WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, met with United States Department of Agriculture Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack about priorities for the 114th Congress.
Every spring, the ritual continues. Farmers, stockmen and landowners continue to use fire as a range management tool while maintaining the economic viability of the Flint Hills.
The latest Drought Monitor Update (February 17) indicates almost the entire state is at least abnormally dry. Most of Barton County falls in this category except for the extreme southern section. South into Stafford and west into Pawnee Counties the shortage increases to moderate drought. As you move south towards the border and to Southwest and West Central Kansas the severity increases to severe with a small area rated as extreme drought. This is in spite of slightly above average precipitation experienced in the Barton area over the last several weeks.
A recent study involving Kansas State University researchers finds that in the coming decades at least one-quarter of the world's wheat production will be lost to extreme weather from climate change if no adaptive measures are taken.
If you're pondering buying a fruit tree, here are some comments from the K-State Research and Extension's Horticulture department on ones that are commonly grown in Kansas. Fruit trees are a long-term investment requiring careful thought before purchase. Begin by choosing fruit you will eat, not fruit that appears attractive in the catalog. Other considerations are outlined below. For more choices, go to the publication "Small- and Tree-Fruit Cultivars" at http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/MF1028.pdf. You may also request this publication from me at the Barton County K-State Research and Extension office.
Registration is open for the first in a series of four "women only" Women in Farming Risk Management Education workshops to be hosted by the Kansas Rural Center during the spring and summer of 2015. All four of the workshops in KRC's "Women in Farming" series will highlight the opportunities and the challenges women face as they implement new enterprises on existing farms, begin farming or take over family operations, or just try to adopt new practices and enterprises with their families.
We are told we live in the age of information and have for at least several decades. Information, specifically access to information, is an asset as valuable as money. "Knowledge is power" is a slogan used in advertising and is first attributed to Sir Francis Bacon in 1597. Governments spend billions of dollars annually gathering information on almost everything imaginable. Information, or lack thereof, has decided the fates of nations, the success of companies, and having necessary information is vital to all of us in our everyday lives. Through formal education, on the job training, connections with others, or trial ...
Eric B. Banks, State Conservationist with U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces five national initiatives being offered in Kansas through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP): Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative, National Water Quality Initiative, On-Farm Energy Initiative, Organic Initiative, and Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative. While NRCS accepts applications for EQIP on a continuous basis, NRCS has set a deadline of March 20, to apply for 2015 initiatives funding.
Though soil tests are useful for identifying nutrient deficiencies as well as soil pH, they do not tell the whole story. The KSRE Soils Lab often receive soils from gardeners that are having a difficult time growing crops even though the soil test shows the pH is fine and nutrients are not deficient. Here are some factors that can affect plant growth that are not due to nutrient deficiencies or pH.
The egg is in hot water again thanks to recent reports of high cholesterol levels in the U.S. population. With this linkage between high serum cholesterol and coronary heart disease (CHD), these studies and others have led people to believe CHD is the fault of "those dirty rotten eggs."
K-State Research and Extension is offering family and youth events, available to all interested persons. For more information about these, as well as more localized events, check with your local K-State Research and Extension office.
Kansas State University's 102nd Annual Cattlemen's Day will be held on Friday, March 6, in Weber Hall in Manhattan.
Voluntary conservation plans are talked about in coffee shops, schools, after church, in meeting rooms and just about every place else in Kansas. Landowners, farmers, ranchers, home owners and builders see such measures as a way to protect land, wildlife and valuable water resources but also as a way to keep them in business.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will make available $100 million this year through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and although applications are accepted all year, farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners should submit applications by February 27, 2015, to ensure they are considered for this year's funding.
Today, the temperature is supposed to be around 70. Last week low temperatures were in the single digits and the week before record highs in the eighties were reached. Naturally this weather rollercoaster has spurred discussion about the condition of the winter wheat crop and its status. Has the wheat broken dormancy? Was the wheat damaged by the temperature swings? Were wheat stands reduced? To answer these questions, it's helpful to review what winterhardiness is and how it works.
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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