Advancements in technology have arguably caused life to move at a much faster pace than it did even a decade ago. The speed at which change takes place today is phenomenal. While these advancements have brought about marvelous positive changes and benefits, they can inadvertently have equally dramatic and damaging negative effects.
June 21, 2015|
Steve Nelson, NRCS Soil Conservation Technician
Let's go to South Africa. A group of scientists are planting a research plot to evaluate how a crop will perform. They are using a specialized planter which provides precise control and data on seed spacing and placement. Would you believe, this planter comes from halfway around the globe in the middle of Kansas?
June 21, 2015|
director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University
Avian Influenza has been in the local news many times over the last several months. Bird flu, as it is otherwise called first infected humans in China in 1997. In 2003, a larger outbreak of the flu crossing species barriers caused the World Health Organization to keep a closer eye on it and track the two potential viruses that are able to infect not just birds, but mammals including humans as well. The two strains of the virus that have crossed the species barrier are HH5N1 and H7N9 with possible pandemic threats since humans do not have any immunity to ...
We live in the Age of Information. Twenty-four hour news channels, Twitter, the internet, and various forms of social media are prevalent. Many argue, and correctly, that having instant platforms for information and instant access to information is a good thing. However, there is a downside – a lack of vetting of what is presented as data and fact. In the "Good Old Days" news outlets took great pains to verify facts and researchers needed to have articles reviewed by peers for the veracity of the methods used, the analysis of the data, and the conclusions made. While this still happens ...
The next time you take time out of the sun, dust off one of those old family photo albums. You know the ones that date back to the '30s, '40s, '50s and even early '60s. If your family farmed you'll see photos of your relatives attired in wide-brimmed hats.
June 14, 2015|
John Schlageck, Kansas Farm Bureau
Over the past few weeks, many of the phone calls and house visits have concerned one thing, Sycamore trees looking sick. Many of the Sycamore tree leaves in the area are turning brown in spots, and are dropping off the tree leaving it looking stressed early in the growing season. I have went and checked out several of the trees that are having this issue, and it seems to be Sycamore Anthracnose.
The first part of this series described how the growth of crops like corn is driven by heat accumulation. For corn the accumulation of heat determines the growth stage of the plant. Naturally light, water, and nutrients are important but heat accumulation determines the rate of growth. For crops such as soybeans heat is certainly important and the proper temperature range enhances growth but day length, or more precisely night length determine the onset of flowering and therefore bean production. So how is soybean production in Kansas determined by light?
If you have been paying attention to farm news in our region, you heard concerns about getting the corn crop in the ground as it was getting late for planting. You seldom hear those concerns in Kansas regarding soybeans. Have you ever wondered why? Well it has to do with the difference in the importance of heat and light for these crops.
This year has been ideal for disease issues in the wheat field. Agronomists across the state have reported widespread rust disease, as well as wheat streak mosaic in many areas. Now, there have been reports of wheat flag smut detected in Kansas as well. It has not been confirmed in Barton County, but be on the lookout in your fields for it. This is a manageable issue, but bears keeping a close eye on. The following column gives you some more information about Flag Smut from the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Check www.agriculture.ks.gov and search for Wheat ...
Today's livestock producers work in a noble profession. Unfortunately, not everyone believes this so people who care for animals must understand how consumers think and feel. Get inside their heads, if you will.
May 31, 2015|
John Schlageck, Kansas Farm Bureau
Since I have been the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Barton County, my columns have centered on the drought, and how you can water effectively to help your plants through the stressful times. Well, now the pendulum has swung the other direction, and many are wondering how all of this water will affect their plants. I found a couple of short columns from Ward Upham, KSRE Horticulture expert on a few water issues that are on many people's minds.
The past week brought more precipitation and as this column is being written, Thursday morning, more is expected. Where does that leave the area in terms of the upcoming wheat harvest and our summer crops?
This year is a special one for entomologists. The 17 year periodical cicadas are due to come out of the ground, where they have been developing, to reproduce and lay their eggs. No specimens of this particular cicada have been documented in Barton County, but they are in neighboring counties, so keep your eyes and ears open. The following piece is from the KSRE's Entomologist Bob Bauernfeind about these amazing insects and what to expect if they are found in Barton County.
A recent study with Kansas State University researchers details vaccine development for two new strains of avian influenza that can be transmitted from poultry to humans. The strains have led to the culling of millions of commercial chickens and turkeys as well as the death of hundreds of people.