The past week was an interesting one for me and for many of us in the technical division at Barton. We were involved in the annual Breaking Traditions two-day event that exposed high school age young women and men to careers that they may not have considered as part of their future. Careers ranged from working on gas pipelines to criminal justice, automotive technician and agriculture. Even in today's world we all tend to assign certain careers by gender and this was a chance for these highschoolers to "think outside the box."
Some of us have gone beyond gratitude for much appreciated meaningful rain before Memorial Day to needing a little time to dry out but afraid to complain about too much rain after the last nine months. So is the drought over? While the rains helped a lot, portions of Kansas, especially in the extreme southwest were under an "exceptional" drought and much of our immediate area, primarily south of the Arkansas River in the sandier areas were under "severe" or "extreme" drought conditions. While we can breathe easier for now, normal to above normal rainfall is necessary to keep the ...
Next week we will pick up our discussion of rotational no-till crops for our area. This week, let's take a moment and see what the weather of this past week means for the area. Unfortunately, as is often the case here, the price of meaningful rain is severe weather, especially during the spring and early summer. The tragic deaths in northern Stafford County are a reminder of just how quickly our weather can turn violent and deadly. The warning system at the college went off warning of a tornado in the area as I was preparing to leave and ...
Barton County Farm Bureau awarded four scholarships to Barton County Seniors whose parents are members of the Barton County Farm Bureau Association. The 2011 scholarship winners are from left to right; Brent Stoss son of Mr. and Mrs. Dale Stoss, Allie Hipp, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Hipp, Jennifer Funk, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Funk and Matt Beran, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Beran Jr.
Well, after yesterdays storms my peonies are not looking their best, but last week they were definitely in their prime! I love watching my peonies peeking up through the ground in the early spring; it reminds me that warmer weather is just around the corner. This year I thought I might take a little time to research one of my favorite flowers, the peony, and answer some of my own questions. You know the ones, I am sure you have had them too. Why do peonies get that 'sticky' stuff all over the buds? Why do peonies draw ants? Do ...
The Barton County Conservation District will be holding their annual state cost-share sign-up May 16 through June 10. This is the perfect time to apply for funding assistance for completing conservation practices. Funding is approved by the Kansas State Conservation Commission through appropriations from the Kansas Water Fund.
Last week's article discussed the importance of considering climate when deciding what crops may fit into a no-till rotation in this part of the world. There are numerous other factors that also need consideration and this week will continue this exploration.
May is American Wetlands Month and was created in 1991 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its federal, state, tribal, local, non-profit, and private sector partners to celebrate the vital importance of wetlands to the Nation's ecological, economic, and social health and to educate Americans about the value of wetlands as a natural resource.
This week's article returns to reducing tillage and crop rotations, specifically what broadleaf crops can we rotate with our traditional dryland crops of wheat, grain sorghum and corn. And what will it take for a crop to be successful in our area. While choices may seem limited, over the next decade options should expand to include choices suited to the climate of the area. What is driving the process is the increasing role of agriculture in not only food and fiber but also fuel and the increasing demand for heart healthy oils. Added into the mix is a growing ...
"The Manhattan Plant Materials Center (PMC) has been 'Delivering Plants with a Purpose' for 75 years, since 1936," said Eric B. Banks, State Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). "A field day with a tour and breakout sessions is planned to bring awareness of the outstanding Plant Materials Program and its accomplishments."
Originally, today's article was to feature potential broadleaf crops for dryland crop rotations in the Barton County area. Before getting to that discussion, there are some opportunities coming up for area producers and interested individuals worth mentioning. These are tours providing an opportunity to view crops under field conditions and help provide information for producers and agribusiness on varieties, hybrids, and often the effects of cultural practices on crop production.
Last week I mentioned no-till in regards to the 2011 wheat crop. Some thought the comments rather negative but that wasn't my intention. My point was while no-till has many positive benefits, it usually isn't as easy as deciding to no-till. Often when producers decide to no-till after using tillage for years or decades, it is under adverse conditions like drought and/or heat stress. This is the absolute worse time to eliminate tillage and count on success. In fact, as is evident by much of this year's wheat crop planted into first time no-till ground, the ...
As I write this, there is a forty percent chance of rain and if you are reading this on Easter Sunday, hopefully the chance of rain is falling outside your window. If not, it means the wheat crop is continuing to decline and prospects for dryland corn in the ground aren't great. And while we are examining all this "good" news, the first cutting of alfalfa is still being hammered in many locations by alfalfa weevil in spite of repeated sprays on many fields.
LARNED – An informational multi-county extension districting meeting Thursday, April 14, evening at Larned's J. A. Hass Building was well attended by several Barton County Extension representatives and county officials.
This week and next week all the classes in the agriculture program are taking tests. While writing these exams my mind wandered, as it occasionally does, to when I was a student taking similar course several decades ago and how much the science of agriculture has changed.
Richard Wiswall likes numbers. In that he might be an anomaly among farmers, at least where the numbers are concerned. Some of his numbers involve planting rates and seed inventory, tractor hours, and labor costs-categories most farmers are familiar with-but he takes things a step further-okay, many steps further-by calculating, and tracking, almost every facet of his family farm in East Montpelier, Vt. He tallies numbers to an extensive degree; for instance, his greenhouse operation, is broken down by the cost of each flat, the amount of soil per flat, the number of flats filled in an hour, the labor ...
Water, a simple chemical compound, has the big and at times complex job of bringing life to the world. Last October, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback issued a call to action to address the need for a 50-year vision for the state's water that meets the needs of all Kansans now and in the future.
Billed as, nearly everything an agribusiness professional would need or want, this year's 53rd edition of the Western Farm Show lived up to its slogan. More than 20,000 farmers, ranchers, school children, FFA youngsters and urbanites attended the three-day event at the American Royal Complex in Kansas City.
Trying to successfully predict what a growing season will be like is akin to perfectly filling out a March Madness Bracket. The only difference is you could win a $1,000,000,000 if you have a perfect bracket. The area is already in the second week of March and April is only three weeks away. Thus far the weather has been schizophrenic with cold winning out. But we all know that can change tomorrow. So what are the prospects looking like for timely of planting spring crops? Maybe it's better to ask if it matters as much as ...
The future of agriculture in Kansas could be daunting as global climate change and resource depletion stemming from industrial farming take hold over coming decades.
TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Agriculture Friday announced the result of the elections held for the state's five grain commodity commissions – corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers and wheat in districts Four, Five and Six in the central region of the state.
MANHATTAN – Lee Borck, Chairman of Innovative Livestock Services Inc., was recognized March 6 as Kansas Stockman of the Year at a banquet in Manhattan. The award is presented annually by the Livestock and Meat Industry Council at Kansas State University.
During the last couple months winter had a tight grip on Kansas countryside. Seemed like whenever I'd look outside my office window I saw gray clouds, large flakes of snow and trees blowing in a bitterly cold wind. This made it easy to dream about the spring thaw or the warm summer sun.
Kansas Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever will host the organization's fourth annual state habitat convention on March 7-8 at the Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita. The two-day event is designed for landowners, conservationists and hunters interested in improving wildlife habitat, and will also celebrate and discuss avenues to increase Kansas' upland hunting tradition.
David C. Everitt, a former John Deere division president, will present "Combining business objectives, appropriate technology and social support programs to help feed a hungry world" at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, in Fiedler Hall Auditorium at Kansas State University.
This week I wanted to bring up one of my favorite subjects, soil sampling. I have started getting questions about this process, and anytime that the soil is not frozen; you can pull a sample for testing. One piece of information to think about is the soil will be wet and it will need to be dry to send off for testing. To do this, just allow the sample to air dry and do not use heat to help dry the sample since this will compromise the test results. If you have not had a soil test ran for your ...
This coming Tuesday evening, the advisory board for the Agriculture Program at Barton Community College meets with college personnel. Board members come from the agribusiness community, area farmers, representatives from K-State and FHSU, high school agriculture educators and administrators. In fact, every program in the Technical Division of the College has an advisory board.
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