Here’s hoping everyone had a great Thanksgiving and helped our consumer economy, especially our local and locally owned businesses. Rather than delve deeply into a topic today, let’s take a look at where our area is as of the end of November.
• Recent rainfall has helped the area and we are not considered even abnormally dry. However, the western third of Kansas is in the “Moderate Drought” category. The eastern half of the state is in good shape but our area could use two things now, seasonal to slightly below normal temperatures and some precipitation.
• The 30 day forecast is looking at equal chances for rainfall and likely above normal temperatures. The three month outlook is for fairly normal temperatures and below normal precipitation for most of the southern half of the state but not well-below. We are looking at a La Nina building in.
• Most of the wheat in the area is in good to very good shape, even with some really late planting. The warm open fall helped greatly with this as did some timely precipitation. Most wheat has tillered well and is ready for winter. A gradual cool down will allow it to enter dormancy without a severe jolt to the plants. As of now our area’s wheat is in good shape heading into winter. What we don’t need is warm, windy, dry conditions.
• Harvest is essentially complete and there are mountains of grain everywhere. For the state the corn harvest was above average, milo was adequate, and beans overall very good. What producers need are higher prices for commodities.
• The cold snap of the last weekend certainly helped eliminate many insects, although there are still some Asian lady beetles around. While we don’t prefer it, a good cold winter and normal spring would greatly aid in insect and disease control.
• There is much speculation regarding the impact of the election on agriculture, especially since Congress is already ramping up for the next Farm Bill. Some information indicates further cuts to farm assistance programs with special aim being taken on subsidizes for the crop insurance program. There is speculation that an attempt will again be made to decouple SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) from agriculture. However, that is all still just speculation.
The price of your Thanksgiving dinner was lower than last year and the American Farm Bureau calculates the cost for a dinner for ten is around five dollars per person. The decrease is primarily due to a significant decrease in the cost of turkey as the industry was dealing with avian flu last year. Interestingly enough, the prices of items like bread and other flour items is up which is curious with the price of wheat. Finally, the amount of money the producer receives from your feast is about twenty percent of the total.