12-19-17 CSU SEA Extension: “Tillage, Sometimes Less Is More”

CSU SEA Extension: “Tillage, Sometimes Less Is More”

Growing up on a flood irrigated farm under the Fort Lyon Canal, nothing seemed more pleasing to the eye than a freshly tilled field with clean straight furrows ready for irrigation.   However, over the past 20 years soil scientist and agronomist have been touting the benefits of crop residue and reduced tilling.  Research has overwhelmingly confirmed that reduced tillage leads to improved soil health and water infiltration.   Reduced and minimal tillage strategies are now the rule rather the exception on the majority of the dryland acres in Eastern Colorado.   Converting flood irrigated fields to center pivot irrigation has allowed some irrigated farmers to reduce tillage on the converted acres as well, but not all farms and fields are a good fit for a center pivot.  Although implementing reduced tillage strategies on land with furrow flood irrigation is challenging it is not impossible.   Continue reading

08-07-17 CSU SEA Extension: “Rabies on the Rise”

CSU SEA Ext Says...logoCSU SEA Extension: Rabies on the Rise

Last  week the Colorado Department of Agriculture Animal Health
Division sent out a release indicating that the number of reported rabies cases
in Colorado was on the rise in 2017.

So far in 2017, 93 animals have tested positive. Sixty of those animals are
known to have exposed domestic pets, livestock, and humans. Early in the
summer (March, April, and May), skunks were the primary source of positive
labs tests. Since that time (May, June, and July) bats have taken the lead in
positive test results. Other wildlife (coyotes, foxes, etc.) are scattered
throughout the year. As would probably be expected the domestic animals,
specifically dogs, show a spike in positive test that correlates with the spike in
skunk positive test results. Continue reading

06-02-17 CSU SEA Extension: “Firewise Tips for Homeowners”

CSU SEA Ext Says...logoCSU SEA Extension: “Firewise Tips for Homeowners”

Last fall, with the concern of continued dry weather, the Crowley County Commissioners and the local Colorado State University Extension office in Crowley County printed a brochure obtained from the Firewise website (http://www.firewise.org/wildfire-preparedness/teaching-tools/brochures-andbooklets.aspx):

How to Have a Firewise Home. With the wildfires that occurred in Colorado late last summer and with the much needed moisture we have received this spring, we would again like to remind homeowners to be aware of what they can do to protect their home in the event of a wildfire.

The Firewise Toolkit has a Homeowners Checklist that is also included within the brochure as well. The following tips are recommendations for all homeowners: Continue reading

04-13-17 CSU-SEA Ext: Arthritis and Agriculture

 

CSU SEA Ext Says logo

Arthritis and Agriculture

SOUTHEAST AREA EXTENSION SAYS                                                              

By Jeramy McNeely

CSU Extension Agent

According to recent studies, arthritis affects approximately one-third of all adult farm and ranch operations and is considered one of the leading causes of disability by customers of the USDA AgrAbility Project.  It tends to affect most ag industry workers in their hands, knees, and hips mainly because these are the joints that take the most pressure.

Trauma to these joints in relation to farming and ranching occurs when jumping off tractors, being kicked by large livestock, or constant bending when milking cows.  It can also occur from repetitive motions such as gripping tools, walking on cement floors, or locking knees when riding in vibrating machinery all day.

Continue reading

03-16-17 CSU SEA Extension: Four Smart Uses for Your Tax Refund

 

CSU SEA Ext Says logo

Four Smart Uses for Your Tax Refund

By: Kaye Kasza, CSU Extension Agent, Kaye.kasza@colostate.edu or 719-456-0764

Are you looking forward to getting a tax refund?  A tax refund is a welcome bonus!  Whether it is $300 or $3,000, the way you use that money can have a real impact on your personal and financial well-being.  Want a new computer?  Newer car?  Bigger flat screen TV?  According to Extension Agent Kaye Kasza, these four ideas are better for your financial well-being: Continue reading

02-17-17 Managing in Tough Times Part 4: Current Financial Situation Unfolding in Colorado’s Production Agriculture

CSU SEA Ext Says logo

Managing in Tough Times Part 4: Current Financial Situation Unfolding in Colorado’s Production Agriculture
(NOTE: Guest article by Dr. Norm Dalsted, Professor and Extension Farm/Ranch Management Economist.  Dr. Dalsted works out of the Peaks to Plains Regional office in Pueblo and may be contacted at: (719) 545-1845.)

The current agricultural economy is facing difficult times with low commodity prices and the drought conditions facing much of the state’s agricultural lands.  For the majority of farmers and ranchers the ability to breakeven this year is not possible even with record wheat and corn yields.  At this time wheat prices are $2.70 to $3.05 depending on the region of the state while corn prices also vary but are in the $2.60 to $3.10 range.  For many producers the breakeven price is well above the current and harvest prices they have or could have received. This will create a significant shortfall in their ability to cover this past year’s costs of production and certainly jeopardize their ability to acquire operating capital for the upcoming crop year.  Some may need to offer existing equity in their operation to offset the inability to pay off their line of credit (operating monies). Continue reading

02-02-17 Managing in Tough Times Part 3: Sometimes we are our own worst enemy!

CSU SEA Ext Says logoManaging in Tough Times Part 3: 

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy!

Written By: Bruce Fickenscher, CSU Extension Agent/Southeast Area, Range and Livestock, 719-688-3043, Email: bruce.fickenscher@colostate.edu

A few years ago I walked into a local eating establishment about this time of year and met a producer walking out.  Of course I asked how he was doing and was informed that he was so tired of feeding cows because of the cold and at that time snow and they were calving.  I said, well if it is so hard why are you doing it and why don’t you change when you do it?  I got a blank looked and he asked back – “well why would we do that?  This is when and how we have always done it.”  How do you respond?  Continue reading

01-24-17 CSU SEA Extension: HELPING CHILDREN IN TOUGH TIMES

 

CSU SEA Ext Says logoHelping children in tough times

By: Kaye Kasza, CSU Extension Agent, Kaye.kasza@colostate.edu or 719-456-0764

When money becomes scarce, the whole family, from children to parents, can feel the pinch. We may have limited or no control over the causes of financial difficulties, but we control our responses.  Discuss money problems in a way that lessens stress and anxiety in children. Talk to them about your family’s situation in a way the child can understand. Do not keep the income loss a secret from children and other family members, despite the urge to spare them or “save face”. Continue reading

11-18-16 CSU SEA Extension: “Firewise Tips for Homeowners”

CSU SEA Ext Says...logoCSU SEA Extension: “Firewise Tips for Homeowners”

Not that is should be a surprise, because it seems to be more normal than not, but the weather has turned hot and very dry again – or at least very dry, depending on the day.  With these dry conditions plus the unusual amount of rain seen in many areas during the summer months, we are also experiencing relatively heavy fuel loads in Southeast Colorado.  Many of us have friends who have been impacted one way or another by the fires that have occurred in mountain and forested areas, along with a few out here on the Eastern Plains and memories of the Crowley County fire in 2008.  Continue reading

02-05-15 CSU Extension: Golden Plains Area – “Firewise Landscaping”

CSU Extension Golden Plains Area logo

Firewise Landscaping by Linda Langelo, CSU Horticulture Program Associate

No plant is “fireproof”.  Plants with high moisture content such as succulents are have a higher resistance to wildfire.  There are other plants such as Oriental Poppy, Saxifrage, Rockrose and Sea thrift which require high moisture content and have a high resistance to wildfire.  Native species are the best overall.  For a more comprehensive list go on-line to Colorado State University Extension Website for Fact Sheet Number 6.305 titled, “FireWise Plant Materials”.Have you ever considered the types of plants and their proximity to your home can actually save your home from catching fire in the event of a wildfire?  These FireWise plants can reduce the amount potential fuel during a wildfire.  Being FireWise means placing these plants in a defensible zone by creating a gap or space around your home making it harder for those plants to add fuel to the fire.  Remember you start a fire with kindling.  In other words, the kindling is the low intensity heat working to higher intensity.  The pine needles and the wood chips are the kindling to burn the logs.

Other characteristics of plants to consider for your landscape are those that grow slowly and require little to no pruning.  Groundcovers which are short and stay close to the ground are also good choices.  Plants with open and loose branching such as mountain mahogany have a low volume of vegetation.  Any plants such as aspens which grow without accumulating large amounts of dead debris. Continue reading

02-03-15 CSU Extension: Golden Plains Area -“Leaving a Lasting Legacy”

CSU Extension Golden Plains Area logo(Akron, Colo.) It was a beautiful afternoon in late spring when Bob clutched his hands to his chest and collapsed in the field. He was dead within minutes. No warning. No chance of survival.

His wife and five children were left in utter disbelief. How was it possible that such a young man could be gone so quickly and without warning? There was no will or estate plan to assist with the transfer of real estate and other assets. There was no communication on how family members could fulfill his final wishes and instructions.

Bob and his family always had intentions to clarify his legacy plans. Now he is gone and younger generations will not have the opportunity to share his stories, faith, hopes for future generations, and life experiences. There were no final instructions for burial, to celebrate his life, or who was to get his collection of toy cars and silver spurs.

But, life had to go on. Chores had to be done, crops planted, calves branded, bills paid, and family activities to enjoy – all during a time of grief, anger, and other emotional struggles. How would they go on without their husband and father? Continue reading

01-19-15 CSU Extension: Golden Plains Area -CHOOSING AN AG CONSULTANT…

CSU Extension Golden Plains Area logo

Attendees receiving Certified Crop Advisor credits at the Colorado State University Crops Clinic.

Attendees receiving Certified Crop Advisor credits at the
Colorado State University Crops Clinic.

Farmers can choose to gather all the information they can via Extension, local seed and chemical companies, agricultural magazines and newsletters, trade shows, field tours, and even from neighbors.  Then, armed with this new knowledge, farmers can apply it during the growing season to crop production problems encountered.  Much of this information is available at little or no direct cost.The science of farming is becoming more complex each year.  Farmers increasingly deal with unforgiving agricultural pests, some of which are developing resistance to current technology.  In addition, new and improved farming methods are advancing at a rapid pace in agriculture.  Methods that sometimes change rather quickly based on scientific research findings.  In addition to established pests attacking agricultural crops, new unfamiliar pests are also a threat.  Further, there are more than just a handful of pesticides available as tools for rescuing crops, and the current crop protection chemical reference is over 2000 pages.

Another option for producers who neither have the time nor technical expertise, is hiring an agricultural consultant, a trained agronomist who can focus on a farm’s production issues during the growing season.  This is a farm management strategy that is working for many producers.  Surveys indicate over 5 million acres are serviced by crop consultants nationwide with 21% of producers employing them, mostly in the Midwestern region of the U.S.

According to the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants (NAICC), average acres for producers who employ a consultant is approximately 2,000.

Continue reading