HPPR Environment

Playa Country
8:01 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Soil Health: Choosing the Right Cover Crop

Credit Jason Baker / Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo

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 benefitting wildlife and improving the environment. No-till practices, plus the planting of cover crops, mean less soil moves as runoff into playas during rain events.

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Climate
8:00 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Heavy rain and flooding in drought-stricken SE Colorado

Flood water cascades over Willow Valley Road and back into Willow Creek just south of the Lamar Municipal Swimming Pool on Sun. morning July 13, 2014.
Credit lamarledger.com

Recent torrential rains brought flash flooding to low-lying portions of Lamar and southeastern Colorado.  Heavy rains and strong winds closed Highway 50 in low areas.  Several railroad underpasses were closed until waters receded reported Russ Baldwin for the Prowers Journal.

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Prairie Ramblings
8:00 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Meet gardening's mini-Freddy Krueger

Credit pestkill.org

We’ve enjoyed a lush garden this summer with tall corn, big cabbages, sweet potato vines that could be jungle instead of food, and towering tomato plants. Imagine our horror when we visited the garden one morning to find an interstate of raised trails weaving in and out our plantings. This was my introduction to a live mole.

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High Plains Outdoors
8:00 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Catfish + Kids = Summertime Fun

Guide Seth Vanover with an ‘average’ size Lake Fork channel catfish. Two of Luke’s grandsons, Conner (left) and Jack Zimmerman will remember this trip for a long time.
Credit Luke Clayton

Catfish have always been a favorite of mine for many reasons. I love catching the big blues, usually during the cold weather months, and I dearly love the often non-stop catching that is common this time of year on lakes with high numbers of channel catfish. Dusted with a liberal amount of cornmeal and dropped into hot cooking oil, catfish fillets fried crispy are a culinary delight.

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Water Conservation
8:00 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Texas: Plains Cotton Growers support proposed groundwater limits

Credit lubbockonline.com

Plains Cotton Growers support the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District’s proposal to limit groundwater use on private farmland in Texas.  

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Playa Country
8:01 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Ogallala Aquifer Initiative: Good Soil Health Practices Benefit Playas

Playa wetlands benefit from practices that result in good soil health.

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Rural Healthcare
8:00 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

Rural Kansas hospital discovers cure for physician shortage

Credit city-data.com

Although 25 percent of Americans live in rural areas, only 10 percent of doctors do.  Finding physicians willing to live on the prairie is a serious problem in Kansas.  Kearny County Hospital had that problem.  The small hospital is rural, very rural with five people per square mile, but the little hospital has found a solution according to a recent article by the Kansas Health Institute.

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High Plains Outdoors
8:00 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Bring home the fish, but leave the mussels

Zebra mussels are very small.
Credit pelicanlakemn.org

The spread of Zebra mussels in Texas lakes has caused for new regulations that all fishermen/boaters should be aware of. Beginning July 1, boaters must drain all water from their boat and on-board receptacles before leaving or approaching  a body of fresh water anywhere in Texas.

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HPPR Environment
8:01 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

EPA promotes water rule to farmers

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy speaks to reporters at Heffernan Farm in Rocheport, Mo., July 9, 2014.
Credit Kris Husted/Harvest Public Media

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is touring farm country, trying to assure farmers that the agency isn’t asking for more authority over farmers and ranchers’ lands.

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6:41 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Farmers hoping for more rain

Lead in text: 
More rain could turn things around for farmers, but if the weather turns hot and dry, it could be a repeat of last year.
Some Oklahoma farmers say there's "cautious optimism" that patchy rains this summer will make a dent in the drought afflicting much of the state and help
Read More: http://kgou.org
Climate
8:00 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Recent rains didn’t drown drought conditions

Credit droughtmonitor.unl.edu

Recent rains did not significantly change drought conditions for most of the High Plains. 

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

The Great Tomato Race

Credit feastingonpixels.blogspot.com

To participants in the great tomato race, the fourth of July is a big deal.  It’s the finish line for the green thumb trying to win the title of “The First Tomato of the Season.”  

If you missed out on this race, there are more tomato contests to come, like trying to win the distinction of growing “The Biggest Tomato” later this summer.     

Playa Country
8:01 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Grassland Bird: Mountain Plover

Mountain Plover
Credit planetofbirds.com

The Mountain Plover is a shorebird that spends little time on the beach and lives on the open Plains and nowhere near mountains.

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The evaporating Ogallala Aquifer
8:00 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Down to the last drop: The Texas Panhandle water crisis

An American flag stands sentinel over the harsh Texas Panhandle landscape southwest of Vega, Texas. The tattered edge is a testament to the relentless wind in the Panhandle.
Credit nbcnews.com

If you ask Dale Artho about climate change, and the predictions scientists are making, he’ll say there’s no point in discussing the doomsday prophecies.  It’s already happened in Vega, Texas.  He can give you details. 

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Prairie Ramblings
8:00 pm
Sun July 6, 2014

Into battle and armed with a song

Credit ranchreflections.wordpress.com

If you tune into the news, you’ll see people and nations disputing boundaries. These disagreements might involve guns, artillery, and bombs, or they may be legal wars that wind their way through courtrooms for years before anyone gets a definitive answer regarding who owns what. Since the beginning of time, humans have wrangled over property lines. After watching two male cardinals duke it out last week, I’ve decided people ought to settle their differences the way birds do—with song.

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High Plains Outdoors
8:00 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Watch out Wylie, Luke's on the porch!

Luke's waiting for Wylie Coyote on his front porch.
Credit Luke Clayton

My son spotted coyotes on two occasions late at night close to the house during the past week. Most of these sightings occurred around midnight or later, long after I am in bed sound asleep. After another cat came up missing 2 nights ago, I decided to devise a plan to remove Ole Wiley from the equation!

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Lawns, Xeriscape style

Welcome to Ward's Garden Center, step inside for a tour
Cindee Talley

On this final visit about xeriscaping, we'll look at lawns (or the lack of them) in many dry-weather landscape designs.  Believe it or not, there are grasses that can give you a lawn for less water, and that fit in with the look of a xeriscape garden.

Playa Country
5:56 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Citizen Science: eBird

Credit The Internet Bird Collection

eBird was launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society. It helps bird-watchers keep records of observations.

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Prairie Ramblings
8:00 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Insect inspired fashion

Credit zookyworld.wordpress.com

Time for confession: I’m a female missing the fashion gene. While I love art and creativity, I prefer wearing jeans and  t-shirts. Ironically, I sometimes watch What Not to Wear. I’m pretty sure I’d drive Stacy and Clinton insane because I often don’t like the designs and patterns they convince the person-in-need- of-improvement to select. While I may not like the colors and configurations these style mavens promote, I do love beautifully designed insects.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Xeriscape's Big Three

Credit Cindee Talley

 Our xeriscape series continues with a look at three blooming perennials that, once established, can bring a variety of colors, shapes, and textures to your low-water landscaping.

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Playa Country
8:01 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Citizen Science: Mid-winter Eagle Survey

Bald Eagle at Rest
Credit Wikimedia Commons

When America adopted the bald eagle as the national symbol in 1782, there may have been 100,000 nesting eagles. But the eagle population declined, in part due to pesticides.

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Water Conservation
8:00 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Western Kansas voters say no to water conservation program

A center-pivot irrigation system in Trego County.
Credit kgs.ku.edu

Water rights holders in Western Kansas counties recently rejected a plan to conserve the Ogallala Aquifer.  Groundwater Management District No. 1 board members asked its voting membership to approve a measure to that would cut irrigation use by 20 percent reported Amy Bickel for Kansas Agland.

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Prairie Ramblings
8:00 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

Nature's calling cards

Credit artofmanliness.com

In Victorian times, people of good breeding with time on their hands apparently went “calling.” As either a pass into another’s home or as a token of the visit, guests left behind a reminder of the visit in a lovely dish placed on an entryway table. These ornately engraved name cards held special significance if one bent the left top corner one way and another meaning if the deliverer tore a different place. 

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Rains have given the prairie burst of color
8:00 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

It’s prime time to see Kansas prairie wildflowers

Butterfly milkweed
Credit freedomsfrontier.org

Recent rains came just at the right time to spur and explosion of wildflowers across the Kansas Prairie.  Along roadways and in pastures flower paint the prairie with splashes of orange, red, purple, blue, white and yellow reported the Wichita Eagle.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Watering xeriscape style

Skip talks with the xeric experts at Ward's Garden Center. Left to right: Don Lonnberg, Matt Lutz, and Skip Mancini.
Credit Cindee Talley

Techniques that make every drop of water count in your xeriscape beds include how much, how often, and how to apply that gardener's liquid gold.  The importance of soil preparation is also discussed this week.  

Playa Country
8:01 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Citizen Science: Breeding Bird Survey

Breeding Bird Survey Trends, 1996-2005
Credit Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The North American Breeding Bird Survey is a cooperative effort between the United States and Canada.

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An innovative solution to a landfill problem
8:00 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Pantex: Top secret compost

A compost turner churns Pantex waste paper to begin the composting process.
Credit amarillo.com

The Pantex Plant generates tons of paper that has to be destroyed in a manger that protects classified information about the facility’s top-secret nuclear weapons operations.  The material used to go into a landfill because it had to be shredded so finely, it couldn’t be recycled.  Then about 10 years ago, a waster operations employee thought turning the paper into compost would be the perfect solution according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

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Growing on the High Plains
8:00 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Top five xeriscape shrubs

Skip, (left) talks with xeriscaping experts Don Lonnberg, (center), and Matt Lutz, (right).
Credit Cindee Talley

This week it's Matt Lutz's turn to give a 'favorite five' for a xeric garden.  He decided to highlight shrubs that will thrive in a near-desert climate.   

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Conservation Tillage Practices
8:00 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

No-Till is not a soil carbon fix

Credit deltafarmpress.com

No-till farming alone won’t build soil carbon.  Recent research revealed that conservation tillage practices don't have any advantage over conventional practices reported Adele Phillips for the Center for Rural Affairs.

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Playa Country
8:01 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Citizen Science: Bird Banding

Credit Powdermill Nature Reserve

How do scientists get the data they need to study birds? A lot of data is collected by volunteers, "citizen scientists," through bird surveys and bird banding.

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