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Farming

  • Grubs not always the culprit when it comes to lawn problems

    By Jeneen Wiche, Columnist
    Whenever brown patches or dead spots appear in the lawn we are quick to suspect a grub infestation. This is not always the case though, in fact, contemporary lawn care routines may be more to blame than you realize.  
    Some lawn care habits encourage disease and/or make your lawn more desirable to Japanese beetles and masked chafer beetles, both of which deposit the eggs that grow into grubs.
    The most common disease for lawns around here is brown patch (which is sometimes blamed on grubs).  

  • FSA issues guidance on SURE as program end nears

    Authority for the Supplemental Revenue Assistance (SURE) program, authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, will draw to a close Sept. 30, 2011. “Farm Service Agency (FSA) wants to ensure that all eligible producers are aware of the approaching deadline,” said John W. McCauley, FSA State Executive Director.

  • 2011 tomato trials

    This year turned out better than last is the first piece of good news.
    In 2010 I wrote, “Sadly, this year was sort of a bust for the vast majority of what I planted.” I can’t do that year after year so thank goodness the tomatoes and zucchini kept pace this time around.  
    Since 2006 I have been bringing my personal tomato trials (and tribulations) to my readers.  

  • Galls form on leaf or stem, rarely causes damage to the tree

    If you have any hackberries around your house, you have probably noticed falling leaves that have little protrusions on them.
    It looks strange and serious but rarely does it cause damage to the tree. What you are seeing is a type of gall. Referred to as spindle or nipple gall, the spindle-like protrusions on the leaves are caused by mites that gather around buds in the spring and enter the leaves as they unfurl.

  • Stinging caterpillars lurking in the garden

    I just got a call from a reader in Taylorsville, Ky., who was seeking an ID on a pest that was stinging her in the blackberry patch.
    She described the offender in very human terms… it looked like it was wearing glasses, had a green jacket on, little ears, etc.

  • Mum Field Day set for Monday

    How do you grow mums in Harrison County? Are mums a good cash crop for producers to get involved with? What does it cost to get started in production? All of these questions will be answered at the mum demonstration at the home of Andy Barnes, 3201 Ky. Hwy. 1284E, Cynthiana, on Monday, Aug. 22. The program will begin at 6 p.m.
    If you plan to attend call the Harrison County Extension Office at 234-5510 to register for the program. A meal will be served so please call. The program is open to all folks interested as a producer or a consumer of these colorful mums.

  • Sawflies are species specific

    One of the very first insects that I identified as a young gardener was the pine sawfly.  
    We planted over a 100 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.
    I was charged 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.

  • Women, Hispanic farmers can seek discrimination compensation

    If you are a female or a Hispanic farmer or rancher and you believe that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) improperly denied farm loan benefits to you for certain time periods between 1981 and 2000 because of your gender or race, you may be eligible to apply for compensation. “We want all producers in Kentucky who may be eligible to have the opportunity to participate in this claims process,” said John W. McCauley, Kentucky Farm Service Agency State Executive Director.

  • May hosts Farm Field Day

    Andy Barnes has worked cooperatively with the University of Kentucky in raising nearly 500 mums at his home in Sunrise. The plot includes several kinds and colors for interested consumers.
    On Monday, Aug. 22 at 6 p.m. there will be a meeting and a dinner at his plot. The location is 3201 KY Hwy 1284 E. His plot is just down from the old Sunrise School. If anyone would like to visit the plot and receive information on how to grow mums, plan to come and see this example of growing a different crop in Harrison County.

  • Uneven corn due to spotty pollination

    Corn has been a staple food for centuries. It was first cultivated by Indian peoples in Central America; in fact, the adoption of agriculture and the art of cultivating gave way to the grand cities of the Aztec and Mayans.   
    What would the world be without corn and potatoes, both of which were first cultivated in Central America?
    Modern corn derived from teosinte, a far less productive genetic relative. Teosinte is a wild grass that has small female spikes made up of encased seeds; modern corn forms ears instead.