Is rural Kansas dying?

KsHusker

Member
What he said. We don't do stuff for the fun of it. There is an economic reason behind everything. There is a reason the vast majority of corn and beans planted are GMO.
Where would someone see real life numbers?

I'm a #'s guy if you cant tell ha


With the advent of precision ag have there been any true side by side comparisons of say Monsanto or Dupont/Pioneer's latest and greatest GMO vs a non patented variety for instance.

I'm still curious if the profit percentage could be nearly the same.

I'd also like to drill down on a real world analysis of removing shelterbelts or putting in buffers - basically do you really increase your profit percentage by farming every square inch of land (I'd guess the precision ag) maps could help - vs getting habitat incentives for marginally productive edges etc.
 

watermen

Member
This thread could go on forever and the reasons are vast and varied. Rural America in general is languishing and disappearing.
 

CGD

New member
Where would someone see real life numbers?

I'm a #'s guy if you cant tell ha


With the advent of precision ag have there been any true side by side comparisons of say Monsanto or Dupont/Pioneer's latest and greatest GMO vs a non patented variety for instance.

I'm still curious if the profit percentage could be nearly the same.

I'd also like to drill down on a real world analysis of removing shelterbelts or putting in buffers - basically do you really increase your profit percentage by farming every square inch of land (I'd guess the precision ag) maps could help - vs getting habitat incentives for marginally productive edges etc.
My expert google skills brought me here....

http://extension.missouri.edu/scott/documents/Ag/crop-budgets/GMO_Corn.pdf

http://extension.missouri.edu/scott/documents/Ag/crop-budgets/NonGMO_Corn.pdf
 

CGD

New member
Yield difference depending on the study can range from 5% to 25% with the advantage going towards the GMO crops
 

McFarmer

Member
I plant basically no GMO crops. I plant Round-up beans around the field boundaries so I can control the thistles coming in from the fence rows but no GMO corn.

One of my seed guys (Pioneer) said non-GMO corn is his fastest growing segment. Another seed dealer sells out of non-GMO varieties first every year. His company wants him to sell more GMO corn since the profit margin is better. Monsanto has only last year produced a non-GMO variety for our area.

Our dealer’s plot is won by non-GMO varieties nearly every year.

I have the CO-OP do variable rate fertilizer application according to soil tests, that pays.

I could go on.
 

watermen

Member
Your study is good. Good old MO. SE Missouri in the bootheel is a unique place. Genetic Modification has allowed corn to be grown successfully there in the recent (<30 years) time frame. It was formerly swamp drained to provide farmland. Their rotation there consists of rice, corn, and soybeans. The inputs are similar with the exception of irrigation and the fact that their fields are sloped and set up to irrigate. I would guess 200 bushel/acre corn is low avg now days. Better than 240 is pretty standard in much of the pheasant range. 200 bushel corn is grown all the way north to devils lake in ND, Corn stopped and switched to wheat or other crops in N. SD in my day even.
 

CGD

New member
Honestly for what we are talking about here the GMO vs. Non GMO argument I don't think is nearly as important as the discussion of how to encourage the increase of buffer strips, CRP acres, WIHA, etc and how do we get funding for that to make it worth it to the farmer.
 

JSMITH

New member
Yes it's been dying for years. Several reasons - No jobs, Lack of any opportunity, School closures (Thanks Brownback) Hospital Closures (Thanks Brownback - though Medicaid expansion if passed can help the health care system some) lack of upland hunting opportunities (farmers not seeing the big picture that there is an economic incentive to farm with birds in mind and to have "tourism" to their towns and years and years of brainwashing by Big ag such as Monsanto - I've yet to have a business discussion with an ag producer who can show on paper why the farming practices of today make any sense vs some minor tweaks - I'm still hopeful I can get that sit down talk to understand the business side)

But back on topic - it is pretty sad. With the virtual and gig economy I'd love to see companies (or sole proprietors) receive tax incentives to live/work remotely in rural economies - now a days all you need is a strong internet connection to perform any host of tasks - however many large corporations have their blinders on or 0 incentive to let folks live/work wherever they want. Would be nice to see some "development" zones or towns to take their own initiatives. A few do - many dont - they just have been dying a slow agonizing death.
I agree with some of what you say, but I think it would probably be best to avoid politics on this site. Many on this site would probably disagree with your assessment of the cause of the decline in the state, but this isn't the place to debate that.
 

KsHusker

Member

I've found a few articles as well but haven't posted them - one thing the Documents are leaving out are the price premiums you can reap by producing a non gmo crop as there are a # of companies out there that will pay a premium for non GMO grains/animals etc. So you may make a slightly higher yield but if you're not selling the end product for the same price it's not a final profit margin comparison.


The articles in support of GMO appear to come naturally from pro GMO websites that are likely funded by Monsanto, Dupont or whomever has a stake in marketing/championing GMO as the next great thing.

The ones I found that had an alternate view point appeared to come from some of the more hipster websites, though some such as the modernfarmer (I'm not familiar with it but at a glance it didnt seem to have a liberal agenda/slant) so it's hard to suss out real data from bad - but a # of the articles I've skimmed through so far seemed to echo McFarmer's sentiments


FsntKillr (Mike) next time your out west I can give you a 30 sq mile quadrant to check out if you'd like to explore what modern farming at the advice of seed/chemical companies can do to a fragile sand sage prairie environment - you were pretty close on your latest trip.
 

McFarmer

Member
The fellow that farms the section across the road from me is without a doubt farming more acres than anyone around here. Several thousand in Iowa is big.

He plants all non-GMO corn, and no premiums.

I think the thing that would benefit wildlife most would be an alternative crop that takes little in the way of tillage after planting, and planting would be early. Oats would be good, or something similar.

I drill all my soybeans. I would like someone to tell me why drilled soybeans have zero bird nests and drilled oats is prime nesting habitat. Planting date ? Amount of growth ? I honestly don't know. Pheasants, ducks, bobolinks, meadow larks you name it will nest in oats, not beans.
 

KsHusker

Member
I agree with some of what you say, but I think it would probably be best to avoid politics on this site. Many on this site would probably disagree with your assessment of the cause of the decline in the state, but this isn't the place to debate that.

I'm not sure where you live JSMITH but politics have had an impact on our rural economy. Politics sadly rule KS management of the deer herd which adversely affects the upland hunters via the policy in place for deer.

If you perform a few google searches or search through the archives of kansas.com or the topekacapitaljournal, npr etc you'll find numerous discussions on the effects of rural school closing, medicaid contraction which resulted in rural hospital closings etc. There is no question these things adversely affected KS rural communities - there have been a few outliers (I'd say Dodge and Garden maybe Hays) and some temp ones with the energy boom but the energy boom has faded and went away. Ag did quite well for a # of years but yet in KS our rural communities have continued to suffer and contract.
 

KsHusker

Member
The fellow that farms the section across the road from me is without a doubt farming more acres than anyone around here. Several thousand in Iowa is big.

He plants all non-GMO corn, and no premiums.

I think the thing that would benefit wildlife most would be an alternative crop that takes little in the way of tillage after planting, and planting would be early. Oats would be good, or something similar.

I drill all my soybeans. I would like someone to tell me why drilled soybeans have zero bird nests and drilled oats is prime nesting habitat. Planting date ? Amount of growth ? I honestly don't know. Pheasants, ducks, bobolinks, meadow larks you name it will nest in oats, not beans.

Some of the articles I found were from 2012 and 2013 - but found a few more recent from 2018 - but the common denominator seemed to be whether or not you get a premium for non GMO depends on where you live geographically - seemed to be the biggest opportunities if you live close to a river with ocean access so you can sell to overseas markets where they are more GMO averse or find specialty companies/food producers looking for certified non GMO products for their food stuffs - not sure what grocer you have in your area - but Dillons (Kroger) here in KS a few years ago remodeled a large chunk of their stores and put a large "Natural Foods Section" - the one near me now is doing more remodeling again now - seems they shrunk it down some and incorporated other "Natural Foods" in with the crap food throughout the store but I'd guess it was more a symptom of the store closest to me drawing more lower income folks that wouldnt buy it to begin with - the stores located in better areas seem to have a larger "natural foods" section - anyways I noticed lots of chip/cookie, cereal bar you name it having non GMO products and proudly advertising as such in that section. (I live in a somewhat rural part of Topeka out of town - overall Topeka is a poorly developed town and the money/development took place in Lawrence about 20 miles away. A bit of a culture shock moving here from the Wichita area)
 
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MAB7799

Member
Some of the articles I found were from 2012 and 2013 - but found a few more recent from 2018 - but the common denominator seemed to be whether or not you get a premium for non GMO depends on where you live geographically - seemed to be the biggest opportunities if you live close to a river with ocean access so you can sell to overseas markets where they are more GMO averse or find specialty companies/food producers looking for certified non GMO products for their food stuffs - not sure what grocer you have in your area - but Dillons (Kroger) here in KS a few years ago remodeled a large chunk of their stores and put a large "Natural Foods Section" - the one near me now is doing more remodeling again now - seems they shrunk it down some and incorporated other "Natural Foods" in with the crap food throughout the store but I'd guess it was more a symptom of the store closest to me drawing more lower income folks that wouldnt buy it to begin with - the stores located in better areas seem to have a larger "natural foods" section - anyways I noticed lots of chip/cookie, cereal bar you name it having non GMO products and proudly advertising as such in that section. (I live in a somewhat rural part of Topeka out of town - overall Topeka is a poorly developed town and the money/development took place in Lawrence about 20 miles away. A bit of a culture shock moving here from the Wichita area)
I live in SW Topeka and really enjoy it. (from Wichita also) Lived in Lawrence for 3 years, didn't care for it.
 

KsHusker

Member
I live in SW Topeka and really enjoy it. (from Wichita also) Lived in Lawrence for 3 years, didn't care for it.

It may grow on me after a while - I was spoiled by having everything we wanted in Wichita and not having 1000s of methheads running around. Topeka has way more crime and the way this city developed the city and county planners should be strung up and shot for either no thought or for taking bribe money. For paying some of the highest property tax rates in the state and sales tax I certainly expect more. I'm hopeful that once the large developer that owns many dilapidated shopping centers, the vacant mall etc finally sells his stuff through bankruptcy there could be some positive changes and the city will begin to have a greater "curb appeal".

But if you live SW thats the only "clean" area of the city we've found so far - and all of your development is there along Wannamaker. We live SE on land near Berryton and all of our grocery shopping etc is closest at 29th and Cali - love our plot of land just would like to transplant it to the county in NW Butler county near Wichita. Wichita is also 2 hours closer to decent bird hunting unless I still have not discovered the hidden gem around here.

For now we are enjoying the fact we are an hour from KC and visit there often. If I had my way we'd live in Dodge haha - cleaner town with everything Topeka has to offer save being close to a large population center. Im hopeful we'll end up in SE CO, NM, AZ or NV someday that or I'll end up buying a 2000 plus acre ranch to satisfy my desire to get away.

I dont think I'd care for Lawrence either - but do like Mass St - reminds my wife and I of the College Hill shops and Old Town area in Wichita.
 

fsentkilr

New member
My brother, sons and I grow 3000 acres of corn and 3000 acres soybeans so I am familiar with what it takes to make money in farming. We do have lots of filter strips and bird buffers, around 500 acres total. They pay less than cash rent, which it cost us money to have them. We do it because I feel its good for water quality and the quail, but it's not a luxury everyone has. Some have to make every penny they can to stay in business. To get more acres of crp is really simple, pay what current cash rent is or more. As far as the GMO debate, we are all no till on our acres. That leaves the stubble through the winter for habitat, which is good for all wildlife but especially upland birds. This wouldn't be possible using organic or non GMO crops. GMO corn has improved our yields tremendously, with BT being the biggest reason. It also allows us to use LESS chemical not more. BT allows us to control corn bore, rootworm and ear worm without having planes apply pesticides to do it. The BT protein is very specific only affecting the worms not the other insects. If we spray the crop with insecticide is kills all the insects beneficial or not, and probably isn't good getting sprayed on young upland birds.
On another subject, some of the reason you guys are getting turned down more when asking permission is the attitude of a lot of hunters, it's apparent on this site. I got so mad a few times I quit coming on. We as farmers and landowners don't owe you a place to hunt, nor do we need to adopt our farming practices to suit a species you want to hunt. What we owe is our family and us a living, and we do what we need to to accomplish this. I have pretty much quit giving anyone I don''t know permission, and the main reason is some of the landowner/farmer bashing I have seen on this site.
 
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KsHusker

Member
My brother, sons and I grow 3000 acres of corn and 3000 acres soybeans so I am familiar with what it takes to make money in farming. We do have lots of filter strips and bird buffers, around 500 acres total. They pay less than cash rent, which it cost us money to have them. We do it because I feel its good for water quality and the quail, but it's not a luxury everyone has. Some have to make every penny they can to stay in business. To get more acres of crp is really simple, pay what current cash rent is or more. As far as the GMO debate, we are all no till on our acres. That leaves the stubble through the winter for habitat, which is good for all wildlife but especially upland birds. This wouldn't be possible using organic or non GMO crops. GMO corn has improved our yields tremendously, with BT being the biggest reason. It also allows us to use LESS chemical not more. BT allows us to control corn bore, rootworm and ear worm without having planes apply pesticides to do it. The BT protein is very specific only affecting the worms not the other insects. If we spray the crop with insecticide is kills all the insects beneficial or not, and probably isn't good getting sprayed on young upland birds.
On another subject, some of the reason you guys are getting turned down more when asking permission is the attitude of a lot of hunters, it's apparent on this site. I got so mad a few times I quit coming on. We as farmers and landowners don't owe you a place to hunt, nor do we need to adopt our farming practices to suit a species you want to hunt. What we owe is our family and us a living, and we do what we need to to accomplish this. I have pretty much quit giving anyone I don''t know permission, and the main reason is some of the landowner/farmer bashing I have seen on this site. Nothing pisses me off more.
I dont think there is any bashing going on in this thread. Least I dont want anything I've commented on to seem as such. It appears my understanding of how much chemical is needed for GMO vs non GMO corn was incorrect - there still has to be something to the change in farming practices as to why we've seen changes in mother nature (far fewer butterflies, bees, upland birds to name a few) so maybe it could be the lack of diversity of plantlife surrounding crop fields and the angle would be herbicides) I'm not a fan of big pharma or big ag (think Monsanto, Dupont etc - the producers have my love) - call me a closet conspiracy theorist or whatever.



What I was specifically curious about is you mentioned you have land enrolled in the strips program - have you ever used Precision Ag tools to see what your yields and cost of production is on the field edges to see if you are truly making money there or breaking even, losing money etc to compare it to what is paid by the buffer program for that edge?

Maybe I'm wrong but most fields you see the edges (depending on where) can be less productive especially if butting up against a shelterbelt, if an area has poor drainage etc.

Also if you'd possibly answer - you stated GMO seeds have increased your yields - but has the profit percentage went up as I'm guessing the inputs (seed etc) are higher for GMO vs Non GMO?

I'm simply wanting to understand the business perspective. If you're ever in the Topeka area would be glad to sit down for a beer or coffee. The couple folks I've met off of here have been good people.
 
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McFarmer

Member
I should clarify something on the GMO thing. It’s widely known that the farther south you go the more the GMO traits pay. Here in northern Iowa we just don’t have the insect pressure folks south of us do.

Soybeans are worthless for wildlife production from what I’ve seen. Although there is some food out there during the winter, it gets covered up easily.

Small grain production is a better situation for wildlife, and I still don’t know why.
 

fsentkilr

New member
I dont think there is any bashing going on in this thread. Least I dont want anything I've commented on to seem as such. It appears my understanding of how much chemical is needed for GMO vs non GMO corn was incorrect - there still has to be something to the change in farming practices as to why we've seen changes in mother nature (far fewer butterflies, bees, upland birds to name a few) so maybe it could be the lack of diversity of plantlife surrounding crop fields and the angle would be herbicides) I'm not a fan of big pharma or big ag (think Monsanto, Dupont etc - the producers have my love) - call me a closet conspiracy theorist or whatever.



What I was specifically curious about is you mentioned you have land enrolled in the strips program - have you ever used Precision Ag tools to see what your yields and cost of production is on the field edges to see if you are truly making money there or breaking even, losing money etc to compare it to what is paid by the buffer program for that edge?

Maybe I'm wrong but most fields you see the edges (depending on where) can be less productive especially if butting up against a shelterbelt, if an area has poor drainage etc.

Also if you'd possibly answer - you stated GMO seeds have increased your yields - but has the profit percentage went up as I'm guessing the inputs (seed etc) are higher for GMO vs Non GMO?

I'm simply wanting to understand the business perspective. If you're ever in the Topeka area would be glad to sit down for a beer or coffee. The couple folks I've met off of here have been good people.
We have had yield monitors on combines since they first come out. We use precision ag to map yields, varable rate apply fertilizer and seed, guidances, automatic row shutoffs, boom shutoffs ect. You name it we have it and were some of the first to adopt them. We know what makes money and what doesn't just like all farms.
I wasn't talking about bashing farmers going on in this thread, but I have seen it before. Even though I am not sure it isn't kind of going on just more suttle than other times. Like implying we don't know our true cost and what makes us money and what doesn't? Reallly? We aren't idiots.
As far as field edges, maybe some are less productive because of trees ect, but some are also the most productive like the good bottom ground along creeks.
i only farm an hour south of Topeka, actually the north end of the farm is 20 minutes closer than that. You are welcome to come down and i will show you the farm anytime. Actually not anytime, I am leaving for Hawaii tomorrow and going pheasant hunting until the end of season when we return. When I get back I would gladly show you or anyone else around the farm and discuss farming techniques.
 
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Nick

Member
My brother, sons and I grow 3000 acres of corn and 3000 acres soybeans so I am familiar with what it takes to make money in farming. We do have lots of filter strips and bird buffers, around 500 acres total. They pay less than cash rent, which it cost us money to have them. We do it because I feel its good for water quality and the quail, but it's not a luxury everyone has. Some have to make every penny they can to stay in business. To get more acres of crp is really simple, pay what current cash rent is or more. As far as the GMO debate, we are all no till on our acres. That leaves the stubble through the winter for habitat, which is good for all wildlife but especially upland birds. This wouldn't be possible using organic or non GMO crops. GMO corn has improved our yields tremendously, with BT being the biggest reason. It also allows us to use LESS chemical not more. BT allows us to control corn bore, rootworm and ear worm without having planes apply pesticides to do it. The BT protein is very specific only affecting the worms not the other insects. If we spray the crop with insecticide is kills all the insects beneficial or not, and probably isn't good getting sprayed on young upland birds.
On another subject, some of the reason you guys are getting turned down more when asking permission is the attitude of a lot of hunters, it's apparent on this site. I got so mad a few times I quit coming on. We as farmers and landowners don't owe you a place to hunt, nor do we need to adopt our farming practices to suit a species you want to hunt. What we owe is our family and us a living, and we do what we need to to accomplish this. I have pretty much quit giving anyone I don''t know permission, and the main reason is some of the landowner/farmer bashing I have seen on this site.
I appreciate your perspective as both a landowner/farmer and a hunter. I agree that you don't owe anyone a place to hunt. I never begrudge a farmer/landowner who says no when I ask permission, and I'm always grateful when I do gain permission on private ground. I think frustration grows when the bird numbers are down, but that is no excuse for bashing farmers/landowners. The reality is that all of us have to work harder and log more miles on tires and boots than we did back in the "good old days". Other than a weekend in South Dakota, all of my hunting this season has been on Kansas WIHA. I would've liked to have put a few more birds in the bag, but I've enjoyed some good dog work and my time in the field.
 

KsHusker

Member
We have had yield monitors on combines since they first come out. We use precision ag to map yields, varable rate apply fertilizer and seed, guidances, automatic row shutoffs, boom shutoffs ect. You name it we have it and were some of the first to adopt them. We know what makes money and what doesn't just like all farms.
I wasn't talking about bashing farmers going on in this thread, but I have seen it before. Even though I am not sure it isn't kind of going on just more suttle than other times. Like implying we don't know our true cost and what makes us money and what doesn't? Reallly? We aren't idiots.
As far as field edges, maybe some are less productive because of trees ect, but some are also the most productive like the good bottom ground along creeks.
i only farm an hour south of Topeka, actually the north end of the farm is 20 minutes closer than that. You are welcome to come down and i will show you the farm anytime. Actually not anytime, I am leaving for Hawaii tomorrow and going pheasant hunting until the end of season when we return. When I get back I would gladly show you or anyone else around the farm and discuss farming techniques.

Mike I'm just trying to learn. No subtle bashing. Not everyone I've run across has the latest/greatest equip/tech - but I'd guess it'd be difficult for a farm of your size not to have it. I was going to become a drone dealer but wasnt passionate enough about precision ag so didnt go into that business. Glad I didnt as I like the one I'm in now.
 
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