For Kansans June, July and August are months when some of us return to our roots and visit family in rural communities across the state. Some go back to help with wheat harvest, others go home to spend time visiting with friends they have grown up with. For all it's a time to reflect and remember.
First here's wishing all the dads out there a Happy Fathers' Day. Since the wheat is rapidly ripening and harvest will soon be here, especially after the past week's heat, let's focus on something a bit more upbeat fathers, children, and agriculture.
Kansas State University's quarter-scale tractor design teams are the winners of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers' 16th annual International Quarter-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition, May 30-June 2, in Peoria, Ill.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) will provide about $175 million in funding for up to 12.6 million additional acres enrollment this year.
Pre-packaged, vacuum-packed, just add water…
Sometimes, when you are taking care of your container plants, you might see a white or yellowish build up around the edges of the pot, or even on the soil itself. Many people wonder what this is, and want to either repot the plant entirely, or sadly, think that there is something wrong with the plant and just stop trying. The cause of this build up is actually very easy to explain, and easy to remove to be able to keep your plants healthy and looking great.
Everyone is waiting to see what the wheat crop will hold. Summer crops are pretty well planted until double-cropping. The area has been receiving fairly significant rain and overall temperatures, while a little cool for corn and sorghum, are great for wheat grain development. Let's take the opportunity to shift gears from crops to our most important agricultural resource – people. Specifically, let's take a look at the people out in the fields and feedlots performing the day-to-day operations vital in producing food, fiber, and fuel.
A U.S. patent has been granted to a Kansas State University-developed "candy" that stimulates the growth, health and reproductive functions of cattle, bulls and other livestock.
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.
Many times when I go out on home visits, the homeowners concerns are with trees on their property. One reason for your trees being in distress may very well be your lawn. If your grass, (especially cool season grasses such as fescue) is allowed to grow up to the trunk of your trees, the competition for water and other nutrients may cause your tree to decline in health. Following is a report on research that has been completed by KSU with more information about the grass and tree competition issue many homeowners have faced.
The two previous columns briefly outlined reasons for the large changes in agriculture over the last century and the results of those changes for the society. Also discussed were the effects these changes had on the practice of agriculture. Now, let's wrap it up and discuss how these changes changed agricultural producers themselves. Please keep in mind these are general trends that don't necessarily mean everyone producing food, fiber, or fuel or that today is bad and a century ago was better or vice-versa..
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reminds livestock producers that the Jan. 30, 2015, deadline to request assistance for losses suffered from Oct. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2014, is fast approaching.
Hype is a word often associated with advertising agencies, public relations firms and spin doctors who attempt to create, change or repair an image. Many people consider hype a dirty word, something to detest.
The 2015 Central Plains Irrigation Conference and Exposition will take place Feb. 17-18 at the City Limits Convention Center, Colby. The popular annual event focused solely on irrigation-related topics is hosted in Kansas every third year. Sponsors include Kansas State University, Colorado State University, the University of Nebraska and the Central Plains Irrigation Association.
All Kansas farmers are invited to the Kansas Commodity Classic on Friday, Feb. 6. The Commodity Classic is the annual convention of the Kansas Corn, Wheat and Grain Sorghum Associations, and will take place at the at the Hilton Garden Inn, 410 S 3rd St, Manhattan, Kan., with registration beginning at 7:30 a.m. It is free to attend and includes a complimentary breakfast and lunch; however pre-registration is requested.
With the advent of 2015, there's hope the Obama administration will follow through on its ambitious trade agenda. Leaders on both sides of the Atlantic agree a more open trade partnership makes sense.
A forester once told me that you know a drought is severe if you see Red Cedar trees dying. All around the county, you can see Cedars in tree rows and windbreaks dead and brown. If you are looking to replace your tree row, The Kansas Forest Service offers low-cost tree and shrub seedlings for use in conservation plantings. Plants are one to two years old and sizes vary from 5 to 18 inches, depending on species. Orders are accepted from now through the first full week in May each year, but order early to insure receiving the items you ...
Last week's column briefly discussed some of the reasons for the large changes in agriculture over the last century. Drivers for change included two World Wars, the Great Depression, economic conditions after WWII, and the Federal Government. One reader pointed out that the column almost painted war as a good thing for agriculture. That wasn't the intent. The fact is the driver for change and the development of new techniques and technologies is typically an event or events forcing and accelerating change. Now, how did events change farming over the last century.
Many authors have documented the rise and fall of civilizations throughout time. Reasons for this rollercoaster effect are numerous-from human-influenced changes such as conquest, culture or religion, to events that occur in the natural environment including changes in climate or the presence of natural resources, such as soil.
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