September is already here, and the first day of autumn is almost upon us. There are still many chores that can be done to help your landscape prepare for the winter to come. I found a few pieces of advice from K-State Research and Extension's horticulture expert on what you can be doing right now to help your cool season grasses stay healthy now, and give them a boost for next spring.
The State Fair is in high gear and today is Sept. 7. A strong cold front moved through this past Friday and parts of the area have received fairly significant amounts of precipitation over the last week. Much of the immediate area was listed under the Moderate Drought category last Thursday but parts of eastern Barton, Rice, and Ellsworth Counties are a bit better and rated as Moderately Dry. Some producers question this since they are dealing with fields too wet for equipment while other missed out on the rains. It's almost time to plant the 2015 winter wheat ...
September 07, 2014|
Dr. Victor L. Martin
I receive many calls during the year about tree health, so I tend to write about trees more than any other subject. Right now, many of the trees in the county are looking a little stressed. There are several different issues that your tree may be trying to handle right now, so to help your tree; finding out what is wrong is the first step to helping it stay healthy.
A U.S. patent was recently awarded for technology created by researchers at Kansas State University that improves the health and welfare of beef cattle and other ruminant animals suffering from lameness and following castration, dehorning and other painful but necessary management procedures.
School is back in session and in Barton County that means it's time for the Annual Kid's Ag Day for area fourth graders. The event takes place this Wednesday, Sept. 3, at the Brining Farm just west of Great Bend. This event has taken place now for over 20 years and works to improve the agricultural literacy of children in Barton County. Everyone from the Chamber of Commerce and area businesses to the Barton County Farm Bureau and area farmers help plan and lend a hand. FFA students from GBHS and Ellinwood bring their animals on their own ...
August 31, 2014|
Dr. Victor L. Martin
As you drive around the county, you might notice that many trees are starting to look like we are already in fall though summer is still very much upon us. Leaves of area Elm Trees have turned brown, and some may be falling off, giving them a sickly appearance. In many cases, the reason for this is, Elm Leaf Beetles feasting on their leaves. Elm Leaf Beetles are a yearly concern when the second generation hatches about Mid-July. 2014 is no exception.
Kansas Farm Bureau President Steve Baacus and his wife Patricia, as well as Kansas Farm Bureau Executive Director Terry Holdren and his wife Natalie were special guests at the Barton County Farm Bureau annual dinner meeting held Friday evening, Aug. 15 at the Barton Community College Student Union.
While summer isn't quite over, everyone is turning to a fall schedule. If they haven't already, producers are planning and getting ready for the 2015 winter wheat crop and summer crops producers are starting to think about harvest. And many are already thinking about planting decisions for next spring. But there is one more crop plan underway in Kansas – the next crop of persons preparing for careers in some aspect of the agriculture sector.
August 24, 2014|
Dr. Victor L. Martin
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.
August 17, 2014|
John Schlageck, Kansas Farm Bureau
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 ...
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.
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."
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.