While rural Americans have already waited too long for passage of a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill, this week brought a promising new development. Conferees from the Senate and House met to begin work on the creation of a bipartisan, long-term Farm Bill. Their work could not be more timely – and they are in the spotlight now more than ever before.
John W. McCauley, State Executive Director for Kentucky’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), announced that the loan limit for the Guaranteed Loan Program increased to $1,355,000 on Oct. 1. The limit is adjusted annually based on the “Prices Paid to Farmers Index,” compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
“Raising the guaranteed loan limit will allow FSA to better meet the financial needs of producers across the Commonwealth,” said McCauley.
Leaf raking is an autumn chore that only children enjoy because they get to undo it in one fowl swoop. We rake and pile and they jump. I propose a new approach that just may make us all happy: adults can still rake a little, children can still play and trees will benefit from some mulch and fertilizer. At the farm, raking leaves is passé; we let them stay where they fall (with reason, of course) which is usually beneath their canopy.
To celebrate National 4-H Week and Kentucky 4-H Day of Service the Spencer County 4-H Bookworms Club sent care packages to the troops on Saturday, Oct. 12. The care package included the book Divergent by Veronica Roth. Bookworms members that participated in this event were Trey Early, Sam Cooper, Lilli Hanik, Jonathan Knight and Mason Cooper, as well as club leader Kim Hanik.
Have you ever heard someone say, “All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti”? Have you ever wondered what the difference is? Well, in the most basic sense cacti are succulents that do not have leaves. However, the mere presence of spines (the prickly part of cacti) is not the sole indicator that a plant is a cactus. The various families are actually determined by flower form (just like the orchid).
In February, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer asked farmers across the Commonwealth to step up and make the “Ag Tag” donation. For the second time, the proceeds from voluntary donations to the Agricultural Program Trust fund would be divided equally among 4-H, FFA and Kentucky Proud. Farmers had the option to donate $10 when they renewed their license plates in March.
Entomologists in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment have developed a new control method for mosquitoes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently granted a permit to begin field trials.
The biological control method targets the Asian tiger mosquito; it is the first of its kind in the nation.
There are many gardening tasks that either must be done or are better done in the fall of the year. Removing old plant debris; fertilizing trees, shrubs and lawns; and protecting tender plants like hybrid tea roses and French hydrangeas. These chores are all important for good garden maintenance. Taking care of them now can vastly improve the quality of your garden later. And eliminate some of the disease problems that affect us the most.
Spencer County’s 4-H Shooting Sports Club was right on target at the 2013 4-H State Shooting Sports Competition, bringing home first place team trophies. This two-day competition was at the Bluegrass Sportsman’s Club in Wilmore on Saturday, Sept. 14, and at the Kentucky Wildlife Management Center in Berea on Sunday, Sept. 15.