The Buzz

 Ag Week, an Ag Boom, and Terror in Harveyville.

Today’s “Buzz” is late, because we’re at the Commodity Classic in Nashville, Tenn. We hope to have summaries of some of the key presentations at this annual get-together of the nation’s wheat, soybean, sorghum and corn growers; until then, here are gleanings from this week in agriculture…

  • Next week is “Kansas Ag Week,” Governor Sam Brownback has proclaimed. A variety of activities will be sponsored by various agriculture groups and the Kansas Department of Agriculture to commemorate the week; these include a Statehouse food drive, social media campaign; ag-related announcements in schools and an awards ceremony for the Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom postcard art contest
  • Kansas produces nearly $5 billion in ag exports each year and has 28.2 million acres of cropland, the second-most in the nation… 
  • Agriculture is one of the few bright lights in the American economy, and Bill Conerly, a writer for Forbes, believes the light will shine for a long time to come. Conerly says global food output must continue to grow, especially as the diets of folks in developing countries continues to demand more luxurious (to them) foods, like meat…
  • In an article titled, “The Coming Boom in Agriculture,” Conerly writes: “…I doubt that global agricultural production will keep pace with the demand that will occur at current price levels. So prices will rise. Not every single year, but on average over the next couple of decades, look for higher and higher grain prices.” Interesting food for thought…
  • Incidentally, Conerly opines that a farmland bubble is not gonna happen. He thoughtfully concludes that recent run-ups in land prices are due to cash-laden farmers investing in the one commodity they know is a good investment: farmland. Bubbles, he writes, occur when speculators invest in the “trendy” investment. That’s not happening much in the farmland market right now…
  • Our “Land Sale of the Week” features three tracts totaling 395 acres in Clay County, near the old town of Fact. Raymond Bott Realty and Auction had the sale, which was Feb. 18. All three farms featured Crete and Hobbs soils with gently rolling slopes. Tract 1, 160 acres, had 128 acres terraced cropland planted to wheat; the balance in creek and timber. Buyer was to receive $55 per acre cash rent. Tract 1 sold for $450,000 ($2,812.50 per acre). Tract 2, 160 acres, had 111 acres cropland with the rest in grass meadow, waterways, an old farmstead and timber. The cropland was open for spring crops. Tract 2 sold for $415,000 ($2,593.75 per acre). Tract 3, 75 acres, is all hay meadow, with fence and pond. It sold for $132,500 ($1,767 per acre)…
  • Auctioneer Raymond Bott says nearly 200 folks attended the sale, forcing a change in sale venue. Interest was in the land was very high – simply because,”those farms were going to be sold that day,” he says. In other words, it wasn’t just the quality of the land, it’s that land doesn’t change hands very often, and when it does, there is a bunch of competition for that land…
  • A final thought as we close this week’s column. Every year, the lives of many Kansans are turned upside down due to the damage Mother Nature wreaks upon their homes, businesses, friends and relatives…this week, the community of Harveyville, in eastern Kansas, was ravaged by a tornado small in size, but hit the town directly…
  • We at Kansas Wheat want all of you to be wary of these awesome storms, to prepare for them with severe weather kits, including a radio, clear route to safe passage, possible some clothes and food packed away at the safe passage, and above all take these seriously. The Harveyville tornado was deadly, responsible for the deaths of two people. Prayers for the families and victims of the Harveyville tornado, and more prevention tips here.
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