Pheasants Forever is helping to publicize a meeting for landowners interested in learning more about the potential listing of the lesser prairie-chicken (LPC) as a threatened or endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). This issue has been on the minds of western Kansas landowners for the last two years. A final decision is expected from USFWS in September of this year, but there is still plenty of uncertainty about what that ruling will mean for area producers. This uncertainty causes many concerns for land managers. In order to address some of those, Kansas Department of ...
When we think of eating a meal today, images of a person dashing toward the door while chomping down the last bite and yelling good-bye, is an all too common picture. But again, that is only part of the story.
They say that April showers bring May flowers. The question on everybody's mind right now is what do April ice storms bring? This year, for three weeks in a row, this region has experienced temperatures well below freezing with ice and snow adding to the problems. After two severe drought years the good news is we finally are receiving some moisture. The wheat fields may be growing slow, and look promising as of now, but how much more of Mother Nature's changing moods can it handle?
After the last blast of winter this week, we have had three extremely cold, hard freeze events in about two weeks. By the middle of next week at the latest the damage from this last freeze on the developing head should be apparent. Most of the attention has focused on wheat but where are we concerning our spring planted crops? Let's tackle the easy ones first.
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 and producers are invited to the Fall Forage Tour, Friday, Oct. 31, and Saturday, Nov. 1st. The tour will begin at 1 p.m. on both days at the Dale Strickler Farm, one mile south of Courtland on the west side of the highway. Two audiences will benefit from participation in the Fall Forage Tour-cattle producers and those interested in utilizing cover crops to improve soil health. The tour will focus on improving soil productivity by using of cover crops, forages, and perennial grasses.
The fall weather lately has been beautiful, and made it very easy to be outside most weekends. The warm weather will not last much longer, so now is the time to prepare your garden and landscape for the coming spring if you have not already done so. Below, I have found a few pieces of information about fall chores that you may find helpful, and if you would like to learn more about fall prep for a healthy spring landscape, I will be giving a short program at the Extension Office located at 1800 12th Street over the noon hour ...
During the early days of our country, settlers hunted out of necessity. While farming and trading provided them with a great deal of food, it wasn't enough for sustenance. In order to survive, they hunted, fished and trapped wildlife where they lived and worked.
Katherine and Mathew Hicks of Great Bend competed on Oct. 11, at the Kansas State Rabbit Breeders Association annual convention. They participated in the youth individual contests, the royalty contest and youth rabbit shows. Katherine was third runner up in the rabbit judging contest, was a member of the queen court and won the American Chinchilla rabbit show with her home bred, home grown rabbits. Mathew was named the runner up Kansas duke in the royalty contest which is a six-contest skill-a-thon including a six-page written application, a 200-question test, the rabbit judging contest, the rabbit ID contest, showmanship and ...
Livestock producers attending the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Convention in Wichita will hear an investigative journalist present the case that nutritional science has it wrong with respect to the healthfulness of meat and dairy products. A tribute to KLA's chief executive, who is stepping down, and comments from one of the nation's largest cattle feeders are other highlights of the convention, set for Dec. 3-5.
While not avoiding this topic, it seemed smart to wait and see how fall harvest and planting progressed. However, as you read this, the area is experiencing early summer, not mid-fall temperatures. First let's look at fall yields followed by winter wheat planting.
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Eric B. Banks, announced an application evaluation cutoff date of Nov. 21, for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
One hundred years ago, Dr. Norman Borlaug was born. His semi-dwarf, disease-resistant wheat spurred the Green Revolution and saved more than a billion lives from starvation. It is fitting that the 2014 World Food Prize, which Borlaug created, will be awarded on October 16 to a wheat researcher for the first time. And Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram is not just any wheat breeder - he was Borlaug's successor.
As the 2014 election races toward the finish line on Nov. 4, candidates from both parties have stooped to their old tricks of slinging mud, name calling and finger pointing at one another. Why can't candidates do what's right for this nation and focus on issues?
In 2014, the average age of a farmer in the United States is 57 years old, yet more individuals continue to farm well past 65 years of age. With the larger value of many farms and ranches today, how will you make sure of a successful transition of the family Farm to the next generation?
To wrap up this discussion, today's column discusses what a producer can do to strive for as efficient an operation as possible with the four factors of production – Land, Labor, Capital, and Management. Please keep in mind that unlike many other enterprises, producers of agricultural products have certain disadvantages including weather, producing a product with a limited shelf life compared to most products, and trying to predict what the factors of production used actually produce. Take a moment to think about the last point – a car manufacturer or a smart phone manufacturer can tell you based upon the inputs ...
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