Kansas Department of Agriculture

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

The rows of grapevines at Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery near Paola, Kansas, are withering, with dying leaves and shriveling fruit.

But that’s expected this time of year.

The prospect of it happening in the middle of the growing season concerns owner Dennis Reynolds more. Grapes are a sensitive crop, especially when it comes to herbicides that may drift over from neighboring farms or ditches.

The Kansas Secretary of Agriculture says he’s moving most of state Agriculture Department to Manhattan. Secretary Dale Rodman says the agriculture in Kansas will benefit from being part of what he’s calling “the synergies” between Kansas State University and a burgeoning animal and plant science industry.

The move will allow the Kansas department to work more closely and avoid redundancies with bioscience research and commerce already going on in Manhattan.