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 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.
While this past Thursday's snow made for a bit of a rough drive, it was very welcome and not just for farmers and ranchers. This snow, combined with the rain from the past week, was important and not just as moisture for winter wheat, winter canola, and next spring's planting. What are the additional benefits of this moisture that many forget about?
A series of four K-State Sorghum Production Schools will be offered in mid-February 2015 to provide in-depth training for sorghum producers. The schools are sponsored by the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission.
Without question, agricultural research is one of the most vital investments we can make to feed our increasing population and protect our planet.
Imagine that a simple photo of your wheat, with just a few bits of additional information, can accurately predict future yield. A new app, called the Kansas Wheat Yield Calculator App, is allowing this to happen with ease from smart devices.
A U.S. patent has been issued for a Kansas State University-developed "peanut brittle" that ensures cows and other livestock eating it get their vitamins.
Christmas is almost here, and everyone is hurrying to finish their last minute preparations for the special day. I remember as a child seeing the beautiful poinsettia plants decorating the church for Christmas Eve services and thinking they were so beautiful! This week, I searched and found little history about them from K-State Research and Extension's horticulture team to share with you. They take a lot of work to make sure they are ready for the Christmas season, but I for one think it's worth it. I hope all of your celebrations this year are filled with laughter ...
Rich Felts, a Montgomery County farmer, was elected president of Kansas Farm Bureau this month, replacing Steve Baccus, who served in the position since 2002.
Record keeping for a 4-H livestock project might involve collecting receipts from the feed store in an envelope or making notes on a feed sack in the barn. But, a new venture for 4-H-a livestock project record app-is allowing members to use their smart devices to keep easier track of their records.
File this under the heading of, who would have ever thunk it?
Many people look forward to Christmas time and the smell of a fresh cut evergreen tree can bring back the happy memories of Christmas past. If you have not picked out your perfect tree for this season, here are a few tips about picking one out. Bringing home a tree is not the end of the work though. Proper care for the tree once it is in your house may help it stay looking good throughout the holiday season.
Two K-State Corn Production Management Schools will be offered in early January 2015 in northeast and central Kansas. Each school will provide in-depth training targeted for corn producers. Primary sponsors of the schools include the Kansas Corn Commission and DuPont Pioneer.
The year isn't even over yet but planning for the 2015 crop year is already underway. You can see it by browsing over a list of all the schools and meetings coming over the next few weeks and months. Meetings are conducted by K-State, other public entities like the FSA and NRCS, local agribusiness, larger agriculture companies, and various producer groups. The purpose is to review what was learned over the last year, discover what is new on the horizon, receive continuing education for various licenses, and plan for the next year. Here let's take it a bit ...
A research project in the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine presents the largest model to date for evaluating the impact and control of a potential outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in livestock.
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