• Kentucky State Fair kicks off Aug. 15 in Louisville

    Next week begins one of my favorite times of the year—the Kentucky State Fair!

    The Kentucky State Fair officially opens on Thursday, Aug. 15 and runs through Aug. 25. It is located on the Kentucky Fair Exposition Center, 937 Phillips Lane in Louisville.

    With all the sights and sounds, the State Fair has something for every member of the family:

  • Safe canning practices protect families from illnesses

    Gardens are beginning to bear the fruits of your labor. Soon, it will be time to start thinking about preserving some of that excess produce for winter months. Safety is of utmost importance for those of us preserving food because improperly home canned food can lead to foodborne illness.

    Bacteria, yeasts and molds can grow quickly on fresh fruits and vegetables. Oxygen and enzymes that can cause food to spoil are found all over and inside produce.

  • Impacts of mower height, sharpness on lawns

    Mowing is probably one of the most common lawn maintenance activities you will do this summer, but that does not mean it is the simplest thing you will do. Let us take a closer look at mowing so we can be mindful about this task.

  • Questions on battling animal parasites answered

    Learning how to be vigilant against parasites is the hardest part of small ruminant production. The key is learning how to live with parasites. Here are some common questions from new producers, and answers provided by the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office.

    Question: Why do my sheep/goats always look skinny and won’t gain weight?

    Answer: If you are feeding adequate nutrients in each production period and your animals are still not carrying an appropriate body condition, you may have a parasite infestation.

  • Southern rust confirmed in corn in some areas of the state

    Last week, southern rust in corn has been confirmed in Livingston and Fulton counties in Western Kentucky. Although this is a long way from Carroll County, it is important for our corn growers to be aware.

  • Keep swimming fun, safe with pool safety ideas

    When the summer heat is making you sweat, hitting the pool is a great way to keep the family cool.

    While swimming is a ton of fun and a great activity for the whole family, it could prove to be dangerous, even deadly.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death for people of all ages, and the second leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 14 years.

  • The rules have changed for home food processors

    Earlier this year, Kentucky lawmakers passed HB468, which further defined who qualifies to be a home-based processor and what products they can make. This bill went into effect on June 14.

    Home-based processors are Kentucky residents who make value-added products in their home kitchens.

    Processors may sell these products throughout the state at farmers markets, certified roadside stands, community events, fairs, festivals and from the home-based processor’s home.  

  • Testing temperature on hay averts damage, loss of nutrition

    It is not unusual for the temperature within a bale of hay to reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and it may go as high as 130 degrees before beginning to decline.

    If the temperature peaks below 130 degrees, you may lose some quality but you will not have a danger of fire. With free air circulation around a bale, both heat and moisture can dissipate.

  • Advice for spring, fall calving herds

    Dr. Les Anderson, UK Extension Beef Specialist, offers some timely tips for cattle producers:

    Spring-calving cow herd

    Cows should be on good pasture with clover and preferably low endophyte levels in fescue for the spring breeding season. Keep pastures vegetative by clipping or making hay. They should have abundant shade and water. Our goal is to have cows become pregnant before July when temperatures and heat stress can ruin the “spring” breeding season.

  • Take steps to protect livestock from the heat

    Summer is here. We have already experienced some heat and humidity in the past week, but we know it is just a taste of what is to come.

    People are not the only ones who suffer when the temperatures rise. Farm animals feel it, too. You can recognize when livestock may be in danger from the heat and what you can do to increase their comfort.

    Livestock become uncomfortable when the heat index reaches about 90 degrees. The heat index is a combination of air temperature and humidity and is used to describe how it feels outside.