‘Normal Spring’ Kansas Weather Forecasted, Enough, But Not Too Much Rain, Not Too Hot

“There’ll likely be near average precipitation and temperatures this spring.”

Everything considered weather is the most talked about subject there is.

Yet, there’s really nothing that can be done about it, other than be prepared for what might occur.

Weather forecasts are the most listened to airwave programs. The weatherman gets ridiculed more than the president and sports referees.

Sometimes the weatherman’s right and just about as often his forecast is wrong.

Weather forecasting is far from an exact science.

That was the certain statement presented by weatherman Dan Holiday at a Farm Profit Seminar in Overbrook.

Raised on an El Dorado farm, Holiday was interested in weather forecasting from an early age developing his own barnyard radio station serving Butler County listeners.

Pursuing youthful interests into lifetime career, Holiday today owns The Storm Report business forecasting weather on airwaves throughout the country, including 580 WIBW and affiliate stations in the Midwest.

                               Dan Holiday

Two questions are always asked weatherman Holiday.

“How cold and snowy will it be this winter?”

“What kind of severe weather season are we going to have?”

Size and of color of wooly worms are not a predictor, despite certain farmers swearing so. They’re always plump and changing tones.

The Farmer’s Almanac got an “F” for predicting early winter severity this year.

So, what’s Holiday’s “2017 Weather Outlook?”

“We can watch weather patterns, which can give a general outlook,” Holiday clarified.

“However, long range outlooks cannot give you long range rain and snow amounts, or how many tornadoes you will have,” the weatherman admitted.

Everybody was warned about severe ice conditions in Kansas January 13 through the 15th, Holiday reflected. Grocery stores were sold low on food staples, and some hardware stores ran out of generators as people prepared for the storms weathermen, including Holiday, forecasted.

“The ice didn’t materialize in eastern Kansas, although western Kansas had extensive ice and damage,” Holiday confessed.

Weather balloons have been a common source of tracking conditions for more than a century and are still used with computer models to predict weather.

Holiday has three mains sources of acquiring weather data. The North American Mesoscale Model (NAM) has a forecast range up to 84 hours. “It can overdo precipitation forecasts, yet nail difficult forecast that other models miss.”

ECMWF, the Euro Model, is “the most accurate of the global weather models, as it can see smaller scale events.  The Euro Model predicted the landfall of Superstorm Sandy,” Holiday said.

Global Forecasting System (GFS) updates four times daily, producing forecasts up to 384 hours in advance.  “However, GFS tends to be colder and drier in the winter and doesn’t work too well in the summer,” Holiday clarified.

Cold-air outbreaks have not occurred as often as they do in the Central Plains this year. “Still, number and frequency of cold outbreaks and intensity are very difficult to predict months in advance,” Holiday said.

So far this winter California which had been in a several drought has had significant precipitation from rain and snow storms.

Many conditions comprise weather patterns, and El Nino and La Nina are two of those. Combined with Neutral, they make up three Southern Oscillation (vibration) phases

“La Nina has been weak this winter resulting in warmer weather to the southeast and colder than normal conditions to the northwest,” Holiday analyzed.

“Ocean conditions that influence weather are near average for a neutral spring,” Holiday said.

Last year Topeka had 49.23 inches of precipitation, making the 17th-wettest calendar year on record.

First freeze in Topeka last year was November 9, sixth latest freeze recorded. Hottest day was June 22, when it was 103. Average temperature was 58.1, sixth warmest year on record since 1887.

January precipitation in Topeka was 1.28 inches, compared to an average of .86. January snowfall, at 2.2 inches, compared to the average of 4.9 inches.

Above average temperatures are predicted for the central United States this spring, with the warmest temperatures in the southwest.

The wettest weather forecast this spring is for the northern United States, with below normal in the desert Southwest.

Temperatures are likely to be 30-40 percent above average through spring and early summer, while warmer temperatures persist further south and southwest, Holiday forecasted.

May-June-July precipitation is forecast about average with above average precipitation in Montana and the northern Rockies.

“If 2017 is average, we can expect 3.54 inches of precipitation in April, 4.92 inches in May, and 5.39 inches in June,” Holiday said.

Over the past 25 years, Kansas averaged five tornadoes in March, 13 in April, 36 in May, and 20 in June

“While there’s always an increasing threat of severe weather in late April and May, the number of hail storms, damaging wind events and tornadoes cannot accurately be predicted in long range forecasts,” Holiday emphasized.


Riders Responsible For Correct Natural Moving Gaited Horses

Gaited horses are genetically bred to gait and shouldn’t need special bits, shoes, or other devices to get them to do what their genes tell them.

“Horses that are more consistent in their gait and that perform gaits with a wider range of speeds are classically trained, so correct training builds confidence in a gaited horse,” according to Larry Whitesell.

A renowned gaited horseman since 1980, Whitesell has been very successful in the show ring, winning regional, national, and Grand National championships, honoured as trainer of the year.

Carded and in demand to judge several gaited horse breeds, Whitesell will share his philosophies and techniques for training gaited horses during the EquiFest of Kansas, February 24-25-16,  at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka.

“Horses that are more consistent in their gait and performing gaits with a wider range of speeds are classically trained, so correct training builds confidence in a gaited horse,” according to Larry Whitesell, who’ll be a gaited horses clinician at the EquiFest of Kansas, February 24-25-26, in Topeka.

Trueness of movement and relaxation are closely linked in a gaited horse, according to the clinician from the Whitesell Gaited Horse Training Barn, Cookeville, Tennessee.

“To maintain the softness of relaxation, the gaited horse must stay within his realm of true movement. The training process should result in an enhanced gait, not one that fundamental structure has been changed,” Whitesell emphasized.

Over the years, the concept that relaxation be paramount in all training has been obscured by a more mechanical style of training, according to Whitesell.

“Riders are often in a rush to make horses gait neglecting basic foundation work,” he said. “Many riders attempt to obtain gait by driving the horse forcefully into the hand. Riding in lightness challenges the rider to train without creating false movement.

“We must train our horse not only physically, but mentally and emotionally,” Whitesell said.

Horses often express their emotions by tensing up physically against outside stimuli, including any form of contact with the handler.

“Getting relaxation is essential so we can teach a correct response, instead of putting a piece of equipment on to persuade the horse,” Whitesell stated.

When working with gaited horse riders, clinician Larry Whitesell emphasizes how to train their horse to relax so he can be taught a correct response with the least effort. Whitesell will review those techniques at the EquiFest of Kansas, February 24-25-26, in Topeka.

. Depending on the severity of the equipment and the rider’s hands or temperament, the horse reacts or responds.

“Horses that react are not as reliable or consistent as those that learn to respond to subtle cues,” Whitesell explained. “Crisis management is not management. It leaves many victims in its path.”

Initially, Whitesell trained using the traditional gaited horse methods, thinking these were the only way to yield gait.

As his training progressed, Whitesell wanted to train gaited horses to a higher level so they would gait for any level rider and the riders could count on them to be safe and dependable.

In his quest to learn correctness and lightness, Whitesell began studying classical dressage in the early 1990s from contemporary masters who had studied under Nuno Olivera and at classical schools in Europe.

“Classical training teaches the horse to rebalance itself into a relaxed frame of collection, engaging the hind legs,” Whitesell said. .”Engagement of the hind legs, whether false or real is what makes a gaited horse gait.”

He worked to bring horses into a more classical frame to gait. “When you strengthen the correct muscles, the horse can carry a rider and rebalance into natural collection,” the trainer said.

“Natural horsemanship puts a great foundation on horses preparing them mentally and physically to begin collection training,” Whitesell said.

“Most gaited horses only need a mild degree of collection to gait. Classical training takes communication with the horse to the next level of lightness,” he insisted

Continuing to develop his own skills through classical dressage instructors, Whitesell travels the country and Canada presenting clinics such as at the EquiFest of Kansas.

“My goals are to help people understand what makes gaited horses gait so we can spare the horses from some of the training myths attached to the gaited world that are not in the horse’s best interest.

“By making things better for the horse, the horse will be smoother, safer and more dependable for riders,” Whitesell said.

“I teach riders to train their horse to relax and give correct response with the least effort. The best horses respond to the most subtle cues,” Whitesell said

“Depending on the level of training you want your horse to have, most people should be able to put a ‘basic handle’ on their horse. That means be able to get your horse to the right place at the right time with the least amount of effort,” Whitesell explained.

At EquiFest, Whitesell intends to review how to improve gait without devices, lightness, developing the horse gymnastically to facilitate relaxation, create flexibility, schooling a horse in hand and under saddle, building engagement to improve gait without building resistance, demonstrate how the rider affects a horse’s balance and gait, light stops, and collection.

Whitesell’s presentations are at noon, 1:25, and 3 o’clock, Friday, Feb. 24; 9 o’clock, noon and 1:50, Saturday, Feb. 25; and noon and 2:25, Sunday, Feb. 26.


Mustang Maddy Demonstrating Ways To Bring Out ‘Best’ In All Horses At EquiFest

While horses and all animals of the wild remain controversial issue of naturalists and humane concerns, Mustang Maddy wants to share her love and work with them.

Madison Shambaugh, more familiarly recognized as Mustang Maddy for her work with horses of the wild, will be a featured clinician at the EquiFest of Kansas this weekend, February 24-25-26, at the Kansas Expcoentre in Topeka.

From the time she was in kindergarten back home in Indiana, Shambaugh was on a horse. She rode at home, was in 4-H, took English riding lessons, and especially liked trail riding.

Winner of the Extreme Mustang Makeover, Madison Shambaugh, aka Mustang Maddy, will present techniques for gentling wild horses at the EquiFest of Kansas in Topeka, February 24-25-26.

When she was 10-years-old, Shambaugh started barrel racing and got her own horse, a two-year-old with just 30 days of training.

Experiences with that horse were the foundation for her life’s work.

“I wanted to learn and looked for a better way of riding. I wanted to communicate, so my horse wanted to be with me as much as I wanted to be with it,” said Shambaugh, who started training professionally when she was in the 11th-grade.

In 2013, Shambaugh acquired her first wild horse, a five-year-old gelding from the Bureau of Land Management holding facility in Wyoming.

Soon appreciating the athletic potential and value of the mustang, Shambaugh realized her desire to work with these horses.

Shambaugh believes wild horses are every bit as valuable as domestic horses, if not more so because of their ability to adapt in the wild. “With training, they can be used for ranch work, rodeo, even show jumping,” Shambaugh said.

However, Shambaugh is concerned about excess wild horse populations on public lands, and the more than 40,000 mustangs in holding pens across the West.

“You can take one of these horses society has thrown aside and see how amazing it can be when you have the knowledge to communicate with it,” Shambaugh said.

At the EquiFest of Kansas in Topeka, February 24-25-26, Madison Shambaugh, aka Mustang Maddy, will share her methods of gentling mustangs, starting colts, rehabilitating problem horses, performance foundation training and patterning barrel horses with a no-force method that works with a horse’s natural motivators and learning patterns.

Proof came in Fort Wort, Texas, when Shambaugh and her mustang project won the Extreme Mustang Makeover competition.  She’s now Mustang Maddy.

Contestants have 100 days to gentle and train a completely wild horse. They draw for horses, and in the end demonstrate their expertise through handling, executing patterns and a freestyle exhibition.

In 2015 and 2016, Shambaugh won the reserve title in Mustang Makeover competitions, while taking first place in the individual freestyle division.

Mustang Maddy, 23, reflected about her most recent project. “I had my doubts, but the mare named Amira turned out to be amazing,” Maddy said. “It took a little bit of time to win Amira over, but once she chose me, there was nothing Amira wouldn’t do.”

In competition, Maddy won the horsemanship and freestyle events. Showing at liberty bareback without bridle freestyle, Maddy wore a Cinderella-themed gown along with a crown performing to a song about the importance of believing in yourself.

Amira with Maddy’s guidance executed advanced maneuvers, lead changes, spins and sliding stops to receive a standing ovation. Some spectators were said to be in tears.

Madison Shambaugh, aka Mustang Maddy, will have her zebra, Zena, at the EquiFest of Kansas in Topeka, February 24-25-26. ?

“America loves the story of an underdog. To all those people who are told they can’t, the mustang tells them they can,” Maddy said. A YouTube video of Maddy’s freestyle “Cinderella” ride has been viewed more than a million times.

Amira brought $6,500 at the auction that follows the competition, and Maddy bought the horse back with her 50 percent discount, from winning the event. The champion is now in Maddy’s traveling mustang show this weekend in Topeka.

“I have a responsibility and obligation to be a role model for others to know and understand the benefits of owning mustangs,” Maddy said.

The Bureau of Land Managements has several facilities where mustangs are available.

A zebra filly named Zena has also been trained by Mustang Maddy.

Zebras are known for their vigorous defense skills and bite savagely. Yet, Maddy bought Zena to “expand my knowledge of equine behavior, challenge myself to grow in my horsemanship and push the limits of what is perceived to be possible.”

In nationwide clinics, Maddy demonstrates gentling of mustangs, starting colts, rehabilitating problem horses, performance foundation training and patterning barrel horses with a no-force method that works with a horse’s natural motivators and learning patterns.

“In handling animals, I work to bring out the best in each one. This means seeing your horse for all that he is and all that he can be,” Maddy said. “I believe there is greatness inside every horse. It is our job to find it, and polish it until the horse shines. In doing so, I think we as humans discover the greatness inside ourselves, too.”

Mustang Maddy is scheduled for EquiFest of Kansas presentations in Topeka at 11:45, 1 o’clock, and 4:30, Friday, Feb. 24; 10’clock, 1:30, and 3 o’clock, Saturday, Feb.25; and 9 o’clock, 12:30, and 3 o’clock, Sunday, Feb. 26.

USDA Invests $4.8 Million in University Agricultural Programs

Contact: Sally Gifford, 202-720-2047

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 19 grants totaling $4,790,100 to support agricultural science programs at non-land-grant universities. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Capacity Building Grants for Non-Land-Grant Colleges of Agriculture (NLGCA) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Horsemanship Wins Barrel Races For Clinician At Kansas EquiFest

While from the bleachers, barrel racing is a patterned horse race, fastest time wins.

In reality, barrel racing is a horsemanship class all of its own similarities with reining, Western riding and equitation.

According to Paul Humphrey, “Barrel racing is not a tug-of-war event or changing bits every time you enter the arena. It’s about working and teaching the horse how to use their body correctly around the barrel.”

Horsemanship is the key to perfect patterns and winning times for barrel racers, according trainer-clinician Paul Humphrey, who’ll be featured at the EquiFest of Kansas in Topeka, February 24-25-26. He’s with a group of his students who recently won major barrel racing competitions.

The world-renowned barrel racing champion and trainer will elaborate on horsemanship techniques as the barrel racing clinician during the EquiFest of Kansas at the Expocentre in Topeka, February 24-25-26.

“Turning a horse around a barrel involves the face, shoulders, ribs, hip, hind legs, front legs and the rider’s hands, feet, seat and an understanding of how to work the horse’s body,” Humphrey clarified.

Known for helping riders and horses overcome problems with the first barrel, Humphrey got his start training reining horses, but his love for speed took him to the barrels.

A 10-time European barrel racing champion, Humphrey presents clinics all over America and the world. He is instrumental in exporting and running top horses in Italy.

Known for creating barrel horses that are soft and easy to ride, Paul Humphrey attributes much of that to having control over the horse’s entire body. He’ll discuss those techniques at the EquiFest of Kansas in Topeka, February 24-25-26.

Running barrels four decades, Humphrey got started barrel racing with his mother, Sue, when he was 10-years-old.

While training in Italy, Humphrey won every major barrel racing event the country had to offer.

A barrel horse’s shoulders strongly affects the completion of the turns, according to Humphrey.

Known for creating barrel horses that are soft and easy to ride, Humphrey attributes much of that to having control over the horse’s entire body.

“Many horses don’t know how to move their front end,” Humphrey said. “The typical barrel racer thinks that moving the front end means moving the horse over.

“What I want is that if I ask the horse to bring its nose then I want everything to follow,” Humphrey explained. “I want the shoulders to follow and the back end to plant like it’s supposed to. If they don’t know how to move the front end, then the back end will move around. If you get the front end to work, then it’s easy to get their back end to work.”

Humphrey started building the Breaking the Mold program over 10 years ago to bring horsemanship back to the barrel racing sport.

He teaches riders about body control and shows them how a horse that is taught to use their body correctly will be easier to train, be more consistent, and will have fewer issues.

“It’s not about a stronger bit or a stronger hand.  It’s not about gimmicks and quick fixes,” Humphrey emphasized. “It’s about teaching your horse how to give to your hand and leg pressure, move shoulder, ribs and forward motion, all while staying collected.  Once you’ve accomplished this, then you will take those movements to the barrel pattern.

At the EquiFest of Kansas in Topeka, February 24-25-26, trainer-clinician Paul Humphrey will review his Breaking the Mold barrel racing program.

“When your horse understands how to use their body correctly, it makes the training process so much easier,” Humphrey continued. “In order to keep the horse collected and using their body, the rider must understand how to keep the horse going in the right direction, to become soft and consistent and collected.”

With Humphrey’s drills, a horse never learns how to drop his shoulder, cheat the barrels, go by the barrel, or any other issues that will cost time and troubles in a run.

These drills were designed to teach the horse to use their body correctly and to never allow them to know any different than the correct way to work the pattern.

“It’s all about true horsemanship and communication. It requires a team,” Humphrey said.  “The horse needs to understand their job, and the rider must understand how to prepare for the barrel run.

Exercises get the horse wanting to work each barrel, and helps stop problems such as fading into the first barrel, running by barrels, not collecting before the turn, stepping off, stepping in, not completing the barrel turn, shouldering in and other issues.

“This program is not about fixing problems, it’s about getting rid of them all together. It will change your thoughts about barrel racing and will make the sport fun for you and your horse. You can ride your horse to their potential without issues,” Humphrey said.

Humphrey’s barrel racing discussions at the EquiFest of Kansas in Topeka are set for noon, 2:35, and 3:30, Friday, Feb. 24; 10:30, 1:15, and 4:15, Saturday, Feb. 25; and 9:30, 12:25, and 2 o’clock, Sunday, Feb. 26.



Kansas Ag Issues Podcast – 02/22/2017

(Kansas House Majority Leader Don Hineman (R-Dighton), right and Rep. Larry Hibbard (R-Toronto) left)


Kansas State Representatives Don Hineman, who serves as House Majority Leader and Larry Hibbard joined us on Wednesday’s Ag Issues program.  They commented on several issues including the Governor’s veto of HB 2178 and what will the House do in regards to a potential override of the Governor’s veto.  They also commented on several bills including an expanded weight limit on trucks on state highways, Medicaid expansion and due process being reinstated to K-12 public school teachers.


DTN Cattle Close/Trends 02/27 15:30

                 USDA MARKET NEWS--AFTERNOON CATTLE REPORT    02/27/17

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COMMENTS: A typical Monday with the cash trade at a standstill.

5-AREA LV STR AVE PR&WT: $124.82(1436)  HIDE&OFFAL: $11.97 -0.02
CARCASS EQV INDEX   CHOICE (600-900#)   SELECT (600-900#)    #OF AD
  LIVE BASED           183.24              179.62             113,274
  BOX BASED            189.48              185.08              47,058
  AVE INDEX            186.36  +2.84       182.35  +2.43      160,332
BEEF CUTOUTS        CHOICE (600-900#)   SELECT (600-900#)
                       201.48  +2.52       197.08  +1.60
  42.95 LDS CH CUTS / 13.43 LDS SEL CUTS / 12.94 LDS TRIM / 32.82 LDS GROUND
BOXED BEEF TREND: Hr/shrply hr on mod-gd dem & lt offers
COMPREHENSIVE WEEKLY CUTOUT VALUE: Week ending 02/24 $193.56 +2.60
 CUTTER 90%  350# UP C/O: $165.65 +0.45
 NAT'L BONELESS BF TRIM:  65.95 lds / Mod-shrply hr on gd dem & mod offers
 90% TRIM:  34 lds: Wtd Avg $211.05 / Firm to higher
FI KILL(WTD) MON 116(116) WK AGO 102(102) YR AGO 104(102) 
             *** REVISION ** FRI 109(554) ** REVISION ***
             *** REVISION ** SAT  21(575) ** REVISION ***                       
                  MIX: FRI SH87/CB22  SAT SH11/CB10
                         FEEDERS     SLAUGHTER S&H
Week Ending:  02/11/17    1,213        3,838
Week Ending:  01/04/16    2,378        5,424
Change from prev week:   -1,165       -1,586