agriculture

AgriLife Today, flickr Creative Commons

Three Kansas schools are teaming up to create a post-secondary degree program focused on using small unmanned aerial systems, or drones, in agriculture.

The goal is to improve the technical and analytical skill sets of the next generation of farm managers, technicians and crop advisors.

Fort Hayes State University is partnering with Hutchinson Community College and Emporia State University to develop curricula focused on the use of drones in precision agriculture.

United Soybean Board / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. symbolically signed on to the biggest global trade partnership in history Thursday morning local time in New Zealand. Harvest Public Media’s Kristofor Husted reports on next steps.

The Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is expected to open up new markets for American agricultural exports, especially soybeans and beef. But it’s controversial.

James MK, flickr Creative Commons

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City says farm income has taken a sharp drop in the region, and that drop is affecting the state budget in Kansas.

State officials have sharply lowered forecasts for tax collections. Raney Gilliland, director of the Kansas Legislative Research Department, says the farm income drop isn’t really affecting income tax collections, but it is giving farmers less money to spend and that hurts sales tax collections.

neetalparekh, flickr Creative Commons

State laws requiring labels on food containing genetically modified ingredients would be banned under a bill passed in the U.S. House Thursday.

The bill’s sponsor is Kansas Republican Mike Pompeo. He says genetically engineered foods are safe and if someone doesn’t want to eat them, they can choose products voluntarily labeled GMO-free.

AgriLife Today, flickr Creative Commons

The return of mostly dry, hot weather this weekend has jump started the stalled winter wheat harvest.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that 8 percent had been harvested as of Sunday. Normally by this late in the season, about 33 percent of the wheat is in the bin. Last year at this time 21 percent had already been cut.

About 51 percent of the wheat in Kansas is now mature.

Wheat harvest is now in full swing across most of Kansas, with the possible exception of northwest Kansas and the northern tier counties.

A new monthly survey of bankers suggests the economy is slowing down in rural areas of Kansas, Missouri and eight other states.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says falling crop prices have farmers spending less, and crop prices are expected to continue declining this fall.

The overall economic index for the region fell into negative territory to 48.3 in August from July's 51.8.

The survey indexes range from 0 to 100. Any score below 50 suggests decline in the months ahead.

Goss said bankers are not very optimistic about the next few months.

A new government forecast says Kansas farmers are on track to harvest 38 percent more corn than a year ago.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service reports the state's corn crop should in at about 525 million bushels.

Farmers are cutting 4.2 million acres of corn this season, which is up 6 percent from last year. Yields are also far better at 125 bushels per acre. That's 29 bushels an acre more than a year ago.

Rain Brings Needed Relief To Kansas Crops

Jul 30, 2013

A new government report shows recent rain and cooler temperatures are relieving the stress on Kansas farm crops.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service reports that producers in many areas of central Kansas saw beneficial amounts of rain in the past week.

Central Kansas had the biggest improvement in topsoil moisture, although eastern and western sections also showed some improvement. Topsoil moisture is still in short supply across 56 percent of Kansas.

Despite Recent Rains, Kansas Crops and Pastures Suffer

Jul 23, 2013

Spotty rain showers across much of the state this week were too little to improve drought conditions in western Kansas.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that dryland farm crops and pastures are still suffering from lack of rain. The agency said it has received reports of failed corn and sorghum crops in areas missed by the rain, as well as fields damaged by hail or wind.

GVL Polymers / GVL Polymers

GVL Polymers Inc., will soon open a plant in Kansas, just north of Newton. 

The company plans to build a 50,000-square-foot facility in Hesston and says it will employ more than 20 full-time workers within its first year. GVL's main plant and headquarters are in Litchfield, Minn., where it employees 40 people. The Hesston location will be the company's second plant.

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