• Farm bill amendment will allow hemp research

    Agriculture officials say they are pleased with newly passed legislation that will allow colleges and universities to grow hemp for research purposes in states where hemp production is allowed by state law.

    The measure was an amendment to the farm bill that passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.

    U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Vanceburg) was one of three co-sponsors of the amendment and has filed a bill that would remove hemp from the federal definition of marijuana.

  • Shelby County farmers say rain drowning tobacco

    As storms battered Shelby County and much of the state on Wednesday, farmers had to be shaking their heads.

    Many years they’re left looking for water during July as drought conditions begin to set in, but all that rain this year is causing its own problems.

    Senate Agriculture Chair Paul Hornback, who also farms tobacco and other crops in Shelby County, said that local farmers are suffering, but the worst tobacco damage is in the southern portion of the state.

    “The wet weather has devastated the crop down there,” he said.

  • Ag report: July 5, 2013

    Kentucky Horse Council sets statewide caucuses for owners

    The Kentucky Horse Council announced Horsemen's Regional Caucuses to inspire networking, communication and education for Kentucky's horse owners.

  • WICHE: Tomatoes looking good but no fruit for the 4th

    By this time last year, I had picked loads of cherry tomatoes. The hot spring worked to the advantage of ripening tomatoes by the 4th of July.

    This year has played out a little differently, but the tomatoes don’t seem to mind. They look great, have generous fruit set and will be ripening soon enough.

    So far the plants are remarkably free of any pest problem, brown or yellowing leaf or rotting fruit. Most are heirloom varieties. They were fertilized once at planting with fish emulsion and immediately mulched with newspaper and pine straw.

  • Ag report: June 28, 2013

    Corn, soybean, burley crops starting to move

    Helped by a stretch of favorable weather, Kentucky’s farmers continue to make up ground on getting their row crops planted. And even with delays, some soybean crop appears to be off to a surprisingly good start.

    As of last week, 95 percent of the state’s corn crop had emerged, and 79 percent was rated in good or excellent condition, according to a USDA weekly report. Corn has grown to an average of 21 inches, with the most advanced corn averaging 35 inches.

  • Woman making over Mustang on Shelby farm

    Training horses may not be an unusual activity in Shelby County, but one woman is taking things a little further than usual.

    Mary Rose Sawicki lives in Oldham County, attends the University of Louisville and leases farm land north of Simpsonville owned by Phyllis Tate, and she is one of 43 successful applicants who entered this year’s Extreme Mustang Makeover competition, organized by the Mustang Heritage Foundation, and is now tasked with taming and training a wild mustang from Nevada and preparing it for sale at auction in August.

  • WICHE: Anxious for some summer squash, a cucumber salad

    I can hardly wait for this year’s first harvest of summer squash, and it should be any day now. There is fruit set, and you know how quickly squash can mature. Last year’s crop was not so robust because of the record heat, so I am optimistically counting on a bumper squash crop this year – the weather is certainly on our side.

  • Ag report: June 21, 2013

    State fair entry

    deadlines coming up

    The general entry deadline for all categories of the 2013 Kentucky State Fair competitions is July 1, and all entries must be postmarked by this date.

    All entries can be made online now by visiting www.kystatefair.org and filling out the online entry form. Forms are also available as a PDF and can be mailed once completed. Late general entries will be accepted, with an additional fee, until July 10.

  • Shelby County Fair Horse Show results: June 19, 2013

    Listed: Horse, owner, rider

    5-Gaited Amateur

    1.     I’m Royalty Too, Fish Creek Stables, Brittany McGinnis

    2.     Cheerful Memories, Pamela Slater, Andrew Slater

    3.     Heir Assault, Ed/Candi Aversenti, Candi Aversenti

    4.     Callaway’s Bookmark, Silver Brook Stables Inc., Jo Ann Griffin

    Junior Roadster Pony

  • WICHE: Dog and cats on the job

    I value the guardian behavior of our animals as one is charged to protect the other. We have house cats that are free to go outside; barn cats that mostly hang out in the garage; a companion red heeler mutt who rarely leaves my side; and a Maremma livestock guardian dog (LGD).

    Baxter, the LGD, has challenged our thinking in owning dogs. He has reinforced that animals follow their instincts above all else. He is not a pet, but rather a worker that is a critical component to keeping our farm alive.