Well, 2015 is starting out as busy as 2014 ended! I have several more upcoming programs to tell you all about in Agriculture and Horticulture. As always, you can contact me at the Extension Office for more information about these exciting opportunities coming your way!
Before we all become buried in the new year, let's look at this new beginning with a bit of humor. Plenty of people trot out their lists of resolutions. Often, such lists are as long as their arms and last as long as their pinky.
As the holiday season comes to an end, so does the entry period for the 2015 National Festival of Breads. The festival, sponsored by King Arthur Flour, Red Star Yeast and Kansas Wheat, is a national amateur bread baking competition that hundreds of bakers enter. The entry deadline for this year's competition is January 16, 2015.
Kansas Farm Bureau (KFB) and the Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom (KFAC) will host the eighth annual Be Ag-Wise professional development workshops early next year.
Happy New Year to everybody. 2014 is history and 2015 is officially here. The last year was interesting to say the least for crop and livestock producers. The drought, record high prices for protein (beef, pork, and poultry), significant declines in crop prices, record corn yields, and steep declines in fuel prices. The natural question then is what does 2015 have in store for agriculture? This list is in no particular order and accurately seeing into the future is tricky at best.
If temperatures are too hot in May and June, farmers could lose more than layers.
Do you ever drive by the USDA Service Center or the K-State Research and Extension Office and wonder what they do in there? Do you ever have a question, but aren't sure where to turn? What about wanting to improve your operation, and needing some financial assistance to help with the cost? Chances are these offices have the ability to help.
Many, many traditions are associated with Christmas – a decorated tree, colored lights, gift giving, parties and turkey and ham dinners. Most of these traditions are recent additions.
Kansas farmers' markets across the state are doing much more than just providing a fresh food source. The farmers offering their produce, as well as the consumers taking advantage of the farm-fresh offerings are also simulating the local economy. There are now 130 active farmers' markets in Kansas compared to the 26 in operation in 1987. The growth in this sector helps provide Kansans with more revenue and more high-quality food choices.
Record high calf prices and projected cow-calf profitability have many producers considering expansion. Selecting, feeding and breeding the right replacement heifers could have a large impact on future profits.
In the early 1950s the average corn yield was around fifty bushels per acre. Flash forward to 2014 and the national average yield is pegged at around 170 bushels per acre. With the exceptions of severe weather (heat and drought), on average, corn yields have increased on average two bushel per acre per year. There are many factors contributing to this tripling of average yields involving all aspects of corn production. These factors include improved genetics through convention breeding and genetic engineering; improved understanding of soil fertility and nutrients; improved equipment to facilitate all aspects of corn production; development of ...
While this past Thursday's snow made for a bit of a rough drive, it was very welcome and not just for farmers and ranchers. This snow, combined with the rain from the past week, was important and not just as moisture for winter wheat, winter canola, and next spring's planting. What are the additional benefits of this moisture that many forget about?
A series of four K-State Sorghum Production Schools will be offered in mid-February 2015 to provide in-depth training for sorghum producers. The schools are sponsored by the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission.
Without question, agricultural research is one of the most vital investments we can make to feed our increasing population and protect our planet.
Imagine that a simple photo of your wheat, with just a few bits of additional information, can accurately predict future yield. A new app, called the Kansas Wheat Yield Calculator App, is allowing this to happen with ease from smart devices.
All Kansas farmers are invited to the Kansas Commodity Classic on Friday, Feb. 6. The Commodity Classic is the annual convention of the Kansas Corn, Wheat and Grain Sorghum Associations, and will take place at the at the Hilton Garden Inn, 410 S 3rd St, Manhattan, Kan., with registration beginning at 7:30 a.m. It is free to attend and includes a complimentary breakfast and lunch; however pre-registration is requested.
With the advent of 2015, there's hope the Obama administration will follow through on its ambitious trade agenda. Leaders on both sides of the Atlantic agree a more open trade partnership makes sense.
A forester once told me that you know a drought is severe if you see Red Cedar trees dying. All around the county, you can see Cedars in tree rows and windbreaks dead and brown. If you are looking to replace your tree row, The Kansas Forest Service offers low-cost tree and shrub seedlings for use in conservation plantings. Plants are one to two years old and sizes vary from 5 to 18 inches, depending on species. Orders are accepted from now through the first full week in May each year, but order early to insure receiving the items you ...
Last week's column briefly discussed some of the reasons for the large changes in agriculture over the last century. Drivers for change included two World Wars, the Great Depression, economic conditions after WWII, and the Federal Government. One reader pointed out that the column almost painted war as a good thing for agriculture. That wasn't the intent. The fact is the driver for change and the development of new techniques and technologies is typically an event or events forcing and accelerating change. Now, how did events change farming over the last century.
Many authors have documented the rise and fall of civilizations throughout time. Reasons for this rollercoaster effect are numerous-from human-influenced changes such as conquest, culture or religion, to events that occur in the natural environment including changes in climate or the presence of natural resources, such as soil.
Under a bright blue, fall Oklahoma sky in a serene setting, cattle are doing what cattle do – quietly moving through a pasture looking for the next best thing to eat. As they graze, instruments are recording how much methane they are producing.
The good news is, Kansas consumers spend $7.2 billion on food each year. The bad news is, $6.5 billion of it comes from beyond the state's borders, obesity is on the rise, 56 percent of Kansas farmers require secondary income and only eight percent of Kansans have healthy diets, according to a 2010 survey by the Kansas Health Institute.
While food safety will always be the cornerstone of our production process, allegiance is making inroads into why and where consumers buy their products.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is publishing a rule that outlines how it will improve the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), one of USDA's largest conservation programs. The interim final rule includes program changes authorized by Congress in the 2014 Farm Bill.
Although women represented only 28 percent of Kansas farmers in 2012 and the number of farmers is declining overall, women are ramping-up their involvement in several of the state's less common forms of agriculture. The Kansas Rural Center is one organization in Kansas that continues to advance programs to better serve the needs of this historically underserved population.
We all know a century is a long time. In U.S. agriculture the changes make it seem more like a millennium. We are aware of the obvious changes in crops, crop yields, machinery and technology, demographics, and globalization. But where and why did those changes happen and how have these changes changed, or not changed, what a farmer has become?
Record crops and low prices have farmers embracing change in 2015, with acreage shifts continuing to move fields from corn to soybeans, according to the latest Farm Futures survey.
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