In today’s Better Kansas, we share information on cooking with herbs and spices; saving, sharing and budgeting; wheel bugs; Kansas Forest Service tree and shrub sale; a soybean disease and recent agricultural research in southwest Kansas. This is a small glimpse of what K-State Research and Extension across the state has to offer. Share on social media and subscribe! – Mary Lou Peter email@example.com
Better Living, Better Communities
MAYBE YOU’RE ONE OF THOSE COOKS WHO JUST THROWS THINGS TOGETHER and the result is always absolutely scrumptious? I’m so envious! Many of the rest of us are less adventurous and can use some tips. Seasoning with herbs and spices is a wonderful resource that suggests which flavors tend to go with particular meats or vegetables, plus really useful information about health benefits of some herbs and spices. There are even tips about growing them and storing them. Did you know that turmeric fights inflammation? And cinnamon inhibits foodborne bacteria? Things to think about … and live with.
LAST WEEK I SHARED AN ITEM ON HOLIDAY SHOPPING. It’s never too early! Just don’t do like I do occasionally and put those early purchases in a closet, only to be forgotten until after the gift-giving occasion. This week we delve into family budgeting. Don’t let the name deceive you…. the factsheet is relevant if you’re a family of one … aka “me, myself and I” … or a crew of 10. Take a look at Spend Some, Save Some, Share Some: Family Budgeting for tips and reminders. Plus, it has information about typical families’ spending for such expenses as housing, food, transportation and healthcare, so you get an idea how your spending and saving compares. Don’t know about you but I’m all for reminders!
YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED, I LIKE WRITING ABOUT BUGS and this week I’m bringing information about wheel bugs, also called assassin bugs. Honestly, I just really like the names. Apparently, they’re all around us. It sounds like they don’t go out of their way to get in OUR way, but they’re intimidating enough I’d probably steer clear if I saw one. Unfortunately for a lot of other insects, these bugs are voracious predators that feed on caterpillars, beetles, aphids, ladybird beetles and honey bees.
Better Farming, Ranching and Gardening
WITH SEPTEMBER COMES THE START OF THE KANSAS FOREST SERVICE TREE AND SHRUB SEEDLING SALE. The sale starts Sept. 1 and is a great way to get low-cost tree and shrub seedlings that can be used as conservation plantings. Think windbreaks, wildlife habitat, timber plantations or riparian (streambank) plantings – anyplace where you need a number of trees or shrubs to enhance the environment on your property. A wide variety of species is available, everything from Bur oak to False Indigo to Shagbark Hickory plus many others. Some are even designated as supportive of butterflies, bees or other pollinators. The trees come in packages of 25 per species. For more information, take a look at a recent news article or order on the Kansas Forest Service website.
A DISEASE FIRST FOUND IN SOYBEANS IN 1971 CALLED SUDDEN DEATH SYNDROME is showing up in Kansas this summer. Fields in the Kansas River Valley are reportedly affected by the soilborne fungus which can cut yields by up to 25%. SDS favors wet conditions, so is usually most severe in irrigated fields or dryland areas that received significant rain. And interestingly … it tends to be most severe on well-managed fields that have a high yield potential. Apparently, it knows a good thing when it sees it.
“KANSAS IS A VERY BIG STATE,” said anyone who’s ever driven across it. Plus, differences in the weather and soils from one part of the state to another mean farming in southwest Kansas, where it tends to be drier, is different than farming in southeast or northeast Kansas, which typically receive more precipitation. That’s part of why agricultural research is conducted in various parts of the state – to see how new crop varieties and management practices are suited for particular areas. Soybeans that do well in northeast Kansas may underperform in southwest areas and vice versa. Check out some of the latest southwest findings in the K-State Southwest Research-Extension Reports.
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: https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/news/blogs/