Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced "a new era in American conservation efforts" with an historic focus on public-private partnership. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), created in the 2014 Farm Bill, will fund a number of conservation activities across Kansas. "This is an entirely new approach to conservation," Vilsack said. "We're giving private companies, local communities, and other non-government partners a way to invest in what are essentially clean water start-up operations."
One question arising from the articles on Global Warming involved plants capturing energy and carbon dioxide. Since there is unfortunately little to write about regarding the wheat or summer crops with the exception of some rain and moderate temperatures, let's take a brief look at photosynthesis.
Lately, I have been getting questions concerning weed control in home lawns. The best solution for weed control is to have a thick, healthy lawn that will not allow the weeds to take hold in the first place. One way to do this is to keep your lawn healthy by fertilizing it at the correct time. I thought that I would share a piece by Ward Upham, K-State Research and Extension Horticulture specialist about fertilizing recommendations in warm season lawns. This is a good column to help you know how much to use and when for the three warm-season grasses ...
Kansas leaders and communicators have agreed to serve as judges for the 2014 Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest. The state contest finals will be held at 7 p.m. on June 13 at the St. John's Lutheran Memorial Hall at 218 Kansas in Alma. There is no admission charge and the public is invited to attend.
Most Kansas farmers and ranchers have seen about everything. Still the sight of the white combine headed for a wheat crop or soil leaving the home is enough to make their blood run cold.
Kansas Wheat Day will be held on May 30, at the K-State Agricultural Research Center in Hays.
If you're cooking out this Memorial Weekend, plan on spending some extra money for your food, says a Kansas State University agricultural economist.
Few experiences are more powerful or moving than a visit to a cemetery on Memorial Day. Unlike a military cemetery where rows upon rows of graves give silent testimony to the human cost of war, in most Kansas cemeteries the stories of the dead – young, old, male and female – tell a story about the community.
Before wrapping this up a response to a comment is necessary. Last week greenhouse gases were described as letting visible solar radiation reach the earth's surface but trapping heat (longwave radiation). But what about clouds since heavy cloud cover decreases visible solar radiation? Clouds are not water vapor. Clouds form when the air is saturated with water vapor (100% relative humidity) and are composed of water droplets (liquid water), ice crystals, and other components. The debate on this subject is several fold, including question such as:
One of the largest annual gatherings of Kansas high school students is set to begin next week as more than 2,000 FFA members, agricultural educators and supporters converge at Kansas State University for the 86th Kansas FFA Convention. The convention will open Wednesday, May 28, and run through Friday, May 30.
Last week, area farmers met in a wheat field to survey our Extension wheat plot. It is taller than a lot of the stands around the county, but you can still see some of the stress that the frigid winter, cool spring, varying temperatures and overall drought has caused. The difference here is that there were fifteen different varieties to look at and compare all in a row. Every year wheat plots are important to the community in order to help producers make decisions on what seed they will want to plant for the following year. Having several different varieties ...
Last week's column briefly described weather, climate, global climate, and the atmosphere as a global system redistributing energy received from sunlight due to the tilt of the Earth's axis. Everything naturally moves from a higher to a lower concentration and nature seeks equilibrium or the lowest energy state. Finally, certain gases like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere allow visible light through but don't let heat (longwave radiation) back out. Next a brief description of the what and why of global warming with apologies for the simplification.
On Saturday, March 12th, the Kansas Graizers hosted a low stress livestock handling workshop presented by Dr. Lynn Locatelli in Salina Ks. Dr Locatelli is a livestock handling specialist who gave a, deep, thoughtful, presentation to a full-house eager to learn more about low stress livestock handling.
There's an old saying that goes something like this: "Sometimes you have to look back on where you've been to know where you're going." While I'm not a fanatic about history, I believe it certainly has its place in our society today.
This spring, I have had several calls about evergreen trees. People have noticed that their spruce trees are turning brown, usually at the ends of the branches. The question is whether or not this is a disease. In many cases, it is not and is because of the extreme cold temperatures this past winter. The key elements here are timing of damage and location of damage. In terms of timing, the trees were fine last fall and then damage showed up this winter. The location of the damage is at the end of the branches and in a lot of ...
Many times when I go out on home visits, the homeowners concerns are with trees on their property. One reason for your trees being in distress may very well be your lawn. If your grass, (especially cool season grasses such as fescue) is allowed to grow up to the trunk of your trees, the competition for water and other nutrients may cause your tree to decline in health. Following is a report on research that has been completed by KSU with more information about the grass and tree competition issue many homeowners have faced.
The two previous columns briefly outlined reasons for the large changes in agriculture over the last century and the results of those changes for the society. Also discussed were the effects these changes had on the practice of agriculture. Now, let's wrap it up and discuss how these changes changed agricultural producers themselves. Please keep in mind these are general trends that don't necessarily mean everyone producing food, fiber, or fuel or that today is bad and a century ago was better or vice-versa..
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reminds livestock producers that the Jan. 30, 2015, deadline to request assistance for losses suffered from Oct. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2014, is fast approaching.
Hype is a word often associated with advertising agencies, public relations firms and spin doctors who attempt to create, change or repair an image. Many people consider hype a dirty word, something to detest.
The 2015 Central Plains Irrigation Conference and Exposition will take place Feb. 17-18 at the City Limits Convention Center, Colby. The popular annual event focused solely on irrigation-related topics is hosted in Kansas every third year. Sponsors include Kansas State University, Colorado State University, the University of Nebraska and the Central Plains Irrigation Association.
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.