Water has been a major issue in Kansas for the past several years. With the drought still looming heavily in everyone’s mind, and issues such as crop irrigation, water for livestock, and watering your garden, the discussion about who has a right to the available water remaining can and has become heated. Everyone in the community have different opinions on what should be done to conserve our resources. The Kansas Water Office is compiling opinions and ideas from the people of Kansas about our water resources, and is formulating a 50 year water plan. Right now, an initial draft has been compiled and is available online for the public to read at: http://www.kwo.org/Kansas_Water_Plan/KansasWaterPlan2014.html.
During the week of July 7th- 11th, the Water Vision Team will be holding meetings in 12 different towns across Kansas to discuss the first draft of the Water Vision plan and receive feedback on the issues from the people who attend the meetings. The closest one to Great Bend will be on July 7th at 4:30 pm, at the Stafford County Annex, 210 E 3rd St, St. John. The Great Bend Prairie Aquifer is at recharge level, rather than a rapid decline as the Ogallala aquifer further west. Because of its shallow depth, there is more concern for water quality rather than quantity for the people who utilize it. Input from citizens and producers around this area are critical for these reasons. Because of our unique position, it is important for all citizens to attend this meeting and give their input. If you are a producer that utilizes irrigation, a dry-land farmer, or a citizen in one of our towns, you have a voice that should be heard about the remaining water and how it should be utilized. For more information, you can visit the Kansas Water Office website at www.kwo.org, or contact me at the Extension office.
Market Wheat Show entries accepted now
With the wheat harvest starting, producers can enter their wheat into the State Market Wheat Show. Every year, producers from around the state bring in samples of their wheat to local extension offices. The wheat is then tested and scored on various attributes such as protein, test weight and variety/milling. The wheat is then bagged and sealed to be displayed at the Barton County Fair. The best wheat then is sent on for judging at the State Fair. Last year, the late Ed Stoss from Hoisington won the entire State Market Wheat Show with his variety. If you are interested in entering the show, I have dropped off bags and entry forms at the Co-ops in the county. Or you can bring your sample by the Extension office at 1800 12th street by July 1st. There is no cost to enter, so let’s see if we can make it two years in a row that the best wheat in Kansas came from Barton County!