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Agriculture

  • FFA Commodity Breakfast

     

  • Skunks are now on the move

    It is that time of year again, and I am reminded because of the smell and road kill left behind. Plus, a strong scent of skunk has been lingering in the pasture this past week. And, I got an Instagram video from my niece as she was clearly backing away from a lumbering black and white rodent down by the river!  
    We used to get them circling the house on winter evenings, but our livestock guardian dogs’ presence has kept them at bay the last few years.  Their presence is not surprising, however, because it is mating season for skunks and they are on the move.

  • Prepare your garden for April showers

    There is no surer sign of spring than blooming gardens and flowerbeds, but what happens behind-the-scenes to get them to that point?
    Much of the work goes in before you even break the soil. Before you dig in, it’s important to choose the proper site, plan what you will be growing, and prepare the soil to yield the best possible results. A garden is nothing without a good foundation, making it extra important to choose the correct site.

  • Cold season weeds are waiting in the wings

    I was just thinking about spring,  but then I realized I should just live in the moment and be thankful that I do not have to battle weeds this time of the year!  Spring and cool season weeds will be here soon enough. The most common cool-season annual and perennial weeds will be germinating once our soils warm a bit. It is amazing how quickly it can happen as our days get longer and the sun shines more frequently.

  • Farmers can reduce stress with record-keeping

    Record keeping may not be every farmer’s favorite activity, and probably not the reason someone chooses farming as a career. With time, patience and a commitment to get it done, it can make your financial life a lot less stressful.
    Record keeping doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s a way to keep track of things about your operation that will help you make better long-term decisions. You can use a ledger book or a computer—whatever helps you maintain consistency. Software programs can make your data more meaningful.

  • Late February is ideal time for pruning

    In a fit of gratitude, I made a list of the things I loved about my life the other day.  I managed eight solid things, none were frivolous; and one prompted the whole exercise:  I love warm February days.  
    This beautiful February day set into motion a very productive weekend.  It felt so good to get some good old-fashioned garden clean up done with my husband by my side and the sheep grazing freely about.  It makes you feel optimistic about the rest of your life.

  • French green beans, a gourmet delicacy

    I have loved green beans ever since I grew ‘Tenderette’ in the 5th grade for my 4-H project at Simpsonville Elementary.  I still love ‘Tenderette’ but now I prefer to grow pole beans, or climbers, so I don’t have to bend over to pick!  If I do grow bush beans, it will be a long row of ‘Tavera’ because it is a flavorful bean at any size.  Another great thing about pole beans is that the vertical growth is a way to maximize yield in a limited space, so consider going vertical if you have a small garden plot.

  • Decamba herbicide training at Spencer Extension office

    After various crops across the United States received significant injury from products containing the herbicide dicamba during 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made it a restricted use pesticide for 2018. That designation means a new set of rules, regulations and an educational component for those who want to continue to apply products containing the herbicide.

  • Martin elected to represent local Farm Service region

    Shelby County U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director CED Kara McIntosh announced that County Committee elections are over and the ballots have been counted.

    Joshua R. Martin of Taylorsville was elected to represent local administrative area (LAA) 5.

  • Understanding the USDA Hardiness Zone Map

    The USDA Hardiness Zone Map has long been a guideline for cold hardiness of plants; about every ten years it is revised in order to provide a bit more detail in our changing climate. The most recent map was revised in January of 2012 and is based on temperature information from 1976 through 2005.