Monday, April 25, 2016

Working With Teenagers

Aliesa Woods, 4-H Youth Development Agent

Anyone who has chaperoned a group of teens at a conference or advised a teen club or organization know that adults have varying degrees of success on working with teenagers. What is the difference between adults who are successful in working with teens and those who are not? There are several secrets for success for working effectively with teens. Listed below are ten tips for adults to be effective when working with teens.
  • Caring:  Care about teens, be dedicated, and put that care and dedication into action.
  • Respect:  Respect teens, and expect them to respect you.
  • Enthusiasm:  Be enthusiastic and have a sense of humor.
  • Honesty:  Let them know what’s expected (and have high expectations.)
  • Fairness:  Be aware of what’s really going on; be fair and reasonable in evaluating.
  • Guidance and Encouragement:  Give them guidance, training, and encouragement.
  • Meet Their Needs:  Learn teen needs, wants and expectations, and provide for them.
  • Responsibility:  Involve them and give them REAL responsibilities.
  • Confidence:  Demonstrate a positive attitude of confidence and trust in them.
  • Openness:  Be open to suggestions and constructive criticism yourself.

Fungicide Guidelines for your Wheat

-Sandra Wick, Crop Production Agent

Well, the million dollar question is, "Should I spray a fungicide on my wheat?"
The answer is, "It depends!"  That may seem like NOT an answer, but it really does depend on many factors including the weather forecast, variety susceptibility and the stage of the wheat.

Stripe Rust is what I found about 3 weeks ago in every county of the Post Rock District.   There could also be some leaf rust out there as well.   However, until we received the moisture, the rust was just pretty much sitting there and not spreading.  However, the forecast looks like it may be favorable for stripe and leaf rust development.  Looking at the 10 day forecast, we could have cool temperatures and chances for moisture.  These are the conditions that stripe rust likes and thrives!

Scouting is the key to first determine if your wheat is infected with stripe rust or leaf rust.  It seems to be pretty variety dependent so look at the "KSU Variety Disease and Insect Ratings for 2015".  Here is a link for you: Everest and Armour have the highest susceptibility rating of the more common wheat varieties that are planted.   If you don't find rust, then don't spray especially with the price of what wheat is at this time.  But if you are finding the rust pustules one or two leaves below the flag leaf and cool, moist conditions are in the forecast, spraying may be warranted.  

So when do I spray?  First and foremost is the growth stage of your wheat.  For the fungicide to last or have residual through grain filling, the flag leaf should be fully extended. The stage of growth around the district is all over the board.  We were ahead of schedule, but now have caught up some, so the only way to know is to get out in your field.  I have attached a GREAT publication from TAMU on "Wheat Stages of Growth".  Your primary goal of the fungicide application is to protect the flag leaf which contributes a very high percentage to grain fill.  This should allow sufficient time for the fungicide to last through grain filling.

So what do I spray?  There are many good options out there that do an equally effective job, so it comes down to price.  Another big question is using generics?  Of course the generics would be cheaper and more economical with our price situation.  According to KSU research, there is no significant difference in the effectiveness of products with identical active ingredients.  In other words, generic fungicides are equally effective when used at the same rates as other products with the same active ingredient.  Most fungicides have a 21 day residual in the field for protection against the rust diseases.  KSU has an excellent publication, "Foliar Fungicide Efficacy Ratings for Wheat Disease Management 2016" that rates several different options. Here is the link for you:

 So weather will certainly play a KEY role in what develops! Please let me know what you are finding out in the fields!  Remember scout your fields first and look at your stage of growth and any rust infection.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Celebrate Young Learners!

Nora Rhoades, Family and Youth Development Agent

Children learn as they enjoy music, explore food and cooking, build together, create art, and celebrate their families. Repeated experiences focused on exploring all five senses (touch, sight, sound, taste and smell) help children build connections, communicate and master new skills.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has some excellent hands-on resources and activity ideas for parents, care providers and teachers that will make play meaningful and learning fun. Check out

April 10-16, 2016 is The Week of the Young Child. The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration hosted NAEYC celebrating early learning, young children, their teachers and families.

For more information about enhancing experiences with your child, contact your local Post Rock Extension District.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Stripe rust has arrived in the wheat!

Sandra Wick, Crop Production Agent

Well, the wheat crop is well ahead in its growth and development for this time of year and producers should be scouting for diseases that are showing up in all parts of the state.
So what does this mean for wheat growers in Kansas? The early reports of stripe rust and some leaf rust are cause for concern as the risk of disease outbreaks and disease-related yield loss increases dramatically when the rust becomes established in the state prior to heading according to Dr. Erick DeWolf, K-State Research and Extension plant pathologist.  There are reports of increasing disease in southern and central Kansas with stripe rust along with fields in northcentral Kansas.   If weather conditions are right, the disease may move into more fields.  Recently, I scouted several wheat fields in NC Kansas and did find stripe rust and in all counties, of the Post Rock District, in some degree depending on the variety.  But mostly on the lower canopy of the wheat plants.
What might growers consider doing to prepare for possible disease problems?  The most important thing growers can do, at this stage, is check their fields for disease. Scouting can certainly help determine critical decisions about fungicides. Checking wheat varieties reaction to rust can help growers set priorities for scouting. Everest is widely planted in most areas of the state and is susceptible to stripe rust and should be monitored carefully for symptoms of stripe rust. However, there are varieties that are also grown that have resistance such as KSU 1863 and Grainfield along with LCS Mint and KanMark.  K-State Research and Extension has an excellent publication, “Wheat Variety Disease and Insect Ratings for 2015” that will provide ratings for disease resistance or susceptibility of many Kansas wheat varieties.  This is available online or at your local Extension Office.  There is also a KSU Fact Sheet available, “Wheat Stripe Rust” at the following website and at your local Extension Office.
Producers should begin to gather information about fungicide options as there are excellent products available. However, the price of these products and applications will be particularly important this year, because the value of wheat is lower compared to some recent years.
So what does this mean for spraying a fungicide?  Do NOT get in a big hurry to spray a fungicide application.  

Stripe Rust in Headed Wheat
The timing of these applications is also very important.   KSU research has shown that a single fungicide application applied between boot and flowering stages of development results in the maximum yield benefit, thus protecting the flag leaf which is your primary concern. Fungicide applications made prior to jointing, followed by a second application may also be an option. However, in K-State tests, these two application programs rarely result in much additional yield. It is the second application, between boot and flowering, that does the “heavy lifting” in terms of yield response. Also keep in mind that label restrictions often specify the total amount of active ingredient that can be applied to a crop. Using a low-cost option early could limit the product options later in the season when a second application is needed to protect the upper leaves, especially the flag leaf.   The efficacy or residual for most fungicides is 21 days

So it is a wait and see game.  It may be that the "right" conditions will not happen to enable the stripe rust to continue to develop.  Moisture and temperature are key factors.  Rainfall isn't always needed to stimulate rust growth, simply dew can do the same.  Daytime temperatures of 60-70 degrees F. and night time temperatures above freezing enable the rust to continue to develop.  For further information on disease management in your wheat, contact me at any Post Rock Extension District Office in Beloit, Lincoln, Mankato, Osborne or Smith Center.  

Friday, April 1, 2016

Looking to Get Active This Spring?

Ashley Goudey, Nutrition, Food Safety & Health Agent

Whew, spring is finally here! I have personally been looking forward to nice weather so that I can shake this dust off and get moving outside!  I hope that you all have the same mindset and are looking for ways to get active.  If so, you have come to the right place.  I will discuss some outdoor walking trails around Post Rock District that are bound to help you get active.  Better yet, all of these
trails are free and you can use them to rack up your Walk Kansas minutes!
If you are in Mitchell County, make sure you check out the Beloit Area Walk Routes.  The brochure is located around town at special locations and includes The Historical Route, The Chautauqua Park Route, The Cemetery Route, and The Tree City Route. Take a walk through Chautauqua Park or play a round of Frisbee golf.  Any of these routes are bound to keep you active whenever you want to relieve stress, sight see, or just get out of the house!
Glen Elder State Park Trails are available year round and vary in length. If you are visiting Waconda Lake or driving by on Highway 24, we encourage you to take in some fresh air and walk these trails! If you walk for at least 10 minutes you can count that toward your Walk Kansas minutes! Grab a buddy or your family to make the trails more enjoyable. 
                I encourage you to explore the outdoor physical activity opportunities Post Rock has to offer this spring.  Remember it is recommended that adults are active at least 150 minutes a week at a moderate-vigorous level.  Locate a park, sidewalk trail, or outdoor track near you today.  Getting active doesn’t require money-just get out and enjoy the weather and you will find yourself moving toward better health in no time!