The Buzz

Ag Week, Awesome Ale and a Good Time in Wellington. 

We’re wrapping up “National Ag Week” today, and the Kansas Department of Agriculture has just issued a report that says agricultural exports from this state reached a new record high in fiscal year 2011. More than $3.68 billion in ag exports were recorded in 2011 – shattering the previous record of $3.06 billion…

  • We don’t know whether some of Kansas’ artisan beers are part of that export number, but we appreciate the brewers who use wheat in their product. Odell’s Brewery,  Fort Collins, Col., has released a new beer called “Footprint,” so-named due to the regional footprint of the ingredients used to make this new ale, which come from the states in Odell’s trade area…
  • Featuring wheat from Kansas and Wyoming; hops and barley from Colorado; Missouri oak barrels; Idaho barley and hops, South Dakota barley and honey and Minnesota wild rice, “Footprint” also has cool ingredients such as green chiles and prickly pear, the beer is also available in these same states. Reviewers from the Coloradan newspaper give the beer a good grade, noting it is “…well-crafted and balanced.” …
  • Agriculture exports accounted for 31.8% of total Kansas exports, proving how important agriculture is to the state, says Dale Rodman, Kansas Secretary of Agriculture…
  • Jewell County saleThis week’s “Sale of the Week” features 160 acres of cropland and grass north of Jewell on Highway 14. The tract had 132.5 acres cropland and 25 acres grass and waterways. There are 21 acres of CRP, with the contract paying $849 per year through 2019. The buyer is to receive one-third of the 82 acres planted to wheat and will pay a third of the fertilizer cost. It sold for $350,000, or $2,200 per acre…
  • An important update from the Kansas Legislature this week: the city of Wellington may soon be able to claim the Wellington Wheat Festival as the official “Wheat Festival of Kansas.” A measure proclaiming the event as such has passed the House and is in the Senate, where it is expected to pass handily…
  • The annual event goes back many decades. And even with a name change, it will still have all of the same fun features, including street dance, carnival and wheat-related activities…
  • A Big Ol’ Buzz Salute to our friend Paul Penner, Hillsboro. He was elected to second vice-president of the National Association of Wheat Growers at the group’s annual meeting March 3. Penner, who operates a diversified grain farm in Marion County, is a past president of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and serves in numerous local and national leadership roles…
  • Mark your calendar for April 20. That’s when First District Congressman Tim Huelskamp will host a Farm Bill Field Hearing at the Magouirk Conference Center in Dodge City, beginning at 9 a.m. The Congressman says it will be an opportunity to let Kansans “…have an opportunity to have their voices heard.” More information here
  • The amount of wheat in storage in the U.S. changes rapidly each year, and unfortunately, this year’s change is bearish to wheat farmers. Oklahoma State University ag economist Kim Anderson says ending stocks of wheat in the 2012-13 marketing year (which ends in May) total 957 million bushels –up from 845 million bushels last year, and 730 million bushels the year before…
  • Things can change quickly, and they often do. Many farmers remember 2008, when prices soared following weather challenges around the world. Anderson says producers can lock in good prices right now…
  • Or if you’re feeling bullish, here’s Anderson’s advice: “… Producers must decide if they want to take advantage of the market by pricing some 2012 wheat now. Producers must also decide if they want to hold out for the higher prices that the odds are against.”
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