• WICHE: Keep African violets in bloom all winter

    African violets are often purchased in a blooming state. Then many of us wonder why they never bloom again. What have we done, or not done, to turn these dainty flowering plants into something that can only be appreciated for its fuzzy foliage?

  • Ag report: Jan. 4, 2013

    USDA seeks applications

    for wildlife initiative


    Natural Resources Conservation Service in Kentucky is currently accepting applications for Environmental Quality Incentive Program Wildlife Initiative, a voluntary program available to landowners to improve wildlife habitat on private property.

  • Milk prices good for all but farmers

    A potential hefty price rise for milk will is not on the horizon, at least not anytime soon, dairy officials say.

    “I don’t see much change; prices may even go down a little bit,” said Maury Cox, executive director of the Kentucky Dairy Development Council. 

    The average gallon of milk costs about $3, according to the USDA. But there had been a fear of prices as high as $7 per gallon because of issues related to farm bill that was tied into the “Fiscal Cliff” in Washington.

  • WICHE: Trunk damage can girdle trees

    The farm looks like a storm hit recently, but it’s really just my husband’s new deer deterrent technique. It seems to be working. In the past we have forgone the Irish Spring soap, human hair and coyote urine for more reliable barriers. Tomato cages, tobacco stakes, wire, spiral plastic trunk wrap, and, yes, an occasional arrangement of lawn chairs, have created distance between rutting and browsing deer.

  • Shelby farmers hope to reap fruits of heavy rains

    It’s still a little early to tell how this month’s very damp weather will affect Shelby County’s agriculture.

    That’s the view of Corinne Kephart, the University of Kentucky Corporate Extension Office’s agriculture agent for Shelby County.

    Kephart notes that although predictions for this winter were for a heavy snowfall, this December has been a little warm for that to happen.

    However, she also notes that November and December are usually fairly mild and that the coldest months are typically January and February.

  • WICHE: Follow your instinct to produce on farm

    If there was anything that I came to understand more profoundly this year, it would have to be the power of instinct: mine, our animals’ and the forces of ideologies of which I agree and disagree.

    I reread my year-end column from 2011 – which reminded me of where I had been 12 months ago – and it helps me better appreciate where I am today. It seems we didn’t do too badly, after all, and it’s all because both Andy and I recognize the power of instinct.

  • Ag Report: Dec. 21, 2012

    Conservation program looks for applicants

    The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service  in Kentucky is encouraging landowners, farmers and producers to visit their local NRCS offices now to receive information and apply for conservation technical assistance and possible financial funding opportunities.
    Shelby County landowners may visit the office on Breighton Place in Shelbyville.

  • WICHE: Look out for Starlings – carefully

    Last Sunday I felt like I was under siege. There were starlings everywhere; so much so that I feared being splattered with poop at every turn.

    The surprising thing about starlings is that they are everywhere yet not from here. It’s another story of one good intention going bad. Apparently back in 1890, in honor of a Shakespeare Festival in New York City’s Central Park, 60 European starlings were released. The following year another 40 were released, and today the bird is one of the most numerous species in North America.

  • Ag Report: Dec. 14, 2012

    Kentucky Horse Council sets new family oriented event

    The Kentucky Horse Council announced the Kentucky Round-Up, a new family event featuring horse fun, learning and interaction to be held Feb. 2 in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park.  Kentucky Round-Up also includes an evening concert by country music star John Michael Montgomery.

  • WICHE: Live or live cut for the holidays?

    Picking out the perfect Christmas tree was something that I used to take very serious: All the cleaning and moving of furniture and packing of boxes and light-stringing and unstringing required a tree worth the effort. I have scaled back in recent years but still see the fun in finding a tree that fits your space and holds precious ornaments with style.

    So which type of tree reflects your holiday? Do you get a fresh-cut, artificial, balled-and-burlapped? Or do you just go out-of-town and let someone else do the decorating?