Halloween is a scant four days away. The 2013 summer cropping season is finally close to wrapping up and the 2015 wheat crop is at mostly planted. What happened or more precisely why did it happen? Before starting it's helpful to keep in mind several specifics. First, precipitation amounts and distribution improved from west to east in the area. Second, when crops were planted played a major role in yields as did soil type, fertility, tillage and other factors. Third, these comments are describing the area in general.
October 27, 2013|
Dr. Victor L. Martin
Last week, we were all reminded that fall is here, and winter is not too far off! As well as the snow that fell, we also had our first frost warning for Barton County of the season. This brings up the question, "What's the difference between a frost warning, a freeze warning and a hard freeze warning?" I looked up a little information on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and this is their official definition.
Cattlemen around the state are marking their calendars and gearing up to attend the Kansas Cattlemen's Association's Annual Cattlemen's Convention and Trade Show in Dodge City, Kansas. The event will take place on November 9th at the United Wireless Arena and Magouirk Conference Center.
Western Kansas wheat producers have been in a constant battle with weather the past few years. Although the cry for more rain has always been strong, last month's rains may be contributing to emergence problems in some producer's recently planted wheat fields.
Driving through Kansas, you'll see signs that say, "One Kansas farmer feeds 155 people and you," indicating the importance of agriculture in Kansas. Kansans can support the number one industry in the state while providing funds to help educate Kansas youth just by purchasing a specialty license plate for their vehicle.
This past Thursday Barton Community College hosted over 300 area high school students for the Annual Jack Kilby Science Day. They were exposed to a variety of speakers and topics ranging from the drones and blood typing to biodiesel, chemistry and physics magic. One topic involved soils and their importance to our world, not just in agriculture but in our everyday world. Another part of the soils presentation involved careers in agriculture and the challenge of feeding nine billion people in the next several decades.
October 20, 2013|
Dr. Victor L. Martin
WASHINGTON - Farmers and ranchers who previously were forced to sell livestock due to drought, like the drought currently affecting much of the nation, have an extended period of time in which to replace the livestock and defer tax on any gains from the forced sales, the Internal Revenue Service announced Friday.
This last week has really driven home that fall is here and winter is on its way! With the cooler weather, your lawn is slowing down on growth, and gathering reserves to be able to survive the dormant season. It's tempting to stop mowing all together and enjoy the much deserved break from your yard chores. As long as your grass is still growing, your turf still needs mowed for optimum health and winter hardiness. For a little more clarification, I thought I would share with you a piece from K-State Research and Extension' s horticulture specialist Ward Upham:
Most people think that the time to get a soil test is in the spring when they start thinking about what they want to grow, and how it is going to look. While a spring test can be important if one hasn't been done for several years, a fall test can actually help you more.
Internationally known expert on forage livestock systems, Jim Gerrish of American GrazingLands Services LLC, is returning to Kansas from Oct. 28-31, for two 2-day workshops on grazing management as it applies to the livestock business.
It is safe to say over the last year almost everyone in some fashion has thought about the government, what it should or shouldn't do, and whether it can do anything well. Lately with the events in Washington and over the last year with events transpiring in Topeka a strong diversity of opinion is evident. Like many discussions regarding government, opposing opinions frame the questions in pretty stark black and white terms. Agriculture is no different in this respect as the industry is constantly aware of and dealing with various aspects of local, state, and federal government bureaucracies. Rather ...
October 13, 2013|
Dr. Victor L. Martin
Stripe rust has been found in several fields of wheat in south central Kansas, including Barton County. At the time it was found, it was still at low levels and in trace amounts. With the cool wet weather we have been experiencing, it is something that producers should be on the watch for, and scouting their fields to identify and monitor.
Picture transitioning from a rural setting that includes woodlands, wildlife habitat and farms, to urban areas that consist of concrete, parking lots, streets and buildings. Rural land in a more natural state has the ability to soak up water in the soil more efficiently than urban areas with impervious surfaces that can lead to more runoff.
The last several columns provided general background on the rapidly expanding organic foods market. Today's column briefly outlines conventionally produced foods to highlight the differences between the two. Perhaps the first question to deal with is "Are conventionally produced foods inorganic?"
Lately, I have been getting many calls with people concerned with small mounds in their turf, making it difficult to mow, work or play in their yard. Most of the time, the issue is earthworms that are very active at this time of year. In my research, I came across this short piece of information on nightcrawlers, from the K-State Entomology department. I thought I would share this to give more infomation about these beneficial but sometimes annoying worms.
This week wraps up the discussion of "organic" foods before comparing them to "conventionally" produced foods. Last week's column briefly described what organic means in general terms. When you purchase a product "Certified Organic" what does that really mean?