Archive for Wednesday, January 24, 2001

Farm meeting looks at genetics

January 24, 2001

Will genetically altered crops make or break farming?

This topic, and more, will be up for discussion at Friday's Leavenworth County annual soils and crops conference.

The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. through lunch at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds.

Sy Nyhart, county extension agent, said Robert Bowden, plant pathologist from Kansas State University, will talk about the genetically altered crops.

"This part of farming has become a very risky business," Nyhart said. "We're not sure what the markets are going to accept or allow us to do with it."

Chris Althausen, extension agricultural economist with the Farm Management Association in Leavenworth County, will talk about the economic considerations in using genetically altered crops.

Another topic that will be looked at concerns the effects of last summer's drought on soil conditions. Scott Stagenborh, extension crops and soils specialist for Northeast Kansas, Manhattan, will address this, talking about chemicals that may have been applied to benefit last summer's crops.

"The chemicals may not have had enough moisture to totally react in the soil," Nyhart said. "There may be some carryover."

It may be, Nyhart added, that farmers won't have to apply as much fertilizer to cropland this year because of the carryover-effect from the summer's drought.

"But they may have to do a soil test to find out," Nyhart said.

Randy Taylor, K-State extension specialist on machinery systems, will talk about efficient application of anhydrous ammonia.

And Doug Musick, Lawrence, extension watershed specialist for the Lower Kansas River Valley, will talk about water concerns for Leavenworth County.

The conference is sponsored by K-State Research and Extension of Leavenworth County. In conjunction, McGraw Fertilizer will provide a noon luncheon and chemical company booths as part of the company's customer appreciation day. All area farmers and landowners are invited to attend.

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