There was a photograph with a paragraph attached to it this past week in the paper about a hay fire in the area. The information indicated the cause of the fire appeared to be spontaneous combustion. Several students in the college's agriculture program were curious exactly what the term spontaneous combustion meant and what caused it to happen. So what is spontaneous combustion and why does it happen to baled hay?
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced $19.7 million of financial and technical assistance to help communities rebuild and repair damages caused by flooding, drought, and other natural disasters. Funds are made available through the Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program.
Jennifer Carr - Barton County KSRE
The last two weeks briefly described the process of soil formation and the role soils play in agriculture and our lives. Let's start to take that information and see what that means for soils in Kansas and more specifically in our area. First, where is our state in terms of the soil forming factors?
At 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10, the Kansas-based agencies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will host a celebration for the 150th anniversary of the establishment of USDA. The event will also include the dedication of a new wind erosion research facility and wheat/sorghum milling laboratory.
By Robert Atchison, Rural Forestry Program Coordinator
Last week featured an extremely condensed version on the formation of soils. Now let's briefly examine the roles of soil in our world. First, broad definitions of the soil are helpful. Soil can be defined as the skin of the earth or the area of exchange between the earth and the atmosphere. The soil is also defined as a dynamic, living organism consisting of organic and inorganic components. While soil profiles (the vertical extent of the soil) vary in depth from inches to over ten feet, let's assume a depth of 3 feet. The distance from the earth ...
A collaborative discovery involving Kansas State University researchers may improve animal health and save the U.S. pork industry millions of dollars each year.
Jenni Carr, CEA
March has been the month for recognition of agriculture and water awareness.
By John Schlageck, Kansas Farm Bureau
Good morning again. With the warm, windy days we have been having the past week or two I am sure everyone has gardening and yard work on the mind. Well I have a short to do list that you can consider for March.
By Tom Parker
Jennifer Carr, BT Co KSRE
Last week's column asserted that soil is the foundation of our agricultural industry and a scarce resource. This week let's start to examine why. First, 70% of the surface of the earth is covered with water. Of the remaining 30%, only 11% is considered arable, suitable for farming, or approximately 3.3% of the total of the earth's surface. Of that total, well over half has been degraded to some extent. Often that degradation is due to soil erosion (loss of the soil) by air or water. Why is that a big deal? A large part of ...
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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