Better Kansas – Ideas for Living, Growing and Succeeding

Better Kansas – Oct. 17, 2019

Header image for the Better Kansas BlogWelcome to Better Kansas, where every Thursday we shed light on events, resources and other information designed to make your life, businesses, communities and state better. Share on social media and don’t forget to subscribe! – Mary Lou Peter

Better Living, Better Communities

WE OFTEN HEAR HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE, but why? People who spend their lives studying these things say we should be taking in 10 to 15 cups of water a day to support our healthy selves: Our blood is 92% water, our muscles 75% water, even our bones are 25% water. I saw this helpful factsheet via the Geary County Extension office. It was put together by Iowa State Extension, but fortunately, like land grant universities across the country, they share. It even has a section on the pros and cons of bottled water. I still want my coffee in the morning, but I’ve learned if I have a tall cup of water sitting on my desk all day, I drink it! Give it a try.

A FEW YEARS AGO, A FRIEND GAVE ME HER MUFFIN RECIPE THAT CALLED FOR SPROUTED WHEAT FLOUR. Say what? I was a little late coming to the party about such things, but I’m told that sprouted grain flours are a great way to enhance nutrients in your diet. They’re a bit different to bake with, however. An entry in the You Asked It! newsletter provides more information on how to handle baking with sprouted wheat flours.

Better Farming, Ranching and Gardening

WHILE WE’RE ON THE SUBJECT OF WHEAT FLOUR, Kansas is known as ‘The Wheat State’ for a reason,  like the new variety, KS Dallas, developed by the wheat breeding program at K-State’s Western Kansas Agricultural Research Center in Hays. KS Dallas is a hard red winter wheat, the type typically used in yeast breads and rolls. It’s adapted to grow on semi-arid farmland like we have in western Kansas, but Oklahoma and Colorado growers will want to take note! Between this and the entry about sprouted wheat flour, I can almost smell the bread baking. KS Dallas is named for retired plant pathologist Dallas Seifers, who made huge contributions to our understanding of wheat disease resistance.

A DISEASE THAT SPREADS QUICKLY FROM ONE STEER TO ANOTHER, ONE HERD TO ANOTHER would be every cattle producer’s worst nightmare. With that in mind, the CattleTrace pilot project was launched last year in Kansas to develop a cattle disease traceability infrastructure. It’s now expanded to several states. To provide an update on the project and discuss next steps, the first-ever CattleTrace Industry Symposium is planned for Nov. 22, 2019 at the Kansas State University Student Union. The symposium is free. The registration deadline in Nov. 7. Check out Keeping Kansas beef on track: CattleTrace project aims to safeguard state’s $17b industry in the Seek Research Magazine for background and a video.

IF YOU’RE OUTSIDE THIS WEEKEND AND THINKING ABOUT PRUNING YOUR TREES AND SHRUBS, think again. The Oct. 8 Horticulture 2019 Newsletter says that woody plants’ ability to withstand wintry cold can be compromised by fall pruning.  Even light pruning of spring-blooming shrubs such as lilac and forsythia will reduce flowers next year. Apparently, the best time to prune shrubs that flower in the spring is right after blooming …. you know … back when some of us didn’t do it. There’s always next spring! The newsletter has other cool information on cleaning up iris beds (to avoid those nasty fungus and insect problems), how to tell the difference between a maple and an oak and more.

K-STATE’S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS has just published its 2019 Exchange newsletter to keep students, parents, prospective students, alumni and others up to date with opportunities for students, faculty activities and more. I’m the proud great aunt of a current ag econ major. He would be shy about me sharing his name, so I’d better not 😊.

For more resources and activities, contact the K-State Research and Extension office in your area. Check out our other blogs and subscribe to our weekly emails here: