The Buzz

Farmland prices soar, wheat products as livestock feed, and misinformation from the greenies.

Welcome to “The Buzz,” a weekly feature by staff members of the Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas Association of Wheat Growers. Our aim is simple: to provide you with timely and interesting information on key ag-related topics and events.

  •  It’s no surprise to farmers that farmland values have surged to record highs, as theLand Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City reported last month in its quarterly Survey of Agricultural Credit Conditions. Cropland values in the Tenth District rose more than 25% and ranchland values, 14%. Nebraska posted the strongest gains, with irrigated and non-irrigated land values rising about 40% over a year ago…
  • Despite drought in some areas of the Tenth District, ag credit conditions remain strong. Loan repayment rates remain strong, with fewer requests for loan renewals and extensions. The Tenth District includes Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, northern New Mexico and western Missouri. Click here to read the entire report.
  • Are you the parent of a high-school senior who is pursuing an agriculture degree at one of the state’s universities or colleges? For the fourth year, the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers is sponsoring the Herb Clutter Memorial Scholarship, worth $500. Rules and an application for the scholarship, which celebrates the leadership legacy left by Mr. Clutter, is available here: Clutter Scholarship …
  • We hear that a few feedlots in south central Kansas are feeding Hard Red Winter to cattle. It makes some economic sense: wheat weighs more than corn or milo and can be cost-effective when its price is less than 110-115% of corn per bushels. An old article from Feed Lot Magazine suggests that four pounds of wheat can replace 4.5 pounds of corn or 5 pounds of milo in growing rations. In finishing rations, wheat should be limited to 30-50% of the grain, and with both rations, changes should be made slowly…
  • No doubt, drought has forced livestock producers to seek alternative feedstuffs. University of Missouri Extension specialist Eldon Cole suggests wheat straw can be good fodder for wintering cows, calves and yearlings. Producers can use 15-18 pounds of straw per day, along with 8-10 pounds of fair to poor quality grass hay, and 5-6 pounds of distillers grains. This would be suitable for 1,100-1,200 pound cows producing milk the first 90 days after calving, or dry, pregnant cows…
  • Far be it from us to judge the lifestyle choices made by Americans, but we have to take issue with the following article from the web site, “Natural News.” The article claims that America’s farm fields will soon be, “…carpet bombed with Vietnam-era Agent Orange chemical if Dow petition approved.” …
  • The chemical “Agent Orange” did contain 2,4-D…but the danger from “Agent Orange” came from dioxin, which was a part of the herbicide’s second ingredient, 2,4,5-T. Of course, 2,4-D has been a safe herbicide since 1946, and was re-registered by the EPA in 2005. It is one of the most common herbicides in the world. Natural News – which bills itself as a, “non-profit collection of public education websites covering topics that empower individuals to make positive changes in their health, environmental sensitivity, consumer choices and informed skepticism” – dropped the ball on this one.
  • The folks at Kansas Wheat wish you a Happy New Year, and a safe, healthy and prosperous 2012.

Questions? Comments? E-mail the author at bspiegel@kswheat.com

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