(Jamie) Good morning and welcome to Farm Factor, I’m your host Jamie Bloom. First Kyle Bauer visits with Robert Atchison with the Kansas Forestry Service. Then enjoy this week’s Kansas Soybean Update. Next Duane Toews catches up with Kate Hall with GMO Answers. Then Clint Mefford reports on whether cow/calf producers should keep replacement heifers or buy bred females. We’ll end with this week’s Plain Talk…stay with us!
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(Jamie) Welcome to Farm Factor! First Kyle and Robert Atchison discuss agroforestry, integrating the use of trees and shrubs into modern agricultural systems. (Kyle Bauer) Hi, this is Kyle Bauer visiting with Robert Atchison he is with the Kansas Forestry Service. Bob, explain to the viewers who the Kansas Forestry Service is. (Robert Atchison) We’re a state agency that’s housed within the department of, well actually within the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University. We provide public service to the people of the state in a variety of ways. The particular area that I work in is within our rural forestry program. We’re working with farmers and ranchers throughout the state and other landowners to help them manage their woodlands and their shelterbelts, and provide professional forestry advice in the way they do that. (Kyle) I know this isn’t the first time you heard it, but you’re thinking about Kansas and forest it’s an oxymoron. (Robert) Right yes, it’s an interesting place to practice forestry and a lot of what we do here is what you’ll describe as agroforestry. Where we’re using trees and shrubs integrated into modern agricultural systems so that we get both conservation benefits as well as production benefits for our farmers and ranchers. (Kyle) Truly by doing that you provide on both ends, both getting stuff planned, planted and harvested. (Robert) Yes, we do it from start to finish. We try to always provide our professional knowledge and match that with what the objectives are of the particular landowners. Some may just be interested in wildlife; some in the northeast and the eastern part of the state may be interested in timber harvest. A lot of people are interested in recreation and so we can actually manage our woodlands and our shelterbelts based upon whatever that particular desire and interest of that landowner is. A lot of times they’ll be multiple interests and objectives that a landowner will have. (Kyle) You have a few times there’s fees but most of this the fee is minimal. (Robert) Yes, we don’t charge for our services. We also work on behalf of the Natural Resource Conservation Service as a kind of a technical service provider. What that enables us to do is to funnel financial assistance to help farmers and ranchers, and landowners who might want to plant trees or establish a shelterbelt or do water quality work by establishing trees along a stream side. (Kyle) One last thing quickly, you grow and sell a lot of trees every year. (Robert) We do, around 300 to 400, 000 depending upon the year. Those trees go throughout the state to plant new shelterbelts and more and more we’re seeing trees that are going along our rivers and our streams to try to stabilize the stream banks because of the significant water issues we have in this state. Where we want to stabilize the stream banks keep the soil there and not in our reservoirs where we’re losing water capacity. (Kyle) We’re visiting with Robert Atchison. He is with the Kansas Forestry Service. This is Kyle Bauer reporting, back to you Jamie. (Jamie) Thanks Kyle! Folks come back after these messages for this week’s Kansas Soybean Update.
(Jamie) Welcome back to Farm Factor and the Kansas Soybean Update. (Greg Akagi) This is the Kansas Soybean Update. It’s brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission. The Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers. Jay O’Neil, Senior Ag Economist with the International Grains Program at Kansas State joins us. Jay, there is a big partnership between IGP and the US Soybean Export Council. Talk about more of the US Agribusiness Partnership program. (Jay O’Neil) Well, we just finished our one-week short course here at IGP in Manhattan in cooperation with USSEC. We had some of the major soybean meal buyers from Southeast Asia, five countries. We had Thailand, Vietnam, The Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia; all represented here, and had a pretty good week covering a variety of topics. (Greg) Such as what? (Jay) Well, we covered contracting, contracting definitions and tools to use in order to make sure you get the right quality that you want in your contract when you buy from US suppliers. We covered the US grading system and what constitutes the number one and number two soybean. Also how protein is determined, and how you should contract for issues like protein and even amino acids. Then we went on to discuss grain storage and had a field trip out to the Lance Rezac farm in Onaga, Kansas where they got to see the soybeans that are just starting. They were three weeks old, just starting to emerge, and talk about the agronomic side of soybean production. Then we even had a lab demo here in our BIVAP Wenger laboratory on campus. We got to express through extrusion some full fat soybean, which was one of the other focuses of this course, to let Southeast Asian buyers know how they can produce a full fat, which is just extruding the entire full bean. It was a pretty active week. (Greg) Through this partnership between IGP and USSEC itself, do you anticipate more programs being offered like this at IGP? (Jay) Definitely. We do quite a variety, matter of fact right now as we talk, there is another USSEC program going on at IGP. Carlos Campabadal is hosting Japan Poultry Nutrition. We have some of the major Japanese poultry producers in the building this week with some guest speakers from Arkansas and Florida talking, along with K-State presenters, talking about poultry nutrition and poultry production. Later on, this year we’ll have a RAPCO, which is a USSEC event. RAPCO Feed Manufacturing, the short course, I believe that’s in August. It just keeps it keeps going along, which is a good thing. (Greg) All right. Jay, we appreciate your time. Thank you very much. (Jay) Greg, you’re very welcome. Thank you. (Greg) That is Jay O’Neil, Senior Ag Economist with the International Grains Program who joins us on the Kansas Soybean Update. It’s brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission. The Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers. Learn more at kansassoybeans.org. For Kansas Soybeans, I’m Greg Akagi. (Jamie) Hope you enjoyed this week’s Kansas Soybean Update! Stay with us after the break for more Farm Factor with Duane and Kate Hall.
(Jamie) We’re back! Now Duane and Kate talk about GMO Answers, an organization with answers to questions about GMOs on Facebook, Twitter and their website, gmoanswers.com. (Duane Toews) Duane Toews, joining you once again with AGam in Kansas and a chance to catch up with Kate Hall, talking about GMOs and GMO Answers, the booth that I caught you with. Certainly, when we think about our urban friends there’s probably more questions and questions that need answers. (Kate Hall) Certainly. The question that we most often receive is just, “What is a GMO?” Most people don’t understand that a GMO is a plant that’s been developed with a very specific trait. That trait is often disease resistance, herbicide tolerance, insect resistance, to help farmers grow more crops using less inputs, which actually reduces agriculture’s impact on the environment. (Duane) We think about that in today’s world, it’s not unlike what they used to do in plant breeding 100 years ago, it’s just that the techniques that we use to do so are much different. (Kate) Exactly, we’re able to isolate the specific trait that we want. So, instead of crossing tens of thousands of genes, we’re able to take the two, three genes that code for that trait and move that into the plant we want to improve. (Duane) We think about some of the things that we are looking at and moving forward with in plant breeding, really, it is absolutely no introduction of anything outside; it’s just a better selection process for things that are already in the DNA of those plants. (Kate) Exactly, researchers are looking for traits that they find in nature. They’re not making these up, they’re taking good trait characteristics they find in nature to improve, again, the plants that our farmers grow and help feed the world. (Duane) Some things that will be interesting to see how they are accepted, initial traits, typically, we’re on the production side for the farmer, but as we look forward, there’s more and more things on the horizon that have to do with what consumers might be interested in. (Kate) Absolutely, we’re really exited about the Innate® potato. So, less bruising, less browning so it stays more appealing. Also the non-browning apple, that’ll be coming onto the market this year and we’re exited about that too. When you pack those apple slices in your kid’s lunches you’re less likely to throw them away. I know that there are universities and researchers, developers looking at enhanced nutrition. How do we lessen the allergens that are in peanuts or even in wheat? There are a lot of uses for the technology. I think what’s coming down the pike, so to speak, will benefit consumers directly in addition to the farmers. (Duane) Certainly, there are consumers out there that really just don’t have the best understanding of and there’s a lot of misinformation out there about the mad scientists, if you will. (Kate) There is. It’s tough to battle, but we also know that consumers are really interested in learning the facts. So, with GMO Answers, we’re very active on social media, on Twitter, Facebook, as well as our website gmoanswers.com. In addition to GMO Answers there are a lot of other great resources as well, your local Farm Bureau, also USFRA, the Center for Food Integrity. A lot of organizations around and in agriculture have stepped up over the last few years, so we’re putting out much more positive factual information and, like with you, trying to get our story out to more people. (Duane) Ultimately, we think about it, those farmers and ranchers out there, they’re feeding their own family as well. (Kate) Exactly, they wouldn’t produce, grow, feed their family anything that they would obviously not want to feed the public. It’s also important to recognize that aspect as well. (Duane) The biggest thing is if you have questions, seek credible resources to get those answers. (Kate) Exactly. At gmoanswers.com we have over a 180 independent experts who are answering questions: farmers, ranchers, organic farmers, registered dietitians, nutritionists, scientists, epidemiologists. We’ve answered over 1,300 questions on our website. We also have our companies who are sponsored by the large six companies – BASF, Bayer, Dow, DuPont, Pioneer, Monsanto and Syngenta- and they’re answering questions specific to their business practices. People often wonder what’s going on inside those companies, and our organization is being very upfront and open about what we’re doing. (Duane) All right, thanks to Kate Hall, joining us with GMO Answers for you. As a consumer you can certainly get the truthful information if you seek it out. Jamie, we’ll send it back to you.
(Jamie) Thanks Duane! Come back after the break for a look at one of the hard decisions cow/calf producers must make.
(Jamie) Welcome back to Farm Factor and some thoughts about whether producers should keep their replacement heifers or buy bred females. (Clint Mefford) Whether to buy or keep your own heifers depends on long-term profit and matching genetics to the market—including consumer demand for beef—but that’s hard to keep in mind in the short-term market. (Lee Schulz) You are very much looking at the current situation, and really open market availability and price for if you are buying replacements on the open market. But also, I think, even more importantly, it’s looking at your own individual operation. What your cost structure is, what your goals are as an operation. (Clint) A herd’s genetic resources, or some holes pointed out by owning cattle on feed, weigh on whether to keep building from within or add an influx of new female genetics. (Schulz So even if we are doing some retained ownership, or I’m getting some of that data back through the carcasses, that helps me make some of those genetic decisions. And where I see that entering really decision is to see if the genetics within your own herd are sufficient and are allowing you to really see that progression. Or maybe you want to go outside and buy some replacement heifers to really increase some of that genetic potential. (Clint) In a volatile, short-term market, high-quality cattle prove their place at the top. (Schulz) I think another attribute that we do see buyers willing to pay is for black Angus cattle. Really that’s translating to that performance that we’ve seen research on and that they’ve come to expect, as well as when we look at the carcass traits and the premiums when we get to the finished animal. (Clint) A profitable cow herd does not simply maintain some position such as the same weaning weight, the same marbling or even the same marketing strategy. (Schulz) But I think it’s always important to understand that we’re always looking for progress be it in management, be it in genetics, be it in marketing. So I think there’s always some improvements that we can make and we know that markets are changing all the time. (Clint) I’m Clint Mefford. (Jamie) Stay with us – we’ll be back after these words from our sponsors with Plain Talk!
(Jamie) Welcome back. Now let’s see what Kyle and Duane are up to on Plain Talk. (Kyle Bauer) Hi, this is Kyle Bauer with Plain Talk with Duane Toews. (Duane Toews) Kyle Bauer, your Fact or Fiction Question of the Day: Dogs learn by inference to voice command. Fact or Fiction? As in they learn what you mean by like when you say, ask your dog for instance, “Would you like to go for a walk?” Do you really think he knows what walk means or does he infer that he’s about to get to go for a walk? It’s pretty deep, I know. (Kyle) Don’t we all live by inference? I mean, is that really a picture on the wall or are we really just inferring that’s a picture on. You’re like a different picture. (Duane) I don’t really know where I was going with that. (Kyle) Okay, sure. I’ll go true. I think with everybody, everything learns by inference. (Duane) They don’t really learn what the word walk means. (Kyle) No, they know that when they hear that– (Duane) –when they hear walk, you walk over and pick up a leash, he’s going to get to go outside and he’s going to get to do something he enjoys. (Kyle) Okay, I think we all might learn by inference myself, but whatever, it’s your question, not mine. But I got it right, it’s a W. Immigration is a big issue right now, actually it’s a big issue most of my life, okay? The question is, a lot of people think we need to send a lot more people packing. Deport them, if you will. My question to you, Duane Toews, is how many people about a year do we deport? Because it’s a big issue, there’s a lot of people think we should deport more. (Duane) I really don’t have a good estimate on that. I’ve heard of cases where people have been held at County Jail Law Enforcement – (Kyle) Not in our part of the world. (Duane) -and have been released because nobody came to pick them up to deport them. I don’t think they’re really deporting that many. I’ll say 2,500. (Kyle) 2,500 would be a good guess. That would be low. Okay, again, my most recent numbers are for 2014. (Duane) You like that year. The government did too. (Kyle) This is put out by Pew Research, this isn’t just made up by some guy in a bar, okay? 414,000. (Duane) Nearly half-a-million deported? (Kyle): Actually, and that’s down 20,000 from the year before. (Duane) Put on a plane or a bus and sent packing? (Kyle) Now, I think everybody in our part of the world thinks about Mexico, sending folks back to Mexico. (Duane) But there are others. (Kyle) Right, absolutely. You’ve got the dastardly Canadians. Truly, we have a lot of people that outstayed their visa, they try to get away with it, and they get caught; they apply for a job, they catch them. ICE shows up and they get put on ice, if you will. What does ICE stand for? I know it’s the ones when they have it on the back of their shirt when they come into certain places and everybody runs out the back door. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. There you go, and if that’s not it, it ought to be it. (Duane) Close enough. (Jamie) Thanks for joining us. I’m your host Jamie Bloom and I hope you enjoyed today’s show. See you next week on Farm Factor – we’re here every Tuesday on AGam in Kansas.
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