April 24, 2018
The hottest thing in novelty crops in 1992 was alpacas, advertised as “the finest livestock investment opportunity in North America.” The animals never quite took off as investments, but they are still popular on some Kansas farms and are valued for the quality of their wool.
100 years ago
There was amazing mechanization on the scene in June of 1918 — the Prairie Dog Tractor.
An advertisement in the June Kansas Farmer Magazine said the tractor would do plowing, harrowing, listing, planting and drilling as well as pulling a binder, mower, corn harvester or manure spreader. A belt pulley was available to equip it to grind feed, pump water or saw wood.
Hailed as a time saver and money maker, the Prairie Dog was advertised as capable of plowing eight acres in just one day.
70 years ago
Sweet clover was proving its worth as a rotation crop in Kansas in June of 1948. Farmers in Russell County reported that when they plowed clover under, they noticed many small holes in the ground where the clover roots penetrated deeply into the soil. Those holes allow water to soak into the ground with the rain. The clover also added nitrogen to the soil.
60 years ago
The Monsanto Chemical Company of St. Louis announced the publication of two new pamphlets that were designed to help farmers realize higher crop yields per acre. One publication described the correct fertilization of corn, and the other pointed out the advantages of applying lime to fields.
50 years ago
Soil-borne wheat mosaic virus was quickly spreading westward in Kansas in June of 1968. The suspected cause of the spread of the virus was birds, which were believed to carry it on their feet. Eastern Kansas growers, where the disease first appeared, were having success with switching wheat production to fields where the virus was not present, or by planting varieties with high resistance to soil-borne wheat mosaic virus.
20 years ago
New regulations required the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to have rules and regulations concerning manure management drafted by June 1 of 1999. Every facility with more than 1,000 animal units was required to submit a manure management plan with their permit application within six months after KDHE’s rules were adopted. A nutrient management plan was required if plans for disposal of manure or wastewater included land application,
Goerzen is executive director of Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita, Kan., where she lives with husband, Matt, four kids, three cats and a dog.
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