The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) are partnering to host the first farmer's market conference in five years. The conference will be held in Topeka at the Downtown Ramada Hotel and Convention Center Feb. 28 through March 1.
With the cold weather keeping most people indoors, now would be a good time to leach your houseplants of all of the excess salts that may have built up. I found an article from K-State Research and Extension Horticulture specialist Ward Upham that explains what leaching is, and how to accomplish it. This easy project will help keep your plants healthy for the upcoming growing season.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Eric B. Banks, Salina, announced the availability of fiscal year (FY) 2014 funding for Kansas agriculture producers to renovate shelterbelts and restore forested riparian buffers under the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI). Sign-up deadline to be considered for this FY2014 funding is March 21, 2014. Producers need to contact their local NRCS office to sign up. Producers are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible so all requests can be completed by the deadline.
The last two weeks provided a brief overview of the water problems and how the state arrived at this point regarding water in Kansas, especially groundwater. So what can be done to help ameliorate the difficulties faced by a declining aquifer and just as importantly how to maintain the agriculture industry and population? Keep in mind the State of Kansas is already involved in some of these.
Years ago every town had one. They served as a meeting place for friends and neighbors. You could catch up on local news and wet your whistle at the same time.
At this time of year, many gardeners are thinking about what to plant in their gardens, and how they want their landscape to look this coming growing season. K-State Research and Extension can be a great resource for research on what will grow well in your yard. By going to the Horticulture website at www.hfrr.ksu.edu, you can find a link for Recommended Plants for Kansas. These plants have been tested at research centers and placed on the list for their abilities to grow and thrive in the Kansas climate.
The public is invited to attend a free, live broadcast of the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health and discuss how to build soil health, improve yields, curb erosion, manage pests, and build resilience in your farming system.
The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Kansas will provide approximately $2.5 million in fiscal year (FY) 2014 to conserve the water in the Ogallala Aquifer through the Ogallala Aquifer Initiative (OAI). Applications are accepted on a continuous basis; however, to be considered for FY2014 funds, the application cutoff date is March 21, 2014. The NRCS will fund this initiative through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
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.
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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