Ag report: Feb. 14, 2014

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By The Staff

Farm Machinery Show

could generate $22 million

The National Farm Machinery Show was expected to draw more than 300,000 visitors to Louisville's Kentucky Exposition Center this week, generating an economic impact of nearly $22 million, show officials say.

Billed as America’s largest indoor farm show, it will feature around 860 exhibitors and use nearly every square inch of the fairgrounds’ 1.2 million square feet of space in eight connected halls.

Farmers and agribusiness professionals, as well as representatives of agriculture-related companies and organizations, will come to the exposition center from primarily across the Midwest to “gain knowledge and hands-on access to technological advancements needed for the upcoming farming season,” Amanda Storment, Kentucky State Fair Board spokesperson, told The Courier-Journal.
This is the 49th annual version of the show, which has been held in Louisville since its inception. It is produced and owned by the State Fair Board. “It’s here to stay,” Storment said.
The show is free and open to the public, but visitors will have to pay the fairgrounds’ $8 per vehicle parking fee. Visitors can attend free seminars led by industry experts on a wide range of topics.
A big part of the farm show is the companion Championship Tractor Pull, sponsored by Syngenta. The Louisville tractor pull will be the 46th annual event, making it the country’s oldest indoor tractor pull.
The event, which usually draws a total around 70,000 and is held at Freedom Hall on each of the four days of the farm show, is ticketed, with all seats reserved.

GAP training next Friday

GAP Connections, a nonprofit aiming to create awareness and cultivate positive environmental and social impact through good agricultural practices in the tobacco industry, has announced the launch of a new Web site and online Grower ID system to provide a resource for tobacco farmers and other interested parties to learn about the organization’s initiatives, as well as a way for farmers to sign up for the Grower ID System.

A tobacco update and GAP certification program will be at 10 a.m.-noon next Friday at the Shelby County Extension Office on Frankfort Road. Registration is required, and space is limited. Call 633-4593 to reserve a spot.

Participants will learn about GAP Connections, which offers a streamlined approach to free farmers from overlapping their efforts through the U.S. Tobacco GAP Program, supplying them with simple procedures that are coordinated with industry buyers and manufacturers.

The Grower ID System provides a secure way for tobacco farmers to document and share their agricultural practices training associated with the U.S. Tobacco GAP Program. Growers will be assigned a unique Grower ID number that will be used to track GAP training attendance and generate an electronic record of that attendance that can be shared with companies that purchase their tobacco and need to verify that the crop was grown using good agricultural practices.

Registered farmers can also use their Grower ID numbers to log into www.gapconnections.comto view and print their training records at any time.

If you have questions or would like help in securing your Grower ID, you can contact Corinne Belton at the Shelby County Extension Office at 633-4593.


Burley launches FFA program

Southern States is supporting the National FFA by selling FFA emblems for $1. The campaign runs from Feb. 19 until March 24.

“We are deeply appreciative of Southern States and their assistanceto raise financial support for FFA and heighten community awareness about our organization,” Molly Ball, president of the National FFA Foundation, said in a release announcing the program. “Funds raised through the sale of the FFA emblem at Southern States stores will support FFA at the local, state and national level and ensure that we’re able to continue to develop students’ leadership, growth and career success potential.”

Customers who buy an emblem can sign their names or even the name of a child, and the emblems will be displayed in the store. Proceeds are split between the local FFA chapter, the state FFA association and the National FFA Foundation.

To buy a paper emblem, visit a participating Southern States Cooperative.



  • The2014 National Farm Machinery Show is 9 a.m.-6 p.m. today and Saturday at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville.
  • The Shelby County Extension Office will host the second of two free events to help train leaders and spokespersons to deliver the message of the agriculture industry, at 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the office at 1117 Frankfort Road. For more information or to reserve a space, call 633-4593. Light refreshments will be served.
  • Kentucky Round-Up, an annual event sponsored by the Kentucky Horse Council that celebrates horses with live demonstrations, hands-on activities and educational exhibits, will be Saturday and Sunday at the Alltech Arena in the Kentucky Horse Park.
  • Classes on food gardening will again be offered this year at the Shelby County Extension office, 1117 Frankfort Road. You’ll learn to grow everything from potatoes to strawberries, cantaloupes to cucumbers. Classes start from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday and run once a week through April 23. Classes are free but space is limited. For more information or to sign up, call 633-4593.
  • The Shelby County Extension office will offer a series of Green Thumb Gardening once a month starting in February at 1117 Frankfort Road. Topics include: fruit tree pruning on Feb. 22; lawn mower care and maintenance, March 20; herbs, April 17; growing cucumbers, cantaloupes, squash, etc., May 15; botanical garden shrub and tree tour, June 19; saving heirloom seeds, July 24; establishing an emerald green lawn, Aug. 21; propagating plants through cuttings, Sept. 18; and putting the garden to bed/spring bulbs, Oct. 16. The cost for the series of classes is $15. Classes will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. except for the fruit tree pruning class, which will be from 9 to 11 a.m. For one class, the cost is $5. Reserve a space by calling 633-4593.
  • Shelby County Cooperative Extension Service is offering a series of four classes on the basics of backyard poultry production. The classes are from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, March 4, 11, 18 and 25 at 1117 Frankfort Road. Classes will cover selecting appropriate breeds, housing, feeding, disease prevention, marketing and more. Classes will be taught by Tony Pescatore and Jacqui Jacob, extension poultry specialists from the University of Kentucky and Walt Reichert, Shelby County Extension horticulture technician. Classes are free, but space is limited. Reserve a spot by calling 633-4593.
  • The Shelby County Extension Office will be part of a series of equine seminars to assist horse owners with management of their animals and facilities. The five sessions, which begin March 6 with a program on pasture management at the Henry County Extension office in New Castle, are at 6-8:30 p.m. and cost $10 each, including dinner. Other sessions are on equine dental care (March 20 in Shelbyville), survey results and impact (April 3 in La Grange), fly control (April 17 in Taylorsville) and grazing management and laminitis (May 1 in Bedford). For more information or to reserve your seating, call 502-222-9453 or send an E-mail to traci-missun@uky.edu.
  • The Oldham County Extension office will offer an Ag Water Quality Workshop at 6-7:30 p.m. March 11. Steve Higgins, UK precision ag/biosystems specialist, will cover concepts of managing mud to protect water quality and improve efficiency, and Amanda Gumbert, UK water quality specialist, will cover ag water quality plans and walk participants through completing their plan. To RSVP, contact traci.missun@uky.eduor 222-9453.
  • The Farmland, Food and Livable Community Conference is scheduled for Oct. 20-22 at the Hilton Lexington Downtown. Participants will tour area farms, have mobile workshops and dine at a farmer-chef connection banquet. For more information on the conference, visit: www.farmland.org.

The Kentucky Ag Report is compiled weekly from news releases distributed by Keeton Communications and the Kentucky Press News Service.