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Tyler Tribute
Tyler, Minnesota
August 29, 2002     Tyler Tribute
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August 29, 2002

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Ag News Are Children R ea a y The Tyler Tribute, Thursday, August 29, 2002 - Page 13 Tips for Preventing Storm Damaged Trees Be Left Home Alone? any people across southwest Minnesota have experienced tree damage this summer from the se- Extension News and views Home Alone movies pro- humorous look at many of related to children stay- alone and unsupervised: and responsibil- tn reality, leaving children is not humorous. It's a matter and one that a concern with school Perhaps summer child- need to be :nts are faced I ,f th,, hours be- the end of school and they arrive home from children ready to be alone? Unfortunately, single answer to this answer is, "It de- There are no laws (at Minnesota) that specify t which children can le- ge only is not are several additional that influence whether it to leave a child even for short periods by Coleen H. Gengler, Extension Educator sions required to be left alone safely. Another factor would be the safety of the neighborhood. If there are no familiar adults nearby to call in case of an emergency or if the child is afraid of being left alone, it usually is best to continue to use some form of child-care. Added to this would be how the parent or caregiver "checks in " with the child when they arrive home. There can be some distance monitoring of children. A third factor is how well pre- pared the child is. In order to be left alone, children need to learn specific skills to be able to handle themselves. These include things like how to respond to strangers, how to respond to emergencies and call emergency numbers, how to safely prepare food for themselves, how to contact a nearby adult for help, how to contact their parents, when it is not safe to enter the house, what to do when they are bored. If children are going to be required to care for younger sib- lings while they are home alone, a whole special set of skills is re- quired. Just knowing what to do to be safe does not necessarily mean a child would apply that knowledge in a stressful or frightening situa- tion. Many parents have been sur- prised at how easily their young child can be persuaded by strang- ers to violate the rules parents thought the child knew. It's the un- usual or unexpected situations that have the greatest risk potential: a fire or accident, a bad storm...these are only a few of the i potential unexpected events that can occur and throw a child off f course. If children are not devel- opmentally ready to handle these situations, they should not be left alone, regardless of their age. If children are mentally and emotionally ready and have learned and can apply the skills to care for themselves safely, the opportunity to care for themselves can en- hance their maturity and help them develop self-confidence. Home alone. The movies were great, but the reality of each child needs to be looked at closely by parents and caregivers. Maintenance: Time Is the child's maturit). show signs that he be and can and make de- y. How well can follow instructions, respond in unexpected and how well they con- level. For many not all), these abilities the ages of 10 and L children younger than 10 :lopmentally ready to be the responsible deci- Check The Comb00Te an even distribu- residue while harvest- in stopping soil ere- fall, winter, and into 2003, until next establishes a canopy. (straw, chaff, and even can reduce erosion ng rainsplash erosion, trapping runoff, and better water infiltra- be in place to do should plan to use all crop residue for ere- and an even distri- residue while har- Why? Other than of the combine, there is way to get residue Extension News and views by Bob Byrnes- Extension Educator Corn residue is usually heavier and most corn heads do a good job of chewing up the stalks and drop- ping them back in place. But the challenge is greater in soybeans, where essentially the whole plant goes through the combine and resi- due becomes fragile. Don't forget that fine material from any crop can drop in a "wind- row" behind the combine because it resists being thrown (due to air drag). Consider redirecting or in- creasing airflow from the combine's chopper to spread lighter particles further. (Refer to the operator's manual or ask your implement dealer about getting the most even distribution possible from your machine.) Combine operators should pay attention to the height of the crop stubble left in the field. Crop stubble protects the soil by limiting exposure to wind and water ero- sion and by trapping snow through fail, winter and early spring. Soy- beans need to be cut near the ground to avoid grain loss, but op- erating the corn head higher leaves stubble and fewer stalks are run through the machine. This season, some combine operators will have special prob- lems because of storms and winds, such as lodged corn or "goose- necked stalks," in some areas as stalks try to right themselves. Some areas of the state have been very dry, and the crops range from poor to dead. If you are com- bining "through" these areas (con- fined to small parts of the field) try to leave as much stalk as possible because there won't be much resi- due anyway. Dry weather (in some areas) also increases potential for fire haz- ards. Remember to clean your ma- chine after every operation. Con- sider using a portable leaf blower. Chaff and husks are like kindling. Get them away from heat-generat- ing parts of the combine and try to keep the machine as free from chaff and husks as possible. Carry a fire extinguisher in good operating con- dition and a cellular phone. The consensus among soils ex- perts is that effective conservation tillage practices should leave at least 30 percent crop residue after plant- ing. Soil type, slope, and crop ro- tation greatly affect any decisions about timing, intensity, and type of tillage to achieve the level of resi- due needed to protect the soil until next year's crop. Due to the fall or spring tillage, other field operations (knifing in nitrogen or manure, and residue turning and decomposi- tion,) ending up with 30 percent crop residue after planting (espe- cially after soybean harvest) re- quires very careful planning. :er heads on combines concentration of mate- the narrow area of the ain platforms up to 30 collect residue into a Getting that material out can be difficult. material can end up in a residues are not stopping .ere- insulate the soil sur- the sun, reduce seed-to- and make it tougher spring, inhibiting crop Furthermore, ob of straw and chaff year can help mini- of tillage needed A is to have corn- and run equip- straw and chaff 'or choppers operate 13 & 14, 2002 vere and windy weather. Whether your trees suffered damage or not, here is information on how to help minimize and prevent tree damage from likely future storms. According to the University of Minnesota Extension Service, the key to preventing damage is to pre- dict circumstances that could re- sult in tree damage and to correct these potential problems before an- other storm strikes. The following are preventative measures to con- sider. Do an Inventory. Keep track of trees on your property and their condition. Create a list of trees that are most important to both you and the property, and note any prob- lems that are most likely to dam- age or weaken those trees. Avoid Tree Species that Chronically Suffer Wind Dam- age. If you're thinking about add- ing trees to your landscape, choose carefully. Many of the problems that homeowners face could be di- minished by using species that are accustomed to the site conditions. Wondering which species are the most susceptible to wind damage? County Extension Offices have a publication titled Storm Damage to Landscape Trees." Prediction, Pre- vention, Treatment (FO-07415-GO) or visit the University of Minnesota Extension Service website at www. extension, umn. edu and type the publication title in the search box. Best Planting Practices. Plant- ing too deep may be the most com- mon planting mistake that leads to tree failure. Trees that are buried too deep tend to develop weak root systems, stem girdling roots, and general poor health. The first set of roots should be just below the soil surface. Monitor the important trees on your property regularly. When mi- nor damage occurs, correction (such as pruning or painting on oaks during oak wilt season) may pre- vent it from causing extensive dam- by Karen Ostlie, Extension Educator age through the tree. If extensive damage has occurred, immediate action (such as hiring an arborist) should be applied to prevent fur- ther damage. Pruning either corrects prob- lems on trees or creates them. If pruning is done i m p r o p - erly, it can create places for to enter a n d the wound will only increase. Done correctly, pruning wounds should close over naturally, keeping decay from starting and expanding in the wound area. Keep in mind this gen- eral rule for pruning wounds - the smaller, the better. Cutting too tar into living tissue and leaving long stubs can provide entrance sites for decay. For a great "how-to" publi- cation on pruning, go to http:// w w w. n a.fs.fe d. u s/spfo/p u b s howtos/ht_prune/prunOO L htm. Tree's Form. Where branches join on a tree is a common weak point. Normally, these unions should have a rough, protruding ridge of bark where the branches meet. Without this, branches or leaders will have a tendency to separate during storm situations. Weak unions often look like the bark is folded in between the branches. These are always weak and one branch should be pruned out when the branch is small. Trees may also have multiple leaders .... where two or more branches or stems are trying to become the centerpoint of the tree. Some spe- cies that are known for having multiple leaders and not having a strong branch union are: Green ash, hackberry, boxelder, European mountain ash, red and silver maples, and little leaf linden. Prune out all but one of these multiple leaders as soon as possible. Decay is a natural process of a tree's stem, branch, and root tis- sue. According to University of Minnesota storm damage research, affected tissue has very little strength and is the most common contributor to tree thilure. Decay located within the main part of the trunk can be serious and danger- ous. Species that commonly have decay problems are American bass- wood, boxelder, red maple, aspen. silver maple, hackberry, willows, and little leaf linden. Protection from Mechanical Wounds. Mulching, planting trees in a landscaped bed, and staking can help give trees necessary pro- tection from mechanical injury. Ever got a lawnmower or grass trimmer a little too close to a tree trunk? Wounds caused from these devices can promote areas of de- cay in the tree. In addition, cars, snowplows, and staples can wound stems and branches, caus- ing long-term damage. [.ast, but not least, maintain the tree's health. Water fre- quently and properly, and fertilize when nutrients are deficient. Jump Start The School Day This week I'm pleased to have our Regional Extension Educator in Health & Nutrition, Mary Schroeder, based in the Redwood County Office share this column that is very timely for the begin- ning of a new school year. It's the time of year when stu- dents are heading off to school. The morning news shows and monthly magazines are filled with ideas about how to help students get the most out of school this year. Did you know that eating break- fast is an important part of the school day? Starting the day without break- fast is like starting a car without gas. It doesn't work very well. If children skip breakfast they may find concentration is harder and learning more difficult. On average, children who eat breakfast are better prepared for learning. A recent study really gave proof that eating breakfast makes a difference for school children. In 1996, seven school districts within the State of Minnesota received funds to provide all elementary school students with breakfast. The results were truly impressive. Teachers reported that students had improved concentration, less ag- gression, and improved attitudes. School administration felt that R An Invitation To Our Friends in the U.S.A. Canadian Prescription Drugs the breakfast program contributed to a 40 to 50 percent decline in dis- cipline problems sent to the principal's office. Test results also improved, but school officials were careful to note that breakfast was just one of many factors that played a role in improved test scores. What is especially intriguing is the decrease in number of students who visited the school nurse due to headaches and minor stomach- aches. A school nurse once told me that the majority of headaches and stomachaches she sees in the school health office were cured with a few crackers and a glass of juice. Upon talking with the student, she typically finds that the student did not eat breakfast. When we talk about the impor- tance of breakfast, we often just think of the elementary age child. Breakfast is just as important for middle school and high school stu- dents too and yes, even for adults. If you are a parent of school age children, you may be thinking to yourself, I understand breakfast is important, but how am I sup- posed to fit a healthy breakfast into an already hectic morning. First of all remember anything is better than want to "break the fast." A glass of milk, piece of fruit or a breakthst bar are all good ideas. Stretch beyond the traditional breakfast tbods such as cereal or toast. How about a bagel melt or breakfast burrito. Even left- overs in the refrigerator can make a good breakthst. Fruit smoothies are the latest rage and easy to prepare. To make a smoothie, blend together yo- gurt, milk, and the fruit of your choice. If mornings are rushed and you just can't seem to fit breakfast in before the children leave, take ad- vantage of the school breakfast program. Breakfast is important for everyone whether you are a kindergartener, a high school se- nior, a teacher, a parent or anyone else. It provides the body with fuel to start the day. If you or your chil- Now you can order from a Canadian company that sends your drugs directly to you. It's easy and dependable. Delivery Services, Inc. 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