The question that I seem to get most often right now is why are my trees dying? Most of the time, the answer is the drought. Even though we have had some moisture recently, we are still in a severe drought. Driving around the county, you will even see old, big Red Cedars dying in the tree rows. That is because we have had two summers that were extremely hot and dry which baked the ground, and a very mild, dry winter in between. All of this moisture loss stressed the trees out, especially in windbreaks or where trees were ...
WASHINGTON (AP) - The House and Senate Agriculture Committees laid the groundwork this week for reducing the size of the federal food stamp program, approving farm bills that would shrink food aid and alter the way people qualify for it.
Pheasants Forever is hosting fifty-one informational meetings across Kansas for landowners and agricultural producers in advance of the USDA Farm Service Agency's Conservation Reserve Program general sign-up that runs May 20 through June 14. Led by Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Wildlife Biologists, landowners can learn how to increase their farm or ranch income while creating wildlife habitat in the process.
This week, I found a column from K-State's Mary Lou Peter about the rabbits that are out and about. They may be cute hopping around in a field, but when they get into your garden, their cuteness wears a little thin.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia announced today that farm payments, which had been temporarily suspended due to sequestration, are scheduled to resume today, May 8th. This includes payments for the 2011 Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), the Noninsured Crop Assistance Program (NAP) and the Milk Income Loss Contract Program (MILC).
This is finals week at Barton and many of the other colleges around the state. For instructors it's time to evaluate what students learned over the last semester. For students it's time for that one last push to maintain or raise their grades. While faculty see testing as a method to evaluate learning and adjust accordingly, students often see testing as a way to be tortured. Students focus on the grade while faculty focus on learning. In agriculture, as in most curriculums, it is a process of providing the building blocks that provide a foundation on which to ...
The dream of many young farm boys and girls is to ride on a tractor. For a youngster, the mammoth tractor epitomizes raw power, responsibility and coming of age.
In 1955, the National association of Conservation Districts began a national program to encourage Americans to focus on stewardship. Stewardship Week is officially celebrated from the last Sunday in April to the first Sunday in May. It is one of the world's largest conservation-related observances.
Do you have a small backyard? Do you wish you had the space for a garden, but don't want to sacrifice your entire yard to be able to grow your favorite vegetables? Well, an option for you is to garden is a small raised bed. When you garden in a raised bed system, one of the most important things to consider is the soil that you are going to use. One of the major reasons that smaller spaces have better production than larger gardens is that a person adds the soil mix or potting mix so it will have ...
There isn't much to say regarding the wheat crop right now but to wait so let's go in a different direction this week. First, the Crop Protection class at the college toured the area south of the college this past Wednesday travelling as far south as the Hudson area. Normally they can examine wheat, alfalfa, and newly emerged corn. Since the weather went south pretty quickly, the tour was a bit abbreviated. It's safe to assume they didn't find any corn emerged or even germinated. The alfalfa seemed to be doing alright and was recovering well ...
Pheasants Forever is helping to publicize a meeting for landowners interested in learning more about the potential listing of the lesser prairie-chicken (LPC) as a threatened or endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). This issue has been on the minds of western Kansas landowners for the last two years. A final decision is expected from USFWS in September of this year, but there is still plenty of uncertainty about what that ruling will mean for area producers. This uncertainty causes many concerns for land managers. In order to address some of those, Kansas Department of ...
When we think of eating a meal today, images of a person dashing toward the door while chomping down the last bite and yelling good-bye, is an all too common picture. But again, that is only part of the story.
They say that April showers bring May flowers. The question on everybody's mind right now is what do April ice storms bring? This year, for three weeks in a row, this region has experienced temperatures well below freezing with ice and snow adding to the problems. After two severe drought years the good news is we finally are receiving some moisture. The wheat fields may be growing slow, and look promising as of now, but how much more of Mother Nature's changing moods can it handle?
After the last blast of winter this week, we have had three extremely cold, hard freeze events in about two weeks. By the middle of next week at the latest the damage from this last freeze on the developing head should be apparent. Most of the attention has focused on wheat but where are we concerning our spring planted crops? Let's tackle the easy ones first.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it is investing $15.7 million through grants to 47 entities that will help develop and demonstrate cutting-edge ideas to accelerate innovation in private lands conservation.
Western Kansas wheat farmers have a unique opportunity to provide direction for one of Kansas' most important industries, through the 2015 Kansas commodity commission elections.
Fall is finally here! The days are getting shorter, the air crisper. It's a time for sweatshirts, hot apple cider, football games, and of course, preparation for the winter ahead. I found some information this week on two subjects of yard work that can be completed in the fall to jumpstart your landscape and garden when spring comes around.
The American Farm Bureau Federation has named four Kansas lawmakers as 'Friends of Farm Bureau' for the 113th Congress.
It seems everyone from the Federal Government to agricultural companies and producer groups are focusing one major issue for producers – managing risk. Perhaps a better way to state this is the goal is to minimize your risk (or exposure) and to cope when risk exposure occurs. For the USDA, as Farm Bills have evolved over the last twenty years, a major key is the crop insurance program since most other risk management tools have disappeared. For companies and producer groups, it's how to plan so your operation minimizes the risk agronomically and economically through a variety of tools and ...
This year Kansas has green fields, kissed by the sun. There are blue skies with white clouds high above. There are even valleys where rivers run. Heck, there's even water standing in terrace channels.
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.
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