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Agriculture

  • Prune fruit trees in February

    When we get some relief from the cold weather, this month is the time to do some yard work.

    February is the right time to prune most fruit trees.  

    Apples, plums, pears, cherries and just about any other tree fruit you can think of needs a little help now before they actively start pushing out new growth.

    Peaches are the only ones you should wait on; prune them after flowering.  

    Pruning is a necessary process that will increase your yields, decrease insect and disease problems and give you a healthy tree in the process.

  • Latest update on farm bill

    This is the latest updated from Dr. Will Snell, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Food and Environment, Department of Agriculture Economics:

    After several years of debate, extensions and much uncertainty, a new farm bill moved much closer to reality this week as the U.S. House voted 251 to 166 to support The Agricultural Act of 2014.

    The U.S. Senate is taking up the bill very soon, with passage anticipated, and the President is expected to sign the 2014 farm bill into law within the next week or two.

  • Several 4-H activities upcoming

    4-H members can kick off the new year by getting involved in several upcoming activities.  

    4-H members can let their creative side shine by participating in the District 5 4-H Poetry Contest.  

    The rules for the contest were in the January  4-H newsletter and can be picked up at the extension office or accessed from the 4-H webpage, http://washington.ca.uky.edu.

    Poems must be the original work of the 4-H member and must be titled.  The poem can be on any subject.

  • Cold weather not causing many garden troubles yet

    As you know, January is probably the slowest time of the year for the garden, and this year, it is slower than normal because it has been brutally cold and a little snowy.   

    We actually had daffodils blooming last year at this time, which was ridiculously early even in protected areas.   

    There are a few things to discuss, however.

    First of all, the fruit crops and most everything that you may have planted that are hardy to zone six are just fine.  

  • 4-H Camp

    Even though it’s the middle of winter, it’s not too early to start thinking about summer camp. Washington County 4-H will be camping June 24-27 at Lake Cumberland 4-H Camp.  

    Pre-camp applications are available, and for those that pay a deposit prior to April 1, their name will be put in a drawing for a $50 gift card.

    For someone thinking about a summer job and who likes the outdoors, 4-H camp might be a good fit. All 4-H camps are now hiring staff for the summer camping season.

  • Gardening Class Series Starts In February

    The 2014 Wheelbarrow Series is a group of classes covering various gardening topics. I hope you find something you would like to learn about, and I look forward to seeing you all.  

    If you would like more information call the Washington County Extension Office at 859-336-7741.  

    This year’s selection is as follows:

    Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 10:30 a.m. or Thursday, Feb. 13 at 6:30 p.m.
    Starting Your Own Seedlings At Home

  • Control lice before they reduce beef and dairy profits this winter

    Lice can suck the profits out of your beef and dairy cattle herds during the winter.

    These cold-loving pests spread when animals bunch together in response to frigid temperatures, and we’ve already had plenty of those.

    You can reduce potential lice problems on cattle by keeping new animals separate from your herd until you’ve given them a thorough louse treatment, generally two applications of a contact insecticide.

    The first application kills active adults and immature lice, but it won’t destroy nits on the hide.

  • 4-H news: A history of ham curing

    This week, the members of the 4-H Hooves and Horns Club will begin to cure their country hams.  

    Each member must do a speech they will present at the 2014 KY State Fair while their ham is being judged.  

    Last year, the junior 4-H members that (ages 9-13) had to do their speech on the history of country ham.  

    What they found out in their research would be surprising to many of you as it was to me.

    Here are some of the web-based facts they included in their speeches:

  • Testing old seed

    The seed catalogs are piling up, and I am like a kid in a candy store.  

    Every year in January, I pine away for spring while perusing the seed catalogs and generally make an order or two, thinking that I will have time in the spring to get everything planted (I never do).

    But, as with most gardeners, I have a lot of leftover seed from years gone by.  

    Many of you are like me and want to use the best seed possible, but that may not always be “new” seed.

  • Take precautions now for good fruit this summer

    Winter is an excellent time to prepare our orchards and patches for the production season when the threat of spreading some very serious disease problems is minimal.

    Primary infections for many fruit crop diseases occur in very early spring.

    Growers wishing to manage diseases of fruit crops more effectively should plan and act now so that, when the rush of spring gardening activities begins, important disease management operations can be implemented.