The announcement that the Conservation Awards Program will again be held in this county was received today by Alicia Boor, Barton County Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, who has been asked to serve as chairman of a committee to select candidates for awards.
Eric B. Banks, Kansas State Conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that $3.8 million in conservation funding has been allocated in Kansas to help landowners protect and restore key farmlands, grasslands, and wetlands. This announcement follows Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack's statement that $328 million is being invested nationally for this USDA initiative.
As this is being written, weather forecasters have backed off the heavy rains they predicted from the remnants of the hurricane that affected Mexico this past week. Corn harvest is starting to ramp up in the area; soybeans are turning color and dropping leaves; grain sorghum development is all over the map; and some early planted wheat has emerged. There really isn't much new locally to comment on, so let's take a look at some other news.
It takes a lot of work to get the glowing Ferris Wheel spinning, just like it takes work setting up the Ye Old Mill, grooming competition livestock, making the thousands of funnel cakes and cheese curds and keeping the fairgrounds a clean environment for families to enjoy. But most people don't think about the behind the scenes work it takes to get the competitions and booths off the ground in order to make the fair a success.
Youth from across the state have entered 1,733 head of animals for the 82nd annual Kansas Junior Livestock Show (KJLS). A total of 760 4-H and FFA members from 90 counties will show 126 market steers, 308 breeding heifers, 332 market hogs, 131 breeding gilts, 275 market lambs, 220 breeding ewes, 236 meat goats and 105 commercial doe kids. The competition will take place September 19-22 at the Kansas Pavilions in Wichita
This week will be an important event in Pawnee County. The Alfalfa field Day. As Alfalfa is an important crop produced in Barton County, and insurance coverage is lacking, I would like to share a piece by Jenni Carr, Harper County Agriculture and Natural Resource agent that will give you more information regarding the event. The field day and listening session will be held on Sept. 17th. All Barton County producers may find the field day and listening session beneficial to their production.
Talk to farmers, stockmen and ranchers – most will tell you how much they love their cows. Problem is this humble and in most cases easy-going beast rarely receives the praise associated with the noble show horse or one of the so-called smartest creatures, the squealing pig.
The past week saw parts of the area receive several significant rains. Rains after this last Tuesday don't appear in the calculations of the weekly Drought Monitor Update. The last update indicates that except for sliver of southern Barton County, from Barton County north the area is rated as Abnormally Dry. Directly south conditions are considered in Moderate Drought. This is a big positive step compared too several weeks ago. As always this is a general rating and individual areas may be wetter or drier. And the recent rains not included in this report have left areas north of ...
September is already here, and the first day of autumn is almost upon us. There are still many chores that can be done to help your landscape prepare for the winter to come. I found a few pieces of advice from K-State Research and Extension's horticulture expert on what you can be doing right now to help your cool season grasses stay healthy now, and give them a boost for next spring.
If the EPA's proposed rule to redefine waters of the United States becomes law, farming and ranching as we know it today may end.
The State Fair is in high gear and today is Sept. 7. A strong cold front moved through this past Friday and parts of the area have received fairly significant amounts of precipitation over the last week. Much of the immediate area was listed under the Moderate Drought category last Thursday but parts of eastern Barton, Rice, and Ellsworth Counties are a bit better and rated as Moderately Dry. Some producers question this since they are dealing with fields too wet for equipment while other missed out on the rains. It's almost time to plant the 2015 winter wheat ...
I receive many calls during the year about tree health, so I tend to write about trees more than any other subject. Right now, many of the trees in the county are looking a little stressed. There are several different issues that your tree may be trying to handle right now, so to help your tree; finding out what is wrong is the first step to helping it stay healthy.
Some people have the mistaken idea that farmers and ranchers are harming our environment. You hear it everywhere: at the coffee shop, church, public forums, traveling, even in the grocery.
A team of Kansas State University librarians has received its second Project Ceres contract to digitize more than 70 years of Kansas agricultural history.
A U.S. patent was recently awarded for technology created by researchers at Kansas State University that improves the health and welfare of beef cattle and other ruminant animals suffering from lameness and following castration, dehorning and other painful but necessary management procedures.
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.