This week, I have been in Manhattan for New Agent Training and it was wonderful to meet and to learn from the experts in their various fields. One person I had the pleasure to meet was Ward Upton. He is a specialist for the Horticulture Department with a wealth of knowledge about his subject. This week, I thought that I would share a couple of his pieces from the most recent Horticulture newsletter. I hope you find them as informative as I did.
Farming is a dangerous business. In fact, farming is one of the most dangerous jobs in the US. Every year, around one hundred youth are killed in farm work related activities. A lot of these deaths could have been prevented with better safety practices. Every year, Barton County, K-State Extension and Research provides a class in Hazardous Occupations Training to teach youth ages 13-18 about the Hazards of farm work, and how to create a safer working environment. Even though the class if offered for a larger age range, it is required for individuals 14-15 years old who will be ...
Wheat farmers in Kansas joke that wheat has nine lives and you don't produce a crop unless at least eight of them have been used up before harvest. While this may sound a bit like gallows humor, there is a lot of truth in this statement. The wheat crop here is exposed to the extremes of our weather for nine months while crops like corn, soybean, and sorghum for approximately four. One of the hazards continually on the minds of wheat producers is a late freeze. Before the wheat joints in the spring, the growing point of the plant ...
Huge and nearly impossible to comprehend are words that best describe the economic impact of California agriculture as viewed through the eyes of nine Kansas farm families who toured the state beginning on March 25.
How do you really know spring has arrived? Beyond the obvious signs like wheat greening up, daffodils blooming and springing forward, the Great Bend area has its own particular way. Next week from April 10-12 at the Expo Center the second annual Great Bend Farm and Ranch Expo takes place and promises to put an exclamation point on the start of the spring farming season. Farmers and ranchers love looking at new technology, state of the art equipment, maybe snagging a bargain and catching up with people they may only see once a year. That's why the agricultural community ...
When you are trying to grow a garden, the more information you have at the beginning of the growing season, the better potential your garden will produce well during the year. One piece of information that is easy to investigate is a soil test. A soil test is an inexpensive method to determine how healthy your soil is, and what you can do to improve it to help your plants be healthy also. A gardener will want to test every 1- 5 years. This test will tell you what nutrients are available for your plants to use to grow, and ...
First, here's wishing a very Happy Easter to everyone. Rather than go deeply into a topic when many of us are enjoying well-deserved family gathering, let's tie up a few loose ends.
Cattlemen across much of Kansas are in a quandary. As grass managers, they are asking themselves how many cattle will their ranges and pastures support after twenty to thirty months of drought. What steps can be taken to protect the grazing resources while maintaining enough cattle numbers to be financially viable? Will we get enough runoff to fill the ponds?
If you've ever heard the stampeding sound of a tornado or been close enough to see fence posts, the side of a building or the steel of a grain bin twisting furiously as the dreaded black monster gobbles up the countryside, you'll remember it always.
More than 150 farmer and ranchers from across Kansas participated in Kansas Farm Bureau's County Presidents Trip to Washington, D.C., March 18-21.
We all know the answer to the title of this article is no. However, the reaction of some media outside of Kansas and other drought stricken areas implied that at the very least the worst is over. While that isn't true, things are a bit better. Our area has moved from the worst rating, exceptional, to the second worst rating, extreme. This is true of much of central Kansas. Much of the eastern third of the state has moved to severe and an area around Kansas City is all the way up to just being moderate. Unfortunately, much of ...
Pheasants Forever and their regional partners are hosting four informational meetings for landowners to discuss the benefits of forming a local Prescribed Burn Association (PBA). Prescribed Burn Associations are landowner-led cooperatives that bring people together to assist each other with prescribed burns in rangeland and CRP. This allows individual landowners to overcome obstacles to safe burning, such as a lack of experience, equipment, or manpower. Safer burns mean reduced liability risks to landowners, less risk of wildfire outbreak, and greater community safety. Partners assisting with the meetings are: USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, local county Conservation Districts, Rice County Fire Districts ...
When the 2008 Farm Bill was given a stay of execution in the "fiscal cliff" deal in January, those of us outside of the Beltway were given few details about how the extension would impact producers and conservation programs. Conservation Title programs were supposed to be back-though some would be receiving limited funding.
We all know the answer to the title of this article is no. However, the reaction of some media outside of Kansas and other drought stricken areas implied that at the very least the worst is over. While that isn't true, things are a bit better. Our area has moved from the worst rating this week, exceptional, to the second worst rating, extreme. This is true of much of central Kansas. Much of the eastern third of the state has moved to severe and an area around Kansas City is all the way up to just being moderate. Unfortunately ...
Kansas farmers, ranchers and landowners the deadline to file a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures Plan (SPCC) looms just around the corner. As of May 10, any farmer, rancher or landowner who has petroleum products of 1,320 gallons or more, in above-ground tanks 55 gallons or greater, must have a spill prevention and countermeasures plan in place as required by the Environmental Protection Agency.
What's today's fashionable farmer wearing to work?
The following column is from K-State Research and Extension's horticulture department. The Prairie Star and Prairie Bloom programs highlight the best varieties of annual and perennial flowers for the state of Kansas. Along with this piece, I will be giving a lunch program about these programs as well as highlighting plants that will grow well in a drought situation. This will be at the Great Bend Recreation Center at noon on Wednesday, April 23, and there is no cost to attend. For more information, please call 620-793-1910 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The USDA's RMA Management Agency (RMA) released Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) concerning revisions to its position on cover crops, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Cover Crop Termination Guidelines, and crop insurance for the 2014 crop year.
Crop conditions around Kansas vary as the weather turns warmer and the delicate growing season for winter wheat is underway. Freeze damage and drought are a major concern for many areas of the state. The crop is battling ranging temperatures and lack of moisture.
Three Olsburg ranches will highlight working facilities that utilize low stress methods to quietly and effectively process cattle, sheep and goats on May 3rd. The tour will begin with registration at 9:30 a.m. at the Edwards Ranch, 15225 Dry Creek Road, 2.4 miles west of Olsburg and 2.9 south on Dry Creek Road. The working facility designed by Bill, which he can operate alone, will be demonstrated at 10 a.m.
The latest drought monitor map came out Thursday and as most expected the news isn't good. So where are we?
As the lights dimmed and the images flickered on the screen, the movie audience stepped into the lives of young farmers and ranchers as they took on the tasks of running their families' operations. No wannabe Bogarts or Bacalls, just honest-to-goodness people who work the land.
As the weather begins to warm, and the crops in the field begin to grow, insects start their annual migration into Kansas or come out of their winter hiding places to feast upon the new growth. One such insect that is making its presence felt across Kansas is the army cutworm. The following piece is from the agronomy department for K-State Research and Extension with some information about the army cutworm and the threshold for various crops for possible treatment.
It is corn planting season in Kansas and the Kansas Corn Commission is again reminding growers to "Know Before You Grow." Through the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) website growers can view information on the release of new seed varieties, policy stances, biotech traits and grower agreements. The site, "Know Before Your Grow," is designed to help growers have a better understanding of the type of corn they're growing and the needs of their customers.
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.
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