In today’s Better Kansas, we explore insects, counting change, Alzheimer’s, garden topics, a weed survey and a swine nutrition study. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Better Living, Better Communities
A COUPLE OF BEES HAVE BEEN VISITING SPIREA BUSHES IN MY BACK YARD LATELY, but my granddaughter is afraid of them. I tried to explain how they were just going about their business flitting from one flower to the next gathering nectar and pollen, but she wasn’t convinced. There’s probably a reason I didn’t become a teacher! Fortunately, there are good entomology specialists and extension agents across the state who ARE good teachers. They routinely give presentations and write articles for homeowners, gardeners, farmers and ranchers about those tiny insect creatures who are patient enough to share their world with us. Plus, they give us bug jokes! Q: How do police departments control bugs? A: With their SWAT teams! Check out the latest Kansas Insect Newsletter. And for more in depth information, take a look at Household Pests of Kansas.
REMEMBER WHEN THE GROCERY STORE CASHIER COUNTED YOUR CHANGE BACK after a purchase? Some may be surprised to know that cash registers didn’t always tell store clerks how much change they were to give back. Instead, they counted the change back rather than hand you a wad of bills, pennies and nickels. That ensured to both buyer and seller that the amount of money coming back was accurate. I came across Counting Change the Old-Fashioned Way and thought you might want to give it a try with your kiddos or just give yourself a refresher. This brings back great memories of one of my first jobs … at a western store where I learned such valuable lessons! With debit cards and other ways to pay, it may be a moot point, but I still think it’s good to exercise that gray matter sometimes! An audio version of this information is also available.
MANY OF US HAVE BEEN AFFECTED BY ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE … MAYBE A FRIEND, AN UNCLE OR A NEIGHBOR. Incredibly, one in every 10 people over the age of 65, and a total of 5.5 million Americans, has this dreaded disease. Some of the signs MAY BE memory loss that disrupts your daily life, challenges in solving problems, difficulty completing familiar tasks at home or work or new problems with words in speaking or writing. If you have any question at all about your own health, it’s best to be checked by your medical provider. Whether the disease has touched your life or not, it’s good to know more about it. Alzheimer’s 101 provides basic information, including what you can do to stay as healthy as possible at any age.
Better Farming, Ranching and Gardening
SOMETIMES, OUT OF BAD THINGS COME REALLY GOOD THINGS. Because of COVID-19, we haven’t been able to attend garden tours and lectures in person this year, but a great alternative was created for us to learn from the comfort of our homes. K-State Garden Hour webinars have proven extremely popular and more topics have been added to the lineup this summer, including identifying garden insects, managing pesky weeds, nuisance wildlife, growing hydrangeas and more. For those who can’t participate live, the webinars are recorded, so you can go online any time to catch some good information, ALL FOR FREE! So much good stuff.
A BATTLE FARMERS FACE EVERY YEAR IS HOW TO MINIMIZE THE IMPACT OF MOISTURE- AND NUTRIENT-ROBBING WEEDS IN THEIR CROPS. And compounding the problem is the fact that even as herbicides are developed to keep weeds out of farm fields, the weeds adapt to resist those herbicides. At stake are billions of dollars in economic losses in North America alone, according to a seven-year study conducted by the Weed Science Society of America. To help researchers determine which weeds pose the most serious threats to Kansas farmers and what they are doing currently to manage the problem, K-State scientists are asking producers to complete a short online survey. The information gathered will help guide research on innovative, cost effective and integrated weed management practices and to further improve outreach programs across the state. For more information on the WSSA study, take a look at a 2016 news article on the subject.
TEMPORARY CLOSURES AND SLOWDOWNS IN THE PORK PROCESSING INDUSTRY linked to the new coronavirus left a lot of hog farmers with market-ready animals and no place to take them for a time. But those animals still needed to be fed while producers waited for a time to take them to market. Any disruption to the marketing pipeline like that, even at a single processing plant, can cut into a producer’s bottom line and result in overweight animals. Listen in to a new Agriculture Today podcast featuring swine nutritionists as they describe a new K-State feeding trial aimed at keeping pigs healthy while slowing the rate of growth to manage backlogs of market-ready hogs. Other topics covered include nutrient management for grain sorghum, wheat harvest update, “Milk Lines” and a promising new method to reduce deer-vehicle collisions.
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/