The Buzz

Optimism runs rampant at Western Farm Show.

Though the first day of the Western Farm Show (held Feb. 24-26 in Kansas City) was cold and rainy, farmers' enthusiasm could not be dampened, according to exhibitors we visited with. Ample moisture and high crop prices are fueling unprecedented optimism in the farm sector.

  • At Great Plains, the company's new air planters are selling quite well, according to one sales representative, who declined to be named. The planter line's success fuels speculation that lots more corn acres will be planted this spring…
  • Meanwhile, Landoll's brilliant blue lineup of tillage equipment also is a hit with customers, according to Jamie Meier, one of the company's tillage spokespersons. Landoll, based in Marysville, unveiled in 2006 a new tandem disk and the To The Max harrow. Meier says Landoll isn't done yet; new agriculture products will be rolled out at the fall farm shows…
  • Another observation from the Western Farm Show: for grain producers, more emphasis is being placed on managing fertility this year. With conditions looking great for optimum corn, sorghum and soybean production and pricing opportunities, agronomists are working closer than ever with farmers to apply the right nutrients to optimize yield…
  • In other words, if you haven't taken soil samples for land being planted to corn or grain sorghum, do it. If your soil is deficient in macro- or micro-nutrients, this year could be the year it really pays to correct those deficiencies…
  • The annual Commodity Classic took place last week in Tampa, Florida. This is the first year that the National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates joined the corn and soybean groups. Kansas had a good showing at this year's event: John Thaemert, a wheat grower from Sylvan Grove, became president of NAWG and Ron Suppes, a wheat producer from Scott City, took over the USWA. Meanwhile, Jerry McReynolds, Woodston, was elected secretary–treasurer of the NAWG…
  • Speaking of Kansas people, Jerry Brown, Haddam, has been named an alternate to USDA's National Honey Board for region 2. Brown will remain an alternate for three years, beginning April 1. The NHB is overseen by the Agricultural Marketing Service and is charged with working to increase honey consumption in the U.S. and overseas…
  • The Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service released its annual sheep and lamb inventory report last month. Kansas inventory of all sheep and lambs is up 7% from last year, totaling 107,000 head. Breeding sheep, at 77,000 head, is up 18% above Jan. 1, 2006…
  • All meat goats and kids in Kansas was up 6% from 2006, with 3,500 head. The state's wool production totaled 449,000 pounds from 63,000 head, for a total value of $157,000.
TAGS: USDA
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