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Agriculture

  • COLUMN: Will the polar vortex hurt invasive insects or kill pesky ticks?

    A few weeks ago on Ira Flatow’s Science Friday there was an interview with research biologist Rob Venette from the U.S. Forest Service in Minnesota that addressed the effect temperature has on certain insects. The ability of insects to survive winter- when so many of them thrive in summer- has always fascinated me. While we would most certainly root for the bees and butterflies my enthusiasm would wane for fleas and ticks.

  • COLUMN: GAP Connections launches website and grower ID system
  • COLUMN: Columnist says start planning now for spring gardens

    Plant and seed catalogs will be jamming the mailbox any day now. I always feel like January ushers in a clean slate for the garden: optimism abounds among fresh ideas and promises never to repeat a crop busting mistake are sharp in my memory. Sometimes the slate stays clean; sometimes it doesn’t. Either way the next couple of months can be used to plan and prepare for the next growing season. Don’t get overwhelmed by (or over indulge in) all the catalogs until you actually decide on what you want to accomplish for the year.

  • COLUMN: Plants, snow and de-icing agents

    As I write, we are getting flurries and the forecast calls for some frigid temperatures (by now we are experiencing them!). We have called to have our old furnace serviced to hedge our bets against frozen pipes as the heat pump struggles to keep up with single digit temperatures. The firewood is stacked and ready to stoke the Buckstove for overnight; and if the sidewalks get slick we have a stash of de-icing agents. As the winter season unfolds, consider the effect that de-icing agents have on your plants.

  • COLUMN: Control lice before they reduce beef, dairy profits

    Lice can suck the profits out of your beef and dairy cattle herds during the winter. These cold-loving pests spread when animals bunch together in response to frigid temperatures, and we’ve already had plenty of those.
    You can reduce potential lice problems on cattle by keeping new animals separate from your herd until you’ve given them a thorough louse treatment, generally two applications of a contact insecticide.

  • COLUMN: Winter settles in and a new year begins
  • COLUMN: Cold-weather horse nutrition

    Winter is officially here. Consider yourselves lucky that your horses don’t have to deal with temperatures that consistently dip into the negative digits. However, do you consider your horse’s nutritional needs and how they change even with mild Kentucky winters? Here are some ideas to consider when feeding your horses this winter.

  • COLUMN: A gardener’s Christmas poem

    Every couple of years I like to revisit my father’s favorite Christmas poem inspired by Clement Moore’s famous work “Night Before Christmas.” The writer is unknown but he or she certainly was a gardener; and you may even get some last minute gift ideas from its verse.

  • PHOTO: Spencer County Farm Bureau recognized during annual meeting

    The Spencer County Farm Bureau was recognized for outstanding membership and program achievement during the recent 94th Kentucky Farm Bureau annual meeting in Louisville. Here, John Crenshaw, center, accepts the award from David S. Beck, right, Kentucky Farm Bureau executive vice president, and Brad Smith, executive vice president of Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance Companies, during a Dec. 6 recognition and awards program.

  • COLUMN: Controlling pests on indoor plants

    Have you noticed a sticky substance on the floor beneath your ficus or philodendron? Are there little scabs on the underside of the leaves of your orchid? Maybe you have noticed that your plants just look a little lackluster.
    Well, we can blame some of the plant puniness on being a tropical houseplant indoors in Kentuckiana during the winter.