The Buzz

The Board of Trade, Paper from Straw and Honoring Dr. Gill. Plus, a Rooks County land sale.

More than 155 years after it began, the days could be numbered for the Kansas City Board of Trade – the world’s epicenter for Hard Red Wheat price discovery. This week, the KCBOT was bought by the CME Group, for a reported $126 million. As part of its purchase agreement, the CME has committed to keeping the Kansas City trading floor open for at least six months beyond the close of sale, which is expected to be by the end of the year, according to the Kansas City Star

  • Our own Justin Gilpin, who spent three years trading grain in the pit of the KCBOT, says the probable end of the Board of Trade is unfortunate, but foreseeable. Electronic trading and globalization of the commodities trade has led to the development of faster, more modern and efficient methods of exchange. Incidentally, CME Group owns the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade.…
  •  Years ago, there were a couple of companies intended to set up shop in Kansas to make “boards” out of wheat straw. Now, a Chinese company – YFY Jupiter – with ties to Kansas City has learned a way to make paper pulp using waste straw. The product, called “nPulp,” is made mainly in China for use there, but there appear to be opportunities in the U.S. Midwest, where waste straw (such as wheat straw) is fairly common…
  • The nPulp process uses a different enzymatic process to break down the straw and is supposed to be friendly to the environment. The pulp is used to make paper products, cushion for packing materials and corrugated packaging, according to the company’s web site…
  • A Big Ol’ Buzz Salute to our friend Bikram Gill, head of the Wheat Genetics Resource Center at Kansas State University and distinguished professor of plant pathology, who

    Dr. Bikram Gill, left, receiving the National Friendship Award from the People’s Republic of China last month in Beijing.

    last month received the National Friendship Award from the People’s Republic of China. This is the highest award for foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to the country’s economic and social progress. Dr. Gill was one of 50 scientists from 22 countries to be honored…

  • Dr. Gill’s contributions to China’s wheat breeding programs are many. He first visited China in 1987 to teach wheat genetic workshops at three universities; in 1996 K-State and China’s Nanjing University won a $1.6 million McKnight Foundation Award for promoting agricultural development in China, and scientists from both universities have worked to discover new sources of resistance to Fusarium Head Blight. He continues to work with Nanjing University on a number of projects…
  • You know, of course, that right now there is no genetically modified wheat in the world food supply. However, you should also know that the efficacy of GM wheat is being studied around the globe. Early results from a test in Australia show that GM wheat increased yields as much as 30% over conventional varieties – and that cannot be ignored, according to Bruce Lee, director of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Food Futures Flagship program…
  • These were greenhouse trials, so much testing is needed. However, given that global wheat yield increases average less than 1 bushel per acre per year, and that Australia’s farmers in particular face tough growing conditions, this breakthrough could signal a promising future for GM wheat. In fact, CSIRO, Bayer Crop Science and the Australian Grains Research and Development Corp. are working together on GM wheat research…
  • Speaking of new wheat varieties, a new release by Washington State University possesses characteristics that act as a northern spring wheat, but is actually a Hard Red Winter wheat. The variety “Sprinter” – think spring and winter combined – can be planted in the fall, but will take off in the spring like a traditional spring wheat. It’s quality is typical of a northern spring wheat, which usually fetches about a dollar more per bushel than does Hard Red Winter wheat…
  • Finally, in this week’s Land Sale, we focus on 320 acres of good cropland northeast of Plainville, which sold Sept. 27. The tract rolled a bit and had a couple of different soil types, according to auctioneer Scotty Legere from Farm and Ranch Realty, Colby. But bidding was active, and an out-of-state buyer paid $768,000 ($2,400 per acre) for the tract. Interestingly, the tract fetched a good price despite the fact that possession won’t occur until after the 2013 wheat crop is harvested…
  • Legere says the land market remains extremely competitive.
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