Thursday, January 30, 2014

Walk Kansas: A Prescription to Increase Physical Activity

by Nadine Sigle, Family Consumer Sciences Agent

 Has your weight been creeping up on you? Has your blood pressure gotten a little high? Or are you at risk for developing diabetes?

A prescription you will want to consider is Walk Kansas. Walk Kansas works through the drug – walking. Or in generic terms, physical activity; also known as the “wonder drug.”

This medication is used to prevent chronic disease and to extend life. It has been proven to help prevent and treat diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, breast and colon cancer, obesity, depression, anxiety, and osteoporosis. It also aids in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, helps ease pain from chronic disease, and slows functional decline from aging. The impact of this drug is enhanced if taken with a healthful diet and adequate sleep.

Dosage for the walking drug is a minimum of 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week (total of 150 minutes a week.) Take at least 10 minutes at a time. It is safe to take during pregnancy and lactation, and in combination with most other medications.

The side effects of the walking drug include decreased blood pressure, stronger muscles, stronger bones, more energy, positive attitude, better sleep, better productivity at home and work, improved ability to handle stress, lower risk for suffering a heart attack or stroke, better posture, increased flexibility; healthy weight; improved fitness, sharper memory, better pain management, reduced anxiety, improved balance and coordination, improved self-esteem; opportunities to socialize actively with friends and family.

To learn more about Walk Kansas contact your local extension office :

  • Beloit – 785-738-3597
  • Lincoln – 785-524-4432
  • Mankato – 785-378-3174
  • Osborne – 785-346-2521
  • Smith Center – 785-282-6823

Drug-Walk Kansas- packets will be available soon with details. You can also learn more about Walk Kansas at

Monday, January 27, 2014

Celebrate Kansas Beef Day-January 27th

by Neil Cates, Livestock Production Agent

The Kansas Department of Agriculture has designated January 27th as Kansas Beef Day. I thought this would be a perfect time to highlight some facts about the beef industry in Kansas and its economic importance to our state.

Kansas ranked third nationally with 5.85 million cattle on ranches and in feed yards as of January 1, 2013. That is over twice the state’s human population of 2.886 million. In 2010, cattle represented 47% of the Kansas agricultural cash receipts. Cattle generated $7.64 billion in cash receipts during 2011.

Farmers and ranchers are not the only people involved in the beef industry in Kansas. Kansas companies that produce, process, distribute and sell meat and poultry products employ as many as 19,242 people and generate an additional 51,210 jobs in supplier and ancillary industries. These include jobs in companies supplying goods and services to manufacturers, distributors and retailers, as well as those depending on sales to workers in the meat industry.

The Post Rock District was home to 172,000 head of cattle in 2012.


  • Jewell-35,000
  • Lincoln-42,500
  • Mitchell-39,500
  • Osborne-22,500
  • Smith-32,500

The numbers speak for themselves. The impact the beef industry has in Kansas is tremendous. Celebrate Kansas Beef Day by eating your favorite cut of beef tonight! I personally am a ribeye guy. The weather isn’t exactly ideal for grilling, but I plan on grilling a steak tonight in celebration. What’s your favorite cut of beef?

Source for Statistics: Kansas Ag Statistics & American Meat Institute

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mind Exercises

by Kathy Lupfer-Nielsen

Aging may change the way the brain stores information…making harder to recall stored information. By the time we’re in our twenties, we begin to lose a few brain cells. If we want our brain to continue to operate in maximum potential then we need to exercise it just like our bodies: “Use it or Lose it” 

Typical changes associated with aging include:
  • Slower mental processing. It may take a little longer to learn new things. 
  • Slower recall of information. Names, faces and facts may not come to mind as quickly. 
  • Reduced ability to focus on multiple tasks. 
People who engage in intellectually stimulating activities can sharpen mental acuity and maintain it well into old age. As new skills are learned, the brain sparks development of synaptic connections. Our brain contains 100 billion neurons (the functional cells in the nervous system) and 100 trillion synapses (the gap between neurons). The more we engage our brain to make the synaptic connections, the denser our brain will be and we’ll have greater intellectual capacity. 

Some of the mind-stimulating exercises that Donna Martinson, former Geary County FCS listed in Brain Blitz lesson include: 
  • Learn to play a musical instrument…or if you played one as a child, borrow or dig out your old instrument to practice again. 
  • Play board games or cards. Do crossword puzzles or word searches and try using your non-dominant hand to strengthen your brain. 
  • Volunteer and interact with people. Join a new organization and meet new people. 
  • Read, both silently as well as aloud as this works different parts of the brain. 
  • Go dancing…exercise or swim. 
  • Learn to use a computer and explore the internet. 
  • Take a class. 
  • Visit a museum
  • Go to movies or a new restaurant. 
 For more ideas and the rest of the Brain Blitz lesson use this web link: 

Post Rock Extension is also offering the Master of Memory, program developed by Texas A & M Agrilife Extension. Mankato and Lincoln Senior Centers are hosting workshops now and others are welcome to contact Kathy if their community would be interested. 

This six week workshop covers memory strategies, using a memory diary, keeping a medication record as well as nutrition and wellness to keep you sharp as you age. 

Kathy Lupfer-Nielsen is a Family Consumer Sciences Extension Agent for the Post Rock District in north central Kansas.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Nutrient Management Workshop held January 14 in Kensington and Downs

by Sandra Wick, Agricultural Natural Resources Agent

Approximately 50 producers and agribusiness employees gained valuable fertility management guidelines by participating in the recent Nutrient Management Workshop held January 14 in two locations in the Post Rock Extension District. Producers will be making some challenging decisions soon concerning their 2014 wheat crop along with their upcoming spring row crops, and the information gained will help with those decisions. Dr. Dorivar Ruiz Diaz, K-State Research and Extension Fertility Management Specialist and Sandra L. Wick, Post Rock Extension District Agriculture Agent, Crop Production, provided information on nitrogen and phosphorus management, soil sampling and testing along with micro-nutrient considerations in crop production. 

Dr. Dorivar Ruiz Diaz, K-State Research and Extension Soil Fertility Specialist visiting with producers at the Nutrient Management Meeting.

The following are highlights from the meetings:

  • Having your nitrogen topdressing application on your 2014 wheat crop by the jointing stage or prior to Feekes 6, is essential for optimal yield increasing potential.
  • Remember to pull a soil sample and test for nitrogen PRIOR to topdressing as there is a high probability of residual nitrogen if there were dry conditions along with lower yields from the previous crop.
  • Samples should be taken from 12 -24 inches if possible to obtain the profile Nitrogen test.
  • Fertility additives can help in decreasing volatilization and nitrification from your fertilizer sources.
  • When you surface apply urea or liquid nitrogen (UAN), nitrogen loss can severely limit the return on your investment.
  • On average 40% of your nitrogen can be lost when surface applied within hours of application if the right conditions are present which are wet conditions and warmer temperatures.
  • Ammonia loss from surface applied urea is likely to be greater under no-tillage systems compared to conventional tillage systems as “tie-up” of the urea in the crop residue.
  • KSU fertility studies have consistently shown that “knifing” or “banding” in the fertilizer below the surface is a much more efficient method of application so the nitrogen is available to the crop.
  • ESN is a poly-coated granular fertilizer that undergoes a chemical or microbial (moisture and temperature) decomposition to make nitrogen available. It is a slow-release coated fertilizer that needs moisture and temperature to activate the nitrogen. It protects against volatilization and nitrification.
  • A combination of 50% ESN and 50% Urea is a recommendation to use just in case adequate moisture is not received to activate the ESN product.
  • AGROTAIN® is a nitrogen stabilizer that can be blended with urea and UAN fertilizers, giving nitrogen time to help prevent volatilization from occurring.
  • Recommended soil sampling depths for different nutrient levels:
      • 0-6 inches = pH, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Iron, Boron 
      • 0-24 inches – Nitrogen, Chloride, Sulphur
  • 15 to 20 soil core samples per 20-40 acres are recommended for soil sampling. Then mix together and submit about a pint of the mixed soil sample. If a profile Nitrogen is wanted, sub-surface and surface samples should be kept separate.
  • KSU Research has not shown consistent positive response to the addition of micro-nutrients. Sulphur seems to be the most favorable response to wheat while Zinc to corn and grain sorghum. Chloride response to wheat not favorable unless soil test indicates less than 30 lbs/acre. 
"Check out when to use fertility additives!"

For more information call any office of the Post Rock Extension District in Beloit, Lincoln, Mankato, Osborne or Smith Center.