Welcome 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. 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
FORECASTERS ARE EXPECTING EQUAL CHANCES OF ABOVE OR BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURES for much of Kansas this winter, which I would call normal 😊. But of course, normal for us could be considered pretty whacky by people who don’t live here. It makes us hardy, right? Even if we escape brutal conditions (wishful thinking for sure), wetter-than-normal conditions expected in the northern Plains could mean flooding for some of us once again, especially in the northeast part of the state. Take a look at the latest winter weather outlook via the Kansas Weather Data Library for more detailed information.
I’M ALWAYS INTERESTED TO LEARN WHY SOME RURAL COMMUNITIES THRIVE while others struggle, so I found this radio/print series on KCUR/National Public Radio about rural communities particularly interesting. They touch on population retention, the meat packing industry and other commercial enterprises, tourism, the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, or DACA, program and more. Some segments provide a K-State rural sociologist’s perspective. Separately, I was at a meeting recently where this very subject came up, but in a different context, about rural communities and the differences in them. At that meeting, a participant who’s had a long career in banking said in every case he’d seen, the difference is leadership. In more successful communities, he said, one person or a group of people proactively stepped up to lead community or regional initiatives. We’ll have more on this topic in upcoming posts.
HAVE YOU CONSIDERED SELLING AT FARMERS’ MARKETS OR MAYBE ALREADY DO? Dates are set for the 2020 Regional Farmers’ Market Workshops in Iola, Wichita, Olathe, Hiawatha, Beloit and Leoti. The workshops, a collaborative effort of K-State Research and Extension and the Kansas Department of Agriculture, will cover selling at farmers’ markets, sales tax, food safety and more. The growing (and selling) season will be here before we know it.
Better Farming, Ranching and Gardening
NOTHING SIGNALS THE WINTER HOLIDAYS LIKE A PERFECT POINSETTIA! These beautiful members of the Euphorbiaceae or Spurge family are known by scientists as Euphorbia pulcherrima. OK, enough with the science, but if you want to keep your poinsettia looking good through the holidays and beyond, know that they can be a bit finicky. They like a sunny place in the room but don’t want to touch the cold window. They don’t like “wet feet” so don’t overwater. Sounds like some people I know! Check out a video on choosing the best poinsettia and more tips on caring for these lovelies in a recent horticulture newsletter and scroll to Poinsettia Care. Plus, you’ll find information on winterizing strawberry plants, ashes in the garden and other topics.
IF YOU USE PROPANE TO HEAT YOUR HOME OR DRY DOWN YOUR GRAIN, you may have noticed that in some areas it’s less available, and the price may be up from last summer. This year’s unusually wet weather resulted in a corn crop that was slow to develop and mature. Propane is used by many farmers as a primary source of fuel to dry their wet grain in order to keep it from spoiling. The shortages and price hikes in some areas are partly a result of that spike in demand. Take a look at the Nov. 22 article Propane Market Update and Prospects for more information or listen to an Agriculture Today radio interview with one of the authors.
IN CASE YOU MISSED THE RECENT 2019 KSU SWINE DAY or want to review what you heard and saw, videos and slideshow presentations from the day have been posted online. They include K-State’s nationally known swine nutrition team plus keynote speaker, Dr. Josh Flohr of Seaboard Foods addressing “Decision Processes and Implementing a Nutritional Program in an Integrated System.” For more detailed information on the university’s latest swine research, check out individual research articles. Or, listen in to a radio interview with Egan Brockhoff with Prairie Swine Health Services about efforts to keep African swine fever out of Canada. It’s almost like being there. Well, almost.
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/