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.
January 11, 2015|
By Tom Parker, guest writer
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?
Well, 2015 is starting out as busy as 2014 ended! I have several more upcoming programs to tell you all about in Agriculture and Horticulture. As always, you can contact me at the Extension Office for more information about these exciting opportunities coming your way!
Before we all become buried in the new year, let's look at this new beginning with a bit of humor. Plenty of people trot out their lists of resolutions. Often, such lists are as long as their arms and last as long as their pinky.
January 04, 2015|
John Schlageck, Kansas Farm Bureau
As the holiday season comes to an end, so does the entry period for the 2015 National Festival of Breads. The festival, sponsored by King Arthur Flour, Red Star Yeast and Kansas Wheat, is a national amateur bread baking competition that hundreds of bakers enter. The entry deadline for this year's competition is January 16, 2015.
Happy New Year to everybody. 2014 is history and 2015 is officially here. The last year was interesting to say the least for crop and livestock producers. The drought, record high prices for protein (beef, pork, and poultry), significant declines in crop prices, record corn yields, and steep declines in fuel prices. The natural question then is what does 2015 have in store for agriculture? This list is in no particular order and accurately seeing into the future is tricky at best.
January 04, 2015|
Dr. Victor L. Martin
Do you ever drive by the USDA Service Center or the K-State Research and Extension Office and wonder what they do in there? Do you ever have a question, but aren't sure where to turn? What about wanting to improve your operation, and needing some financial assistance to help with the cost? Chances are these offices have the ability to help.
Stripe rust has been found in several fields of wheat in south central Kansas, including Barton County. At the time it was found, it was still at low levels and in trace amounts. With the cool wet weather we have been experiencing, it is something that producers should be on the watch for, and scouting their fields to identify and monitor.
Picture transitioning from a rural setting that includes woodlands, wildlife habitat and farms, to urban areas that consist of concrete, parking lots, streets and buildings. Rural land in a more natural state has the ability to soak up water in the soil more efficiently than urban areas with impervious surfaces that can lead to more runoff.
The last several columns provided general background on the rapidly expanding organic foods market. Today's column briefly outlines conventionally produced foods to highlight the differences between the two. Perhaps the first question to deal with is "Are conventionally produced foods inorganic?"
Lately, I have been getting many calls with people concerned with small mounds in their turf, making it difficult to mow, work or play in their yard. Most of the time, the issue is earthworms that are very active at this time of year. In my research, I came across this short piece of information on nightcrawlers, from the K-State Entomology department. I thought I would share this to give more infomation about these beneficial but sometimes annoying worms.
This week wraps up the discussion of "organic" foods before comparing them to "conventionally" produced foods. Last week's column briefly described what organic means in general terms. When you purchase a product "Certified Organic" what does that really mean?