solitary conditions than people working in suburban and urban office buildings and service industries, so would be less likely to get sick themselves. They could go on helping produce the world’s food supply.

That sense of security, if there was one, was short-lived however, with shifts in demand linked to closed restaurants and schools disrupting food supply chains, compounded by new coronavirus outbreaks among meat packing plant employees that resulted in temporary closures and more disruption to livestock marketing channels.

Using 2019 Kansas Farm Management Association members’ average net farm income as a baseline, a team of Kansas State University agricultural economists is estimating that net farm income in 2020 will fall from an average of $110,380 in 2019 to $14,358 in 2020, a drop of 87%.

The 2019 number was bolstered in large part by Market Facilitation Program payments provided to farmers to buffer the disruptive effects of trade disputes with other countries that were occurring prior to the pandemic.

Not all Kansas farms are KFMA members, but the data provides insight into the profitability and financial structure of Kansas agricultural producers.

“The COVID-19 virus has impacted nearly every aspect of life and Kansas agriculture has not been exempt,” said Gregg Ibendahl, farm management specialist with K-State Research and Extension.

He and colleagues Daniel O’Brien and Kevin Herbel recently authored A Preliminary Estimate of 2020 Kansas Net Farm Income. Even without considering the 2019 MFP payment, the decline would be 71%.

similar article looking more in-depth at the livestock sector was written by agricultural economist Glynn Tonsor.

Grain farms, which comprise about two-thirds of all KFMA operations, are expected to earn a lower net income than in 2019, but similar to 2019 without the MFP payment. Crop insurance and government program payments will help make up for a shortfall in grain prices.

The extension agricultural economists estimate that farms focused more heavily on livestock production – about one-third of KFMA farms – are expected to fare worst, with the average net farm income falling from $35,552 (without the MFP payment) to a negative $14,934, a decline of 142%.

The estimates do not take into account payments that might come from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on May 19.

The economists noted that at the beginning of 2020, Kansas farmers were coming off a year when net farm income had risen four years in a row.

“Producers were hopeful that 2020, with the trade agreement with China in place, could at least match the profitability of 2019,” Ibendahl wrote in the article. “However, the coronavirus has drastically altered those expectations.”

The authors, he said, provided the estimates to give farmers guidance about how the virus might affect their net farm income this year.

They estimate that most revenue sources – beef, milk, swine, corn, soybeans, wheat and grain sorghum — are expected to decline in 2020 compared with 2019, although less so in wheat and grain sorghum than the other commodities.

Offsetting the lower revenue in 2020 is a potential for higher government payments (primarily in the Price Loss Coverage program for some crops) and some lower expenses, especially for fertilizer and diesel fuel, Herbel said.

Even with the MFP payment, 18% of KFMA farms lost money in 2019. In 2020, an estimated 40% of those farms will lose money. Nearly 70% of farms will earn a net income below $50,000, which is far below the typical family living needs, Herbel said.

“This is expected to be a difficult year for nearly every Kansas producer,” Ibendahl said, but added that the analysis is not the end of the story.

In addition to the new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economy Security Act (CARES) and the CCC Charter Act have collectively committed to providing $16 billion in direct assistance to producers of non-specialty crops, livestock, dairy and specialty crops that have experienced a significant price loss between mid-January and mid-May and/ or face significant additional marketing costs.

The team plans to continue to follow developments and will update their estimates in coming months as the government programs are finalized.

More information about agricultural economics and the COVID-19 pandemic are available on www.agmanager.info. Other resources linked to living with COVID-19 are available on the K-State Research and Extension COVID-19 page.