The Buzz

Dakota Beef sells northwest Kansas elevator chain.

Dakota Beef, the nation's leading certified organic beef company, sold the rights to buy several northwest Kansas grain elevators to Goodland-based Frontier Ag. Dakota Beef had planned to store organic grain in the elevators formerly owned by Midwest Cooperative, headquartered in Quinter. But there isn't enough organic grain grown in the region to fill up the grain silos, Dakota Beef chief executive officer Scott Lively told the Web site, www.Meatingplace.com last week…

The sale brings to an abrupt end Dakota Beef's brief flirtation with Kansas; it had even considered buying a feedlot in northwest Kansas at which to finish organic cattle …

Brad Cowan, general manager of Goodland's Frontier Ag, says Dakota Beef had never sealed the deal to purchase the Midwest Grain elevators and that Frontier Ag bought the contract to purchase them, closing on the contract Dec. 28…

The purchase of Midwest's elevators in Studley, Morland, Penokee, Hill City, Bogue, Ogallah, Wakeeney, Collyer, Quinter, Grainfield, Park and Boda completes a year in which Frontier also merged with Oakley-based CoAg…

Interestingly, 12 years ago, the three cooperatives pursued a merger agreement, which failed, Cowan says...

The Kansas Graziers Association will hold its annual Winter Grazing Conference Jan. 19 at the Assaria Lutheran Church. The grassroots organization will feature Gary Kilgore, who plans to talk about forage management, and Marquette farmer Brad Windholz, whose topic is stockpiling forages to reduce winter feeding costs…

The conference lasts from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $25 per person. Call 785-363-7377 to register, or log onto www.kansasruralcenter.org/calendar.html for information…

Production began Dec. 24 on the state's largest ethanol plant, Arkalon Ethanol, just north of Liberal. At full capacity, the plant will produce 110 million gallons per year; it should produce as much as 300,000 gallons of ethanol by the end of January…

The plant will reuse distillers grains; it also will sequester carbon dioxide emissions and sell them to Chaparral Energy, to be used in oil field exploration…

That brings the number of working ethanol plants in Kansas to 11, with nearly 330 million gallons of production capacity per year. At full capacity, the plants use 157 million bushels of grain sorghum and corn.

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