Air March 19 - 23, 2007

Thinking about burning

This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. Just a reminder that the 4-H/Sr. Citizens Building Committee is having their annual fundraiser this coming Saturday evening. Tickets are available at the door or at the Extension Office and are $10. Call me for more details. I've already seen a few billows of smoke on the horizon so folks are probably burning some bromegrass, get it done soon, and possibly getting started on native grass fields as well.. The EPA is still closely watching our burning practices in the Flint Hills and the ozone monitoring season, which often sends up the red flag in the Kansas City area, will start on April 1st. Soooo, if you have pastures that you simply want to remove the old growth, or you just want to control cedars, or you want one pasture green early to get cattle on to, then go ahead and burn any time that the weather allows. If however, you want to do as much damage as possible on any of the deciduous woody species, you really want to wait as long as possible before you burn. When you burn before the plant leafs out, you really don't do too much damage to it. If you can get the fire to burn through them when they are leafed out though, the plant has already used up root reserves on that early season growth and so you do the most damage possible, pulling those root reserves down even more. With sumac and dogwood, you could then follow up with a couple of rotary mowings during June and July and do even more damage. Or, don't burn at all, let them leaf out fully in late May or early June, and then spray. But we'll be talking more about that, in late May or early June! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.

Insect and Disease odds and ends.

This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. Remember that the 4-H/Sr. Citizens Building Committee is having their annual fundraiser this coming Saturday evening. Tickets are available at the door or at the Extension Office and are $10. Call me for more details. Last week we were talking a little bit about soybean rust and commenting that it got close last year, northwest Arkansas close. Now it's been released that it made it even into Iowa. A field that had production issues was harvested and binned separately and mixed in with the seed was enough leaf material to prove that the field had soybean rust. Asa of late last week, the only soybean rust hits were still in the southern tip of Texas, northern Florida and extreme southern Georgia. But planting is under way in the south and spring time thunderstorms may soon be bringing spores north so stand by. I'm going to be in southern Texas in a few weeks and will be visiting with some of the agents there about how they are working with their producers to deal with this potential threat. Late last week we also received word that some army cutworm damage was being seen in south central Kansas. Most of this was on canola and not much yet on wheat or alfalfa, but be keeping an eye out. I've gotten a few calls and looked at a few fields, but so far none of the problems have been army cutworm, but let's not let our guard down. Cooler weather late last week slowed everything down, but it certainly didn't get rid of any problems. You should be seeing noticeable green out in your alfalfa fields by now. Get out there and start scouting those new shoots for any evidence of feeding damage! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.

Controlling Stable Flies in Pasutres

This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. Just a reminder that the 4-H/Sr. Citizens Building Committee is having their annual fundraiser this coming Saturday evening. Tickets are available at the door or at the Extension Office and are $10. Call me for more details. In the middle of March, the last thing you may be thinking about is flies in pastures. Yet a little time right now, may very well help reduce and control spring and early summer stable fly populations. I don't know who studied and discovered this, well actually I do, but hay wasted during feeding mixed with cattle or horse manure makes a great habitat for stable fly larvae to develop in. In fact, studies have shown that hay to manure ratios of 1 to 1 up to 1 to 5 are ideal. So, anything that you can do to lower the amount of wasted hay and/or control the accumulation of hay and manure at feeding sites will help to lower the production of stable flies at those feeding sites. What we are mainly talking about here, is feeding in crop residue fields or in pastures. There are several ways to accomplish this. Moving those feeding sites frequently helps to reduce the accumulation in any one spot. I know, right inside the gate may be the most convenient, but consider moving it around. Use of feeders, such as cone feeders, will help to lower, but not totally prevent accumulation in any one spot. If you keep unrolling those bales at a different site each time, it spreads things around so you aren't likely to get a big accumulation in any one place. And then anything that will get that manure dried down before the flies start laying eggs in several weeks can help also. Is it worth it? Heavy fly population can reduce gain lb a day. You decide! This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.

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