Western Kansas

By Richard C. Snell

Barton County Extension Agriculture Agent

Would you like to make some money?

That has been hard to do on the farm the last couple of years. Actually, it almost always has been difficult. Lately, it has been almost impossible. Well, I won't make any guarantees, but if you will take the time to attend our Agricultural Profitability Conference, in Great Bend, Nov. 19, I think I can improve your chances.

The Barton County Extension Council and Kansas State University are teaming up to bring this program to you, at the Holiday Inn, in Great Bend. It will begin at 8:30 a.m., with registration and coffee, and will adjourn at 3:30 p.m. The cost will be $15 in advance, which includes lunch and handout material. Checks can be made out to the Barton County Crops and Livestock Committee.

Speakers and topics from the Department of Extension Agricultural Economics, at K-State, will include: James Mintert, Livestock Market Situation and Outlook; Bill Tierney, Grain Market Situation and Outlook; Terry Kastens, Buying and Owning Farmland; Dan O'Brien, Grain Price Benchmarks and Marketing Strategies; Rodney Jones --Cattle Management Strategies in Response to Environmental and Economic Factors; Kevin Dhuyvetter, The Seasonality of Agricultural Practices; and Art Barnaby, What's New in Crop Insurance for 2002-2003?

Now, how is that for a line-up? I think it will be worth your time and money.

There will be a Small Grains Forage Field Day, Nov. 7, at the K-State Ag Research Center, in Hays.

The focus will be on wheat, rye and triticle for feed. Carlyle Thompson has done a lot of research on this subject and many of you are familiar with his outstanding work. He will have some good plots to look at.

Winter survival of small grain cultivars varies each year, depending primarily on soil moisture and weather conditions, said Thompson, a Kansas State University soil scientist. "Last winter was a tough winter, separating the men from the boys," Thompson said. "We want to share the results from last year to show the differences between varieties."

This topic, along with several others, will be presented at the field day, at the K-State Agricultural Research Center, on the south edge of Hays, Nov. 7, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants will meet at the auditorium before being bussed to three sites.

Sponsored by the center and Fort Hays State University, the demonstrations can help producers develop useful management techniques.

"Farmers are in business to make money," Thompson said. "Small grains grazing is just one example of how to make a profit. There are a number of things small grain forages have to offer in Kansas."

Topics for the field day include grazing and haying potential, plant height and fall seeding. Blends of new entries of wheat, triticale and rye varieties from Canada, Poland, Texas and California will be discussed for their effectiveness, in Kansas climates and soils.

Along with Thompson, Keith Harmoney, K-State range scientist, and Jim Shroyer, Extension crop production specialist, will give presentations. A panel discussion of local farmers will follow a complimentary lunch.

Reservations can be made at 785-625-3425 ext. 0 by Nov. 5.

Give me a call, at 620-793-1910, if you live in Barton or one of the counties this side of Hays and would like a ride to the field day.

On Friday, Nov. 1, Fort Hays State University will be holding it's annual Ag Outlook Conference, at the Memorial Union Ballroom, on the campus.

They have some top notch speakers coming. I have been to it before and it is quite good. They also feed you a good prime rib, at lunch.

The headline speaker this year is Rich Pottorff, chief economist for Doane Agricultural Services. Many of you hear him on Agri-Talk radio, from time to time. He will speak on "Economic and Political Realities in Agriculture."

Like always, they will have Andrew Gottschalk, R.J. O'Brien, talk on the grain and livestock situation and outlook. They also have Bob Wilson, market analyst with HedgersEdge, with Gottschalk.

The other speaker will be from the American Coalition for Ethanol discussing the future of non-food uses for ag products.

The cost is $45 in advance by Oct. 28 for lunch and the sessions or $35 without the lunch. The late fee is $45 and will not include lunch. So, you have to sign-up early to get the prime rib.

If you plan to go, give me a call and we might share a ride.

This year's new look Kansas Commodity Classic will be Nov. 12 and 13, in Wichita.

It is being sponsored by the Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing, along with the corn, sorghum and wheat grower organizations.

Day one will be a ag industry tour and day two the sessions. We have brochures at the office. Registration is free, but on a limited basis.

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