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 ...
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.
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 ...
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