Forestry Researcher Talks about Model that Predicts Wildfire Probabilities

(Photo Courtesy of David Clawson)

Dr. Mike Stambaugh, a Professor of Forestry at the University of Missouri, discussed the Physical Chemical Fire Frequency Model which focuses on two variables: temperature and precipitation.  The model can be applied to virtually any geographic area in the world down to about a square kilometer, and predicts the probability and frequency of wildfires for that area.

30 and 90-Day Weather Outlooks Show Warm Start to Early Winter Months


We’re still nearly two months away from the official start of winter, but if you believe the latest 30 and 90-day weather outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center, the season could start out to be a warm one.

The 30-day temperature outlook, for November, shows most of Kansas and the southern plains will have above normal temperatures. It extends into the southwest U.S. and a good portion of the southern rockies.



The 30-day outlook for precipitation, in November, shows from New Mexico, most of Texas and east along the gulf states, it will be drier than normal. The northern rockies will be wetter than normal. Kansas expects to see normal precipitation chances.



The 90-day temperature outlook, for November through January, is calling for a significant portion of the U.S. to be warmer than normal. Portions of the northern high plains, northern rockies and pacific northwest will have normal temperatures.  Kansas will have a better than normal chance to be warmer through the early part of winter.



The 90-day precipitation outlook, for November through January, shows Kansas will have normal precipitation chances. You don’t have to go south too far to see where it’s going to be drier than normal. The area covers from Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and through most of the southeast U.S. The northern rockies, down into a portion of the Colorado rockies will see above normal precipitation.


Source: Climate Prediction Center


Kansas Ag Issues Podcast – 10/19/2017


John Schlageck, Senior Writer/Editor, with Kansas Farm Bureau joined us on Thursday Ag Issues program. John created the book, “Our Land, Our Lives”, to celebrate the centennial celebration of Kansas Farm Bureau. The collection of Schlageck’s essays and photos is dedicated to Kansas farm and ranch families and is steeped in the tradition, heritage and culture of agriculture in the Sunflower State. It represents more than five decades and five generations of Farm Bureau members.

If you would like to pre-order the book, click here.

Proceeds from “Our Land, Our Lives” will contribute to future agricultural leaders. Scholarships will be created for undergraduate students studying agricultural communications at Kansas State University.



NIFA Biotechnology Grants Put Science at Center of Food Safety Policy

Media Contact: Selina Meiners, (202)734-9376

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 19, 2017 – The science of agriculture grows more complex every year. Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced support for projects to help bridge the gap between biotechnology innovations and the policies on how to use them. These grants are funded through NIFA’s Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants (BRAG) Program.

Tyson Foods Narrows Search to a Few Communities For Proposed New Poultry Complex

Rendering of what would’ve been the processing facility at Tyson Foods proposed $320 million processing plant south of Tonganoxie


The Kansas Department of Agriculture has been informed by Tyson Foods that the company has narrowed the list of 16 cities, who submitted their application to be considered for their proposed new poultry complex, down to three.

The company’s original plans were to build the proposed $320 million poultry complex south of Tonganoxie in Leavenworth County. After protests from county residents and county commissioners pulling their support, Tyson Foods announced, on September 19, they were putting the proposed complex on hold to evaluate other options around the state and other states who have expressed interest.

Officials from areas which are being considered confirmed their status in regards to the Tyson Foods Poultry complex.

Cloud County:

Ashley Hutchinson is with CloudCorp…the economic development arm for Cloud County…. is staying in touch with state officials as they prepare to finalize their proposal.  “This is the most heavily regulated industry in the United States. You’re not only dealing with EPA, but you’re dealing with OSHA. You have federal inspectors that are paid to be in this place every single day. A company as big as Tyson has a giant target on them per say, and that’s a good thing, that makes sure that were safe, the food we’re eating is safe and it makes sure that they are really on top of them for environmental concerns.” She told KNCK radio that she wants to be very open with people about the project. “We’ve assembled a giant team to really accurately look at every single  aspect of this and a giant team means that they’re going to be out there talking in the community. I want to make sure our folks know that they’ve been told up front what we’re doing and we made that commitment when we got started with the project. She said their team consists of the City of Concordia, USD 333 Concordia, Cloud County Community College, the economic development teams in Republic County and Saline County, among others. The team also involves the Northwest Kansas Economic Innovation Center, Inc. a private foundation established to benefit Northwest Kansas that works in concert with the Dane G. Hansen Foundation.  “We have a couple of months to really solidify our proposal, work with our community members and come up with a really good plan, an incentive package and present that to Tyson, hopefully at the beginning of the new year.”

Sedgwick County:

Multiple media outlets report that Sedgwick County is one of the three areas being considered. The Greater Wichita Partnership issued a response after being told they were being considered.  “This is the next phase in the process and will require due diligence and research for both parties as we share more about what makes this a great place to grow a business, and learn more about how this business fits into our community. We will continue to work with other stakeholders throughout this region to offer a consolidated consortium to the company. However, it is important to remember that no decisions have been made at this time. We are excited to continue with his process and discuss the potential project with Tyson.”

Montgomery County:

Multiple media outlets report that Montgomery County and Coffeyville are one of the three areas being considered. Montgomery County Action Council Executive Director Trish Purdon told KGGF Radio in Coffeyville, “While this is an encouraging step, it is still early in the final selection process. This notification allows us to now have open communication with our area residents, business and community leaders to discuss the impact this business would have in our county. We want to thoughtfully consider every perspective and gather questions from our communities as we progress through this process.” Coffeyville city manager Kendal Francis also told KGGF radio, “Based on our history of agriculture-based business in the Coffeyville area and throughout the county, we believe we have all the right components to support this type of industry. Over the next few weeks, we will have the opportunity to learn a great deal more about what is involved in bringing Tyson to our community.”


Reno County commissioners say that the proposed area withing their county will not be considered and that they’re out of the running.

Worth Sparkman, External Communications Director with Tyson Foods, in an email statement, says the Kansas Department of Agriculture helped them narrow the search to a few communities that offer the infrastructure, labor pool, farmer interest and land required for this investment. A KDA spokesperson says Tyson Foods will spend the next couple of months evaluate the areas and communities they will consider.


Sources: Kansas Department of Agriculture, Tyson Foods, WIBWNewsNow, KNCK Radio, KWCH-TV, KGGF Radio


Kansas Ag Issues Podcast – 10/18/2017


Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association joined us on Wednesday’s Ag Issues program. Dinneen commented on EPA’s late September announcement of a proposal to further reduce the renewable-volume blend requirements for advanced biofuels, biomass-based diesel volumes for 2018 and 2019 and the total renewable fuel volumes in the RFS. He also commented on analysis, commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association, that looked at trends in the prices for conventional biofuel RIN’s (Renewable Identification Number Credits) and retail gasoline from 2013 to the summer of 2017.


USDA Helps Small Businesses Develop New Agricultural Products, Technology

Media Contact: Selina Meiners, (202) 734-9376

WASHINGTON, D.C. Oct. 18, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced grants to help bring agricultural business ideas from the drawing board to the marketplace. Funding is made through NIFA’s Small Business Innovation Research Program.