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Its That Time of Year Again!
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Jenni Carr, Extension Agent Ag and Natural Resources, Barton County K-State Research and Extension

Spring is just around the corner and there are a million things to prepare for. You may be asking what do I need to do in February, we are still getting much needed snow and rain and the temperatures are still cold at night.
As the weather begins to warm up crops, both agricultural and garden, will be headed into the ground. So what do you need to do to prepare? Well the first consideration is to sample the soil to identify what, if any, amendments are necessary.
Soil sample bags and probes are available at the Barton County Extension office. We are gathering samples to be sent to the K-State Soils Lab on Wednesday of each week. If you need guidance on how to properly take a soil sample we can help with that as well. The office also has Garden Guides available for sale that provide some good tips on site and plant selection.
It is also calving time out in the country. K-State has a few of the red Beef IRM books left to help you track your calving progress. With forage in short supply and very valuable this year it might also be time to have it tested. Once you know the quality of your forage you can develop a balanced ration to insure you are getting the most out of your hay while still providing for the requirements of your cow herd. Sandy Johnson, Livestock Specialist for the Northwest Area and I can assist you with this, just call our office at 793-1910.
The time is also right for planning windbreak tree plantings. The Kansas Forest Service is currently holding their Conservation Tree ordering session. Order forms are available in the extension office. They have several varieties of evergreen and deciduous trees to pick from as well as wildlife attracting shrubs.
I have a list of trees suitable for this area but selection should also be based on the planting site. The Kansas Forest Service is available to assist with windbreak planning and design as well as tree species selection.
For more information contact me at the Barton County Extension Office 793-1910 or by e-mail at