By BARBARA ADDISON, LEHISA DE FORNOZA and DAVID COLTRAIN
County extension agents
The 2013 Finney County Fair will be held Wednesday through Sunday on the fairgrounds in Garden City. There's something for everyone at the Finney County Fair! Enter an exhibit, see booths and animals, take in a show or the demolition derby or monster truck show, enjoy great food, have fun at the carnival and join your friends.
For division check-in and judging schedules, entertainment and attractions, please refer to the Finney County Fair Book or fair website at www.finneycountyfair.org.
For all the details about the Finney County Fair, pick up a fair book at the Finney County Extension Office or visit the fair website.
Preparing for 4-H fair/show exhibits
4-H fairs or shows are often the highlight of the 4-H year. From a youth development perspective, fairs allow 4-H members to display projects and to participate in educational experiences critiqued by an adult expert. Shows provide opportunities for 4-H members to demonstrate new knowledge, abilities, skills and attitudes. County fairs provide a showcase for recognition of youth and allow an avenue for young people to practice the life skills of teamwork, cooperation, communication, sportsmanship, and club pride and unity.
Finney County Fair awards
All exhibits are judged in two ways: individually against project standards, and competitively against all others in the same class.
The exhibit is first judged against standards. Some projects use a score sheet to determine to what degree the standards have been met. A ribbon is then awarded as follows:
Purple — Grand Champion: Best overall exhibit in the project. Indicates that the judge feels the exhibit is the very best within a specific division. Generally only blue and purple ribbon exhibits are eligible.
Lavender — Reserve Grand Champion: Second best overall exhibit in the project. Indicates that the judge feels the exhibit is the second best within a specific division. Generally, only blue and purple ribbon exhibits are eligible.
Purple — Champion: Best exhibit in the level. These ribbons may be used where the judge feels that within the blue ribbon exhibits there are one or more that are truly outstanding and merit special recognition.
Lavender — Reserve Champion: Second best exhibit in the level. These ribbons may be used where the judge feels that within the blue ribbon exhibits there are one or more that are truly outstanding and merit special recognition next to Champion.
State Fair: 4-H Exhibit was selected to go to the Kansas State Fair — Outstanding
Blue: Indicates that in the judge's opinion, the 4-H member shows above average workmanship, knowledge and effort in the project based on the conference judging criteria. Met the standard — Above the average of the group.
Red: Indicates that in the judge's opinion, the 4-H member shows expected or average workmanship, knowledge and effort in the project based on the conference judging criteria. Needs improvement — Average of the group.
White: Indicates that in the judge's opinion, the 4-H member shows below average workmanship, knowledge and effort in the project based on the conference judging criteria. Needs much improvement — below the average of the group.
If merited, Class Champions (purple ribbons) are awarded from among the blue ribbon winners in each project area. Class Champions are those who have exceeded the project standards.
Kansas State Risk and Profit Conference
This year's Risk and Profit Conference is themed "Congress and Bulls and Bears, Oh My!" and will be held Aug. 21 and 22 at the K-State Alumni Center in Manhattan. The two keynote speakers and topics are Scott Irwin, University of Illinois professor of agricultural economics, "Grain Markets and the RFS (Renewable Fuel Standards): All Eyes on the EPA" and Northwest Kansas farmer Terry Kastens, K-State emeritus professor of agricultural economics, "A Conversation with a Kansas Producer."
Conference participants will be able to attend eight of the 20 breakout sessions, which include: "Kansas Land Values — How do Survey Values Compare with Transaction Prices?"; "Kansas Rental Values — What Cash Rent Information is Right?"; "Pasture Lease Pricing: Comparing Methods"; "Basics of Futures and Options"; "USDA Crop and Livestock Reports: What, When and Where?"; "Ethanol and Biodiesel Impacts and Grain Markets in 2013-2014"; "U.S. Beef Demand: Recent Project Synthesis and Expert Views on the Next 10 Years"; "World Supply and Demand for Food: An Historical Perspective and Future Prospects"; "Risk Rating Kansas Farmer Cooperatives: An Application of the Moody's Rating Methodology"; "Estate Planning Basics"; and "Economic Impacts of the Ogallala Aquifer Depletion in West-Central Kansas."
For online registration visit http://www.agmanager.info/events/risk_profit/2013/. For more information, call the Finney County Extension Office at 272-3670.
Controlling spider mites
Spider mites are small, insect-like (although not true insects) creatures that suck juices from plant leaves. The resulting pale discoloration gradually leads to a bronzing and drying up of plant foliage. Spider mites can blow or migrate from nearby areas to susceptible plants. In hot, dry weather they multiply quickly. Many predators can keep mite populations in check.
If mites are suspected on plants, hold a sheet of white paper beneath a branch or leaf and tap. Mites will be dislodged and can be seen as tiny specks on the paper that move about.
The use of common insecticides like Sevin kills predators while having no effect on the mites themselves; thus, mite populations often build up rapidly after using Sevin insecticide. Plants that have been well fertilized often appear to be more susceptible to mite infestations. Recent research studies have indicated that mites are not worse on plants with high nutrient levels, but the denser foliage may increase mite populations.
Mites will be washed off plants with heavy rainfall so washing plants — especially with a little soapy water through a hose-end sprayer — can help reduce mite populations. The next step to try is using horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps. Normally heavy washing or using horticulture oils will control mites without using miticides.
If washing and using oils does not get the desired results, then miticides could be the answer. The miticide Kelthane is only labeled for certain vegetables, fruits and nuts. On ornamentals, use bifenthrin or lambda cyhalothrin, which is sold to homeowners as Spectracide triazicide. It will be necessary to apply several applications of miticides about four to five days apart to ensure good control. A single application is seldom effective. Be alert for mite populations on garden crops such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, beans and melons. Marigolds are a particular favorite of mites as are junipers and cedars.
If you have any questions about controlling spider mites or other concerns, contact Finney County Extension Agent David Coltrain at 272-3670 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.