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Agriculture

  • Hold off on pruning raspberries, blackberries

    The bramble patch is usually cleaned up by now but the cold winter has set us back with a few of our garden chores.  But it turns out that this may be a good thing after all. The University of Kentucky has sent out a “blackberry alert” urging gardeners to hold off on pruning blackberry and raspberry until new shoots begin to emerge.  They are expecting more than usual die back due to our cold winter season.

  • Ag report: April 18, 2014

    Grow Rural Education

    grant deadline is Monday

    The deadline is fast approaching for local school districts to compete for a grant of up to $25,000, through America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education. Farmers can support their community and strengthen the school district’s application by nominating their local school districts.

    Nominations will be accepted until April 6, and school applications must be completed by Monday.

  • No planting yet, but farmers aren’t worried

    Shelby’s farmers say that they typically plant near the end of April, so they’re not too concerned about the spring crop season yet, but if the weather stays rainy and cool it could be a different story.

    “It’s not a big concern right now, but if it stays wet and cool for another two weeks, it will be,” said Paul Hornback, who is planning to put in 2,400 acres of corn and soybeans and 100 acres of tobacco.

  • Thin vs. fat asparagus, which is better?

    I was catching up on some magazine reading the other day and on two occasions I read the phrase “choose thin spears” and I got so frustrated. 

    These spring articles were about asparagus, and I would like to go on the record that when it comes to homegrown asparagus – and even the wild growing in the fencerows – fat is good!  The fat spears have always been tender from the garden; so don’t let anyone fool you on the fresh from the garden variety. They are particularly well suited for the charcoal grill.

  • Ag report: April 11, 2014

    USDA’s announces sign-ups for

    disaster assistance programs

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Administrator Juan M. Garcia announced this week that farmers and ranchers can sign-up for disaster assistance programs beginning Tuesday.

  • Cool season has slowed spring

    I want to say spring has sprung, but it hasn’t.

    I have 160 Freedom Ranger chicks coming in the mail next week and lambs hitting the ground – don’t worry, that’s shepherd talk for lambs being born. I want warm not just for the new 2-legged and 4-legged arrivals but also for my potatoes, onions and kale. I need warm before I can even think of putting a tomato, bean or cucumber out in the garden.

  • Ag report: April 4, 2014

    USDA Sets Date for Soybean Request for Referendum

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture offer soybean producers the opportunity to request a referendum on the Soybean Promotion and Research Order, as authorized under the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act.

  • Some azaleas thrive in full sun

    Did you know that azaleas and rhododendrons are essentially the same thing?

    They are both members of the rhododendron genus; they have similar blooms and similar cultural requirements.  Some say the primary difference between the two is the number of pollen-bearing stamens – rhododendron have 10 or more per flower and azaleas have only five. 

  • Ag report: March 28, 2014

    Shelby County Farmers’ Market seeking booth applications

    The Shelby County Farmers’ Market is accepting applications to participate in the 2014 market season.

    The program, which opens April 26, runs every Saturday morning until October at the Shelby County Fairgrounds. It features fresh vegetables and homemade goods, such as soaps and candles and crafts.

    Applications will be accepted through the end of March. To apply or for more information, contact Cindy Burket at 502-633-7484.

     

  • As weather dries, it’s time to start potatoes

    Spring break from teaching at UofL falls conveniently during the week of St. Patrick’s Day, which is also my target date for planting onions and potatoes. I typically manage a mid-March planting, but the condition of the soil has held me up a bit this year. I will not start digging until the soil dries out and is considered workable.