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.
Most people in agriculture know this time of year is meeting season. Everyone from seed and chemical companies to producer groups and government agriculture groups take advantage of this "down" period to educate, inform, and listen. Some meetings are designed to inform those attending while some are designed to listen to those attending. The best meetings do both. Several of these opportunities have occurred here at Barton recently.
More than 500 young farmers and gathered in Manhattan, Jan. 25-27 for the 2013 Kansas Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Leaders Conference.
Evan Cooper of Great Bend attended the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Leadership Conference in Topeka. He was among 15 producers to participate in the event, which is designed to expose attendees to services provided by KLA and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the legislative process, industry advocacy and various aspects of beef marketing.
Last week's column discussed temperature and what it means for crop growth. This week will focus on moisture. While temperature determines the area of crop adaption, moisture determines the potential for growth and yield potential. However, it is not as simple as the amount of precipitation an area receives yearly and involves other factors besides rain or snow. And we are discussing the long-term average precipitation, not just one or two years.
In the Farm Crop Production class at Barton, students learn temperature has the greatest effect on a crop's adaptation to an area, ability to survive, and yield. Moisture is the most limiting climate factor for crop yield. Sounds simple but what does that really mean?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers that the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended the authorization of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill) for many Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) commodity, disaster, and conservation programs through 2013. FSA administers these programs.
Travel anywhere in the Sunflower State and people will tell you it's dry. It's so dry the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared last week that all but one of the 105 Kansas counties is in a drought disaster. This clears the way for farmers and ranchers to seek low-interest emergency loans.
The outlook for moisture in 2013 is out there. The consensus is for more moisture but nowhere near enough to recharge subsoil moisture. However, models are predicting a pattern change that should result in a more normal weather pattern for 2014. What can area producers do to make it through the 2013 growing season?
Great Bend Farm Equipment today announced they are partnering with John Deere and FFA to award a college scholarship to a local FFA member. This is the inaugural year of the John Deere Dealer Scholarship Program, which is administered by The National FFA Organization. The program will award up to $250,000 in local scholarships annually.
There's an old saying that sometimes you need a good whack on the side of the head. Nothing could be truer today in this speeding world of instantaneous communication.
Pheasants Forever, in conjunction with the Natural Resource Conservation Service and K-State Research and Extension is hosting a prescribed fire workshop. The workshop will be held at the Trousdale Methodist Church on Tuesday, Jan. 29th. A $5 registration fee will be charged to each workshop participant. The fee will cover informational materials for each participant to take home as well as lunch.
The 2013 Women Managing the Farm Conference is scheduled for Feb. 7-8 and will be held in Manhattan at the Hilton Garden Inn.
A major change in many businesses over the last twenty years was an inventory concept termed "just in time." Instead of maintaining a large inventory of parts and products, the idea was to keep just what you need and have what you are going to need ordered, shipped, and delivered just in time. The transportation and communications infrastructure developed with the advent of computers made this possible. Problems arise when something unpredictable happens; earthquakes and tsunamis in Asia or extreme weather here. "Just in Time" is what we are looking at for this year's wheat crop.
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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