0127Snellsr.cfm Don't miss the profit
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Don't miss the profit

By Richard C. Snell

Barton County Extension Agent, Agriculture

I am excited to tell you about a program we are having in Barton County for farmers, landowners, ag lenders and other agribusiness folks. Our Agriculture Profitability Conference will be held on Feb. 16 at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 114 N. Main St, Hoisington. The program will be put on by K-State Research & Extension, the Barton County Extension Council and neighboring counties.

This is an area-wide meeting and we hope to bring people from a large area of central and western Kansas. Pre-registration is only $5 if registered by Feb. 7. You can get in for only $10 if registered by Feb. 14. After that or at the door, it is $15. Send registrations to: Barton County Extension Office, 1800 12th Street, Great Bend, KS 67530. Make checks payable to Barton County Extension.

The program gets under way at 9 a.m. with registration, rolls, coffee and juice. The morning program starts at 9:30 a.m., so you should have time to get your morning chores done. You out to be feeding cattle in the late afternoon anyway.

A lunch will be served at noon and the conference adjourns at 3:15 p.m.

Speakers will include the following ag economists from Kansas State University and their topics: Troy Dumler, A Look Toward the 2012 Farm Bill; Dan O'Brien, A Grain Outlook and Basis Issues; Michael Langemeier, No-Till Efficiency; Glynn Tonsor, Livestock and Meat Market Outlook; Kevin Dhuyvetter, Cow-calf Economics; and Rich Llewelyn, Economics of Converting CRP.

Brochures with registration forms are available at your local county Extension office or at www.agmanager.info.

Pine wilt

Now is the time to get rid of dead Austrian and Scotch pine trees. We are in the midst of a pine wilt outbreak across most of the state and the best way of slowing the spread of the disease is to remove dead pines.

The nematodes that cause the disease live on the host, pine sawyer beetle, and spread the wilt disease, which basically chokes the tree of water and nutrients during the late summer and fall months. There are a lot of nematodes in nature and each is crop and disease specific.

I know it is not cheap to take out a tree, but it is for your own as well as well as your neighbor's good, especially if you have a windbreak. You need to protect your remaining trees and keep them healthy.

So, what do you do? You need to have the tree cut down level with the ground. Then perhaps mound several inches of soil on top just for extra protection. The cut tree needs to be gotten rid of completely by the middle of March and preferably by the end of February. That means burn it or bury it. It can be taken to a compost pile where they will grind it or burn it. However, do not save it for next year's firewood. It needs to be burned right away. If stacked up, the logs can allow beetle movement.

There is cost share for tree removal within the city of Great Bend but not outside.

Conservation trees

We used to have a lot more field and livestock windbreaks planted. Also, we have a lot of older windbreaks that could be renovated by planting some new trees. We have just the right trees for all these situations.

You can reduce winter livestock feeding costs by getting those cattle protected for the cold wind. Your field will benefit from reduced wind erosion and moisture savings by planting shelterbelts.

You can get 25 bare-root tree or shrub seedlings for $17 or you can go for the containerized trees, which are $45 for 25 plants.

Stop by our office and pick-up an order form today.

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