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Black gold pumps green into economy

By Lacey Newlin

Things have changed a little since Jed Clampett first struck oil on television in the early 1960s. With the rising cost of operating a farm, especially in the midst of a drought, the term “oil boom” has become a safety net for agriculture. Rather than financing a mansion with a cement pond in Beverly Hills, oil strikes have kept many family farms afloat during trying times of late.


According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, the cost of production has shot through the roof. In 2007, the census reported $241.1 billion were spent on farming expenses. That number increased by 36.4 percent in 2012, totaling $328.9 billion American farmers spent to keep their operation going. These numbers are only expected to increase.


With the rising cost of raising a crop and purchasing cows, it’s no wonder the average farmer’s age keeps going up. The average age of the primary farm operator has risen from 50.5 years of age in 1982 to 58.3 years as of 2012. The 2012 census also indicated only 10,714 farmers in the U.S. are under age 25.


Some parts of the United States, like Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota and Montana, among others, have been lucky in that the existence of oil and gas has helped to alleviate these two problems by some measure.


“It has really made a lot of good paying jobs,” said one farmer. “These young men can come home, back to the farm and can stay and raise their family instead of going to a city and getting a job in a different profession.” [Read More]



USDA continues farm bill implementation with provisions to help farmers manage risk

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced continued progress in implementing provisions of the 2014 farm bill [Read More]

Momentum remains strong for U.S. pork, beef exports

U.S. pork and beef exports maintained their strong momentum in May, with export volumes for both products exceeding last year’s totals and value increasing by double digits, acco [Read More]

USDA to invest in Red River Basin conservation effort

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson recently announced targeted conservation funding of up to $50 million over [Read More]

MU offers risk management programs for livestock producers

The University of Missouri Extension and the USDA’s Risk Management Agency will offer four free livestock risk management programs across the state this summer. Th [Read More]

Climate change provides good growing conditions for charcoal rot in soybeans

With over 100 diseases which can attack soybean crops, why would charcoal rot rise to the top of the most wanted list? Universit [Read More]

Scientists complete chromosome-based draft of the wheat genome

Several Kansas State University researchers were essential in helping scientists assemble a draft of a genetic blueprint of bread wheat, also known as commo [Read More]

Ken Root

Ken Root

The next generation of agricultural communicators: Ready to lead

By Ken Root My abstract view of the generation preparing to enter adult society has been skewed by what I see on television and

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Sara Wyant

Sara Wyant

When will USDA offices be able to provide 'one-stop' shopping?

By Sara Wyant Sometime in the future, producers should be able to use precision technology to collect all of the data used in their

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Jennifer M Latzke

Jennifer M Latzke

Show your #FairThanks

By Jennifer M. Latzke Ribbons and trophies and banners and premiums—oh my. Whenever we tell the story of youth programs, we tend to focus on

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Kylene Scott

Kylene Scott

Council panel looks ahead to the future of livestock industry

By Kylene Scott “The future obviously holds a lot of unpredictability,” Tyler Chafee, senior

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Holly Martin

Holly Martin

Brownback pushes back on "federal overreach"

By Holly Martin Walking among the implements and new services on display at the 3i Show, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback had the chance to

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Larry Dreiling

Larry Dreiling

LaPolice out to challenge incumbent

By Larry Dreiling Editor’s note: High Plains Journal is taking a look at the Big First primary between two-term incumbent Tim Huelskamp, once a

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Jennifer Carrico

Jennifer Carrico

Kansas auctioneers top World Championship

By Jennifer Carrico Calling out bids, finding the buyer and executing the sale are all important parts of being a good auctioneer. These professionals

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Doug Rich

Doug Rich

Purple reign: A splash of lavender in the heartland

By Doug Rich Lavender was not their first choice, but it turned out to be the best choice for Jack and Kathy Wilson. They

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Trent Loos

Trent Loos

Head in the sand, not your hand in the air

By Trent Loos “Trent, are you preaching to the choir again?” Do you have any idea how many times I hear that? Well, quite honestly

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Jerry Nine

Jerry Nine

Bidding goodbye to a longtime friend

By Jerry Nine (June 23)—We lost our good friend Melvin Wilson this past week. He had just turned 95 years old. But old was

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