Friday, January 25, 2019

Caring for Yourself to Care for Others

Nora Rhoades, Family and Youth Development Agent

Taking care of yourself makes it easier to care, share and connect with your partner and your family. Here are some tips:

  • Avoid accusatory statements so the listener is more willing to respond positively.

  • To feel good and have more energy for family activities, make healthier choices about what to eat.Try to eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and fewer foods with sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients.

  • Use humor to lighten the mood during challenging times. Humor can help manage stress and ease tension for you and those around you.

  • Think positively about your life to improve both your well-being and your relationships.Try to view roadblocks as opportunities to learn and be optimistic about the future.

For more tips to help improve your self-care, checkout the resource Caring for Yourself to Care for Others at

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

How do I determine how much nitrogen my wheat crop needs for the topdress application?

Sandra Wick, Crop Production Agent
You might think it is too early to think about fertility management for your wheat, but now is a good time to start planning for your topdressing nitrogen (N) application on your winter wheat crop.   The first task is to access or evaluate your wheat stand to determine the potential of your crop.  This might be a rather challenging decision as some of the wheat in many fields is small due to late planting and the unusual wet conditions this fall and winter.  So there are some key elements that need to be considered when deciding on exactly what to do.  These include timing, N source, application method or placement and N rate.
“Timing is the key for your topdress application as the N in your topdress application needs to be into the root zone, with precipitation, by rapid plant growth and nitrogen uptake well before jointing begins in order to be most efficiently utilized by wheat,” according to Dr. Dorivar Ruiz Diaz, K-State Research and Extension Nutrient Management specialist. With some of the wheat out there with fairly limited growth, having adequate N available to support spring tillering when it breaks dormancy will be important. The following will discuss some of the issues to consider when making topdressing decisions. 
While some producers often wait until spring just prior to jointing, this can be too late in some years, especially when little or no N was applied in the fall. For the well-drained medium-to fine-textured soils that dominate our wheat acres, the odds of losing much of the N that is topdress-applied in the winter is low since we typically don’t get enough precipitation over the winter to cause significant denitrification or leaching. For these soils, topdressing can begin anytime now, and usually the earlier the better.  However, remember there are conditions when it is NOT recommended to apply nitrogen such as frozen ground or snow covered where runoff can occur and interfere with the distribution of the nitrogen.
The next factor that can affect the efficiency of the topdress application is the application method or placement.  Most topdressing is broadcast applied. In high-residue situations, this can result in some immobilization or “tie-up” of N, especially where liquid UAN is used. “If no herbicides are applied with the N, producers can get some benefit from applying the N in a dribble band on 15- to 18-inch centers,” added Ruiz Diaz.  This can minimize immobilization and may provide for a little more consistent crop response.
Source is another important factor in nitrogen utilization.  The typical sources of N used for topdressing wheat are UAN solution and dry urea. Numerous trials by K-State over the years have shown that both are equally effective. In no-till situations, there may be some slight advantage to applying dry urea since some of it will fall to the soil surface and be less affected by immobilization than broadcast liquid UAN, which tends to get hung up on surface residue.
Lastly, but certainly not the least is the rate.  As discussed earlier, the rate would depend on the potential of the crop or more ideally, based on soil tests, specifically a profile N test, that was collected on your fields.  It is not too late to use the profile N soil test if taken in late winter/very early spring before the wheat greens up. While it won’t be as accurate as when sampled in the fall, it can still point out fields or areas in fields with high levels of available nitrate N.  Remember, topdressing should complement or supplement the N applied in the fall and the residual soil N present in the soil. The total N application, at planting and topdressing, should equal the target recommended rate.
To address the nutrient management topic, our Post Rock Extension District will be hosting a “Nutrient Management Update” meeting on Thursday, February 14 in Jewell at the Community Center.  The meeting will start at 10:00 a.m. and include at 12:30 p.m.   Lunch will be served following the program.  CCA and CEU credits available.  10 registered participants are needed to hold the meeting.   RSVP is requested by Monday, February 11 either ONLINE at or to any of our Post Rock District Offices in Beloit, Lincoln, Mankato, Osborne or Smith Center.  NO COST, thanks to our sponsor Randall Farmers Coop Union. 
For further questions on nitrogen management in your wheat, contact me at any Post Rock Extension District Offices 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.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Taking Time for You

Ashley Svaty, Nutrition, Food Safety and Health Agent

Life is busy and as a result you may neglect your own well-being.  This can lead to stress, irritability, moodiness, and even depression.  Proper self-care can improve mood and daily productivity.  By taking care of yourself you will be more relaxed, content, stronger, better able to help others, and more confident. 

It is mentally healthy to take breaks from life’s daily routine, and such breaks should not come with guilt.  Slipping away from your daily routine doesn’t have to occur for extended periods of time-it can mean taking a bath, reading a book, walking your pet, playing with your kids or grandkids, or going to your bedroom with your door closed to sit in solitude for a bit. Sometimes it can be hard to find time for your self-care, but to-do lists can help. To-do lists allow you to prioritize due dates, short-and long-term goals, and rank importance which can help you feel more control and balance. Crossing items off to-do lists can be empowering because it’s a mental reminder that you are making progress.

One way that you can take time for yourself is to relax.  Relaxation is the body’s natural unwinding technique and has been referred to as the single most important key to health and well-being.  Relaxation allows you to experience more energy, sleep better, build up your immunity, concentrate better, and much more.  Relaxation can occur through taking a hot bath, reading a book, getting a massage or even taking a few deep breaths. 

Taking care of yourself by eating a nutritious diet and increasing your physical activity are also highly important. Exercise affects overall physical and mental well-being.  It increases strength, cardiovascular conditioning, flexibility, balance, and muscle mass.  It also boosts self-esteem along with confidence and helps lower stress and anxiety. Adding a 10-minute calming walk to your to-do list is a fantastic way to sneak in daily self-care. Wholesome, nutritious foods provide you with more energy, combat depression by keeping your brain functioning at its best, and prevent numerous other health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancers.

Finding humor in daily situations and laughing more throughout your day is truly the best medicine.  Laughter has the ability to increase the “feel good” hormones in the body, called endorphins. Laughing more can reduce stress, lower depression and help your body heal. Watch a funny movie or show, go to a comedy club, take a comedy class, or simply laugh with a close friend or loved one.

In today’s busy world, you juggle multiple priorities and responsibilities and likely make time for others before making time for yourself. But remember that you are important too. Take time for yourself-even if it’s 10 minutes a day to allow yourself to be your true self. To view more on taking time for yourself, please visit the source of this blog in full here: