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Farming

  • FSA now accepting pollinator habitats in Continuous CRP

    Kentucky USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director John W. McCauley, announces that pollinator habitats, which support a variety of pollinator species, will now be accepted as a Continuous Sign-up Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP) practice. CCRP is a voluntary program that helps producers apply conservation practices to safeguard environmentally sensitive land.

  • Feds feeds families

    Across the country, there continues to be a need to feed the hungry, particularly in the summer months when there are shortages in food banks and an increased need among children who are out of school and not benefitting from school lunch programs. Feds Feeds Families, or FFF, began four years ago to help fill a gap during the summer months, when food banks and pantries struggle with an increase in demand from families and individuals, but a decrease in donations.

  • Tomatoes by the Fourth of July

    Knock on wood, please, because I may jinx myself by publically declaring that my tomatoes look awesome.  
    It is the healthiest set of plants and fruit that I can ever remember, honestly.  
    The plants are remarkably free of any pest problem, brown or yellowing leaf or rotting fruit.  
    Most are heirloom varieties; they were fertilized once at planting with fish emulsion and immediately mulched with newspaper and pine straw. One irrigation occurred during a hot, dry spell but that is it.

  • FSA now accepting county committee nominations

    Kentucky’s USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director John McCauley, wants to remind farmers and landowners that local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee nomination began on Friday, June 15.   

  • Furry pests in the garden, barriers best bet

    If you have a garden chances are you appreciate nature in all its glory.  
    But, sometimes nature gets in the way of our desires to cultivate.  
    Deer browsing, rabbit munching, squirrel digging, bird pecking, mole trenching and resident vole feasting have all come up in the last two weeks.  
    While I have no silver bullet for any of these problems, I do have some practical approaches to offset the shared use of our gardens.  
    Squirrels are notorious for taking one bite of a tomato and then throwing it on the ground.  

  • Spinosad broad spectrum bio-insecticide is successful

    After the heat-wave in late May the blueberries ripened like wildfire, the Colorado potato beetle larva peppered the Pontiac potato patch and the cabbage worms nearly devoured my kale.  
    I pick and squish and drown but so much was happening at once I needed a little assistance.  
    As you know, I do not use chemical pesticides in the vegetable garden. I will reach for a bio-insecticide if I must, however.  
    Bio-insecticides include plant oils and compounds, naturally occurring bacteria, viruses and protozoa.  

  • Desert blooms in Kentuckiana?

    We have a beautiful prickly pear cactus in bloom right now that is flaunting yellow and orange blooms like a peacock does feathers.  
    It is tucked in a garden on the south side of the house so it thrives.  
    In fact this cactus is native to Kentucky even if most people only associate it with the desert Southwest.
    When it comes to prickly plants most of us automatically think of cacti in the desert; there are others with a more subtle prick to consider for the mixed border.  

  • Mow high to maintain lawn health

    Americans have all sorts of reputations, one being our love affair with the perfect lawn. The funny thing about it is that many of our lawn care habits actually create additional problems that need some sort of intervention.  
    It is a vicious lawn care cycle.  
    Fertilize, mow, spray, fertilize, mow, spray … why not just mow high and enjoy the clover?
    No matter how many times agronomists warn us not to fertilize in the spring, products fly off the shelf in April and May.  
    Fall is the time to fertilize, if you must.  

  • DCP/ACRE, and SURE enrollment deadline approaching, June 1

    John W. McCauley, State Executive Director of USDA’s Kentucky Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers that June 1, 2012, is the deadline for enrolling in the 2012 Direct and Counter-cyclical Program (DCP), Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) Program and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE). This is a statutory deadline for all participants in these programs.

  • Phase I sign-up deadline is Monday

    The 2012 Phase I deadline will be Monday, May 14 at 4:30 p.m. This will be the only sign up for 2012 and the program will include up to $3,000 per producer. The applications are available at the Harrison County Extension Office and can be picked up during business hours and returned by May 14.
    Following the application period, the local board will score the applications on May 15. All scoring will be based on a scoring sheet which is supplied by the Governor’s Office of Ag Policy.
    If you have any questions, call the Extension Office at 234-5510.