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Agriculture

  • WICHE: Plants, snow and deicing agents

    As I write, we are getting flurries, and the forecast calls for some frigid temperatures (by now we have experienced them).

    We have called to have our old furnace serviced to hedge our bets against frozen pipes as the heat pump struggles to keep up with single-digit temperatures. The firewood is staked and ready to stoke the Buckstove for overnight, and if the sidewalks get slick, we have a stash of deicing agents.

    As the winter season unfolds, consider the effect that deicing agents have on your plants.

  • Ag report: Jan. 3, 2014

    Hemp commission report: Dialogue ‘positive,’ ongoing

    The Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission on Monday discussed ongoing communications with both the U.S. attorney general and the Kentucky attorney general regarding the effort to make Kentucky a leader in industrial hemp production.

  • WICHE: Winter settles in

    The winter slowdown has not happened, but it does seem to be around the corner. Or is that just wishful thinking?

    At any rate winter is a time to regroup and plan for another year for the farm. We have some serious infrastructure planning to do, thanks to a grant from Animal Welfare Approved, which will allow us to add some fox-proof fencing for our free-ranging laying hens and some improvements to our sheep pastures that will allow for more organized rotational grazing and sorting.

  • Ag Report: Dec 27, 2013

    Industrial Hemp Commission to review position on Monday

     

    The state Industrial Hemp Commission, of which Shelby County resident and state Sen. Paul Hornback (R-Shelbyville) is a member, is gathering Monday to review its position about trying to earn federal approval to make industrial hemp legal.

    The group will review its communication with the Department of Justice and hear reports from the office of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky).

  • WICHE: Controlling pests on indoor plants

    Have you noticed a sticky substance on the floor beneath your ficus or philodendron? Are there little scabs on the underside of the leaves of your orchid? Maybe you have noticed that your plants just look a little lackluster.

    Well, we can blame some of the plant puniness on being a tropical houseplant indoors in Kentuckiana during the winter.

    Low levels of humidity and low levels of light trigger a response in plants that slows them down, causing them to shed foliage and leaving them in a standby phase until the environment turns more favorable.

  • Ag report: Dec. 20, 2013

    FSA offering loans for grain storage

    Farm Service Agency is offering low-interest loans to grain producers to build new or upgrade existing storage facilities and permanent drying and handling equipment.

  • WICHE: A gardener’s Christmas poem

    Every couple of years I like to revisit my father’s favorite Christmas poem inspired by Clement Moore’s famous work Night Before Christmas. The writer is unknown, but he or she certainly was a gardener. And you may even get some last minute gift ideas from its verse.

    Fred Wiche, my father and the first Weekend Gardener, started writing this column years ago, imparting gardening advice and humor. When he died in 1998, I took up the pen with a sense of duty and excitement, recognizing this column as both an opportunity to learn and to honor his legacy.

  • WICHE: Controlling pests on indoor plants

    Have you noticed a sticky substance on the floor beneath your ficus or philodendron? Are there little scabs on the underside of the leaves of your orchid? Maybe you have noticed that your plants just look a little lackluster.

    Well, we can blame some of the plant puniness on being a tropical houseplant indoors in Kentuckiana during the winter.

    Low levels of humidity and low levels of light trigger a response in plants that slows them down, causing them to shed foliage and leaving them in a standby phase until the environment turns more favorable.

  • Courtneys named state’s top young farm family

    This winter Mary and Shane Courtney will have a new way to get around their 570-acre farm.

    This past Friday the Courtneys were named the Kentucky Farm Bureau Young Farm Family, and along with being entered in the national Young Farm Family competition, they also came away with quite a bit of swag.

    “The sponsorship for the award was incredible,” Mary Courtney said. “Everything we won can be put back into the farm, and we’re pretty excited about the ATV.”

  • Ag report: Dec. 13, 2013

    SC Farm Bureau wins 3 awards at annual meeting

    In addition to the Courtney family’s being named Best Young Farm Family for 2013, Shelby County Farm Bureau earned three honors during the 94th annual meeting of the Kentucky Farm Bureau, which concluded Saturday in Louisville.

    SCFB was recognized with the KFB’s Gold Star awards for efforts by its Young Farmer Committee and it’s women’s program and overall for the efforts of its membership. SCFB President John Wills led a delegation that attended.