Each day, farmers and ranchers pull on their boots, roll up their sleeves and go to work outside rural communities across Kansas. They perform a litany of chores – feeding and doctoring livestock, cultivating their crops, pulling maintenance on machinery, paying bills – you name it and farmers and ranchers do it.
If Billy Crystal's Fernando character were to visit a Kansas farm this spring you can be sure he wouldn't be telling too many farmers, "Darling, you look marvelous." You can also bet not too many farmers, step into the cab of their tractors wearing any of the high fashions portrayed on the pages of GQ or Esquire.
Over the year, I get many calls from people concerned about crabgrass and how to get rid of it. The general rule for killing weeds is getting them when they are vulnerable. Right now is the time to treat your lawn if you have seen crabgrass in the past. Here is a write-up from K-State Research and Extension about treating your yard for crabgrass so that you have to best chance of getting rid of it in your turf.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture announced the results of the elections held for the five grain commodity commissions-corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers and wheat in districts One, Two and Three in the Western region of the state.
Today, let's catch up on some loose ends that haven't been addressed over the last few weeks during the discussion on soil acidity. Summer row crop planting season is almost here and winter wheat produces have been hard at work topdressing their crop.
A highly pathogenic avian influenza confirmed in four states can be very deadly for birds, but a Kansas State University poultry expert says humans don't need to worry about their own health or contaminated poultry products.
Kansas State University is leading an international, multimillion-dollar project that is looking at unmanned aerial systems - or UAS - as a quick and efficient method to detect pest insects and diseases in food crops before outbreaks happen.
In celebration of Ag Day and Ag Month, the agricultural organizations in Kansas partnered together to launch a virtual tour of a dairy farm. The video, which has been posted on the KSRE YouTube channel, features a Kansas dairy farm and can be used as an educational tool for classrooms and organizations statewide.
Over the last few weeks this column has explored what acidity is, what determined the native (original) soil pH condition present, and how agricultural practices have affected soil pH over time. This week wraps this up and discusses how producers can adjust soil pH to optimize crop production. Remember for the crops common to our area the optimal pH is approximately 6.3 to 7.3 and acid soils have pH readings lower than 7 while basic soils are above 7. While soils in our area may have pH readings in the 8 range, typically they aren't like the ...
The smell and sight of spring burning on the Flint Hills evoked this childhood memory.
As I was glancing at my calendar today, I realized that April is almost here. This year is really flying by! With the start of April, we will have the Great Bend Farm and Ranch Expo out at the Expo grounds just west of Great Bend. The 3 day event will have programs, vendors, and a chance to meet up and see what's new in farming and ranching. Together with K-State Research and Extension, Kansas Farm Management, and the Kansas Forest service, we will be giving informative lunch time programs at noon every day in Expo 3, so come ...
Caring for the environment used to be tough duty. However, during the last couple of decades, it's become a marketing opportunity.
column discusses how soil acidity changes as producers have managed it for crop production since Kansas was settled. We will focus on were soil pH started, how converting the land to crop production changed pH, and the role of evolving cultural practices. It may be helpful to refer to the previous two columns.
News that more than 40 countries have banned poultry imports from Minnesota after a lethal strain of avian influenza was confirmed in a turkey flock there has now been compounded by news of confirmed cases in Missouri and Arkansas turkeys.
Maintaining the rich heritage of agricultural stewardship in Kansas, the Kansas Department of Agriculture has teamed up with DriftWatch, an online mapping tool, to protect the state's specialty crops.
Lately, I have been getting many calls with people concerned with small mounds in their turf, making it difficult to mow, work or play in their yard. Most of the time, the issue is earthworms that are very active at this time of year. In my research, I came across this short piece of information on nightcrawlers, from the K-State Entomology department. I thought I would share this to give more infomation about these beneficial but sometimes annoying worms.
Farmer stockmen possess a burning desire to care for their livestock. A few years back, I witnessed this dedication on a dairy in Franklin County.
This week wraps up the discussion of "organic" foods before comparing them to "conventionally" produced foods. Last week's column briefly described what organic means in general terms. When you purchase a product "Certified Organic" what does that really mean?
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $73 million to rehabilitate dams across the nation in an effort to protect public health and safety and evaluate the expansion of water supply in drought stricken areas. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is investing in approximately 150 projects and assessments in 23 states. "Millions of people depend on watersheds and dams for protection from floods and providing clean drinking water," Vilsack said. "By investing in this critical infrastructure, we are helping to ensure a safe, resilient environment for rural America."
Next week marks the 45th anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement. The first Earth Day celebration occurred April 22, 1970.
At this time of year, many gardeners are starting vegetables indoors, or preparing to buy small plants to transplant into their garden when the soil temperature is warm enough. To help with this process, it is sometimes a good idea to give the small plants a little extra fertilizer to help them get a good start. I found a column from the K-State Research and Extension's horticulture department that gives some good advice on transplant solutions and sidedressing to help you give your garden the best start possible.
The Kansas Flint Hills have served as a home and food source for stocker cattle since the mid-1800s, when cowboys drove longhorns up the Chisholm Trail from the southwestern United States to Kansas railways. Flash forward to today: research from Kansas State University on this staple resource could help ensure profitable years ahead for stocker producers.
K-State Research and Extension is offering 4-H Leadership Boot Camp on April 25 in Hoisington, available to all interested persons. Call 785-483-3157 to register. For more information about this, as well as more localized events, check with the local K-State Research and Extension office.
Last week's column explored in general terms what organic means to chemists and the scientific community and what it means to the "natural" foods community. This series of articles isn't intended to take sides but to provide information to help in making informed decisions. Now let's briefly attempt to get a handle on what exactly "organic" foods are. This involves several parts and it is important to note there are foodstuffs claiming to be organic and foodstuffs that have followed certain strict requirements and are certified as organic.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making available $332 million in financial and technical assistance through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). ACEP applications may be submitted at any time to NRCS however, applications for the current funding cycle must be submitted on or before May 15, 2015.
Pre-packaged, vacuum-packed, just add water.
Farming is a dangerous business. In fact, farming is one of the most dangerous jobs in the US. Every year, around one hundred youth are killed in farm work related activities. A lot of these deaths could have been prevented with better safety practices. Every year, Barton County, K-State Extension and Research provides a class in Hazardous Occupations Training to teach youth ages 13-18 about the Hazards of farm work, and how to create a safer working environment. Even though the class is offered for a larger age range, it is required for individuals 14-15 years old who will be ...
Before today's topic a brief update is in order. Temperatures the night of April 3 fell well below freezing ranging from the low 20s to around 30 over the area for several hours. Spotty freeze damage has been noted already in South Central Kansas and more will likely become evident over the next little while, especially under warm windy conditions. Leaf burn won't be a big deal but since wheat was jointing or jointed in much of the area, it will pay to keep an eye out for damage to the developing head inside the stem. Damage was ...
A Kansas State University animal health leader has been chosen to engage local, regional and national stakeholders in the development of strategic partnerships for the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, or NBAF.