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.
The sky above the Flint Hills in Riley County was clear and blue as the sun rose April 12. It was a day cattlemen had been waiting for. After days of roaring southerly winds, conditions were calm.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Dave White announced the cutoff date of May 20, of another funding opportunity for both certified organic producers and those transitioning to organic production systems.
As this is written, Barton and the surrounding counties missed the rain chances forecast over the weekend. The droughty conditions were made worse by well above normal temperatures and strong winds that further stressed the wheat crop and depleted the precious little moisture received the previous seven days. In spite of this, the majority of wheat in the area would still be rated overall fair to good. However, conditions need to improve soon to salvage an average wheat crop.
April means that Tax Day is just around the corner. For those folks who are working – or scrambling – to meet the deadline, you should know that you have until April 18th this year. But even if you have already filed, you might be wondering how last the bipartisan tax cut compromise reached last December affects you and your family.
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.
Kansas State University researchers met with representatives from the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, Kansas Wheat Alliance, and Kansas Crop Improvement Association, on Feb. 17-18. They presented updates on current research projects and outlined requests for future project funding.
With the warmer weather this past week, my thoughts turned to spring and the upcoming growing season. Right now, you can get a head start on your garden by planting frost-susceptible vegetables indoors. The seedlings can then be transplanted into the garden when weather permits.
Farmers and ranchers have always adhered to sound principles of animal care for their livestock.
A key concept taught in any economics class is the difference between an economic and a noneconomic good. The difference involves scarcity. In fact a concise definition of economics is "The study of the allocation of scarce resources between competing ends." Scarcity is simply defined as the amount of something that is available compared to the demand for that something. Any scarce good has economic value and the scarcer the good the greater that value is. And shortages of a good or resource increases its value. Many of us have seen this reflected in the prices paid when purchasing food ...
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