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Farming

  • Camouflaged caterpillar is a surprise sting

    This time of the year I am on the lookout for a variety of masterfully camouflaged stinging caterpillars.  
    The first time I saw one it sort of turned into a game:  I took Andy down to the Parrotia tree and said “can you find the caterpillar?”  
    He never did because this caterpillar looked exactly like the scorched edge of a leaf that would be a result of a long hot summer.  

  • Plant a vegetable garden

    Alright, I know, this last week already felt like fall but it really is only the end of August.  

    This year may just be the perfect year to pull off the perfect fall garden as a result. Ample moisture and relatively mild temperatures mean that a second round of planting for a fall garden can get a good start.  

  • Darnell receives National FFA Scholarship

    The National FFA Organization awarded a $1,000 Tractor Supply - Growing Scholars scholarship to Susan Darnell of the Harrison County High School FFA. The scholarship is sponsored by Tractor Supply Company as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. Darnell plans to use the funds to pursue a degree at Eastern Kentucky University.
    This scholarship is one of 1,645 awarded through the National FFA Organization’s scholarship program this year.

  • Bagworms are on the move

    Who among us is guilty of not noticing something until it’s too late? Yes, all of a sudden there is nothing left of your blue spruce or arborvitae. Bagworms have been munching on the needles for weeks and we wonder how it all happened. Well, they are at work right now so go outside and take inventory of your evergreens because that’s what the bagworm likes the most. Now is the time they do their damage unless we put a stop to it.

  • Fireflies light the night for love

    Likely as a child you collected fireflies in a jar and took them to bed to light up your room on a warm summer night.  
    I remember getting my parents to puncture the lid of a mason jar so the magical insects could breathe.  
    Well, it turns out that all that light flashing wasn’t meant for our entertainment  but rather about entertaining love.
    Researchers at Tufts University and Bringham and Woman’s Hospital have been observing the flashes of fireflies for a decade of summers and what they have uncovered may surprise you.  

  • A season to remember

    2013 is turning into a very unusual cropping year.  Following 2012, hot and dry, 2013, has been cool and wet, relative to some of our recent years. Crops overall seem to be in pretty good shape. The corn and soybeans are on the mark of being outstanding. Grass for grazing continues to be green and excellent for growing our young calves. Hay production has been outstanding, even if we never had a period to harvest our hay. Everything looks rosy at this time. But, there is another side of the story.

  • Harvesting and curing root crops

    Potatoes, garlic and onions:  these three vegetables are staples worldwide largely because of their versatility and their storage-ability.  
    Late July and August is when our spring-planted onions, garlic and potatoes reach maturity and are ready for harvest.  
    If you want to harvest some new potatoes, onions or garlic before they reach maturity enjoy them at the table in short order; however, if you want to store them it is important to harvest them at the correct time.

  • USDA announces results for 45th CRP general sign-up
  • It’s always something. . .

    It seems only fair to share an update to the story since so many of you have been kind enough to lament my troubles with predation on the laying hens and the pastured broilers.  
    If you missed the column from a few weeks back it basically chronicled some owl and fox attacks on our pastured poultry we raise for meat down in the nut grove and our egg-laying hens that range freely around the barn and house during the day.   

  • Barnett attends Institute for Future Agricultural Leaders

    Harrison County High School student Ally Barnett recently returned home from Kentucky Farm Bureau’s Institute for Future Agricultural Leaders (IFAL). Barnett and 45 other high school students from around the state attended the five-day summer leadership conference, held June 23-27 at the University of Kentucky.
    An identical IFAL conference was also held June 16-20 at Murray State University for an additional 45 students.