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Agriculture

  • Ag Report: Feb. 17, 2012

    Beef cattle sales rising

    to record high levels

    The mid-South states are the center of cow-calf beef production east of the Mississippi River: Kentucky ranks eighth nationally and Tennessee is ninth. With cattle prices up and exports climbing, industry officials also say it's a good time to raise beef cattle.

  • WICHE: I can make anyone love Brussels sprouts

    Brussels sprouts need a PR makeover, because no one seems to like them.

    Old varieties have been greatly improved from those forced on you as a child. Equally, cooking methods probably can stand some updating from the warm, mushy, bitter Barbie-doll-sized cabbage.

    Don’t boil them to death, but instead try instead some quick roasting underneath the broiler.

    Today we can thank breeding programs for developing a number of improved varieties of Brussels sprouts that are sweet and nutty in flavor.

  • Ag Report: Feb. 10, 2012

    9 state agribusinesses

    receive development grants

    USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced last week that nine Kentucky agribusiness will receive business development assistance in the most recent round of Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) awards.

    The VAPG program provides competitive grants to individual independent agricultural producers, groups of independent producers, producer-controlled entities, and farmer or rancher cooperatives to create or develop value-added producer-owned businesses. 

  • WICHE: Gear up for orchard maintenance

    I am so grateful that my husband, Andy, is in charge of the orchard. Fruit-tree maintenance, I am convinced, is an art.

    There are details to pruning that can make or break good fruit set, branch structure and ability to pick when the limbs are laden with ripe fruit. Although I understand the basics, I am glad Andy is the one that executes the task.

  • Ag report: Feb. 3, 2012

    Shelby County farm

    joins angus association

    3M Farm of Shelby County is a new member of the American Angus Association, reports Bryce Schumann, CEO of the national breed organization headquartered in Saint Joseph, Mo.

    The American Angus Association, with nearly 30,000 active adult and junior members, is the largest beef breed association in the world. Its computerized records include detailed information on nearly 19 million registered Angus.

  • WICHE: Skunk season is upon us

    I suppose every day is potentially skunk season, but right about now things start to heat up.  Mating season is upon us, so skunks are on the move a bit more than usual.

    I have been reminded as such by a faint funk in the garage every morning this past week.

    I learned a serious lesson several years back when the dog got a direct shot to the face, and we had a lingering stench that was other worldly.

  • FSA consolidation to spare Shelby office

    A loss of services for farmers in Bullitt, Spencer and Jefferson counties could mean more business for the Farm Service Agency office in Shelbyville.

    That was the upshot of a recent meeting in which John McCauley, state director of the FSA, came to Shepherdsville to talk with farmers about the potential impact of closing the FSA office in Mount Washington.

    "We're here to listen," McCauley said.

  • Family opens artisan cheese business in Shelby County

    Say cheese, Shelby County.

    But you better be specific.

    HomeTown Farm and Creamery is up and running on Vigo Road, and it's such a family business that not only do Mom and Dad and sons all put in work but even their cows are family

    "They all have names, and each one has its own personality," said Tracy Curtsinger, who with her husband, Mark, and sons, Travis and Brandon, have created one of Shelby County's newest agribusinesses.

  • Ag Report: Jan. 27, 2012

    Issues with dams, river locks

    could hurt soybean markets

     

    Industry officials fear that river conditions could be hurting soybean farmers’ ability to market their crops.

    With soy being a large commodity in Shelby County, producers already may be aware of the issue raised this week by the United Soybean Board, which said in a report that the deteriorating condition of the U.S. lock and dam system could bring  “severe economic distress.”

  • WICHE: Tulipomania and the need for some chilling time

    Spring bulbs popping up everywhere as temperatures roller-coaster from the teens to the 60s has left many scratching their heads. There is not much we can do to fool Mother Nature, so we must be patient and hope that we have a decent display come March.

    I have some foliage that has turned to mush, but the bulb and bloom is still safe beneath the soil surface; the bulb will send up fresh foliage in due time.

    The real issue with the crazy weather is that our bulbs need sufficient dormancy and chilling time in the ground in order to bloom well.