A key concept taught in any economics class is the difference between an economic and a noneconomic good. The difference involves scarcity. In fact a concise definition of economics is "The study of the allocation of scarce resources between competing ends." Scarcity is simply defined as the amount of something that is available compared to the demand for that something. Any scarce good has economic value and the scarcer the good the greater that value is. And shortages of a good or resource increases its value. Many of us have seen this reflected in the prices paid when purchasing food ...
February 23, 2014|
Dr. Victor L. Martin
Some people have the mistaken idea that farmers and ranchers are harming our environment. You hear it everywhere: at the coffee shop, church, public forums, even in the grocery store where people buy the food farmers and ranchers produce for us to eat.
February 16, 2014|
John Schlageck, Kansas Farm Bureau
Kansas landowner/producers can receive sign-up incentives and payments for implementing grassland conservation practices that benefit lesser prairie-chickens. The application deadline to enroll land in the Lesser-prairie Chicken Conservation Program is Feb. 28, according to the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA). Landowner/producers with land in the lesser prairie-chicken range are eligible to apply, and those who are accepted will receive payments for implementing conservation practices such as mechanical brush removal, prescribed grazing, and establishment and management of planted native grass stands. Only producers not currently enrolled in federal farm bill programs are eligible to apply for ...
Those of us at a certain age remember a segment Willard Scott had on the Today Show that started in the 1970s. During his weather segment he would show a person, mention their name, and that they had reached their 100th birthday. Back then the mentions were few and not every day but as time went on the mentions became more numerous. Reaching your centennial birthday became relatively more common. But even today a centennial anniversary is a big deal. You are probably asking what that has to do with agriculture. Here in Kansas the Farm Bureau recognizes the significance ...
February 16, 2014|
Dr. Victor L. Martin
Barton County and Walnut Creek Extension will be hosting a Sprayer Calibration Program at Township Hall in Rush Center on Feb. 25th. The program will start with a lunch at 12:30 p.m., and should last until 3:30 p.m. The presenter will be Dr. John Slocombe, Agriculture and Forage Machinery Safety specialist from K-State Research and Extension. Topics to be covered will be: Nozzle Type Discussion and Demonstration; Calibration of Sprayer; Droplet size, and Application methods.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) are partnering to host the first farmer's market conference in five years. The conference will be held in Topeka at the Downtown Ramada Hotel and Convention Center Feb. 28 through March 1.
With the cold weather keeping most people indoors, now would be a good time to leach your houseplants of all of the excess salts that may have built up. I found an article from K-State Research and Extension Horticulture specialist Ward Upham that explains what leaching is, and how to accomplish it. This easy project will help keep your plants healthy for the upcoming growing season.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Eric B. Banks, Salina, announced the availability of fiscal year (FY) 2014 funding for Kansas agriculture producers to renovate shelterbelts and restore forested riparian buffers under the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI). Sign-up deadline to be considered for this FY2014 funding is March 21, 2014. Producers need to contact their local NRCS office to sign up. Producers are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible so all requests can be completed by the deadline.
The last two weeks provided a brief overview of the water problems and how the state arrived at this point regarding water in Kansas, especially groundwater. So what can be done to help ameliorate the difficulties faced by a declining aquifer and just as importantly how to maintain the agriculture industry and population? Keep in mind the State of Kansas is already involved in some of these.
At this time of year, many gardeners are thinking about what to plant in their gardens, and how they want their landscape to look this coming growing season. K-State Research and Extension can be a great resource for research on what will grow well in your yard. By going to the Horticulture website at www.hfrr.ksu.edu, you can find a link for Recommended Plants for Kansas. These plants have been tested at research centers and placed on the list for their abilities to grow and thrive in the Kansas climate.
The public is invited to attend a free, live broadcast of the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health and discuss how to build soil health, improve yields, curb erosion, manage pests, and build resilience in your farming system.
The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Kansas will provide approximately $2.5 million in fiscal year (FY) 2014 to conserve the water in the Ogallala Aquifer through the Ogallala Aquifer Initiative (OAI). Applications are accepted on a continuous basis; however, to be considered for FY2014 funds, the application cutoff date is March 21, 2014. The NRCS will fund this initiative through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
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.