When we think about microbes (bacteria, fungi, and other organisms too small to be seen by the naked eye) we often term them germs and consider them as harmful, even deadly. However, the soil environment just like human beings benefit greatly and even need microorganisms for good health. What type of organisms are we concerned with? These organisms include algae, fungi, bacteria, archaea, nematodes, earthworms, arthropods, and insects. Not all of these are microscopic for at least part of their life cycle but all tend to be thought of in negative terms. So what ecological niches (spots) in the soil ...
September 20, 2015|
Dr. Victor L. Martin
Even though temperatures have still been staying pretty hot most of the time, the cool weather snaps add that fall crispness that make thoughts about the changing seasons in the front of the mind. This also brings up thoughts of the end of the growing season and what fall chores need to be accomplished before the coming winter. This week I thought I would share an article from Ward Upham, K-State Research and Extension horticulture specialist about houseplants. Plants that were taken outside to benefit from the summer sun should be acclimated to being indoors for the winter. Ward covers ...
K•Coe Isom, in collaboration with The Beef Cattle Institute (BCI) at Kansas State University, will unveil plans to provide resources that enable the beef industry to effectively measure and communicate its progress on sustainability. The joint effort will provide much-needed assistance for the beef supply chain in responding to the ever-increasing demands of food companies, supply chain partners and consumers regarding key issues like animal care, environmental impact and worker/community engagement.
September is here and that means it is prime time to fertilize your tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass lawns. If you could only fertilize your cool-season grasses once per year, this would be the best time to do it.
Ride in a virtual combine, sift grain between your fingers and milk Blossom, the mechanical dairy cow, in Agriland at the 2015 Kansas State Fair. Located in the Pride of Kansas building, the cooperative agriculture education exhibit provides an interactive experience for children to learn more about agriculture.
September 9th was the annual Kids' Ag Day, a cooperative venture between the Great Bend Chamber, area school FFA programs, public agencies involved in agriculture, area producers/agribusinesses, and presenters who have volunteered their talents and energies to provide Barton County fourth graders a glimpse into the world of producing food, fiber, and fuel. For over twenty years this event has exposed area children to what is involved in farming and ranching. While it may seem unnecessary in a rural area, most of today's children, even here, are disconnected from where their food comes from.
September 13, 2015|
Dr. Victor L. Martin
Much-needed precipitation through the U.S. heartland this year has replenished soil moisture, refilled ponds and promises to boost crop yields, thanks to the weather phenomenon known as El Niño, according to Iowa State University agricultural climatologist Elwynn Taylor. And the benefits for the Midwest may continue into 2016.
U.S. cattle producers are responding to recent record-high prices by expanding their herds, but Americans' appetite for beef will play a crucial role in how the larger supply will play out for the producer's bottom line, according to a Kansas State University agricultural economist.
Sugarcane aphids have now been confirmed in Barton County. From reports in Oklahoma, as well as some southern counties in Kansas, this insect has a very good chance of being a serious issue in Sorghum fields. The aphid has been causing serious problems in Georgia where some farmers have been seeking insecticide alternatives after two applications of Transform, the allowable limit. Right now, scouting your sorghum fields twice weekly can allow you to assess if you have the aphid, and at what levels. The sugarcane aphid reproduces very fast, so they can reach the threshold quickly. If spraying is warranted ...
A Kansas State University wheat geneticist is part of a breakthrough study that identifies one of the wheat genes that controls response to low temperature exposure, a process called vernalization. Natural variation in vernalization genes defines when the plant begins to flower and is critical for adaptation to different environments.
Labor Day in the U.S. marks the official end of summer and a transition to more indoor activities. For many it means things are slowing down a bit and thoughts start to turn towards the holiday season. While that may be true for much of the country, for those in Kansas agriculture, and depending on the weather, it's just another day in the office.
September 06, 2015|
Dr. Victor L. Martin