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Agriculture

  • Dealing with insect carpenters — bees and ants

    I absolutely do not approve of killing bees. In fact, we are in a bit of a crisis with a diminishing population with the suspected cause being the use of pesticides, notably neonicotinoids. I do not fear bees, I am not allergic, and I can happily co-exist — except that they are eating my house. Or, rather they are tunneling into the wood that makes up my house so they can lay eggs and have lots of babies.

  • Where’s the beef? UK experts weigh in on lowest beef supply in 60 years

    Just as the summer grilling season is heating up, beef supplies across the country are down, meaning it might cost a little more to host that backyard party. In fact, the number of beef cattle in the United States is reportedly less than 30 million — the lowest number since the early 1960s. And when numbers go down and feed prices go up, consumers end up paying more at the grocery store.

  • COLUMN: Peonies are long-lived in the garden

    A couple of weeks ago, one of the prettiest flowers in the garden started to bloom. This great cut-leaf Japanese peony, Paeonia tenuifolia, opened its simple ruby-colored petals to reveal bright yellow stamen. The finely cut foliage, reminiscent of the most finely cut foliage of a Japanese maple, allows the plant to be interesting in the mixed border the rest of the growing season, too.

  • COLUMN: Soil compaction creates unfriendly garden site

    Gardening season is in full force here in Spencer County with the threat of frost now behind us. It’s a good time to think about your soil. Soil compaction creates an unfriendly growing environment for plants and is a serious problem for many home gardeners. However, it is relatively easy to prevent.
    Compaction transforms soil into a difficult environment for plant growth by making it harder for roots, water and soil to penetrate the ground. Major causes are working the soil when it is too wet, foot traffic and excessive rototiller use.

  • PHOTO: ‘Name a Lamb’ contest raises funds for Relay

    The third- and fourth-grade classes at Taylorsville Elementary helped raise money for Spencer County Relay for Life by participating in the name a lamb contest.  The classroom raising the most money for the 4 Purple Clovers Team was Mrs. Catlett’s room.  They are pictured with Darilyn Browning and her lamb, now named Angel.

  • Farm Service Agency announces program signups

    The USDA-Farm Service Agency is accepting new offers and approving new contracts under CRP’s Continuous, CREP, FWP and SAFE signups.
    The following practices are available under continuous signup:
    CP-8A Grass Waterways Non-easement; CP-9 Shallow Water Areas for Wildlife; CP-21 Filter Strips, CP-22 Riparian Buffers, CP-29 Marginal Pastureland and Wildlife Habitat Buffer, CP-23 Wetland Restoration; CP-33 Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds; and CP-38 State Acres for Wildlife, and CP-42 Pollinator Habitat.

  • COLUMN: Sweet potatoes need 150 frost-free days for success

  • COLUMN: STORM SAVVY: Tips for staying safe during severe weather

    Did you ever wonder why we have more thunderstorms during the spring and summer? It’s because weather patterns are more active as they move through Kentucky during these seasons, especially in the afternoon and evening.  The weather conditions also increase the potential for lightning to strike people at work or play outdoors and possibly while they’re inside a building.  Although thunderstorms are more common during the spring and summer, they can take place all year long and at all hours.

  • COLUMN: 4-H members participate in tractor driving contest

    The 2013 Spencer County 4-H Tractor Driving Contest was Thursday at the Spencer County Extension Office. All participants took a knowledge skill test, inspected the tractors, and drove through an obstacle course, while using the safety procedures they learned in 4-H.

  • COLUMN: Cut flowers from the garden should be enjoyed indoors

    The cool spring has finally ushered in May flowers. I love cut flowers from the garden. There is a simple, happy satisfaction that comes from picking a bundle of peonies for the kitchen worktable. Just be sure to shake the ants off first.
    The other thing about a cool spring with adequate rain fall is that the weather is acting as a sort of preservative: all those beautiful blooms are lasting much longer than normal.