Ag report: March 1, 2013

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By The Staff

Fruit orchard grower session set for Mulberry Orchard

The University of Kentucky Horticulture Department will present a fruit grower orchard meeting on April 11 at Matt Gajdzik’s Mulberry Orchard.  

This program, is being put together by John Strang, UK Extension specialist in fruit and vegetable crops, tentatively will address a variety of diseases and pests. It would include specific sessions and then a roundtable discussion among growers, moderated by Jeremy Hinton.

Lunch is included. Mulberry Orchard is located at 1330 Mulberry Pike.

For more information or to preregister for lunch (by April 9), call Mary Ann Kelley 270-365-7541, Ext. 216, between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.


Farmers market meeting

The Shelby County Farmers’ Market will hold it’s annual organizational meeting at 10 a.m. March 9 at the Shelby County Extension office, 1117 Frankfort Road. All prospective members are welcome to attend. For more information, contact Marilyn at 633-7572.


Beekeeping school is March 9

The annual Bluegrass Beekeeping School will be March 9 at Kentucky State University in Frankfort. More than 400 attended last year.

Jeff Harris, the Mississippi State University extension/research apiculturist, is the keynote speaker with a presentation called “The Importance of Honey Bee Pollination and Varroa Mites.” He also will have two breakout sessions.

Michael Bush of Bush Farms will give a presentation on top bar hives. There will be other presentations and a trade show.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. in the lobby of Bradford Hall at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, but a preregistration form may be downloaded from the Kentucky State Beekeepers Association’s Web site. Registration is $20 in advance and $30 at the door. Lunch is include.


Conservation grants open 

Karen Woodrich, state conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service  in Kentucky, announced that NRCS is requesting applications for Conservation Innovation Grants to stimulate the development, adoption, and evaluation of innovative conservation approaches and technologies related to water quality, soil quality and agriculture energy. Applications are due April 26, by 4 p.m.

The address for mailed or hand-delivered applications is: USDA-NRCS, attention: Robert Bradley, Kentucky CIG Program Manager, 771 Corporate Drive, Suite 210, Lexington, 40503. You may also apply electronically by visiting www.grants.gov. On this site, search by agency (Department of Agriculture).


FSA conservation program

Kentucky Farm Service Agency will conduct a 4-week Conservation Reserve Program general sign-up beginning May 20 and ending on June 14.   

In addition to erosion control, CRP provides significant water quality benefits including reduced nutrients and sediment loadings and adverse consequences associated with floods as well as expanded and enhanced wildlife habitat.

Producers that are accepted in the sign-up can receive cost-share assistance for planting covers and receive an annual rental payment for the length of the contract (10-15 years). Producers also are encouraged to look into CRP’s other enrollment opportunities offered on a continuous, non-competitive, sign-up basis.  Continuous sign-ups often provide additional financial assistance.  Those sign-up dates will be announced later.  

For more information, visit the FSA office in Shelbyville or www.fsa.usda.gov.  


License plates help FFA, 4-H

Kentucky residents who renew their farm license plates can donate $10 to a fund shared by the state Department of Agriculture’s Kentucky Proud program, Kentucky 4-H and Kentucky FFA. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, a former Kentucky FFA president, said he hopes to raise $600,000 in donations by July, the end of the current fiscal year. Each agency would receive $200,000 if the goal is reached.

The donation program has lagged in recent years. Comer said each program received some $122,000 in donations last year, his first as agriculture commissioner.

Bulletin board

  • The Shelby County Extension Office has set a tobacco production GAP training program Tuesday at the office on Frankfort Road. The session will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch will be provided, and reservations can be made by calling 633-4593.
  • The 30th annual Fayette County Farm Bureau Farm Equipment Consignment Auction will take place at the Kentucky Horse Park at 9:30 a.m. March 9. Fayette County Farm Bureau will begin accepting equipment for the auction at the Horse Park on Thursday and Friday. No equipment will be accepted for sale on the day of the auction. The auction is free, but parking at the horse park is $5. For more information contact Carrie Johnson at the Fayette County Farm Bureau at 859-253-0023.
  • The Shelby County Cooperative Extension Service is offering classes on food gardening that runs each Wednesday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. through April 10. The classes are free, but seating is limited, so you must reserve a spot by Tuesday. To reserve your space, call 633-4593.
  • Shelby County 4-H Camp Enrollment forms are available at the extension office or printed from http://ces.ca.uky.edu/shelby. Camp Dates will be July 9-12. Space will be filled on a first come, first serve basis. For more information, call 633-4593.


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