Tag Archives: KSU

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State University officials will focus on strategies to enhance profits during the Winter Ranch Management Seminar series, which will be held at five sites in Kansas beginning in January.

The meetings feature presentations and comments by K-State Research and Extension staff to enhance cow-calf producers’ management and marketing strategies, as well as a question-and-answer session.

“The series has a history of being a successful stretch of meetings, which are hosted throughout the state of Kansas,” said Bob Weaber, a cow-calf specialist with K-State Research and Extension.

Weaber and other state, district and local extension staff will take part in the series to help answer producers’ questions. The specialists will answer a wide range of questions on beef cattle issues including animal health, nutrition, management, genetics and reproduction.

“The previous year’s variable and wet weather across Kansas presented many challenges for farmers and ranchers,” Weaber said. “Our extension team continues to field questions from beef producers related to environmental effects and their impact on cow herd performance, especially reproduction.

“The Winter Ranch Management series provides another great opportunity for state and local specialists to take our expertise out in the country for a series of impactful face-to-face meetings. Our extension team has a breadth of experience in beef cattle management, reproduction, genetics, animal health and nutrition. We’re here to help solve and prevent production problems with reliable information.”

Topics at each location include a discussion on the value captured in the marketplace from improved production practices by cow-calf producers and understanding pregnancy loss. Local extension agents will present a topic focused on forage sampling and testing or proper handling and storage of vaccines.

“Early in the year is a great time for producers to think and plan for the coming year,” Weaber said. “Many producers have a number of experiences in 2019 to reflect upon, so early in the year is a good time to consider opportunities to improve management practices that enhance profitability.”

The schedule of meetings includes:

January 30, Noon to 3 p.m. – Ulysses, Grant County Civic Center (1000 W. Patterson Avenue). RSVP by January 23 to Elizabeth Kissick, Grant Co. Extension, 620-356-1721, emrogers@ksu.edu

January 30, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. – Ashland, Clark County Fairgrounds (11th Avenue and Kentucky Street). RSVP by January 23 to Kalee Krier, Clark Co. Extension, 620-826-5307, krier@ksu.edu

February 11, Noon to 3:30 p.m. – Plainville, First State Bank (120 W. Mill Street). RSVP by February 4 to Rachael Boyle, Phillips-Rooks Extension District, 785-425-6851, rboyle@ksu.edu

February 11, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. – Mankato Community Center (214 N. High Street). RSVP by February 4 to Brett Melton, River Valley Extension District, 785-243-8185; bmelton@ksu.edu; or to Sandra Wick, Post Rock Extension District, 785-282-6823,  swick@ksu.edu

February 27, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. – Yates Center, Woodson County 4-H (713 S. Fry). RSVP by February 20 to Dale Lanham, Southwind Extension District, 620-625-8620, dlanham@ksu.edu

Meeting times and registration fees vary by location, but all will include a meal. Participants are asked to RSVP for a selected location by one week prior to the event. Interested participants should contact their local host contact for registration and RSVP details.

More information about the K-State Winter Ranch Management Seminar series is available at KSUBeef.org.

HAYSVILLE, Kan. — After one year of growing industrial hemp in test plots, Kansas State University researchers say they’ve moved closer to providing guidance to producers interested in growing the alternative crop in Kansas.

In April 2018, Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer signed a bill enacting the Alternative Crop Research Act, leading to the legal production of industrial hemp in the state. Kansas is one of 42 states approved to grow the crop; the Kansas Department of Agriculture reported that there were 207 Kansas growers in 2019.

None of those growers, however, had information available to show best practices for growing industrial hemp in Kansas soils.

Listen to Eric Atkinson’s interview with Jason Griffin on Agriculture Today

“It’s a brand new crop that nobody in Kansas should have legal experience growing,” said Jason Griffin, director of the John C. Pair Horticultural Center, one of three sites where K-State’s research trials have taken place this year (research was also conducted at K-State facilities in Colby and Olathe). “Since it was new, we needed baseline information on how to grow the crop successfully.”

Griffin noted that “99% of the people growing industrial hemp in Kansas this year were growing for cannabidiol,” better known as CBD. Cannabinoids have high interest among consumers because of their purported medical and therapeutic benefits in humans and companion animals.

CBD and other varieties are legal to grow if they produce less than .3% tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. If the plant’s THC level is greater than .3%, it is considered marijuana and not legal to grow or possess in Kansas.

“We knew that Kansas farmers wanted to get into this industry,” Griffin said, “and our job is to conduct research to help farmers be successful with the crop.”

Griffin and the research team at the John C. Pair center planted seven CBD varieties, including five in high tunnels, which are plastic-covered structures that provide some protection from the environment compared to open field conditions.

“It’s well-known that high tunnels in the specialty crops arena have certain advantages over crops grown outside,” Griffin said. “For our purposes, it reduced solar radiance, reduced wind and reduced pest presence. But, specifically for hemp, we had our high tunnel completely enclosed in insect screens, which is a really fine netting. We wanted to see if the insect screen would reduce the amount of pollination inside the tunnel. And it appeared it did.”

Griffin said that in the hemp industry, pollination “is a big deal. CBD is produced in the female flower buds, and if those female flower buds get pollinated, your concentration of CBD just tanks into the basement. You get almost none. So you have to keep pollen away from those female flower buds.”

That caused problems for the hemp varieties that K-State grew outside, Griffin said, noting that pollen can travel as far as three miles. “I think it would be very difficult to have a large-scale, outdoor CBD production system successfully without somehow protecting those plants from pollen.”

Because they were protected from insects and other pollinators, “the plants inside the high tunnel were just superior,” Griffin said. “In that protected environment, they were larger and had more flower buds. Because they had more buds, they had a higher CBD content.”

K-State’s work also looked at various production systems, including growing the plants with organic and conventional fertilizer. Researchers also looked at the potential of growing industrial hemp for fiber and grain.

The university’s work will continue in 2020, Griffin said. “This was our first year,” he said. “We probably made some mistakes and we’ll probably improve as any grower might as they get more experience with a crop.”

Griffin said updated information on K-State’s research with industrial hemp is available on Facebook. More information about the John C. Pair Horticulture Center also is available online.