Well, after yesterdays storms my peonies are not looking their best, but last week they were definitely in their prime! I love watching my peonies peeking up through the ground in the early spring; it reminds me that warmer weather is just around the corner. This year I thought I might take a little time to research one of my favorite flowers, the peony, and answer some of my own questions. You know the ones, I am sure you have had them too. Why do peonies get that 'sticky' stuff all over the buds? Why do peonies draw ants? Do ...
The Barton County Conservation District will be holding their annual state cost-share sign-up May 16 through June 10. This is the perfect time to apply for funding assistance for completing conservation practices. Funding is approved by the Kansas State Conservation Commission through appropriations from the Kansas Water Fund.
Last week's article discussed the importance of considering climate when deciding what crops may fit into a no-till rotation in this part of the world. There are numerous other factors that also need consideration and this week will continue this exploration.
May is American Wetlands Month and was created in 1991 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its federal, state, tribal, local, non-profit, and private sector partners to celebrate the vital importance of wetlands to the Nation's ecological, economic, and social health and to educate Americans about the value of wetlands as a natural resource.
This week's article returns to reducing tillage and crop rotations, specifically what broadleaf crops can we rotate with our traditional dryland crops of wheat, grain sorghum and corn. And what will it take for a crop to be successful in our area. While choices may seem limited, over the next decade options should expand to include choices suited to the climate of the area. What is driving the process is the increasing role of agriculture in not only food and fiber but also fuel and the increasing demand for heart healthy oils. Added into the mix is a growing ...
"The Manhattan Plant Materials Center (PMC) has been 'Delivering Plants with a Purpose' for 75 years, since 1936," said Eric B. Banks, State Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). "A field day with a tour and breakout sessions is planned to bring awareness of the outstanding Plant Materials Program and its accomplishments."
Originally, today's article was to feature potential broadleaf crops for dryland crop rotations in the Barton County area. Before getting to that discussion, there are some opportunities coming up for area producers and interested individuals worth mentioning. These are tours providing an opportunity to view crops under field conditions and help provide information for producers and agribusiness on varieties, hybrids, and often the effects of cultural practices on crop production.
Last week I mentioned no-till in regards to the 2011 wheat crop. Some thought the comments rather negative but that wasn't my intention. My point was while no-till has many positive benefits, it usually isn't as easy as deciding to no-till. Often when producers decide to no-till after using tillage for years or decades, it is under adverse conditions like drought and/or heat stress. This is the absolute worse time to eliminate tillage and count on success. In fact, as is evident by much of this year's wheat crop planted into first time no-till ground, the ...
As I write this, there is a forty percent chance of rain and if you are reading this on Easter Sunday, hopefully the chance of rain is falling outside your window. If not, it means the wheat crop is continuing to decline and prospects for dryland corn in the ground aren't great. And while we are examining all this "good" news, the first cutting of alfalfa is still being hammered in many locations by alfalfa weevil in spite of repeated sprays on many fields.
LARNED – An informational multi-county extension districting meeting Thursday, April 14, evening at Larned's J. A. Hass Building was well attended by several Barton County Extension representatives and county officials.
This week and next week all the classes in the agriculture program are taking tests. While writing these exams my mind wandered, as it occasionally does, to when I was a student taking similar course several decades ago and how much the science of agriculture has changed.
The sky above the Flint Hills in Riley County was clear and blue as the sun rose April 12. It was a day cattlemen had been waiting for. After days of roaring southerly winds, conditions were calm.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Dave White announced the cutoff date of May 20, of another funding opportunity for both certified organic producers and those transitioning to organic production systems.
As this is written, Barton and the surrounding counties missed the rain chances forecast over the weekend. The droughty conditions were made worse by well above normal temperatures and strong winds that further stressed the wheat crop and depleted the precious little moisture received the previous seven days. In spite of this, the majority of wheat in the area would still be rated overall fair to good. However, conditions need to improve soon to salvage an average wheat crop.
April means that Tax Day is just around the corner. For those folks who are working – or scrambling – to meet the deadline, you should know that you have until April 18th this year. But even if you have already filed, you might be wondering how last the bipartisan tax cut compromise reached last December affects you and your family.
A century ago when this state consisted mainly of farm and ranch families, it was a common sight to see neighbors helping neighbors. They swapped farm machinery. They loaned labor back and forth to work harvest thrashing crews. A barn raising presented another opportunity for friends to help build and support the community.
This year, despite a late freeze, looks to be a great year for apples. Everywhere I look, I see branches loaded down with ripening fruit. The heavy loads may cause extra strain on the tree, and as the apples increase in size, the additional weight may be substantial. To help your tree be able to bear this weight, you can use one- inch thick boards to prop up limbs. Cut a "V" on the top edge of the board on which the limb will rest so that it doesn't slip off. Long limbs that are heavily loaded with fruit ...
So what can be realistically be done to deal with pesticide resistance once it happens? When pests develop resistance to pesticides, it is a difficult challenge but in most cases not an impossible one. The key to the effectiveness of these management practices include cost, time, markets and climate. Also remember we are speaking about resistance developing in insects and diseases, not just weeds.
A Kansas State University veterinarian is cautioning residents of Kansas and surrounding states about a highly contagious viral disease that affects horses and livestock - and can sometimes affect humans.
People outside of agriculture routinely try to define the family farm. These same folks have a tendency to question corporate farming whether family owned or not
As most people know, Kansas is the top wheat producing state in the USA. The first Kansas wheat crop was planted in Johnson County in 1839, since then, the yields farmers are able to harvest have more than doubled. This comes in part from universities and private companies breeding new varieties for better resistance to different pressures including fungal and bacterial. Newer varieties also have heat and drought resistance, which increase yields depending on what variety is planted in a given year. One way these organizations know how a wheat variety will perform is by planting it into a field ...
Last week's column described how pesticide resistance develops. Today describes how it can be prevented and next week how to manage it once it occurs. But first a brief review of how this problem arises. For more detail see last week's column.
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