Last week's column defined what acidity is and how it is described. This week, what determines soil pH, what causes the pH in soils, and what it means for plant growth. Please remember this is a very condensed overview. First, what determines the pH of undisturbed soil?
Spring is just around the corner, and many people I know are experiencing cabin fever. Just as many people want to get out and stretch after a long cold winter, your potted plants are also beginning to respond to the longer days by starting to grow. This means that it may be time to repot your house plants to give them more room. I found an article from K-State Research and Extension's Horticulture department on how to repot your houseplants. This will give them more room and allow them to be a healthier plant, and give you something to ...
When most people think of soils in terms of plant growth, they consider soil moisture, how hard or loose the soil is for plants to grow through and the nutrient status of the soil. Too often, whether in production agriculture or not, one factor is often overlooked. This factor plays a role in all aspects of the soil environment. That factor is soil acidity which plays a huge role directly and indirectly in plant growth. This week's column starts the examination of what soil acidity is with following columns devoted to its effects on the soil as a plant ...
WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, met with United States Department of Agriculture Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack about priorities for the 114th Congress.
The latest Drought Monitor Update (February 17) indicates almost the entire state is at least abnormally dry. Most of Barton County falls in this category except for the extreme southern section. South into Stafford and west into Pawnee Counties the shortage increases to moderate drought. As you move south towards the border and to Southwest and West Central Kansas the severity increases to severe with a small area rated as extreme drought. This is in spite of slightly above average precipitation experienced in the Barton area over the last several weeks.
February 22, 2015|
Dr. Victor L. Martin
A recent study involving Kansas State University researchers finds that in the coming decades at least one-quarter of the world's wheat production will be lost to extreme weather from climate change if no adaptive measures are taken.
If you're pondering buying a fruit tree, here are some comments from the K-State Research and Extension's Horticulture department on ones that are commonly grown in Kansas. Fruit trees are a long-term investment requiring careful thought before purchase. Begin by choosing fruit you will eat, not fruit that appears attractive in the catalog. Other considerations are outlined below. For more choices, go to the publication "Small- and Tree-Fruit Cultivars" at http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/MF1028.pdf. You may also request this publication from me at the Barton County K-State Research and Extension office.
Registration is open for the first in a series of four "women only" Women in Farming Risk Management Education workshops to be hosted by the Kansas Rural Center during the spring and summer of 2015. All four of the workshops in KRC's "Women in Farming" series will highlight the opportunities and the challenges women face as they implement new enterprises on existing farms, begin farming or take over family operations, or just try to adopt new practices and enterprises with their families.
We are told we live in the age of information and have for at least several decades. Information, specifically access to information, is an asset as valuable as money. "Knowledge is power" is a slogan used in advertising and is first attributed to Sir Francis Bacon in 1597. Governments spend billions of dollars annually gathering information on almost everything imaginable. Information, or lack thereof, has decided the fates of nations, the success of companies, and having necessary information is vital to all of us in our everyday lives. Through formal education, on the job training, connections with others, or trial ...
February 15, 2015|
Dr. Victor L. Martin
Eric B. Banks, State Conservationist with U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces five national initiatives being offered in Kansas through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP): Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative, National Water Quality Initiative, On-Farm Energy Initiative, Organic Initiative, and Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative. While NRCS accepts applications for EQIP on a continuous basis, NRCS has set a deadline of March 20, to apply for 2015 initiatives funding.
Though soil tests are useful for identifying nutrient deficiencies as well as soil pH, they do not tell the whole story. The KSRE Soils Lab often receive soils from gardeners that are having a difficult time growing crops even though the soil test shows the pH is fine and nutrients are not deficient. Here are some factors that can affect plant growth that are not due to nutrient deficiencies or pH.