• WICHE: Cover crops improve the garden as its rests

    This past weekend we tackled some vegetable garden clean up. The hail storm from a few weeks back destroyed most of what was left; subsequent wind and rain finished off the battered remains.

    So we replanted a few crops, spread wood chips in the paths to control weeds and filled the remaining empty beds with a cover crop.

  • Ag report: Sept. 6, 2013

    Gallrein sets annual family fundraiser

    Gallrein Farms will open its annual fall season by hosting its third annual “Family Fun Fundraiser” at 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 21.

    Three years ago, Randie Gallrein came up with the idea to try to help a couple of organizations that were in need, and the event has grown to five different organizations:  Operation Care, Mentor Shelby Kids, ALC Pregnancy Resource Center, Shelby County Backpack Project and the Open Door of Hope men’s shelter.

  • WICHE: Crabgrass has a culinary history

    Summertime is the time when crabgrass rears its ugly head and begins to creep through our fescue lawns, sneak into our cultivated beds and, when we’re not looking, reseeds itself to ensure the continuation of the species.

    Does it sound daunting? Well, I wouldn’t look at it that way entirely. Let’s just say it is a challenge to keep it under control.

  • Ag report: Aug. 30, 2013

    FSA deadline to insure some 2014 forage crops

    USDA’s Farm Service Agency’s office in Shelbyville is reminding agricultural producers that today is the deadline to obtain crop year 2014 NAP coverage for crops such as wheat for forage and barley for forage.

  • WICHE: Camouflaged caterpillar is a surprise sting

    This time of the year I am on the lookout for a variety of masterfully camouflaged stinging caterpillars.

    The first time I saw one it sort of turned into a game: I took Andy down to the Parrotia tree and said, “Can you find the caterpillar?” He never did because this caterpillar looked exactly like the scorched edge of a leaf that would be a result of a long hot summer.

  • Ag report: Aug. 23, 2013

    Kalmey honored as top

    dairy producer in district


    John Kalmey of Shelby County was a district winner of a Proficient Dairy Producer Award, which is awarded on the basis of several factors as recorded by the Dairy Herd Improvement Association. Kalmey was one of a dozen winners statewide in awards announced last Friday during the Dairy Recognition Dinner at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

  • Summer crop forecasts: Corn could be headed for record year

    Shelby County’s corn growers are having a great year so far, a situation that's reflected around the rest of the state, crop officials said.

    "We are forecasting the second-highest yield on record, that's certainly noteworthy," said Dave Knopf, regional director for the USDA's Kentucky Field Office and the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

  • WICHE: Plan a fall vegetable garden

    All right, I know, this last week already felt like fall, but it really is only the end of August. This year may just be the perfect year to pull off the perfect fall garden as a result. Ample moisture and relatively mild temperatures mean that a second round of planting for a fall garden can get a good start.

    The challenge with the fall garden is getting seed and seedlings to germinate and grow during the heat of the end of summer. If we stay mild, we have a better chance!

  • Ag report: Aug. 16, 2013

    Shelby County farm tour

    to be offered in September

    The Shelby County Cooperative Extension Service and Metzger’s Country Store are working to develop a Shelby County Good Neighbors Farm Tour, which will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 21.

  • WICHE: Sawflies strip dogwood foliage

    One of the very first insects that I identified as a young gardener was the pine sawfly. We had planted more than 100 white pine seedlings some 30 years ago, and after a decade or so we started to lose a couple each year to one problem or another. Daddy charged me with inspection duty: looking for and plucking bagworms; collecting beetles in jars for identification at the county extension service; or closely noting the color, legs and chewing habits of the various caterpillars I encountered.