News

morningagclips.com

There’s an ap for everything- even ag.  Think of this: without ever leaving the field, a farmer can pull out his smart phone and identify insects, crop diseases, or even assess the nutrient value of manure.  He can also calculate crop maturity, seed planting to attain the highest yield, and pesticide droplet size and potential pesticide drift.

Conestoga Energy Partners; www.conestogaenergy.com/bonanza-bioenergy

The Environmental Protection Agency said last Friday that it won’t release rules for how much ethanol oil refiners have to mix in to our gasoline supply this year.

The ethanol rules, called the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), are meant to prop up the U.S. biofuels industry by creating demand for ethanol. Without the rules, both oil companies and the biofuel sector will be left in the dark as to what the demand for ethanol will be.

Quentin Hope

Payments to farmers under the new farm bill could soar as high as $8-10 billion for this year’s crop, according to some economists quoted in an article by Reuters. That would be more than double the forecast by the Congressional Budget Office and more than 10 times the U.S. Department of Agriculture's working estimate.

laboratoryequipment.com

Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists are wrapping up a two-year study to determine the best combination of corn hybrids, planting dates and maturity to maintain yield and maximize water-use efficiency reported Laboratory Equipment.  The lead researcher is Dr. Qingwu Xue.  He’s a crop stress physiologist.  He says the overall goal of the study is to determine if irrigation water can be saved while preserving yields. 

dankalal.net

Kansas lawmakers may dip into highway funding to help balance the state’s budget. Kansas Public Radio’s Stephen Koranda reports the state Senate’s top budget writer says transportation money could help fill the gap.

blakleyhomeplace.blogspot.com

While living out of a suitcase has definite drawbacks, one of the bonuses of visiting new places is trying local foods. Because my family both moved and traveled a great deal as I grew up, I learned early the joy of sampling regional delights every time I hit the road.

Sara Waite / Sterling Journal-Advocate

What effect will the recent artic cold snap have on our trees? 

Luke Clayton

DEER SEASON is in going strong right now and the rut is either in the early stages or full swing, depending upon where you hunt.

State government agencies under Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s direction aren’t yet changing their policies on recognizing marriages.

www.secoloradoheritage.com

A national historic site in southeastern Colorado will become a virtual reality in the video game Minecraft.  The Immersive Education Initiative announced Bent’s Old Fort will also be reconstructed as a fully immersive 3D environment.

The size of the unauthorized immigrant population in Colorado and Kansas fell between 2009 and 2012 and stayed the same in Texas and Oklahoma, according to an updated tracking report from the Pew Center for Research. 

Derek Schmidt, Kansas Attorney General, says gay marriage is legal in the state now, but same sex couples can't be sure their unions will remain so.

www.dmschools.org

A program called Breakfast in the Classroom has added Kansas and six other states to the list of those eligible for the grant-funded program reported Bryan Thompson for Kansas Public Radio.

Cheaper, purer imports of crystal meth made in Mexico are resulting in fewer meth labs in the fields and remote areas of states where they had become a major problem. In Missouri, data for 2014 to date indicates that lab seizures will be down a third from last year and one-half from 2012. In Oklahoma, they are projected to be down by about half from last year. Meanwhile deaths from meth use are rising and distribution rings for the imported meth are reaching into smaller communities in Oklahoma.

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

When farmer Sondra Pierce had her first child, she decided to forgo daycare.

“Soon as I had my son, because I had my son very early, I would put his car seat in the tractor and he would ride with me,” Pierce says.

During harvest on her sugar beet farm in rural Boulder County, Colo., she’d buckle him up in the seat right next to her.

hrc.org

The Human Rights Campaign is a gay civil rights group.  The group recently issued a report card ranking city policies toward lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people. 

kansasagland.com

China’s appetite for milk is growing.  The Dairy Farmers of America and the leading Chinese dairy processor are working to satisfy that taste.

gardenideaspicture.biz

In this final segment of our trip down the Great Gardens memory lane, we travel to Colby, Kansas to the garden of Beverly and Curt Eicher.  The Eichers took a trip, and returned home wanting their own cottage garden. 

Gloria Tucker / Dodge City Daily Globe

Mary Springs knows the secret to living a long life. She says it's blueberries and beer reported the Dodge City Daily Globe.

The Affordable Care Act open enrollment period is underway.  KUT reported one of the barriers stopping people from getting coverage can be summed up in three words: health insurance literacy.  Here are the cliff notes for health insurance terms:

A HMO requires you to pick a primary physician.  That person will become your health home, and any services you want have to be approved by that physician.

Stephen Koranda / kpr.org

Because of the standard waiting period in Kansas, Monday was the first day many same sex couples would be eligible to get married. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reported about two hundred people were present for the first same sex wedding at a Lawrence church.  Gerlado Sousa and David Bergeron were married by Reverend Peter Luckey.

The merger of Fort Hays State University and the Dodge City Community College failed.  The DCCC Board of Trustees voted 3-3 to continue the merger process reported Hutch News.  Mira Martin is the president of FHSU.  She issued an official statement saying Fort Hays State University was prepared to continue exploring the merger, but the decision to proceed or not was always the responsibility of the Dodge City trustees.

Simone Beaudelair

A historical romance series has an unusual setting—Garden City, Kansas.  Simone Beaudelair starts the series with the story of a small town pastor and a church organist.  The author dedicates the book to the people of Garden City saying it was a wonderful place to live.  High Plains Holiday is the first installment of Love on the High Plains.  Simone Beaudelair is the pseudonym for a single mom and teacher now living in Texas. 

watchdog.org

We visit a couple ranchers in the Oklahoma panhandle who are participating in the NRCS Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative.

Willard Drake Johnson / USGS Photographic Library, http://libraryphoto.cr.usgs.gov/

When explorer Stephen Long led his expedition across the western Great Plains in 1819-1820, it was during a period of widespread drought.  With only a single reference point in time, he concluded the area “is almost wholly unfit for cultivation, and of course uninhabitable by a people depending upon agriculture for their subsistence”.  He also marked the region on his maps as the “Great American Desert”, a label used by other map makers for decades to come.

Last week analyst admitted that previous Kansas budget projections had been overly optimistic and agreed on a lower forecast that leaves a gap of $279 million dollars to be filled by June. It’s already a grim situation but an analysis by the Upshot from the New York Times contends the new forecast may still be overly optimistic. It projects this year’s remaining shortfall could be over $300 million dollars higher.

http://www.offthegridnews.com/

Rules that require more information on meat labels may be on the outs.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack seemed to signal for the first time Friday that the rules are not compliant with World Trade Organization standards and must be fixed.

“We’ve done a 360-degree look and I can tell you that we do not think there’s a regulatory fix that would allow us to be consistent with the law, which I’ve sworn to uphold, and to satisfy the WTO,” Vilsack said.

You might call it family counseling or therapy; you might call it brave and brutally honest, at times; you also might call it a brilliant idea.  Teddy Thompson managed to gather both of his parents Richard and Linda Thompson, his younger sister Kami, her husband James Walbourne, Teddy and Kami’s nephew Zak Hobbs and Jack Thompson, Richard’s son from his second marriage.  The result is ‘Family’, featuring songs from each member , and we will listen to it this week on High Plains Morning. 

Gambling wasn’t viewed as a moral issue in need of prohibition under the state constitution when Kansas joined the union in 1861.  It wasn’t until the Texas-to-Kansas cattle drives brought hundreds of cowboys to Kansas railheads in the 1860s and gambling became part of the colorful life of cowtowns such as Dodge City that it became a matter of public concern.  In 1868 Kansans acted to outlaw all games of chance for money.

Elise Hu / texastribune.org

Texas lawmakers filed 365 bills on the first day of pre-filing.  Panhandle representatives made a number of contributions.  

The Amarillo Globe News reported State Senator Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, filed proposals to fund 64 construction and renovation projects at public universities, and address high-stakes testing at high schools.  State Representative Four Price filed three bills.  One requiring public colleges and universities to post mental health information on their website. 

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