There isn't much to say regarding the wheat crop right now but to wait so let's go in a different direction this week. First, the Crop Protection class at the college toured the area south of the college this past Wednesday travelling as far south as the Hudson area. Normally they can examine wheat, alfalfa, and newly emerged corn. Since the weather went south pretty quickly, the tour was a bit abbreviated. It's safe to assume they didn't find any corn emerged or even germinated. The alfalfa seemed to be doing alright and was recovering well ...
Pheasants Forever is helping to publicize a meeting for landowners interested in learning more about the potential listing of the lesser prairie-chicken (LPC) as a threatened or endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). This issue has been on the minds of western Kansas landowners for the last two years. A final decision is expected from USFWS in September of this year, but there is still plenty of uncertainty about what that ruling will mean for area producers. This uncertainty causes many concerns for land managers. In order to address some of those, Kansas Department of ...
When we think of eating a meal today, images of a person dashing toward the door while chomping down the last bite and yelling good-bye, is an all too common picture. But again, that is only part of the story.
They say that April showers bring May flowers. The question on everybody's mind right now is what do April ice storms bring? This year, for three weeks in a row, this region has experienced temperatures well below freezing with ice and snow adding to the problems. After two severe drought years the good news is we finally are receiving some moisture. The wheat fields may be growing slow, and look promising as of now, but how much more of Mother Nature's changing moods can it handle?
After the last blast of winter this week, we have had three extremely cold, hard freeze events in about two weeks. By the middle of next week at the latest the damage from this last freeze on the developing head should be apparent. Most of the attention has focused on wheat but where are we concerning our spring planted crops? Let's tackle the easy ones first.
Forty three years ago, when folks in the USA celebrated the first Earth Day, I was stationed in Stuttgart, West Germany – the country was still divided then. Back then I had little opportunity to carry signs that championed the abstract idea of protecting something as vast as our planet. Heck, I didn't even hear about Earth Day until I returned a couple years later.
No one can argue our weather has been boring in 2013. Many find these spring reminders of winter unusual to say the least. The area and most of Kansas has experienced two hard freezes combined with freezing precipitation over the last two weeks. This stands in sharp contrast with the winter/spring seasons common during much of the 2000s. The K-State weather station at the US 281 and US 50 junction reported a high temperature of 4l° F and a low of 34° on Thursday April 18. Friday, April 19, had a low in the mid-20s.
U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) continues to work to provide as much relief to drought-impacted producers as possible. NRCS State Conservationist Eric B. Banks announced the agency will assist producers through a new Drought Recovery Initiative. NRCS will use two application cutoff dates for the initiative: May 17 and June 21, 2013.
In response to the drought faced by Kansas producers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing financial and technical assistance in a new Water Quantity and Drought Pilot funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) announced Eric B. Banks, State Conservationist. While NRCS accepts applications for financial assistance on a continuous basis, NRCS will use two application cutoff dates for this pilot: May 17 and June 21, 2013.
This week, I have been in Manhattan for New Agent Training and it was wonderful to meet and to learn from the experts in their various fields. One person I had the pleasure to meet was Ward Upton. He is a specialist for the Horticulture Department with a wealth of knowledge about his subject. This week, I thought that I would share a couple of his pieces from the most recent Horticulture newsletter. I hope you find them as informative as I did.
Farming is a dangerous business. In fact, farming is one of the most dangerous jobs in the US. Every year, around one hundred youth are killed in farm work related activities. A lot of these deaths could have been prevented with better safety practices. Every year, Barton County, K-State Extension and Research provides a class in Hazardous Occupations Training to teach youth ages 13-18 about the Hazards of farm work, and how to create a safer working environment. Even though the class if offered for a larger age range, it is required for individuals 14-15 years old who will be ...
Wheat farmers in Kansas joke that wheat has nine lives and you don't produce a crop unless at least eight of them have been used up before harvest. While this may sound a bit like gallows humor, there is a lot of truth in this statement. The wheat crop here is exposed to the extremes of our weather for nine months while crops like corn, soybean, and sorghum for approximately four. One of the hazards continually on the minds of wheat producers is a late freeze. Before the wheat joints in the spring, the growing point of the plant ...
Huge and nearly impossible to comprehend are words that best describe the economic impact of California agriculture as viewed through the eyes of nine Kansas farm families who toured the state beginning on March 25.
How do you really know spring has arrived? Beyond the obvious signs like wheat greening up, daffodils blooming and springing forward, the Great Bend area has its own particular way. Next week from April 10-12 at the Expo Center the second annual Great Bend Farm and Ranch Expo takes place and promises to put an exclamation point on the start of the spring farming season. Farmers and ranchers love looking at new technology, state of the art equipment, maybe snagging a bargain and catching up with people they may only see once a year. That's why the agricultural community ...
When you are trying to grow a garden, the more information you have at the beginning of the growing season, the better potential your garden will produce well during the year. One piece of information that is easy to investigate is a soil test. A soil test is an inexpensive method to determine how healthy your soil is, and what you can do to improve it to help your plants be healthy also. A gardener will want to test every 1- 5 years. This test will tell you what nutrients are available for your plants to use to grow, and ...
While many shoppers are feeling the pinch of price increases, there's a way today's smart, frugal shoppers can save money on the family food bill. Some estimates place this figure at 10 -15 percent. On the average food bill, this could mean a savings of $700 - $1,200 a year.
The phone jarred Ken Powell awake. Groggy and disoriented, he glanced at the clock while fumbling with the receiver: midway between midnight and one a.m.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds farm owners and producers that the opportunity to choose between the new 2014 Farm Bill established programs, Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), begins Nov. 17, and continues through March 31, 2015. The new programs, designed to help producers better manage risk, usher in one of the most significant reforms to U.S. farm programs in decades.
One of the world's leading scholars in agricultural sustainability is speaking at Kansas State University about how to sustainably feed a growing world population that will require twice as much food as is currently produced.
Now that the cold weather has started to rear its head, it is time to turn our attention to our houseplants and the special care they need this time of year. With shorter days, dryer air and colder temperatures, your houseplants may require a change in the way you care for them. I found a short piece from K-State Research and Extension that gives a few basic tips to keep your indoor plants healthy throughout the winter.
Kansas Farm Bureau released its sixth book in the Kailey's Ag Adventures children's book series. Kailey's Pig 'Tales' follows Kailey and her cousins as they learn about pig farming from Farmer Rich.
Last week's column described consumer behavior and the assumptions behind predicting that behavior. The key points are consumers behavior rationally (in a predictable way), they prefer more to less, their preferences are complete, and they don't change preferences without a reason. Relative prices between goods are an important factor in determining choices within the constraints of a consumer's budget. Finally, consumer preferences do change over time, economists accept this change as a fact, and deal with those changes. Now the question to answer is how the agriculture and food industries responded to changes preferences and budgets have.
The Governor's Water Conference is to be held Wednesday, Nov. 12 and Thursday, Nov. 13, at the Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center, 410 S. 3rd Street in Manhattan. At 9:15 a.m. n Wednesday, Governor Sam Brownback will address the progress made on his call to action last year at the conference for a 50-Year Vision for meeting Kansas water supply current and future needs.
My Grandma and Grandpa Becker were more people of action than words. Not that they didn't have much to say. They just chose their words well and needed only a few to convey much.
Since the temperature dropped down into the 20's last week, the growing season is coming to an end for all plants. With this, your chores for the fall should also be wrapping up for the winter season ahead. So, as fall chores come to a close, I thought I'd give you a few last minute reminders for the season. We are almost at the finish line, so this is just a few last minute reminders to help you have a beautiful lawn, and working lawnmowers this coming spring. Thanks to K-State Research and Extension's Horticulture expert Ward ...
The Principles of Agriculture Economics class at Barton Community College is currently exploring consumer choices and how they make those choices when selecting foodstuffs at the store. This discussion also includes the direct buyers of crops and livestock off the farm and ranch. It is helpful to remember that while economics is rife with numbers, charts, and statistics, economics is at its core a social science trying to explain and predict human behavior. This week's column explains how these choices made. Next week - how does agriculture respond?
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