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 ...
A proposed rule that would expand the regulatory authority of the Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could bring farming and ranching to a halt. Ordinary field work and everyday chores like moving cattle across a wet pasture, planting crops and even harvest may one day require a federal permit.
Did you know that when it comes to planting wheat, there is a lot of discussion and planning even before it is put into the ground? There are many issues and situations to think about before purchasing and planting a specific variety. At K-State Research and Extension, one of the many projects that we try to do for the community is to find a producer that is ready and willing to have a wheat variety plot on his land. The seed companies for the area including K-State usually donate the seed for the plot while the producer plants the wheat ...
The National Climate Assessment was recently released and it focused on Global Warming and its short and long-term effects. This column isn't intended to change anyone's mind either way on the subject but to provide some information and hopefully make it easier to shift through all the dross out there.
It's in your margarine, bread, crayons and building materials, but you probably don't realize it. Soybeans are everywhere.
This past week was difficult to cope with whether you were a farmer or lived in town. Over five days of wind combined with dry conditions and exposed soil made lives difficult for everyone. As dramatic as the winds and blowing soil were, the 1930s were even worse. The cost of blowing soil included a vehicular death due to poor visibility and numerous accidents. In parts of the state roads were closed and events cancelled. As this is written, the wind has settled down and the skies are blue instead of a hazy brown. Unfortunately there is little chance of ...
The Wheat Quality Council 2014 Hard Winter Wheat Tour wrapped up on May 1. Crop scouts estimated production for the Kansas crop at 260.6 million bushels. This is the lowest tour estimate since 1996. The average yield, calculated from 587 stops, was 33.2 bushels per acre.
Now that spring is in full swing, people have been noticing some dieback or brown areas in their evergreens. I thought I would share an article sent to me by the K-State Plant Pathology department. If you are concerned about your evergreen trees, this piece might help. As always, if you have any questions, please contact me and I will help find an answer to your question.
Once again farmers and ranchers are scratching their heads about how the new CDL (commercial driver's license) regulations will impact them when they transport livestock and crops to market.
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.
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