Risk Management Skills for Women in Agriculture – Enrollment Open | Voice

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Don’t be fooled by the name: This year the Risk Management Skills for Women in Agriculture will be useful to anyone involved in agricultural production (a fifth bonus session will be for cow / calf producers). Each of the four sessions will focus on the uncertainty of grain and input price fluctuations and how to deal with them. Registration is now open for the weekly series (every Wednesday evening) which will run from January 12 to February 2.

The four topics will include: determining production costs, using crop insurance, crop marketing and agricultural programs. All sessions will be in-person and consist of two parts: a virtual presentation of the Department of Agricultural Economics at KSU, followed by a hands-on activity / discussion on each topic. An optional fifth session on February 23 will focus on cow / calf risk management, marketing and cow / calf insurance options.

Registration is $ 50 before December 31 ($ 75 after) and includes meals and program materials. An optional cattle marketing session on February 23 costs an additional $ 10, or is available as a stand-alone registration for $ 15. All meetings will be held in Sabetha, at the Glacial Hills Business Resource Center, hosted by Brown County Extension and Meadowlark Extension District. If you have any questions, contact the Brown County Extension Office at (785) 742-7871. Registration and program information are available online at https://www.agmanager.info/events/risk-management-skills-kansas-women-agriculture or by contacting a Meadowlark Extension district office.

Mouse damage to fruit trees / plants

During the Extension Master Gardener training session this week, KSU Wildlife Specialist Drew Ricketts showed a fruit tree with the bark removed. It started about six to eight inches above the ground with a four to six inch strip of bark removed all around the tree. The tree was not going to survive – all because the mice used it as a winter meal.

As long as the soil is exposed and food sources are plentiful, mice cannot do much harm to fruit trees. When this changes and the food stores are covered with snow, mice will begin to feed on the lower parts of tree trunks and roots. If severe enough, feeding can lead to girdled trunks and ultimately the death of the tree.

To help prevent feeding damage to mice, assess the area surrounding fruit tree plantations. They prefer a habitat with some protection, usually hiding in dead grass and weeds near the trunk of the tree. This is why mulch around the base of the tree is often not recommended due to the habitat it provides. Mice dig tunnels along the surface of the soil and feed on tree bark. If the snow or mulch levels are high enough, they can even rise up into the trunk. Remove all dead grass, weeds, and mulch from trees and watch them over the winter.

Look for mice by placing baited mouse traps in PVC or other pipe (inserted far enough to keep them away from pets) near your trees. Check the traps once a week and reset them if necessary.

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