MANHATTAN – Tradition and heritage is a big part of what makes agriculture such an attractive way of life for so many Kansans. The lifeblood of our existence, the farms and ranches in Kansas, provide food, fuel and fiber for the world.
Most people in agriculture know this time of year is meeting season. Everyone from seed and chemical companies to producer groups and government agriculture groups take advantage of this "down" period to educate, inform, and listen. Some meetings are designed to inform those attending while some are designed to listen to those attending. The best meetings do both. Several of these opportunities have occurred here at Barton recently.
More than 500 young farmers and gathered in Manhattan, Jan. 25-27 for the 2013 Kansas Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Leaders Conference.
Evan Cooper of Great Bend attended the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Leadership Conference in Topeka. He was among 15 producers to participate in the event, which is designed to expose attendees to services provided by KLA and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the legislative process, industry advocacy and various aspects of beef marketing.
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.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $73 million to rehabilitate dams across the nation in an effort to protect public health and safety and evaluate the expansion of water supply in drought stricken areas. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is investing in approximately 150 projects and assessments in 23 states. "Millions of people depend on watersheds and dams for protection from floods and providing clean drinking water," Vilsack said. "By investing in this critical infrastructure, we are helping to ensure a safe, resilient environment for rural America."
Next week marks the 45th anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement. The first Earth Day celebration occurred April 22, 1970.
At this time of year, many gardeners are starting vegetables indoors, or preparing to buy small plants to transplant into their garden when the soil temperature is warm enough. To help with this process, it is sometimes a good idea to give the small plants a little extra fertilizer to help them get a good start. I found a column from the K-State Research and Extension's horticulture department that gives some good advice on transplant solutions and sidedressing to help you give your garden the best start possible.
The Kansas Flint Hills have served as a home and food source for stocker cattle since the mid-1800s, when cowboys drove longhorns up the Chisholm Trail from the southwestern United States to Kansas railways. Flash forward to today: research from Kansas State University on this staple resource could help ensure profitable years ahead for stocker producers.
K-State Research and Extension is offering 4-H Leadership Boot Camp on April 25 in Hoisington, available to all interested persons. Call 785-483-3157 to register. For more information about this, as well as more localized events, check with the local K-State Research and Extension office.
Last week's column explored in general terms what organic means to chemists and the scientific community and what it means to the "natural" foods community. This series of articles isn't intended to take sides but to provide information to help in making informed decisions. Now let's briefly attempt to get a handle on what exactly "organic" foods are. This involves several parts and it is important to note there are foodstuffs claiming to be organic and foodstuffs that have followed certain strict requirements and are certified as organic.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making available $332 million in financial and technical assistance through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). ACEP applications may be submitted at any time to NRCS however, applications for the current funding cycle must be submitted on or before May 15, 2015.
Pre-packaged, vacuum-packed, just add water.
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 is offered for a larger age range, it is required for individuals 14-15 years old who will be ...
Before today's topic a brief update is in order. Temperatures the night of April 3 fell well below freezing ranging from the low 20s to around 30 over the area for several hours. Spotty freeze damage has been noted already in South Central Kansas and more will likely become evident over the next little while, especially under warm windy conditions. Leaf burn won't be a big deal but since wheat was jointing or jointed in much of the area, it will pay to keep an eye out for damage to the developing head inside the stem. Damage was ...
A Kansas State University animal health leader has been chosen to engage local, regional and national stakeholders in the development of strategic partnerships for the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, or NBAF.
Can you believe that April is already here? I swear I just put up my Christmas items a week ago! Well, April is going to be quite the busy month here for Extension! So this week, I thought I would remind you of several opportunities that will be taking place for the community.
Each day, farmers and ranchers pull on their boots, roll up their sleeves and go to work outside rural communities across Kansas. They perform a litany of chores – feeding and doctoring livestock, cultivating their crops, pulling maintenance on machinery, paying bills – you name it and farmers and ranchers do it.
It's Easter weekend and this past Thursday night saw some fairly severe weather in the area complete with power outages. Spring is really here, especially after the extremely warm temperatures this past week. Today is April 5, so area producers should have wrapped up side dressing the 2015 wheat crop and corn planters are being readied to begin planting shortly. Alfalfa is greening up and in some parts of the state, including some fields here, wheat producers are assessing winter survival. Since not a great deal is going on just yet, let's catch up on what is known.
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