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Another important date

By Richard C. Snell

Barton County Extension Agent, agriculture

Kansas

Last week I gave you an important date for television changes. Another important date is set for Jan. 29. On that day, we are holding an agricultural profitability conference, which I will discuss, if you read on down the page in the next segment. That's also the date we celebrate Kansas statehood from back in 1861. In addition, it's also when oral farm land leases have to be given written notice for termination.

Every state is different, but, in Kansas you have to give written notice to the current tenant at least 30 days prior to March 1 if you wish to end the lease. Usually that's Jan. 29 unless we have a leap year.

There's nothing magical about it. You just need to include the legal description and that the lease will expire on March 1 and you are not renewing it. It's always best to send it registered or certified mail.

I like to encourage people to have a written lease and then you can start and finish the lease on any day of the year you want and it spells out all the terms you want.

Since a change in the law in 2002, oral pasture leases also end on March 1 and notice to terminate has to be served by Jan. 29.

If you have any questions about this or would like a sample letter of termination, stop by your county extension office.

Don't miss our meeting in Lyons

We are teaming up with Rice County and several other counties to host an agricultural profitability conference on Jan. 29.

Topics addressed by K-State Agricultural Economists will be: The Grain Outlook, The 2008 Farm Bill, Fertilizer Prices and Breakeven Points, Crop Insurance Changes, Managing Risk Using Ag Manager.info and the Internet.

The event will be held at the Rice County Extension Office Meeting Room, 701 E. Main in Lyons. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. The actual program begins at 10 a.m. Lunch will be served and we adjourn at 3:30 p.m.

Your costs for the program is only $10. Please pre-register by Jan. 26, so that we can get a count for meals. You can pay at the door but either call 620-257- 5131 or 620-793-1910 to reserve your spot. You can also e-mail fmiller@ksu.edu or rsnell@oznet.ksu.edu.

More on television changes

Last week I didn't have space to finish all I wanted to share with you on the television changes. So, I will do that now.

I can remember when just having a television at all was a big deal. Then came color and that was big. Then came cable and satellite and then High Definition. In with all that, we have VCR, DVD and now DVR.

Do I have to wait until after Feb. 17 to watch DTV? No, digital television is available now. If you watch over-the-air television today, you should be able to receive all or most of your local stations' digital signals if you have a DTV receiver. You may view high definition and multicast programming from your local stations. Check your local program listings or contact your local TV stations to find out more about the digital television available now. The FCC's special website, www.dtv.gov, has more information on digital television, or call 1-888-225-5322 (TTY: 1-888-835-5322).

Will the Feb. 17 date for the end of full-power analog television broadcasting be pushed back? Federal law mandates that Feb. 17 is the last day of full-power analog television broadcasting. Government agencies, industry, public interest groups, and other organizations are working hard to make sure that the deadline is met and that everyone is prepared for the end of full-power analog television broadcasting.

If I have an older analog television, will I have to throw it away after Feb. 17? No. A digital-to-analog converter box will allow you to continue using your existing analog TV to watch over-the-air digital broadcasts. You do not need to get rid of your existing analog TV. In addition, analog sets should continue to work as before if connected to a subscription service such as cable or satellite TV. Also, analog sets should continue to work with gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and similar products that you use now.

If I want a new TV, will I have to buy a High Definition TV (HDTV) to watch digital broadcast television after the transition? No. It is important to understand that the DTV transition is a transition from analog broadcasting to digital broadcasting. It is not a transition from analog broadcasting to High Definition broadcasting. Digital broadcasting allows for High Definition broadcasts, but High Definition is not required, and you do not need to buy a HDTV to watch digital TV.

Cable TV systems are not required to convert, but must-carry rules will require local stations to be carried in analog for at least three years after the over-the- air cutoff, until early 2012. Must-carry rules requiring digital-only subchannels have been a source of contention.

Will they change the deadline date? I have heard that either the money for coupons has dried up or there aren't enough converter boxes. We have to assume that since many stations have already converted, you need to be ready by Feb. 17.

I am on satellite, but have one extra television that we have hooked to the antennae. This is in case the satellite reception is lost in a rain or snow storm, which has happened. I hooked up the converter box and it works great. Like Roger Cornish says, if I can do it, so can you.



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