Agland

Agriculture is a vital part of the High Plains.  It's engrained in the culture, economy, history, and environment.  Agland provides farmers and ranchers news and information, and it also reflects that lifestyle out to the world.

Hosts Amy Bickel and Kathy Hanks bring you the stories of the people and small towns making a difference.

Amy Bickel
Credit hutchnews.com

Amy Bickel's roots began in Gypsum, Kansas.  She graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in agricultural communications.  She's been covering Kansas agriculture for over 15 years.  Recently, she's been chronicling Kansas' dead towns.  She has a passion for telling stories centered on Kansas agriculture, rural life, and history.  Email her with news, photos, and other information at abickel@hutchnews.com or call (800)-766-3311 Ext 320.

Kathy Hanks
Credit hutchnews.com

Kathy Hanks spent more than 20 years on a farm in western Kansas.  She's been telling the stories of Kansans for more than three decades.  She interviews people everywhere she goes -- from the pilot to Timbuktu or the person taking her order at Taco Bell.  She says everyone has a story to tell, and she wants to hear yours.  Email her with news and stories at khanks@hutchnews.com or call (800) 766-3311 Ext. 348.

Agland is a partnership of The Hutchinson News and High Plains Public Radio.

In Kansas, the Court of Appeals upholds the decision to grant a temporary injunction to limit pumping a Haskell County junior water right.

This provisional sanction effects the junior right holder, oil company American Warrior, owned by the Cecil O’Brate family. This will require that they abstain from pumping water from two wells while the case is still pending in the court system.

Water woes don't grip all of Kansas

Mar 19, 2015
kansasagnetwork.com

The declining Ogallala aquifer is front and center in the state of Kansas.  But one south-central farmer wants to make it clear that water woes don’t grip the whole state reports Kansas Agland.

John Janssen is a farmer in Kinsley.  He’s also a board member of Big Bend Groundwater Management District No. 5.  He says not to throw the whole state in with the Ogallala. 

The Kansas Aqua-Not

Mar 17, 2015
Southwest Kansas Groundwater Management District No. 3

The $19 billion aqueduct to pump water uphill from northeastern Kansas to the water-short west has a bunch of negatives reports Tim Unruh for Kansas Agland.

Some of those discouraging issues are:

  • Indian tribes and neighboring states have voiced concern
  • The aqueduct would cost $1 billion a year to operate
  • The transport price tag of water would be over $450 a acre foot.  That’s hard to pencil out with current prices.
  • Pumping water uphill in an open ditch would result in significant loss to evaporation 

wsj.com

No-till farming is a practice where plant material is left to shield the soil and to decay.  A process that produces valuable nutrients.  It also increases production and water content in soil, and requires fewer input costs says Scott Ravenkamp.  He’s a farmer from the eastern Colorado town of Hugo. 

This report comes from Kansas AgLand.

Lance Feikert no-till farms near Bucklin, Kansas, southeast of Dodge City.  He estimates only about one-fourth of the land around him is no-till.

Feral hogs are expanding their range, and now reside in more than 40 states.  They cause about $1.5 billion in damage every year reports Kansas Agland.

Charlie Lee is a wildlife management for Kansas State University Research and Extension.  He says the pigs damage crops, can kill young livestock and wildlife, destroy property, damage plant communities, and can carry diseases that threaten livestock.

That’s why the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or APHIS, wants to reduce feral hog damage on a national level.

Capturing the gluten free trend with grain sorghum

Jan 1, 2015
Nu-Life Market

Grain sorghum has long been a step-child crop to wheat and corn on the High Plains, used mainly as a secondary cattle feed and ethanol distilling grain.  But its status may be improving with the growing gluten-free food movement, for which sorghum is ideally suited.

However, capturing this food-grade, certified food market is no easy task.  That’s evident in the sophisticated business and production model developed by Nu-Life Market, a “farm-to-fork” enterprise operating in Scott County, Kansas. 

There's an app for everything - even in ag

Nov 24, 2014
morningagclips.com

There’s an ap for everything- even ag.  Think of this: without ever leaving the field, a farmer can pull out his smart phone and identify insects, crop diseases, or even assess the nutrient value of manure.  He can also calculate crop maturity, seed planting to attain the highest yield, and pesticide droplet size and potential pesticide drift.

kansasagland.com

China’s appetite for milk is growing.  The Dairy Farmers of America and the leading Chinese dairy processor are working to satisfy that taste.

Get the facts about the Ogallala Aquifer

Jul 31, 2014
usgs.org

This is the last installment of the water series.  Amy Bickel covered facts about the Ogallala Aquifer in a story published by Kansas Agland.

Water is the cornerstone of SW Kansas economy

Jul 25, 2014
nasa.gov

The ag world is gearing up to feed 9 billion people, but the Ogallala Aquifer sprawling under the surface of eight Midwestern states is going down the drain.  In fact, in some places, it’s gone reported Amy Bickel for Kansas Agland.

kgs.ku.edu

Water rights holders in Western Kansas counties recently rejected a plan to conserve the Ogallala Aquifer.  Groundwater Management District No. 1 board members asked its voting membership to approve a measure to that would cut irrigation use by 20 percent reported Amy Bickel for Kansas Agland.

Abundant rains in NW Kansas not alleviating drought

May 30, 2014
forgetmenotmmm.blogspot.com

Thomas County had the most rain in the state of Kansas this month, but overall, it’s not alleviating the drought according to the Garden City Telegram.

Haskell County family tests Kansas water law

May 13, 2014
commons.wikimedia.org

With the depletion of the Ogallala aquifer looming, a Haskell County family is testing Kansas water rights law.  First in time, first in right gives senior water rights priority over junior rights.  If the senior right is impaired, the owner of the junior right could be ordered to reduce irrigation from their well or even be shut down completely water reported Amy Bickel for Kansas Agland.

Western Kansas drought scars run deep

Apr 17, 2014
Amy Bickel / kansasagland.com

Even if you had no idea western Kansas was in the midst of a long-term drought, the scars are hard to miss.  Corrals and roads are drifted with tumbleweeds.  Irrigation ditches are bone dry.  Fence rows are filled with drifted sand, and grass in the pastures has disappeared according to a recent article from Kansas Agland.  

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