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Agriculture

  • Farmers seeing record prices for corn, beans

    John Hammonds has had a pretty good year with his corn and soybeans – and that’s an understatement.

    Hammonds, who farms about 200 acres of corn, mostly on Mulberry Pike near Eminence, said that in drought-laden 2008, his crop produced about 100 bushels of corn per acre.

  • WICHE: Civilization and the art of saving seeds

    Real human advancement was made when we finally figured out that saving seed from the very best food plants was a way to get some really good food next year.

    The pumpkins that the Wampanoag served the pilgrims were more like gourd if compared to the sugar pumpkins available today! The evolution of tastier food crops was aided by the human hand through the process of seed saving and meticulous selection based on vigor, pest resistance, drought tolerance, yield and taste. 

  • Many local farmers sell at markets in Louisville

    Although the local, sustainable food movement continues to grow in awareness, several Shelby County farmers find they must travel to Louisville for successful business.

    Farmers cite the higher demand for organic and naturally grown products and a subsequent higher profit as the main reasons for for selling outside of Shelby County.

    "It's a rural county, and a lot of people have their own gardens and grow their own food," said Larry Brandenburg of Harmony Fields Farm.

  • WICHE: Asian lady beetles on the move

    It happened a little later then usual this year: the attack of the lady beetles.

    Just this week dozens of people have asked, “What do I do about all the lady bugs trying to get in my house.”  Well, the short answer is seal up the house well and get out the vacuum cleaner.

  • Farmers' efforts to find labor getting harder

    Shelby County’s farmers and growers say proposed rules changes by the U.S. Department of Labor for its migrant-labor program are unfair and could harm their business.

    "From what I've seen, the changes would just about kill the program," said Melvin Moffett, owner of Snow Hill Nursery. "We'll be at the mercy of local help."

  • Farmers' efforts to find labor getting harder

    Shelby County’s farmers and growers say proposed rules changes by the U.S. Department of Labor for its migrant-labor program are unfair and could harm their business.

    "From what I've seen, the changes would just about kill the program," said Melvin Moffett, owner of Snow Hill Nursery. "We'll be at the mercy of local help."

  • Wiche: Here are the All-America selections for 2010

    I can’t believe it’s almost 2010: another year of gardening and another year for the All- America Selections.

    The AAS have an inherent good-gardening stamp of approval. The designation signals superior performance in a plant that usually includes vegetables, annuals and bedding plants.  More recently they have added a cool-season award to the list so gardeners can start planting now.  

  • EARLIER: Farmers deal with too much rain after years of drought

    Mother Nature can't seem to get it just right for Shelby County farmers.

    This year's wet summer, following two years of drought, have meant local farmers have to deal with a different problem: too much rain.

    “It's just like everything else, too much of a good thing is a bad thing,” said Doug Langley, who grows tobacco, corn and soybeans and was also named Kentucky Farm Bureau's Farmer of the Year.

  • EARLIER: Crops top last year's drought-plagued yields

    "We're sleeping better this August," said Jack Trumbo as a forecast for Shelby County crop yields.

    Trumbo, chairman of the Kentucky Soybean Board and president of the Shelby County Farm Bureau, said that soybeans, burley tobacco and corn will all have improved yields this year.

    A report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirms an optimistic outlook after last year's drought yields, showing statewide forecasts put corn production at 169.5 million bushels, soybean production at 57.2 million bushels and burley tobacco at 157 million pounds.

  • WICHE: Predictions for winter, does the deer rut count?

    Everyone seems to have a theory about predicting the severity of winter weather.  I have a wait-and-see attitude, but for fun let’s consider some of the natural predictors that may or may not be of sound authority.

    The woolly worm is a favorite, and the folklore says that winter will be a long cold one if the worms are predominantly black and they start moving about before the first hard frost.