agriculture

Flying east to west over Kansas, the land transforms from lush green to desert brown. Rectangular farm plots fill in with emerald circles, the work of center-pivot irrigation.

Outside Garden City, in the middle of one of those circles, Dwane Roth scoops up soil to reveal an inconspicuous PVC pipe. It’s a soil moisture probe that tells Roth exactly how much water his crops need. The device is one of many new technologies designed to help farmers make the most of every drop.

“All that you have to do is open up your app,” said Roth. “It’s going to tell you, you don’t need to irrigate or you’re going to need to apply an inch within  six days.”

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Industrial hemp is coming to Kansas, but first the Department of Agriculture has to figure out how to regulate it.

Tyson Foods Inc.

For about 10 years Laura Krier has lived in Concordia, Kansas, a small town that she’s seen get only smaller.

Without some kind of economic development, she fears things it will only get worse.

Courtesy of USDA

China has announced its intent to add additional tariffs to 106 U.S. products, including several of Kansas’ top agricultural exports.

Derek Gavey / flickr Creative Commons

Meant to fund the federal government through early September, the $1.3 trillion bill signed by President Donald Trump last week also includes money and changes for ag-related programs beyond the “grain-glitch” fix.

Some notable highlights include:

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Congress has passed a $1.3 trillion spending bill that’ll keep the federal government running. In that package, which President Donald Trump signed on Friday, is a fix for a troublesome provision for some grain businesses.

Passed in last year’s tax overhaul, the provision allows farmers to deduct up to 20 percent of their earnings from selling crops — but only to cooperatives. That threatens businesses that aren’t co-ops but also buy and sell commodities like corn, soybeans and wheat, including large companies like Cargill and Bunge to small, local grain elevators.

Youtube

Derek Klingenberg is kind of a farmer celebrity.

His YouTube channel draws more than 70,000 subscribers for ag-themed pop-music parodies, trombone covers and, more recently, cow art made with satellites.

This week, the Peabody, Kansas, farmer took his cow art to the next level, or altitude. He posted a video showing his cows to form a giant “Hi” as seen from the heavens.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

When a man places 40 dozen eggs on the conveyor in the check-out line at the grocery store, it begs the question: What’s he going to do with all of them?

This happened to Kim Becker in Ames, Iowa. The man’s answer left her so gobsmacked, she posted it on Facebook:

Swine Genetics International (SGI) is about 20 minutes from that store.

“That could have been me or it could have been a number of people here,” SGI Chief of Operations Michael Doran says about the supermarket run.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media, File Photo

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it wants feedback on how to get a certain segment of Americans out of poverty and off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps.

USDA / flickr Creative Commons

Since its inception over a decade ago, the Department of Homeland Security has had authority over the $1.3 billion National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, or NBAF, under construction on the campus of Kansas State University.

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