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.
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.
If Billy Crystal's Fernando character were to visit a Kansas farm this spring you can be sure he wouldn't be telling too many farmers, "Darling, you look marvelous." You can also bet not too many farmers, step into the cab of their tractors wearing any of the high fashions portrayed on the pages of GQ or Esquire.
Over the year, I get many calls from people concerned about crabgrass and how to get rid of it. The general rule for killing weeds is getting them when they are vulnerable. Right now is the time to treat your lawn if you have seen crabgrass in the past. Here is a write-up from K-State Research and Extension about treating your yard for crabgrass so that you have to best chance of getting rid of it in your turf.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture announced the results of the elections held for the five grain commodity commissions-corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers and wheat in districts One, Two and Three in the Western region of the state.
Today, let's catch up on some loose ends that haven't been addressed over the last few weeks during the discussion on soil acidity. Summer row crop planting season is almost here and winter wheat produces have been hard at work topdressing their crop.
A highly pathogenic avian influenza confirmed in four states can be very deadly for birds, but a Kansas State University poultry expert says humans don't need to worry about their own health or contaminated poultry products.
Kansas State University is leading an international, multimillion-dollar project that is looking at unmanned aerial systems - or UAS - as a quick and efficient method to detect pest insects and diseases in food crops before outbreaks happen.
In celebration of Ag Day and Ag Month, the agricultural organizations in Kansas partnered together to launch a virtual tour of a dairy farm. The video, which has been posted on the KSRE YouTube channel, features a Kansas dairy farm and can be used as an educational tool for classrooms and organizations statewide.
Over the last few weeks this column has explored what acidity is, what determined the native (original) soil pH condition present, and how agricultural practices have affected soil pH over time. This week wraps this up and discusses how producers can adjust soil pH to optimize crop production. Remember for the crops common to our area the optimal pH is approximately 6.3 to 7.3 and acid soils have pH readings lower than 7 while basic soils are above 7. While soils in our area may have pH readings in the 8 range, typically they aren't like the ...
The smell and sight of spring burning on the Flint Hills evoked this childhood memory.
As I was glancing at my calendar today, I realized that April is almost here. This year is really flying by! With the start of April, we will have the Great Bend Farm and Ranch Expo out at the Expo grounds just west of Great Bend. The 3 day event will have programs, vendors, and a chance to meet up and see what's new in farming and ranching. Together with K-State Research and Extension, Kansas Farm Management, and the Kansas Forest service, we will be giving informative lunch time programs at noon every day in Expo 3, so come ...
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