K-State Research and Extension

The AgManager site hosts various spreadsheets. The three most popular spreadsheets and their average monthly downloads in 2010: Option Strategies (249), KSU-Landbuy (144), and KSU-Lease (134).

 

Website Offers One-Stop Resource for Clients

icons>Legislative Report Small, 2011

When it comes to finding the latest information on land leasing, crop price trends, and other agriculture-related subjects, Hamilton Bock knows where to turn.
 
“The AgManager website contains a wealth of information on a variety of agricultural subjects,” said Bock of K-State’s agricultural economics website: www.AgManager.info. “I usually reference the site several times a week.”
 
Bock, who is vice president and an agriculture and commercial loan officer with Sunflower Bank in Great Bend, said the information available on AgManager helps with the bank’s planning process. He also uses
 
its resources to assist producers in planning their operating cycles.
 
“When we first started posting to the Internet, a number of faculty had their own websites. Then we decided to develop a one-stop shop where our clientele could access information, and AgManager was born,” said Kevin Dhuyvetter, K-State Research and Extension agricultural economist. From August 2009 to July 2010, AgManager averaged 57,822 visitors each month.
 
Rich Llewelyn manages the website and posts reports by fellow K-State agricultural economists, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other sources. The website has information on historical and future livestock and grain supplies and prices — and the factors that affect them — agriculture policy, risk management, including in-depth crop insurance, and other information critical to livestock and grain producers.
 
The website has links to interactive tools that can help crop producers determine certain market scenarios based on their own operation’s data. Futures- based price forecasts for diesel fuel are updated monthly, and reports related to such topics as distillers grains and ethanol are also available.
 
The site was awarded the 2010 AAEA Outstanding Electronic Media Education Award by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
 
Bock said he uses the Kansas Farm Management Association (KFMA) monthly newsletter, available via AgManager, to stay current with trends in agriculture. Economists provide KFMA members with production and financial management information for use in decision making.
 
“KFMA’s Enterprise Analysis allows me to benchmark my customers and producers to show them how they compare to their peers,” Bock said.
 
In addition to Bock, other AgManager users offered comments.
 
Megan Frye, market adviser with Water Street Solutions, based in Peoria, Ill., said she uses AgManager data to produce a livestock video chat with clients to help update them with changes in the marketplace.
Steve Kramer, who farms near Corning, Kan., said he looks to AgManager for farm policy information. “The information allows me to make an informed decision on these programs.”
 
“I rely on the K-State site as a benchmark for current and past information,” said Jesse Sumner, Clinton, N.C.-based production coordinator for Prestage Farms. “It is very helpful to have a dependable site that you can go to each week to understand current trends as they interrelate.”
 
For those who prefer other information delivery options, a weekly AgManager electronic newsletter and RSS feeds are available, and AgManager can be found on Facebook.
 
More Information:
Kevin Dhuyvetter, 785-532-3527, kcd@ksu.edu
Solar Panels Installed
The K-State Research and Extension Douglas County office installed 20 solar panels on the roof. Electirc energy savings are expected to cover the investment expense in 16 years and avoid producing 280,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over the next 25 years.
 
It is one of three solar projects installed in the county this year. Along with producing 15 percent of the building’s electricity, the system will be used as an educational tool.
 
One fourth of the $20,000 cost will be covered by a Kansas Energy Office grant.
 
Billy Wood 785-843-7058, bdwood@ksu.edu
 
Using Facebook
K-State Research and Extension units are reaching new audiences with Facebook. For example:
 
Riley County invited seniors to learn about changes to the Medicare prescription drug plan.
 
• The Fort Riley site features upcoming events for military families.
 
Johnson County asks for comments on current programs and suggestions for new ones.
 
• Food safety topics — from tailgating to handling wild game — are popular.
 
• Others use Facebook to recognize 4-H accomplishments and offer encouragement for future contests. It’s also a great way to introduce new staff.
 
• A specialist in northeast Kansas developed a site to draw younger farmers into her well-established wheat trial program.
 
• The K-State Research and Extension Facebook page hosts news releases, radio interviews, video, program updates, and photos.