As May turns into June, thoughts turn to the wheat crop. Anywhere you drive in Barton County, the wheat fields are waving in the wind. To me, this is a major reminder of how beautiful our great state is, and one of my favorite things to do in the spring and summer is watching the wheat grow and develop. But how well is our wheat doing? Come join us on June 6th at 6 p.m. for a 4-H wheat plot tour to hear more.
As of noon this past Thursday, The GMD 5 (Groundwater Management District) weather station west of Great Bend reported 2.48 inches of precipitation for the preceding 24 hour period. The highest amount for that period from their weather stations was 4.12 inches for the Stafford site with Macksville at 3.8 inches and Radium at 2.77 inches. No, this doesn't end the drought for areas receiving this rain but it certainly eases its effects.
The next time you take a few minutes out of the sun, dust off one of those old family albums. You know the ones that date back to the '20s, '30s, '40s and even late '50s.
Lately, I have had a few questions about Carpenter Bees, and what to do about them when they start becoming a nuisance on your property. I contacted Dr. Robert Bauernfeind, a K-State Research and Extension specialist and State Leader Entomologist to learn a little more about Carpenter Bees, and what to do about them when their benefits as pollinators no longer outweigh the problems of having them close by. He sent out an article that I wanted to share with you. If you have any questions, contact us at 620-793-1910.
While most people don't acknowledge, reflect or dwell on it, they value tremendously the joy and pleasure that results from eating – especially with family and close friends. Food remains deeply entrenched in our family values.
The answers to the questions from two weeks ago are at the end. Old-timers say wheat has nine lives. It's safe to assume wheat has used up eight and is on its last one after this growing season. As of now it appears the wheat heads escaped the cold snaps in April with little obvious damage to the head or stems but the stem damage may show up if hot, dry conditions set in. A few fields this past week did exhibit some obvious head damage but the damage appeared to be scattered.
Drought, flooding, extreme heat, subzero temperatures: All of these climatic events and more in Kansas can threaten the supply and affordability of the nation's beef supply. It's hard to do much about the weather, but a team of Kansas State University scientists will be trying to find solutions so cattlemen can better adapt to any future climate extremes in their grazing operations.
Looking at wheat throughout the central region of Kansas during the first couple days of May, members of the Wheat Quality Council (WQC) labeled the crop in fairly average to slightly above average condition.
The question that I seem to get most often right now is why are my trees dying? Most of the time, the answer is the drought. Even though we have had some moisture recently, we are still in a severe drought. Driving around the county, you will even see old, big Red Cedars dying in the tree rows. That is because we have had two summers that were extremely hot and dry which baked the ground, and a very mild, dry winter in between. All of this moisture loss stressed the trees out, especially in windbreaks or where trees were ...
WASHINGTON (AP) - The House and Senate Agriculture Committees laid the groundwork this week for reducing the size of the federal food stamp program, approving farm bills that would shrink food aid and alter the way people qualify for it.
Pheasants Forever is hosting fifty-one informational meetings across Kansas for landowners and agricultural producers in advance of the USDA Farm Service Agency's Conservation Reserve Program general sign-up that runs May 20 through June 14. Led by Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Wildlife Biologists, landowners can learn how to increase their farm or ranch income while creating wildlife habitat in the process.
This week, I found a column from K-State's Mary Lou Peter about the rabbits that are out and about. They may be cute hopping around in a field, but when they get into your garden, their cuteness wears a little thin.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia announced today that farm payments, which had been temporarily suspended due to sequestration, are scheduled to resume today, May 8th. This includes payments for the 2011 Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), the Noninsured Crop Assistance Program (NAP) and the Milk Income Loss Contract Program (MILC).
This is finals week at Barton and many of the other colleges around the state. For instructors it's time to evaluate what students learned over the last semester. For students it's time for that one last push to maintain or raise their grades. While faculty see testing as a method to evaluate learning and adjust accordingly, students often see testing as a way to be tortured. Students focus on the grade while faculty focus on learning. In agriculture, as in most curriculums, it is a process of providing the building blocks that provide a foundation on which to ...
There are many individuals who share their time, talent and resources with the Barton County 4-H program. The 2014 Friend of 4-H awards were given to dedicated individuals who went above and beyond to assist the 4-H youth. The two couples honored this year were Wayne and Terri DeWerff and Bill and Robin Niederee.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Kansas is seeking public comments on changes to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) interim final rule.
Travel out to the fields of Kansas during November and you'll see farmers wrapping up fall harvest. Combines chomp through fields of corn, milo, soybeans and sunflowers eager to dump the bountiful crops into waiting trucks and grain carts before Old Man Winter arrives with ice, snow and sleet.
More than 1,000 Farm Bureau members in Kansas will gather in Manhattan Dec. 1-2 for their organization's 96th Annual Meeting.
A historic agreement was reached today as Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado conducted a special meeting of the Republican River Compact in Manhattan. Representatives of the states have signed a resolution, approving operational adjustments in 2014 and 2015 under the Republican River Compact, which will benefit water users throughout the basin and set the administration on a course to find long-term solutions to persistent problems. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback noted that the agreement was positive for Kansas water users. "This resolution will protect a valuable water resource for Kansans. This agreement allows Harlan County Lake to serve as the destination for ...
Jim Richardson, National Geographic photographer and Kansas native, will serve up a vast visual journey: the Neolithic dawn of agriculture, today's world farmers working in relative anonymity, and the challenges of feeding an ever-more hungry planet through 2050 at Kansas Farmers Union's (KFU) upcoming annual convention.
The last two weeks have certainly presented people, livestock and the 2015 wheat crop with challenges. Many record lows were set over the area over the last two weeks and to add insult to injury, many record low highs were set. While it wasn't pleasant for us, our pets, and livestock, it shouldn't have caused much harm. The question on many wheat farmers' minds is what did this severe and long early cold snap do to the 2015 wheat crop? Much of the answer involves conditions other than temperature and the development of the wheat.
While many shoppers are feeling the pinch of price increases, there's a way today's smart, frugal shoppers can save money on the family food bill. Some estimates place this figure at 10 -15 percent. On the average food bill, this could mean a savings of $700 - $1,200 a year.
The phone jarred Ken Powell awake. Groggy and disoriented, he glanced at the clock while fumbling with the receiver: midway between midnight and one a.m.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds farm owners and producers that the opportunity to choose between the new 2014 Farm Bill established programs, Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), begins Nov. 17, and continues through March 31, 2015. The new programs, designed to help producers better manage risk, usher in one of the most significant reforms to U.S. farm programs in decades.
One of the world's leading scholars in agricultural sustainability is speaking at Kansas State University about how to sustainably feed a growing world population that will require twice as much food as is currently produced.
Now that the cold weather has started to rear its head, it is time to turn our attention to our houseplants and the special care they need this time of year. With shorter days, dryer air and colder temperatures, your houseplants may require a change in the way you care for them. I found a short piece from K-State Research and Extension that gives a few basic tips to keep your indoor plants healthy throughout the winter.
Kansas Farm Bureau released its sixth book in the Kailey's Ag Adventures children's book series. Kailey's Pig 'Tales' follows Kailey and her cousins as they learn about pig farming from Farmer Rich.
Last week's column described consumer behavior and the assumptions behind predicting that behavior. The key points are consumers behavior rationally (in a predictable way), they prefer more to less, their preferences are complete, and they don't change preferences without a reason. Relative prices between goods are an important factor in determining choices within the constraints of a consumer's budget. Finally, consumer preferences do change over time, economists accept this change as a fact, and deal with those changes. Now the question to answer is how the agriculture and food industries responded to changes preferences and budgets have.
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