Category Archives: K-State Extension

Get Ready for the Bagworm Invasion

Krista Harding
District Extension Agent, Horticulture
Southwind Extension District
111 S. Butler
Erie, KS 66733
Office: 620-244-3826
Cell: 620-496-8786

 

Bagworms are a yearly pest in our area and can cause considerable damage. Most homeowners typically don’t get too concerned about bagworm control until they see large bags present on plants. By then it is too late and the damage is already done! Now is the time to get your treatment game plan ready.

Bagworms overwinter as eggs deposited in the female bags. From mid-May through mid-June, larvae hatch from the eggs and exit from the bottom opening of the old bag. Larvae begin constructing their miniature silk-lined bags immediately. Only after the bags have been completed do the larvae begin actual feeding activities. And as the larvae grow, so do their bags. By mid-to late August when feeding activities are complete, larvae firmly anchor their bags to the twigs and branches on which they were feeding.

Bagworms are most commonly found on eastern red cedar and junipers. However, bagworms can attack arborvitae, spruce and pine. Broadleaf trees, shrubs and ornamentals can also serve as a host to bagworms. After bagworms have defoliated a host plant, they are capable of migrating in search of additional food sources. They may attack the same species from which they came or a completely different species.

The damage caused by bagworm feeding can be minimal to severe. As larvae enter their later development stages, they require greater amounts of food. Sometimes in what seems to be just overnight, bagworms can completely defoliate a tree. Several successive years of heavy foliar feeding can result in the death a tree, especially with conifers.

There are two ways to control bagworms – cultural and chemical. Cultural practice is used by those who do not want to utilize insecticidal sprays to control bagworms. Instead, bagworms are eliminated by handpicking individual bags from plants. This is best done in the winter months when bags stand out against a trees background color. Keep in mind that a single missed bag could result in a thousand new bagworm larvae. Of course handpicking becomes impractical when a host is literally covered with bags or it is too tall to make handpicking possible.

Chemical control is most effective when larvae are in their early developmental stages. Generally, bagworm larvae will begin emerging from the overwintering bag by mid-to late May. Hatching does not happen overnight. Instead, hatching can continue for 4 to 5 weeks. Controls applied in late summer are often a waste of time and expense because the larvae are large, tough and may have stopped feeding. Now is the time to find the correct insecticide and get the sprayers out and ready for the job ahead.

For more information on bagworm control, please contact me at one of our Southwind Extension District office locations.

Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Agricultural agent assigned to Southwind District. She may be reached at kharding@ksu.edu or 620-244-3826.

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Flood Resources

Submitted by: Carla Nemecek, Southwind Extension District Director & Agent

 

 

While it is common for Southeast Kansas to receive quite a bit of rainfall in the spring, 2019 has gone a bit overboard! Recent weather has caused damage to our communities, and kept area farmers out of their fields. In an effort to continue to be a trusted and reliable resource, K-State Research & Extension in the Southwind District has updated our website with information that can be of assistance if you are trying to manage your home or garden after the flood waters recede.  Please visit www.southwind.ksu.edu to find links to the most up-to-date resources on managing after a flood.

 

After a flood has devastated your home or business, food safety is one of the many things to be considered. Flood water should generally be considered contaminated, as it is difficult to determine what it has contacted on its way to your property. Water from floods can be contaminated with sewage or animal waste, particularly if they occur in areas near wastewater treatment facilities or livestock operations. Raw sewage and animal waste contain bacteria that can cause illness if contaminated foods are eaten. Flood waters that cover roads, vehicles, solid waste facilities, or pass by manufacturing and business sites can carry heavy metals and other industrial contaminants, which can also be hazardous to human health.

 

Mildew may develop on damp or wet items in your home. Mildew is a gray-white mold that leaves stains and rots fabric unless it is removed promptly. Mold and mildew are problems after the type of weather we have had lately. Resources for managing mold and for cleaning up, can also be found on at www.southwind.ksu.edu

 

If you have a sump pump, we offer a link for details about making informed decisions about back up pumps and various home systems.

 

We provided links to local emergency management resources in Allen, Bourbon, Neosho and Woodson Counties along with state websites such as KSReady.gov, the state’s portal to information and resources on emergency planning and preparedness for the public, businesses, schools, children, elected officials and first responders.

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the U.S.. We cannot always be prepared for the worst, but Extension is here to help you when recovery is the only option. K-State Research & Extension invites you to explore the links on www.southwind.ksu.edu and let us know if we can answer your questions. Above all, please be safe during this period of bad weather.


Carla Nemecek
Southwind Extension District
Director & Agent
cnemecek@ksu.edu
620-365-2242
1 North Washington, Iola, KS 66749

StoryWalk

K-State Research and Extension Southwind District Family and Consumer Science Agent, Joy Miller, 620-223-3720 or joymiller@ksu.edu

 

Be an Active Family with StoryWalk®

Physical activity is important for children and adults of all ages. Being active as a family can benefit everyone. Add StoryWalk® to your family summer activity list this year. StoryWalk® was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT. Her idea was to laminate the pages from a children’s story book and place them on stakes along a walking path for children and adults to read together. As you stroll down the path reading, you and your family can get multiple benefits from this activity.

Reading out loud. Whether you read to your child, your child reads to you, or you take turns, it expands a child’s interest in books. It also increases vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and attention span. Communication and listening skills are also developed when discussing pictures in the book, what is going on in the story, and predicting what might happen next.

Relationship building. Besides being educational, reading books together can strengthen the bond between the child and parent, grandparent, or caregiver. Spending frequent, brief amounts of time involved in child-preferred activities is one of the most powerful things parents can do to connect with their children.

Spending time outdoors in nature. Studies have shown cognitive function and mood improvement occurs when children and adults spend time in nature. Time in nature increases creativity and imagination, stimulates to your 5 senses, gets you up and moving, helps you think better, improves your attention span, and reduces stress and fatigue.

Built in movement. Adults need 30 minutes of physical activity each day while children need 60 minutes. Beyond the number of minutes of physical activity needed, we all need more movement throughout our day. One of Anne Ferguson’s goals was to create an activity where parents had to be as active as the children and not sit on the sidelines. Children are more likely to be physically active if their parents are.

Storyline of the Book. The last benefit is expanding on the storyline for learning, experiences, and application. Some of the StoryWalk® books in our Extension Office promote financial literacy, helping children learn about the many sides of money management.

Families have busy schedules, StoryWalk® ‘s are accessible when you are ready and take as much or as little time as you want. K-State Research and Extension is partnering with libraries, schools, and recreation centers to bring StoryWalk to your community this summer. For dates and locations, visit southwind.ksu.edu.

1 minute Radio Spot

Be an active family this summer. Being active as a family can benefit everyone. Physical activity is important for children and adults of all ages. I’m Joy Miller, Family and Consumer Science Extension Agent with K-State Research and Extension Southwind District. Adults need two and a half hours a week of physical activity and children need sixty minutes a day. K-State is partnering with agencies to bring Storywalk to your community. StoryWalk® is a program for families to read and be active together. Pages from children’s story books are laminated, attached to a board, and placed along a path children and adults can walk. As you stroll down the path reading, families also build reading skills and p strengthen family relationships. Add StoryWalk to your summer activity list. For storywalk locations, story books, or parent discussion guides, contact me at 620-223-3720 or visit our website at www.southwind.ksu.edu.

Humboldt Union Newspaper

Be an active family this year. Physical activity is important for children and adults of all ages. Adults need two and a half hours a week of physical activity and children need 60 minutes a day. K-State Research and Extension Southwind District and Humboldt Library are partnering to bring StoryWalk to Humboldt this summer. StoryWalk® is a program for families to read and be active together. Pages from children’s story books are laminated, attached to a board, and placed along a path children and adults can walk. In Humboldt, many of the story boards will be located in business windows around the downtown square. The first page of StoryWalk® will begin at the Humboldt library, then to the Humboldt Union, page 3 will begin on the east side of the square and flow clockwise around the square. Add StoryWalk® to your family summer activity list this year. StoryWalk® will begin Wednesday, June 12th and stories will change every two weeks. Discussion guides are available at the Humboldt Library or at southwind.ksu.edu.

Poultry Testing Requirements are Temporarily Suspended.

Christopher Petty

The Division of Animal Health at the Kansas Department of Agriculture has announced a time-limited waiver for the pullorum-typhoid testing requirements for poultry in Kansas. The sunset date set for this temporary suspension is October 1, 2019. It has NOT been discontinued, but temporarily waived. Because this date is after the 2019 county and state fair season, this means that pullorum testing will be waived for poultry shows in Kansas. This has been caused by a nationwide shortage of the testing antigen.

The shortage has been caused by many things, but certainly having just a sole supplier due to the pharmaceutical industry consolidation has been problematic. Anyone working with poultry that would normally require testing should remain alert to the issue, however, as the program has NOT been discontinued. Hopefully, this emergency change will result better access and lower cost in the long run. KSU Poultry Specialist Dr. Scott Beyer has always pointed out that reduced participation in youth poultry shows is partially tied to the difficulty with dealing with the national testing program. When all things are considered, there is a low risk of pullorum disease when birds are displayed in individual show cages.

According to K-State Research and Extension – Southwind District Extension Agent Christopher Petty, this means there will be no testing of birds prior to the 2019 Bourbon County Fair. Check with your local extension agent about testing requirements for your local county fair.

The Kansas pullorum testing program is maintained within the KDA and they may be reached at 785-564-6601 for further questions.

Waterlogged Kansas may be in for even more rain, flooding

Christopher Petty

K-State weather specialists say wet pattern will persist

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Rainfall patterns that turned lawns and farm fields into unintended ponds and swelled rivers to capacity and beyond are likely to continue into June, according to weather specialists at Kansas State University.

“The persistent pattern has consisted of back and forth movement of a stationary front across the central Plains. This front is separating cold with below-normal temperatures to the north and west and above-normal temperatures to the south and east,” said Chip Redmond, manager of Kansas Mesonet, a system of weather stations across the state that detect and record weather data. “Where the front sets up daily will be the focus for the heaviest flooding rains.”

Because of already saturated soils, Redmond and his colleague, assistant climatologist Mary Knapp, do not expect flooding issues to end in Kansas anytime soon.

“It is almost a guarantee that water control issues will continue into June, if not worsen,” Redmond said. Areas in the central and eastern part of the state have been hit particularly hard.

Springtime temperatures have also been below normal, said Knapp, who added that it’s a trend likely to continue. That will also be a factor in how quickly the soil can dry out.

Beyond June, Knapp and Redmond expect temperatures to warm seasonably but noted that soil surface moisture may increase evaporation/transpiration rates, injecting moisture into the atmosphere. That in turn may result in above average shower and thunderstorm activity.

With ponds and lakes already near or at capacity in some areas, even without more moisture, it is likely to take months before flows return to normal, Knapp said.

“Every rainfall we get in the process will push back that return, possibly substantially,” she said.

More information is available on the Kansas Mesonet website, Office of the State Climatologist website, and in the latest K-State Agronomy eUpdate weekly newsletter.

Devon Kids in the Kitchen

Southwind Extension District is sponsoring FREE cooking classes for youth to learn more about kitchen self-care skills. The classes are for youth that have completed the second through eighth grade. Younger or older children will not be allowed.

Since this is a ‘hands-on’ experience, we limit the size of each class depending on the size of the facility. If you have questions please call Kathy McEwan at 620-365-2242 or email kmcewan@ksu.edu.
Instructors for the classes will be Nutrition Assistants Malynda Payne and Mary Daniels.

Email address *
Child’s Full Name *
Child’s Mailing Address *
Grade Just Completed *
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
Child’s Age *
Child’s Gender
Male
Female
Primary Emergency Contact Number *
Secondary Emergency Contact Number *
Health Information (any known allergies) *

Parent’s Name *
Parent’s Email *
Parent’s Home/Cell Number/Work *
Name of Child’s Doctor *
Parent/Guardian Permission Agreement
By electronically submitting this registration form, I (parent/guardian) understand participants will be supervised and that if a serious illness or injury develops, medical and/or hospital care will be given. I hereby give permission to the attending physician to hospitalize and/or secure proper treatment for my child. I hear-by release K-State Research & Extension, the State of Kansas and their agents, officers and employees, from all claims, demands and causes of action of any kind, including claims of negligence, which may arise from participation of my minor child in “Kids In the Kitchen” classes. I also authorize K-State Research & Extension or their assignees to record and photograph my child’s image and/or voice for use in research, educational and promotional programs.
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Fulton Culinary Kids

Southwind Extension District is sponsoring FREE cooking classes for youth to learn more about kitchen self-care skills. The classes are for youth that have completed the third through eighth grade. Younger or older children will not be allowed.

Since this is a ‘hands-on’ experience, we limit the size of each class depending on the size of the facility. If you have questions please call Kathy McEwan at 620-365-2242 or email kmcewan@ksu.edu.
Instructors for the classes will be Nutrition Assistants Malynda Payne and/or Mary Daniels.

Email address *
Child’s Full Name *
Child’s Mailing Address *
Grade Just Completed *
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
Child’s Age *
Child’s Gender
Male
Female
Primary Emergency Contact Number *
Secondary Emergency Contact Number *
Health Information (any known allergies) *

Parent’s Name *
Parent’s Email *
Parent’s Home/Cell Number/Work *
Name of Child’s Doctor *
Parent/Guardian Permission Agreement
By electronically submitting this registration form, I (parent/guardian) understand participants will be supervised and that if a serious illness or injury develops, medical and/or hospital care will be given. I hereby give permission to the attending physician to hospitalize and/or secure proper treatment for my child. I hear-by release K-State Research & Extension, the State of Kansas and their agents, officers and employees, from all claims, demands and causes of action of any kind, including claims of negligence, which may arise from participation of my minor child in “Kids In the Kitchen” classes. I also authorize K-State Research & Extension or their assignees to record and photograph my child’s image and/or voice for use in research, educational and promotional programs.
*
YES
Send me a copy of my responses.

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Attracting Butterflies

Krista Harding
District Extension Agent, Horticulture
Southwind Extension District
111 S. Butler
Erie, KS 66733
Office: 620-244-3826
Cell: 620-496-8786

Tips to Attract More Butterflies to the Landscape

If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon of planting to attract butterflies – you need to! I love watching butterflies flit around my yard. Not only are they enjoyable to watch, but they also serve as pollinators for some plants. Sure, some butterflies will probably always visit your yard from time to time, but if you want to get serious about attracting more to your landscape, you must provide for their basic needs. This includes food, shelter, liquids, and a sunning location.

If you want butterflies to be more than just visitors looking for a good source of nectar, then you have to create a true butterfly habitat. This will encourage more butterflies to call your garden their home! One way to encourage more butterflies to your landscape is by utilizing plants that serve the needs of all stages of the butterfly. This means planting nectar plants and host plants.

Nectar plants are what the adult butterflies feed on. It is the color and shape of these flowers that will attract the butterflies. Plant nectar plants in masses using three or more plants of one variety. In the nectar plant category, there are many annuals and perennials that can be utilized. Some of the must-have annuals include zinnias, lantana, verbena, and French marigold to name just a few. Perennials utilized as a nectar plant include aster, black-eyed Susan, coneflower, milkweed, catmint and bee balm.

Even some shrubs and herbs are great nectar plants for butterflies. Of course, as the name would imply, butterfly bush is a great addition, along with lilac, mock orange, and spirea. Grow herbs for not only culinary purposes but as a nectar and host source. Plant chives, dill, sage, thyme, and fennel.

Host plants are those plants that butterflies lay their eggs on and that caterpillars feed on. Plant these with the expectation that the will be partially eaten by the developing butterfly. For me, I love walking out and looking at the developing caterpillars and I’m happy to share my plants with them! At the top of this plant list, it is milkweed. Milkweed is the exclusive food source for Monarch caterpillars. There are many different types of milkweed, but the butterfly milkweed is one of the more eye-catching. Other host plants that I like to plant include parsley, dill and fennel. These are great host plants for Black Swallowtails.

Butterflies also need protection from the wind and predators. This can be accomplished by incorporating certain trees and shrub species into the landscape. Butterflies use hackberry, elm, ash, willow and pawpaw trees. Host shrubs include spicebush and prickly ash.

You can make your butterflies feel more at home in the landscape if you will add a few light colored stones. Place these in a location protected from the wind. This will become an area where butterflies can bask in the sun and warm themselves. Incorporate a shallow container filled with sand and keep it moist. Butterflies will gather on the damp sand to take up needed salts and minerals. An occasional treat of rotting or overripe fruit will also keep butterflies happy!

Finally, be mindful of pesticide use. Pesticides not only kill undesirable insect pests, but they also kill butterflies and their caterpillars.

Now is the time to get busy creating a butterfly habitat! I have some wonderful resources available at the Extension office that offers a complete listing of plants. These can be found on the home page of our district website: southwind.ksu.edu or you can pick up a copy at any of our office locations.

Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Agricultural agent assigned to Southwind District. She may be reached at kharding@ksu.edu or 620-244-3826.

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

 

 

Farm Machinery Safety Tips From K-State

Carla Nemecek is Southwind District Director and agent.

Machinery represents an ever-present danger on the farm.

While machines save valuable time and are essential to productivity, use of farm machinery is hazardous, making them the source of most injuries and deaths on American farms and ranches.

 

While manufacturers design and build safety features into their machines, hazards cannot be completely eliminated without interfering with function. Timely maintenance, responsible use, and comprehensive safety awareness training are ways farmers can protect themselves and others from injury or death when working with and around agricultural machinery.

 

The primary responsibility for machinery safety rests with the operator. Operators must be aware of potential hazards with the specific piece of machinery they are operating. Safe operators respect machines for the work they perform and the dangers they present. Use these eight simple steps to be a safe machinery operator.

 

  1. Be aware. Recognize where and what the hazards are.
  2. Be prepared. Replace worn parts promptly and do daily pre-operational checks. Include preseason checks. Take advantage of the off-season to do additional maintenance work. This gives you time to order any shields and other parts you may need. Anticipate problems.
  3. Read the operator’s manual. The simple tips and precautions in this publication are no substitute for the operator’s manual for each piece of machinery. If the manual is missing, contact your dealer or check online to get another one.
  4. Shield all moving parts. Make the machine as safe as possible.
  5. Respect PTO and hydraulics. Remember that any machine that is powered by a power takeoff driveline (PTO) or has hydraulic systems is inherently dangerous.
  6. Shut it off. Before servicing any machine, disengage the PTO, turn off the engine, remove the key, and wait for all parts to stop moving.
  7. Watch yourself. Try to avoid particularly hazardous jobs if you’re physically ill or mentally distracted. Fatigue and stress cause many accidents.
  8. Use a machine only for its intended purpose.

 

With more consistently warmer temperatures, farmers will be in the field and on the roads. Pay special attention to slow moving vehicles, as the machinery operator has limited visibility.

 

To emphasize farm safety, the Southwind District will offer a Tractor Safety training on Tuesday, May 21 in cooperation with Fort Scott Community College for youth ages 14-15. For more information about farm or machinery safety or for details on Tractor Safety Training, please contact the Southwind Extension District at www.southwind.ksu.edu

Carla Nemecek
Southwind Extension District
Director & Agent
cnemecek@ksu.edu
620-365-2242
1 North Washington, Iola, KS 66749