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Farming

  • Beware of Cyanide (Prussic Acid) poisoning in ruminants

    With the start of fall comes the risk of cyanide poisoing in ruminants. Cyanide, prussic acid, hydrogen cyanide or hydrocyanic acid poisoning are all terms describing the same condition. A number of common plants, including sudangrass, johnsongrass, sorghums and sorghum-sudangrass hybrids contain cyanogenic glycosides in the outer cells of the plant.  Further inside the leaf tissue are the enzymes needed to convert these compounds to the cyanide poison.

  • Pear ripen after the harvest

    Old farm sites that are long vacant often have remnants of a once thriving agricultural model that fed the whole family.   
    Among the farm smorgasbord was the small home orchard; and among the orchard the Kieffer pear still stands if nothing else does.  
    The Kieffer pear has been around for a long time and it seems we have forgotten how to treat it as an eating pear.  
    If you have ever happened upon an old tree you may have been put off by the hard fruit.  

  • FSA Guaranteed Loan program update and increased loan limits

    USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director John W. McCauley, announces that guaranteed farm ownership loan funds for Fiscal Year 2012 have been exhausted. Farmers and ranchers in Kentucky received $59,736, 321 million in guaranteed loans through Aug. 31, 2012.
    “Fiscal Year 2013 begins on Oct. 1, 2012, and we anticipate that guaranteed farm ownership funds will be available in early October,” said McCauley.

  • Perennial Plant of the Year 2012 for the shade

    For some gardeners the tactile experience of maintaining the garden is not really what they’re after.  I love the whole process but I realize that most people just want things to look good without too much fuss.   
    As our farm grows on the 4-legged and 2-legged side of things I am noticing some perennial plant neglect.
    So, I do need to do some rearranging so that the mixed borders get easier to care for not more difficult. Therein lays the mission of the Perennial Plant Association’s “Plant of the Year” program.  

  • Changes to Form 1099-G and 1099-MISC for FSA producers and vendors

    John W. McCauley, USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director announces 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.

  • Livestock producers affected by disasters urged to keep good records

    USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director John W. McCauley urges livestock producers affected by natural disasters such as Hurricane Isaac and the continuing drought to keep thorough records of their livestock and feed losses, including additional expenses for such things as feed purchases because of lost supplies.
    FSA recommends that owners and producers record all pertinent information of natural disaster consequences, including:

  • Drought, heat causes stress

    “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 times 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 care-giver is less than committed.

  • Potato and purslane a great combination

    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 need to be a wood pecker 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.  

  • Cantaloupes reportedly connected to statewide salmonellosis outbreak

    The Department for Public Health (DPH) reports that  cantaloupes tested in the state public health laboratory carry the same strain of Salmonella associated with a statewide outbreak that health officials say is still ongoing.

  • Farmers Market