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P. 2 THURSDAY, AUGUST 13, 2015 THE OSKALOOSA INDEPENDENT OPINION We're all curious by nature to some degree, and as corn gets through the reproductive phase, our curiosity may well turn to what we can expect for yield. How should you go about it? First, a few suggestions: Yield estimates are more accurate as the corn is approaching maturity. Also, yield estimates are more accurate as long as the sample areas reflect the "real" variation of corn yield within the field. The precision of the method increases as the number of sample areas increases, properly reflecting the variability within the field. Here's how you do it: Start by calculating the number of ears per acre by counting the number of ears in a known area. With 30-inch rows, 17.4 feet of row = one-thousandth of an acre. Try to do ear counts from a minimum of 10-15 representative areas of the field. Next, determine the final kernel number per ear by counting the number of rows the ear has and multiplying that by the number of kernels per row to get kernels per ear. Do not count aborted kernels or the kernels on the tip of the ear. Use only kernels that are in complete rings around the ear. Do this for every fifth or sixth plant in each of your ear count areas. Multiply the ears per acre by the kernels per ear to get kernels per acre. Divide that number by the "typi- cal" values for kernels per bushel. Common values range from 75,000 to 80,000 for excellent grain filling conditions, 85,000 to 90,000 for aver- age, and 95,000 to 105,000 for poor conditions. The best you can do at this point is estimate a range of potential yields depending on expectations for the rest of the season. Various apps are also available for calculating yield potential to save you the calculation work! District crops tour The Meadowlark Extension Dis- trict Crops Tour has been scheduled for Tuesday morning, Aug. 25, at the plot site north of Winchester. We'll chat corn row spacing, corn growth and development - and more! More details coming next week! When are apples ready to pick? David Hallauer Meadowlark District Extension Agent Crops, Soils, Horticulture 4-H and Youth KSU Research and Extension ernail: dhallaue @ oznet.ksu.edu Since apples mature over a long period of time depending on variety, it can be difficult to determine when they are ready to pick. Here are some guides to help you decide. Start by looking for a color change in the area of the stem and calyx basin at the bottom of the apple. It should turn from an immature green to a light-yellow color. Some apples will develop a red skin color before they are ripe, so this is not a reliable indication of maturity. If you are familiar with your apple's flavor- give it a taste! Even if you do not know the characteristic fla- vor of the kind of apple you have, you can still sample slices for sweetness. Not-ready apples will taste starchy or immature. Store fallen apples for a bit to see if they sweeten. Check flesh color. As apples ma- ture and starches change to sugars, the flesh changes from very light green to white. Cut a thin slice and hold it up to the light to see the dif- ference. If you know the days from bloom, you can get a pretty good idea. This process may be slower than usual due to the cooler weather this year. Seed color of most apples changes from light green to brown as the fruit ripens. This indicator should be combined with other changes since it is not absolute. The flavor of the apples, the change in color of the stem and calyx basins and flesh color are important in deciding if apples are ready to harvest. Dr. Universe: How are magnets made? Andrea, 8, Berkeley, Calif. Dear Andrea, When I saw your question, I headed'straight for the Magnetics Lab and met up with my friend John McCloy. I found out the word"magnet" comes from a Greek word for the region of modern-day Turkey we once called Magnesia. That's where people found magnets in nature. McCloy, an associate professor at Washington State University, re- minded me that magnets are objects that have magnetic fields, which enter and exit through poles. You can think of these as the "front" and the "back" of the magnet, but normally we call them "north" and "south" poles. These are the two ends where the magnetic force is the strongest. One way to remember this is that a compass needle points to the"north pole" of the earth, and the other end points in the opposite direction, "south." It's these north and south poles that allow magnets to push apart or snap quickly together. When humans make magnets from scratch, they usually use materi- als from the Earth. Some of the materials we use include cobalt, iron, and nickel, or one of these mixed with other things. Some magnets are ceramic materials, like those you might find in flowerpots, which are made as powders, then mixed with glue or heated up to make the particles stick together. Even after the material cools down, it's still not ready to be a magnet quite yet. You can imagine a magnet as a giant crowd of people, with each person being a pole. "When we magnetize one of these special materials, we want all the poles to line up in the same direction, like a bunch of arrows pointing the same way," McCloy said."It's like getting all the people in your crowd facing the same way." Even though each person can't see all the others in the crowd, each person can see those immediately around them and will line up the same way. It's kind of like synchronized dancing, McCloy said. Once everything is going one direction, you have essentially a giant pole, which now can attract or repel smaller poles. If you think about it, our planet is one big magnet. It's one of the many kinds of natural magnets we know about. Plus, its magnetic field is the reason compasses work. The compass's metal needle will line right up with the Earth's magnetic field near the top of the planet. Turtles, salmon, and some birds can use this magnetic field to figure : out where they are on the planet by using magnets in their bodies. Magnets are all around us. They are in headphone speakers, comput- ers, library cards, and probably in most bankcards, too. Before I left the lab, McCloy explained how magnets and electricity often work together, while we can use electricity to make magnets, we can also make magnets to create electricity. But weql get into that another time. Got a question?Ask Dr. Universe! Send an e-mail to Washington State University's resident cat-scientist and writer Wendy Sue Universe at Dr. Universe@wsu.edu or visit her website at askdruniverse.com. .ng The Legislature is within weeks of approving a con- tract for up to $3 million with some probably out-of-state consulting firm to take a look at how we do government here and suggest ways to do it more economically, or even decide whether the state is doing stuff that it really doesn't need to do. That's the "fresh eyes" concept that a nearly broke partments, computer operations among state agencies-- probably makes some sense, though it is likely to mean fewer state workers, and you can either say the state is becoming more efficient or just shedding jobs. That assessment depends on the location--government cen- ters~and to some degree, the House and Senate mem- bers whose constituents are those laid-off workers. And, if those consultants come up with a money- state approved with sur~ ~'~ saver that has already been proposed, but not adopted, prisingly little debate last ~ ~ well, now "fresh-eyed" professionals have vetted those legislative session and the ideas, which will make them easier to get passed by the governor signed into law. Legislature. It's to bringin a consul- Oh, don't forget that likely targets for efficiencies tant to see what the state are the state's more than 290 independent school dis- does and whether it is doing tricts. Look for an accountant to decide that they don't it in the most efficient, eco- all need their own business offices, payroll clerks or pur- nomical way. Sounds good, chasing agents. That's probably the quickest, simplest of course. Less spending, and potentially explainable to the Kansas Supreme At The Rail fewer taxes: That's whatCourt as a reason to carve money out of already tight by Martin Hawver lawmakers are looking for state appropriations for K-12 education. as 2012's massive income The state probably spends money on people and tax cuts/eliminations ef-things that it doesn't need to spend our tax money on. fects are finally becoming Most state spending doesn't affect us, but remember that troublesome. The surpluses in the budget that allowed all state spending impacts someone. It might come down some to say "just a little more time for these tax cuts to to deciding who those"somebodys" are and whether they spur the economy, and by the way increase tax revenues" vote in Republican primary elections where most of the are gone. decisions are made on who gets into the Legislature. So far those cuts haven't dramatically boosted theAnother key is that the contractor will be hired by state's economy and budget, and something has to be Oct. 1, and by Jan. I will have some ideas for efficien- done. cies--which is the Legislature's term for cutting spend- This hiring outsiders to dissect state spendinging. Enough ideas bearing the seal of an independent, sounds like a fairly good idea. not-from-here consultant and it might be possible for There may just be things that Kansas does that lawmakers to quickly adopt something that will carve other states don't. We may have a 155-year tradition of spending so that there is no need for an election-year doing things the Kansas Way, partly because, well, that's tax increase that would certainly mean some legislators how we do it here, and partly because, well, that's how won't be returning after nextyear's elections. we've always done it here. Interesting possibilities for a Legislature that Fresh eyes, especially those of accountants anddoesn't want to raise taxes... efficiency experts, might just yield some ideas for sav- ing money. Saving a few bucks by eliminating warning Syndicated by Hawver News Company LLC of Topeka; shots (do cops still do that?) or copying on both sides of Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver's Capitol Report--to the sheet of paper isn't going to cut it. But centralizing learn more about this statewidepolitical news service, visit the state functions---say human resources and payroll de- website at hawvernews.com. by Frank Buchman Ridding Trash Cleans Life "Got rid of that junk, and get those messes cleaned up." Morn said that when we were still in high school, as she put us and an- other grocery store employee to work cleaning out the basement under the store. In those days, soda pop came in returnable glass bottles, worth two cents apiece, and we stored the empties in the basement until the "pop man" picked them up weekly. Compressors for a half dozen coolers were under the store, too. But, there was a vast collection of "junk" from the early part of the pre- vious century; bottles, jugs, wooden crates, cardboard, signs of sort. See, the store was two buildings com- bined; one side had been a drugstore with a soda counter. So, considerable remains from that business were strewed around, too. Seemed like months, but was probably only a few days, yet along with Joe, we hauled all that "stuff" up rickety stairs, to Dad's pickup, and to the city dump. Despite clearing debris, that low ceiling basement remained.dingy, few lightbulbs, dusty dirt floor, and sidewalk grates that let in a bit of light, until they were cemented over about '68. Now, we've been working to clean up the junk around the ranch, and it's actually a much bigger deal, than what we thought our teenage chore required. Owning a place four decades al- lows considerable accumulation, and deterioration, if there isn't constant upkeep effort. That's the way it's been with "the Allen place," 10 miles down the gravel road, with old homestead, but revamped cattle corrals, where heifers are developed, and first calf pairs, kept till grass time. Five structures have blown down or deteriorated unusable, and they've been hauled away, while the chicken house has been cobbled, along with what has been considered one of the biggest hay sheds around. The two-story home, with tin roof, new fancy silver framed storm win- dows four decades ago, hasn't been lived in for probably 30 years, and it is being torn down in short order, hopefully. Most important of all, a new water system is being installed. Intent is to have everything in order before the first snow. Reminds us of Second Kings 23:24: "He scrubbed the place clean and trashed all of the vast accumulation of foul relics." So, Matthew 3:11: "There's a clean sweep of life." Many words, little sense In reference to Marc Wales' rant in the letters column titled "Traffic and crime," there were so many words and so little sense. And so many mis- statements and mischaracterizations it's hard to know where to start. First of all, I do live in the neighbor- hood about two miles southwest of the ranch as the crow flies and secondly, I did attend the previous hearing and, no, I did not admit taking part in any illegal event at the Circle S. The Circle S Ranch is a top ten nationally-rated bed and breakfast that brings guests from around the world to visit Jefferson County. It also brings lots of tax revenue to the county to help pay for road mainte- nance. If the ranch is for some reason not in compliance with a county zoning regulation, that would be a matter for Sheriff Herrig, not some self- appointed neighborhood vigilante. For Mr. Wales to assert that Ms. Cronemeyer and the county commis- sioners are somehow trying to make the county safe for those who choose a life of crime is simply baseless and asinine. He must figure it is neces- sary to resort to desperate means when the stacks are so low. Why is it that the guy hollering the loudest is the one with the least to say? I doubt that this letter will halt the incontinence but it's worth a try. Tim Hamill Sarcoxie township iI The theme of this year's Jefferson County 4-H Fair was "4-H at the Heart of America." As I think about this theme, it is very fitting when thinking about families and togetherness. For me, one of the many ways to bring fami- lies together is by sharing the love of baking and teaching the younger members the lifelong cooking skills. I especially enjoy seeing and hearing when grandparents share their cook- ing knowledge with younger members of the family in order to pass along these skills to younger generations. To me, this is the "heart of America" and investing in our young people. For many years, I would say around 30 years, I have been shar- ing the champion recipes that were judged at the county fair. This year is no exception. I am very pleased to highlight two 4-H members with their winning recipes. The first recipe was named the Overall Reserve Champion Food Product made by Wesley Conser, Valley Falls. He is the son of Andy and Holly Conser and a member of the Valley Victors 4-H Club. Some of his other projects include leadership, photography, space tech and visual arts and crafts. The name of his winning recipe was Chocolate Chiffon Cake. Wesley's morn shared that this was a recipe that she made when she was in 4-H in Johnson County. Chocolate Chiffon Cake 1/2 cup cocoa 3/4 cup boiling water 8 eggs (separated) 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar I teaspoon salt 1 3/4 cup sifted cake flour 1 3/4 cup sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1/2 cup salad oil 2 teaspoons vanilla Mix cocoa with boiling water. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until very stiff peaks form. Sift together dry ingredients into mixing bowl. Make a well in the center. Add oil, egg yolks, cocoa mixture, and vanilla. Beat well. Fold in egg whites. Pour into ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Cut through batter with spatula. Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes. Increase temperature to 350 degrees and bake 10 more minutes. Allow to cool com- pletely before removing from pan.. Another winning recipe showcased at the fair was made by a Grantville 4-H member. Samantha Montgomery, the daughter of Barry and Barbara Montgomery, Topeka, received the Overall Grand Champion honors. She will be attending Fort Hays University this fall. Some of Saman- tha's other projects include beef, clothing, sheep, swine and visual arts and crafts. Samantha shared that she received this recipe from a cooking show kitchen and this was her first time to make the chocolate frosting. German Chocolate Cake Cake: 1 cup vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the pans 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for dusting the pans. 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, rough- ly chopped 2 cups granulated sugar 3 large eggs, room temperature 1 cup milk Filling: 1 1/2 cups pecans 1 cup milk 3 large egg yolks 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter Cindy Williams Meadowlark District Extension Agent Food, Nutrition, FNP 4-H and Youth KSU Research and Extension email: cwilliam @ oznet.ksu.edu 1/4 cup corn syrup I teaspoon vanilla 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded co- conut Frosting: 1/2 cup margarine 3 cups powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 2/3 cup cocoa powder 1/3 cup water Melt butter and stir in cocoa. Add powdered sugar and water and beat on medium speed. Stir in vanilla. Special equipment: a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat two 9-inch round cake pans with oil and dust with flour, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a small bowl; set aside. Microwave the chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl on high power in 30-second in- crements, stirring in between, until the chocolate has melted completely; set aside. Beat the granulated sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in the melted chocolate. Alternate beating in the flour mixture with the milk, adding the flour in three additions and the milk in two, starting and ending with the flour, until just incorporated. Add half the milk, and mix until just incorporated. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and milk, making sure not to overmix. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a thin spatula around ~he ~dges and then turn the cakes out'irttb a cooking rack to cool completely. (They will have a sugary crust on the top. This is from the melted chocolate and is not a problem. It will soften once the cake is assembled or if the layers are baked the day before.) For the filling: While the cakes cool, spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake, tossing once until toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Finely chop. Whisk together the milk and egg yolks in a medium saucepan until smooth. Add the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, vanilla and salt, and cook over me- dium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 5 to 6 minutes. (It will be similar to the thickness of eggnog.) Pour the mixture in a large bowl. Don't worry if it seems thin. The coconut and nuts will bind it.) Stir in the coconut and pecans; set aside to cool. To assemble: Put one cake layer right-side up on a serving plate, and top with half the filling. Top with the second cake layer and the remaining filling, spreading it to about 2 inches from the edge. Frost the sides, and decorate around the top edge of the cake with the frosting in the pastry bag. Loosely cover the cake with plas- tic wrap and leave at room tempera- ture overnight. Unwrap and serve. Congratulations Perry For the past year the Kansas Humanities Council has had the pleasure of working with Kathy Youngquist, Megan Cottrell, and Perry Pride volunteers to bring the Smithsonian traveling exhibition, "Hometown Teams," to Perry. "Hometown Teams" explores the way sports build and unite communi- ties. The exhibition will be on display at the historic Perry Rural High School gym at Highland Community College in Perry from Aug. 15 through Sept. 27. Perry Pride has developed an impressive list of events, including a local exhibition, "Together We Are Stronger: The Evolution of Sports Teams Along the'Kaw," that looks at sports teams and traditions in Perry, Lecompton, Grantville, and William- stown. Perry was one of only six Kansas communities selected to host the Smithsonian exhibition. "Hometown Teams" was previously in Ellinwood, Goodland, Greensburg, and Atchi- son, and the exhibition travels to Humboldt through November 2015, Congratulations, Perry! Go Kaws! Julie L. Mulvihill Executive Director Kansas Humanities Council Topeka 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 CCSPS 412-940) A legal Jefferson County Newspaper and the official publication for McLouth, Nortonville, Oskaloosa, Win- chester, 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: $27.00 a year mailed to a Jefferson County Post Office (tax included); $28.50 a year elsewhere in Kansas (tax included);- and $35.50 a year out-of-state; in advance. Single copy, $1; plus postage if mailed. liras I~u 0 Oskaloosa Office Information P.O. Box 278 607 Delaware Oskaloosa, KS 66066 Phone (785) 863-2520 Fax (785) 863-2730 E-mail: independent@ccnturylink.net Owner & Publisher: Davis Publications Inc. Independent Staff Rick Nichols Peggy Collier Editor Office Manager Bookkeeping Corey Davis Production Manager www. JeffCountyNews. com