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Saturday, January 2, 2021

Hazardous road conditions Sunday morning due to dense fog advisory

Widespread dense fog is expected to develop over the area tonight. It already is affecting a few locations such as Olathe, Gardner, and St. Joseph where 1/4 mile visibility is already being reported. 

Use caution when driving tonight through tomorrow morning as visibility may change quickly. In addition, with temperatures below freezing, freezing fog may cause surface such as bridges and overpasses to become slick.

Traffic Alert in Vernon County

We have been advised of a wreck in the southbound lanes of I-49 just before Compton Junction in Vernon County! 

Traffic is said to be at a standstill at this time! Please use caution if you must travel in this area! 

Please move over for emergency vehicles! Mid America Live will update when we know more!

60 Years of Memories: Agriculture In Butler


60 Years of Memories of Butler

by James Ring


Over the years, Butler has gradually embraced industrial diversification, attracting plants like the F.M. Thorp manufacturing building, the Russell Stover warehouse, Mr. Longarm facility and Ward Paper Box. But, as time passes, the town has watched industry come and go; the fortunes of business rise and fall.


Bates County has always been based on agriculture. Like it or not, Agribusiness is what keeps us going, year and year out. People have to eat, crops have to be planted and harvested, commodities have to be stored and moved. The ag cycle is eternal, and dependable. 


Thus, although we’ve seen changes, we’re still an agriculture community. The Bates County Fair, and its predecessors like the old Butler Fair and the Street Fairs held right on the Square’s bricks, prove this. Nationwide, only 2% of the population grows the foodstuffs to support the other 98%. It’s a little larger percentage locally.


Dairy farming is one of the most changed segments of our county’s agriculture. Sixty years ago, lots and lots of our family farms had milk cows. Power milkers sucked the juice out of them twice a day, supplemented by hand-stripping the last squirts. The precious fluid was dumped into 10-gallon cans and the filled near-hundred-pound containers would be lugged aboard milk trucks who traveled their route, hauling the owner-marked cans into Butler to the processing plants. Smaller farms sold cream to buying stations around the county.


The big Chapman milk plant, on the corner of Ft. Scott and Mechanic streets, took a lot of the Grade C milk, and there was another plant on Mill Street (now the City vehicle shop). Eventually, Grade A standards took over, requiring more expensive tanks and milking parlors; Dave and Ruth Ann Grizzell were the Surge milking equipment dealers on North Main street. The biggest dairy was the Steel and King partnership on West 52.


Consolidation and mandates brought an end to small-scale dairying, as happened with pork production; six decades back, most farmers kept a few hogs, farrowing several litters of pigs per year, selling them as feeder pigs if they didn’t feed them out themselves. The labor and land-use priorities put an end to pasture-raised pigs; now our bacon comes from hogs raised in confinement barns.


Field crops in my youth were diversified. Milo was raised for chicken feed, wheat and oats were planted for human and livestock consumption, alfalfa made great hay, and rye and barley might be seen as well. Corn would be harvested with a corn picker to preserve the cob, the ears ground whole to make meal-based feed. If your farm didn’t own a feed grinder, a truck-mounted mobile mill would come by to grind your feed. 


When I was a boy, the Missouri state average corn yield was 32 bushels per acre. We had heard of 100-bushel corn somewhere, but hadn’t seen it. And then farms got bigger as neighbors bought out neighbors; raising a family on 320 acres was no longer possible. A couple of thousand acres is now the norm, with huge picker-sheller combines swallowing up 200-bushel per acre cornfields, planted “as thick as the fair on a dog’s back” as my father put it.


Soybeans became the favored crop, useful for many purposes. With their nitrogen-fixing root system, bean plants could be rotated with corn plants in alternate years to improve soil quality. With land as a fixed or declining resource, the value of farm ground made maximum-effort cropping a necessity; windrows have been bulldozed out, fences are no longer seen except to contain livestock, hillsides are farmed and native prairie plots are nearly extinct. 


The support network has changed as well. Implement dealerships like Massey Ferguson, International Harvester, Ford, Oliver and Case are no more, combined into Deere, New Holland and Case-IH conglomerates. 


Still and all, we remain an agricultural community. We’re fortunate to live in an area where the terrain and rainfall support multi-use farming potential. After 60 years, we’re still farmers, or linked to them.

Saturday PM Weather Planner

Cold, cloudy, and calm is the main story for the day with a light wintry mix staying to the east in central MO. By late tonight, we are tracking the chance for some dense fog to develop, which would impact visibility on any overnight and Sunday morning travel.

Obituary - Steven Jay Burdge Jr.

Steven Jay Burdge Jr., age 39, of Raymore, Missouri, passed away on Friday, January 1, 2021.

A visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at South Point Church of Christ, 101 W. Red Bridge Rd., Kansas City, Missouri 64114. A funeral service will be held immediately following at 11:00 a.m. 

Services at the church will be limited to 100 people. A private family burial will be held at Wills Cemetery in Peculiar, Missouri following the funeral service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the family for Steven’s children’s education.

Arrangements: Cullen Funeral Home, Raymore, Missouri 816.322.5278

Structure Fire in rural Nevada

Henry County Health Center confirms 7 new positive cases of COVID-19

The Henry County Health Center has received notification of seven new cases of COVID-19. Six from the town of Clinton and one from Windsor. This brings the total number of positive cases in Henry County to 1,614.

All contact tracing has commenced and all parties that have had close contact are being notified. HCHC continues to encourage residents to practice social distancing, washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or more, and to remain home if you are sick.

The CDC continues to recommend that individuals to wear a face covering when you are in public, and are unable to social distance, to assist in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Some sun tomorrow