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.
Once again farmers and ranchers are scratching their heads about how the new CDL (commercial driver's license) regulations will impact them when they transport livestock and crops to market.
With more than 5.5 million cattle on farms, ranches and in feedyards, Kansas is a recognized epicenter for high-quality beef. To honor Kansas beef producers for this accomplishment, and highlight an industry that generates more than $7 billion in cash receipts each year, Governor Sam Brownback has designated May as Beef Month across the state.
This column isn't about groundwater or irrigation. It's not about building a pipeline from the Missouri River. Today's column is about how area agriculture can maximize the efficiency of precipitation in a climate, which at least in the near term, is short on precipitation. These suggestions have merit, even under more normal conditions.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it is investing $15.7 million through grants to 47 entities that will help develop and demonstrate cutting-edge ideas to accelerate innovation in private lands conservation.
Western Kansas wheat farmers have a unique opportunity to provide direction for one of Kansas' most important industries, through the 2015 Kansas commodity commission elections.
Fall is finally here! The days are getting shorter, the air crisper. It's a time for sweatshirts, hot apple cider, football games, and of course, preparation for the winter ahead. I found some information this week on two subjects of yard work that can be completed in the fall to jumpstart your landscape and garden when spring comes around.
The American Farm Bureau Federation has named four Kansas lawmakers as 'Friends of Farm Bureau' for the 113th Congress.
It seems everyone from the Federal Government to agricultural companies and producer groups are focusing one major issue for producers – managing risk. Perhaps a better way to state this is the goal is to minimize your risk (or exposure) and to cope when risk exposure occurs. For the USDA, as Farm Bills have evolved over the last twenty years, a major key is the crop insurance program since most other risk management tools have disappeared. For companies and producer groups, it's how to plan so your operation minimizes the risk agronomically and economically through a variety of tools and ...
This year Kansas has green fields, kissed by the sun. There are blue skies with white clouds high above. There are even valleys where rivers run. Heck, there's even water standing in terrace channels.
The announcement that the Conservation Awards Program will again be held in this county was received today by Alicia Boor, Barton County Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, who has been asked to serve as chairman of a committee to select candidates for awards.
Eric B. Banks, Kansas State Conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that $3.8 million in conservation funding has been allocated in Kansas to help landowners protect and restore key farmlands, grasslands, and wetlands. This announcement follows Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack's statement that $328 million is being invested nationally for this USDA initiative.
As this is being written, weather forecasters have backed off the heavy rains they predicted from the remnants of the hurricane that affected Mexico this past week. Corn harvest is starting to ramp up in the area; soybeans are turning color and dropping leaves; grain sorghum development is all over the map; and some early planted wheat has emerged. There really isn't much new locally to comment on, so let's take a look at some other news.
It takes a lot of work to get the glowing Ferris Wheel spinning, just like it takes work setting up the Ye Old Mill, grooming competition livestock, making the thousands of funnel cakes and cheese curds and keeping the fairgrounds a clean environment for families to enjoy. But most people don't think about the behind the scenes work it takes to get the competitions and booths off the ground in order to make the fair a success.
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