The Agricultural Adjustment Act in the Great Plains: Part 1

The Agricultural Adjustment Act in the Great Plains: Part 1

Between 1929 and 1932, the net income of the average farm operator fell 69%. Prices for agricultural products were at their lowest since the 1890s. Wheat sold for only 25 cents per bushel. Much of this drop in prices was due to an agricultural surplus. Harvests had been bountiful before the drought hit, and a considerable amount of grassland had been converted to cropland to … Continue reading The Agricultural Adjustment Act in the Great Plains: Part 1

King Tut's Seeds

Seeds From the Tombs

Many gardeners know that cool, dry, dark places are ideal for long-term seed storage. Many gardeners cite the seeds found in ancient Egyptian pyramids as evidence. According to the popular story, these seeds, after lying dormant for thousands of years, sprouted when planted. While most scientists would agree on the perfect conditions for storing seeds, most deny that seeds found in Egyptian tombs have ever … Continue reading Seeds From the Tombs

Web Soil Survey

Web Soil Survey

Knowing your soils is a good idea, no matter where you live or what type of country living activity you pursue. The USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service makes that job easy. The Web Soil Survey site takes a little bit of getting used to, but it provides a wealth of information. Once you have selected an area of interest, you can view a map identifying … Continue reading Web Soil Survey

Get Ready for January 2017

Get Ready for January 2017

January is a great time to plan for a new year! Take some time to shape your philosophy and develop a farming or gardening approach. Plan a garden. Discover community-supported agriculture. Learn the pros and cons of gardening in Kansas. Study the farming practices of the Plains Indians. Define sustainable agriculture. Preserve Kansas heritage. Evaluate the interstate highway system. Find out how compost gardening works. … Continue reading Get Ready for January 2017

Get Ready for December 2016

Get Ready for December 2016

Christmas will be here before you know it! Prepare tasty treats and heartfelt gifts from your own homegrown offerings, and snuggle up on the couch for a little storytelling. Retell the story of Sod Corn Jones. Read Scripture passages about the meaning of Christmas. Make a sweet potato beetle. Encourage your child to start an EcoJournal. Give a weather diary this Christmas. Create homemade gifts … Continue reading Get Ready for December 2016

Top 10 Books for Beginning Farmers

Top 10 Books for Beginning Farmers

Just getting started? Whether you are still in the early planning stage or are trying to overcome your first obstacle, one of the best things you can do is to read extensively. Many others have walked the path before you. Why not smooth your own learning curve and take advantage of their experience? While there are many excellent books we could recommend (just check out … Continue reading Top 10 Books for Beginning Farmers

The Heritage of Turkey Red Winter Wheat

The Heritage of Turkey Red Winter Wheat

There are many reasons to love heritage foods, including health and flavor.  But another fascinating aspect of these foods is their history. And what better heritage food to celebrate than Turkey Red winter wheat, the grain that made Kansas the Wheat State?   Origins The history of Turkey Red begins in the country of Turkey, not surprisingly.  By the early 1800s, it appears to have … Continue reading The Heritage of Turkey Red Winter Wheat

30-Year Normals

30-Year Normals

Agriculture is very much a weather-dependent pursuit. The success or failure of both garden and field crops in any given year depends primarily on the rainfall and temperatures. Even pastures should be managed with an eye to the sky. With this in mind, it is a good idea to know roughly what type of weather you can expect in an average year. Oregon State University … Continue reading 30-Year Normals

The Changing Face of American Agriculture: Part 3

The Changing Face of American Agriculture: Part 3

High Tech Many involved in agriculture, commercial or entrepreneurial, feel that technology will shape the future. The Internet continues to evolve into the driving force in agriculture. Cutting-edge agripreneurs rely on the Internet to market their produce, but even commodity markets are coming to accept this technology as the norm. Buying beef cattle through video auctions streamed online is a common practice nowadays. Likewise, QR … Continue reading The Changing Face of American Agriculture: Part 3

The Changing Face of American Agriculture: Part 2

The Changing Face of American Agriculture: Part 2

Agripreneurship Young people continue to enter agriculture, according to the last USDA census. Most young farmers have limited capital to work with, and they frequently find outside financing difficult, if not impossible, to obtain. With land prices remaining high, they typically buy small properties when they first start out and purchase additional land as they save money. This paradigm leads naturally to the rise of … Continue reading The Changing Face of American Agriculture: Part 2