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

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:

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:

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 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 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 “ Also remember our website is 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


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!