I can hardly wait for this year’s first harvest of summer squash. Last year was a bust because of the heat; so, I have high hopes for a bumper squash crop this year. Mostly, gardeners complain about losing their plants to the squash vine borer; but, I have managed to offset that pest pressure by delaying planting in order to miss peak egg-laying time. I have also used row covers, lifting them in the morning so bees can do their pollinating, then covering them during the day when mama wasp of the vine borer does her work.
Coming out of the wettest combined April and May on record, Kentucky agriculture producers are dealing with a multitude of problems including flooding and increased disease.
University of Kentucky College of Agriculture meteorologist Tom Priddy said data from Jan. 1 to May 31 reveals Kentucky’s wettest year on record with an average 31.38 inches of rainfall statewide. That figure surpasses the previous record of 31.18 inches set in 1950.
Before you squish consider the next generation of beneficial insects that you may be eliminating from your garden. We have come to look at all insects as bad, which is far from the truth. We delight over butterflies but likely kill many while in the caterpillar stage; we love lady beetles but the nymph stage looks a little scary; and we swat and spray ever fly, wasp and bee in ear-shot.
Hay is a significant agricultural crop in Kentucky, with receipts around $150 million in 2009, the most recent year for which data is on file. The Commonwealth typically harvests around 2.5 million acres of hay, the vast majority of which is fescue/grass hay.
Because hay is important to livestock producers of all types, learning to effectively manage a hay crop for higher and better yields is a critical skill. New research from the University of Wisconsin Extension summarizes how to shorten the harvest window, enhance forage quality, and reduce the chance for rain damage.
Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers have until Aug. 1 to nominate eligible candidates to serve on local Farm Service Agency county committees.
FSA county committees make decisions on commodity price support loans, conservation programs, disaster programs, employing county executive directors and other significant agricultural issues.
On Saturday, May 21. Spencer County 4-H Shooting Sports hosted the 3rd Annual Spencer County Invitational Shooting Sports Tournament at the Spencer County Fish and Game Club. This year, nearly 200 youth, ranging from 9-18, competed in this event, representing 10 counties.
Powdery mildew is probably the most common garden fungus around. It is not too terribly picky about where it spreads. It likes humid weather, thrives in the heat of the summer and is hard to control once it has started. The trick here is to prevent it from happening by proper plant selection, spacing, pruning and treatment before it spreads.
In 2008, the University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory broke ground on a $28.5 million expansion and renovation journey. Now the state-of-the-art project is complete and the lab is better equipped to serve Kentucky’s animal agriculture industries.
There are some plants that demand good drainage: taxus, coreopsis, gaillardia and penstemon, to name a few. I have lost them all because they were poorly sited in the garden but now that I know where water is slow to drain I now where to plant those trees, shrubs and perennials that like wet environments. There is an up side to poor drainage for some plants, just be sure that water is available when Mother Nature doesn’t deliver.