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Just 300 cranes remain in naturally migrating flock -12/5/2014, 10:08 AM

Whooping cranes visit Cedar Bluff -12/5/2014, 10:07 AM

Hunters enter guilty pleas -11/21/2014, 9:50 AM

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If the pheasant numbers are better, why aren't we seeing more? -11/7/2014, 9:53 AM

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Doves all around -8/29/2014, 9:22 AM

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Pheasant harvest falls again -7/24/2014, 11:02 AM

Biologist calls idea 'ludicrous' -7/18/2014, 2:13 PM

Appeals court exonerates Texas water board -7/11/2014, 12:01 PM

Survey finds more prairie chickens -7/11/2014, 11:52 AM

Hunting outlook up; duck numbers sharply higher -7/11/2014, 11:52 AM

New round of federal lawsuits at loggerheads with one another -6/20/2014, 11:34 AM

KDWP&T OKs regional ban on prairie chicken hunting -6/20/2014, 11:34 AM

KNRC not ready to give up -6/20/2014, 11:34 AM

Serenading a historic landmark -5/30/2014, 11:03 AM

KNRC set to ask for more money -5/30/2014, 11:03 AM

Kansas seceding on wildlife -5/9/2014, 8:31 AM

Kansas courts back federal endangered species law -5/9/2014, 8:30 AM

Review nearing completion -4/25/2014, 11:07 AM

Bat species should be studied, biologist says -4/25/2014, 11:07 AM

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Walleye smaller, still productive -4/18/2014, 11:00 AM

In the baking aisle, shoppers agree environment is critical -4/18/2014, 11:00 AM

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Webster too low for irrigation -4/10/2014, 11:00 AM

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-4/4/2014, 4:55 PM

FWS lists prairie chicken as threatened -3/28/2014, 9:47 AM

Whooping cranes reach Kansas; winter numbers up slightly -3/28/2014, 8:35 AM

Ferret numbers still tumbling -3/28/2014, 8:35 AM

Oklahoma, oil group suing FWS -3/20/2014, 9:59 AM

Divining rod for discs -3/20/2014, 9:59 AM

Despite valiant effort, no success in finding snowy owl -3/14/2014, 9:27 AM

Capturing the moment -3/14/2014, 9:27 AM

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Spring just a snowstorm or so away -2/28/2014, 7:53 AM

At 90: Best deer ever -2/21/2014, 10:33 AM

Tests confirm 5 new CWD cases -2/14/2014, 10:13 AM

Senate votes to invoke 'sovereignty' over state's prairie chickens -2/14/2014, 10:13 AM

KNRC to deliver report, asking for more money from member counties -2/7/2014, 10:50 AM

Group flunks states, federal agencies dealing with prairie dogs -2/7/2014, 12:12 PM

Brownback ready to sue feds -2/7/2014, 10:50 AM

Big oil companies bankrolling conservation plan -2/6/2014, 10:50 AM

Audubon blasts 'sovereign' bill -1/31/2014, 9:49 AM

Feds again asking for listing comments -1/31/2014, 9:48 AM

Utilities enrolling in program -1/31/2014, 9:48 AM

Listing controversy continues -1/17/2014, 10:30 AM

Friends on the water -12/20/2013, 9:54 AM

Federal wildlife agency lays out rules for oil, gas protection -12/20/2013, 9:54 AM

A beckoning -12/13/2013, 9:08 AM

Listing more likely as FWS adds rules -12/13/2013, 8:59 AM

It's happening right before our eyes! -11/29/2013, 10:28 AM

Governor's Ringneck Classic draws a crowd -11/22/2013, 9:29 AM

Drought saps pheasant numbers -11/8/2013, 6:50 PM

Sporting clays sure to be hot at hunt -11/8/2013, 6:50 PM

Counties set to talk chickens -11/1/2013, 12:08 PM

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Prairie chicken numbers tumble -9/27/2013, 11:39 AM

Counties meet FWS, present plans -9/20/2013, 12:25 PM

Oakley man in pursuit of grouse -9/13/2013, 11:23 AM

Counties hoping to halt listing -9/6/2013, 11:54 AM

Going outdoors -8/23/2013, 10:15 AM

Wetlands no longer bone dry -8/16/2013, 11:46 AM

Duck numbers remain strong -7/26/2013, 11:48 AM

Updated survey, conservation plan upcoming -7/26/2013, 11:39 AM

Pheasant outlook not so bright -7/19/2013, 11:48 AM

High heat, strong winds finally show a beneficial side -7/12/2013, 12:05 PM

FWS delay reopens comment period -7/12/2013, 12:05 PM

Study refutes wind tower effect on greater prairie chickens -7/12/2013, 12:05 PM

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Wind dampens great camping -5/31/2013, 12:22 PM

Wildlife benefits can boost CRP offers -5/24/2013, 11:42 AM

Camping season begins -5/24/2013, 11:42 AM

Field day focuses on wildlife needs -5/17/2013, 11:52 AM

FWS making big changes for LEPC rule -5/10/2013, 2:14 PM

Pheasants Forever biologists planning workshops on CRP enrollment -5/10/2013, 2:14 PM

Conservation plan nearly complete -5/3/2013, 10:31 AM

Final prairie chicken meeting upcoming -4/26/2013, 8:31 AM

Wildlife highlights Trego forestry day -4/26/2013, 8:31 AM

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SPOTLIGHT
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Updates detail changing weather pattern

Published on -1/27/2012, 6:06 PM

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By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

A new edition of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's plant hardiness map has been released, adding two new hardiness zones.

The map, for the first time, is specifically designed for the Internet, allowing people to examine zones in sharper detail, even going so far as to plug in Zip codes to see zones and expected minimum temperatures.

The zone for Hays, however, sharply underestimates the extreme low temperatures that have been recorded but does estimate average lows.

Hays, coincidentally, is in zone 6 -- a fairly wide swath that sweeps through the central part of the state. As expected, the southern third of Kansas is slightly warmer while the northern tier of counties is slightly cooler.

Zones in the 2012 edition of the map are based on weather data from 1976 through 2005.

"Each zone represents the mean extreme minimum temperature for an area, calculated from the lowest daily minimum temperature recorded for each of the years 1976-2005," the hardiness zone site explains. "This does not represent the coldest it has ever been or ever will be in an area, but it simply is the average of lowest winter temperatures for a given location for this time period."

The previous edition of the map, published in 1990, was drawn from weather data for 1974-1986.

The 30-year data selection period was made based on the best balance of smoothing year-to-year weather variation.

Two new zones, for areas with average lows above 50 degrees, also can be used to help gardeners decide when to bring tropical plants indoors.

Compared to the 1990 version, zone boundaries in this edition of the map have shifted, generally a half-zone warmer than the previous map throughout much of the United States. The change is a result of the more recent averaging period, although some changes are due to better mapping abilities and a greater number of station observations.

The map can be found online at planthardiness.ars.usda.gov.

A companion U.S. National Arboretum website includes a list of cold hardiness ratings for selected woody plants. That site can be found at www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/hrdzon4.html.

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