• P.J. Griekspoor

    Drought in California, blizzard in Boston - blame 'the blob'

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on April 13, 2015

    I confess. I'm a weather geek. Tell me something weird about weather and I'm all over it. That's why I'm so fascinated by a new, unexplained event in the Pacific Ocean that is not El Nino, but may be a weather-driving phenomenon every bit as significant. Most oceanic patterns that affect weather patterns in North America have been given very scholarly names. The El Nino Southern Oscillation, which we typically shorten to El Nino or ENSO, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Sad farewell to a beloved little Redbud tree

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on April 10, 2015

    Two of my favorite signs of spring are the beautiful blooms on the Bradford Pear and Redbud trees that dot my neighborhood. I especially love my redbud. Make that loved, past tense. The extremely strong winds that came through Easter week damaged it, cracking a main branch away from the trunk. My vote was to let it stand for a few more days before turning it over to the skills of "the tree man," just because it was in full, beautiful bloom and I wanted to enjoy it one last…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    The 'what were you thinking' question hits a new level

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on March 15, 2015

    I had an uncomfortable experience Sunday morning when I watched my Congressman, 4th District Rep. Mike Pompeo, in an interview on the KAKE-TV Sunday morning news program, “This Week in Kansas.” Talking about the issue of 47 U.S. Senators signing a letter to the leaders of Iran in an attempt to sabotage the ongoing negotiations for a multi-national, unilateral agreement to end the Iranian move toward a nuclear weapon, Pompeo said President Obama should have brought the negotiations…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Oh, yes, the season to dig in the dirt and plant something

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on March 5, 2015

    A month ago, I had an attack of a chronic disease that I have identified as “seed catalog disorder.” It comes at that point in mid-winter when snow and cold reach unbearable levels and the only reasonable thing to do is to think about spring. Thinking about spring automatically leads to thinking about what to plant where and what seeds need to be started early so they can be transplanted and that leads to a full-blown case of what I call “dig in the dirt and plant something…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    First property taxes, now sales tax on equipment

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on February 24, 2015

    Out there in the alternate universe where eliminating income taxes for lawyers, investment bankers, financial planners and doctors seemed like a great idea, the consequences are beginning to hit home in the real world. With a budget hole approaching $1 billion to fill, the Kansas Legislature is looking for ways to find big bucks and their hungry urban eyes are falling on rural tax breaks. I remember warning of this exact consequence in editorials and television appearances, pointing out that…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Farm bill, policy highlight Flinchbaugh-Roberts square-off

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on February 6, 2015

    When it comes to economists, Kansas doesn’t have anyone more admired that Kansas State University professor emeritus, Barry Flinchbaugh. When it comes to politicians admired by Kansas farmers, Sen. Pat Roberts has no equal. On Friday, the 400-plus attendees of a joint session of Women Managing the Farm and The Kansas Commodity Classic got a rare treat – the much-admired duo, who have been known to have a disagreement or two – on the same stage. As chairman of the House…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    19th Annual No-till On the Plains Winter Conference Opens

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on January 27, 2015

    P.J. Griekspoor The first day of the 19th annual No-till on the Plains Winter Conference is over. It couldn’t have felt any less like winter. The sun shone brightly, the afternoon high hit 72 degrees and the winds that howled on Monday were but a gentle breeze. All-in-all, it was not the kind of day that you would expect to find several hundred farmers staying indoors. Before those farmers headed out to breakout sessions dedicated to “Unlocking the Potential on Your Farm&rdquo…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Wood-burning Tank Heater Lives, Thanks to Farm Show Internet Link

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on January 13, 2015

    My brother, Jim Wilhoit, who has a small farm and manages a fishery in western Pike County, Missouri, got a lesson recently in the power of the Internet. Almost 20 years ago, in search of way to generate some off-season income, he created a specialty product, a wood-burning stock tank heater. He put one to use in his own pasture and neighbors saw and liked it. Soon he was building them for customers across the Midwest. He built and sold them for a few years until landing a full-time winter…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Not a Resolution, But a Promise For New Year

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on January 1, 2015

    Well, Wichita didn’t get a white Christmas, but we – like most of Kansas – sure have a white New Year. This is some of the lightest, most powdery, dry snow I can ever remember seeing. Weather folks generally say it takes 10 inches of snow to make an inch of rain. It will take a lot more of this stuff to reach that magic mark. Were this coming as rain, we’d probably have the same drizzly fog that marked so many days of December. Still, the cold and the snow seem right…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Loving Fall Weather; Anticipating Holidays

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on November 8, 2014

    I have to admit that, aside from the fact that it’s election season, fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the cooling temperatures, the beautiful colors, the crispness of the air, the long twilights and the knowledge that my absolute favorite holiday of the year, Christmas, is approaching. I think of Halloween as the end of summer and the beginning of the holiday season that ends with New Year’s. In that sense, I’ve never resented the “Happy Holidays&rdquo…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Time To Take Deep Breath, Overcome Ebola Fear

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on October 31, 2014

    I thought about dressing up as Ebola for Halloween tonight. It seems to be the most terrifying thing in America, especially if you get your views from Fox News. But then I decided that the costume would be too skimpy and could I really stand up on those swirly bottom things? On a more serious note, I have to admit that I am an Ebola-phobe. It started way back in 1976 when I read about the first outbreak of this horrid virus in Africa. Nobody then knew where it came from and mostly, we still…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Can Focus on Surviving Drought, Ending Hunger Help Conquer Ebola?

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on October 14, 2014

    As Ebola Fever sweeps the U.S. – not REAL Ebola, mind you, just the fear of it – most of farm country is plugging along with real worries such as soybean cyst nematode, drought damage to subsoil biology and getting corn harvested between storm systems. Where I am – Des Moines, Iowa for the next couple of days – there are also strong minds and capable hands devoting time to figuring out the problem of how to feed 9 billion people over the next couple of decades…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Just What Is It That Constitutes Free Speech?

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on September 9, 2014

    There’s an interesting question being raised in Congress in regard to what constitutes free speech. The Senate on Monday invoked cloture in the debate over Senate Joint Resolution 19, which would amend the Constitution to allow Congress and the states to regulate how much money can be spent to influence elections. Cloture is a vote to end debate and clear the way for an up or down vote on the floor. The amendment would be the 28th to the Constitution. It would have to pass both houses…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Migrant Children Issue Touches Human Cord

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on July 7, 2014

    I’ve been listening with increasing horror to the reports from the southern U.S. border and wondering who we are as Americans and what we have become as a nation of principled people. In this politically polarized era when we try to blame some political faction for everything, we can’t admit that some things are NOT initiated inside the U.S. Some things happen outside our political power to control. And when they do, they can affect our country. This is happening. In Central…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Saying Goodbye to a Leader in Ag World

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 13, 2014

    We say it all the time. You never know how much time you have left. Sometimes, things happen that remind you how true that is. On Sunday,June 8, one of those things happened. Roger Brining, who happens to have the distinction of being the Barton County farmer in the cover photograph of my very first edition as editor of Kansas Farmer, died when his open-cockpit, experimental airplane crashed just north of the Great Bend airport shortly before noon. Roger was a creative and progressive…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Over-regulated? Don't Blame EPA; Go After The REAL Bad Guys

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on May 30, 2014

    For the past several years, I have observed that farmers and ranchers hit by ever-more-onerous environment regulations blame the “overreach” of the Obama administration and the EPA for the problem. I’m here to tell you, guys, you are blaming the WRONG PEOPLE. Today, I got a news release that illustrates my point. It’s all about a new legal action being taken by a bunch of organizations, led by Earthjustice, to force EPA to move faster to implement regulations on…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Checking Up on Earth Open Source's Anti-GMO Stance

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on May 26, 2014

    The rabid anti-GMO folks are famous for dis-information and mis-information as they struggle to come up with reasons that two samples of grain (or apples, tomatoes or whatever) with the same chemistry are somehow not the same. Usually when I get press releases from folks with earth-friendly names and green-sounding platitudes, I try to learn a little more about their agenda to prepare for what kind of slant their “data” may be heading toward. So last month, when I got a release…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Remodel? Why Yes, We Are Almost Done

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on May 12, 2014

    There are some things that grow into experiences that you just know you will never forget. For the last several months, we’ve been experiencing a virtually endless, do-it-on-weekends-and-days-off home remodeling experience for the house that my daughter and son-in-law are buying from me in west Wichita. It sounded so easy – excavate under an existing porch, pour a concrete floor, frame it in and make a couple of extra rooms. Like most home renovation ideas, it wasn’t as easy…

    Continue Reading


  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Drought Dominates Thoughts As Temps Rise

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on May 4, 2014

    The word drought is beginning to take over the conversation in Kansas. On Sunday, Wichita recorded its first 100-plus degree day of 2014. That’s May 4 folks. It set records. The highest temperature on May 4 was 94 back in 1960. Going along with this is the fact that we have the driest start to a year since 1936. Since Jan. 1, drought-stricken Wichita has had less than 2 inches of rain compared a normal rainfall of about 7.5 inches. Along with Sunday’s 102 degrees came winds of…

    Continue Reading