Drought & Farm Bill Take Center Stage At Commodity Classic

By: Lindsey Rogers Email
By: Lindsey Rogers Email

MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- Markets, weather, research, technology and policy were featured at the Kansas Commodity Classic, the annual convention of the Kansas Corn, Wheat and Grain Sorghum Associations Tuesday in Manhattan.

The event was held at the Hilton Garden Inn.

The morning session featured an overview of trends in grain markets from Bill Holbrook. Holbrook provides economic research and analysis to the ProExporter Network.

Dave Relihan, Chief Meteorologist for WIBW. Radio discussed the weather outlook.

A panel made up of K-State and industry leaders talked about research and technology advances in corn, wheat and grain sorghum.

A big draw for Kansas producers was a speech from Barry Flinchbaugh, K-State Professor Emeritus and renowned agricultural economist and policy expert. He gave his insights on Congressional activities, particularly the fate of the Farm Bill after Congress passed a one-year extension Jan. 1.

"With everything that’s happening at the federal level, with the farm policy and the Farm Bill, it’s definitely a big interest for Kansas farmers- the uncertainty that’s happening with that and the need to get a five-year Farm Bill passed. That’s a big topic for us right now," said Justin Gilpin, CEO of the Kansas Wheat Commission.

Gilbin said the drought was also a primary concern for those at the conference.

"You have producers here that have come to Manhattan here from southwest Kansas, northwest Kansas and everybody’s talking about the concerns that they have with not only how their wheat looks right now but also the planning conditions that we’re going to be looking at going into the spring. There’s definitely a lack of subsoil moisture…We’re definitely going to need some timely rains because the moisture isn’t there right now," he told WIBW>

Those at the event also learned about K-State’s Grain Science and Industry Complex on the north campus that includes the Hal Ross Flour Mill, the International Grains Program (IGP), Bioprocessing and Industrial Value Added Program (BIVAP), the Wheat Innovation Center and the O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center (under construction). Tours of the complex were offered.

The "Commodity Classic" was sponsored by the Kansas Agriculture Network, Kansas Corn Growers Association, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association.

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