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State farm groups offer access to online learning; leaders sought for sorghum association.

Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

March 10, 2021

2 Min Read
 Reading paper in room with corn
TOP OF MIND: Just because winter forces many farmers indoors, it doesn’t mean they aren’t always thinking of crops. Kansas commodity groups, along with livestock associations, work for farmers year-round, offering online events and promoting the ag industry. Thomas Jackson/Getty Images

Between tending to livestock and strategizing for planting season, winter has been hectic for Kansas farmers. However, you are not alone in the farming frenzy — the state’s commodity organizations have also been busy.

Here is a roundup of information and opportunities from Kansas Corn, Kansas Grain Sorghum and the Kansas Livestock Association.

Tune in to corn school

Kansas Corn and Kansas State University Research and Extension presented three Kansas Corn School online webinars in late January and early February. These online corn schools were well-attended, with between 80 and 110 people participating. All six recorded presentations are available online. They include topics like nutrient management, weed control and market outlooks. If you missed the live webinars or want to watch a presentation again, visit Kansas Corn.

Big corn yields

The 2020 Kansas Corn crop was valued at $3.296 billion, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Crop Values Report. Thomas County was the top corn-producing county, reporting 32.4 million bushels of corn on 283,000 acres, with average yields of 114.5 bushels per acre. The total Kansas corn production for 2020 topped 766 million bushels. Below is a breakdown of the top corn-producing counties in the state.

Top 10 corn counties table

Sorghum leaders needed

Kansas Grain Sorghum is seeking two nominations for the United Sorghum checkoff program’s board. These candidates must be submitted to the USDA and then appointed by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The sorghum checkoff’s board offers several seats to the largest sorghum-producing state in the nation, which is Kansas, The state accounts for more than half of all U.S. sorghum. The United Sorghum checkoff program has been working with checkoff dollars to help improve profitability for sorghum producers nationwide. Prospective checkoff candidates should contact Jesse McCurry, Kansas Grain Sorghum executive director, before March 24.

Livestock loss compensation

The Kansas Livestock Association says the 2018 Farm Bill authorized the Livestock Indemnity Program to provide producers some compensation for livestock deaths because of higher-than-normal mortality from eligible loss conditions, including extreme cold. LIP payment rates are based on 75% of the market value of the livestock as determined by USDA. LIP also assists to producers who must sell livestock at a reduced price because of an injury from an eligible loss condition.

To qualify for LIP payments, livestock owners must file a notice of loss within 30 calendar days of when the loss first became noticeable. Producers document the loss by submitting photos that are time- and date-stamped, or videos of any livestock losses. KLA advises farmers to record livestock losses in their personal records. Contact your local Farm Service Agency office for more information.

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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