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Agriculture

  • COLUMN: These students are country ham experts

    Stetson Baird, Brayden Morrow, Darilyn Browning, Rebecca Mobley, Michael Koch, Leah Shelburne, Lilli Hanik, Courtney Jeffiers, Christopher Miles, Apryl Wood, Scott Jeppson, Dalton Stallings, Bradley Thomas, Peter Koch, Hailey Pawley, Dillon Stallings, Sydney Warren, Thomas Koch, and Michelle Thomas participated in the country ham project this year and received the following awards at the Kentucky State Fair.  Thank you to Connie Jeffiers for doing an outstanding job as their club leader!

  • ‘Jack Frost’ named perennial plant of the year for 2012

  • COLUMN: Manage disease in end-of-season tobacco harvest

    With the 2012 tobacco growing season coming to an end, growers are working hard to get their crops into the barns. On one hand, the dry conditions of this past summer have kept leaf diseases like frogeye and target spot in check and we have not seen any blue mold. On the other hand, we saw more black shank and Fusarium wilt than we have for the past three or four years.

  • COLUMN: Drought, heat cause stress in plants

    “Newly transplanted trees must remain hydrated in order for the natural process of root system regeneration to begin” writes Roger Harris, associate professor of horticulture at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. This is something that has been repeated countless time this summer by many in the green industry, yet, I fear, some homeowners may have turned a deaf ear.
    With record-breaking heat and drought conditions for many in Kentuckiana, plants suffer the most if their caregiver is less than committed.

  • Changes coming to how farm program payments are made

    John W. McCauley, USDA Farm Service Agency  State Executive Director announced that calendar year 2012 brings several changes to the way FSA reports a producer’s farm program payments to the producer and to IRS.
    In past years, IRS Forms 1099-G would be issued to show all program payments received from the Farm Service Agency, regardless of the amount.
    “Starting with calendar year 2012, producers whose total reportable payments from FSA are less than $600 will not receive IRS Form 1099-G (Report of Payments to Producers),” said McCauley.

  • COLUMN: Local 4-H club members prove to be excellent communicators at 2012 state competition

    The 2012 State Communications Day was held on Saturday, July 14 at the University of Kentucky Campus in Lexington.  I am so proud to say that everyone from Spencer County did an outstanding job!

  • COLUMN: Don’t give a fig about figs? Think again!

    After I finish writing this column, I need to go pick figs. Every other day seems to be right on in order to harvest ripe fruit. It takes some finesse because it is the soft texture of the fruit that reveals ripeness, not necessarily the color. And picking only ripe fruit is the goal: figs do not improve if picked under ripe so if it feels firm leave it on the shrub.

  • High school ag program recognized regionally

    Spencer County High School’s agriculture program was recently selected as the 2012 Kentucky Outstanding Middle/Secondary School Agriculture Education Program, according to a news release from the National Association of Agricultural Educators, Inc.
    According to the release, applicants are judged on a variety of criteria, including teaching philosophy, effective classroom and experiential instruction, development of partnerships and professional growth.

  • COLUMN: Discovering less-celebrated edible plants: Purslane great in salads, as thickening agent

    I was among friends last week, discussing the virtues of okra. Some preferred to categorize the “slime” as a “thickening agent” while others insisted you needed to be a woodpecker to eat one.
    The little ones are best, of course, but often they get too big to be edible. While okra is indeed a great thickening agent in gumbo and other quintessential southern dishes, there is another plant lurking in the garden that can do the same — and you can usually just find it growing along a path or in the flower garden.

  • Kentucky’s produce sector experiencing strong growth

    The state’s produce industry continues to expand in terms of producers, volume, marketing outlets and sales, which are likely to exceed a record-breaking $33 million in 2012. That is what a new study from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture has found.