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.
We all know the answer to the title of this article is no. However, the reaction of some media outside of Kansas and other drought stricken areas implied that at the very least the worst is over. While that isn't true, things are a bit better. Our area has moved from the worst rating, exceptional, to the second worst rating, extreme. This is true of much of central Kansas. Much of the eastern third of the state has moved to severe and an area around Kansas City is all the way up to just being moderate. Unfortunately, much of ...
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it is investing $15.7 million through grants to 47 entities that will help develop and demonstrate cutting-edge ideas to accelerate innovation in private lands conservation.
Western Kansas wheat farmers have a unique opportunity to provide direction for one of Kansas' most important industries, through the 2015 Kansas commodity commission elections.
Fall is finally here! The days are getting shorter, the air crisper. It's a time for sweatshirts, hot apple cider, football games, and of course, preparation for the winter ahead. I found some information this week on two subjects of yard work that can be completed in the fall to jumpstart your landscape and garden when spring comes around.
The American Farm Bureau Federation has named four Kansas lawmakers as 'Friends of Farm Bureau' for the 113th Congress.
It seems everyone from the Federal Government to agricultural companies and producer groups are focusing one major issue for producers – managing risk. Perhaps a better way to state this is the goal is to minimize your risk (or exposure) and to cope when risk exposure occurs. For the USDA, as Farm Bills have evolved over the last twenty years, a major key is the crop insurance program since most other risk management tools have disappeared. For companies and producer groups, it's how to plan so your operation minimizes the risk agronomically and economically through a variety of tools and ...
This year Kansas has green fields, kissed by the sun. There are blue skies with white clouds high above. There are even valleys where rivers run. Heck, there's even water standing in terrace channels.
The announcement that the Conservation Awards Program will again be held in this county was received today by Alicia Boor, Barton County Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, who has been asked to serve as chairman of a committee to select candidates for awards.
Eric B. Banks, Kansas State Conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that $3.8 million in conservation funding has been allocated in Kansas to help landowners protect and restore key farmlands, grasslands, and wetlands. This announcement follows Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack's statement that $328 million is being invested nationally for this USDA initiative.
As this is being written, weather forecasters have backed off the heavy rains they predicted from the remnants of the hurricane that affected Mexico this past week. Corn harvest is starting to ramp up in the area; soybeans are turning color and dropping leaves; grain sorghum development is all over the map; and some early planted wheat has emerged. There really isn't much new locally to comment on, so let's take a look at some other news.
It takes a lot of work to get the glowing Ferris Wheel spinning, just like it takes work setting up the Ye Old Mill, grooming competition livestock, making the thousands of funnel cakes and cheese curds and keeping the fairgrounds a clean environment for families to enjoy. But most people don't think about the behind the scenes work it takes to get the competitions and booths off the ground in order to make the fair a success.
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