Some of us have gone beyond gratitude for much appreciated meaningful rain before Memorial Day to needing a little time to dry out but afraid to complain about too much rain after the last nine months. So is the drought over? While the rains helped a lot, portions of Kansas, especially in the extreme southwest were under an "exceptional" drought and much of our immediate area, primarily south of the Arkansas River in the sandier areas were under "severe" or "extreme" drought conditions. While we can breathe easier for now, normal to above normal rainfall is necessary to keep the ...
Next week we will pick up our discussion of rotational no-till crops for our area. This week, let's take a moment and see what the weather of this past week means for the area. Unfortunately, as is often the case here, the price of meaningful rain is severe weather, especially during the spring and early summer. The tragic deaths in northern Stafford County are a reminder of just how quickly our weather can turn violent and deadly. The warning system at the college went off warning of a tornado in the area as I was preparing to leave and ...
Barton County Farm Bureau awarded four scholarships to Barton County Seniors whose parents are members of the Barton County Farm Bureau Association. The 2011 scholarship winners are from left to right; Brent Stoss son of Mr. and Mrs. Dale Stoss, Allie Hipp, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Hipp, Jennifer Funk, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Funk and Matt Beran, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Beran Jr.
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.
There are many individuals who share their time, talent and resources with the Barton County 4-H program. The 2014 Friend of 4-H awards were given to dedicated individuals who went above and beyond to assist the 4-H youth. The two couples honored this year were Wayne and Terri DeWerff and Bill and Robin Niederee.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Kansas is seeking public comments on changes to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) interim final rule.
Travel out to the fields of Kansas during November and you'll see farmers wrapping up fall harvest. Combines chomp through fields of corn, milo, soybeans and sunflowers eager to dump the bountiful crops into waiting trucks and grain carts before Old Man Winter arrives with ice, snow and sleet.
More than 1,000 Farm Bureau members in Kansas will gather in Manhattan Dec. 1-2 for their organization's 96th Annual Meeting.
A historic agreement was reached today as Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado conducted a special meeting of the Republican River Compact in Manhattan. Representatives of the states have signed a resolution, approving operational adjustments in 2014 and 2015 under the Republican River Compact, which will benefit water users throughout the basin and set the administration on a course to find long-term solutions to persistent problems. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback noted that the agreement was positive for Kansas water users. "This resolution will protect a valuable water resource for Kansans. This agreement allows Harlan County Lake to serve as the destination for ...
Jim Richardson, National Geographic photographer and Kansas native, will serve up a vast visual journey: the Neolithic dawn of agriculture, today's world farmers working in relative anonymity, and the challenges of feeding an ever-more hungry planet through 2050 at Kansas Farmers Union's (KFU) upcoming annual convention.
The last two weeks have certainly presented people, livestock and the 2015 wheat crop with challenges. Many record lows were set over the area over the last two weeks and to add insult to injury, many record low highs were set. While it wasn't pleasant for us, our pets, and livestock, it shouldn't have caused much harm. The question on many wheat farmers' minds is what did this severe and long early cold snap do to the 2015 wheat crop? Much of the answer involves conditions other than temperature and the development of the wheat.
While many shoppers are feeling the pinch of price increases, there's a way today's smart, frugal shoppers can save money on the family food bill. Some estimates place this figure at 10 -15 percent. On the average food bill, this could mean a savings of $700 - $1,200 a year.
The phone jarred Ken Powell awake. Groggy and disoriented, he glanced at the clock while fumbling with the receiver: midway between midnight and one a.m.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds farm owners and producers that the opportunity to choose between the new 2014 Farm Bill established programs, Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), begins Nov. 17, and continues through March 31, 2015. The new programs, designed to help producers better manage risk, usher in one of the most significant reforms to U.S. farm programs in decades.
One of the world's leading scholars in agricultural sustainability is speaking at Kansas State University about how to sustainably feed a growing world population that will require twice as much food as is currently produced.
Now that the cold weather has started to rear its head, it is time to turn our attention to our houseplants and the special care they need this time of year. With shorter days, dryer air and colder temperatures, your houseplants may require a change in the way you care for them. I found a short piece from K-State Research and Extension that gives a few basic tips to keep your indoor plants healthy throughout the winter.
Kansas Farm Bureau released its sixth book in the Kailey's Ag Adventures children's book series. Kailey's Pig 'Tales' follows Kailey and her cousins as they learn about pig farming from Farmer Rich.
Last week's column described consumer behavior and the assumptions behind predicting that behavior. The key points are consumers behavior rationally (in a predictable way), they prefer more to less, their preferences are complete, and they don't change preferences without a reason. Relative prices between goods are an important factor in determining choices within the constraints of a consumer's budget. Finally, consumer preferences do change over time, economists accept this change as a fact, and deal with those changes. Now the question to answer is how the agriculture and food industries responded to changes preferences and budgets have.
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