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.
Last week, I shared some information about pruning deciduous shrubs. Well, this week, I found a little information about pruning fruit trees. They are pruned differently than other deciduous trees if you are interested in harvesting them later this year. Here is some advice on how to prune young and established trees to help them grow and produce the best crop that the tree can give.
Wheat is greening up in spite of the rollercoaster weather. Producers have been and are busy applying fertilizer and herbicide. Most of the wheat, except for late planted fields looks fair to good. Some areas of winter kill have shown up, nothing widespread but fairly small areas and being a bit more common on the sandier ground. Wheat would typically be closer to jointing now but that isn't necessarily a bad thing as it regards damage from a late season freeze. Aside from needing some timely rain, is there anything else for producers to be concerned about and pay ...
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."
Next week marks the 45th anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement. The first Earth Day celebration occurred April 22, 1970.
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.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making available $332 million in financial and technical assistance through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). ACEP applications may be submitted at any time to NRCS however, applications for the current funding cycle must be submitted on or before May 15, 2015.
Pre-packaged, vacuum-packed, just add water.
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 is offered for a larger age range, it is required for individuals 14-15 years old who will be ...
Before today's topic a brief update is in order. Temperatures the night of April 3 fell well below freezing ranging from the low 20s to around 30 over the area for several hours. Spotty freeze damage has been noted already in South Central Kansas and more will likely become evident over the next little while, especially under warm windy conditions. Leaf burn won't be a big deal but since wheat was jointing or jointed in much of the area, it will pay to keep an eye out for damage to the developing head inside the stem. Damage was ...
A Kansas State University animal health leader has been chosen to engage local, regional and national stakeholders in the development of strategic partnerships for the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, or NBAF.
Can you believe that April is already here? I swear I just put up my Christmas items a week ago! Well, April is going to be quite the busy month here for Extension! So this week, I thought I would remind you of several opportunities that will be taking place for the community.
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 their crops, pulling maintenance on machinery, paying bills – you name it and farmers and ranchers do it.
It's Easter weekend and this past Thursday night saw some fairly severe weather in the area complete with power outages. Spring is really here, especially after the extremely warm temperatures this past week. Today is April 5, so area producers should have wrapped up side dressing the 2015 wheat crop and corn planters are being readied to begin planting shortly. Alfalfa is greening up and in some parts of the state, including some fields here, wheat producers are assessing winter survival. Since not a great deal is going on just yet, let's catch up on what is known.
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