Harvey County

Author: Harvey County K-State Research and Extension

Controlling Mustard Weed in Wheat

Too often producers do not notice mustard weeds in their wheat fields until the mustards start to bloom in the spring. As a result, producers often don’t think about control until that time. Although it is still possible to get some control at that time with herbicides, mustards are much more difficult to control at that stage and often have already reduced wheat yields by then.

To keep yield losses to a minimum, mustards should be controlled by late winter or very early spring, before the plants begin to bolt, or stems elongate. If winter annual broadleaf weeds are present in the fall, they can be controlled with any number of ALS-inhibiting herbicides, including Ally, Amber, Finesse, Affinity, Rave, Olympus, or PowerFlex. Huskie, Quelex, 2,4-D, and MCPA can also provide good control of most mustards if the weeds are at the right stage of growth and actively growing, and if the wheat is at the correct growth stage. Dicamba and Starane are not very effective for mustard control. Continue reading “Controlling Mustard Weed in Wheat”

Your Health This Holiday Season

Sharing is caring. This is a mantra you probably first heard at a young age, and it tends to come up often during the holiday season. Is sharing always caring, though? In the case of food gifts, I’m not so sure that it is.

While there are many things I love about the holiday season, one thing I dread is the omnipresence of sweet treats. Baked goods, candies and other homemade sweets seem to be everywhere, and avoiding them can take significant planning and effort! Continue reading “Your Health This Holiday Season”

Garden Seed Can

I know many people save garden seed from year to year. Why would we do this? You may have your favorite variety of watermelon that you just can’t find anywhere so you keep the seed. Besides, garden seed can be expensive, and you may want to consider using seed from previous years to save some money.

sSeed stores best if kept in a cool, dark, dry location. Try a zip-locked plastic bag or a plastic jar such as a reused peanut butter jar to keep seed dry. Seed will be viable longer if kept between 40 and 50 degrees F. Temperatures a bit lower than 40 degrees are fine as long as they are not sub-freezing. Therefore a refrigerator is a better choice than a freezer which can prove detrimental to seed longevity if there is too much moisture in the seed. Seed that has 8% or less moisture can be frozen without harm and will actually store much longer than seed stored above freezing. Seeds dried to 8% or less moisture will break instead of bending when folded. Those that have a hard seed coat such as corn and beans will shatter rather than mashing when struck with a hammer.

Seed longevity will vary depending on the crop. Use the following as a guide for seed stored under cool, dry conditions. Continue reading “Garden Seed Can”

4-H Achievement Night

The 84th annual 4-H Achievement Banquet was recently held at Salem United Methodist Church in Newton to honor Harvey County 4-H members, volunteers and supporters. More than 75 4-H members, their families, and special guests attended the annual awards banquet sponsored by the Harvey County 4-H Council.

Harvey County 4-H members receiving 4-H Achievement Pins, County Champion awards, Kansas Award Portfolios, Club Seals, scholarships and special awards were recognized. Results are below, organized by 4-H Club. Continue reading “4-H Achievement Night”

Thankful

Often times during the rush of summer and the county fair people tell me, “It will slow down after this!”. I usually smile and nod, knowing that the 4-H program only seems to get even more busy as the fall season begins. State fair, enrollment, awards, scholarships, and banquet hit our office just as holidays are fast approaching. It is easy to get caught up in the rush of long days of work, late night meetings, and dwindling hours of daylight this time of year. This year I have challenged myself to take a step back from all of the busyness to remember to be thankful.

I am thankful to be able to be busy. Busy with a job that allows me to work with people who believe in the power of young people. Busy with late night meetings with people who volunteer their time to make a difference in their communities.

I’m thankful to work in a community where I run into familiar faces at the grocery store. A few weeks ago I ran into my third grade teacher while picking up groceries. Having not talked to him for years, I assumed he would not recognize me. Instead, he made a point to say hello and tell me he enjoys reading this column. I am thankful for the support our community provides.

I am thankful to have an office that is a mess of papers, sticky notes and boxes of supplies because all of the mess is a sign of positive difference this 4-H program is making. The walls of my messy little office are lined with notes, drawings, and photos that constantly remind me of how thankful I am to serve our community as a 4-H Agent.

Water Landscape Plants

We all know how unpredictable the weather is in Kansas. This week it’s hot, last week it was wet, next week is supposed to be dry, so it goes on. What happens if it gets too dry? Even in the winter moisture is important!  It is important that perennial plants go into the winter with moist soil. Watering now is important if soils are dry to help alleviate moisture stress and lessen the likelihood of winter damage.

Although all perennial plants benefit from moist soils before winter, it is especially important for newly planted trees and shrubs due to limited root systems. Even trees and shrubs planted within the last 2 to 3 years are more sensitive to drought than a well-established plant. Evergreens are also more at risk because moisture is lost from the foliage. Continue reading “Water Landscape Plants”

Post-Harvest Dirt Work

After harvest, many producers might head to the field for deep tillage such as ripping, or to make earthwork repairs around the farm. A few days before you want to start these activities, it’s worth a call to 811 for your safety and to prevent expensive damage to underground utilities.  The website http://call811.com  has easy-to-follow instructions for requesting this free service and detailed information concerning why you need to know what’s below.

Sadly, fatal accidents do happen in soil excavations. If you dig any trenches or soil pits, safety should be considered from the very beginning of the project. Soils with sandy textures are more susceptible to a collapse than soils with a higher clay content. If standing water is present in the pit, the walls are more apt to collapse.

There are Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines on excavation safety, such as when it is necessary to shore the walls of a soil pit or trench. One important consideration is soil should be piled a minimum of 2 feet away from the walls of the trenches for two reasons:

  1. Soil clods or excavating tools could roll back into the trench and cause injury to occupants.
  2. Reduces the risk of a trench collapse by keeping the weight of the soil piles away from the trench edges.

Even if a soil pit is 4 feet deep or less, it is a good idea to angle the edges of the soil pit. This does create more disturbance, but if it prevents an accident, it’s worth it.

For more information on trenching and excavation safety, see the following OSHA publication:“Trenching and Excavation Safety”, https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha2226.pdf

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