The latest Marketbasket Survey, conducted by the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation in March, indicates that average retail food prices in supermarkets across the state are currently holding steady, decreasing just slightly during the first quarter of the year. According to the survey, the total cost of 40 basic grocery items was $115.71. This reflects a decrease of $0.19, or 0.2 percent, from the same list of items reported in the previous quarter.
The USDA Farm Service Agency announced the sign-up deadline for the Conservation Reserve Program has been extended to April 13.
After the CRP general sign-up ends on April 13, FSA will evaluate offers based on cost and the Environmental Benefits Index. The EBI takes into consideration variables such as wildlife habitat, water quality protection, soil erosion reduction, air quality protection and other enduring benefits. Accepted offers will become effective Oct. 1.
U.S Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Administrator Bruce Nelson announced last week that the February payment rate for the Milk Income Loss Contract program. The February MILC payment rate is $0.3895043 per hundredweight. This is the first time there has been a payment for MILC since April 2010.
Predictions for this season include a high incidence of both fire blight and cedar apple rust. The signs of fire blight (scorched-looking foliage and stem tips) are rather boring compared to the freaky looking appendages that “ripen” with cedar-apple rust. Get ready to start seeing large, orange gelatinous spore horns hanging from cedars like they are decorated with Japanese lanterns. They strike awe and dread from me because they are fabulous looking creations of nature but they also forewarn a rust problem in the orchard for next year.
Grayson Lawson holds a hair bow board from a Spencer County Extension Sharing OurSelves class last week. Lawson crafted the board herself. To learn more about the SOS program going on right now at the extension service, visit www.ces.ca.uky.edu/spencer/sos.
Did you know that azaleas and rhododendrons are essentially the same thing? They are both members of the rhododendron genus; they have similar blooms and similar cultural requirements. Some say the primary difference between the two is the number of pollen-bearing stamens: rhods have 10 or more per flower and azaleas have only five.
Congratulations to Lilli Hanik of Fisherville, Liz Walker of Mount Eden, and Courtney Jeffiers of Taylorsville for receiving the 4-H Middle School Award at 4-H Teen Summit on Saturday, March 17th at the Kentucky Leadership Center in Jabez.
I am only now recovering — it has been four days since Andy and I planted out 100 asparagus crowns. Planting asparagus is an investment on all accounts — time, labor, money, patience — and then the big payoff, which is fresh asparagus for two months each spring right from your own garden.
Without looking at the calendar, Kentuckians might easily be fooled into thinking it is early June; but in fact, spring has just begun. After the warmest winter on the record books in the Bluegrass state, spring has sprung very early causing some University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension specialists to gaze eerily back on a similar weather pattern in 2007.