Kansas farmers continue with technology, persistence
The symbolic 25th billionth bushel of wheat in the past 100 years of Kansas farming was harvested recently near Colby and will be on display at the Kansas State Fair in September.
Mike Brown, co-owner of Solomon Creek Farms, caught the grain in a bushel basket as his son Tanner unloaded the combine into a grain cart.
During the past 100 years, better seed genetics, improved equipment, new management practices like no-till and crop rotations, and sheer determination have allowed Kansas farmers to produce more than 25 billion bushels of wheat, equal to more than 1 trillion commercial loaves of bread.
More on this story can be found at www.kswheat.com/news.php?id=723.
Senate looks at futures trading commission
Members of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee met Wednesday to begin the process of reauthorizing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) by receiving testimony from a wide range of industry participants.
Much of the concern expressed at the hearing centered on the apparent lack of transparency in the market, which allowed for events like the MF Global bankruptcy in 2011 and subsequent loss of customer funds.
Members of the Committee said they believe the CFTC should offer some form of protection for consumer-segregated funds.
Terry Duffy, executive at CME Group, warned, however, that any protective measures should not cause drastic changes in the market structure or increase expenses for customers, which could lead to a substantial decrease in participation in futures markets.
More from the hearing can be found on the comittee’s website at www.ag.senate.gov.
Fusarium head blight in several southeast states
Early reports indicate the potential for more problems with Fusarium head blight, commonly known as scab, this crop year.
The U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative, a public-private-government research collaboration to fight scab, reported this week that early reports show hot spots in the southeastern United States.
Signs of the disease have been noted in North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas.
The severity of outbreaks seems to be related primarily to weather, mitigated by the use of fungicides and resistant wheat varieties researchers have worked to develop in recent years.
More of the scab report and tools for growers are available online at www.scabusa.org/.