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Field Day provides a new crop of ideas

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By Deanna Godman

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture sponsored an Agricultural Field Day at Deutsch Farm  August 23 featuring the research that they have conducted on their farm on mum productions and the use of black plastic and drip irrigation. During the event, participants were taken on a hay ride to see the farm’s mum and vegetable crops, and hear speakers from the University of Kentucky. Dinner was catered by Barrel Smoked BBQ in Elk Creek.

“We did a demo plot on growing mums for the University of Kentucky Agriculture Department,” said Sandi Deutsch.

The plot is partially funded by the Agricultural Development Board for the state of Kentucky and one of the requirements of the grant money is having a field day for area farmers.

“With the land grant mission of UK, we need to get the information from research that the University is conducting in Lexington and various other sites throughout the state, including Spencer County, to our local producers and having a field day is a great, direct way to get this information out to our producers,” said Bryce Roberts, County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Steven Berberich, who is the extension associate over greenhouse crops for the Department of Horticulture at the University of Kentucky, spoke to the group touring the farm about mum production. Kenny Seebold, Ph.D., spoke about the diseases common to the area and how to treat them, pointing out examples of disease that he found on the farm. He is the extension plant pathologist for the University of Kentucky.

The Deutsch family, including George, Sandi and Franklin, had discussed growing mums for several years, but were hesitant to do it.

“We’d been interested in mums but leery of doing it on our own,” said Deutsch. When they found out this program was available through the state, they signed up.

“Networking with other farmers to see what their questions were” was the best part of the day to Deutsch.

Penny Burns came to the field day to see what was happening on the farm. “I shop at the farmers market and I know Sandi and the rest of the family do hard work. I wanted to see how they harvest, control bugs, and water and fertilize their plants.”

“My favorite part was taking the hay ride into the fields to see the irrigation and how they manage watering and fertilizing,” said Burns, who prefers growing flowers to vegetables.

Tom Scanlan and Sarah Fauber, whose RiverSong Farm is in Taylorsville, came to the field day to get ideas for their own farm.

“Sandi and her family do a good job and have been doing it a long time. We’re new and like to learn from them,” said Scanlan. “We wanted a little bit of insight into what they’re doing.”

“We wanted ideas for our own farm, but wanted to see what works for other people too,” said Fauber. “It was neat to find out the Department of Agriculture arranges the field day and supports these projects.”

“It amazes me that people go to that kind of effort to provide food for people,” said Burns.