First, here’s wishing a very Happy Easter to everyone. Rather than go deeply into a topic when many of us are enjoying well-deserved family gathering, let’s tie up a few loose ends.
· So far our luck with the weather is holding. While the drought isn’t better, it also isn’t worse. Maybe some of the promised scattered showers this weekend have happened. And while we weren’t thrilled with the snow, moisture of any kind is welcome.
· Even though they probably weren’t thrilled with the conditions, parts of northwest Kansas received over a foot of snow they desperately needed.
· The fact that our wheat was lagging in development this year was a good thing as the growing point should have weathered the cold with little if any damage. Most of us can remember several years back when wheat was way ahead of normal the first week of April. Some wheat in the Reno County area was actually in the boot. Then we had the Easter freeze and snow and lost a great deal of the crop. Or think back to 2009, when Stafford and other counties received almost 30 inches of snow Friday and into Saturday.
· So far the wheat disease outlook is a bit sketchy. There are reports of leaf and stem diseases in Texas but so far they haven’t been reported in Oklahoma. Time and weather patterns will determine the potential threat to the crop. As of now, there haven’t been any reports of major insect damage in the state. Again, we will have to wait and see what happens.
· A recent report by agcareers.com shows a strong demand for jobs in agriculture with the strongest demand in the Midwest. Most of these jobs are seeking individuals with postsecondary training. Perhaps the best news for workers in the business is almost 90% are projecting salary increases with over 50% budgeting for a 2 – 3% increase.
· There continue to many neat and interest displays and events in Manhattan celebrating the 150th anniversary of the college. Head over to ksu.edu on the web for details.
· The Farm and Ranch Expo starts April 10 and promised to be even better in the second year. Barton will have a booth that will feature the college in general and the programs in natural gas transmission, crop protection, and beef cattle production in particular. Make sure and come out even if you don’t work in agriculture for a living.