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The University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council will host the 36th annual Kentucky Alfalfa and Stored Forage Conference. The daylong event will begin at 8:00 a.m. CST Feb. 21 at the Cave City Convention Center in Cave City.

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Producers face challenges and opportunities when applying poultry litter to cropland. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Food and Environment will host a forum to help producers learn best management practices to apply poultry litter.

The forum, titled Poultry Litter Lessons from the Delmarva and the Ohio Valley, will begin at 1:30 p.m. CST Jan. 25 at the Owensboro Convention Center and again at 9:30 a.m. CST Jan. 26 at the Christian County Extension office. They are sponsored by the Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board and the Kentucky Corn Promotion Council.

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New and experienced industrial hemp producers and interested individuals can get a broad overview of hemp production and the Kentucky hemp industry at one of three regional meetings.

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The Kentucky Department of Agriculture reported that sheep and goat numbers in the state are nearly equal at 53,000 and 59,000 head, respectively. New and established producers can benefit from educational opportunities at the upcoming annual Kentucky Small Ruminant Grazing Conference.

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Your home requires proper maintenance. Your car requires regular oil changes and tuneups. If you want to improve your chances of living a long life, you need to eat well and get regular exercise. Most of us are aware that these all are things which deserve our attention in order to avoid expensive repair bills or worse yet, serious medical issues. However, one of the most important aspects of many individuals' lives is often overlooked — relationships. 

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A University of Kentucky entomologist is using a social media platform to help producers cut down on unnecessary insecticide applications.

Ric Bessin started the Facebook page Swdinky to help growers monitor and potentially treat for the spotted wing drosophila, a fruit fly that can destroy soft-skinned, small fruit including grapes, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries. The invasive insect first appeared in Kentucky in 2012. It overwinters in the state, but when it becomes active varies by year.

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The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment inducted four new members to its Hall of Distinguished Alumni. This year’s recipients include a university chancellor, college dean and advocate for African-Americans in agriculture, beef breeder and an agricultural economist.

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The Kentucky Small Business Development Center significantly contributed to the state and federal economies during the 2014-15 fiscal year, according to an independent study conducted by James J. Chrisman, professor of management, Mississippi State University. The study was completed in June 2016 and shows that small businesses working with the center increased sales and employment figures at a greater percentage than an average business in Kentucky. KSBDC clients increased sales by 14.4 percent versus 3.8 percent, and increased employment levels by 15.1 percent compared to 1.5 percent.

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The rolling hills of Hart County are not what most people would consider a traditional area for growing row crops, but high commodity prices a few years ago resulted in farmers planting corn and soybeans here and throughout much of south-central Kentucky.

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After a few weeks of above-average temperatures, Kentuckians will feel the chill with an early-January cold snap.

University of Kentucky agricultural meteorologist Matt Dixon explained that the combination of cold air and winds create dangerous and emergency-category periods of livestock cold stress.

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University of Kentucky Ag Equine Programs will host the 6th Annual UK Equine Showcase and the 8th Annual Kentucky Breeders’ Short Course Jan. 27-28, both at the Fayette County Extension office, 1140 Red Mile Place, in Lexington.

The UK Equine Showcase will highlight the university’s equine programs and relevant industry findings with an emphasis on immunology. It will run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 27.

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Kentucky wheat growers can get a comprehensive overview of the University of Kentucky’s new and ongoing research at the 2017 Winter Wheat Meeting. The annual meeting, hosted by the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, will be from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. CST Jan. 5 at the James E. Bruce Convention Center in Hopkinsville.

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Anyone who has spent a considerable amount of time around livestock or forages knows tall fescue is a double-edged sword. University of Kentucky forage specialists are teaming up with the Alliance for Grassland Renewal to host a workshop to teach producers how to renovate their old tall fescue pastures with a novel endophyte variety.

The Tall Fescue Renovation Workshop will take place March 9 at UK’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and UK Spindletop Research Farm.

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Adults who want to further their career in the retail or tourism industries will soon be able to do so from home. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment will launch its first online master’s degree program in retailing and tourism management in fall 2017.

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For many people, public speaking is an anxiety-inducing activity which they will try to avoid at almost any cost. Not so for University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment graduating senior Mary Elizabeth Wood.

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As he energetically bounds across the lab checking on high school students while they extract DNA from tall fescue, there’s no question that University of Kentucky instructor Lou Hirsch is passionate about science and teaching. It is with his passion and enthusiasm that Hirsch hopes to show students the human-side of science and make it something that is very real to them and perhaps a potential career.

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The Kentucky Small Business Development Center recognized staff members for their achievements at the annual fall conference held in Lexington.

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Amid concern over antibiotic resistance and in an effort to improve efficiency while protecting human and animal health, the Food and Drug Administration is making changes in its Veterinary Feed Directive program. They are amending regulations regarding drugs added to livestock feeds; the new rules go into effect Jan. 1.

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The 2017 Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference will have something of interest for all fruit and vegetable producers. The event runs from 8 a.m. EST Jan. 9 until 5 p.m. Jan. 10 at Lexington’s Embassy Suites Hotel.

Preconference activities on Jan. 8 will include tree fruit, small fruit and vegetable roundtable discussions as well as a plasticulture strawberry short course.

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The long-term partnership between Lloyd’s of London and the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment celebrated 25 years of continued financial support when representatives from Lloyd’s recently presented a $50,000 check to UK.

“Lloyd’s has long been a leading bloodstock insurer in Kentucky, and a quarter century of financial support demonstrates the underwriters’ commitment to good equine health and cutting-edge research,” said Patrick Talley, U.S. central region manager for Lloyd’s America.

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On a late fall day, volunteers laid the framework for what will be a bustling place full of fruits, veggies and children come next summer.

The Metcalfe County community garden is an outreach of the county’s office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and its farmers market. It is a direct result of the growth of the market and the expansion of extension efforts on local gardening for children.

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The Bluegrass Small Business Development Center is extending the registration for the 10-week Minority and Women Construction Training program until Dec. 16.

The Minority and Women Training Program began in 2001 as a way to increase construction opportunities for women and minority business owners and has graduated more than 150 entrepreneurs statewide.

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It’s common knowledge that plants grow up from the ground, supported by a root system, but until now scientists were unable to understand how that process starts during fertilization at a cellular level. An international team of scientists that includes a University of Kentucky researcher has visualized how the fertilized egg cell divides unequally after fertilization. 

From this unequal cell division, one cell works toward developing the top part of the plant including stem, leaves and flowers while the other works on root structure.

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Kentucky net farm income is expected to dip to less than $1.5 billion in 2016, down from $1.7 billion in 2015 and potentially its lowest level since 2010. A significant decline in cash receipts the past couple of years, plus the end of tobacco buyout payments in 2014, have been the major reasons behind the rapid fall in Kentucky’s net farm income since peaking at nearly $3 billion in 2013.

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