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This Week's Editorial
Planning for Droughts PDF Print E-mail
Written by Julie Elliott, NRCS rangeland management specialist   

Earlier I said grazers need to walk each of their pastures to determine how good the range might be this year. Since acres do not feed cows—only grass feeds cows—we need to determine how much grass is out there.

You should take a yardstick and a camera or cell phone to take pictures of the yardstick both standing up and lying on the ground. When on the range, you need to look down, not across, to see how much and what kinds of grasses are out there.

The abundance of dead grass plants, bare ground and litter are also important to notice and document. Dead grasses have a black or dark grey color in winter and summer. Dead grasses are not going to grow, no matter how much water you pour on them. The more litter cover we have, the less bare ground we have and the faster our range will recover.

While 2013 was the best fall in a few years, it did not undo the substantial root losses from the two (or more) previous summers. The grasses that were dead are still dead. The plants that had short roots are still short on roots.

To read the full article, subscribe to our e-Edition. Call 970-854-2811.

(This article is the fourth in a six-part series adapted from a presentation given on Jan. 9 in Garden City, Kan., on “Planning for Extreme and Extended Drought on the Farm and Ranch.” To watch and listen to this presentation and others on the weather outlook and drought go to:

Holyoke Enterprise April 24, 2014

It's the Pitts PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lee Pitts   

Fear of feathers

I’ve made a career of making fun of chickens and the people who raise them. I take some small degree of pride and pleasure in the fact that my second best-selling book was “I Hate Chicken Cookbook.”

And I really do. Hate chicken, that is. As a writer, I’ve made no secret of the fact that I think all fowl are foul.

Normally if a writer picked (or is it pecked?) on a group of people like I have, he’d expect to get all sorts of nasty letters, but I’m disappointed to report that I’ve never received a single one from a poultry plucker. Not one! But I’ll keep trying.

The only reason I can get away with picking on chicks is that although they used to be raised on 95 percent of the farms in this country, I think they are now all raised by four brothers in Arkansas. They must not read my column, or perhaps they can’t read. (Cheap shot!)

To read the full article, subscribe to our e-Edition. Call 970-854-2811.

Holyoke Enterprise April 24, 2014

Extension Corner PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Talamantes   

Emerging new use for seed coats

Emerging research from the U.S. Department of Ag Agricultural Research Service suggests that using seed coats in the most literal sense of the word—to keep seeds warm and dry as an actual coat—may be beneficial in early planting and no-till situations.

ARS physiologist Russ Gesch and colleagues have been looking at protective polymer seed coatings on corn and soybeans for a few years. The idea behind it is to essentially lengthen the planting season by making the seeds more resistant to the colder, wetter soil conditions early in the season.

Uncoated seeds in those conditions are susceptible to rot, poor emergence and cold snaps, but these researchers have found that they were able to achieve much improved emergence and establishment with coated seeds versus uncoated planted at the same early planting date.

To read the full article, subscribe to our e-Edition. Call 970-854-2811.

Holyoke Enterprise April 24, 2014

Investor Guide PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Harold Wong   

Baby boomer women and money: Part 2!

A previous article, “What Baby Boomer Women Should Know About Money!” was published in The Holyoke Enterprise.

The article covered four major topics:

1. You should not depend on a marriage certificate for your desired lifestyle.

2. Women should plan to be able to live on their income only.

3. Women must understand spousal continuation.

4. Financial and tax knowledge, not diamonds, is a girl’s best friend!

This article will explore some other financial issues that are important for women.

Don’t overspend on your kids

It’s admirable to want to pay for your child’s college degree, but does that leave you enough for your own retirement?

I met a lady, age 60, from Italy that met an American, got married and then moved to the U.S. She eventually was divorced but fortunately pursued a career and got a decent job working in engineering for the State of Arizona. She had one son that was going to undergrad college at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash.

To read the full article, subscribe to our e-Edition. Call 970-854-2811.

Contact Dr. Harold Wong at 480-706-0177, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or For his articles and seminars, visit

Holyoke Enterprise April 24, 2014