Wednesday, December 20, 2017

THRIVE – Focus on a better version of you in 2018!

Nora Rhoades, Family and Youth Development Agent

As the year ends, we often find ourselves anxiously awaiting the transition into January. The first month of a new year is named after Janus, who is the god of beginnings according to Roman mythology. Janus is believed to be a two-faced god that looks into both the future and the past.

To many, the ultimate New Year’s resolution is to thrive. We reflect upon our past to identify and visualize what parts of our life need attention, support, encouragement and commitment. We set goals, identify success strategies and develop plans to prosper. January is more than just a flip to a new calendar month. It is an opportunity to refocus on the most important aspects of our life.

Even if you classify the past year as excellent; our minds, bodies and environments naturally challenge us to seek out a new adventure toward self-improvement. Then, there are those of us reflecting back on a year that has not met our expectations. We may feel like there is nowhere to go except ‘up’.

As you define your resolutions, know that wherever 2017 leaves you standing is a great place to begin. We all deserve to thrive – to prosper, to flourish and to grow.

Focus on a better version of yourself this upcoming year. Your strides do not have to be long in order to be successful. They simply need to be realistic, meaningful and focused on improving your well-being.

Not sure where to start? Need some accountability as you make your vision a reality? K-State Research and Extension can help!

Join us at THRIVE, an interactive self-care program to help you meet your personal goals!

THRIVE is a series of 30-minute learning sessions where participants will explore strategies to embrace each day and practice habits that will help you get the most out of each stage in life. Adults – individuals, couples, families, and caregivers – are encouraged to participate.

Throughout the free lunch-and-learn series, participants will focus on creating an action plan for healthy living, increase understanding about health and wellness indicators, and develop realistic plans for overcoming barriers such as stress and conflict.

If you would like to learn more about THRIVE, we encourage you to engage with “Post Rock Extension” on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

You can also find complete program details at www.postrock.ksu.edu.

THRIVE – Beloit
Location: Beloit Municipal Building, Trail Room
Time: 12:10-12:45pm
Dates: Fridays – January 12, January 19, and January 26, 2018
*Free to participate. *No RSVP required. *Bring your own lunch.
More details at: www.postrock.ksu.edu

THRIVE – Osborne
Location: Osborne Public Library
Time: 12:10-12:45pm
Dates: Mondays – January 22, January 29, and February 5, 2018
*Free to participate. *No RSVP required. *Bring your own lunch.
More details at: www.postrock.ksu.edu

Monday, December 18, 2017

Is now the time to control mustard weeds in your wheat fields?

Sandra Wick, Crop Production Agent

Too often producers do not notice mustard weeds in their wheat fields until the mustards start to bloom in the spring with that yellow or lavender color. As a result, producers often don’t think about control until that time. Although it is still possible to get some control at that time with herbicides, mustards are much more difficult to control at that stage and often have already reduced wheat yields by then. The following is information on managing mustard weeds in your wheat.

To keep yield losses to a minimum, mustards should be controlled by late winter or very early spring, before the plants begin to bolt, or stems elongate according to Dallas Peterson, K-State Research and Extension Weed specialist. If winter annual broadleaf weeds are present in the fall, they can be controlled with any number of ALS-inhibiting herbicides, including Ally, Amber, Finesse, Rave, or PowerFlex. Other non-ALS herbicides such as Huskie, Quelex, 2,4-D, or MCPA can also provide good control of most mustards if the weeds are at the right stage of growth and actively growing, and if the wheat is at the correct growth stage.

There are several different species of the mustard weed family so it is important to first and foremost identify what specie is present so the most effective herbicide can be used. Flixweed and tansy mustard should be treated when they are no larger than two to three inches across and two to three inches tall. As these plants become larger, the control decreases dramatically. Field pennycress is easier to control than tansy mustard or flixweed. Wheat should be fully tillered before applying 2,4-D or tillering will be inhibited and wheat yields may be decreased.

Most ALS-inhibiting herbicides control winter annual mustards very well, although there are populations of some mustards in Kansas that are ALS-resistant and cannot be controlled by these products. So what options are available? The best approach is to use other herbicides such as 2,4-D, MCPA, or Huskie or in a tank-mix with the ALS herbicides. None of these herbicides have much residual control, so the majority of weeds need to be emerged and actively growing at the time of treatment.

Quelex is a new product from Dow AgroSciences that is a premix of a short-lived ALS herbicide and a new auxin-type herbicide. It generally can provide good control of most mustard species and should be applied from the 2-leaf up to flag leaf emergence growth stages of wheat. Also remember to use it in combination with a nonionic surfactant or oil concentrate.

Some producers commonly apply ALS herbicides with fertilizer in January or February. Unfortunately, MCPA, 2,4-D, and Huskie are most effective when applied to actively growing weeds, so application when weeds are dormant may not provide good control. As a result, if an ALS-inhibitor tank-mix with one of these herbicides is applied to dormant ALS-resistant mustards in the winter, poor control could occur.

Producers should watch for cases of poor control, and consider alternative herbicides or herbicide tank-mixes to help prevent or manage ALS-resistant weeds. Crop rotation with corn, grain sorghum or soybeans is a good way of managing mustards as long as they are controlled in the spring prior to producing seed.

The “2018 K-State Research and Extension Chemical Weed Control” publication is available online at http://bit.ly/2yqhFWZ. The publication will also be available, in print at no cost, after the first of the year at any of our Post Rock Extension District Offices. The publication is an excellent resource that provides the effectiveness of different herbicides for each of our major crops.

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

Post Rock Extension District of K-State Research and Extension serves Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Osborne, and Smith counties. Sandra may be contacted at swick@ksu.edu or by calling Smith Center, 282-6823, Beloit 738-3597, Lincoln 524-4432, Mankato 378-3174, or Osborne 346-2521. Join us on Facebook at “Post Rock Extension” along with our blog site at “postrockextension.blogspot.com. Also remember our website is www.postrock.ksu.edu and my twitter account is @PRDcrops.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Focus on the “Stars” for your Holiday Cooking!

Ashley Svaty, Nutrition, Food Safety and Health Agent

Many favorite holiday main dishes, sides, and desserts are filled with added fat, sugar, and sodium.  There’s good news though, we can do something about it!  Focus on the healthy “star” ingredient of each dish and cut out the extras that usually bring on the added unnecessary calories and little nutrition. For example, there is a recipe featured below for a fall apple crisp.  Compare the nutrition facts with a traditional apple pie and you save 180 calories, 11 fat grams and 18 carbohydrates per serving! I challenge you to make changes in some of your holiday dishes.  Here are some everyday tips to enhance nutrition to meals.

  • When using canned vegetables, purchase “No salt added” or “Reduced sodium” options to reduce your salt intake. If these are not available, drain and rinse your canned vegetables to decrease salt by about half.
  • When choosing canned fruit, purchase those labeled “No sugar added” or “Packed in 100% juice” instead of “Heavy syrup”.
  • While baking instead of using white flour, use half white & half 100% whole wheat flour.
  • Use unsaturated oils instead of margarine.
  • Use whole-grain breads, rice and pasta instead of white.
  • Bake, grill or steam vegetables and protein foods instead of frying.
  • Substitute low-fat or skim milk instead of whole or heavy cream.
  • Balance your plate with fruits and vegetables.
  • Read food labels to ensure that your ingredients fit in a healthful diet.

Fall Apple Crisp

Makes 9 servings

      7 cups cored, sliced apples, about 2 pounds or 5 large apples
      ⅓ cup 100% apple juice
      ½ cup whole wheat flour
      ¼ cup sugar
      ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
      ½ cup rolled oats
      5 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
      3 tablespoons slivered almonds

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 375°F. 2) Peel apples, if desired, slice, and toss in a mixing bowl with apple juice to coat. 3) Combine flour, both kinds of sugar, and oats in another mixing bowl. Cut in butter using two knives until mixture is crumbly. Stir in almonds. 4) Spray a square 8-inch by 2-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour apples into baking dish and sprinkle with crumb mixture. 5) Bake 45 minutes or until topping turns golden brown.
    Source: North Carolina Eat Smart, Move More. Nutrition per 1⁄9 of recipe: 200 calories, 8 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 60 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 22 g sugars, 2 g protein.

    For more information about healthy holiday cooking, view our Focus on the Stars Cooking Healthy for the Holidays publication here

    For more nutritious recipes, view pages 4-6 of the leaders guide!

    Wednesday, November 22, 2017

    Transforming Leaves from Trash to Treasure

    Cassie Homan, Horticulture Agent

    Fall is such a beautiful time of the year but before we know it the leaves have fallen and we are left with the seemingly never ending task of raking up leaves. This year I encourage you to look at all those dead leaves as a treasure of organic matter that can be used in many ways in your landscape.





    The easiest use of all those leaves is to incorporate them directly into your soil. Add four to six inches of shredded leaves into the soil of your garden or flower beds. To shred the leaves, you can pile them up and run the lawn mower over them a few times. The leaves will naturally break down over the winter months and you will have a healthier soil in the spring. The leaves will break down quicker if there is moisture in the soil. This means if we have a dry winter, you should water the soil to accelerate the decomposition process.

    Leaves also make a great mulch for your plants. Add three to four inches of shredded leaves around your plants now or in the spring. Make sure you leave a few inches around the base of each plant so the plant can breathe and will not rot. The advantages of mulching are endless, it helps conserve moisture and control weeds. Which means less maintenance for you during the hot summer months.

    Composting leaves is another great way to turn all that dead material into something usable. Compost bins are easy to start and require little care. Fall leaves contain higher amounts of carbon and less nitrogen. So to get them to break down quickly in a compost pile, it is best to add six to eight inches of plant material and then add a one-inch layer of soil. A small amount of an all-purpose garden fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, can also be added to supply nitrogen to the microbes. Continue to build the compost pile in layers until it is 3 to 5 feet high. It is also important to keep your compost pile moist and remember to turn it every two to three weeks. Compost piles are a great way to reuse plant materials that would otherwise be thrown away.


    Even though it may seem like a daunting task, pick a nice fall day and rake up all those leaves. It’s important for the health of your lawn and an easy way to turn trash into treasure.

    For further information on composting, contact Cassie at any Post Rock Extension District Office in Beloit, Lincoln, Mankato, Osborne or Smith Center, or email choman@ksu.edu

    Friday, November 17, 2017

    Beef - It’s Bigger Than One Ranch

    Barrett Simon, Livestock Agent

    Our industry is similar to a revolving door. Not only in the sense that it is always changing, creating turnover, and utilizing a circular method of production; but also because the goal is nearly always the same. With the door, the task is as simple as getting in or out of a building. In the beef business, the task is to promote a healthy, well-managed product to feed the mouths of all social classes across our country and others around the world and to do so in an efficient and humane manner. This goal is no secret to those of us who have made a livelihood in agriculture. Unfortunately, it may as well be a secret to the general public. The consumer’s eye has become a trained laser focusing on any single negative aspect that it can target, and often times, the laser acts as a magnifying glass-blowing false statements and opinions into predicaments that harm our industry and the reputation of the product that we strive to grow and serve every day.

    Beef producers: I urge you to brag on your production systems. We have come so far in herd-health management, cattle-handling facilities, and operation sustainability. I venture to guess that if the general public knew of the strides we’re taking to build healthy environments that play home to top-notch animal nutrition and care, they would have a much greater appreciation of the healthy product served on plates around the world.

    The key to doing so is to give yourself a platform to stand on. The BQA certification can be just the platform many of us are looking for. As stated on their website, “Beef Quality Assurance is a nationally coordinated, state implemented program that provides systematic information to U.S. beef producers and beef consumers of how common sense husbandry techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management and environmental conditions. BQA guidelines are designed to make certain all beef consumers can take pride in what they purchase – and can trust and have confidence in the entire beef industry.” Becoming BQA certified will not only serve as a refresher course for the most respected animal husbandry practices but it will also inform us, as producers, of new concepts and data that have impacted the beef business.

    Once in a while a producer may grumble about the checkoff dollars they paid in the fall after selling calves. Well, it’s your turn to get the maximum return out of those dollars. The Beef Checkoff is currently paying for all producers to engage in the certification process. All there is to do is sign up online and start your refresher on aspects of health, cattle handling, and animal husbandry practices. Organizations like the Kansas Beef Council and Kansas Livestock Association are here to join forces with producers from across our state and are looking to provide these beneficial opportunities to all. Don’t forget the KLA Convention coming up at the end of this month. This is the perfect time to start building your platform!

    For more information or to begin BQA certification please follow this link: https://www.bqa.org/certification

    Post Rock Extension District of K-State Research and Extension serves Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Osborne, and Smith counties. Barrett may be contacted at Barrett8@ksu.edu or by calling our Mankato Office at 378-3174, Smith Center Offfice 282-6823, Beloit Office 738-3597, Lincoln Office 524-4432, or Osborne Office 346-2521.  Join us on Facebook at “Post Rock Extension” along with our blog site at postrockextension.blogspot.com.  Follow us on Twitter @KSRE_PostRock. Also remember our website is postrock.ksu.edu

    Wednesday, November 8, 2017

    Fact from Fiction about Insurance Coverage

    Nora Rhoades, Family and Youth Development Agent

    Taking the time to read the fine print of health, auto and home insurance policies may not always happen with consumers. Yet, it pays to understand what you are purchasing so there are no surprises if you ever need to file a claim.

    Ken Selzer, Kansas Commissioner of Insurance, discusses nine common insurance misconceptions that may occur from a lack of policy knowledge. These misconceptions were compiled from questions to the Kansas Insurance Department Consumer Assistance Division and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).  
    • My spouse wants a life insurance policy, but I don't think it is necessary. While life insurance covers the life of the policyholder, it is the policyholder's family who benefits from the coverage. If a family's primary breadwinner passes away, how will that person's income be replaced? Also, consider potential losses incurred by the passing of a stay-at-home parent who cleans, takes care of children, and manages a home. It could cost a lot of money to replace these services. Understanding your family's needs will help determine whether a life insurance policy makes sense.

    • I only need collision and liability coverage for my vehicle. Liability coverage protects you and your family if you are at fault during an accident, and it will cover damages to property, vehicles or people up to your policy limits. Collision coverage will cover costs to repair your vehicle (minus the deductible) in a collision such as hitting a pole, a vehicle or another object. However, if your vehicle is stolen, or flooded, or if you hit a deer, you'll need comprehensive coverage to recoup your loss. Think about all of your risks and the potential costs of replacing a vehicle when deciding on coverage.

    • If I lend my car to a friend, and my friend has an accident, his/her insurance will cover it. It may seem only fair that a friend's insurer would cover the accident, but auto insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver. Therefore, your insurer would bear the primary responsibility for any damage a friend causes while borrowing your vehicle. If the damage exceeds your policy limits, then your friend's policy would kick in as secondary.

    • I do not need any additional rental car insurance because my credit card will cover me. Many credit cards will only cover collision insurance, not liability. That means you'll be on the hook for the other driver's damages if you're at fault. In addition, depending on where you travel, your credit card company may restrict coverage. However, your own auto insurance policy might cover a rental car, so be sure to call the company as well. Don't make assumptions; take time to find out what is covered.

    • Health insurance is available for purchase whenever I need it, no matter what. Not true. To purchase coverage in the individual market or from the federal marketplace, you must either purchase during open enrollment or experience a qualifying life event, such as marriage, birth of a child, divorce or death. Additionally, if you get a new job that offers health insurance, you may have to wait 30-60 days before your coverage takes effect.

    • Health insurance will pay the same, no matter where I receive care. Insurers negotiate payment rates with networks of providers. If you use a provider outside your insurer's network, your insurer may not cover the entire bill, and you may be required to pay more out-of-pocket. Check to see if your provider is in your insurer's network to avoid a surprise bill.

    • My state's minimum auto liability coverage is sufficient. If you're at fault for an accident where you damage an expensive vehicle or more than one vehicle, your minimum property damage limits might not cover the full costs of the damage. Have you checked what your liability limit is for bodily injuries? Serious injuries or even death can translate into millions of dollars in settlement fees. In this case, you are personally responsible for the costs not covered by your auto insurance policy.

    • A tree in my backyard fell and hit my home; therefore, the removal and damages are covered. If the tree was damaged by water or wind, you may not be able to get it replaced, depending on the language of your policy. If not, you're covered for damages to your home and any of your belongings that were also damaged. You will have to pay your deductible, but your homeowners insurance typically will also cover the cost of removing the tree and even replacing it.

    • Homeowners insurance means I am covered for flooding losses. Think again. Flood insurance is not covered as part of standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. If you want to be covered for flood damage, you'll have to purchase coverage specific to flooding. If you live in a flood zone or if your home could be flooded by an overflowing creek or pond, or even water running down a hill, look into buying flood insurance. And buy it before you need it, because there is a 30-day waiting period after purchase before the coverage takes effect.

    The content in this article is from Insurance Matters, an informative column made available by the Kansas Insurance Commission. If you have insurance questions, contact their Consumer Assistance Division by calling 1-800-432-2484, or by going online to www.ksinsurance.org to use the chat feature on the home page.

    Thursday, November 2, 2017

    What are the NEW label restrictions and guidelines for Dicamba in soybeans?

    Sandra Wick, Crop Production Agent

    Well, I’m sure some of your soybean fields might have been affected this last growing season with the chemical dicamba. Several reports of non-Xtend soybeans expressed some kind of damage. Most producers have probably already heard that EPA, and the companies selling dicamba products registered for use on Xtend soybeans and other crops, have reached an agreement on label modifications and application requirements to try and further minimize the potential for off-target damage to susceptible crops. Below is a brief summary of the key changes to the Xtendimax, Fexapan, and Engenia product labels according to KSU weed specialists:
    • All products will be classified as “restricted use”, permitting only certified applicators to purchase and apply or supervise the application of the products.
    • Supplemental labeling will be incorporated into the regular labels, and application guidelines will be the same for all uses, including dicamba and non-dicamba tolerant crops.
    • Applicators must complete dicamba or auxin-specific training prior to application.
    • Requires more specific record keeping of applications, including checking for the presence of sensitive crops in the area.
    • Do not spray when wind is blowing in the direction of neighboring sensitive crops, including non-Xtend crops. The label more clearly states that this restriction includes non-Xtend soybeans.
    • Restricts applications to wind speeds between 3 and 10 mph. Reduced maximum wind speed from 15 mph in 2017 and prohibits all applications at less than 3 mph when temperature inversions are more likely to occur.
    • Prohibits applications between sundown and sunrise. All applications prohibited during temperature inversions regardless of time of day.
    • Restricts the maximum application ground speed to less than 15 mph, with 5 mph recommended on field edges.
    • Thoroughly clean spray equipment before and after application. Must be documented.
    • Use an approved buffering agent if the water source or tank mix components result in an acidic spray solution less than pH 5.
    In addition, remember that AMS is not allowed with any of these products because it greatly increases the volatility of dicamba. Approved tank-mixes, adjuvants, spray tips, and maximum pressures are still presented at the corresponding websites for each respective product as listed below:

            Xtendimax: www.xtendimaxapplicationrequirements.com
            Engenia: www.engeniatankmix.com

    There is still a great deal of debate in the scientific community about the degree of vapor drift that might be occurring from dicamba applications. Most of the new application guidelines are directed more towards minimizing physical spray drift vs vapor drift. The time-of-day restrictions are intended to help reduce applications during temperature inversions which could result in greater off-target movement from both fine droplets and vapor. Be aware that the majority of problems seemed to occur from post-emergence applications made after soybeans were emerged and during warmer conditions. Applications earlier in the season may help minimize off-target issues.

    So what are temperature inversions? In the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere that reaches the earth’s surface, temperature typically declines as altitude increases. This rough estimation of temperature with height doesn’t always fit the situation due to weather, terrain, and solar radiation. Anomalies in the lowest layer of the atmosphere occur when temperatures increase with height due to these factors. These anomalies are called inversions. When cooler, higher density air, is in place under warm, less dense air the atmosphere can behave much differently than expected. These differences include poor air dispersion, light winds, and fog.

    How can you tell in the field if an inversion is present? More often than not, there is no simple way to determine the presence of an inversion. You absolutely must take temperature measurements at two different heights to determine the change in temperature with height. Occasionally, there are some visual indicators of an inversion. A few indicators might be low lying fog in valleys, low points, and over different ground cover along with frost or dew on the ground.

    The KSU Weather Data Library does have stations around the state of Kansas that NOW provides these different height temperatures on the “Mesonet.” Our Post Rock Extension District stations are in Jewell, Mitchell and Osborne counties. The KSU Mesonet “inversion” data website is http://mesonet.k-state.edu/agriculture/inversion/.

    KSU weed specialists stress to keep in mind that additional restrictions may be implemented by state regulatory agencies. If you have further questions on chemical restrictions, contact me at any Post Rock Extension District Office in Beloit, Lincoln, Mankato, Osborne or Smith Center.

    Post Rock Extension District of K-State Research and Extension serves Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Osborne, and Smith counties. Sandra may be contacted at swick@ksu.edu or by calling Smith Center, 282-6823, Beloit 738-3597, Lincoln 524-4432, Mankato 378-3174, or Osborne 346-2521. Join us on Facebook at “Post Rock Extension” along with our blog site at “postrockextension.blogspot.com. Also remember our website is www.postrock.ksu.edu and my twitter account is @PRDcrops.

    Monday, October 23, 2017

    Emergency Preparedness Night

    Ashley Svaty, Nutrition, Food Safety and Health Agent

    If your home or office was affected by a disaster, would you be prepared? Would you have a supply kit available and a plan of action to keep you and your family safe? If not, now is the time to prepare.

    Join us this Saturday, October 28th from 4-7pm for Zombie Preparedness Night at The Vesper Community Center. Post Rock District will join other area preparedness agencies to help you prepare for unexpected events. Our agents will provide resources to build your own financial grab-and-go kit and emergency food supply kit. Other booths will provide various emergency preparation information and resources to assist your family develop a plan. Three bicycles and a fire safe will be given away during this event.

    Tuesday, October 10, 2017

    PLANTING FALL BULBS FOR SPRING COLOR

    Cassie Homan, Horticulture Agent

    Who doesn’t love stepping outside on a crisp spring morning and seeing the first signs of green life after a long winter. Bulbs are often the first plants to make an appearance in the spring and add a beautiful pop of color to the landscape. Enjoying these spring beauties means a little extra work planting them in the fall, then forgetting about them until spring.

    The avid gardener knows that sweater weather means it’s probably time to start cleaning up the garden. It’s also the perfect time to plant spring flowering bulbs. For north central Kansas, late September through early October is an ideal time for our Zone 6, climate hardiness zone. If you want to add a minimal care, showy plant, into your landscape follow these tips for mastering bulbs.

    Choosing your bulbs:
    In the fall bulbs show up everywhere, they can be found in garden stores, ordered from catalogs, or picked up in local supermarkets. When choosing bulbs, you want to examine each one for quality. It should be firm with a papery covering and free from mold. Look for bulbs that are large, the larger the bulb the bigger and more beautiful the bloom will be. You could choose a diverse number of varieties to bloom throughout the spring and summer or stick to a few fun, colorful, blooms. If deer or wildlife are a problem in your garden, you should choose bulbs such as allium, crocus, iris, and daffodil. Have fun when picking bulbs by choosing new cultivars or even trading with neighbors.


    Planting:
    Fall is a great time to plant bulbs because they need to develop their roots and must meet a chilling requirement over the winter in order to bloom in the spring. Pick a site where the bulbs will receive full sun to partial shade. The soil needs to have good aeration and adequate drainage. A sandy loam is preferred but you can always amend your soil type by adding peat moss, compost, or aged bark. The depth of planting varies by the size and variety of bulb. A general rule is 2-3 times deep as the bulb is tall. For example, if you are planting a tulip or hyacinth bulb set them about 6 inches into the soil. Always remember to place the bulb with the point up, so the roots are in the right position. Space the bulbs using the same general measurement. For an attractive design, plant bulbs in clumps or informal masses, rather than singly. When planting it is best to add a fertilizer such as bone meal that is high in phosphorus in the bottom of each planting hole.

    Care:
    Bulbs are relatively low maintenance, you can practically plant them in the fall and forget about them until they pop up in the spring. Check once in a while to make sure the soil is moist but not soggy. Small bulbs will also benefit from adding a layer of mulch to prevent being heaved out of soil by alternate freezing and thawing. In the spring cut off flowers that have faded but don’t cut the leaves until they have turned yellow and withered. This allows more energy to be transferred and stored in the bulb.

    Bulbs are fun and easy to work with. They require minimal care once properly planted, they will reward you every spring with a wonderful show of color. For further information on planting bulbs, contact Cassie at any Post Rock Extension District Office in Beloit, Lincoln, Mankato, Osborne or Smith Center, or email choman@ksu.edu

    Wednesday, October 4, 2017

    How to Support Youth After Traumatic Events

    Nora Rhoades, Family and Youth Development Agent.

    Children can face emotional strains after traumatic events, such as accidents, disasters, and witnessing and/or being victims of violence. Understanding how children and youth may react and caring for them in an age appropriate way are critical to their healing and future well-being, but it can be difficult to know what to do. Below are some resources you may find helpful as you support children and youth after traumatic events.
    • Parenting a Child Who Has Experienced Trauma: This factsheet discusses the nature of trauma, especially abuse or neglect, the effects of trauma on children and youth, and ways to help a child who has experienced trauma. Parents or foster parents who do not understand the effects of trauma may misinterpret their child’s behavior, and attempts to address troubling behavior may be ineffective or, in some cases, even harmful. By understanding trauma, parents and foster parents can help support a child’s healing, the parent-child relationship, and their family as a whole. (Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway)
    Information for this blog article has been adapted from the National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families, Newsletter, Issue 57, October 2017. The Post Rock District of K-State Research and Extension serves Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Osborne, and Smith Counties. Nora Rhoades, Family and Youth Development Agent, may be contacted at nrhoades@ksu.edu or by calling the office in Osborne 346-2521, Beloit 738-3597, Lincoln 524-4432, Mankato 378-3174, or Smith Center 282-6823. Stay connected with “Post Rock Extension” on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Our website is www.postrock.ksu.edu.

    Tuesday, October 3, 2017

    Creating a Financial Grab-and-Go Kit

    Nora Rhoades, Family and Youth Development Agent

    The content in this article was published on 9-18-17 in the K-State Research and Extension Prepare Kansas blog by Family Resource Management Specialist, Elizabeth Kiss.

    If you had a few precious minutes to leave your home or office, what would you take?

    It’s a good idea to have an updated financial grab-and-go kit.

    Why is this important? If you have your most important documents and information at hand in a grab-and-go kit, it can help to get you back on firm financial footing more quickly.

    Your kit should be a waterproof, fireproof container that can be taken with you at a moment’s notice. Be sure to keep it in a secure place in your home.

    What should you include in your kit? At a minimum you’ll want to have some cash and the financial information and personal identification needed to conduct your day-to-day financial life.

    Other information to include in your grab-and-go kit:
    • Personal information such as copies of driver’s licenses, passport, and social security cards and key documents that may be needed to restore your financial records
    • Account information such as financial account numbers; copies of ATM, debit, and credit cards; insurance cards, policies, or other proof of insurance coverage; and contact information for all financial service and insurance providers
    • Household inventory
    • Safe deposit key
    • Information about prescription medication
    • Contact information (phone, email, or web site) for family members, doctors, veterinarians
    • Pocket notebook and pen or pencil
    • Family records, such as birth, marriage, or death certificates may be kept in a safe deposit box. If they are, consider making copies for your grab-and-go box. Other items that may be in safe deposit box include wills, contracts, deeds, stocks, and bond as well as titles to vehicles. Again, if the original is in a safe deposit box, you still may want to make copies for your grab-and-go box.
    Want to learn more? Download this fact sheet from the K-State Research and Extension bookstore https://www.bookstore.ksre.k-state.edu/pubs/MF3055.pdf

    Thursday, September 28, 2017

    Suflower Supreme Heifer Program

    Sunflower Supreme Heifer meeting flyer
    Barrett Simon, Livestock Agent

    This September, Kansas farmers and ranchers have an opportunity to raise a new variety of sunflowers as the Sunflower Supreme Replacement Heifer Program expands into central Kansas. A joint effort between K-State Research and Extension and the Kansas Department of Agriculture, the Sunflower Supreme Replacement Heifer Program provides research-based best management protocols for beef cattle producers seeking to add value to their herds. Not only does the program provide cattlemen and women with important reproduction and health management protocols, it also provides marketing opportunities for heifers enrolled in the program.

    The Sunflower Supreme Heifer Program, established in southeast Kansas in 2013, has provided opportunities for herd improvement and value-added marketing. As interest has grown, producers statewide have asked for this practical method of developing and marketing heifers to expand throughout Kansas, and the first region for expansion will be in central Kansas beginning in fall 2017. Producers who enroll heifers this fall will have the option to market heifers that meet specific program guidelines at a special sale to be held in Salina in 2018. As demand grows, additional marketing opportunities will be added.

    Just as it takes careful consideration to add sunflowers into a farmer’s crop rotation, beef producers must have a strong understanding of the Sunflower Supreme Program as they evaluate if it is a good fit for their operation. In order to provide opportunity for learning and discussion, we have scheduled an educational, producer focused meeting within the Post Rock District. On October 11th in Downs, K-State Research and Extension specialists will share with producers how they can enhance their operation through participation and inform potential buyers on the value and assurance that comes with the purchase of a Sunflower Supreme heifer. There is no cost to attend, but RSVP’s are appreciated. For more information please see the Sunflower Supreme Heifer meeting flyer.

    Post Rock Extension District of K-State Research and Extension serves Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Osborne, and Smith counties. Barrett Simon may be contacted at the Mankato Office, 785-378-3174 or at barrett8@ksu.edu.

    Wednesday, September 20, 2017

    What are the Risks of Planting Wheat Early?

    Sandra Wick, Crop Production Agent

    Producers are in the field, or soon will be, planting their 2018 wheat crop. It is always interesting to watch when wheat planting begins in north central Kansas. Because of our dry conditions, producers may be a little hesitate to start putting the wheat seed in the ground. Let’s hope that we receive some much needed rain soon!

    The general target date for planting wheat for optimum grain yields in Kansas is within a week of the best pest management planting date, or BPMP (formerly known as the “Hessian fly-free”) date. If grain yields are the primary goal, then waiting until the BPMP date to start planting is the best approach. Our optimum wheat planting dates for north central Kansas range from September 15 to October 20. The BPMP dates for the Post Rock Extension District ranges from September 29 in Jewell and Smith counties to October 4 in Lincoln with Osborne and Mitchell counties in between those dates.

    In some years, earlier-planted wheat does best and some years the later-planted wheat does best. For instance, early-planted fields during 2016-17 had a better final stand as compared to later-planted ones in western Kansas, mostly due to lack of moisture for later planted fields. If fields become too wet to plant by mid-October and stay that way through the remainder of the fall, then producers end up planting much later than the optimum planting date, and this is an incentive to start planting earlier than the BPMP or fly-free date if soil conditions are good. Ideally, producers should not start planting much earlier than the BPMP date, which can seem quite late to some especially in south central Kansas. Several problems can arise from planting too early:

    Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus
    • Increased risk of wheat streak mosaic and related diseases. In 2017, there was a wide-spread infection of the Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus in wheat across Kansas due to abundance of volunteer wheat. Wheat curl mites survive over the summer on living plant tissue of volunteer wheat and certain other grasses. As soon as those host plants die off, the wheat curl mites leave and start searching for a new source of living plant tissue. Dr. Erick DeWolf, K-State Research and Extension Plant Pathologist, reminds producers, “Wheat that is planted early is likely to become infested, and thus become infected with wheat streak mosaic, high plains virus, or the Triticum mosaic virus.” The wheat curl mites can normally move about a half mile or sometimes up to 2 miles through the air before dying, so if wheat is planted early, make sure all volunteer wheat within at least a half-mile is completely dead at least two weeks before planting.
    • Increased risk of Hessian fly. “Over the summer, Hessian fly pupae live in the old crowns of wheat residue,” according to Dr. Jeff Whitworth, K-State Research and Extension Entomologist. After the first good soaking rain in late summer or early fall, these pupae (or “flaxseed”) will hatch out as adult Hessian flies and start looking for live wheat plants to lay eggs on. They are most likely to find either volunteer wheat or early-planted wheat at that time. After the BPMP date, many of the adult Hessian fly will have laid their eggs, so there is generally less risk of Hessian fly infestation for wheat planted after that date. Hessian fly adult activity has been noted through November or even early December in Kansas.
    Barley Yellow Dwarf
    • Increased risk of barley yellow dwarf. The vectors of barley yellow dwarf are greenbugs and bird cherry-oat aphids. These insects are more likely to infest wheat during warm weather early in the fall than during cooler weather. A purplish discoloration of the “tips” can occur. There are 25+ species of aphids capable of vectoring barley yellow dwarf of which bird cherry oat aphids and greenbugs are probably the most common in Kansas.
    • Increased risk of excessive fall growth and excessive fall tillering. Dr. Romulo Lollato, K-State Research and Extension Wheat and Forage specialist, stresses that for optimum grain yields and winter survival, the goal is for wheat plants to head into winter with established crown roots and 3-5 tillers. Wheat that is planted early can grow much more than this, especially if moisture and nitrogen levels are good. If wheat gets too lush in the fall, it can use up too much soil moisture in unproductive vegetative growth and become more susceptible to drought stress in the spring if conditions are dry.
    • Increased risk of take-all, dryland foot rot, and common root rot. Take-all is usually worse on early-planted wheat than on later-planted wheat. So one of the ways to avoid dryland foot rot is to avoid early seeding. Early planting promotes large plants that more often become water stressed in the fall predisposing them to invasion by the fungi. Early planting of wheat also favors common root rot because this gives the root rot fungi more time to invade and colonize root and crown tissue.
    • Grassy weed infestations become more expensive to control. If cheatgrass, downy brome, Japanese brome, or annual rye come up before the wheat is planted, they can be controlled with glyphosate or tillage. If wheat is planted early and these grassy weeds come up after the wheat has emerged, producers will have to use an appropriate grass herbicide to control them.
    • Germination problems due to high soil temperatures. Generally, early planted wheat is drilled in hotter soils, which could be a problem as some varieties won’t germinate when soil temperatures are greater than 85°F. “If planting early, it is important to select varieties that do not have high-temperature germination sensitivity and plant sensitive varieties later in the fall,” according Lollato.
    • Germination problems due to shortened coleoptile length. Hotter soils tend to decrease the coleoptile length of the germinating wheat. Therefore, deeply planted wheat may not have a long-enough coleoptile to break through the soil surface and may result in decreased emergence and poor stand establishment. Because of the shortened coleoptile length, it is preferable to “dust” the wheat in at a shallower depth (3/4 to 1 inch deep) when early planting wheat than trying to reach moisture in deeper layers if soil moisture is absent from the top inch of the soil profile.

    If you have further questions on wheat production, contact me at any Post Rock Extension District Office in Beloit, Lincoln, Mankato, Osborne or Smith Center.

    Post Rock Extension District of K-State Research and Extension serves Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Osborne, and Smith counties. Sandra may be contacted at swick@ksu.edu or by calling Smith Center, 282-6823, Beloit 738-3597, Lincoln 524-4432, Mankato 378-3174, or Osborne 346-2521. Join us on Facebook at “Post Rock Extension” along with our blog site at postrockextension.blogspot.com. Also remember our website is www.postrock.ksu.edu and my twitter account is @PRDcrops.

    Friday, September 15, 2017

    Tips for Creating a Household Inventory

    Nora Rhoades, Family and Youth Development Agent

    We’ve had drought, wildfires, a spring blizzard, flooding, tornadoes, hazardous wind, and extreme heat advisories in Kansas this year and it is only September. Disasters do not plan ahead, but that doesn’t mean you can’t.

    Being prepared for the disasters that may affect your home, business and community is important. Taking inventory of what you have and recording it is a good place to start. After all, you do not know where to get back to if you don’t know where you started, right?

    In the middle of a crisis when there’s so much on your mind, it’s hard to remember every detail. An accurate inventory is a necessity, whether you’re a homeowner, business manager, or a renter. Emergencies and disasters may result in insurance claims. Your insurance company will likely require a listing of items lost or destroyed in order to document the claim. A household inventory is an itemized list of the contents of your home, including basement, attic, and garage.

    While it is true there is an initial investment of time and effort in preparing the inventory from scratch, once completed it will be useful into the future with regular updating. Elizabeth Kiss, K-State Research and Extension Family Resource Management Specialist, provides the following tips to help you prepare and update your inventory.

    • Household inventories can take many forms. Use the format that best suits your needs. Don’t get hung up on being perfect, if you are starting from scratch focus on the big ticket and hard to replace items.
    • When describing furnishings and equipment, be as specific and accurate as possible. Include the original cost, date purchased, any alternations or repairs done on the item, and corresponding cost.
    • Photograph or videotape every wall in each room of your home and storage areas. Include open closets, cabinets, cupboards, and drawers. Take close-ups of unique or expensive items to document their condition, and strive to date photographs. When videotaping, verbally describe the contents as you move around the room.
    • Remember to include personal items stored away from home such as in a vehicle. If you have sheds or storage areas on your property or if you rent a storage unit somewhere else, be sure to include a list of the contents of those. You will also want to consider if any valuables are stored where you work, worship, or even in a school locker.
    • Save copies in more than one format and in more than one place. Keep a working document (paper or electronic) of your inventory on site plus store copies in a few places away from the insured dwelling, such as in a safety deposit box, with a trusted person, on a flash drive, or on a virtual storage cloud.
    • Add newly acquired items to your inventory and include a new photo or video. Update the inventory when items are discarded. Set aside a little time each year to make these updates. One idea is make it an annual habit to participate in Prepare Kansas each September.

    What is Prepare Kansas?

    Prepare Kansas is a free online challenge for all Kansans and others available through the K-State Research and Extension Facebook Page. Prepare Kansas runs through September to coincide with National Preparedness Month, coordinated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    Prepare Kansas shares information, links and resources, which can make recovery smoother and faster. Participants are encouraged to engage in challenges throughout the month, providing accountability as you personally take steps to prepare for potential disasters. Contact your local Post Rock District Office if you need assistance accessing resources or to learn more about #PrepareKansas.

    Wednesday, September 13, 2017

    PUMPKIN SPICE IS IN THE AIR

    Ashley Svaty, Nutrition, Food Safety and Health Agent

    Pumpkin spice. Two words that start to take over this time of year. Everywhere you look there is pumpkin spice flavored everything! But what exactly is pumpkin spice? Pumpkin spice is a mixture of 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice, and 1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves.

    Not only do foods and beverages with pumpkin and pumpkin spice taste delicious but they can also be nutritious. A ½ cup of canned pumpkin provides 16% of the daily recommended amount of fiber, more than a day’s worth of vitamin A and is also a good source of Vitamin C.

    But before you indulge in the many processed pumpkin spice items check out the Nutrition Facts Label to make sure they’re not full of sugar. It’s not uncommon for some popular pumpkin spice drinks to be loaded with 3 or more times the daily recommended amount of sugar in one drink! The American Heart Association recommends that women should consume no more than 25 grams and men no more than 36g of sugar a day.

    If you are looking for nutritious and creative ways to add more pumpkin spice to your diet without the high amounts of sugar check out the recipes below or University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Perfectly Pumpkin Recipe Collection


    PUMPKIN SPICE OVERNIGHT OATS

    Ingredients                                              Makes 1 serving

    • 1/2 cup rolled oats
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any type of milk)
    • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
    • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
    • 2 Tbsp pumpkin puree
    • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
    • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    • Pinch of salt

    Directions: Stir together all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add to a mason jar with a fitted lid. Refrigerate and store overnight.

    Per Serving: 330 calories, 7 g fat, 50 g carbohydrate, 17 g protein, 8 g dietary fiber, 280 mg sodium

    Source: American Institute for Cancer Research http://bit.ly/2w4Ma8u


     
    SPICY PUMPKIN SHAKE

    • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
       (NOT canned pumpkin pie MIX)
    • 1/3 cup nonfat milk
    • 1 cup low-fat frozen vanilla yogurt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


    Directions: Add all ingredients to a blender. Cover and blend on high until smooth. If desired, garnish with a dash of pumpkin pie spice.

    Recipe source: Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension

    Friday, September 8, 2017

    4-H Members Learn & Practice Parliamentary Procedure

    Aliesa Woods, 4-H Youth Development Agent

    For anyone who wishes to be active in a board, association, or other community group, learning the basics of parliamentary procedure is both desirable and achievable. The 4-H club model provides an excellent opportunity for youth to experience, practice and learn parliamentary procedure. Participating in a club business meeting gives members an opportunity to plan, evaluate, discuss ideas, and set goals – all important life skills.

    Parliamentary procedure provides a framework that encourages all members to have a voice in their club. Robert’s Rules of Order is that standard reference for business meetings and is commonly used. Club officers as well as club members learn the appropriate parliamentary procedures they are going to use in making club decisions. The youth who are learning how to run a good meeting in 4-H today will benefit later in life. Our communities will gain in the process because youth will know how to participate in a democracy. Business meeting are held in all career fields. Good meetings help to get things done, poor meeting don’t.

    Club leaders and adult volunteers are essential to assisting our youth learn proper parliamentary procedure. Leaders help to train our club officers and assist them in carrying out their responsibilities throughout the year.

    Ready to test your parliamentary procedure? Here is a short quiz with the answers at the bottom.

    1. Members should rise and address whom when presenting a motion?
    2. After one person presents a motion, another person offers a ___________ to the motion.
    3. The person presenting the second to the motion should rise and address the chair. True or False
    4. The secretary should sit down when minutes are read. True or False
    5. Every meeting should have an outline or an ___________.
    6. A motion can be withdrawn by any person any time. True or False
    7. To introduce a business item does one say “I move to make a motion that …” or “I make a motion that …”?
    8. When a motion has corrections made to it, this is called an ____________.
    9. Tabling a motion may occur if there is not enough information to vote on the motion. True or False
    10. The minimum number of members who must be present to conduct business is called a ___________.

    If you are ready to join 4-H, are just looking to learn more about 4‑H programs in your area or to learn more about parliamentary procedure visit www.kansas4-h.org or contact me at awoods@ksu.edu and I would be happy to assist you.

    ANSWERS  1) President; 2) Second; 3) False; 4) False; 5) Agenda; 6) False; 7) I move to make a motion; 8) Amendment; 9) True; 10) Quorum
     

    Tuesday, September 5, 2017

    Creating the Perfect Fall Garden

    Cassie Homan, Horticulture Agent

    Do you need a second chance with your garden this year? Lucky for you, fall is an excellent time for gardening in Kansas. Growing conditions are cooler in fall than spring, resulting in higher yields and better flavor. Some plants actually prefer the cooler temperatures and shorter days of fall.

    Planting a fall garden is just like planting a spring garden with some big advantages. You will find the weed pressure to be much less and insect problems may be far fewer than in a spring garden. Seeds will germinate rapidly, so you will have crops up and growing in just a few days, compared to several weeks in the spring. Here’s some tips to planning your fall garden.

    What to Plant
    Space available and vegetable preference will influence the choice of crops to plant for fall production. With attention to watering and pest control, many vegetables that are already growing in the garden will continue to produce into the fall months. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts make excellent fall crops. Plant seeds rather than transplants. When young plants are a half inch tall, thin them to one plant per foot of row. Beets and carrots are also great choices. A light cover of sand or compost over the row will prevent soil crusting and improve emergence. Don’t forget to give veggies enough water to germinate, and throughout the season, if we don’t receive adequate rain fall. The cooler days and chilly nights of fall make it a great season to produce leafy greens such as spinach, kale, lettuce, collard greens, Swiss chard, and arugula. Plant these nutritious crops from now until early September and you will have a garden full of salad within a month. When light frosts hit in the beginning of winter, most of these greens can hold their ground and develop sweeter flavors.

    Fertilizing
    Too much fertilizer may damage young, tender plants, so use fertilizer sparingly at this time of year. In general, 1-2 lbs. per 100 square feet of a low-analysis, all-purpose garden fertilizer should be sufficient to produce a successful crop. Extensive soil preparation is not needed, avoid deep tillage as it may dry out soil moisture. A light soil cultivation will loosen the soil to prepare the seedbed. Additional amounts of fertilizer may be needed later in the season to ensure maximum plant growth and production.

    Establishing Vegetables in Heat
    Fall gardeners will find that establishing a garden during the summer when soil temperatures are extremely high is difficult. One way to avoid seeding in adverse conditions is to establish plants in containers or pots for transplanting to the garden later in the season as the weather begins to cool. Crops like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower can be grown in cooler protected area, or under lights in a basement growing area for 2-4 weeks prior to setting in the garden. Remember to climatize the crops for several days before transplanting directly in the garden. Place flats in the sun and provide adequate water for a few days to allow the plants to become accustomed to the stronger winds, hot sun, and the harsh environment of the Kansas garden.

    Take advantage of the start of this cooler season to spend some time in your garden. You may find that gardening becomes more enjoyable in the fall, with less heat, watering, and weeding. Get creative and have fun growing a fall garden.

    For further information on creating a fall garden, contact me at any Post Rock Extension District Office in Beloit, Lincoln, Mankato, Osborne or Smith Center, or email choman@ksu.edu.