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A Century of Agronomy at K-State George Ham. Development of Kansas Agriculture  Development of agriculture in the state of Kansas over the last 100 years.

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Presentation on theme: "A Century of Agronomy at K-State George Ham. Development of Kansas Agriculture  Development of agriculture in the state of Kansas over the last 100 years."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Century of Agronomy at K-State George Ham

2 Development of Kansas Agriculture  Development of agriculture in the state of Kansas over the last 100 years has come a long way and was influenced by the contributions of the Department of Agronomy.  So has the development of Department of Agronomy come a long way; result of a strong commitment from the faculty.  KSAC,KSC, and KSU programs have contributed significantly to the improvement of Kansas agriculture during the last 100 years with the dissemination of research-based information.  Need to recognize accomplishments of last 100 years and plan to begin the next 100 years.

3 History of Kansas  In 1803, Louisiana Purchase; $15 million; added 13 states including Kansas; doubled territory of the U.S.  Territory of Kansas opened to settlement in 1854.  High quality land at low prices was a primary attraction for settlers to the region.  In 1861, Kansas gained statehood.  Kansas farmers acquired most of their land through purchase from the government and railroad Land Grants and through the homesteading process; homesteading required the settler to remain on the claim 5 years.

4 Teaching was the original purpose of the land-grant universities  Morrill Act or Land-Grant Act – 1862 – made education available to low income people, especially the 85% of population living on farms and in rural areas.  Provided 30,000 acres of land for each representative and senator; land was sold and proceeds used to endow, support and maintain at least one college where the leading object shall be….agriculture and the mechanic arts.

5 Kansas acceptance of the Morrill Act  With the public land gift and the donation of Bluemont Central College, the people of Kansas owned Kansas State Agricultural College.  Transfer of Bluemont Central College was carried out on July 2, 1863.  In 1875, KSAC moved to the present campus.  In 1880, Bluemont wanted land deeded back.

6 Other Significant Legislation  Hatch Act – 1887- provided $15,000/yr to conduct agricultural experiments and distributing results; KAES managed by a council rather than head.  Smith-Lever Act – 1914; established Cooperative Extension Service.  Fort Hays Branch Station in 1901 as part of former military reservation. Later, branch stations at Garden City, Tribune, Colby, and Mound Valley.  1923-1964 over 30 experiment and irrigation fields under the off-campus research programs of KAES.

7 Kansas is Tremendous Outdoor Laboratory  State is a 200 x 400 miles, rectangle shaped.  KS contains 53 million acres, 47 million acres in farms; 29 million acres in tilled crops and tame forages; 18 million acres in rangelands; 25 million acres prime farmland (soil quality, growing season, moisture).  Rainfall varies from about 14 inches to 40+ inches.  Elevation ranges from 679 to 4,039 ft above sea level.  Growing season 60+ days shorter in NW than SE.  More than 300 soil mapping units in Kansas; Kansas ranks #2 in U.S. in prime farmland acreage; 21/105 counties receive less than 20” of rainfall or they would be “prime”.



10 Settlement of Kansas  In 1860-1864, 30,000 of the 100,000 settlers left eastern KS due to a drought.  In 1870s, terrible drought; one of worst on record; heavy grasshopper infestation in 1874 and 1875.  By 1875, half of KS was settled; most of the 531,000 settlers lived on farms.  Between 1887 and 1892, western KS lost half of the population; settlement reached W KS in 1890.  By 1900, the population increased to 1.4 million; settlers were moving into and out of Kansas.

11 Early Agricultural Development  Little effort on developing a vigorous agriculture.  Early settlers were largely from NE US; they came from a humid climate which continued into eastern KS; they did not understand the erratic weather further west and used farming methods unadapted to KS; low chance of success.  They found a strange and often unkind climate further west; early years were hard with droughts and insect pests.  Early farms were small and unproductive.  Small population, no urban centers, markets too distant and hard to reach with poor transportation.

12 Development of Crops in KS  Five major cultivated crops evolved in Kansas: corn, wheat, sorghum, soybeans, and alfalfa.  Corn was first crop grown in Kansas; king first 60 years of settlement. When Kansas gained statehood in 1861, corn was grown on 160,000 acres and was the leading cultivated crop.  By early 1880s corn was grown on 5 million acres; Kansas was the leading wheat producing state in the U.S., but wheat was second to corn.  From 1881 to 1910, corn acreage almost double wheat. In 1914, wheat acreage surpassed corn in acres.

13  Sorghum improvement by selection in about 1888.  Early–maturing grain sorghum brought to KS in 1906; more drought tolerant than other crops.  Labor-intensive harvesting of the grain slowed the expansion of grain sorghum; early plants were 2-3 meters tall.

14  KSAC faculty introduced soybeans in KS in 1889 and increased interest in soybeans.  Research focus on adaptation (yield, shattering resistance, earliness), crop production and utilization.  First AES bulletin in U.S.entirely on soybeans.  More soybeans were grown for hay than beans until 1940.  Demand for oil-producing crops during WW II increased soybean acreage ( also, flax was encouraged for oil).  Alfalfa first grown in Marion Co. in 1868; gained rapid popularity about 20 years later; 1 million acres in 1912.

15 Decline of Corn Acreage in Kansas  New land cultivated in western KS was more suitable for wheat due to limited rainfall.  Wheat was almost completely mechanized and corn was produced by horse and hand labor.  Grain sorghum was rapidly replacing corn in low rainfall areas of western KS.  Introduction of the wheat combines in the 1920s allowed fast and efficient harvesting; Combines also expedited the development of dwarf or combine type sorghum.  Corn pickers first available in 1928 and 1929.

16  The machine age moved crop production from draft animals to more efficient power farming and influenced which crops were produced.  Mechanization led to more timely farming operations which is important for high yields.  Development of the power take off and the hydraulic lift made possible larger farm implements and increased the speed of their operation. A farmer managed more acres; farm size increased and the number of farms decreased.  New implements (drill, reaper, mower, and thresher ) plus the development of a railroad network helped commercial agriculture gradually replace subsistence farming.

17 Other Crops Were Introduced in Kansas  Many new crops tried during early trial and error period.  Sunflowers, cotton, oats, barley, canola, tobacco, rye, hemp, flax, castorbeans, foxtail, proso millet, buckwheat, pearl millet, safflower, and other crops.  Low potential crops faded from the scene and more reliable and higher return crops expanded.  Oat acreage increased as a feed grain for more than 1 million horses and mules from 1889 – 1928.

18 Canola  New crop to KS; USDA Special Grant Funding  Breeding started in 1993.  4 cultivars and 2 germplasm lines released.  Winter hardiness issue.  10,000 acres planted in fall of 2004.  Future depends on development of winter hardiness, herbicide resistance, and crop insurance.

19 Rangelands and Non-Rangeland Forages  Range research began in 1919; burning, grazing systems, weed and brush control, stocking rates, haying, forage nutritive value, range grass breeding.  In 1989, Rannells Flint Hills Prairie Preserve started.  Yield and quality of cool season grasses, grass-legume mixtures, summer annuals, wheat pasture, and forage quality.

20 Weed Science  Early field research focused on field bindweed.  In 1907, A.M. Ten Eyck first field bindweed control research.  In 1928, first research in U.S. on sodium chlorate to control weeds.  Early research on 2,4-D herbicide on wheat.  Integrated weed management.

21 International Agriculture  Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University in India in late 1950s.  Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria in late 1960s.  Central Luzon State University in Philippines in the 1970s.  MIAC in Morocco and Botswana in 1980s.  INTSORMIL in Botswana in 1980s.

22 Agronomy Service Programs  Foundation Seed  Crop Performance Testing  Soil Testing Activities

23 Agronomy Collaborators  Kansas Crop Improvement Association  USDA Wind Erosion Unit  USDA Plant Science and Entomology  Natural Resources Conservation Service

24 K-State Research and Extension  K-State Research and Extension has had a collegial working relationship with farmers, ranchers, and various organizations in Kansas.  K-State Research and Extension has had a close working relation within the organization linking research and extension even before the merger of AES and CES in 1996.

25 Undergraduate students  Changing courses and curricula to prepare students for wide range of contemporary employment.  Many UG students contribute to research programs (80 UG in soybean breeding program during last 30 years).  Wheat State Agronomy Club activities.  Crop, Soil and Weeds Judging Teams.  UG involvement in ASA Student Division.  Graduates serving in leadership roles in industry and business in Kansas and nationally.

26 Graduate Students  Research programs of the Department of Agronomy are driven by graduate student theses (819) and dissertations (361).  Graduates employed by universities, industry, international universities and research centers around the world.  Graduates represent KSU and the department very well at national and international meetings and conferences.

27 Agronomists’ Contributions  Agronomists have provided integration of biological, chemical and physical knowledge into useful production systems and to address environmental issues. Information based on peer-reviewed research programs.  Agronomists have done a good job of integrating teaching, extension and research.  Information disseminated by teaching and extension programs are science-based information.  Critical issues have been addressed with evidence (data).  Programs have been accessible; centers have helped this.

28 Department of Agronomy Accomplishments  Department of Agronomy faculty can be proud of how they helped improve crop, forage and rangeland production and efficiency in Kansas.  Faculty highly recognized by awards which document national and international reputations(see CD ROM or booklet for complete list).  Many of the awards recognize teaching and advising. Teaching was the first function of the land-grant universities in 1862 and it still is today.





33 The Next 100 Years  Continue the strong emphasis on UG and Grad education and advising. Training students at B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. levels critical to agronomy and producing food in a sustainable environment.  Continue strong presence in distance education.  Continue to develop, integrate, and apply scientific principles to production situations and environmental issues. Peer reviewed science base essential for credibility and program recognition.

34 Next 100 Years (Continued)  Translate research-based information to our customers.  Continue to in to integrate 3 missions (T, R, and E)  State funded to state supported to state located.  Competitive grants necessary to fund programs.  Set priorities with strong faculty input; focused areas of excellence; do fewer things; but do them very well.

35 2005 Crop Yields and Value  Crop Harvested Production Value  acres M) (bu M) $ B  Wheat 9.5 380 1.254  Corn 3.5 466 0.978  Soybeans 2.9 105 0.559  Sorghum 2.6 195 0.317  Alfalfa Hay 0.9 3.4 (Tons) 0.247  Other Hay 2.1 3.2 (Tons 0.177  Sunflowers 0.3 452 (Pounds) 0.046  Cotton 0.07 90,000 (Bales) 0.020

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