This time of the year I am on the lookout for a variety of masterfully camouflaged stinging caterpillars. The first time I saw one it sort of turned into a game: I took Andy down to the Parrotia tree and said “can you find the caterpillar?” He never did because this caterpillar looked exactly like the scorched edge of a leaf that would be a result of a long hot summer.
When farmers want to know how the weather will impact their planting, growing and harvesting decisions, they can get a multitude of information from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Ag Weather Center website and the Kentucky Mesonet. Agriculture meteorologists Tom Priddy and Matt Dixon continually add new features to keep the state’s farmers and livestock producers in the know.
Recently Priddy and Dixon updated the center’s PointAgCast to include additional information that farmers had requested.
Alright, I know, this last week already felt like fall but it really is only the end of August. This year may just be the perfect year to pull off the perfect fall garden as a result. Ample moisture and relatively mild temperatures mean that a second round of planting for a fall garden can get a good start. The challenge with the fall garden is getting seed and seedlings to germinate and grow during the heat of the end of summer. If we stay mild we have a better chance.
With the moist summer we’ve had in Kentucky, mosquitoes have had a prime environment to flourish and become a prevalent pest. They can make your life downright miserable. Many recreational and work activities have been ruined by the constant annoyance and irritation mosquito bites inflict.
One of the very first insects that I identified as a young gardener was the pine sawfly. We had planted over a hundred white pine seedlings over 30 years ago and after a decade or so we started to lose a couple each year to one problem or another. Daddy charged me with inspection duty. Looking for and plucking bagworms; collecting beetles in jars for identification at the County Extension Service; or closely noting the color, legs and chewing habits of the various caterpillars I encountered.