News Article -

Improved customer service and greater information sharing are goals the Kansas Department of Agriculture had in mind when the agency created a web portal for the division of water resources.

The agency is encouraging visitors to visit the portal at

http://www.ksda.gov/dwr/ and recommend how the site can be improved even more. "We want visitors to our site to be able to access the information they need quickly and easily," said David Barfield, chief engineer of the division. "If we're not succeeding, we want folks to tell us."

Among the improvements made so far are:

* Quicker access to division of water resources information.

* Public hearing notices appear more prominently.

* The data, maps and links area has been expanded.

* Contact information is easier to access.

* Statutes, regulations and forms are structured in an all-inclusive list.

* The DWR Currents newsletter is available through an online subscription and through an online newsletter archive.

* Weekly updates are posted on conditions in the Republican River basin related to minimum desirable streamflow.

* 2007 field summary reports are posted for each project area covered by the subbasin water resource management program.

Improvements in the queue include:

* All forms in portable document format (PDF) are being converted to enable writable fields so applicants can fill them out online, although paper applications will still be accepted.

* Fact sheets are being developed on topics of significant interest.

Already built into the portal is a comments section where visitors can offer feedback.

"This is a concerted effort to make more information available to more people to maximize our web presence," Barfield said. (Contact: Lisa Taylor, 785/296-2653)


Kansas has a strong agricultural tradition that predates its statehood, and it continues to be a significant contributor to the state's economic well-being. In 2007, cash receipts from farm marketings totaled nearly $12 billion, while exports of agricultural products that year were valued at more than $3.8 billion.

Kansas farmers typically produce more wheat than any other state in the nation and, in 2010, Kansas wheat accounted for nearly 16 percent of all wheat produced nationwide. Kansas ranks first in grain sorghum produced, second in cropland, and third in land in farms and sunflowers produced. The state ranks fifth in summer potatoes, sixth in hay and corn grain produced, 14th in dry edible beans, 17th in upland cotton and 18th in oats.

Kansas is also a leader in beef production, with 19 percent of all U.S. beef originating from Kansas beef processing facilities. The state ranks second in cattle and calves on farms and third in cattle and calves on grain feed, tenth in hogs on farms, 11th in market sheep and lambs, 16th in meat and other goats and 17th in milk produced.

Agriculture and agribusiness contribute to the total economy of Kansas, both directly and indirectly. One in five Kansans, rural and urban, work in jobs related to agriculture and food production.

Top 5 agriculture commodities, 2010


Value of receipts
thousand $

Percent of state total
farm receipts

Percent of US value

1. Cattle and calves




2. Wheat




3. Corn




4. Soybeans




5. Sorghum grain