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.
A winter/spring webinar series will provide drought planning information and tools to advisors seeking to help Great Plains ranchers better prepare for and respond to drought. The webinars are scheduled from January through May 2013, on the last Wednesday of each month.
While you may think New Year's Day passing means a period of quiet in agriculture, it really signals the start of meeting season for farmers and ranchers. Private industry, producer groups, and public organizations spend this time of year educating and informing the agriculture industry on a variety of topics. K-State Research and Extension is especially active in providing knowledge on topics ranging from weed control to risk management. To that end, it may be useful to list just a few of the events coming up over the next several months.
The 10th-annual Cover Your Acres Winter Conference for crop producers and consultants will be held on Jan. 15-16 at the Gateway Conference Center in Oberlin. The conference, which typically draws more than 500 attendees from Kansas and other states, highlights the latest technology, methods, and conservation practices to improve crop production on the High Plains. This year it will feature university specialists and industry representatives discussing issues such as kochia control, cropping intensity and fallow efficiency, pre-season irrigation, wheat fertility: simple and effective, and use of corn residue by cattle. The same programs will be offered both days of the ...
Tomorrow is New Year's Eve, a time for looking back, making resolutions, and looking ahead. Most farmers have probably reviewed 2012 enough and are ready to look forward. As of today, no one can predict the 2013 growing season. This column certainly doesn't pretend to predict the future. However, there are certainly some actions producers can take regardless of what the growing season brings.
Last week's column addressed this year's major stories in agriculture. But what's in store for 2013? Remember this is just the opinion of someone not terribly gifted in prognostication. And these items are not in any particular order.
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.
Under a bright blue, fall Oklahoma sky in a serene setting, cattle are doing what cattle do – quietly moving through a pasture looking for the next best thing to eat. As they graze, instruments are recording how much methane they are producing.
The good news is, Kansas consumers spend $7.2 billion on food each year. The bad news is, $6.5 billion of it comes from beyond the state's borders, obesity is on the rise, 56 percent of Kansas farmers require secondary income and only eight percent of Kansans have healthy diets, according to a 2010 survey by the Kansas Health Institute.
While food safety will always be the cornerstone of our production process, allegiance is making inroads into why and where consumers buy their products.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is publishing a rule that outlines how it will improve the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), one of USDA's largest conservation programs. The interim final rule includes program changes authorized by Congress in the 2014 Farm Bill.
Although women represented only 28 percent of Kansas farmers in 2012 and the number of farmers is declining overall, women are ramping-up their involvement in several of the state's less common forms of agriculture. The Kansas Rural Center is one organization in Kansas that continues to advance programs to better serve the needs of this historically underserved population.
We all know a century is a long time. In U.S. agriculture the changes make it seem more like a millennium. We are aware of the obvious changes in crops, crop yields, machinery and technology, demographics, and globalization. But where and why did those changes happen and how have these changes changed, or not changed, what a farmer has become?
Record crops and low prices have farmers embracing change in 2015, with acreage shifts continuing to move fields from corn to soybeans, according to the latest Farm Futures survey.
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