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
CSU SEA Extension: “One Man’s Weed…”
The saying goes that, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure!” The same
can be said for weeds and grazing managers. Here is a “duh” statement:
Weeds are plants and grazing animals eat plants! Continue reading
CSU 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
CSU 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
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.
Four Smart Uses for Your Tax Refund
By: Kaye Kasza, CSU Extension Agent, Kaye.email@example.com 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
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
Managing 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Helping children in tough times
By: Kaye Kasza, CSU Extension Agent, Kaye.email@example.com 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
CSU 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
DENVER, C) – April 23, 2015 – Livestock producers in the western United States were dealt a blow last week when the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a Federal Register notice proposing significant changes to regulations governing the employment of non-immigrant H-2A workers as sheepherders, goat herders and for the production of livestock on the open range.
A 2014 court order directed the DOL to engage in a notice-and-comment rulemaking to formalize special procedure guidance that has governed the H-2A sheep and livestock herding occupations for decades. The H-2A program was instituted in the 1950’s and has been used successfully ever since.
The proposed changes issued by the department include definitions that do not accurately reflect the unique characteristics of the industry, inadequate job description parameters and an alarming wage methodology that will triple labor costs and impose additional expenses on employers. Continue reading
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
(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
WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2015 — Leland Swenson, State Executive Director, Colorado Farm Service Agency reminds livestock producers that the Jan. 30, 2015, deadline to request assistance for losses suffered from Oct. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2014, is fast approaching.
Applications for the Livestock Indemnity Program and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, restored by the 2014 Farm Bill resumed in April 2014, after having expired on Sept. 30, 2011.To date, more than 556,000 applications have been approved to assist farmers and ranchers in recovering from nearly three years of natural disasters.
The Livestock Indemnity Program provides financial assistance to eligible producers for livestock deaths. Losses can be caused by adverse weather, extreme temperatures, disease, or wildfires, or due to attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law, including wolves and avian predators.
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.
Mark your calendars for Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. for the first in a series of diabetes related webinars to be broadcast in numerous locations across Northeast Colorado. The webinars will allow people to learn about a variety of topics and interact live with the professionals presenting the information.
The first webinar will be presented by Dr. Colby Jolley, a board certified family practitioner at the Haxtun Hospital. She is a strong proponent of preventative care and encourages patients to seek the reward of healthy living by focusing on life style changes. Dr. Jolley will be discussing weight management for the prevention and treatment of diabetes and other chronic disease. She will address how adjusting our behaviors, dietary choices and physical activity plays a role in weight loss and management. Continue reading
BURLINGTON, CO – December 24, 2014 – Colorado State University Extension is hosting Private Pesticide Recertification sessions at various locations in Northeast Colorado. Anyone who purchases restricted-use pesticides must have a Private Pesticide Applicator license which is issued by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Private Applicator license study guides and exams can be obtained either from the Colorado Department of Agriculture or some Extension offices. Once a license is received, it is active for 3 years before renewal is needed. Renewal can be achieved by either retaking the exam or attending a recertification meeting. These recertification meetings offer credits which can be substituted for retaking the exam. Pre-registration can be accomplished by visiting the Golden Plains Area website at http://goldenplains.colostate.edu. Cost for the Private Applicator’s recertification is $40 with the Commercial license recertification being $50. Registrations can also be done by calling the local CSU Extension Office where the event is taking place.
Locations and times are as follows:
- February 9 – 1:00 p.m. CSU Extension office at Sterling (Private Pesticide Recertification) – contact 970-522-3200
- February 10 – 8:00 a.m. CSU Extension Office at Ft. Morgan (Private Pesticide Recertification) – contact 970-542-3540
- February 23 – 1:00 p.m. Burlington Community Center (Private Pesticide Recertification) – contact 719-346-5571
- February 24 – 8:00 a.m. Phillips County Events Center (Private Pesticide Recertification) – contact 970-854-3616
- March 6 – 8:00 a.m. CSU Extension Office in Akron (Commercial License Recertification Only*) – contact 970-345-2287.
- March 6 – 1:00 p.m. Washington County Extension Office (Private Pesticide Recertification) – contact 970-345-2287
* Commercial Pesticide Licenses are in a different category and are needed for pesticide applicators charging a fee for pesticide services.
Submitted to BARN Media by: Ron F. Meyer, CSU Extension Agent, Agronomy
This is the philosophy from Granny’s Garden School; when you make friends it helps raise funds. The Executive Director of Granny’s Garden School is Roberta Paolo. She also believes and I agree, spend money on staff, and not stuff. Investing in people is more important. People are irreplaceable while stuff is replaceable. You can always get another shovel. But where can you find another you?
The garden school focuses their programs using hands-on learning. Their programs are school-based garden and nature programs. There is a happy medium between the relationships of their school-based programs. The teachers’ needs are met and the gardens’ needs are met. And by gardens, I mean, this garden school has six outdoor learning centers which they created to fit the needs of teachers so that both the needs of the classroom and garden are aligned. They serve 1,400 students every week. Now that might seem overwhelming; however, they have trained volunteers who come from a retired teacher’s base.
November 24, 2014 – The 2015 edition of the IRM Redbook is available at each Golden Plains Area Extension office. This has been a valuable tool for many years for livestock producers to collect calving data in the field along with maintaining a calendar and important contact information. Producers can also track pasture usage, herd health activity and treatment activity in the Redbook.
There is no cost for the book but supplies are limited. The IRM Redbooks are sponsored by Golden Plains Area Extension, Yuma County Cattlemen’s Association and Kit Carson County Cattlemen’s Association.
Submitted to BARN Media by: Dennis A. Kaan, Golden Plains Area Director and Community Development Agent
Producers have Until March 31, 2015, to Choose the Program Best for their Operation
WASHINGTON, Nov. 10, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds farm owners and producers that the opportunity to choose between the new 2014 Farm Bill established programs, Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), begins Nov. 17, 2014, and continues through March 31, 2015. The new programs, designed to help producers better manage risk, usher in one of the most significant reforms to U.S. farm programs in decades.
“USDA is committed to keeping farm owners and producers well informed on all steps in this process to ensure that they have all of the information that they need before making their coverage choice,” said Farm Service Agency Administrator Val Dolcini. “The new ARC and PLC programs provide a more rational approach to helping farmers manage risk by ensuring families don’t lose the farm because of events beyond their control.”
USDA helped create online tools to assist in the decision process, allowing farm owners and producers to enter information about their operation and see projections that show what ARC and/or PLC will mean for them under possible future scenarios. Farm owners and producers can access the online resources, available at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc, from the convenience of their home computer or mobile device at any time. Continue reading