As you drive around the county, you might notice that many trees are starting to look like we are already in fall though summer is still very much upon us. Leaves of area Elm Trees have turned brown, and some may be falling off, giving them a sickly appearance. In many cases, the reason for this is, Elm Leaf Beetles feasting on their leaves. Elm Leaf Beetles are a yearly concern when the second generation hatches about Mid-July. 2014 is no exception.
The Barton County Conservation District (Barton Co CD) board of supervisors will hold a Local Work Group (LWG) meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 2, at 1520 Kansas Ave, Great Bend.
Kansas Farm Bureau President Steve Baacus and his wife Patricia, as well as Kansas Farm Bureau Executive Director Terry Holdren and his wife Natalie were special guests at the Barton County Farm Bureau annual dinner meeting held Friday evening, Aug. 15 at the Barton Community College Student Union.
While summer isn't quite over, everyone is turning to a fall schedule. If they haven't already, producers are planning and getting ready for the 2015 winter wheat crop and summer crops producers are starting to think about harvest. And many are already thinking about planting decisions for next spring. But there is one more crop plan underway in Kansas – the next crop of persons preparing for careers in some aspect of the agriculture sector.
A century ago when this state consisted mainly of farm and ranch families, it was a common sight to see neighbors helping neighbors. They swapped farm machinery. They loaned labor back and forth to work harvest thrashing crews. A barn raising presented another opportunity for friends to help build and support the community.
This year, despite a late freeze, looks to be a great year for apples. Everywhere I look, I see branches loaded down with ripening fruit. The heavy loads may cause extra strain on the tree, and as the apples increase in size, the additional weight may be substantial. To help your tree be able to bear this weight, you can use one- inch thick boards to prop up limbs. Cut a "V" on the top edge of the board on which the limb will rest so that it doesn't slip off. Long limbs that are heavily loaded with fruit ...
So what can be realistically be done to deal with pesticide resistance once it happens? When pests develop resistance to pesticides, it is a difficult challenge but in most cases not an impossible one. The key to the effectiveness of these management practices include cost, time, markets and climate. Also remember we are speaking about resistance developing in insects and diseases, not just weeds.
A Kansas State University veterinarian is cautioning residents of Kansas and surrounding states about a highly contagious viral disease that affects horses and livestock - and can sometimes affect humans.
People outside of agriculture routinely try to define the family farm. These same folks have a tendency to question corporate farming whether family owned or not
As most people know, Kansas is the top wheat producing state in the USA. The first Kansas wheat crop was planted in Johnson County in 1839, since then, the yields farmers are able to harvest have more than doubled. This comes in part from universities and private companies breeding new varieties for better resistance to different pressures including fungal and bacterial. Newer varieties also have heat and drought resistance, which increase yields depending on what variety is planted in a given year. One way these organizations know how a wheat variety will perform is by planting it into a field ...
Last week's column described how pesticide resistance develops. Today describes how it can be prevented and next week how to manage it once it occurs. But first a brief review of how this problem arises. For more detail see last week's column.
Life experiences teach plenty to those willing to learn. From the time I was a small boy, I remember my dad, uncles and grandfather talking and debating the issues of the day whenever we visited one another.
From phonographs to iPods and horse-drawn carriages to four-wheel drives, much has changed dramatically over the last century, the wheat industry included. Kansas State University released its first variety, Kanred, 100 years ago. Now, a century later, K-State, in conjunction with the Kansas Wheat Alliance, is unveiling its latest variety, KanMark.
While discussing GMO crops, this column alluded to pesticide resistance as a potential problem with GMO traits such as glyphosate (Roundup ®) tolerance and resistance to the Bt trait found in crops such as corn and cotton. Last week, Barton County ANR Extension Agent shared a column on herbicide resistance from Extension Agronomy. But what exactly is resistance? Not necessarily to just pesticides but also crop resistance to something like a disease. And maybe the more important question is how or can it be prevented? Today's column tackles what is pesticide resistance and how does it develop.
Maples are one of the most popular trees in Barton County. They give fabulous color in the fall, interesting bark in the winter, and overall is a good tree for this area. On the K-State Research and Extension list of recommended trees, 4 different varieties of Maple are listed for Central Kansas. So, why do I get so many phone calls about health issues with them? I think it is for a few reasons. First, because they are so beautiful and highly recommended, we have a lot that have been planted over the years in our communities. Second, they are ...
More than 500 young farmers and gathered in Manhattan, Jan. 23-25, for the 2015 Kansas Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Leaders Conference.
Tomorrow is Groundhog Day followed by in a short time by Valentine's and Presidents' Day. February is here. But did you know it's also CTE Month? CTE is an acronym standing for Career and Technical Education. Barton Community College is celebrating in a variety of ways over the next four weeks; recognizing the importance of career and technical education; and the students, advisory committees, staff, and faculty involved. The logical question then is, "What does this have to do with agriculture?"
The agricultural lender sentiment for the end of 2014 shows that lenders have decreased expectations for the short- and long-term outlook. Respondents of a Kansas State University Agricultural Lender Survey expect farmland prices to decline and non-performing loans to increase.
When plans are laid in advance, it is surprising how often circumstances fit in with them.
Many times when I go out on home visits, the homeowners concerns are with trees on their property. One reason for your trees being in distress may very well be your lawn. If your grass, (especially cool season grasses such as fescue) is allowed to grow up to the trunk of your trees, the competition for water and other nutrients may cause your tree to decline in health. Following is a report on research that has been completed by KSU with more information about the grass and tree competition issue many homeowners have faced.
The two previous columns briefly outlined reasons for the large changes in agriculture over the last century and the results of those changes for the society. Also discussed were the effects these changes had on the practice of agriculture. Now, let's wrap it up and discuss how these changes changed agricultural producers themselves. Please keep in mind these are general trends that don't necessarily mean everyone producing food, fiber, or fuel or that today is bad and a century ago was better or vice-versa..
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reminds livestock producers that the Jan. 30, 2015, deadline to request assistance for losses suffered from Oct. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2014, is fast approaching.
Hype is a word often associated with advertising agencies, public relations firms and spin doctors who attempt to create, change or repair an image. Many people consider hype a dirty word, something to detest.
The 2015 Central Plains Irrigation Conference and Exposition will take place Feb. 17-18 at the City Limits Convention Center, Colby. The popular annual event focused solely on irrigation-related topics is hosted in Kansas every third year. Sponsors include Kansas State University, Colorado State University, the University of Nebraska and the Central Plains Irrigation Association.
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.
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