Written by Patty Decker Tuesday, 31 July 2012 13:54Prompted by extreme drought conditions statewide, Marion Reservoir became one of 44 federal or state water areas available July 25 as an emergency water source for domestic, municipal and livestock uses.
The order was signed by Gov. Sam Brownback.
In an updated Drought Declaration for Kansas, Brownback put all counties in an emergency status.
“The Kansas Water Office’s focus at this time is to ensure communities, livestock producers and farmers have the available water resources they need to cope with this drought,” said Tracy Streeter, KWO director.
However, any farmer or livestock producer is required to have permission from the KWO before obtaining water.
“It is imperative producers contact our office first so we can...
Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 31 July 2012 13:53With fall crops withering in the face of heat and drought, farmers might be wishing they had an affordable underground water-storage system that could reduce the financial impact of this summer’s severe weather.
Well, that wish might be more attainable than they think.
The drought has given Austin Jost, a staff member with the Natural Resources Conservation Service office in Marion, one more reason to tout the benefits of grass buffers.
“Buffers are going to help because they store water,” she said. “It’s underground and the roots are storing it. Crops can usually access it.
“Buffers along stream lines even are not necessarily sucking up all the water like trees are,” Jost added. “The trees wouldn’t be able to...
Written by Hillsboro Free Press Tuesday, 17 July 2012 14:39Marion County and 81 other counties in Kansas were declared as federal disaster areas Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, making agricultural producers eligible for disaster assistance programs.
Mary Geiger, communications director with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, said the disaster declarations are the result of improvements the USDA recently made to current federal disaster assistance programs to update the disaster designation process and deliver more efficient and flexible disaster assistance to farmers and ranchers coping with the ongoing drought.
“In place for more than two decades, the USDA streamlined the federal disaster designation process to assure a faster disaster designation,” she said.
Written by Jerry Engler Tuesday, 17 July 2012 14:37You still may see a better fall crop harvest than last year.
Marion County Extension Agent Rickey Roberts said two rains received as the early wheat harvest was closing around Memorial Day in May probably are what staved off more dismal corn and soybean crop yield outlooks now.
Those rains, especially if more rain comes for the beans, may enable farmers here to take advantage of average crop prices that the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported have increased 41 percent for corn and 26 percent for soybeans as of last week.
But that doesn’t mean the 100-degree days in June and on into July aren’t taking a toll on both crops.
“I still think that corn-wise, we’re in better shape than we were a year ago,” Roberts said...
Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 26 June 2012 18:25Austin Jost has started her professional career with a challenging assignment: Sign up more farmers and landowners for grass filter strips.
Jost has been on staff since April with the Natural Resources Conservation Service office in Marion while working to finish her degree at Butler County Community College. Jost plans to study ag business and advertising at Kansas State.
The Hillsboro High School alum is motivated to be successful at her task because she has had first-hand negative experience with the consequences of having too few filter strips.
In short, grass strips planted along the outer edges of fields and hedges can greatly reduce the soil runoff that brings nitrogen and phosphorous into Marion Reservoir.
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