First Happy Fathers' Day to all the dads reading this. While this sounds like a broken record, the rains certainly helped but didn't end the drought. The latest drought monitor map (reflects conditions through June 10) shows some improvement but the area is still in the Sever to Extreme categories. This is for two reasons. First, the area is still far behind the average yearly total for this date. Two, the drought monitor reflects soil moisture conditions. While this rain didn't help area wheat much, it was great for summer row and feed crops. This is also a ...
Over the past few weeks, we have finally been blessed with a significant amount of participation. With increased moisture, the number of mosquitos will rise and begin to plague outdoor activities in greater numbers. This is because mosquitos lay their eggs in still water, and when there is standing water in an area, the mosquito population will rise with the increased number of nurseries. Now that we have had a significant rain event, there is standing water in many places just waiting for a female to lay her eggs.
Each day, farmers and ranchers pull on their boots, roll up their sleeves and go to work outside rural communities across Kansas. They perform a litany of chores – feeding and doctoring livestock, cultivating crops, pulling maintenance on machinery, paying bills – you name it and farmers and ranchers do it.
All across our country Americans are checking their automobiles, studying road maps and adding another item to their "to do" lists in preparation for long-awaited summer vacations.
The winning streak continues. For the 16th time in the last 17 years, a Kansas State University quarter-scale tractor team has won or placed in the top three at the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers' annual International Quarter-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition.
Many of questions that come into the office at this time of year are about trees. With the severe drought, many trees are experiencing branch dieback and sometimes death of the entire tree because of the lack of water. Here is some information about healthy trees, and how to tell if your tree may need a little more tender loving care to help it survive until we are out of the drought.
MANHATTAN – Congressman Tim Huelskamp discussed trade issues and opportunities between the United States and Taiwan last Thursday with Jack J.C. Yang, director general of the Taiwan Consulate in Kansas City. Rep. Huelskamp (R-KS) also participated in a roundtable discussion with Yang and members from the Kansas Grain & Feed Association, Kansas Pork Association, Kansas Cooperative Council, and Seaboard Foods.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced "a new era in American conservation efforts" with an historic focus on public-private partnership. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), created in the 2014 Farm Bill, will fund a number of conservation activities across Kansas. "This is an entirely new approach to conservation," Vilsack said. "We're giving private companies, local communities, and other non-government partners a way to invest in what are essentially clean water start-up operations."
One question arising from the articles on Global Warming involved plants capturing energy and carbon dioxide. Since there is unfortunately little to write about regarding the wheat or summer crops with the exception of some rain and moderate temperatures, let's take a brief look at photosynthesis.
Lately, I have been getting questions concerning weed control in home lawns. The best solution for weed control is to have a thick, healthy lawn that will not allow the weeds to take hold in the first place. One way to do this is to keep your lawn healthy by fertilizing it at the correct time. I thought that I would share a piece by Ward Upham, K-State Research and Extension Horticulture specialist about fertilizing recommendations in warm season lawns. This is a good column to help you know how much to use and when for the three warm-season grasses ...
Kansas leaders and communicators have agreed to serve as judges for the 2014 Kansas Cowboy Poetry Contest. The state contest finals will be held at 7 p.m. on June 13 at the St. John's Lutheran Memorial Hall at 218 Kansas in Alma. There is no admission charge and the public is invited to attend.
Most Kansas farmers and ranchers have seen about everything. Still the sight of the white combine headed for a wheat crop or soil leaving the home is enough to make their blood run cold.
Kansas Wheat Day will be held on May 30, at the K-State Agricultural Research Center in Hays.
If you're cooking out this Memorial Weekend, plan on spending some extra money for your food, says a Kansas State University agricultural economist.
Few experiences are more powerful or moving than a visit to a cemetery on Memorial Day. Unlike a military cemetery where rows upon rows of graves give silent testimony to the human cost of war, in most Kansas cemeteries the stories of the dead – young, old, male and female – tell a story about the community.
Many times when I go out on home visits, the homeowners concerns are with trees on their property. One reason for your trees being in distress may very well be your lawn. If your grass, (especially cool season grasses such as fescue) is allowed to grow up to the trunk of your trees, the competition for water and other nutrients may cause your tree to decline in health. Following is a report on research that has been completed by KSU with more information about the grass and tree competition issue many homeowners have faced.
The two previous columns briefly outlined reasons for the large changes in agriculture over the last century and the results of those changes for the society. Also discussed were the effects these changes had on the practice of agriculture. Now, let's wrap it up and discuss how these changes changed agricultural producers themselves. Please keep in mind these are general trends that don't necessarily mean everyone producing food, fiber, or fuel or that today is bad and a century ago was better or vice-versa..
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reminds livestock producers that the Jan. 30, 2015, deadline to request assistance for losses suffered from Oct. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2014, is fast approaching.
Hype is a word often associated with advertising agencies, public relations firms and spin doctors who attempt to create, change or repair an image. Many people consider hype a dirty word, something to detest.
The 2015 Central Plains Irrigation Conference and Exposition will take place Feb. 17-18 at the City Limits Convention Center, Colby. The popular annual event focused solely on irrigation-related topics is hosted in Kansas every third year. Sponsors include Kansas State University, Colorado State University, the University of Nebraska and the Central Plains Irrigation Association.
All Kansas farmers are invited to the Kansas Commodity Classic on Friday, Feb. 6. The Commodity Classic is the annual convention of the Kansas Corn, Wheat and Grain Sorghum Associations, and will take place at the at the Hilton Garden Inn, 410 S 3rd St, Manhattan, Kan., with registration beginning at 7:30 a.m. It is free to attend and includes a complimentary breakfast and lunch; however pre-registration is requested.
With the advent of 2015, there's hope the Obama administration will follow through on its ambitious trade agenda. Leaders on both sides of the Atlantic agree a more open trade partnership makes sense.
A forester once told me that you know a drought is severe if you see Red Cedar trees dying. All around the county, you can see Cedars in tree rows and windbreaks dead and brown. If you are looking to replace your tree row, The Kansas Forest Service offers low-cost tree and shrub seedlings for use in conservation plantings. Plants are one to two years old and sizes vary from 5 to 18 inches, depending on species. Orders are accepted from now through the first full week in May each year, but order early to insure receiving the items you ...
Last week's column briefly discussed some of the reasons for the large changes in agriculture over the last century. Drivers for change included two World Wars, the Great Depression, economic conditions after WWII, and the Federal Government. One reader pointed out that the column almost painted war as a good thing for agriculture. That wasn't the intent. The fact is the driver for change and the development of new techniques and technologies is typically an event or events forcing and accelerating change. Now, how did events change farming over the last century.
Many authors have documented the rise and fall of civilizations throughout time. Reasons for this rollercoaster effect are numerous-from human-influenced changes such as conquest, culture or religion, to events that occur in the natural environment including changes in climate or the presence of natural resources, such as soil.
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