Few experiences are more powerful or moving than a visit to a cemetery on Memorial Day. Unlike a military cemetery where rows upon rows of graves give silent testimony to the human cost of war, in most Kansas cemeteries the stories of the dead – young, old, male and female – tell a story about the community.
Before wrapping this up a response to a comment is necessary. Last week greenhouse gases were described as letting visible solar radiation reach the earth's surface but trapping heat (longwave radiation). But what about clouds since heavy cloud cover decreases visible solar radiation? Clouds are not water vapor. Clouds form when the air is saturated with water vapor (100% relative humidity) and are composed of water droplets (liquid water), ice crystals, and other components. The debate on this subject is several fold, including question such as:
One of the largest annual gatherings of Kansas high school students is set to begin next week as more than 2,000 FFA members, agricultural educators and supporters converge at Kansas State University for the 86th Kansas FFA Convention. The convention will open Wednesday, May 28, and run through Friday, May 30.
Last week, area farmers met in a wheat field to survey our Extension wheat plot. It is taller than a lot of the stands around the county, but you can still see some of the stress that the frigid winter, cool spring, varying temperatures and overall drought has caused. The difference here is that there were fifteen different varieties to look at and compare all in a row. Every year wheat plots are important to the community in order to help producers make decisions on what seed they will want to plant for the following year. Having several different varieties ...
Last week's column briefly described weather, climate, global climate, and the atmosphere as a global system redistributing energy received from sunlight due to the tilt of the Earth's axis. Everything naturally moves from a higher to a lower concentration and nature seeks equilibrium or the lowest energy state. Finally, certain gases like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere allow visible light through but don't let heat (longwave radiation) back out. Next a brief description of the what and why of global warming with apologies for the simplification.
On Saturday, March 12th, the Kansas Graizers hosted a low stress livestock handling workshop presented by Dr. Lynn Locatelli in Salina Ks. Dr Locatelli is a livestock handling specialist who gave a, deep, thoughtful, presentation to a full-house eager to learn more about low stress livestock handling.
There's an old saying that goes something like this: "Sometimes you have to look back on where you've been to know where you're going." While I'm not a fanatic about history, I believe it certainly has its place in our society today.
This spring, I have had several calls about evergreen trees. People have noticed that their spruce trees are turning brown, usually at the ends of the branches. The question is whether or not this is a disease. In many cases, it is not and is because of the extreme cold temperatures this past winter. The key elements here are timing of damage and location of damage. In terms of timing, the trees were fine last fall and then damage showed up this winter. The location of the damage is at the end of the branches and in a lot of ...
A proposed rule that would expand the regulatory authority of the Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could bring farming and ranching to a halt. Ordinary field work and everyday chores like moving cattle across a wet pasture, planting crops and even harvest may one day require a federal permit.
Did you know that when it comes to planting wheat, there is a lot of discussion and planning even before it is put into the ground? There are many issues and situations to think about before purchasing and planting a specific variety. At K-State Research and Extension, one of the many projects that we try to do for the community is to find a producer that is ready and willing to have a wheat variety plot on his land. The seed companies for the area including K-State usually donate the seed for the plot while the producer plants the wheat ...
The National Climate Assessment was recently released and it focused on Global Warming and its short and long-term effects. This column isn't intended to change anyone's mind either way on the subject but to provide some information and hopefully make it easier to shift through all the dross out there.
It's in your margarine, bread, crayons and building materials, but you probably don't realize it. Soybeans are everywhere.
This past week was difficult to cope with whether you were a farmer or lived in town. Over five days of wind combined with dry conditions and exposed soil made lives difficult for everyone. As dramatic as the winds and blowing soil were, the 1930s were even worse. The cost of blowing soil included a vehicular death due to poor visibility and numerous accidents. In parts of the state roads were closed and events cancelled. As this is written, the wind has settled down and the skies are blue instead of a hazy brown. Unfortunately there is little chance of ...
The Wheat Quality Council 2014 Hard Winter Wheat Tour wrapped up on May 1. Crop scouts estimated production for the Kansas crop at 260.6 million bushels. This is the lowest tour estimate since 1996. The average yield, calculated from 587 stops, was 33.2 bushels per acre.
Now that spring is in full swing, people have been noticing some dieback or brown areas in their evergreens. I thought I would share an article sent to me by the K-State Plant Pathology department. If you are concerned about your evergreen trees, this piece might help. As always, if you have any questions, please contact me and I will help find an answer to your question.
Some believe "big data" may be the next renaissance in agriculture. Others call it the greatest advance in agriculture since the Green Revolution during the 1940s, '50s and '60s when one of the biggest waves of research and technology spurred the growth of agricultural production around the world. Some compare big data with the biotech revolution.
Today, after the previous columns briefly describing genetic engineering and GMO traits found in agriculture, it's time to wrap this up. So IS GMO technology a Blessing or a Curse? That is up to the reader to decide based on facts and reasoning. To help let's list the potential benefits followed by the potential pitfalls as objectively as possible.
There have been several phone calls over the past few weeks about Palmer amaranth (Palmer pigweed). Several producers and local agronomists are noticing that it is not being controlled effectively in places with Glyphosate. I was e-mailed a news release this week that will give some information about what is being observed in the state, especially in Central Kansas at this time. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, you can get a hold of me by phone, email or stopping in the Extension office.
"It is difficult to make decisions or even know where to start after the death of someone close to you." Speaker D. Elizabeth Kiss, PH.D, KSU told an audience of 30 at the workshop for "Women on the Farm".
Wheat harvest has mostly wrapped up and temperatures have increased, so take a few days and cool off at Kansas Wheat's Annual Meeting and High Plains Journal's Wheat U on Aug. 4 and 5 in Wichita. Wheat board meetings will be held on Monday, August 4, beginning at 11 a.m., at the Sedgwick County Extension Office and will include separate and joint meetings of the Kansas Wheat Commission and the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers. The Commission meeting is open for interested parties to attend.
Several Kansas State University researchers were essential in helping scientists assemble a draft of a genetic blueprint of bread wheat, also known as common wheat. The food plant is grown on more than 531 million acres around the world and produces nearly 700 million tons of food each year.
I have been told all of my life, "Well, this year is unusual" when it comes to weather. In Kansas, I think that adage holds true every year. For 2014, we had one of the driest starts in history followed by one of the wettest Junes in history. The temperatures have been cooler than normal for the most part, but then we have sudden changes where the daily high will be 20 degrees higher or lower than the previous day. When the weather is so up and down, there might be a few problems in your garden. One of the ...
Adrian J. Polansky, State Executive Director of the Kansas Farm Service Agency (FSA), announced today that emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage has been approved for 44 counties in Kansas effective Wednesday, July 16.
Today's column focuses on herbicide resistant GMO technology and next week the potential up- and down- sides of GMOs. While this focuses on herbicide resistant traits produced through genetic engineering, it should be pointed out many herbicide resistant traits have been obtained through conventional breeding techniques. Let's discuss the trait almost everyone is familiar with – Roundup Ready ® technology.
Tuesday, June 24 arrived like most mornings in Finney County. The only difference – humidity levels were high and the dew point skied off the chart.
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