The recent rains have been welcome, but mosquitoes could now be a problem. The first human case of West Nile Virus in Kansas has been diagnosed already, and mosquitoes infected with the virus have been detected in other counties in the state. This mosquito explosion is due to all the rain and standing water. So, please take the standard precautions when outside wear repellent with the active compound DEET and try to drain all standing water when possible.

For more information about mosquitoes and West Nile virus, visit

Volunteer wheat

The recent wet weather has caused volunteer wheat to emerge and grow rapidly. Wet soil conditions may keep producers out of the fields for an extended period, making it even more difficult than usual to control the volunteer. To protect the state's 2013-14 wheat crop that will be planted this fall, the volunteer wheat must be controlled.

Volunteer wheat within a half-mile of a field that will be planted to wheat should be completely dead at least two weeks before wheat planting. This will help control wheat curl mites, Hessian fly and greenbugs in the fall.

The most important threat from volunteer wheat is the wheat streak mosaic virus complex. These virus diseases cause stunting and yellow streaking on the leaves. In most cases, infection can be traced to a nearby field of volunteer wheat.

Wheat streak mosaic virus is carried from volunteer to newly planted wheat by the wheat curl mite. The curl mite uses the wind to carry it to new hosts and can travel up to half a mile from volunteer wheat. The wheat curl mite is the vector for both wheat streak mosaic, the High Plains virus and triticum mosaic virus.

Hessian flies survive over the summer on wheat stubble. When the adults emerge, they can infest any volunteer wheat that may be present, which will keep the Hessian fly population alive and going through the upcoming crop season. If there is no volunteer around when these adults emerge, they will not be able to oviposit on a suitable host plant. If the volunteer is destroyed while the flies are still larvae, this will help to reduce potential problems.

Volunteer wheat is a host of barley yellow dwarf virus, and the greenbugs and bird cherry oat aphids that carry it. Russian wheat aphids may also live over the summer on volunteer wheat, as well as Banks grass mite and chinch bugs.

Another reason to control volunteer wheat is that volunteer and other weeds use up large amounts of soil moisture. Tillage and herbicides are the two options available for volunteer control. Tillage usually works best when plants are small and conditions are relatively dry. Herbicide options depend on cropping systems and rotations. Glyphosate can be used to control emerged volunteer wheat and other weeds during the fallow period in any cropping system.

If you have any questions about mosquito control, volunteer wheat or other concerns, contact David Coltrain at 272-3670 or email

Knowledge at Noon

Knowledge at Noon begins Sept. 5. The Finney County Kansas State Research and Extension Office encourages you to mark your calendar for these informative public meetings each month from 12:05 to 12:55 p.m. at the Finney County Public Library, 605 E. Walnut St., unless otherwise posted.

The public is invited to attend all these programs. Bring a sack lunch. Coffee and tea will be provided.

* Sept. 5: "The Great Dames of the Plains." Old houses of Garden City, with Johnetta Hebrlee from the Finney County Historical Society speaking.

* Oct. 3: "Tastes of Venezuela." Presented by Lehisa de Fornoza, Extension family and consumer science agent.

* Nov. 7: "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas." Decorating for Christmas, Debbie Wharton from Wharton's will be showing ideas for Christmas.

Other dates through the year include Dec. 5 and in the new year Jan. 9, Feb. 6, March 6 and April 13.

For more information about the Knowledge at Noon, contact de Fornoza at 272-3670.

Selecting a home canner

When selecting a preservation canner, the first thing to do is look in your range/stove manual and see if it recommends canning on your particular stove. If you can't find this information, call the 1-800 number and ask. Not all stoves can be used for the process of home canning. The second question is about canners. There are many good canners on the market. As long as they have either a dial or a weighted gauge, a tight-fitting lid with a good seal, a safety valve or plug, and can hold at least four quarts of food they are appropriate for home canning.

Edamame, field soybeans

Edamame is a nutritious food crop that is gaining popularity in the United States. Edamame (or edible soybeans) are from the same species as field soybeans but have been specially bred to produce larger seeds, sweeter flavor, creamier texture and easier digestability. Yes, field soybeans are safe to eat but will pale in comparison to Edamame in most respects.

Youth in 4-H learn life skills

4-H joins you with other families and volunteers to tackle the life's little questions together. You don't have to do it alone.

Did you know that you don't have to be old enough to go to college to be part of Kansas State University? 4-H is a part of the Cooperative Extension System, which is operated through each state's Land Grant University. It is the youth program of K-State Research Extension.

Youth between the ages of 5 and 18 can have fun while learning a lot of different things in 4-H. They can build and launch a rocket, or get stuck in the mud exploring a stream. They can raise animals and plants in the country or city and have great times with friends while planning neat things to do at their club meetings.

Kids can show what they have made and learned in projects at the fair, compete in public speaking and communication contests, and older members can apply for special trips, awards and scholarships.

4-H Youth Development programs emphasize learning by doing. This experience encourages youths to experiment, innovate and think independently. 4-H leaders are encouraged to let youths experience and learn on their own.

This process engages youths in the activity, encouraging them to think more, work harder and ultimately learn more than with traditional methods. 4-H has three primary program areas: science, engineering and technology; healthy living; and citizenship. 4-H projects are the special interest areas that members can explore within these program areas.

4-H encourages youth to take responsibility and gives members the opportunity to make decisions. Youth have the opportunity to vote on activities their club participates in, sit on committees with adults, give their program direction and help other 4-H members as a junior leader.

Youth who participate in 4-H are practicing the skills they need to be successful, contributing adults. The skills they master and apply to other situations in their life will serve them well in college, the work force and society.

For more information about 4-H, contact Barbara Addison at or 272-3670.