• P.J. Griekspoor

    Some Ethanol Stuff Suddenly Crystal Clear

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 20, 2012

    I had one of the world's most enlightening conversations today with ICM's CEO David Vander Griend. He was talking about why the auto industry is fighting E-15 and why it's reasonable that they are doing that. It is, Vander Griend said, not about the 10 percent or the 15 percent that the public widely understands is ethanol. It is about what the oil industry puts in the 90 percent or the 85 percent. What has happened, he said, is that refiners quickly figured out how to profit from the…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    New Immigration Stance Helps Labor Issue; Legislation Needed

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 16, 2012

    Some help for young people brought here as children by their parents comes in this week's announcement of a temporary pause in any deportation proceedings against these innocent young people. But it is just a tiny signal of a start, not the action that needs to be taken on comprehensive immigration reform. It's hard to believe that some people are hard-hearted enough to want to punish these young people for the decisions that their parents made up to three decades ago. I have been…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Dairy Farm Visit Brings New Appreciation for Milk

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 14, 2012

  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Wheat Harvest Exciting Stuff When You Are Almost 3 Years Old

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 12, 2012

    It was several months ago that I first discovered that Galen, my partner Dave's little grandson, has a love of big machines -- tractors, backhoes, graders -- you name it and he thinks it's pretty cool. He lives in Lawrence and recently came to visit. Since it's wheat harvest time, letting him experience a ride in the combine to cut some wheat seemed like a good idea, Sedgwick County farmer Mick Rausch was finishing up the last of his harvest at a field near his home in Garden Plain; a field…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Wheat Harvest Stalls; Adventure Beckons

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 5, 2012

    Most of you already know I'm a pretty enthusiastic grandma who tries to introduce her urban grandkids to life on the farm every chance I get. Never is that more true than during wheat harvest when a chance for a day of "grandma adventure" is becoming legendary in the family. A couple of weeks ago, I got a chance to introduce grandson, Lewis, to a day of meeting farmers and climbing on combines as we got ready for harvest. This weekend, it was time to take his cousins out for a similar…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Welcome Rain Creates Wheat Harvest Delay

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 4, 2012

    As a general rule, nobody is happy with a wheat harvest rain delay. The record-early harvest of 2012 is an exception. When widespread thunderstorms moved across the state on Wednesday and Thursday and high temperatures dropped from the mid-90s to the low 70s, farmers missed by the accompanying hail just breathed a sigh of relief and took a deep breath of fresh air. And those hit by hail ranging from nickel to tennis ball size checked the damage, called the insurance adjuster and drove…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Wheat Fields Dot Landscape Amidst City Growth

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 3, 2012

    Driving from the sprawling wheat fields of west-central and western Kansas home into Wichita gave me a unique sense of just how much, little by little, the city is nibbling away at the wide open spaces of Sedgwick County. I can clearly remember when I first moved to Wichita in 1990 how quickly I left the city behind when I headed out 21st Street toward Cheney Reservoir. Maize Road was the edge of the country; 119th and 135th Streets were gravel roads. Today, Wichita's sprawl is evident as…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Wheat Looking Good as Friends Tackle Harvest

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 2, 2012

    Lawrence Weber is pretty confident that he has good wheat this year. "I'm 76 years old and I think this may just be the best wheat I've ever raised," the Sedgwick County farmer said as he took a break to dump a load of wheat from the combine into a waiting grain cart. "This field is kind of slow cutting because it lodged a little and I'm having to go pretty low to pick up the heads." Weber said his wife has been too busy keeping up with the harvest in a pair of farm trucks to compile the…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Earliest Wheat Harvest In Memory

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 1, 2012

    Sedgwick County farm wife Virginia Smarsh says she has been amazed at how early the wheat crop on the farm she works with her husband, Alan, is ready for harvest. "My dad died this month, He was 95 and he told me the earliest he ever remembered cutting wheat was June 6," she said. "But its ready and it's looking good -- probably the best we have had in at least a couple of years." That's in spite of the fact that they didn't apply fungicide to combat this year's heavy infestation of rust…

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