MANHATTAN – Tradition and heritage is a big part of what makes agriculture such an attractive way of life for so many Kansans. The lifeblood of our existence, the farms and ranches in Kansas, provide food, fuel and fiber for the world.
The early 1970s were good times for American agriculture, with expanded exports to the Soviet Union creating higher profits for producers, stimulating rural economies and revitalizing farm implement manufacturing. News from the agricultural sector was generally upbeat. Then, on June 30, 1975, Time magazine ran an expose piece entitled "Dirty Grain," and suddenly Americans-and the rest of the world-discovered that the U.S. was not a reliable supplier of grain.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 37 counties in Kansas as primary natural disaster areas due to a recent drought.
Each year, the Kansas Bankers Association promotes the recognition of farmers and ranchers who have completed quality conservation work through their conservation awards program. Their goal is to recognize those producers who participate in conservation activities while promoting the productive capability of their land.
The Wheat Foods Council continued its battle on fad diets when it met late last week in Phoenix, Ariz. Cindy Falk, nutrition educator for Kansas Wheat and the Wheat Foods Council vice chair, represented Kansas farmers and their need to combat anti-wheat messages.
Water has been in the national news a great deal lately. From the chemical spill polluting surface water used by over 300,000 people in West Virginia to the lack of snowpack that California depends on for much of its water supply, water issues are of great importance. While much of the focus recently has been on municipal water use, even in the most populous state, California, most water usage involves agriculture. Here in Kansas, the Governor, has outlined and championed an aggressive plan to extend the life of the Ogallala Aquifer through a series of measures for producers to ...
You never miss the water till the well runs dry.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Kansas Graziers Association (KGA) along with the 2014 Annual Winter Grazing Conference. "Grazing and Soil Health" is the focus of this year's winter conference, including a component on "The Value of Cover Crops." This workshop, part of the Amazing Grazing Series of Educational Events, will be offered January 25, 2014 at Ramada Hotel & Conference Center, 1616 W. Crawford St. in Salina, KS.
Do organically produced foods have higher nutritional value?
The warmer weather we had this week felt really nice after the polar vortex the week before! I even heard weatherman were calling this last week "spring-like". Well, before you know it, spring will be here, and it will be time to start the growing season again. Here are a few pieces of information and tips to get a jump start on planning for the season to come.
It's already the latter half of January and soon cattle producers are planning on their animals grazing on pasture. If the weather pattern holds, it won't be long before wheat breaks dormancy and spring growth begins. While wheat pasture this past fall wasn't horrible, it also wasn't as productive in many fields as hoped due to cool temperatures, relatively little precipitation and in some cases later than optimum planting. This means in many cases the desired forage production for grazing, in terms of quantity and duration, will be difficult to achieve due to a lack of ...
MCPHERSON – "Celebrating the International Year of Family Farming" was the theme of the annual Kansas Farmers Union convention, held Jan. 3-5 at the Ramada Topeka Downtown Hotel and Convention Center. Farmers and ranchers from across the state convened to discuss policy, climate change, the farm crisis of the 1980s and how its memory still shadows modern farming, the farm bill, and other subjects.
With the advent of the New Year, Kansas farmers and ranchers must once again look to the future with an open mind and the flexibility to develop new ways of marketing their products.
Several Farm Bureau members in Kansas have taken state committee leadership positions within their farm organization.
The holiday season is now over and another tradition is starting up for agriculture – education season. There are a variety of opportunities from both public and private sources. On the private front, many businesses involved in agriculture ranging from banks to seed companies and co-ops provide opportunities for the crop and cattle industry. Publicly, some are nearby and all are worthwhile for the target audience, especially for those needing continuing education hours in their area of expertise. What are some of the public opportunities coming up soon?
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.
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 ...
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.
The egg is in hot water again thanks to recent reports of high cholesterol levels in the U.S. population. With this linkage between high serum cholesterol and coronary heart disease (CHD), these studies and others have led people to believe CHD is the fault of "those dirty rotten eggs."
K-State Research and Extension is offering family and youth events, available to all interested persons. For more information about these, as well as more localized events, check with your local K-State Research and Extension office.
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