• Emergency Need For Blood Donors
    URGENT NEED FOR BLOOD DONATIONS -- recent accidents and heavy blood usage have resulted in an urgent need for type O- and an immediate need for types O+ and A-. If you are one of these blood types, please donate at your earliest convenience. We are open at the blood center, 7500 Wallace Blvd., until 5:30pm today, 8:00am-4:30pm on Friday and 8:00am-12:00pm on Saturday. We will also be at Westgate Mall for our Annual Mother's Day Blood Drive this Saturday from 10:00am-6:00pm at Center Court. For a complete list of mobiles in your area, visit www.thegiftoflife.org and click on blood drive calendar. Thank you, in advance, for your immediate help!
  • KGNC Agri-Business Coverage Expands
    The KGNC Golden Spread Agri-Business Update with James Hunt & Shannon Gray is now on Saturdays from 5am-6am. Get even more agriculture news.
  • Join the KGNC Coffee Club
    Listen to NewsDay Amarillo with Tim Butler every Thursday morning at 7:10 to join the KGNC Coffee Club. Each winner gets 2 KGNC Travel Coffee Mugs, our KGNC special blend coffee from Red Light Coffee - 3700 West 6th and a half-dozen Bagels from The Bagel Place - 3301 Bell.


The Amarillo Farm & Ranch Show is one of agriculture’s top annual events. The event is scheduled on Dec 02, 03 & 04, 2014 at Amarillo Civic Center. Many of agribusiness’ top companies will be displaying their product lines and latest technologies to show attendees from all over the world. Companies and institutions exhibiting at the show include representatives of agricultural machinery, harvesting systems, measuring systems, fertilizers, raising seedling systems, transporting systems, agricultural chemicals, greenhouse-related products and more. There will also be exhibits related to processed foods, dairy products, and agriculture research.

2014 Show Dates & Hours:
Tuesday, December 2: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December
 3: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 4: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Admission $2/person
100% of the proceeds will be donated to the local FFA chapters

2014 Schedule of Events







Concerns For Cotton Planting

We recently talked about the delays in corn planting due to the abundant rains. But, cotton producers are in the same situation. In fact, AgriLife Agronomist Jourdan Bell said she’s very concerned about how pushed back the planting date for cotton has become.

“Up in our region we just have to get that cotton in in the early part of May because we have a very narrow window for cotton production since we are limited in our growing degree days,” Bell said.

Growing degree days refers to the amount of hot weather we receive, which is an important aspect of cotton production. Our soil temperatures for example, really need to be around 65 degrees to get good cotton germination.  

Bellsaid, “We might see our soil temps bumping up into the 60s, but again it’s important to look at those 10-day soil temperatures, that 10-day average. And so our 10-day averages with these rainy periods tend to keep on dropping back down.”

So not only has it been difficult for farmers to get in the fields and get their cotton planted, but the soil temperatures coupled with cool days are definitely not helping matters.

If you happen to be one of those lucky producers who has been able to get your cotton in the ground between storms, Bell warned that “cotton, [is] just like corn. If it’s sitting under saturated conditions for a prolonged period [of time] you could see the same issues. You could see those seedling diseases because the cell membrane of that seed could be damaged and that just leaves that seed more susceptible to fungal pathogens.”

Bell also mentions that with so much rain all at once, producers who have been out in the field planting cotton could run into crusting issues if they have finer textured soil, which in turn could cause some germination issues. 

Another Chance For Proposed Fund

Another Chance For Proposed Fund

It’s typical for businesses to come and go. But, what happens when a grain company goes out of business? This has long been an issue for grain farmers, which is where the Texas Grain Producers Indemnity Board comes in. Vice Chairman for TGPIB Dee Vaughn said, “When a grain buyer becomes financially insolvent and is unable to pay for the grain, how do we mitigate that risk and do it in a very cost effective and efficient manner?”

To assist producers faced with such circumstances, TGPIB is coordinating an effort to conduct a statewide producer referendum for a proposed grain indemnity fund.

This is actually the second attempt to establish a grain indemnity fund in Texas. An earlier proposal was rejected by producers in a 2012 referendum. Vaughn told KGNC that the TGPIB listened to feedback from farmers about the original proposal, and the board believes it has put together an improved product this time.

 “What we were told by producers who opposed the original referendum is that it was too costly. The assessment that would be applied to the grain sale was too costly. And then also, there was even some concern that we were going to cover, at that time, 90 percent of the farmer’s loss in the event of a grain buyer failure.” Vaughn said some opponents of the earlier proposal felt a coverage rate at that level would encourage people to “do business with a risky guy simply because he pays a little bit more but is not financially solid.”

Vaughn said after hearing those comments, TGPIB went back to the drawing board and, “what we came up with is the ability to use insurance to help cover a lot of the cost and so we’re able to dramatically lower the cost from what we offered in 2012 in that referendum. Plus, we dropped the coverage from 90 percent down to 85 percent,” which will hopefully give producers more incentive to do business with companies that are more stable financially.

If the new proposal for a grain indemnity fund is approved by producers, Vaughn said “absolutely no taxpayer money” would be involved in funding the program. “It’s a producer program, it’s administered by producers, and it’s paid for by producers.”

The Texas Legislature has approved allowing a producer referendum on the revised proposal. The big question now becomes: When will there be a vote by producers? Vaughn said TGPIB hopes to present this to producers sometime within the next year. Before the referendum is conducted, Vaughn said there will be a statewide education effort to inform producers and grain buyers about how this proposed program would work and how much it would cost. 

A Hitch In FarmersÂ’ Giddy Up

Late planting has been an issue all around the state this spring. USDA’s latest crop progress report shows that there were just 2.5 days suitable for field work in Texas last week. Ironically, as much as farmers welcome rain, they’re stuck in a holding pattern on planting due to the ample amount of rain many regions of the state have been receiving, including the KGNC listening area.

What’s the connection between precipitation and this big hitch in farmers’ schedules? Rain, as useful as it is for farmers and ranchers, brings with it mud challenges. So, in order to avoid the mud, farmers are faced with letting their fields dry down enough to get their equipment in the field.

Many corn farmers in our area, however, try to plant their seed during the first part of May. And while the rain has been steady, there have been, as the USDA crop progress report indicates, several days in between storms where the fields have dried down enough to get some seed in the ground. Even so, Texas A&M AgriLife Agronomist Dr. Jourdan Bell says she’s been receiving calls from producers worried about their plant date being pushed back too late in the season.

“At this point I’m still not concerned for this planting date,” Dr. Bell said. “However, one of the potential concerns is seed that’s actually out in the field right now that’s sitting in saturated conditions or under flooded conditions.”

With the help of GPS in tractors many corn farmers began planting during those short dry spells, “We had a lot of producers running corn planters day and night just trying to get their corn out in the field,” but now the issue becomes saturated conditions. “One of the potential issues that could arise from this is to actually see some more seedling diseases. That occurs because when that seed is under flooded or even just saturated conditions for a prolonged period, the cell membrane is actually damaged and so that leaves that seed more prone to fungal pathogens and damage.”

It only takes about four days of sitting in these wet conditions to cause damage to the seedling. And, while this is a concern for most corn farmers, Dr. Bell does note that, “this is not across the whole Panhandle because it varies with soil type.  A coarser soil that has better drainage is not going to see this issue whereas we’re talking about areas where we have our very heavy soils that drain poorly.”

Check Your Selections

As farmers continue adapting to the new farm bill, there is news from Texas Corn Producers concerning the Agricultural Risk Coverage Program. TCP is advising producers of corn and other commodities to check their farm program selections due to changes the Farm Service Agency has made to yields. For more information, go here



Farm Payment Limits Proposed

USDA has issued a proposed rule that would implement additional limits on farm payments made to non-farmers. For more information and to offer comments about the proposal, go here http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2015/03/0074.xml&contentidonly=true



KGNC Golden Spread Agribusiness Hour

The KGNC Golden Spread Agribusiness Hour is your daily opportunity to hear from agriculture newsmakers from around the region. The program airs Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. on KGNC-AM.

In addition to bringing you the insights of ag experts from around the High Plains region, our show also offers up-to-the-minute market information, veterinary news, wildlife reports, and features that explore the daily endeavor of those good people – the farmers and livestock producers – who provide us with the food and fiber we all need.

If you are unable to listen to the Agribusiness Hour live, remember you can hear recordings of past programs in podcast form by going here: http://multimedia.kgncam.com/audio/ag.htm

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