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July 29, 2010     The Oskaloosa Independent
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I :1 P. 2 THURSDAY, JULY 29, 2010 THE OSKALOOSA INDEPENDENT ]i The View From... The latest angle I can find on sericea lespe- deza, probably the worst natu- ral nemesis for pasture owners to come along in modern times, is that it's just about everywhere and it therefore doesn't really matter much any more how it got here. . : Keepingit from taking over whole sections by crowding out native grass is the name of the war, which has now been going on for some 20 years. County weed department supervi- sors say the fight against lespedeza makes the old days of battling musk thistle seem simple and easy. Not 0nly can thistle be controlled in nu- merous ways at more than one time ayear, it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to contain it. Sericea's cost is down to about $5 an acre, at best, and that is not going to last very long, because the seed keep coming in from deer, birds and even cattle, and probably on radiator grills and equipment, too. Cattle even like the seed, despite disliking the mature plant, and will strip it from sericea stems, according to John Kabus, 18- year veteran as head of the Shawnee County Noxious Weed departmenL he has it and really doesn't want to The small black tough-coated seeds know, then the explosion of seed for pass unchanged, coming up where spreading is exponential. deposited in a pasture pie. Its root system is fantastic. I saw John confirmed reports that the one dug up and displayed at the fair horrible plant was officially listed as one year. The root mass is so dense a federal crop back in the mid 1980s, and voluminous, you have to won- when the Conservation Reserve der how even a neighboring sericea Program really geared up, putting a plant can survive. This plant was re- huge demand pressure on the native searched and grown for years by the grass seed industry. Sericea, planted USDA for southern growers back in in the South as a hay crop, invaded the 1920s and 1930s. It also was used the CRP seed mixes and was labeled for a time for erosion control along on the tags as"other crops" seed, and highway rights of way in some states, not as a noxious weed seed. Missouri allegedly among those. I've had it on my place now at The legal burden ofhaving noxious least three years and this is by far weeds translates rapidly into a finan- the worst infestation, despite an cial burden and a social acceptability honest attempt last year to find and burden, and for me, a pofitical burden. kill every plant. Trying harder this One of Kabus' counterparts thinks it's year. Kabus is not all gloom and doom unfair to ranchers for government to about it. He cites a pasture on his have dubbed it a noxious weed after west boundary line that was badly it developed, introduced and helped infested a number of years ago, but spread it around. That may be, but is virtually clear today. That's the there is no doubt sericea is a clear and point: it takes long term diligence-- present danger to the viability of our and some money--to push it back. pastures, and we have no choice but Sericea seed stays viable for 50 to get out there and fight it. years, they say. Each plant puts out thousands. Fire simply wakes them up, which is all right, so one can kill the young plants that germinate JimSuberisanaward-minningfarm, after the pasture burns. However, if ranch, and rural life columnist resid- one skips a season or doesn't know ing on Rural Route No. 8, Topeka. It'll be a week until Kansas Democrats learn whether they've essentially won the Kansas Republican primary election. What? How can Democrats win the Republicans- 0nly primary elections for Kansas House seats and At The Rail by Martin Hawver statewide offices? Simply by watching for districts where the oppo- site party has elected as its candidate for the November general election someone who is way too conserva- tive, maybe even radical, to be accepted by the larger voter pool of the general election. It happens. And it happens to Democrats, too, that the primary, essentially the warm-up pitching for the big game in November,. winds up forwarding to the general election a candidate who, while maybe locally popular among the party faithful, just doesn't show up on issues that are important to the general election crowd. .... That's probably because many Kansans see the legislative race primaries as almost a disfraCtion during the hectic get-in-that-vacation after summer baseball and soccer leagues for the kids end and getting ready for school when the entire calendar of many Kansas families changes. Ask many parents, and there are just two seasons: school season and summer vacation, when everything goes by schedule. Democrats, the minority party in about 100 House districts in Kansas, generally don't have much to vote on down-ballot, after the statewide races. Unless something surprising happens, like a long-term incumbent retir- ing, Democrats tend to have one candidate per office. That gives them the summer offwhile Republicans are sweating on doorsteps across the state. The Republicans, well, there are more of them, and they emerge from their primary scraps with the occasional candidate who is strong within the party, or the primary election-voting fraction of it, to win but get beaten in the general. One reason? Probably that Democrats don't get the mailings from Republicans and Republicans don't get the mailings from Democrats in the primary election cycle. That makes sense; why waste valuable campaign resources on voters who can't vote for you in the primary election. But it also means that unless you swap cam- paign mail with a neighbor of the opposite party, you really don't learn how tough a candidate your party's nominee is going to have to face off against. It might mean that a loyal Republican learns that a Democrat is for an overwhelmingly important issue to that voter, or that a Democrat learns that his/her party's candidate is silent on something very important to the voter. Think that might make a difference? Who knows? But it seems logical that if all you read is Republican campaign stuff or Democratic campaign stuff, you won't be able to see where the candidates agree on issues, and what issues that are important to you that either candi- date is "right" on or at least bothers to mention. Chances are good if you know each party's candi- dates, there's less chance that Democrats Will wind up getting an advantage from Republican primary voters, and that Republicans will find themselves with can- didates who are out of the loop of the general election voters' interests. Good time to swap mail with a neighbor. Syndicated by Hawver News Company LLC of Topeka; Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver's Capitol Report--to learn more about this statewide political news service, visit the website at hawvernews.com. H Y P E T E N S I O D Z A B E T E R N An eye doctor can see things you can't, One in three adults over 40 has a vision problem-- and many don't even know it, Thatk because many" vision problems have no warning signs. An eye doctor can identify seriotts vision and health conditions before you can. For the latest information on vision health. visi~ heckyearly,com, A public service message front the Vision Council of America and AARP, AARP VCVolunteers of America* There are no limits to caring. Hello everyone, I know you haven't heard from me in more than a year, but I'm still here, and definitely have been working on my major issue behind the scenes. Be Awar~! The liquor question that is on the ballot will, in my opin- ion, only benefits Masterfarm. Here is why: The new owners of Bartlett's restaurant will not be able to sell any liquor because they are less than 200 feet from a church. There is another party interested in open- ing a bar, in one of the storefronts, north of the bank. I do not believe they will get that accomplished because of the day-care that is in the north part of town. I could be wrong about that though. I do not like the fact that this ordinance, in my opinion, only serves one party, Masterfarm. Are you aware that Masterfarm's own attorney wrote that ordinance? If an ordinance cannot serve more than one entity, then it should not be passed, or approved by a governing body. This would not be a good thing for the whole of the community. If it did serve more than one business, then I would say fine, "see if the majority agrees." Questions, corrections, com- ments, as always feel free to contact me at 913-796-2005 or P.O. Box 386. Sincerely, Barbara Hasemeier Rock Doc column: resources eas by Dr. E. Kirsten Peters It's difficult to know how to com- pare enormous disasters with one another. What has been unfolding in the GnlfofMexico is often called the "greatest environmental disaster" we've faced as a nation. My mind turned recently to an earlier environmental disaster that we Americans endured for years in the 1930s~ That was the time of the Dust Bowl when a combination of drought and our own farming prac- tices in the Great Plains launched the top-most layer of the Earth into the sky again and again. I was think'rag of both the Gulf of Mexico and the "Dirty Thirties" when I got up last month around dawn to drive 60 miles and meet with a group of wheat farmers and agricultural extension educators. We gathered - thank goodness - at a small town caf~ that opens early. Black coffee (ka0wn to some of us as the elixir of life) was fresh and hot and flowing freely. An agricultural "field day" is a cross between an educational seminar and a field trip, scheduled when a farmer's work is in a natural lull. They are an old tradition in the world of agricuhural education and extension, part of the effort to bring research ideas to those with their boots on the ground and - equally importantly - to help information flow back from the real world to the Ivory Tower. It's an interesting task, giving applied research freely to anyone interested and getting back information and ideas from those whose very living depends on, the soil. Here's the basic soil conservation problem with most farming. If a farmer plows up or "disks" soil, that work helps kill weeds'and prepares a fine seed bed for planting. But it also disturbs the soil so that it is easily eroded by water and wind. Even flat ground is subject to a lot of erosion, and steep ground-which is what is farmed in my part of the country- holds the record for topsoil lost from the fields over the years due to erosion. There are now many techniques used in farm country to help keep topsoil where Jr'is and avoid a repeat of the Dust Bowl. "Cover crops" are planted to protect the ground during the part of the year the earth would otherwise be bare, and a new tech- nology - called "no-till" - has been developed and is in use by some farmers. No-till farming avoids turning over all the soil in a field prior to planting. It still disturbs soil - there is no way around that - but not to the extent that conventional ag- riculture does. The implement used for no-till cuts a groove in the earth, drops in seed and fer- tilizer, and then covers it all up again. Between the rows of dis- ..... turbed ground, the roots and stubble from the pre- vious crop remain intact, helping to hold the whole field together when the rains come and the winds blow. No-till farming is not the same as "organic" agriculture. Because the ground is not turned over or thoroughly cultivated, weeds are not broken up and killed. This means a farmer often has to spray more herbicide in a no-till field than in one worked via more traditional means. But there are trade-offs in ev- erything. No-till farming requires less tractor fuel as the repeated tillage operations are eliminated. And conserving topsoil that takes centuries to form is clearly a highly prized goal. But there may also be increased insects and disease prob- lems. "When we make a change in the farming system like eliminating soil tillage, it affects the whole biological equilibrium between water avail- able to the crop, soil temperature, weeds, insects and plant diseases," commented Diana Roberts, agrono- mist with Washington State Univer- sity Extension. "This is fascinating for the scientist - OK, call it job security," she smiled. "But for farm- ers, it's a challenge to their whole livelihood." I learned a lot about no-till and its advantages and disadvantages in just one morning. Let's hope the ag researchers continue in their good work of finding new ways to conserve our topsoil -just as en- gineers in the Gulf meet with full success in taming the Deepwater Horizon blowout. Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, a native of the rural Northwest, was trained as a geolo- gist at Princeton and Harvard. FollOw her on the web at rockdoc.wsu.edu and on Twitter @RockDocWSU. This column is a service of the College of Sciences at Washington State University. must cons enerations If you're a member of Generation X-- the age group born between 1963 and 1981 -- you may well be in the busiest time of your life. You're prob- ably in the early to middle stages of your career, for one thing, and if you have children, they're likely still at home. Yet despite the hectic nature of your days, you still have to look after the financial concerns of your children, yourself and possibly even your parents. This three-generational effort may seem challenging, but with some planning and persistence, you can help your family make progress toward a variety of goals. To begin with, let's consider the needs of your children. Obviously, you're already providing for their liv- ing expenses, so from an investment point of view, your biggest concern may be how you'll help them pay for college. Here's a suggestion: Put time on your side and start saving as soon as possible. You might want to consider opening a 529 college sav- ings plan, which offers potential tax advantages. Saving for college is important -- but so is saving for your own retire- ment. Consequently, you'll have to find the right balance of resources to devote to these two goals. To avoid shortchanging yourself, take full advantage of your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan. Contribute as much as you can afford right now, and whenever you get a raise, increase your contributions. At the very least, put in enough to earn your employer's matching contri- bution, if one is offered. Your 401(k) accumulates on a tax-deferred basis, and your contributions are generally made with pretax dollars, so the more you put in, the lower your taxable income. You aren't confined to investing in a 401(k), either, because you can also put money into a traditional IRA, which accumulates tax deferred, or a Roth IRA, which accumulates tax free, provided you're at least age 59112 when you start making with- drawals and you've held your account at least five years. Once you've started saving for col- lege for your kids and investing for your own retirement, you've got one more generation to consider the older one. For example, you'll need to make sure your parents have ad- equate financial protection for their health care expenses. If your parents have saved and invested throughout their lives, they may not need any financial help from you -- but that doesn't mean you'll never be called upon to straighten out their affairs. That's why now is the perfect time to ask your parents some key questions: Where are your assets located? Do you have a will? How about a durable power of attorney? You might think these inquiries will make you sound "selfish," but the opposite is true: The more you know about your parents' financial situation and estate plans, the bigger help youql be to them, and to other members of your family, if the day arrives when your parents need some assistance. It may not always be easy to act on behalf of three genera- tions -- but it's worth the effort. This article was written by Ed- ward Jones County news and photos at Meadowlark District Extension Cindy Williams Meadowlark District Extension Agent Food, Nutrition, FNP 4-H and Youth KSU Research and Extension email: cwUliam @ oznet.ksu.edu David Hallauer Meadowlark District Extension Agent Crops, Soils, Horticulture 4-H and Youth KSU Research and Extension email: dhallaue @ oznet.ksu.edu Are you using those reusable gro- cery bags? Consider this Cross contamination is one of the top reasons linked to foodborne illness in the home. One example of cross contamination is in using reus- able shopping bags for a variety of purposes. In a study by Loma Linda Uni- versity School of Public Health, they found that most bags are never washed and often used to carry items other than groceries. They also found that storing the bags in the back seat or trunk of the car for two hours will increase bacteria growth tenfold. Bags were gathered from three states for a total of 84 bags. They also bought four new bags and four disposable plastic bags. Consumers were also interviewed to learn how they used and cared for the reusable bags. Large numbers of bacteria were found in the bags. The new bags were clean. After testing the contaminated bags, they washed them by machine and by hand, with and without bleach. Results showed that simply wahing them in soap and water was just as ef- fective as using bleach with bacteria being reduced by 99.9 percent. Like salty foods? It's in your genes Are you a supertaster or a non- taster? This can explain why low-salt chips taste fine to some people, but have no flavor to others. This all goes back to your genes according to a re- cent study from Pennsylvania State University. The study included 87 people and they ate salty foods such as chips and pretzels. They were asked to rate the intensity of the taste. Previous studies have shown that those who described bitter compounds as extremely bitter also perceived Saltiness more; more sweetness from sugar; more heat or burn from hot peppers; and more tingle from car- benated beverages. These people are considered supertasters: Nontasters would only consider these attributes as weak or tasteless. This research is important today for the .food industry. These compa- nies are working to reduce salt in their foods because of the health risks such as heart attacks and strokes. Wheat plot results Results of the Meadowlark Exten- sion District wheat variety plot are now posted online under the Crops & Soils link. The plot was harvested June 28. The plot averaged 74.5 bushels an acre. Fuller was the plot winner, followed by Everest, Art, Armour, and Jackpot to round out the top five. Everest also had the highest test weight at 62.7 pounds with a plot av- erage of 61 pounds. The entire listing of variety yields, test weights, plus 2009 and 2008 yields as a percent of test average are available online. Results of the fungicide strip on Santa Fe showed no significant dif- ference to having a fungicide applied, even though the fungicide treated strip was cleaner than the untreated check. Results are posted online as page two of the variety plot results. Thanks to Doug and Leonard Edelman for getting the plot harvest- ed and Kevin Bergman of Sabetha Farmers Co-op for weighing the plots. If you need a hard copy of the results, contact the office. Tomato diseases abound Wet. Wet and cool. Dry. 'Wet and warm. Dry and warm. Wet and warm again. That (sorta) sums up the weath- er this spring and summer, and that has caused some havoc with our veg- etable crops. Diseases, 'wet feet', and unripened fruit are just a few of the problems occurring right now. For you tomato growers, it's tough to see tomato plants wilting, fruit crack- ing, or spots on seemingly perfect fruit! Most generally, there's a good explana- tion, though. In some cases, there are even control options available! Without going into too much detail, tomato problems generally fall in to three categories -- fungal, bacterial, or physiological disorders. To aid in determining which you may be see- ing, check out KSU publication L-721, Tomato Leaf and Fruit Diseases and Disorders. It's an excellent full color publication that spells out the common fruit diseases and disorders with color pictures and explanations, including control recommendations: Request a copy from the office or find it online at the link listed at meadowlark.ksu.edu under the lawn and garden tab. .EPQRT5 O AMA HA5 NOT I VF-A bJRT14 CF..RTIFICATE BCJk HE T H E O S K A L O O S A County Seat Weekly--The Official Newspaper of Jefferson County Established 1860 Six Months Older Than The State Of Kansas (USPS 412-940) A legal Jefferson County Newspaper and the official publication for Nortonville, Oskaloosa, Winchester, Jefferson County, and Unified School Districts 339,341 and 342. Published every Thursday at Oskaloosa, Kansas 66066. Periodical Class Postage paid at Oskaloosa (KS) Post Office. Postmaster: Send address changes to: The Oskaloosa Independent, P.O. Box 278, Oskaloosa, KS 66066. Subscription rates: New and renewals: $25.50 a year mailed to a Jefferson County Post Office (tax included); $27 a year elsewhere in Kansas (tax included); and $34 a year out-of-state; in advance. Single copy, 75 cents; plus postage if mailed. Oskaloosa Office Information P.O. Box 278 607 Delaware Oskaloosa, KS 66066 Phone (785) 863-2520 Fax (785) 863-2730 E-mail: independent@wildflower .net Owner & Publisher: Davis Publfcations Inc. Independent Staff Dennis Sharkey Peggy Collier Editor Office Manager Reporter Bookkeeping Corey Davis Production Manager www. JeffCountyNews. com