• Rod Swoboda

    Climate Change From A Faith-based Perspective

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on April 7, 2014

    About 80 people gathered in a church at Ames on a recent Sunday afternoon to listen to a panel discussion on agriculture and climate change. Moderator Mike Glover, a retired Associated Press political reporter who covered the Iowa Legislature for many years, opened the discussion by asking the panelists how they see climate change affecting agriculture. Do they believe the current modern-day system of producing crops and livestock can continue to exist if climate change continues at its current…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    What Kind of Weather Can Iowa Expect In 2014?

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on January 3, 2014

    Iowa has had some brutal cold weather in recent weeks--it's been on-again, off-again. Now in early January, the cold weather is about to get as severe as the region has seen in the last 20 years, says the National Weather Service. Wind chills reached lower than 20 degrees below zero the night of January 2, 2014. Temperatures in Iowa climbed higher on January 3, into the teens and 20s. But that brief respite will end when a cold front moves in January 4, says Kevin Skow, a meteorologist…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Drought KO'd in Soggy Eastern Kansas

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 18, 2013

    For the first time in a month, there are no thunderstorms in the immediate forecast. Whew! We might actually get the yard cleaned up. Traveling around central Kansas this week, the green is absolutely amazing and the Flint Hills are gorgeous. And drought, at least for now, appears conquered in the eastern two-thirds of the state. With a couple of days of sunshine, we’re seeing the river flooding subside, though there are definitely producers who have lost some of their corn and…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Drought May Finally Be Losing Its Grip

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on July 28, 2013

    This week brought the most optimistic sign in a long time that the prolonged drought may finally be easing its grip on Kansas. Most of central and eastern Kansas received up to two inches of rain on Tuesday, followed by scattered showers across the state on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by downright downpours that threatened two-thirds of the state with flooding over the weekend. Flooding of course, is no guarantee that drought is at an end. Some of the worst flooding ever een on…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Eastern Colorado Drought Heavily Impacting Livestock

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on June 26, 2013

    Sad rangeland plant conditions are having a hard impact on eastern Colorado cattle grazing,  with vegetation all but gone in any areas. In a recent visit to the area near Wray, I talked with cattlemen who believe it may be time to pull their cattle and take them to far-away greener pastures, or to the feedlot early. This second year of drought is also having a ripple impact, since overgrazing of pastures can lead to loss of some of the most important vegetation next season…

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  • Tyler Harris

    Similarities to Spring of '89

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on May 17, 2013

    After the recent spike in late overnight freeze events we have been experiencing in the Midwest, I hope I don't eat my words in saying it seems that the warm weather is finally here to stay. Kansas City saw 90-degree temperatures on Tuesday and Wednesday. I am a little biased, but I have to admit May is my favorite time of year. As many know, this is a busy month, and it can be hard to balance time for graduation parties, weddings – not to mention planting, especially this year…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Winter Wheat Looking Good; Reservoirs Still Show Drought Impact

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on May 15, 2013

    Driving around south-central Kansas to get a look at the progress of the winter wheat crop confirms one piece of good news: freeze damage in this part of the state appears to be minimal in spite of a couple of very cold nights. Probably a solid half of the wheat is either headed out or beginning to head and most of the fields I saw had only a few, if any, telltale white heads that indicate the growing point was damaged by unseasonably late freezes on April 24 and again on May…

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  • Tyler Harris

    The Impact Of Drought In Western Kansas

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on May 3, 2013

    This week I had the opportunity to meet some great people and see a lot of Kansas I hadn't seen before while taking part in my first Wheat Quality Tour. The tour split up into groups and drove across the state starting in Manhattan, before meeting up in Colby, Wichita and Kansas City on the final day of the tour. The goal is to evaluate the year's hard winter wheat crop and estimate yields across the state, while seeing and learning a lot about Kansas. While gaining a much better…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Sunflower: The Extra Crop Option

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on April 4, 2013

    Dakota farmers have a nice cropping option that most other producers don’t -- sunflower. New crop sunflower prices are competitive with corn and soybeans this year. Native to the Great Plains, sunflower does better than most other crops when it is dry. Best of all, you can grow sunflower under contract and most contracts include Act of God clauses. “Act of God clauses basically mean the producer doesn't have a production risk,” says John Sandbakken, executive…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Colors Of April Bloom With Spirit Of Summer, Drought

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on April 2, 2013

    Daffodils and tulips are creating a rainbow glow of spring and I sense that summer is yearning to bud out. I'm ready. Never a short days and dark season fan, I long for the 9:30 p.m. sunsets of the Pacific Northwest when you can go on long one-day drives to the ocean or mountains and return still in the light. There's a farmer in my soul that likes the season of the sun. Actually, I haven't met many winter folks who like to be cloistered in their warm homes while the wind…

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