I have been told all of my life, "Well, this year is unusual" when it comes to weather. In Kansas, I think that adage holds true every year. For 2014, we had one of the driest starts in history followed by one of the wettest Junes in history. The temperatures have been cooler than normal for the most part, but then we have sudden changes where the daily high will be 20 degrees higher or lower than the previous day. When the weather is so up and down, there might be a few problems in your garden. One of the ...
Adrian J. Polansky, State Executive Director of the Kansas Farm Service Agency (FSA), announced today that emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage has been approved for 44 counties in Kansas effective Wednesday, July 16.
Today's column focuses on herbicide resistant GMO technology and next week the potential up- and down- sides of GMOs. While this focuses on herbicide resistant traits produced through genetic engineering, it should be pointed out many herbicide resistant traits have been obtained through conventional breeding techniques. Let's discuss the trait almost everyone is familiar with – Roundup Ready ® technology.
Television, newspapers, magazines and the web are filled with images of starving children – skeleton-like figures crouched like dogs on their haunches while their mothers wail in anguish. Sometimes these pictures from such far-away places as Sudan, Ethiopia or Somalia also include children eating bread, bowls of rice and other staples that may have come from food produced on the fertile land of Kansas farmers and their counterparts across the United States.
July 06, 2014|
John Schlageck, Kansas Farm Bureau
Last week's column described conventional breeding techniques for the production of varieties and hybrids. Today's column delves into genetic engineering. Before tackling that it's important to remember that much of today's crop and livestock in large part remain tied entirely or partially to these "conventional" techniques. And no matter how sophisticated genetic manipulation becomes, we still take the materials into the field.
It's Fair time again in Barton County! The youth from all of our communities have been working hard on their various projects, and will be displaying them for the community to see. Whether you enjoy photography, artwork, or livestock, there is something for everyone at the fair.
Have you ever heard about the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop acreage, production or stocks reports and wondered, "How does USDA come up with these crop estimates?" "Why do they impact prices so much?" Or, "why can't USDA get it right?"
"Change is a hard thing to accept, but for ranchers in Kansas things are always changing and successful ranchers are always looking ahead - adapting their management to meet that change," said Tim Christian state coordinator for the Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition (KGLC). "Registration is open for the 2014 KGLC range schools and we encourage interested folks to get their names on the list to attend one of two schools."
Brandon Depenbusch, feedyard general manager for Innovative Livestock Services, was one of more than 60 young cattlemen and women selected to participate in the National Cattlemen's Beef Association 35th Young Cattlemen's Conference. Depenbusch was sponsored by Kansas Livestock Association. The YCC program is a comprehensive, nationwide tour of beef industry sectors, created to enhance leadership skills in your beef industry professionals.
When I was a youngster, one of my favorite places to play on a cold winter day was my Uncle Joe and Aunt Anna's weathered red barn. Uncle Bernie had one too and it was also a must stop when we went to see our cousins.
June 29, 2014|
John Schlageck, Kansas Farm Bureau
This isn't the first and probably won't be the last column on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). There are many issues constantly brought up in the news, the courts, the Congress, and around the world regarding everything from labelling and safety to the escape of these traits to wild plant/animal populations. This week a brief review of how we breed plants and livestock might be helpful.
Family farms are usually ran with everyone having specific jobs that they are responsible for, that together, make the family farm run smoothly. But what happens when tragically, a part of the family is no longer able to do their part?
WASHINGTON – Brandon Depenbusch, feedyard general manager for Innovative Livestock Services, was one of more than 60 young cattlemen and women selected to participate in the National Cattlemen's Beef Association 35th Young Cattlemen's Conference. Depenbusch was sponsored by Kansas Livestock Association. The YCC program is a comprehensive, nationwide tour of beef industry sectors, created to enhance leadership skills in your beef industry professionals.
Stripe rust has been found in several fields of wheat in south central Kansas, including Barton County. At the time it was found, it was still at low levels and in trace amounts. With the cool wet weather we have been experiencing, it is something that producers should be on the watch for, and scouting their fields to identify and monitor.
Picture transitioning from a rural setting that includes woodlands, wildlife habitat and farms, to urban areas that consist of concrete, parking lots, streets and buildings. Rural land in a more natural state has the ability to soak up water in the soil more efficiently than urban areas with impervious surfaces that can lead to more runoff.
The last several columns provided general background on the rapidly expanding organic foods market. Today's column briefly outlines conventionally produced foods to highlight the differences between the two. Perhaps the first question to deal with is "Are conventionally produced foods inorganic?"
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.