A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

UK Fall Crop Protection webinar series begins in November; weekly series occurs on Tuesdays

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment specialists have organized a webinar series aimed at helping producers provide better protection for their grain crops. The 2020 Fall Crop Protection webinars begin Nov. 10 on the video conferencing app Zoom and will focus on new and common threats to Kentucky corn, soybeans and wheat. The weekly...

Virtual education brings UK Cooperative Extension into Kentucky homes during COVID-19 pandemic

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service agents have used creative techniques and the internet to meet their clients wherever they are during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Whether it is in-person or online, it is important to me that I reach my clientele,” said LaToya Drake, Barren County family and consumer sciences extension agent. “It made sense...

Wolfe County extension celebrates addiction recovery stories: ‘Drugs do not discriminate’

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Recovering from drug addiction can take many years with many bumps in the road along the way, as Wolfe County resident Dena Brooks can attest. Brooks has been in recovery for nearly six years. Today, she stays busy raising her daughter and working as the director of the Wolfe County senior citizens center. “My life is finally where it should be now,” she said....

UK Cooperative Extension Service agent receives national award for leadership, innovation

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky An agent with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service recently received national recognition for her visionary leadership and innovative programs. Jennifer Bridge, Meade County family and consumer sciences extension agent, was the recipient of the National Distinguished Service Award from Epilson Sigma Phi, an organization dedicated to extension...

UK researchers part of regional group working to reduce farmer stress during COVID-19 pandemic

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Unprecedented times have unleashed an enormous amount of new and unique stressors on American farm families. To help producers and their families better deal with stressful events, researchers in the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and College of Nursing have joined other scientists from across the South to develop resources...

Research shows native milkweed cultivars can support monarch butterflies, bees in urban gardens

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Millions of people plant pollinator gardens to provide monarch butterflies with food along their annual migration from their overwintering sites in the highland forests of central Mexico to their summer breeding grounds in the United States and southern Canada. For the first time, University of Kentucky entomologists have studied how effectively native milkweed...

UK Cooperative Extension program provides fun, raises community awareness during pandemic

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to alter Americans’ everyday lives, an office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service used the pandemic as an opportunity to foster community pride and promote its town’s local economy and history. Samantha Saunders, Robertson County extension agent, worked with community partners to design a scavenger...

Kentucky Grazing Conference goes virtual; Red Angus Association’s Johnny Rogers to speak

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kentucky Grazing Conference will occur online. The annual event, hosted by the Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council and the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, will occur on the videoconferencing platform Zoom during the evenings of Oct. 27-29. The conference begins each day at 5:50 p.m. CDT and lasts until 8...

UK agricultural engineer says timely soybean harvest important to maintain yields, quality of crops

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Kentucky has experienced a couple weeks of dry weather. As a result, soybean producers need to pay close attention to their crops to make sure they get them out of the field in a timely manner. “This year’s dry weather is the exact opposite of the wet conditions producers dealt with in fall 2019, and dry weather will push soybeans to mature quicker,” said...

UK agricultural economist says current grain markets favoring wheat, double-crop soybeans

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky As Kentucky producers begin to decide their planting intentions for the next growing season, current grain markets favor a wheat, double-crop soybean rotation over full-season soybeans. “Right now, expected market prices look incredibly attractive for Kentucky producers to plant wheat and double-crop soybeans in most scenarios,” said Greg Halich, agricultural...

UK entomologist receives prestigious Early Career Innovation Award for work with honey bee biology

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky A University of Kentucky entomologist recently was recognized by her colleagues around the world for her innovative research and teaching practices. Clare Rittschof, assistant professor in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, received the Early Career Innovation Award from the Entomological Society of America. With more than 7,000 members, the society...

UK celebrates land-grant heritage and mission; recognizes outstanding researchers in ceremony

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment celebrated its land-grant heritage and mission and recognized some of its outstanding researchers during a recent ceremony. Dr. Scott Hutchins, deputy under secretary for research, education and economics with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was the event’s keynote speaker. An entomologist,...

UK graduate student Cristina Castellano aspires to be ‘forensic scientist of the plant world,’ solve mysteries

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Growing up, University of Kentucky graduate student Cristina Castellano thought she might like to be a forensic scientist, but her interest in agriculture steered her toward plant pathology, which she terms as “the forensic scientist of the plant world.” “Plant pathologists and forensic scientists use a lot of same technologies to find solutions to problems,”...

UK agricultural engineer says field drying could be advantageous for corn producers in short run

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Kentucky grain producers are expected to harvest a large corn crop this year and much of it will likely go into storage along with hopes of better marketing opportunities in the next few months. With good weather conditions predicted for the next few weeks, Kentucky producers may let their corn dry in the field a little longer before harvest as it could reduce...

UK to host regional fencing schools this fall to help livestock producers learn new techniques

Katie Pratt University of Kentucky The University of Kentucky will host two regional fencing schools this fall to help livestock producers learn about the newest fencing techniques and sound fence construction. The schools are Oct. 13 at the Wolfe County Extension office in Campton and Oct. 15 at the Barren County Extension office in Glasgow. Each day will begin with registration at 7:30 a.m. local...

Pasture renovations suggested by UK forage experts to help horse farm implement rotational grazing

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Spendthrift Farm is one of Lexington’s iconic Thoroughbred breeding and racing operations. Due to recent expansion, the farm wanted to renovate some unused fields and develop them into pastures to use in a rotational grazing system. They turned to forage experts with the Horse Pasture Evaluation Program in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food...

UK freshman agricultural and medical biotechnology major has big dreams of making positive impact

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Mary Kate Miller has big dreams of making a positive impact on Kentucky agriculture as a future elected public official and on the health of its residents as a future pharmacist. Those dreams began while she was a Henderson County 4-H’er, and this August, the freshman agricultural and medical biotechnology major moved into a dorm at the University of Kentucky...

UK study finds some birds could aid integrated pest management; benefits may outweigh negative effects

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Birds have long been considered the nemesis of many farmers, as they can feast on agriculturally important crops like blueberries and corn. But University of Kentucky research suggests, in some instances, the benefits of some birds may outweigh their negative effects. Birds provide an often unseen benefit to farmers as they can consume a large number of insect...

Research project in nutrition allows UK student to make impact on Eastern Kentucky community

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky A University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment student is contributing to research that could lead to healthier habits and lower negative health outcomes in her native Eastern Kentucky. “I have always wanted to give back to Eastern Kentucky,” said Lucinda Smith, a senior human nutrition major from Corbin. “When I learned through one...

UK pilot study finds high levels of contaminants in Martin County drinking water samples

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Martin County drinking water regularly exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maximum contamination levels for cancer-causing disinfection byproducts and coliform bacteria, according to preliminary findings of a University of Kentucky pilot study. The pilot study was conducted by Jason Unrine and Wayne Sanderson, both professors in the UK College of Agriculture,...