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Farming

  • 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.  

  • USDA makes funds available to meet credit needs of producers

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announces that a high demand for guaranteed farm ownership and direct farm operating funds has prompted USDA to transfer appropriated funds between programs as authorized by law, to meet the urgent credit needs of producers, including beginning and minority farmers and ranchers.

  • Striped cucumber beetle spreads virus

    I continue to stand by my belief that my best defense in the garden is me.
    In the morning I go out and inspect my garden and smash insects and pick off diseased foliage, careful not to spread it to other plants by my own hand. I watch for the beginning of any abnormality and nip it in the bud.  
    However, sometimes things slide by undetected, plus it is hard to determine bacterial brown spot from mosaic if you are not sure what you are looking for.

  • Renovate strawberry patch

    The strawberry was first cultivated in the 14th century after a French spy collected a berry from Chile and presented it to France’s King Charles V who then planted it in the Louvre’s Royal Garden.  
    By the 17th century this Chilean strawberry was crossed with some found in the Virginia colonies which gave way to the large-fruiting varieties we enjoy today. But don’t be fooled, large does not always mean flavorful.

  • May family to host Farm Field Day Aug. 8 near Leesburg

    David and Nancy May will host the first of three field days in Harrison County on Monday, Aug. 8, at 6 p.m. The farm is located on KY 1842 just outside of Leesburg. The farm is a rolling beef farm and wooded area with in excess of 500 acres.
    During most field days, a tour is made of the farm layout with an observation the operation.