• P.J. Griekspoor

    Wheat Harvest Keeps Marching On in Blistering Weather

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 27, 2011

    As harvest got under way this year, a lot of folks were worried about how the prolonged dry weather, combined with a sudden very hot, windy ripening season would affect quality. Early on, it seemed that much of south and south-central Kansas had not suffered too much as test weights came in far better than expected, probably due to a prolonged period of cool nights in May. But has harvest has progressed, in spite of spates of thunderstorms and hail, it has become clear that drought did…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    A Little Something I Learned In England

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 23, 2011

    While visiting historic sites in England last week, I was surprised to find out something about the Magna Carta that I didn't know. One of the four existing original copies of the document that codifies human rights in the English history tradition (from which our own Constitution was drawn) is on display at the Lincoln Cathedral. According to the documentation there, that copy was on display from 1215 to 1939 in the Cathedral, at which time it was loaned to the United States for display at…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Finding the Unexpected at Cereals 2011 in England

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 16, 2011

    I did a doubletake when I spotted a sign at Cereals 2011, Europe's largest farm show, offering a chance to win a trip to Kansas. "Can't be," I thought to myself. But it was. So I walked into the exhibit. And I found Melanie Acklin, director of marketing, and Jennie Martin, event coordinator for SFP, a Leawood-based company that manufactures Nutri-Sphere N and Avail, products designed to enhance the lifespan of nitrogen in the soil and keep it available to plants longer. Melanie and…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Wow, I Woke Up in England

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 13, 2011

    I woke up in England this morning. I had to look out the window to be sure, but yep, I'm definitely in England. We made it to our hotel in the quaint little town of Bury St. Edmunds, which the taxi driver told us is one of the oldest towns in this part of England, dating back to about 604 AD. It was a kind of a rough arrival from Atlanta. Our plane was delayed on the ground for heavy traffic and we arrived in Amsterdam too late for what was supposed to be a 9:20 a.m. flight to Norwich…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Wheat Looking Better Than Expected

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 8, 2011

    Across south-central Kansas, wheat harvest is in full swing with combines rolling in almost every wheat field. And the news is good: better than expected yields, better than expected quality. Keep in mind, however, that expectations were pretty low, given the drought stress that most of this year's crop has suffered. Judy Casner, who is completing her 52nd harvest with her husband, Jack, in Sumner County said they have had yields from 20 to 50 bushels. But their bests harvests on their…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Governor Has Offended Key Support Group

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 7, 2011

    The Chautauqua County Farm Bureau feels betrayed and they are making their feelings known to Gov. Sam Brownback. The group recently sent an "open letter" to the governor as well as to media outlets across the state, expressing their disappointment at his role in an agreement to halt wind power development in the Flint Hills and encourage the development of a tourism industry. "We feel like we voted for a candidate and after he was elected, he was not at all what we thought," says board…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    We're Very Close to Time for Combines to Roll

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 3, 2011

    Wheat harvest in the southern tier of Kansas Counties will probably start this weekend. There's already been some test cutting around Kiowa (where harvest always begins) and even in southern Sumner County with moisture just a little too high. After the temperature topped 100 degrees today with winds around 20 to 30 mph and more of the same in store for Saturday, moisture won't last long. I made a swing around the areas likely to start cutting any day now this afternoon and found…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    All Rain or No Rain At All

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on June 2, 2011

    Kansas seems to have its own version of the divide in farm country precipitation this week. Heavy rains in the north have put rivers and creeks over the banks with widespread threat of flash flooding and river flooding across the top quarter of the state. The rest of the state is still gripped in drought despite off-again, on-again showers. The problem is heat and wind, which rapidly sucks any moisture right back into the atmosphere. Today, for example, most of the state is under a wind…

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