McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Annual wheat tour set for May 17

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  • Wheat growers will not want to miss the annual K-State Research and Extension-McPherson County Wheat Demonstration Plot Tour to be May 17. It all starts at the Marquette plot at 9 a.m., where cooperators Duane and Mike Patrick have 12 different varieties on display.
    Following is the agenda for the entire day:
    • 9 a.m. — Patrick plot
    • 1 p.m. — Allen Becker plot, one mile north of Galva
    • 3 p.m. — Arlyss and Ricky Schroeder plot B, four miles west and one mile north of Inman
    • 5 p.m. — Neal Galle plot, three miles north and two miles east of Moundridge
    A free barbecue, sponsored by MKC and DuPont, will held after the Galle plot tour.
    At the Galle plots, we also have a “late planting” demonstration with nine varieties planted in late October. We have fungicide demonstrations at the Marquette and Moundridge plots.
    Stu Duncan, area Extension agronomist for Extension, will be the tour discussion leader this year.
    Farmers’ markets scheduled
    Anyone wanting to buy fresh produce, baked goods, eggs, or cut flowers will want to shop at the two farmers’ markets in McPherson or the one in Moundridge.
    The first McPherson market will be from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday starting May 19 at the 4-H Fairgrounds.
    A new farmers’ market this year will be from 5 p.m. to 8 or 9 p.m. Thursday starting June 7 at the Main Street Plaza in downtown in McPherson. Contact Ann Engel with McPherson Main Street for information about the downtown market.
    Moundridge’s farmers’ market will also start May 19. Contact Jay or Linda Goering for information. They also plan to have a Tuesday market starting later in June.
    Fertilize irrigated fescue lawns in May
    May is an excellent time to fertilize cool-season lawns, such as tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass, if they will be irrigated throughout the summer. Nonirrigated lawns often go through a period of summer dormancy because of drought and do not need this fertilization.
    May is a good time to fertilize because the springtime flush of growth characteristic of these grasses has tapered off, so the fertilizer you apply will be less likely to cause excessive shoot growth than if you had fertilized in April.
    Slow-release nitrogen sources are ideal. These nitrogen sources promote controlled growth, which is desirable as the stressful summer weather approaches.
    Relatively few fertilizers available to the homeowner supply all of the nitrogen in the slowly available form. But one such product that is widely available is Milorganite.
    Other such products available in the retail market include cottonseed meal, alfalfa-based fertilizers, and any other products derived from plants or animals. (Bloodmeal is an exception, and contrary to popular belief, the nitrogen it supplies is quickly available.)
    Page 2 of 2 - These products are all examples of natural organic fertilizers. They typically contain less than 10 percent nitrogen by weight, so compared to most synthetic fertilizers, more product must be applied to get the same amount of nitrogen.
    Translation: they are more expensive. Apply enough to give the lawn one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.
    For example, if the fertilizer is 6 percent nitrogen by weight, you will need to apply almost 17 pounds of fertilizer product per 1,000 square feet.
    Summer lawn fertilizers that contain at least a portion of the nitrogen as slow-release are fine to use as well.
    Be sure to follow label directions. If cost is prohibitive, you can use the less expensive quick-release (i.e., soluble) sources, but split the application into two doses as follows: apply enough to give the lawn one-half pound nitrogen per 1,000 square feet in May and again in early June.
    Dale Ladd is the agriculture extension agent for the McPherson County K-State Extension Service office. He can be reached by calling 241-1523.
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