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Tamarisk Beetle - Biological Control Update

posted Feb 16, 2015, 12:13 PM by Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition   [ updated Feb 16, 2015, 12:36 PM ]

Scott Marsh, KS Department of Agriculture, Noxious Weeds, Topeka has more information specific to Kansas, if you have questions.  Contact him at scott.marsh@kda.ks.gov. Scott is a Board of Directors member of the Tamarisk Coalition and serves on KGLC's Advisory Committee.

Excerpts from the Tamarisk Coalition brochure...

If you don't know anything about this highly invasive plant also known as salt cedar, check out the brochure below or click on the web link.

What is Tamarisk?

 Tamarisk, or saltcedar, (Tamarix  spp.) is an invasive woody tree native to Asia.  It was originally brought to North America for erosion control, but has taken the place of native trees and shrubs, like cottonwood, aspen, gamble oak, willow, and mesquite and now infests rivers, streams, wetlands, reservoirs, and springs across the West. Dense stands of tamarisk can block access to rivers and dominate riverside habitat – areas which support a range of native plant materials and other important cultural resources. Tamarisk can be poor habitat for many types of wildlife, poor forage for livestock, can increase

soil salinity and wildfire severity and can be costly to control. Tamarisk is considered to be a high priority noxious weed in many areas through out western United States. Public support for tamarisk control has increased over the past decade and Public Law 109320: Salt Cedar and Russian Olive Control Demonstration Act was passed by Congress in 2006 garnering federal and state support for control projects.

A Biological Control for Tamarisk

 Mechanical and chemical control methods are commonly used to manage tamarisk but may have limited applicability due to landowner goals, site accessibility, size of the tamarisk stands, expense, and other factors.  Biological control, or biocontrol, is another management tool being used to control tamarisk. Biocontrol is the introduction of an insect or other “natural

enemy” that predates the invasive plant of concern. The insect selected for the control of tamarisk, called the tamarisk leaf beetle (Diorhabda  spp.), was tested by the US Department of Agriculture for over 10 years to ensure that it would be effective, and would not feed on native plants or crops here in the western United States. The beetle was first released in 2001, and can now be found throughout the Colorado Plateau and Texas. Although the tamarisk leaf beetle will not singlehandedly eliminate tamarisk, the goal is to help control the spread of tamarisk by reducing its reproductive viability, consequently giving native plants a chance to recover.

Tamarisk Coalition website:


Prescribed Fire Training Scheduled for February and March

posted Feb 16, 2015, 11:43 AM by Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition

A series of one-day workshops on basic prescribed fire training as well as prescribed fire burn plan writing training is set for the next 30 days.  There will be other trading coming later this spring and summer, so look for that information to come as it is firmed up.  you can choose from a number of dates and locations to attend training, so all you need to do is to contact the person referenced from the list below to get registered. Dates noted are for February unless marked as 3/? which is March. Be sure to note the start times as they do vary.

2015 Prescribed Fire Workshops

23, Rolling Prairie, 130  S. Pennsylvania, Extension meeting room, Howard, 10:00 a.m., Richard Fechter, 620-515-0149, rfechter@ksu.edu

24, Pawnee County, JA Haas Exhibit Building, 400 East 18 Street, Larned, 9:00 a.m., Jess Crockford, 620-664-4882, jess.crockford@ks.usda.gov      

25, Frontier, 504 Market St., Old Depot, Osage City, 10:00 a.m. Rod Schaub, 785-828-4438, rschaub@ksu.edu

25, Pratt County, 81 Lake Road, 4-H Building, Pratt, 10:00 a.m., Zac Eddy, 620-549-3480 x110, zeddy@pheasantsforever.org

26, Post Rock District, Delaware St. (Highway 28) Community Center, Jewell, 10:00 a.m., John Forshee, 785-632-5335, jforshee@k-state,edu

3/5, WSU Experiment Station, Wichita, 9:30 a.m., Jess Crockford, 620-664-4882, jess.crockford@ks.usda.gov

2015 Prescribed Fire Plan Writing Workshops

26, NRCS State Office Training Facility, Salina, 9:00 a.m., Anthony Ruiz, 785-392-4127, anruiz@ksu.edu

3/4, Courthouse, Minneapolis, 9:00 a.m., Anthony Ruiz, 785-392-4127, anruiz@ksu.edu

Prescribed Fire Workshop, Pratt

posted Feb 16, 2015, 11:08 AM by Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, in conjunction with the Kanas Prescribed Fire Council, USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service, Pratt County Conservation District, and K-State Research and Extension, is hosting a prescribed fire workshop focusing on reasons to burn CRP and rangeland, weather conditions for safe burning, and ways to reduce the risk of fire escapes. The workshop will be held at the Pratt County Fairgrounds 4-H Center on Wednesday, February 25th. Registration cost for the workshop is $10 per person. This will be due the day of the workshop and will be payable by cash or check. 

Check in for the workshop will begin at 9:30 AM and presentations will start at 10:00 AM. The training will last approximately four hours, and lunch will be provided—courtesy of the Pratt County Conservation District, Pheasants Forever, and Quail Forever. Presentations will cover reasons to burn and prescribed burning’s effect on wildlife, safe weather in which to conduct a burn, a preview of 2015 fire season forecasts by the National Weather Service, burning equipment, regulations, liability issues, and more. The workshop will also offer participants a chance to discuss the best ways to burn their properties with trained burn planning professionals. 

To register or request more information, please contact Zac Eddy with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever or Mark Ploger with K-State Research and Extension. Zac can be reached at 620-338-7132 or zeddy@pheasantsforever.org. Mark can be reached at 620-672-6121 or mploger@ksu.edu. Please be sure to RSVP by February 20th, and let them know if you require any special accommodations. This will allow planners to prepare enough meals and ensure that handout materials are available for all attendees. The workshop will take place in the Pratt County Fairgrounds 4-H Center at 81 Lake Road, Pratt, Kansas. 

Whirlwind No-till Expo, Marion County, November 3

posted Oct 14, 2014, 10:28 AM by Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition

No-till on the Plains, Inc. will host a no-till field day for producers to gain a better understanding of the importance of soil health by utilizing continuous no-till cropping systems and cover crops. Members of the media and the general public are also invited.  This event is being sponsored by the Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams, the Marion Reservoir WRAPS project and the Marion county Farm Bureau Association. No-till on the Plains is pleased to offer this high-quality educational event to all interested producers.

The Whirlwind No-till Expo will take place on Monday November 3, beginning promptly at 8:30 a.m. at the Marion Community Center, 203 N. 3td St.. The day will begin with a Rainfall Simulator demonstration followed by a tour of local fields utilizing various cover crops.  The highlight of the morning features a soil pit where participants can examine soil characteristics in both long-term no-till and conventional till environments. Lunch will be provided at the Marion Community Center, followed by a full afternoon of knowledgeable speakers. A $20 registration fee is required for attendance. 

Find two documents below that give more detailed information.

AMAZING GRAZING II - Fall Forage Tour, Oct. 31 & Nov. 1, 2014

posted Oct 4, 2014, 8:15 AM by Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition   [ updated Oct 14, 2014, 10:25 AM ]

Fall Forage Tour: Utilizing Cover Crops to Improve Soil Health and Increase Cow Carrying Capacity

Friday October 31, 2014 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM CDT
Saturday November 1, 2014 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM CDT

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Dale Strickler Farm
1 mile south of Courtland
West side of highway
Courtland, KS 66939
Driving Directions
Dear Livestock Producer,

Amazing Grazing events continue with two, free fall forage tours!


Cattlemen and producers are invited to the Fall Forage Tour, Friday, October 31 and Saturday, November 1, 2014. The tour will begin at 1:00 p.m. on both days at the Dale Strickler Farm, one mile south of Courtland on the west side of the highway. 


Two audiences will benefit from participation in the Fall Forage Tour-cattle producers and those interested in utilizing cover crops to improve soil health. The tour will focus on improving soil productivity through the use of cover crops, forages, and perennial grasses.



If you've ever been on one of Dale's tours or heard him speak on cover crops, you know this is don't miss opportunity!


Click on the link below to get the details or
RSVP for one of these no-cost tours!

Examples of key take-aways from the Fall Forage Tour include:


There are two methods to carry more cattle on your ranch...

Method 1: Buy a bigger ranch.
Method 2: Improve the productivity of your current ranch.
Note: We will NOT be discussing Method 1 at this event!



What carrying capacity & weaning weights can be achieved with optimum management?


Is it possible to graze 12 months a year and eliminate feeding hay? 

Is it possible to have more production and profit from grazing crops with animals than harvesting the grain?




Tour includes Dale's Cow/Calf Operation and the following forages:

  • Eastern Gamagrass
  • Cover Crop Test Plot
  • Grazing Alfalfa
  • Bird's Foot Trefoil
  • Tropic Sun Non-Toxic Sun Hemp
  • Low Alkaloid Reed Canary Grass
  • Brown Midrib Forage Sorghum Sudan
  • Many other forage & grass varieties
We encourage ranchers of all sizes to attend one of these free tours, as you will learn valuable information and insights that will improve production and profitability of your livestock enterprise.

Please feel free to contact Mary if you have any questions about the event or how to RSVP.


We look forward to seeing you in Courtland!




Mary Howell
Kansas Farmers Union & Kansas Graziers Association

Climate + Energy Project Award Winners Named

posted Sep 26, 2014, 9:45 AM by Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition



Water + Energy Progress Awards highlight innovators in Kansas

Eleven Kansas farmers and ranchers recognized for saving water and energy in agriculture.
Hutchinson, KS— Water + Energy Progress identifies successful innovations in energy efficiency and water conservation on Kansas farms and ranches.  The 2014 awards recognize producers across the state for implementing innovations that save water and energy including: patch burn grazing, subsurface drip irrigation, cover crops and no-till, intensive rotational grazing, solar powered water pumps and fencing, small-scale wind, and local foods.  Water + Energy Progress highlights homegrown solutions for water conservation and energy efficiency from the farmers and ranchers of Kansas. 


2014 Water + Energy Progress Award Winners include:

·         Lucinda Stuenkel, Palmer
·         Michael Hermann, Kinsley
·         Mark Eitel, Dighton
·         McCarty Dairy, Rexford
·         Jane Koger, Matfield Green
·         Darin Williams, Waverly
·         John Bradley, Lawrence
·         Karen and John Pendleton, Lawrence
·         Bill Sproul, Sedan
·         Shannon Creek Cattle & Quarter Horse Company, Olsburg
·         Living Acres Network, Gove county


Each award winner will be interviewed for monthly case studies featuring their water and energy saving practices. Each case study will be available at www.WaterAndEnergyProgress.org


Water + Energy Progress Awards are determined by a steering committee made up of water, energy, agriculture and natural resource leaders from across Kansas.  Water + Energy Progress is a program directed by the Climate and Energy Project (CEP), a regional nonprofit focusing on renewable energy and energy efficiency. 


In October of 2012, CEP convened a steering committee to collaboratively identify standards for the awards which include: saves water, saves energy, presents affordable solutions that are replicable, scalable, and regionally appropriate, saves money, preserves or enhances soil health and water quality, and incorporates renewable energy.  The standards also take into account impacts on wildlife and habitat, as well as leadership and collaboration by the producer. Governor Brownback presented the 2013 awards to nine producers who are featured on www.WaterAndEnergyProgress.org.

About The Climate + Energy Project

The Climate + Energy Project (CEP) is a non-partisan 501c(3) organization working to reduce emissions through greater energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. Located in America’s Heartland, CEP collaborates with diverse partners across the nation to find practical solutions for a clean energy future that provides jobs, prosperity and energy security.


# # #


For more information about this topic please contact Dorothy Barnett, Executive Director of the Climate + Energy Project, by calling (785) 424-0444 or emailing barnett@climateandenergy.org.

Rachel Myslivy
Program Director, Water + Energy Progress
Climate and Energy Project
cell (785) 424-4115 | address PO Box 1858 | Hutchinson, KS 67504

Eureka, KS - Livestock Forage Field Day, Wed., October 22, 2014

posted Sep 24, 2014, 8:40 AM by Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition   [ updated Oct 14, 2014, 10:18 AM ]

Join your neighbors and others interested in grazing cover crops, learning more about the economics of alternative forages, prairie pollinators, year-end pasture forage assessments, and low-stress livestock handling. The day begins at 2:00 and ends by 6:00 at the Dalebanks Angus Sale Facility. Call 620-583-5544 for more information and to register.

Find a flyer below that provides all the pertinent information.

America's Ranchers Video

posted Sep 3, 2014, 3:40 AM by Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition   [ updated Sep 3, 2014, 3:44 AM ]

Enjoy this new video about America's Ranchers, our ranching culture, heritage and caring for our grasslands.

Tallgrass Range School Highlights New Topics

posted Aug 26, 2014, 11:15 AM by Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition

2014 Tallgrass Range School

KGLC completed it's 2014 Tallgrass Range School on August 21 at Camp Wood YMCA, Elmdale.  Twenty-two students attended the event that began on Tuesday, August 19.  The 3-day agenda covered a number of critical topics for grassland managers including plant identification, how to measure and monitor forage production using 4 different methods, determining stocking rates, and grasping the enormous importance of soil in managing your native grasslands.  

Wednesday featured a day trip to the Koger Ranch near Cassoday and Matfield Green where students saw a control study on old world bluestem grass that has invaded much of our Kansas prairie.  Dr. Walt Fick, Kansas State University Extension, described the multi-year study and what treatments were applied.  Brian Obermeyer, The Nature Conservancy, hosted the group for the day and he talked about the patch-burn grazing program that Koger implemented back in the early 2000's, he showed the group a recent summer burn that was conducted to kill brush and reinvigorate a draw that was being encroached by cool season grasses. 

Other stops on the ranch included entomology research by Shelly Wiggam, Kansas State University, showcasing her trapping and radio-collaring native bumble bee species to study their life cycles and habits.  A wide group of insects known as pollinators are little understood and are facing threats from changes in the prairie system. their function is critical to the pollination and well-being of many native plants particularly forbs and some woody species. Attendees conducted their measuring and monitoring exercises on the ranch as well.  Instructors for the School included David Kraft, NRCS state range management specialist; Doug Spencer and Dane Varney, NRCS area range management specialists; Chris Tecklenburg, NRCS range and soils specialist; Fick and Wiggam; Karen Willey, rancher and soils expert; Obermeyer; and KC Olson, Kansas State University Animal Science. Dates for the 2015 Tallgrass School are August 18-20.

Mark Green! - Livestock Water and Fencing Development Workshop - Tuesday, September 9, 2014

posted Aug 26, 2014, 6:25 AM by Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition

Livestock Water and Fencing Development
Tuesday September 9, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM CDT
Add to Calendar

Topeka Ramada
420 SE 6th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66607
Driving Directions
Dear Livestock Producer,

Amazing Grazing events continue with a comprehensive workshop led by Mark Green focusing on livestock water and fencing development for cattle, sheep and goats.


Join Mark Green--a well-known and respected presenter and Missouri NRCS agent--on September 9 for "Livestock Water and Fencing Development."

Green will explain electric fence products, the pros and cons of various materials used in electric fence construction, and installation techniques.

He will also cover livestock watering topics, water distribution for improved grazing distribution, permanent and portable tanks, above and below ground pipeline, and water sources-wells, streams, springs, and ponds.

Fencing and watering needs for sheep and goats will also be included in the workshop.

SAVE $5 with Early Bird Registration!  
Ends August 31!

Click on the links below to learn more or to register.
Cost for the workshop is $30.00, which includes lunch and publications on electric fencing and water development. Please register by September 6.

We encourage ranchers of all sizes to attend as you will learn valuable information and insights that will improve production and profitability of your livestock enterprise.

Please feel free to contact Mary if you have any questions about the event or how to register.


We look forward to seeing you in Topeka!




Mary Howell
Kansas Farmers Union & Kansas Graziers Association

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