• WICHE: Orchids determined by the bloom

    Have you ever wondered what makes an orchid an orchid? Well, it is all about flower parts. In fact, most plants are categorized in the plant kingdom by their flowers.

  • Ag report: Jan. 17, 2014

    Today is last day to vote for FSA county committee

    USDA Farm Service Agency officials issued a reminder to farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers that they have until today to return to the FSA office completed ballots for county committee members.

    Eligible voters who have not received a ballot can obtain one from the USDA Service Center on Breighton Boulevard in Shelbyville. This is the last day for voters to submit completed ballots in person to local USDA Service Centers, and mail ballots must be postmarked no later than today.

  • WICHE: Plan ahead for spring garden

    Plant and seed catalogs will be jamming the mailbox any day now. I always feel like January ushers in a clean slate for the garden: Optimism abounds among fresh ideas and promises never to repeat a crop busting mistake are sharp in my memory. Sometimes the slate stays clean; sometimes it doesn’t.

    Either way the next couple of months can be used to plan and prepare for the next growing season. Don’t get over whelmed by (or over indulge in) all the catalogs until you actually decide on what you want to accomplish for the year.

  • Ag report: Jan. 10, 2014

    Shelby farm honored

    again for its corn crop

    Kevin and Kathy Smith once again this year are being honored for having an outstanding corn crop.

    The Smiths, who operate Dusty Feather Farms on Figgs Store Road in southern Shelby County, were notified recently that they were being honored by the National Corn Growers Association that they were winners for District 4 in Kentucky.

    They will travel to Bowling Green next week to accept their rewards during the Kentucky Commodities Classic.

  • Tobacco adjustment to be a big winner

    CAMPBELLSVILLE – Tobacco producers who opted for the 10-year annual payments during the 2004 tobacco buyout will receive the full amount of their final installment after all.

    Last year, United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the USDA planned to cut final tobacco payment installments by 7.2 percent as part of budget cuts resulting from federal sequestration.

  • 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.

  • 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 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).