Ag Report: Oct. 7, 2011

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By The Staff

Conservation program

launches sign-up period

Conservation Farm Bill programs are in effect, and there are programs that could be of benefit to producers in Shelby County.

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service in Kentucky is encouraging landowners, farmers and producers to visit their local NRCS office now to receive more information and apply for conservation technical assistance and possible financial funding opportunities.

The application process for Farm Bill conservation programs is continuous, but funding selections are made at specific times throughout the year.  The Kentucky NRCS application ranking cutoff date for consideration for 2012 funds in this sign up period is Nov. 15.

Financial assistance is available to eligible applicants for the following Farm Bill programs:

§       The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a conservation program that provides financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers who face threats to soil, water, air and related natural resources on their land. 

§       The Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) is a voluntary program for developing or improving high quality habitat that supports fish and wildlife populations of national, state, tribal and local significance.

Interested producers should sign up as soon as possible and request a conservation plan.  For more information, contact Randal Rock, NRCS district conservationist at 502-633-3640 Ext. 3.


Final day for CAIP application

Today is the deadline for Phase I of the Shelby County Community Agriculture Investment Program. Any interested producers in the county must submit applications for grants through the Shelby County Extension Office.

Tammy Brookshier of the Shelby County Cattlemen and the extension office is coordinator for the program, and she will have those applications at the extension office, which is open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at 1117 Frankfort Road in Shelbyville.

CAIP is designed to provide farmers incentive to diversify and improve their production. It combines what were previously known as county model cost-share programs into one, where each model program becomes an investment area.

For more information, contact Brookshier at 633-4593 or tammy.brookshier@uky.edu.


Farm to School Week starts Sunday

Kentucky students can compete for prizes and learn about the benefits of local food in a statewide art contest to commemorate Farm to School Week Oct. 9-15. The contest is being conducted to raise awareness of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Program.
Students must submit original drawings on white, unlined 8 X 11-inch paper based on the theme “Let’s Grow Healthy the Kentucky Proud Way!” Participating school districts will select winning entries in elementary school, middle/junior high school, and high school. The districts must submit the winning entries at the Kentucky School Nutrition Association conference on Oct. 26.
The student who creates the first-place entry will win a $50 savings bond. Second place is $30, and third place gets $20. The winners will be honored at the Kentucky Commodity Conference in December in Bowling Green. Individual school districts may award prizes to their district-wide winners.
For more information about the contest, including full contest rules, visit www.kyagr.com.


New cattle management program

The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board awarded $310,000 to the Kentucky Beef Network LLC to develop and offer the Management and Genetics 60 (MAG-60) program for Kentucky producers.  

The MAG-60 program will provide cost-share to beef producers to synchronize the estrus cycle in their beef females for timed insemination to reduce labor costs associated with artificial insemination. Females will be inseminated to a small, select group of sires that are proven in their ability to sire productive, profitable calves. 

Calves from this program will be managed through a rigid program that includes pre-conditioning, age/source verification and more. The calves will also be marketed through several MAG-60 opportunities.

For more information about the MAG-60 program, contact Becky Thompson with KBN at 859-278-0899 or bthompson@kycattle.org.  


FFA convention live on Internet

The National FFA Organization will stream its 2011 convention in Indianapolis live online via the newly launched Alltech Ag Network on iHigh.com. The televised convention, which is Oct. 19-22, will be accessible real time via computers, iPads and all iPhone, Android and BlackBerry mobile devices.

As FFA membership stands at more than a half-million students throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, iHigh.com expects this to be their largest telecast ever.

"iHigh.com is a true supporter of FFA and exemplifies this by providing the means to take our convention message to tens of thousands of FFA members throughout the country and beyond who aren't able to attend the event," FFA CEO Dwight Armstrong said. "This is a major opportunity for FFA and we are extremely grateful for iHigh.com's expertise, resources and abilities to reach our membership in a new and meaningful way."

Broadcasts will be viewable live and on-demand at no cost to the users. If there are any issues viewing a broadcast, please contact 859-514-3886 for technical support.


Bulletin board

§              The Austin Roberts Foundation truck and tractor pull is Saturday at the Henry County Fairgrounds in New Castle. There is a $10 gate admission (kids 10 and under are free). All-day event features an antique car and tractor show and craft fair at 1 p.m., kids pedal pull at 4 p.m., and the truck and tractor pull starts at 6 p.m. For information on any event call 502-321-5321.

§       Bee school is 7 p.m. Oct. 20 and 27 at Shelby County Extension Office. Call 633-4593 to register for the course.

§       The Shelby County Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday, rain or shine, through Oct. 29. The market is located in the Coots Barn at the Shelby County Fairgrounds. Locally produced seasonable vegetables, fruits, herbs, plants, flowers, free range eggs, honey, salsa, baked goods, homemade jams and pickles are available. Also featured are handcrafted wood items, soaps and jewelry. For more information, call Doug at 633-7484.

§       Taylorsville Farmers’ Market meets 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays until the end of October at the Sanctuary Art Center on Main Street in Taylorsville. Produce, beef, chicken, seedlings, baked and canned goods will be available. Call 502-477-2217 for details.

§              Cow camp is 5:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Shelby County Extension Office. Topics include herd health, nutrition, animal handling, marketing. The event will satisfy CAIP educational requirement. Dinner will be provided. Call 633-4593 by Nov. 1 to register and reserve your meal.


The Kentucky Ag Report is compiled weekly from news releases distributed by Keeton Communications and other sources.