There is a lot going on this time of year in the world of agriculture. From preparing for and planting spring crops to attending the annual Farm and Ranch Expo this past week. Cattle producers have their own set challenges as we head into spring. Today's column is a brief update of where the winter wheat crop is as of today.
Is it April already? The first quarter of the year has really flown by at least for me. This week, I am going to give a few updates about programs that will be going on around Great Bend that you may be interested in.
Tornadoes in Kansas this spring?
State Conservationist Eric B. Banks for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the extension of the cutoff date to April 18, for the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI). Even though CCPI is no longer a program under the 2014 Farm Bill, NRCS will honor existing CCPI agreements through fiscal year 2014. The CCPI provides financial and technical assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to owners and operators of agricultural land and nonindustrial private forestlands.
The registration date for the annual Hard Winter Wheat Quality Tour is coming up soon. The tour, sponsored by the Wheat Quality Council, assesses the condition and yield potential of the hard winter wheat crop across the state of Kansas.
There has been a great deal of activity this year in Topeka on a variety of environmental issues. Three receiving press are the status of the Greater Prairie Chicken, the possible abolition of the State's Conservation Plan, and the repeal of the standards mandating how much energy in Kansas should come from renewable sources. These as well as other issues have provoked strong reactions on both sides of the spectrum and sometimes resulted in rather unusual coalitions. The issue under discussion this week isn't which side is right or wrong but how these issues are viewed.
It certainly seems like there is a day, week, month or year to honor or promote a person, cause, disease, or group. In case you missed it, just recently was "Take a Nap Day." This past week was the annual recognition of agriculture and the people producing food fiber and fuel. There was an insert in the Tribune, various social media events, Congressman posed with appropriate groups, and various agriculture groups visited everything from schools and grocery stores to Congress. Even in a rural city like Great Bend, agriculture was trying to get the word out about what they do ...
Every spring, the ritual continues. Viewed up close or at a distance, prairie fires are riveting. Across the vast, open grasslands we call the Flint Hills, fires can be seen for miles. The flames lick at the blue Kansas sky as the brown, dry grass crinkles, cracks and bursts into orange.
State Conservationist Eric B. Banks, Salina, announced the extended deadline for enrollments in the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative (LPCI) for fiscal year 2014. Producers interested in participating in the program can submit applications to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through April 18th.
Now that the 2014 Kansas wheat crop is breaking dormancy, achieving top yields is on the minds of wheat farmers. With Mother Nature's help, your best management practices could be just the ticket to earn you a quick $1,000 in cash, if you enter the Kansas Wheat Yield Contest.
I know I have been talking a lot about trees lately, but it has been a good time to share some information. The growing season is beginning to get underway, and questions have been coming in. For my last piece about trees, I thought I would share ten tips on how to properly plant your tree to give it the best chance of being able to thrive in your landscape. Remember that all species of trees are slightly different from one another, so if you have any specific questions about your tree, I would be happy to answer them individually ...
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia today recommended that farmers and ranchers who plan to participate in FSA programs register in advance. Producers are encouraged to report farm records and business structure changes to a local FSA Service Center before April 15th.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced increased opportunity for producers as a result of the 2014 Farm Bill.
The old adage bears repeating – eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) is now accepting applications for the 2014 Specialty Crop Block Grant program. Funds are awarded to the agency by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The funds are in turn granted to projects and organizations that promote specialty crops in Kansas.
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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