Better Kansas – Ideas for Living, Growing and Succeeding

Tag: Kansas Profile

Better Kansas – July 30, 2020

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In today’s Better Kansas, we get into changes in food labels, supporting rural communities, pesky squirrels, estimating corn yields and how and why calibrating sprayers is better for a farmer’s bottom line and the environment. 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

Better Living, Better Communities

IF YOU’RE A LABEL READER YOU MAY HAVE ALREADY NOTICED that improvements have been made to food labels to help us know better what’s in the food we eat. The enhancements start with larger print so we can actually SEE how many calories or fat are in one serving. Heck, we can now SEE how much one serving really is! To read up on some of the other improvements, take a look at this story: Nutrition expert says new food label is a ‘win’ for consumers. Talk about reading labels, I was a little surprised to learn the bag of chopped “salad kit” in my refrigerator was 3-1/2 servings. Wasn’t I supposed to eat it all in one sitting? And who eats 1/2 a serving of salad? At least now I know.


HELPING KEEP RURAL KANSAS COMMUNITIES VIBRANT is a goal of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development, so it highlights success stories in rural communities. By producing the weekly Kansas Profile blog and the weekly Kansas Profile radio feature (about four minutes), we learn about individuals, businesses and organizations that are making their communities better places to live and work. These reports out of rural communities such as Ottawa, Pomona, Ellinwood and Courtland are a great way to learn about people and groups that are contributing to their regions and making the entire state that much better. They’re an inspiration every week.

Better Farming, Ranching and Gardening








NEW NEIGHBORS MOVED IN BEHIND MY HOUSE and they are SO nervy. They lounge on my patio furniture, help themselves to my food and generally don’t respect my space! OK, the food is for the birds, but still! This pair of squirrels pushed me to look for information on … let’s just say … a relocation. Not great photos, I know, but when I asked these two to come back when the light was better, they scampered off like a couple of excited teenagers to meet up with friends. Notice the leg hanging off the chair. Now that is true relaxation! If you have such critters sharing your space, take a look at Tree Squirrels, which has information about the species of squirrels we have in Kansas, plus links to mini-videos about relocating them. Have to admire their athleticism, if nothing else.


AFTER THE PLANTING, GERMINATING AND NO SMALL AMOUNT OF STRESSING about precipitation (or lack of), corn growers can get an idea how their crops will yield and it’s not just guesswork. Once the plants tassel, silk and pollinate, there’s a way farmers can calculate how much corn they’ll be able to harvest. Check out Learn how to estimate corn yield potential in the latest Agronomy eUpdate. I remember using a method much like this years ago on a crop tour. It was all going smoothly until a grain buyer lost our rental car keys … in a corn field…. in the middle of Iowa. Amazingly, after 30 minutes or so, he found them! Those of you who have ever lost ANYTHING that small in a corn field know that it felt like a mini-miracle.


WITH PESTICIDE COSTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS BEING WHAT THEY ARE, using the correct amount of pesticide on a farm field to manage those yield-robbing weeds and insects is critical. For detailed information about sprayer calibration, including simple equations that can help with the calibrating process, see the fact sheet Calibrating Boom Sprayers. More information about programs, processes and educational opportunities in biological and agricultural engineering is available on the website.



SEVERAL READERS SENT MESSAGES THAT THE LINK TO THE MORNING GLORY ITEM in last week’s post was problematic, so I’m reposting with a link to the Agronomy eUpdate newsletter it came from in hopes this works better. Fingers crossed!

SURELY NOT! HOW CAN SOMETHING SO BEAUTIFUL BE SO DESTRUCTIVE? I’m talking about morning glories, known to scientists as Ipomoea spp. Their pretty purple, blue, pink or white flowers can be a gardener’s dream, right? But the vining, invasive plants spell trouble for farmers. Once they wind their way through corn, soybean or other farm fields, they can cut the amount of grain farmers harvest and can choke harvest equipment. Take a look at World of Weed: Morning glory for details, including management options.

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: