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?
TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) is committed to providing support and assistance to Kansas farms, ranches and agribusinesses through the implementation of 12 new business licensing guides and updates made to existing guides.
Last week I told you all about my New Year's resolution to take advantage of what K-State Research and Extension has to offer in educational programming in the region. I am also going to try to keep you informed about opportunities that you may be interested in at the same time. One of notifications I have received is for the 2014 Extension Master Gardener program.
Now that it's officially 2014, what lies ahead for Kansas agriculture? It probably doesn't take being in the food, fiber, and fuel business to now that the biggest question for 2014 is the weather or specifically precipitation. As of Christmas Eve, the eastern half of Kansas is rated as abnormally dry with only the southeast corner rated as okay. The western third of the state is rated mostly in severe drought with portions in the extreme range. The part in the middle where Barton County is located is in moderate drought. While not great, this is better than ...
It's the New Year and like so many, I have vowed to shed those extra pounds. Losing weight is no easy task. Expectations often exceed the will to lose this weight gradually during an extended period of time.
Conditions have been unusually cold throughout Kansas during most of the start of winter. During the first blast of cold weather, there was little or no snow cover. This means in places soil temperatures have been colder than normal, leaving some producers wondering if these conditions will leave wheat fields susceptible to winter die-off?
Happy New Year!!
Some people forget about the true meaning of Christmas – celebrating the birth of Christ, love, friendship and spending time with the family. As a youngster I have fond memories of Mom inside fixing turkey and dressing while my brothers and I would be playing outside throwing snowballs, playing "fox and geese" and just being kids.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $73 million to rehabilitate dams across the nation in an effort to protect public health and safety and evaluate the expansion of water supply in drought stricken areas. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is investing in approximately 150 projects and assessments in 23 states. "Millions of people depend on watersheds and dams for protection from floods and providing clean drinking water," Vilsack said. "By investing in this critical infrastructure, we are helping to ensure a safe, resilient environment for rural America."
Next week marks the 45th anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement. The first Earth Day celebration occurred April 22, 1970.
At this time of year, many gardeners are starting vegetables indoors, or preparing to buy small plants to transplant into their garden when the soil temperature is warm enough. To help with this process, it is sometimes a good idea to give the small plants a little extra fertilizer to help them get a good start. I found a column from the K-State Research and Extension's horticulture department that gives some good advice on transplant solutions and sidedressing to help you give your garden the best start possible.
The Kansas Flint Hills have served as a home and food source for stocker cattle since the mid-1800s, when cowboys drove longhorns up the Chisholm Trail from the southwestern United States to Kansas railways. Flash forward to today: research from Kansas State University on this staple resource could help ensure profitable years ahead for stocker producers.
K-State Research and Extension is offering 4-H Leadership Boot Camp on April 25 in Hoisington, available to all interested persons. Call 785-483-3157 to register. For more information about this, as well as more localized events, check with the local K-State Research and Extension office.
Last week's column explored in general terms what organic means to chemists and the scientific community and what it means to the "natural" foods community. This series of articles isn't intended to take sides but to provide information to help in making informed decisions. Now let's briefly attempt to get a handle on what exactly "organic" foods are. This involves several parts and it is important to note there are foodstuffs claiming to be organic and foodstuffs that have followed certain strict requirements and are certified as organic.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making available $332 million in financial and technical assistance through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). ACEP applications may be submitted at any time to NRCS however, applications for the current funding cycle must be submitted on or before May 15, 2015.
Pre-packaged, vacuum-packed, just add water.
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 is offered for a larger age range, it is required for individuals 14-15 years old who will be ...
Before today's topic a brief update is in order. Temperatures the night of April 3 fell well below freezing ranging from the low 20s to around 30 over the area for several hours. Spotty freeze damage has been noted already in South Central Kansas and more will likely become evident over the next little while, especially under warm windy conditions. Leaf burn won't be a big deal but since wheat was jointing or jointed in much of the area, it will pay to keep an eye out for damage to the developing head inside the stem. Damage was ...
A Kansas State University animal health leader has been chosen to engage local, regional and national stakeholders in the development of strategic partnerships for the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, or NBAF.
Can you believe that April is already here? I swear I just put up my Christmas items a week ago! Well, April is going to be quite the busy month here for Extension! So this week, I thought I would remind you of several opportunities that will be taking place for the community.
Each day, farmers and ranchers pull on their boots, roll up their sleeves and go to work outside rural communities across Kansas. They perform a litany of chores – feeding and doctoring livestock, cultivating their crops, pulling maintenance on machinery, paying bills – you name it and farmers and ranchers do it.
It's Easter weekend and this past Thursday night saw some fairly severe weather in the area complete with power outages. Spring is really here, especially after the extremely warm temperatures this past week. Today is April 5, so area producers should have wrapped up side dressing the 2015 wheat crop and corn planters are being readied to begin planting shortly. Alfalfa is greening up and in some parts of the state, including some fields here, wheat producers are assessing winter survival. Since not a great deal is going on just yet, let's catch up on what is known.
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