The Garden City Telegram

Statewide Water Vision Tour announced




Finney County Extension Office

During July Governor Sam Brownback's Water Vision Team will be traveling the state to receive input on the first draft of the Vision for the Future of Water in Kansas.

Twelve locations throughout the state have been set for Governor Sam Brownback's Water Vision Team to visit and receive input on the first draft of the Vision for the Future of Water in Kansas.

"Water is one of my top priorities for Kansas and the entire state is affected by what happens with water," said Gov. Brownback. "We need everyone to care about this issue and I encourage you to attend one of these meetings to share your input and feedback with my Water Vision Team."

To date, the Vision Team has attended more than 160 meetings with more than 9,000 Kansans to gather insight on water issues.

Based on input to date, four categories establish and organize the themes and strategies of this first Vision draft -Water Conservation, Water Management, Technology and Crop Varieties and New Sources of Supply. The Vision cannot be a "one size fits all" solution.

For more information about the Governor's Call to Action for a 50-Year Vision, and a list of towns for the tour, visit

The input sessions will be held July 7-11, 2014 at the following area locations:

Tuesday, July 8 -

Seward Co. Activity Building, 7-8:30 am, Liberal

Finney Co. 4-H Building, 11:30-1pm , Garden City

Lane Co. 4-H Building, 4:30-6pm - Dighton

Wednesday, July 9 -

Colby Community Building, 7-8:30 am, Colby,

For more information about the local meeting, contact the Finney County Extension Office at 272-3670. K-State Research & Extension is helping facilitate the meeting place.

Wheat Harvest Update

This week's column is an update on last week's column. In the agriculture world, one week can sure change a lot of things. That fact led to wrong conclusions I was confident about when the last column was prepared.

We will start with the most important "wrong" conclusion. Last week I estimated Finney County wheat yields would be better than 2013, 20 bushels per acre vs. 18 last year. And if irrigated wheat came through, maybe up to 22 bushels. Now, I estimate 2014 will be around 16 bushels to the acre.

Last week I forgot to add a paragraph about rain and hail. I should have known better; I spent most of my life in southeast Kansas. I thought I was back in southeast Kansas and the "dream" turned into a "nightmare" with the unusual rain amounts. Many Finney residents had more than 8" of rain, and I always wonder how hail is accounted for. Sidenote: the rain was spotty because on Saturday on the way to the office from Walmart and home, I noticed eight lawns were getting watered. They must have missed the rain.

On a more serious note, the rain and hail lowered yields so much by decreasing the amount of acres cut in Finney County because of land under water and/or getting harvested by hail damage.

I would venture to guess, that last week came close to the all-time lowest amount of wheat harvested in the fourth week of June since wheat was planted as a major crop in Finney County. That brings us to one thing I learned that had nothing to do with the ill-timed rainy week. Serious wheat production in Finney County started around WW I, not 1860's, like other places in Kansas.

Looking at wheat market price, I was going to say that likely the market will slightly go up and stay close to where it is. On further study, last week's estimate is just as good. Wheat in the short run will stay about where it is and might go down. All the rain here and across the country improved corn prospects. Wheat nearly always follows corn. Today is the Quarterly Stocks Report. This report has a history of making big changes in grain outlook. So pay attention to what is learned from that report.

Finney County Extension has a Pre Plant Wheat School scheduled for Aug. 6 in Garden City. We will have eight Specialists tell how to grow wheat and three wheat producers on a panel tell us what the specialists were correct or wrong about. I am looking for a specialist who knows exactly when water events will happen on next year's crop. I haven't found anyone. Please let me know if you know an expert for that topic. Watch for meeting details.

If you have any questions about wheat harvest or need other types of information, contact David Coltrain, Finney County Extension Agent by phone 620-272-3670 or email

Be prepared for emergencies: Create a food, water supply

At this time of year the news is full of stories about tornadoes, floods and storms which can cause power outages. Take time now to ensure that you and your family are prepared. Put together an emergency supply of food and have the whole family participate. These tips will get you started:

* Gather a three-day emergency supply of food. Ask your children to find canned foods in your cupboard that could be used in this emergency supply such as ready-to-eat meat and fish, canned fruits in light juice, canned juices, canned veggies or bean salads. Other foods that can be included are peanut butter, crackers, jelly, trail mix and granola bars. Keep the items in a cool place. Store in a container that has a snug lid to keep pests out.

* Date foods in your emergency supply. Change every 6 months. Throw out any cans that are corroded, dented or swollen.

* Update your emergency supply every year depending on family members..¬ 

* Change stored food and water supplies every six months. Be sure to write the date you store it on all containers.¬ 

* Re-think your needs every year and update your kit supplies every six months. Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as an unused trashcan, camping backpack or duffel bag.

The food supply needs to be non-perishable; select foods that require no refrigeration, minimal or no preparation or cooking, and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno -flammable hydrocarbon jelly supplied in cans for use as fuel for cooking stoves or chafing dishes. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. Tips include:

* Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables ¬ 

* Canned juices, milk, soup (if powdered, store extra water)¬ 

* Staples — sugar, salt, pepper, condiments, spices

High energy foods — peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix ¬ 

* Foods for infants, elderly persons or persons on special diets (for example, diabetics or those with allergies) ¬ 

* Comfort/stress foods — cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops, instant coffee, tea bags ¬ 

* Supplements — vitamins/minerals, calcium, fish oil

Make sure you have a can opener, scissors or knife for cutting open foil and plastic pouches, and disposable plates, cups and utensils. Pack all these items in plastic bags (zipper closures work well) to keep them dry and as airtight as possible. Keep a list of dates when food items need to be inspected and possibly replaced with newly purchased items.

Water is also a crucial part of this three-day supply. To ensure the safest and most reliable emergency supply of water, it is recommended you purchase commercially bottled water. Keep bottled water in its original container and do not open it until you need to use it.¬ If you choose to use your own storage containers, choose two-liter plastic soft drink bottles.¬ 

* ¬ Store one gallon of water per person per day. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers and ill people will need more.

Sources: University of Missouri Extension; American Red Cross; FEMA; University of Georgia Extension