Last week's column asserted that soil is the foundation of our agricultural industry and a scarce resource. This week let's start to examine why. First, 70% of the surface of the earth is covered with water. Of the remaining 30%, only 11% is considered arable, suitable for farming, or approximately 3.3% of the total of the earth's surface. Of that total, well over half has been degraded to some extent. Often that degradation is due to soil erosion (loss of the soil) by air or water. Why is that a big deal? A large part of ...
Speaking in the heart of irrigation country and the Ogallala Aquifer region, Gov. Sam Brownback signed two bills in southwestern Kansas that are intended to lengthen the life of this region's water resources. Brownback signed the bills March 5 at Garden City High School while students, community leaders, farm organization members and legislators watched.
Whether we know it or not, all of us pay attention to the cost agricultural producers are paying for inputs necessary to produce food, fiber, and fuel. Unless you never purchase food in a grocery section or pay for a meal in a restaurant, it's almost impossible not to notice one of two things. Either the price of foodstuffs has increased noticeably over the last several years or while the price has remained the same the portion size has decreased markedly. Next time you are at the store, look at the weight of a package of bacon or a ...
"I wouldn't take any amount of money for that dog," were my dad's most often spoken words when referring to our family dog, Lady.
By John Schlageck, Kansas Farm Bureau
This past Wednesday, Batron Community College hosted the 13th-annual Barton County Farm Bureau Safety Day for area high school students. Topics ranged from safety around electricity and chainsaws to the potential dangers associated with flowing grain in grain bins. The Farm Bureau deserves credit for this event as do all the presenters for raising the awareness of these students to the everyday potential hazards faced by those is agriculture. Agriculture like any industry has associated hazards which can't be totally eliminated, but can certainly be minimized. Every presenter made a point of stressing that by knowing what you are ...
Jennifer Carr, Ag & Natural Resources Agent
On Saturday, Jan. 14, four Barton county 4H'ers traveled to Sedgwick county for the first 4H air rifle competition of the season. In the 12 year old and younger division, Katelyn Reh from Ellinwood finished 3rd. In the 13 and 14 year old division, Ryan Kohman from Great Bend finished 3rd and Lake Lyman from Ellinwood finished 5th. In the 16 to 18 year old division, Jake Kohman from Great Bend finished 6th. The Barton county team, that was made up of Jake, Lake, Ryan and Katelyn, finished 3rd out of five county teams that were entered in the ...
By John Schlageck, Kansas Farm Bureau
Even though the area experienced a dose of winter last weekend, spring is just around the corner. Wheat in the area benefitted from the recent moisture and the forecast is predicting chances for precipitation over the next few days. As the days lengthen and the temperature warms more than wheat will become active. If temperatures stay mild, army cutworm, true armyworm, greenbugs, and the Bird Cherry-Oat Aphid will likely be making appearances. All but the aphid mentioned may or may not rise to levels significant enough to warrant treatment. If producers are fortunate, they won't appear or if they ...
Jenni Carr, Extension Agent Ag and Natural Resources, Barton County K-State Research and Extension
Dr. Victor L. Martin
As many Americans continue to face economic hard times, there is no reason to compromise the welfare of your family's diet. The cost of eating healthy hasn't changed as much as some less-healthy alternatives. It does require strategic shopping however.
There is a lot of activity over the next few months in the area involving agriculture. Before we get to that, a comment is in order regarding the weather. Long-range modeling seems to indicate at least a temporary change in the weather pattern that has characterized winter so far. Unsettled weather is likely at least for the next 10 to 14 days. While not something we appreciate in terms of temperatures and travel plans, it indicates a strong possibility of good moisture and cooler temperatures. This and the rain last week couldn't have come at a better time for ...
The latest drought monitor map came out Thursday and as most expected the news isn't good. So where are we?
As the lights dimmed and the images flickered on the screen, the movie audience stepped into the lives of young farmers and ranchers as they took on the tasks of running their families' operations. No wannabe Bogarts or Bacalls, just honest-to-goodness people who work the land.
As the weather begins to warm, and the crops in the field begin to grow, insects start their annual migration into Kansas or come out of their winter hiding places to feast upon the new growth. One such insect that is making its presence felt across Kansas is the army cutworm. The following piece is from the agronomy department for K-State Research and Extension with some information about the army cutworm and the threshold for various crops for possible treatment.
It is corn planting season in Kansas and the Kansas Corn Commission is again reminding growers to "Know Before You Grow." Through the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) website growers can view information on the release of new seed varieties, policy stances, biotech traits and grower agreements. The site, "Know Before Your Grow," is designed to help growers have a better understanding of the type of corn they're growing and the needs of their customers.
There is a lot going on this time of year in the world of agriculture. From preparing for and planting spring crops to attending the annual Farm and Ranch Expo this past week. Cattle producers have their own set challenges as we head into spring. Today's column is a brief update of where the winter wheat crop is as of today.
Is it April already? The first quarter of the year has really flown by at least for me. This week, I am going to give a few updates about programs that will be going on around Great Bend that you may be interested in.
Tornadoes in Kansas this spring?
State Conservationist Eric B. Banks for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the extension of the cutoff date to April 18, for the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI). Even though CCPI is no longer a program under the 2014 Farm Bill, NRCS will honor existing CCPI agreements through fiscal year 2014. The CCPI provides financial and technical assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to owners and operators of agricultural land and nonindustrial private forestlands.
The registration date for the annual Hard Winter Wheat Quality Tour is coming up soon. The tour, sponsored by the Wheat Quality Council, assesses the condition and yield potential of the hard winter wheat crop across the state of Kansas.
There has been a great deal of activity this year in Topeka on a variety of environmental issues. Three receiving press are the status of the Greater Prairie Chicken, the possible abolition of the State's Conservation Plan, and the repeal of the standards mandating how much energy in Kansas should come from renewable sources. These as well as other issues have provoked strong reactions on both sides of the spectrum and sometimes resulted in rather unusual coalitions. The issue under discussion this week isn't which side is right or wrong but how these issues are viewed.
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