Under a bright blue, fall Oklahoma sky in a serene setting, cattle are doing what cattle do – quietly moving through a pasture looking for the next best thing to eat. As they graze, instruments are recording how much methane they are producing.
The good news is, Kansas consumers spend $7.2 billion on food each year. The bad news is, $6.5 billion of it comes from beyond the state's borders, obesity is on the rise, 56 percent of Kansas farmers require secondary income and only eight percent of Kansans have healthy diets, according to a 2010 survey by the Kansas Health Institute.
While food safety will always be the cornerstone of our production process, allegiance is making inroads into why and where consumers buy their products.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is publishing a rule that outlines how it will improve the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), one of USDA's largest conservation programs. The interim final rule includes program changes authorized by Congress in the 2014 Farm Bill.
Although women represented only 28 percent of Kansas farmers in 2012 and the number of farmers is declining overall, women are ramping-up their involvement in several of the state's less common forms of agriculture. The Kansas Rural Center is one organization in Kansas that continues to advance programs to better serve the needs of this historically underserved population.
We all know a century is a long time. In U.S. agriculture the changes make it seem more like a millennium. We are aware of the obvious changes in crops, crop yields, machinery and technology, demographics, and globalization. But where and why did those changes happen and how have these changes changed, or not changed, what a farmer has become?
Record crops and low prices have farmers embracing change in 2015, with acreage shifts continuing to move fields from corn to soybeans, according to the latest Farm Futures survey.
Well, 2015 is starting out as busy as 2014 ended! I have several more upcoming programs to tell you all about in Agriculture and Horticulture. As always, you can contact me at the Extension Office for more information about these exciting opportunities coming your way!
Before we all become buried in the new year, let's look at this new beginning with a bit of humor. Plenty of people trot out their lists of resolutions. Often, such lists are as long as their arms and last as long as their pinky.
As the holiday season comes to an end, so does the entry period for the 2015 National Festival of Breads. The festival, sponsored by King Arthur Flour, Red Star Yeast and Kansas Wheat, is a national amateur bread baking competition that hundreds of bakers enter. The entry deadline for this year's competition is January 16, 2015.
Kansas Farm Bureau (KFB) and the Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom (KFAC) will host the eighth annual Be Ag-Wise professional development workshops early next year.
Happy New Year to everybody. 2014 is history and 2015 is officially here. The last year was interesting to say the least for crop and livestock producers. The drought, record high prices for protein (beef, pork, and poultry), significant declines in crop prices, record corn yields, and steep declines in fuel prices. The natural question then is what does 2015 have in store for agriculture? This list is in no particular order and accurately seeing into the future is tricky at best.
If temperatures are too hot in May and June, farmers could lose more than layers.
Do you ever drive by the USDA Service Center or the K-State Research and Extension Office and wonder what they do in there? Do you ever have a question, but aren't sure where to turn? What about wanting to improve your operation, and needing some financial assistance to help with the cost? Chances are these offices have the ability to help.
Many, many traditions are associated with Christmas – a decorated tree, colored lights, gift giving, parties and turkey and ham dinners. Most of these traditions are recent additions.
Agricultural Experiment Station researchers on campus and at centers around the state conduct studies in nearly all areas of agricultural production for K-State Research and Extension.
Agriculture is losing producers. No one will argue that point, but larger, more efficient producers are replacing those lost in this highly competitive industry.
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.
Every spring, the ritual continues. Farmers, stockmen and landowners continue to use fire as a range management tool while maintaining the economic viability of the Flint Hills.
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.
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.
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