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Agriculture

  • USDA announces sign-up period for Conservation Stewardship Program

    USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that the ranking period cut-off date for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is Jan. 27.  Producers interested in CSP should submit applications to their local NRCS office by the deadline so that their applications can be considered during the first ranking period of 2012.

  • COLUMN: Winter perennial favorites

    Most people would say that there is not much going on in the garden during the winter months. I beg to differ. There are dozens of plants out there doing something interesting. Some are just showing their pretty bark or their sculptural quality bare of leaves. Others are just beginning to emerge and will be blooming soon. And others just have some crazy quality that allows their foliage to look as fresh and clean as a spring garden despite the fact it is winter in Kentuckiana.

  • COLUMN: Farm safety should be first priority

    Children can learn many valuable life lessons while working with livestock, and everyone loves to see children and animals working together. However, it’s important to remember livestock can be dangerous. Injuries from livestock-related accidents are a major source of injuries to children in agricultural settings.

  • COLUMN: Tea leaves and herbal concoctions

    We visited friends in Boulder, Colo., over the Christmas holiday and had an opportunity to visit the Celestial Seasonings Tea Company that is headquartered there. In fact this one factory produces all of their tea sold worldwide.
    Celestial Tea had humble beginnings with a group of “passionate young entrepreneurs” (i.e hippies in 1969) who began collecting herbs from the slopes of the Rocky Mountains and crafted their own herbal teas to sell to local health food stores. Today Celestial Seasonings is one of the largest specialty teas companies in North America.

  • COLUMN: Orchids make good house plants

    Orchids are becoming increasingly popular as houseplants. One orchid you are likely to encounter is the Phalaenopsis, or moth orchid. It gets its name from the shape of the flower that resembles a moth in flight.

  • Binomial sytem names plant species

    Most of us are not fluent in Latin so distinguishing between an Aesculus parviflora and an Aesculus pavia may take some extra effort. Throw hybrids and cultivars into the mix and our plant choices may increase with our confusion.

  • Marketbasket survey shows food prices slightly down during last quarter

    The latest Marketbasket Survey, conducted by the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation in December 2011, indicates that average retail food prices in supermarkets across the state have decreased by 1 percent during this last quarter. According to the survey, the total cost of 40 basic grocery items was $115.90. This reflects a decrease of $1.16, or 1 percent, from the same list of items reported in the previous quarter.

  • Free online tool promotes good ag practices

    Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, along with leaders from food and agriculture organizations, introduced recently a free online tool to help U.S. producers of all sizes achieve good agricultural practices harmonized standards and certification, helping to further expand economic opportunities for American agriculture.

  • SuperTracker in time for healthy New Year’s resolutions

  • COLUMN: A new year in the garden and on the farm

    Hope you don’t mind that I take this opportunity to reflect a little.  Another year is gone. I remember my elders marveling over this and how quickly time goes by and I get it now.  I have learned some this year but I don’t necessarily feel smarter; I have aged some but don’t necessarily feel older; and I have made new friends that have taught me that there is always potential, which has made me excited about the rest of my life.