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 ...
First, here's wishing a very Happy Easter to everyone. Rather than go deeply into a topic when many of us are enjoying well-deserved family gathering, let's tie up a few loose ends.
Cattlemen across much of Kansas are in a quandary. As grass managers, they are asking themselves how many cattle will their ranges and pastures support after twenty to thirty months of drought. What steps can be taken to protect the grazing resources while maintaining enough cattle numbers to be financially viable? Will we get enough runoff to fill the ponds?
If you've ever heard the stampeding sound of a tornado or been close enough to see fence posts, the side of a building or the steel of a grain bin twisting furiously as the dreaded black monster gobbles up the countryside, you'll remember it always.
More than 150 farmer and ranchers from across Kansas participated in Kansas Farm Bureau's County Presidents Trip to Washington, D.C., March 18-21.
What's today's fashionable farmer wearing to work?
The following column is from K-State Research and Extension's horticulture department. The Prairie Star and Prairie Bloom programs highlight the best varieties of annual and perennial flowers for the state of Kansas. Along with this piece, I will be giving a lunch program about these programs as well as highlighting plants that will grow well in a drought situation. This will be at the Great Bend Recreation Center at noon on Wednesday, April 23, and there is no cost to attend. For more information, please call 620-793-1910 or e-mail me at email@example.com.
The USDA's RMA Management Agency (RMA) released Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) concerning revisions to its position on cover crops, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Cover Crop Termination Guidelines, and crop insurance for the 2014 crop year.
Crop conditions around Kansas vary as the weather turns warmer and the delicate growing season for winter wheat is underway. Freeze damage and drought are a major concern for many areas of the state. The crop is battling ranging temperatures and lack of moisture.
Three Olsburg ranches will highlight working facilities that utilize low stress methods to quietly and effectively process cattle, sheep and goats on May 3rd. The tour will begin with registration at 9:30 a.m. at the Edwards Ranch, 15225 Dry Creek Road, 2.4 miles west of Olsburg and 2.9 south on Dry Creek Road. The working facility designed by Bill, which he can operate alone, will be demonstrated at 10 a.m.
The latest drought monitor map came out Thursday and as most expected the news isn't good. So where are we?
As the lights dimmed and the images flickered on the screen, the movie audience stepped into the lives of young farmers and ranchers as they took on the tasks of running their families' operations. No wannabe Bogarts or Bacalls, just honest-to-goodness people who work the land.
As the weather begins to warm, and the crops in the field begin to grow, insects start their annual migration into Kansas or come out of their winter hiding places to feast upon the new growth. One such insect that is making its presence felt across Kansas is the army cutworm. The following piece is from the agronomy department for K-State Research and Extension with some information about the army cutworm and the threshold for various crops for possible treatment.
It is corn planting season in Kansas and the Kansas Corn Commission is again reminding growers to "Know Before You Grow." Through the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) website growers can view information on the release of new seed varieties, policy stances, biotech traits and grower agreements. The site, "Know Before Your Grow," is designed to help growers have a better understanding of the type of corn they're growing and the needs of their customers.
There is a lot going on this time of year in the world of agriculture. From preparing for and planting spring crops to attending the annual Farm and Ranch Expo this past week. Cattle producers have their own set challenges as we head into spring. Today's column is a brief update of where the winter wheat crop is as of today.
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