Picture transitioning from a rural setting that includes woodlands, wildlife habitat and farms, to urban areas that consist of concrete, parking lots, streets and buildings. Rural land in a more natural state has the ability to soak up water in the soil more efficiently than urban areas with impervious surfaces that can lead to more runoff.
The last several columns provided general background on the rapidly expanding organic foods market. Today's column briefly outlines conventionally produced foods to highlight the differences between the two. Perhaps the first question to deal with is "Are conventionally produced foods inorganic?"
Lately, I have been getting many calls with people concerned with small mounds in their turf, making it difficult to mow, work or play in their yard. Most of the time, the issue is earthworms that are very active at this time of year. In my research, I came across this short piece of information on nightcrawlers, from the K-State Entomology department. I thought I would share this to give more infomation about these beneficial but sometimes annoying worms.
This week wraps up the discussion of "organic" foods before comparing them to "conventionally" produced foods. Last week's column briefly described what organic means in general terms. When you purchase a product "Certified Organic" what does that really mean?
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $73 million to rehabilitate dams across the nation in an effort to protect public health and safety and evaluate the expansion of water supply in drought stricken areas. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is investing in approximately 150 projects and assessments in 23 states. "Millions of people depend on watersheds and dams for protection from floods and providing clean drinking water," Vilsack said. "By investing in this critical infrastructure, we are helping to ensure a safe, resilient environment for rural America."
At this time of year, many gardeners are starting vegetables indoors, or preparing to buy small plants to transplant into their garden when the soil temperature is warm enough. To help with this process, it is sometimes a good idea to give the small plants a little extra fertilizer to help them get a good start. I found a column from the K-State Research and Extension's horticulture department that gives some good advice on transplant solutions and sidedressing to help you give your garden the best start possible.
The Kansas Flint Hills have served as a home and food source for stocker cattle since the mid-1800s, when cowboys drove longhorns up the Chisholm Trail from the southwestern United States to Kansas railways. Flash forward to today: research from Kansas State University on this staple resource could help ensure profitable years ahead for stocker producers.
K-State Research and Extension is offering 4-H Leadership Boot Camp on April 25 in Hoisington, available to all interested persons. Call 785-483-3157 to register. For more information about this, as well as more localized events, check with the local K-State Research and Extension office.
Last week's column explored in general terms what organic means to chemists and the scientific community and what it means to the "natural" foods community. This series of articles isn't intended to take sides but to provide information to help in making informed decisions. Now let's briefly attempt to get a handle on what exactly "organic" foods are. This involves several parts and it is important to note there are foodstuffs claiming to be organic and foodstuffs that have followed certain strict requirements and are certified as organic.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making available $332 million in financial and technical assistance through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). ACEP applications may be submitted at any time to NRCS however, applications for the current funding cycle must be submitted on or before May 15, 2015.
Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey congratulated three Kansans recently appointed by USDA chief Tom Vilsack to serve on the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) and two of six commodity specific Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees (ATACs).
Many cattle producers have experienced record returns on their calves the past year, but even times of high profitability demand a search for opportunities to enhance the management of a beef operation. Several of these opportunities will be discussed at the upcoming K-State Beef Conference, hosted Aug. 11 and 13 at various locations across Kansas.
This column isn't about today's political climate and agriculture. Instead let's focus on the political impact farmers have had on this nation as we celebrate Independence Day, specifically our Presidents. How many of this nation's leaders were farmers? What history and myth surrounds their backgrounds? Maybe more than you think aside from the more obvious ones.
It's Fair time again in Barton County! The youth from all of our communities have been working hard on their various projects, and will be displaying them for the community to see. Whether you enjoy photography, artwork, or livestock, there is something for everyone at the fair.
Kansas Certified organic produces or farmers interested in becoming certified organic growers are encouraged to apply to receive cost share funds. The cost share program is funded by the 2014 Farm Bill to assist Kansas farmers in paying for organic certification or recertification.
Almost every farmer has said in one way or another, "My life begins with the land." Look at it any way you want but this bedrock principle remains as it has for generations. Land ownership is the key to farming and ranching. Farmers are proud of the crops they grow and the land they work.
June 28, 2015|
John Schlageck, Kansas Farm Bureau
If you are out and about in Barton County right now, you will be able to spot combines rolling through the wheat fields. To me, it is one of the best sites of the year, and I can spend hours watching harvest. All of the hard work raising a crop is coming to the end for a while, and finally, the producer will be able to see a return on the long days he has spent to bring the crop full circle. Many people I have talked to are very pleased with how well the wheat has turned out this ...
Before the rain Thursday night, wheat harvest was running full throttle and overall a much better crop than was predicted. The forecast indicates everyone should be back in the field soon if they aren't already (depending on the rainfall received). A few were commenting their crop would have been better except for late season disease pressure. What happened? Several things.
June 26, 2015|
BY DR. VICTOR L. MARTIN
Agriculture instructor/coordinator for Barton Community College