Golden Plains Area Extension

Golden Plains Area Extension


It is time to think about Breeding Cows in the Golden Plains. The following Link will take you to the Golden Plains Livestock Web page. Included there you will find an article talking about improving conception from feeding soy beans. Additionally, there are some tips to help your Artificial Insemination programs increase conception rates.

The Golden Plains Area Extension Program provides education and information to the people of Northeastern Colorado

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2020 Colorado Drought and Beef Marketing Discussion

Discussion on long-term and short term forecast, tools for predicting forage production, and beef market outlook during 2020 drought. Featuring: Annie Overli...

Agriculture and Business Management

Drought, Plan Your Response
by Travis Taylor
Area Extension Agent
Golden Plains Area

With the national weather shifting from the El Nino to a La Nina pattern, over 80 percent of Colorado finds itself in some form of a drought situation. This triggered the State Drought Mitigation and Response Plan phase two to be activated. This also activated the Agricultural Impact Task Force which will conduct an initial assessment on physical and economic impacts and recommend mitigation opportunities. Cow/calf producers should have a thought out and well developed plan to deal with drought. A plan that ties to the economics and grazing resources under the ranches control. The cow herd can be thought of as the “Factory Unit,” but without the forage input and land to put the factory on a producer has limited options for economic success. Drought plans should involve a series of trigger points to help the operation make strategic and thought out positions when dealing with drought. This allows producers to make calculated decisions that take into account forage and soil health, tax situation, cow herd genetics, long term recovery and ranch profitability. Emotions can drastically affect the decision making process during drought, by responding to preset trigger points ranches can respond without having the desperate “all or nothing” decisions.
Measuring parameters need to be established to determine trigger points. The easiest measureable parameter for most operators is the amount of precipitation or rainfall through the winter and spring. Just as important is the timing of moisture. Moisture after the cool season grass species growing season does little to improve range stocking rates. It is certain that the amount and timing of rainfall immensely impacts the forage produced in a given year. With this in mind, trigger points need to be established accordingly. For example a ranch may normally receive 50 percent of its annual rainfall by July 1, but at that date this year rainfall is only thirty percent of normal. A significant decrease may trigger the ranch to early wean calves to decrease cow forage and nutritional demands.
Another example would occur if on October 1 the ranch has received only 50 percent of its expected rainfall. This could trigger one or more of the responses that no replacement heifer calves are kept, or all cows over nine years would be sold. Such moves should be seen as an opportunity to increase the productivity and efficiency of your cowherd. Other actions that could be associated with trigger points may be to cull cows below a body condition score of 4, or cull the cows that weaned calves weighing in the bottom 25 percent of the heard the past two years. Actions taken during drought plans should target efficiency such as reducing average cow age, shorting calving period, or removing cows with higher maintenance requirements.
It is important to have a number of trigger points and reasonable responses. The longer a drought continues the more aggressive producers need to be to reduce grazing pressure on the ranch. Producers that sell prior to a necessary drought liquidation phase, and when indicators tell them to do so, usually receive higher prices for their cattle. This gives those same producers a better position financially to re-stock and land more time to recover. It is important to remember that feeding your way out of a drought is expensive. Seedstock producers may attempt to do this to preserve the valuable genetics that they have developed, but in a commercial situation it can be costly to maintain the core herd genetics during periods lasting over a year. During multi-year droughts it may become imperative to remove all grazing from the rangeland, and available hay and alternative forage most likely will be expensive in such a situation. Ranches that have a responsive drought plan, are proactive, and understand managing to stockpile standing forage during wet years are better able to react to a drought. It is economically important to have plans, record important information, and be responsive when facing drought to make sound decisions and decide on the spur of the moment. The Colorado State University Extension ABM team has created some decision tools to help producers that can be found at website. The “Buy Hay or Sell Cows” and the “Strategies for Cattle Herd During Drought” spreadsheet tools can assist producers with making the right financial decisions for their operations. Provides information on Agriculture and Business Management topics

Kit Carson County CSU Extension

Colorado State University wheat testing trials are currently being harvested with specialized combines made for small experiment harvests. The CSU Agronomy team is testing approximately 1000 wheat varieties locally, most being experimental. The goal is to find the top producing varieties and release those to area producers.

Garden The Plains


Did you know that squirrels like a sweet tree now and again? This squirrel is licking the sap from an open wound. We think of squirrels as a pesky rodent. They are rodents. However, squirrels do like tree sap as a delicacy according to National Geographic.
The squirrels in our area are tree squirrels who come to the ground to eat nuts, acorns, berries and flowers. They do eat bark, eggs and baby birds. I have seen them chew on the tips of evergreens for using in their nests.
Like any other animal, they have their place in the ecosystem's food chain.

Photo Credit: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,

Garden The Plains

Gogi Berries anyone?

Native to China this plant Lycium barbarum or Lycium chinese does not tolerate salinity. It does well in light well-drained soils such as sandy loam and loam, but will grow in a wide range of soils because it is adaptable as a plant. It prefers a pH of 6.5 to 7.0, which is slightly acidic to neutral. This is a shrub that can grow between 3-6 feet but can reach 12 feet. This plant flowers on current years wood. The pinkish colored blossoms in the picture will produce red berries. It is suggested to keep trimmed to a single stem and cut any new shoots. It is very hardy here since it grows in zone 2 to zone 7.

The plant in the photo is from my yard and is now two years old before it produced any flowers. It was a young transplant last season. They grow rather quickly.

Photo credit: Linda Langelo

Garden The Plains

Myth: Watering your lawn, is enough water for your trees.

Trees need 10 gallons of water per inch of the tree trunk's diameter at knee height. If the diameter is 10 inches, then the tree requires 100 gallons of water.

Turf grass roots are found 6-8 inches below the surface unless it is a native species which does not need a lot of water. The tree roots start at 10 and go deeper to 24. If you are watering for 1/2 per zone that might be ideal for your turf grass but not for your tree.

Is that everyday? Is that every week?
This varies according to precipitation, soil type, temperatures, wind and whether or not your tree is drought tolerant.

If you can see through a tree because it has lost the inside leaves or needles this is due to drought. A tree will shed its older leaves and needles first.

I recommend using a deep root feeder to water your trees. Place it along the dripline of the tree (at the ends of the branches) and then move it all around the tree. Push it in the ground only to about 10 inches. Each deep root feeder will deliver a different amount of water, so follow the instructions on the package.

Photo credit: Linda Langelo

Garden The Plains

Attention Butterfly Enthusiasts

The variegated fritillary has been spotted!

In the photo below, this is the caterpillar stage of the variegated fritillary on chrysanthemum. The adult stage is in the second photo next to an alfalfa butterfly enjoying nectar from an aster. The second photo is early September.

Variegated Fritillary

In Colorado they have 3 broods from April through October. They host on several plant families which include violets and sedum that would grow in our area.
They will use nectar from butterflyweed, common milkweed, dogbane, peppermint, red clover, swamp milkweed, tickseed and sunflower.
They like open sunny areas such as prairies, fields, pastures, road edges and landfills.
There region covers from South Central America, Mexico and southern US.
They are not endangered.

Photo credit: Linda Langelo

Garden The Plains

Rose galls

Cynipid wasp in the genus Diplolepis polita is the cause of these galls. The last photo shows a picture of the wasp.

According to Utah State University Extension:

1) Galls do not affect the overall health of the rose or oak tree; tolerate pest.
2) Rake and remove fallen leaves in the fall.
3) Remove galled plant parts and destroy.
4)Management with insecticides can be difficult and spotty.
5)Apply an insecticide (carbamate; pyrethroid) at or just prior to budbreak to prevent egg laying to reduce gall formation (may not prevent all new gall formation).

Photo credit: first 3 photos unkown; 4th Utah State University/wikimedia commons

These butterflies are not harmful to many plants. Read on...

Eight footed Forrester

The caterpillars stage of these butterflies feed on grape vine leaves and Virginia creeper leaves. They don't go after lettuce leaves or other garden vegetable leaves. The butterfly is merely resting. You may find either the caterpillar and/or the adult butterfly around in June and July.
Photo credit: 1st and 2nd photos, Butterflies and Moths of North America; 3rd photo Aimee Kanode

Iron deficiency in Maple trees can eventually cause die back and the loss of your tree.

Maples and Iron Deficiency

Maple trees are prone to having iron deficiency over other trees. Why? They like a more acidic soil that has a high moisture content with lots of humus.

When you see the leaves yellowing and only green veins remain that is an indication that your maple can not uptake iron from the soil. Iron is very important as a key player in photosynthesis. Maples with iron are not producing their own food to send back down to the roots for next season. Sections that have severely yellowed leaves may dieback to the trunk.

But iron deficiency isn't the only cause. The soil might be too wet, too dry, compact or have girdling roots or the pH is well above 7.2 or 7.5.

Applying chelated iron is sometimes helpful. Injecting iron directly into the tree gives the tree a temporary solution. But that leaves a small opening for other pests and diseases to enter. Before doing anything, you have to determine what the actual cause might be.

Photo credit: Kelly Roesch

Golden Plains Area Extension

Freemont Butte Dam, the What’s and Why’s
Joe Frank, Manager of the Lower South Platte Water Conservancy District (LSPWCD), Jim Yahn, Manager of Prewitt and North Sterling Reservoirs and Marina Kopytkovskiy, Project Manager for Parker Water and Sanitation District will present information on the proposed water supply project in Northeast Colorado including the proposed Freemont Butte Reservoir near Akron, Colorado on June 29, 2020. The information presented will give a general overview of what the water will be used for and why the project is being pursued.

The meeting will be done via Zoom Webinar. You must register for the event. To register:
- Go to Washington County & Cope Conservation District page and click on the link.
- Call Washington County Conservation District at 970-345-2364 X3. Give them your e-mail address and they will send you the link
- Type into your computer and you can register.

The Webinar will be at 6:00 PM on June 29, 2020.

More information can be found at Colorado State University is closely monitoring and following COVID-19 guidance as outlined by public health experts. We are actively tracking and following federal guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including new guidance for COVID-19 pandemic preparedness planni...

[06/19/20]   CSU 2020 Virtual Wheat Field Days

New realities require new action and we are excited to bring you the next best thing to in-field wheat field days. The virtual experience makes it possible for CSU experts on weed science, entomology, and pathology to showcase their strong wheat research and extension activities. Seed companies have contributed informative, short clips on each of their varieties they have entered for testing in the CSU trials.

The virtual field days videos are posted on the CSU Extension YouTube channel as the CSU Wheat Field Days playlist at and links to the videos are also provided on our Crops Testing website at

Garden The Plains

Kentucky Coffee Tree

Gynmocladus dioicus is a beautiful tree in maturity. Some people do not like the bean pods as shown in the photo below. If you don't like the bean pods then get a male tree and not a female tree. It grows to be a large graceful tree of 60 feet tall and 40 feet wide. As the photo below also shows, the Kentucky Coffee Tree has a nice yellow fall color.
Besides that it tolerates all of the following:
Dry sites, Occasional drought, Wet sites, Alkaline soil, Road salt
What other tree can do all of that?

It flowers in early spring and needs full sun. This tree has NO SERIOUS pests.
It is a slow grower. That is the type of tree you want here because it is a strong tree that in maturity will provide lots of shade.

Photo credit: 1st and 2nd photos- Fred Coutts; 3rd photo Arbor Day Foundation

Garden The Plains


This shrub can grow to be 13 feet tall. While the trees that are considered Locust can grow to 82 feet tall.

This is Robinia hispida is in the pea family. The flowers are a rose color. They are native to southeastern United States. It is grown as an ornamental but can escape and grow in the wild. It does well in drought. And looking at the second photo seems to be very happen in a harsh condition.

It blooms late spring/early summer. They do send sucker out. So place this plant where you don't care about suckers in has harsh conditions.

Photo credit: Roy Pfaltzgraff

Garden The Plains

Akron Community Garden 2020

I wanted to express my gratitude for those who are growing in the garden this year!! Thank you for making it productive and beautiful!!
Thanks to Bonnie, Michele, Ellen, Pam, Angie, Jennifer and Dante.

Garden The Plains

Kannah Creek Sulfur Flower

Erigonum umbellatum v.aureum blooms in the spring to early summer. A groundcover that likes it hot and dry once established is a drought tolerant plant. This plant is actually from western Colorado. It is hardy to zone 3.

It is a good plant for a rock garden. It attracts bees, butterflies and birds.

In the fall the leaves turn a reddish color. The leaves are evergreen.

This is a Plant Select Plant. Go to and see even more great plants for our area.

Photo credit: Linda Langelo

In response to the recent storm that wiped out gardens in Northeast Colorado, our CSU Family would like to offer local gardeners FREE vegetable plants and an opportunity to pay it forward by participating in CSU’s new Grow and Give program; a modern day Victory Garden project designed to help people learn to grow food and donate extra locally.

Find more information to participate at

Garden The Plains


To avoid any problems with broccoli, here are some tips for growing this crop:

1) Plant when the temperatures are above 40. Planting below
40 degrees Fahrenheit, will retard the broccoli's growth.
2) Optimal temperature is between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
3) Do not use too much nitrogen or the broccoli will not head, rather add phosphorus.
4) Keep the soil evenly moist or the broccoli will have a bitter taste.
5) Broccoli is a good fall crop to grow. The cooler temperatures benefit its growth and a slight frost will increase the sugar levels.

Photo credit:

Garden The Plains

Late blooming peonies this year

Peonies bloomed later this year because of the cooler temperatures through May.

In the photo below, this is an herbaceous type peony. According to the American Peony Society, this flower form is called a Bomb. This is a double flowering Bomb. If you are interested in learning more details on the anatomy, please go to the American Peony Society.
Peonia lactiflora is a common peony often seen in many home landscapes.
This is a plant that can live for 100 years!

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181 Birch Avenue County Courthouse Annex
Akron, CO

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150 Ash Ave
Akron, 80720

2013 Akron Northeastern Junior College EMT Class

Kim's Healthy Living Kim's Healthy Living
43630 County Road GG
Akron, 80720

A gathering place of friends and kindred spirits to exchange information on a wealth of alternative health treatments and enjoy great ideas on eating and living better!