In 1955, the National association of Conservation Districts began a national program to encourage Americans to focus on stewardship. Stewardship Week is officially celebrated from the last Sunday in April to the first Sunday in May. It is one of the world's largest conservation-related observances.
Do you have a small backyard? Do you wish you had the space for a garden, but don't want to sacrifice your entire yard to be able to grow your favorite vegetables? Well, an option for you is to garden is a small raised bed. When you garden in a raised bed system, one of the most important things to consider is the soil that you are going to use. One of the major reasons that smaller spaces have better production than larger gardens is that a person adds the soil mix or potting mix so it will have ...
There isn't much to say regarding the wheat crop right now but to wait so let's go in a different direction this week. First, the Crop Protection class at the college toured the area south of the college this past Wednesday travelling as far south as the Hudson area. Normally they can examine wheat, alfalfa, and newly emerged corn. Since the weather went south pretty quickly, the tour was a bit abbreviated. It's safe to assume they didn't find any corn emerged or even germinated. The alfalfa seemed to be doing alright and was recovering well ...
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.
Agricultural Experiment Station researchers on campus and at centers around the state conduct studies in nearly all areas of agricultural production for K-State Research and Extension.
Agriculture is losing producers. No one will argue that point, but larger, more efficient producers are replacing those lost in this highly competitive industry.
Spring is just around the corner, and many people I know are experiencing cabin fever. Just as many people want to get out and stretch after a long cold winter, your potted plants are also beginning to respond to the longer days by starting to grow. This means that it may be time to repot your house plants to give them more room. I found an article from K-State Research and Extension's Horticulture department on how to repot your houseplants. This will give them more room and allow them to be a healthier plant, and give you something to ...
When most people think of soils in terms of plant growth, they consider soil moisture, how hard or loose the soil is for plants to grow through and the nutrient status of the soil. Too often, whether in production agriculture or not, one factor is often overlooked. This factor plays a role in all aspects of the soil environment. That factor is soil acidity which plays a huge role directly and indirectly in plant growth. This week's column starts the examination of what soil acidity is with following columns devoted to its effects on the soil as a plant ...
WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, met with United States Department of Agriculture Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack about priorities for the 114th Congress.
Every spring, the ritual continues. Farmers, stockmen and landowners continue to use fire as a range management tool while maintaining the economic viability of the Flint Hills.
The latest Drought Monitor Update (February 17) indicates almost the entire state is at least abnormally dry. Most of Barton County falls in this category except for the extreme southern section. South into Stafford and west into Pawnee Counties the shortage increases to moderate drought. As you move south towards the border and to Southwest and West Central Kansas the severity increases to severe with a small area rated as extreme drought. This is in spite of slightly above average precipitation experienced in the Barton area over the last several weeks.
A recent study involving Kansas State University researchers finds that in the coming decades at least one-quarter of the world's wheat production will be lost to extreme weather from climate change if no adaptive measures are taken.
If you're pondering buying a fruit tree, here are some comments from the K-State Research and Extension's Horticulture department on ones that are commonly grown in Kansas. Fruit trees are a long-term investment requiring careful thought before purchase. Begin by choosing fruit you will eat, not fruit that appears attractive in the catalog. Other considerations are outlined below. For more choices, go to the publication "Small- and Tree-Fruit Cultivars" at http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/MF1028.pdf. You may also request this publication from me at the Barton County K-State Research and Extension office.
Registration is open for the first in a series of four "women only" Women in Farming Risk Management Education workshops to be hosted by the Kansas Rural Center during the spring and summer of 2015. All four of the workshops in KRC's "Women in Farming" series will highlight the opportunities and the challenges women face as they implement new enterprises on existing farms, begin farming or take over family operations, or just try to adopt new practices and enterprises with their families.
We are told we live in the age of information and have for at least several decades. Information, specifically access to information, is an asset as valuable as money. "Knowledge is power" is a slogan used in advertising and is first attributed to Sir Francis Bacon in 1597. Governments spend billions of dollars annually gathering information on almost everything imaginable. Information, or lack thereof, has decided the fates of nations, the success of companies, and having necessary information is vital to all of us in our everyday lives. Through formal education, on the job training, connections with others, or trial ...
Eric B. Banks, State Conservationist with U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces five national initiatives being offered in Kansas through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP): Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative, National Water Quality Initiative, On-Farm Energy Initiative, Organic Initiative, and Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative. While NRCS accepts applications for EQIP on a continuous basis, NRCS has set a deadline of March 20, to apply for 2015 initiatives funding.
Though soil tests are useful for identifying nutrient deficiencies as well as soil pH, they do not tell the whole story. The KSRE Soils Lab often receive soils from gardeners that are having a difficult time growing crops even though the soil test shows the pH is fine and nutrients are not deficient. Here are some factors that can affect plant growth that are not due to nutrient deficiencies or pH.
The egg is in hot water again thanks to recent reports of high cholesterol levels in the U.S. population. With this linkage between high serum cholesterol and coronary heart disease (CHD), these studies and others have led people to believe CHD is the fault of "those dirty rotten eggs."
K-State Research and Extension is offering family and youth events, available to all interested persons. For more information about these, as well as more localized events, check with your local K-State Research and Extension office.
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