The wheat harvest is essentially over. While hardly a bumper crop, the area, especially as you move east had fair to very good yields. So how did we end up with a crop in the midst of an exceptional drought? The obvious answer is the precipitation received, especially after the first of the year, but it's a little more complicated than that. Those fields that missed out on the rains, primarily the western half of the area, had miserable yields so the amount of precipitation certainly mattered. What factors allowed many producers to harvest at least average yields?
The immigration debate has begun in Washington, D.C., and not a moment too soon. It is past time our failed immigration and guest-worker program was fixed.
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) recently recognized Harold Kraus, Hays, for his outstanding efforts in advancing the biodiesel industry. Kraus has served as the primary representative for the Kansas Soybean Commission (KSC) on the NBB for 12 years and is retiring from the position.
The world's food supply got a little more plentiful thanks to a scientific breakthrough.
Probably nobody in the Golden Belt is under any illusion the drought is over. As we are well past the halfway point in wheat harvest, yields are all over the map. They tend to be much worse going west from Great Bend and fair to very good as you proceed east. Reports indicate yields less than 20 bushels per acre in western Barton County to some 60 bushel per acre fields in the east. These yields certainly provide a dramatic representation of where the snow and rains fell since the first of the year. Based on 60 bushel wheat, it ...
With wheat harvest almost over for the year, insects will possibly be on the move into your garden. One of the main culprits to watch out for right now is thrips. K-State Research and Extension Entomologist J.P. Michaud says that there is a healthy population of thrips in the wheat fields in the area. With harvest removing one of their food sources, your garden is one place they may go.
When it comes to pollinators, Kansas farmers and ranchers are creating habitat to boost their populations and harness these critters' value. With National Pollinator Week beginning today, U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is using the opportunity to promote pollinators, like bees and butterflies. Pollinators provide crucial assistance to fruit, vegetable, and seed crops, but many species are seeing their numbers fall. Agricultural producers across the nation work with NRCS to create ideal habitat for pollinators and increase populations in simple and significant ways.
Long hours, a flurry of activity, less-than-ideal weather conditions and work involving large machinery combine to make wheat harvest a potentially dangerous period.
Wheat harvest is underway in Kansas. Later than normal but the weather forecast should move it along nicely. Corn development is lagging although good progress has been made with the heat and rains many received. However, the lack of rain in the forecast and the high temperatures combined with corn behind in development sets the crop up, especially the dryland acreage, for a rough time during tasselling, silking, and grain fill.
As temperatures go up, bison get smaller.
Tomato plants are one of the most popular plants for any gardener to grow. Whether this garden is your first you have ever tried, or you have been growing your own vegetables as long as you can remember, tomatoes most likely are in it. With their popularity, and having a couple of questions come into the office lately, I decided to share a few articles by Ward Upham, horticulture expert for K-State Research and Extension this week for possible concerns with your plants at home.
Kansas Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Adrian J. Polansky announced today that the nomination period for local FSA county committees begins on Monday, June 17th.
It's that time of year again when everything is growing, and people are looking forward to be rewarded for all of their hard work in the garden. With the unseasonal low temperatures this year, your garden might be a little behind normal, but with our recent rains, the weather warming up, and a little bit of care right now, your garden should be getting into the full swing of things.
For Kansans June, July and August are months when some of us return to our roots and visit family in rural communities across the state. Some go back to help with wheat harvest, others go home to spend time visiting with friends they have grown up with. For all it's a time to reflect and remember.
First here's wishing all the dads out there a Happy Fathers' Day. Since the wheat is rapidly ripening and harvest will soon be here, especially after the past week's heat, let's focus on something a bit more upbeat fathers, children, and agriculture.
Maintaining the rich heritage of agricultural stewardship in Kansas, the Kansas Department of Agriculture has teamed up with DriftWatch, an online mapping tool, to protect the state's specialty crops.
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.
Farmer stockmen possess a burning desire to care for their livestock. A few years back, I witnessed this dedication on a dairy in Franklin County.
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."
Next week marks the 45th anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement. The first Earth Day celebration occurred April 22, 1970.
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.
Pre-packaged, vacuum-packed, just add water.
Farming is a dangerous business. In fact, farming is one of the most dangerous jobs in the US. Every year, around one hundred youth are killed in farm work related activities. A lot of these deaths could have been prevented with better safety practices. Every year, Barton County, K-State Extension and Research provides a class in Hazardous Occupations Training to teach youth ages 13-18 about the Hazards of farm work, and how to create a safer working environment. Even though the class is offered for a larger age range, it is required for individuals 14-15 years old who will be ...
Before today's topic a brief update is in order. Temperatures the night of April 3 fell well below freezing ranging from the low 20s to around 30 over the area for several hours. Spotty freeze damage has been noted already in South Central Kansas and more will likely become evident over the next little while, especially under warm windy conditions. Leaf burn won't be a big deal but since wheat was jointing or jointed in much of the area, it will pay to keep an eye out for damage to the developing head inside the stem. Damage was ...
A Kansas State University animal health leader has been chosen to engage local, regional and national stakeholders in the development of strategic partnerships for the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, or NBAF.