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Agriculture

  • Governor announces 2013 on-farm energy incentive program

    FRANKFORT, Ky, — Governor Steve Beshear recently announced the availability of the 2013 On-Farm Energy Efficiency & Production Incentives program through the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund.

    For 2013, the KADB’s commitment of $1 million leveraged additional funds through the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet to bring the total available funds for 2013 to $1.75 million. 

  • Rethinking the lawn

    I used to have a visceral response to lush spring grass; it gave me anxiety because I knew it was time to get on the Scag and start mowing.

    This year I see the grass in a different way because it is potential pasture for our growing herd of sheep. We use moveable, electrified fence and rotational grazing methods to keep the pasture and the herd healthy, so the more grass I have, the better. It is a liberating feeling not worrying about getting the grass mowed.

  • Transition houseplants outdoors

    Our current warm sunny weather — it’s about time — has made everyone just delighted and the intoxication of all of it may lead us to act impulsively. I am as anxious as anyone to move some of my houseplants outdoors: my gardenia looks terrible in the dining room and the jasmine downstairs seems to stare into space dreaming of better days; those days are coming, just be slow about the transition from indoors to out. 

  • Dogs trained to sniff out illegal wildlife shipments

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a message for would be wildlife traffickers:  There’s a new dog in town, and if you try to bring illegal wildlife parts into the country, there’s a chance he is going to sniff you out.  And there are more just like him. 

  • Match mulching material with plant’s needs

    Mulch has become a landscape staple, almost to a fault when it is over-applied, smothering roots and girdling trunks! When done properly it can help to suppress weeds, retain moisture and moderate temperature. These things can be achieved using a variety of materials but which type of mulch suits your needs best?

  • National Agriculture Week proclamation

    Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, second from right, holds his proclamation naming March 17-23 National Agriculture Week in Kentucky. On hand for the unveiling of the proclamation at Comer's office in Frankfort were, from left: Bonnie Jolly of the Kentucky Pork Producers Association, Meredith Scales of the Kentucky Dairy Development Council and Dave Maples of the Kentucky Cattlemen's Association.

  • Rust diseases travel between host plants

    Last year our serviceberry was afflicted with a whimsical looking disease; the beautiful blue berries that appear in the summer looked like something from a Dr. Seuss book. In a good year the cedar wax wings usually flock in and eat the berries as they ripen, not so last year. The strange, white tubular protrusions in which the berries were covered not only looked funny but they kept the birds away, too. 

  • Conservation district names 2012 Outstanding Cooperator

    The Nelson County Conservation District named Andy Bishop as 2012 Outstanding Cooperator. Each year, the district recognizes farmers who are taking the initiative to implement sound, innovative and cost effective conservation techniques.

    The Bishop Family Farm, also known as Fairfield Farms, began in 2010 with the purchase of the Elder Place in Fairfield. Andy and his wife, Meagan, have two children; Clara Belle and Jake.

  • Brushing up on plant and soil terminology

    With spring just around the corner, with my brain a little mushy from a long cold winter, I thought it was time to brush up on garden nomenclature. I have long been convinced of the value of understanding more about plants than the mere fact that they need sun, soil and water. The more we learn about what plants need and how to determine if they are getting it, the more we will enjoy gardening.

  • Are you ready to plant potatoes?

    I managed to get through the whole season eating only our store of potatoes from the garden only because of the generous offerings of sweet potatoes from two other gardeners. I love it when I can go from harvest to planting and still have a few potatoes left in storage. Home-grown potatoes, even the old ones in their slightly shriveled state, are far superior than the kind that come in a plastic bag. I am really ready to get my hands in the soil and planting potatoes is just the thing to get the season rolling.