In Oklahoma, Bees are Vanishing

Aug 25, 2015
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma lost a greater percentage of its honeybee colonies than any other state last year. As a result, beekeepers, scientists, and farmers met in Oklahoma City this month to create a plan to help pollinating insects survive. As reported by StateImpact Oklahoma, the meeting  focused on ways to balance the use of pesticides with an understanding of the chemicals’ dangers to pollinators.  

Ohio Health Insuranc / flickr creative commons

A new study shows that rural Medicare patients are much less likely to receive follow-up care. They’re also more likely to end up in the emergency room, reports The Rural Blog. The study appeared in the September issue of the journal Medical Care. Researchers looked at the number of patients who had follow-up health care visits and emergency room visits within 30 days of hospitalization.

Cimarron National Grassland to Eradicate Salt Cedar

Aug 25, 2015
Public Domain

Residents of southwestern Kansas can expect to see some changes in the coming months. The Cimarron National Grassland will soon begin a project to eradicate salt cedar, reports Kansas Agland. The project will chemically treat 191 acres of the invasive species, also known as Tamarisk. The plants will be eradicated using nontoxic chemicals, by means of spray equipment, during September and October.

A how-to recipe from the Huffington Post on how to create a teacher shortage following the Sunflower State example.


The Thompson Farm and Ranch straddles the Kansas-Nebraska line. Drought in this region is entering its fourth year. The Thompson family uses no-till practices to grow dryland wheat and corn and also run cows.

High Plains Residents Lack Access to Abortions

Aug 24, 2015
New York Times

When it comes to abortions, High Plains residents must travel farther than almost any other US citizens, reports the New York Times.  Amarillo residents must travel 234 miles to the nearest clinic. Many denizens of the Oklahoma Panhandle and Western Kansas must likewise travel over 200 miles to have the service performed. The national average outside Texas is 59 miles.

ewan_the_moomintroll / Flickr Creative Commons

America is losing groundwater at unsustainable rates. Although groundwater loss is underreported and poorly documented, it’s becoming a serious global problem, notes Beef Magazine.

Andy Marso / Kansas Health Institute

State contracts for campaign to compel employers to follow federal law.

From the Kansas Health Institute:

Two Kansas government agencies are teaming up on a $50,000 ad campaign urging employers to follow federal child support law.

“Gotta crawl, gotta crawl
To the ugly bug ball
To the ball, to the ball
And a happy time we'll have there
One and all
At the ugly bug ball.”

Disney knows how to capture an audience with a combination of heartwarming characters, snappy tunes, and memorable lyrics. 

Wild Hog Mexican Stew

Aug 21, 2015

Well, hello Folks!  

This week, I'm sharing one of my cooler weather recipes.  Fall's coming on, and if you have wild pork in your freezer, this is the perfect use.  If not, this is still the best fall stew you'll ever have.

As in most of my cooking, I seldom add exact quantities of any of the ingredients.

Dave Ranney / Kansas Health Institute

From the Kansas Health Institute:

For years, the state of Kansas has partnered with a network of regional prevention centers to alert and connect people to mental health programs and those that prevent substance abuse, suicide and problem gambling.

But that network appears to be unraveling as state officials work toward implementing what they call a more holistic, data-driven approach.

As Beef Prices Rise, Rustlers Return

Aug 21, 2015
Eric Gay / Associated Press

In regional news, cattle prices are at a record high. And with high prices comes the rise of an old concern in ranching: rustling. Through July this year, The Texas Rangers have worked nearly 400 theft cases, reports The Washington Post. Cases of rustling continue to rise, though stealing cattle is a felony.

Are These Really the Best Places to Live in America?

Aug 21, 2015
USDA Economic Research Service. Published Aug. 14, 2015 / CHRISTOPHER INGRAHAM/THE WASHINGTON POST

The Washington Post’s Wonkblog recently grappled with a federal report that determined the best and worst places to live in America. The study made its determinations from the standpoint of scenery and climate. The report looked for several factors including mild winters, temperate summers, topographic variation, and access to a body of water.

Lucy Kaplansky will be performing at the Tumbleweed Festival in Garden City this weekend, with sets on both Saturday and Sunday.  You can see a full schedule at  Here's an interview that Lucy did with Mike Fuller earlier this week.

As Water Dwindles, Beef Producers Try to Stay Afloat

Aug 20, 2015
cenix / Thinkstock

Water is in short supply these days, and Beef Magazine is reminding beef producers to do their part to conserve water. There are multiple ways for ranchers to conserve water.

First and most obvious: Stop the leaks. Turn off all hoses.

The next method is a bit more complicated. It involves recycling. The place to start is with feed yard retention ponds. Ranchers should consider developing a system that cleans the water and makes it acceptable for livestock use.

Kansas Wheat Farmers May Consider Durum in Future

Aug 20, 2015
Kansas Agland

Kansas has long been considered the nation’s breadbasket. That’s because of its hard red winter wheat production. But one Kansas crop breeder is looking to turn the state into America’s pasta bowl. For the past 17 years, Ray Brengman has been working  to breed a new type of wheat called winter durum, used in pasta. In a state where water is increasingly scarce, Brengman thinks durum has a bright future, reports Kansas Agland.

A letter from federal lab regulators cites K-State's "history of non-compliance" that has "raised serious concerns" about the school's ability to safely contain dangerous pathogens.

Grasses as Grinches

Aug 19, 2015

Broadleaf weeds are sometimes a walk in the park compared to controlling unwanted grasses.  Our six-part series on weeds moves from flowerbeds to lawns as we look at some of the better known bad boys that can take over a front or back yard in a single season if given half a chance.  We'll also discuss the dangers of some grassy grinches that can cause real trouble for man's best friend.     

Pork Producers to Label Pigs Fed Muscle Drug

Aug 19, 2015
Will Kincaid / AP

Soon High Plains shoppers will see a new phrase when shopping for pork, reports Prairie Public News. The phrase, which may be confusing to most, is: "Produced without the use of ractopamine."  While ractopamine may not have much name recognition, it’s a huge deal in the pork industry.  Most pigs in America are given the drug, which is similar to adrenaline. The pigs put on more muscle, and the drug can add two to three dollars of income per pig.

As Tyson Foods to Cut 400 Jobs

Aug 19, 2015

As cattle supplies dwindle, Tyson Foods is permanently closing its plant in Denison, Iowa. The plant closing will result in a loss of 400 jobs to the area, says Omaha’s KETV. Tyson said it’s reducing its beef production due to a continued lack of available cattle. The company said while it plans to close the plant, it will keep the rendering operation open. Workers impacted by the cuts are being offered work at other Tyson plants. The beef plant opened in 1961.

Jacob Byk / The Hutchinson News

In regional news, a beloved Kansas painter is putting away his brushes, reports The Hutchinson News. Hutchinson resident Larry Lambert went deaf at age 3 following a bout with measles. But he eventually learned to express himself with paint, and art became a lifelong passion for him. 70 years later, after selling thousands of paintings, Lambert is retiring. His vision is failing, and he is going blind.

"Gunsmoke" Cast to Reunite in Dodge City

Aug 18, 2015
Kansas Heritage Center

Kansas fans of the show Gunsmoke have reason to rejoice. Six decades after the series first aired, there will be a reunion of the show’s cast in Dodge City, reports The Wichita Eagle. The actors, including Burt Reynolds , Buck Taylor and Jess Walton, will appear at Wild West Fest in late September.  Gunsmoke was nominated for over a dozen Emmys and ran for twenty years, from 1955 to 1975. The show took place in and around Dodge City during the settling of the American West.

Scala, Johnson, and Rogers 2015

A new study has found that rural voters don’t vote as universally Republican as it may seem, reports the Daily Yonder. Under the surface, things are a bit more complicated. But you have to know where to look for blue voters. And even in the areas where Democrats vote more heavily, they still lose.

The Rural Blog

Declining revenue may have forced many Kansas newspapers to go weekly, but that doesn’t spell the end of the small-town Kansas newspaper. In fact, some towns are even starting up new weekly newspapers, reports the Rural Blog. Examples include the newly formed McPherson News and Information and the in-progress Newton Now. Joey young says he’s starting the Newton Now as an alternative to corporate newspapers that concentrate on national and world news.   


Playas benefit from practices that result in good soil health. Improving the health and quality of the soil is one of the easiest and most effective ways producers can increase crop productivity - hence profitability - while benefiting wildlife and improving the environment.

Darrell Scott’s new record ‘Ten’ is a collection of songs written by his friend the late Ben Bullington, a Montana physician who wrote songs for fun in his spare time.  Ben and Darrell met by chance in Yellowstone National Park a few years ago and became friends.  When Ben passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2013, he had heard only the beginnings of this record.  It’s a beautiful tribute to a talented songwriter gone too soon.  We will listen to ‘Ten’  this week on High Plains Morning.

The National Drought Mitigation Center’s latest Drought Monitor has been released, and areas of southern Kansas and eastern Colorado were 2-4 degrees above normal for the week. Above-normal precipitation was confined mainly to portions of northern and eastern Kansas and western and central Nebraska, with departures of up to 3 inches above normal observed over north central Kansas. With the cooler conditions and recent rains, most of Nebraska and northwest Kansas was no longer classified as “abnormally dry.”

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Starting in September, Texas will have one set of procedures for politicians and bureaucrats and another set for everybody else.

For the past four summers, Doug Armknecht of Smith Center, Kansas has been working to capture his wife's family harvest in Osborne County. His breathtaking YouTube videos of the LaRosh family harvest have drawn increasingly large viewerships since 2012, now reaching 37,000 hits, reports Kansas AgLand.

Die Fly!

Aug 16, 2015

If curses and death wishes worked, a fly couldn’t survive, let alone buzz in anyone’s ear or crawl on their flesh, near my house. In the last two weeks, I’ve thought or said, “Die fly,” at least a 10,000 times. Unfortunately, wishing these creepy crawlers into the afterworld has had absolutely no effect. It’s time for an attack plan.