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.
Eric B. Banks, State Conservationist with U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces three National Initiatives being offered in Kansas through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP): On-Farm Energy, Organic, and Seasonal High Tunnels.
2012 is almost history and 2013 is just around the corner. Top Ten lists will start coming out soon. In order to beat the holiday rush, let's use this column to take a look at the top ten stories in Kansas regarding agriculture. This is just one person's opinion and I welcome any discussion and input.
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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