Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Preserving the Family with Estate Planning

Nora Rhoades, Family & Youth Development Agent

Mark your calendars now to attend one of K-State Research and Extension’s “Preserving the Family with Estate Planning” workshops set for three locations in northwest Kansas in February.  Attorneys and K-State specialists will cover a range of topics including estate planning basics, trusts and asset protection, long term care planning, farm succession planning, and family communication. 
            The first workshop will be Monday, February 22, 2016, in Hill City at the Graham County 4-H Building.  The workshop will start at 6 pm and wrap up at 9 pm. Cost for this workshop will be $10 per person, with $5 for each additional family members (families must register together to receive the discount). 
Tuesday, February 23, the workshop will be held at The Gateway Civic Center in Oberlin, starting at 9 am and ending at 4 pm.  The cost for this day-long event will be $20 per person, and $15 for each additional family member.  This cost will include lunch and all materials. 
The third workshop will be held on Wednesday, February 24, in Oakley at the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center.  The cost for this workshop will also be $20 with $15 for each additional family member.   
            The registration deadline is February 16th.  Late registration and walk in fees for full day workshops are $30/person.  Registration fee covers material and noon meal.
             For more information call the Graham County Extension Office at 785-421-3411, the Twin Creeks District – Oberlin Office at 785-475-8121 or the Golden Prairie Extension District - Oakley Office at 785-671-3245.  To register online or see the brochure for details, go to  under Events.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Do I have weeds “in control” in my wheat crop?

Sandra Wick, Crops Agent

Well, with the moisture around the district, the wheat crop is in much better shape compared to the last couple of years.  However, this also may bring on more weeds.  Weeds compete with wheat for light, water, nutrients, and space.  Uncontrolled weeds in wheat decrease yields, lower quality and interfere with harvest.  It is important to scout fields and properly identify young weed seedlings early in the season to develop an effective weed management strategy.  Understanding the life cycle of the weeds will also help with identification and control.  
Basically weeds are divided into different categories depending on their emergence and growth pattern.  There are winter annuals, summer annuals and perennials. 
Winter annual weeds generally emerge in the fall of the year, go dormant over winter, resume active growth in the spring, and then flower and set seed before dying in the summer.  Winter annual weeds are generally most susceptible to herbicides in the fall or before they have begun to bolt or joint in the spring.   These include grasses and broadleaves such as cheat grasses, jointed goat grass, mustards, field pennycress or henbit.  Winter annual weeds are usually the most abundant type of weeds in winter wheat because they have a similar life cycle.
There are several herbicide options for controlling winter annual broadleaf weeds in wheat. Generally, fall applications will provide the best control of winter annual weeds with any herbicide, as long as the weeds have emerged. The majority of winter annual weeds usually will emerge in the fall, although you can still have some emergence in the spring, especially if precipitation after planting is limited in the fall. However, winter annual weeds that emerge in the spring often are not very competitive with the crop, at least in years when there is a good crop stand.
Some herbicides can work well even when applied during the dormant part of the season, while others perform best if the crop and weeds are actively growing. The key difference relates to the degree of soil activity provided by the herbicide. Herbicides that have good residual activity, such as Glean, Finesse, Amber, and Rave can generally be applied in January and February when plants aren’t  actively growing and still provide good weed control, assuming you have proper conditions for the application. Most other herbicides, which depend more on foliar uptake, will not work nearly as well during the mid-winter months, when the wheat and weeds aren’t actively growing, as compared to a fall or early spring application.
Spring herbicide applications can be effective for winter annual broadleaf weed control as well, but timing and weather conditions are critical to achieve good control. Spring applications generally are most effective on winter annual broadleaf weeds soon after green-up when weeds are still in the rosette stage of growth, and during periods of mild weather. Once weeds begin to bolt and wheat starts to develop more canopy, herbicide performance often decreases dramatically. 
The “2016 KSU Chemical Weed Control” publication is now available at any of the Post Rock Extension District Offices or online that can help producers with managing weeds in your wheat.   For further questions on weed management in your wheat, contact me at any Post Rock Extension District Offices in Beloit, Lincoln, Mankato, Osborne or Smith Center.
The Post Rock Extension District will be hosting a “Weed/Herbicide Update Meeting” on Thursday, February 18 in Downs starting at NOON at the First Christian Church.  RSVP is requested by Monday, February 15 to any of our Post Rock Extension District Offices.  10 registered producers are needed to hold the program.

For more information on “Weed Management”, stop by or call me at any office of the Post Rock Extension District in Beloit, Lincoln, Mankato, Osborne or Smith Center.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Start The New Year Right!

Ashley Goudey, Nutrition, Food Safety & Health Agent

There’s no better time than the present to make healthy habits a part of your daily routine.  Small steps such as eating better and exercising can make a great impact on your health. The benefits of exercise are overwhelming and include better sleep, lowering your risk of many diseases, improving emotional health, and sometimes weight loss.  We recommend adults get active anytime and anyway you can for at least 150 minutes a week and children 60 minutes a day! Start healthy habits by following these tips.

Squeeze in exercise. We are all busy but make exercise a priority! The New Year seems to always ring in busier schedules but take advantage of work breaks or time before and after work.  Schedule time on your phone or calendar to get up and move for a few minutes. Exercising before work is a great option for individuals who work late and have busy evenings.
You can also sneak in exercise while doing housework!  Squat or lung while washing dishes or folding laundry.  Put on your favorite music to dance to while dusting and vacuuming.  Get creative and make up your own ways to become more active every day.

Take advantage of nice weather.  You never know what weather may come one day from the next in Kansas so don’t be afraid to make the best out of a gorgeous day by getting active outside.  Hop on a bike or lace up your sneakers and go exploring!  Play a game of basketball, football, or soccer with friends or coworkers. Take a stroll around town on your work breaks and lunch. Don’t forget that your pets need exercise too, take them along with you on your before or after work walks.  Use caution while exercising outdoors during implement weather.

Have fun! Perform exercises that you enjoy and your body will thank you!  If you are new to exercise a nice way to start is by walking. Once you have mastered walking, begin engaging in different activities that spark your interest such as strength training. Get the whole family involved to bond and learn more about personal interests.

Eat better.  You don’t have to go all out and drastically change what you eat all at once.  Small changes are easier to make and sustainable over time.  Small changes can include eating an apple, banana or orange as a snack and drinking more water throughout the day.  Strive to make half of your plate fruits and vegetables over time.

Taking steps to improve your health this year will greatly benefit you for the long run.  Stay Safe, Stay Warm, and Stay Healthy!