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Farming

  • Powdery mildew in the garden

    Powdery mildew is probably the most common garden fungus around. It is not too terribly picky about where it spreads, it likes humid weather, thrives in the heat of the summer and is hard to control once it has started.  
    The trick is to prevent it from happening by proper plant selection, spacing, pruning and treatment before it spreads.
    Powdery mildew is caused by several different fungi, I won’t bore you with their names because they all act the same way.  
    The spores of the fungus are carried by the wind and by splashing water.

  • County committee nominations open June 15

    Farmers,  ranchers and other agricultural producers have until Aug. 1 to nominate eligible candidates to serve on local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees.
    “County committees play a vital role in the administration of federal farm programs and the positive effect they have on rural communities,” said John McCauley, State Executive Director of the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

  • USDA extends deadlines for 2010 ACRE certification

    Kentucky USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director SED John McCauley announces that the 2010 Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) production certification deadline has been extended to Sept. 1, 2011.
    Note: The dealine has not been extended for agricultural producers to participate in FSA’s Direct and Counter Cyclical Program or the Average Crop Revenue Election Program during the 2011 crop year. Applications must be submitted by June 1 to be eligible for the 2011 program.

  • Carpenter bees busy

    The carpenter bees are doing a number on our house. We perfectly fit the profile of a desirable place to lay your eggs for this rather docile bee and they are busy around the frame of the garage as I write.  I do have a plan.
    Carpenter bees are essentially harmless. The male, who hovers about, has no stinger. The female tunnels and lays her eggs; when she does come out you would have to handle her for her to sting.  
    I’ve never been stung by one and they sort of become acquaintances because they are always there hovering about.  

  • Forty-three Kentucky counties eligible emergency loans

    On May 4, President Obama declared 14 Kentucky counties as disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding that occurred from April 26, and continuing. Those counties are Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Carter, Fleming, Gallatin, Kenton, Lawrence, Morgan, Nicholas, Oldham, Owen and Washington.
    As a result of the declaration, 29 Kentucky counties were named as contiguous counties where eligible family farmers may qualify for FSA EM loan assistance pursuant to Section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act.

  • Kentucky FSA reminds producers to report prevented/failed acreage

    With spring planting underway, the Farm Service Agency is reminding producers to timely report any prevented or failed acreage to their local office.

  • Kentucky FSA reminds producers of program deadlines

    John W. McCauley, State Executive Director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Kentucky, reminds producers of the following program deadlines.
    • May 27 – Deadline for project area proposals for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP).
    • May 31 – Final date to request a marketing assistance loan or loan deficiency payment for 2010-crop cotton, feed grains, soybeans, and minor oilseeds.
    • May 31 – Final date to report small grain acreages.

  • Amending the garden, feed the soil

    The rules on amending the soil have changed over the years.
    Part of the change relates to the fact that good soil is hard to come by in newly developed subdivisions where enormous earth moving equipment is used to level trees and land.  
    This equipment not only removes the valuable topsoil, it also compacts subsoil and kills the living organisms that make up a healthy soil system. The less we disturb the soil the better, but for many the reality is bleak so some sort of amendment is necessary in order to improve tilth, drainage and nutrition.  

  • 4-H Events

    May
    May 16-18 - 4-H Hunter/Home Gun Safety, Extension Office and Roberts Farm

    June
    June 11-12 - District 4 Horse Show
    June 13-16 - Kentucky 4-H Teen Conference, University of KY Campus
    June 21-22 - State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest – Madison County Fairgrounds and Lexington, KY
    June 28-July 1 - 4-H Camp, North Central 4-H Camp
    TBA - District 4 4-H Shooting Sports Contest, Mercer County Game and Fish

  • Too much water swamps some plants

    Unless you are cultivating cranberries or rice, all this rain is likely thwarting your spring gardening plans; it sure is for many farmers in our area, which is my primary concern.  
    While perspective is important in these matters, many home owners may see a little stress in their landscapes as a result of over a week of soaking rain.
    So how does excessive precipitation effect plants?  
    Well, in every way possible. Excessive precipitation, especially in poorly drained soils, can restrict oxygen intake by roots.