Come for a fun native plant walk and talk with Native Plant Master Volunteers on the Grand Mesa. We will spend a few hours looking at native plants and flowers. Tentative date for class is Friday, August 3rd. Email Susan.firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in this free plant walk. This is an introduction to our more advanced Native Plant classes.
Master Gardener & Horticulture
Susan Carter: Area Extension Agent, Horticulture
Susan Honea: TRA Horticulture Coordinator
Seasonal Topic: Lawn and Tree Issues and Identification
Summer is the time when we see lots of issues on plants including lawn and trees. The Tri River Area diagnoses up to 2000 issues through the Master Gardener Program each year. You can help us by providing a good sample, pictures and how the plant has been cared for or what has happened nearby. For lawns that have spots or some sort, we need a 6-8” square, 2 inches deep on the edge of the issue, that way half of the sample shows the bad and the good. Pictures close-up and of the whole yard also help us determine patterns. Also, we ask how often and how long you water, and information about your soil. For example, is your soil sand, rock or clay? When did you notice the issue start and have you applied any fertilizer or herbicide (weed killer) on the weeds etc.…
For trees, if the issue is on the leaves or twigs, cut off a decent sized sample and take some close, further away and at least one shot of the whole tree and its surroundings. Often times people think we are nuts when we ask how the tree is cared for when they have an insect. We ask because trees get stressed like people and instead of getting a cold, they get bugs. So we need to help you figure out why the tree is stressed, so the more information we have, the better we can diagnose the issue.
We also get lots of questions of what is this plant and is it a weed or a good plant? Again, the more information you provide us, the better we can answer your question. If it is a plant in nature, please just take a picture. We don’t need to get Mother Nature mad at us by picking or digging her plants. Many of the nurseries carry a wide variety of natives so no need to deplete natural areas. If it is in your yard, and suddenly a whole bunch of new plants have appeared, odds are it is a weed but maybe not. So if you do have several, bring in one whole plant, roots and all. It is best if we have a flower and if it is a grass it is best if we have the seed head or inflorescence plus the leaves and roots. Some plants require that you have all the parts to identify down to the species. However, we will always give it our best shot to answer your plant and growing questions. For more questions on what we need to diagnose or identify, call your local office to be directed to a Master Gardener or the appropriate Agent. Wishing you a great summer with few weeds and some afternoon showers... Susan Carter, Commercial Horticulture and Natural Resource Agent.
Food & Health
Ann Duncan: Area Extension Agent – Family and Consumer Science
As the warm weather arrives, we can start to use the availability of fresh produce to our advantage. By increasing our intake of produce we can decrease our risk of chronic diseases and increase our overall health. Below, you will find some helpful tips for the summer season!
Increasing Fruits and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are a great source of vitamins and minerals as well as many toxin-fighting antioxidants. Eat a variety of colored vegetables and fruit in your everyday snacks and meals.
Tips to help you reach 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day:
Cut up vegetables for the entire week after grocery shopping
- Add your cut vegetables to a soup, stir fry, or salad for a quick meal.
- Pack your pre-cut vegetables with a low fat dip for an easy, healthy snack.
Don't be afraid of the freezer
- Frozen vegetables are picked and packed at the height of freshness and have the same nutritional value as fresh vegetables.
- Frozen veggies are a great way to get a variety of colors and flavors anytime of the year.
Add a variety of vegetables to your favorite dinner recipes
- Making soup? Add in some kale, squash, or tomatoes for a boost of flavor.
- Add spinach and mushrooms to your preferred marinara recipe.
Tips to get the recommended 2 cups of fruit per day:
- Fruits are an easy 'grab-and-go' snack food
- Bananas, apples, pears, and oranges are great portable snack options.
- Keep a bowl filled with fruit on the counter; it will remind you to grab fruit as you are leaving.
Fruits are a great dessert
- Fresh berries are a sweet treat at the end of a meal.
- Top low fat frozen yogurt with granola and fruit for a healthy alternative to full fat ice cream.
Fruits are an easy add-in at breakfast
- Top oatmeal or your favorite cereal with fresh fruit.
Retta Bruegger: Regional Extension Specialist – Western Region, Range Management
Seasonal Topic: Alternative Feeds For Cattle During Drought
As the drought progresses, and hay prices increase, are there alternative feeds you’re considering for your livestock? Click on this fact sheet for information on stretching the hay pile, what to know about alternative feeds, and what to be cautious of in alternative feed-stuffs.
Agriculture & Business Management
Jenny Beiermann: Regional Extension Specialist- Agriculture & Business Management Economist
AGRICULTURE AND BUSINESS MANAGEMENT RESOURCES
Colorado State University Extension has a dedicated team of agriculture and business management (ABM) economists, who are dedicated to provide outreach information including, principles and concept of production economics, financing methods and analysis, investment analysis, legal regulations on business activities, concepts of marketing and price determination, and issues related to estate planning. The ABM team has a number of resources that we have developed available online pertaining to our outreach mission, available on our website: www.wr.colostate.edu/ABM/. Please see below some available resources that may be of use to you!
Crop Enterprise Budgets
The crop enterprise budgets represent the average costs and expenses and revenues for growing and harvesting the major feed, forage, and cash grain crops grown in Colorado. Great care is taken to ensure completeness in each of our budgets, which are divided up by geographical regions of the state. Each individual agricultural producer is unique in his/her production practices. Therefore, the budgets were developed as a guideline for producers, agricultural lenders, and others to use in the development of their own individual budgets
Custom Rates Survey
Colorado State University Extension annually conducts a survey of custom rates charged for various crop and livestock operations and lease arrangements in Colorado. Data were collected from agricultural producers, landowners and managers, lenders, agricultural consultants, machine operators, and Extension agents. The rates reported herein are not recommended rates. They simply reflect the range of rates as reported by those individuals surveyed. Some reported rates may seem unusually low or high which is due to very few respondents and/or the operation is not widely performed. The information in this report should be used only as a guide.
Fact sheets are written documents providing detailed information about different agricultural practices and issues. The information obtained for these sheets is fact and science based. We have a number of fact sheets available on topics such as leasing, risk management, market planning, drought, dairy management, tax management, financial statements and budgeting, labor and personnel issues, policy and natural resource issues, succession and estate planning, and many more.
Decision tools are usually excel spreadsheets, designed to help the user make decisions based on the scenario they input (usually costs and returns) specific to their farm or ranch operation. Decision tools make it easier for the user to identify their costs and returns and help them make decisions, though it should be noted that they should only be used as a guide. We have a number of decision tools pertaining to drought, land purchasing, loan amortization, raising and buying cattle and much more.
This is just a small snapshot of all the resources available on the agriculture and business management website; for more resources and information, please visit our website. If any questions arise, please feel free to email any of the economists listed on the website. We are always happy to help!
Recorded Webinar: Income Tax Issues Faced by Agricultural Producers- An Overview of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” and Tax Strategies During Times of Drought Webinar.
The recording is available at: http://wr.colostate.edu/ABM/abmworkshops.shtml
The password key to access the recording of the webinar is: csuext
TRA 4-H Program
Trent Hollister: Mesa County Extension Agent (4-H Youth Development)
Jackie Shea: Delta County Extension 4-H Program Associate
Brandon Creamer: Montrose & Ouray Extension 4-H Program Associate
Nicole Goza: Montrose & Ouray Extension 4-H Program Associate
Join us for our bustling pro rodeos, remarkable exhibits, dapper farm animals and fresh funnel cakes or ribbon fries that are staples at our summer fairs!
STEM & K-12
Barbara Shaw: Regional Extension Specialist – STEM
Wacky Summer Fun!
Hey 4-Hers! Are you looking for something fun to do this summer? Check out all these activities!
You can find anything from making your own paint pigments out of rock to extracting DNA from the cells in your cheeks! Are you a Shooting Sports aficionado? You can tan your own leather covered in two activities! Are you interested in magic? Some activities explore the science behind magic, like Hollow Face and Density.
You can probably find most of the materials around your house. If you do not have them, the supplies are inexpensive and easy to find at the store (with the one exception of tanning leather – you will need to order the chemicals). Check it out and have your own Wacky Summer Fun!
STEM & K-12
Nicole Goza: 4H Associate
Did you ever wonder how rockets can get into space? How do rocket fuels work?
Let’s see if we can figure that out!
What you need to gather:
- Film canisters with lid (try to get several different kinds)
- Alka Seltzer (at least 12)
- Tape measure
- Safety glasses
- Color pencils
Activity 1: Liftoff
- All these experiments work best outside. If you have permission, use next to a building, and mark with chalk how height the canister travels.
- Test which canister works the best. Keep all the variables exactly the same (use the exact same amount of water, and the exact same amount of Alka Seltzer).
- Guess which film canister will travel the highest.
- SAFETY: Put on your safety glasses.
- Break the Alka Seltzer into quarters.
- Fill each film canister ¼ full of water.
- One at a time, add the ¼ piece of Alka Seltzer, snap on the lid, and turn upside down (so that the canister is sitting on the lid). It will be messy.
- SAFETY: Stand back, and observe the height traveled.
- Mark the height with chalk, and measure with a tape measure. Record the height.
- With the same canister, repeat two more times.
- Test each additional film canister, duplicating the process above in steps 4-10.
- Find the average of the three trials for each of the canisters. Which one had the highest flight? Which one had the highest average flight? Was your guess right?
- Make a graph of your results (free graph paper on the internet). The X axis is the individual canister and the Y axis is height. Use a different color pencil for each canister, and plot your average height for each canister. Write about what you learned.
Activity 2: Proper Fuel Mix
- Test the proportions of water to Alka Seltzer for the best fuel mix. Only change one variable at a time.
- Use the winning canister from Activity 1 and ¼ piece of Alka Seltzer for all these trails, only change the amount of water.
- Guess which canister will shoot the highest.
- SAFETY: Put on your safety glasses.